Arrayed in White Robes
"After this 1 beheld, and, 10, a great multitude, which no man could number,
of all nations, and kindred's, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and
before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And one of the
elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes?
and whence came they? And 1 said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me,
these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:9, 13, 14}.
Heaven is the inheritance of saints. It is a place prepared for happy living. In
heaven there is perfect joy and everlasting bliss. We must confess that the joy which
God gives us upon the earth is no~ perfect. We will have perfect joy only in heaven.
All our songs of praise are exercises preparing us for heaven. If we are properly
exercised in offering praises and worship to God, heaven will not be new to us. We
will not need angels to teach us the manners and customs of heaven. If we really
love Jesus, we will not be strangers in heaven. There is no angel in heaven who can
sing the song we sing. The Bible gives some description of the condition of people in
heaven. Just as parents explain things to children through pictures, God uses earthly
things to describe heaven. For instance, one of the glories on earth is a bride on her
marriage day. Every one looks at the bride. God tells us that the great multitude of
the redeemed people are like a bride, dressed in white robes. Now let us see what
the white robes indicate.
Every Roman family had slaves. After many years of slavery, when the
master set his slave free, he gave him a white robe. It signified perfect freedom.
Now the white robes worn by the saints of God in heaven, speak of perfect freedom.
On this earth we are in bondage. Many saints have all kinds of troubles, sicknesses
and sorrows. We have to fight against many evils. We face many temptations from
the Devil. But the day we enter heaven, we will enjoy perfect freedom. No more
sickness, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death; just perfect freedom. That
is why saints in heaven are given white robes.
Secondly, a white robe is a sign of purity. In heaven we shall be without any
spot or wrinkle. Here on the earth our garments get defiled. Every-day we need to
be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Heaven is a place of spotless purity. "And there
shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh
abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of
life"(Rev.21: 27). There will not be any disorder or division among the saints there.
Thirdly, white robes speak of priesthood. In the olden days a priest had to
prove that he was a descendant of Aaron. If he could prove that, he was counted
worthy to wear a white robe and minister to God. Every saint is a member in the
family of God, by being born again through faith in the finished work of the Lord
Jesus Christ. He is clothed in white. He is called a priest. Saints are not only priests,
they are kings also, who will reign forever. Peter says, "...ye are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood..."(1 Pet.2: 9). we will enter heaven as kings and
Fourthly, white robes speak of victory. In ancient days when a captain
returned to his home-town after winning a battle, he would be dressed in white and
would ride on a white horse. That is what we read in the Bible; "And the armies
which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white
and clean" (Rev.19:14). For saints in heaven, warfare is over and victory is won.
There is no more allurement of the world, no more temptations of the flesh. The
devil is defeated and the victory is celebrated. Here on earth we have to fight always
with spiritual enemies, but in heaven there is victory.
Fifthly, white robes speak of a festival. Jews wore white robes on holidays. In
heaven saints enjoy eternal holiday and eternal rest. They have finished their work.
They put off their working garments. There is no more manual work for them. They
have entered into their rest. "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,
Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the
Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them"
These saints, who were given white robes, had come out of tribulation. For
us, tribulation speaks of original and habitual sin. Even from the day of our birth, we
are filthy. "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and. in sin did my mother conceive me"
(Psa.51: 5). From the very beginning of our life we are cursed. Those whose sins are
forgiven and who are sanctified in the Name of Jesus Christ, have a right to receive a
white robe. Tribulation also speaks of the pressures of the world. The enemy
occupies our mind with the world, and defiles our heart with the attractions of the
world. Because of that, we find it difficult to pray, read the Bible, and make sacrifices
for others. Those who overcome the World will wear white robes. Also the tribulation
refers to remembrance of our past sins, the depth of sin in which we were found
before the Lord saved us. The Devil is always active to remind us of our failures. But
we have to put our faith in the precious blood of the lamb and overcome the enemy.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their
testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev.12: 11). The Lord
Jesus Christ encourages us by saying, "My reward is with me". "...be thou faithful
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life"(Rev.22:12; 2:10). Those who
overcome will receive from His hands a white robe and a crown.
You, who claim a right to go to heaven, have to prove your right. What is
your proof? Are you born again of the Spirit of God? Are you washed in the blood of
the lamb? Do you bear the image of God? If not, humble yourself at the feet of the
lord Jesus, Who died a cruel death as your substitute. He was "delivered for our
offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Rom.4:25). The Word of God
says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1: 9). "Come now, and let us reason
together, saith the lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (lsa.1 :18). If you
repent of your sins and receive the lord Jesus as your personal Savior, you too will
have a white robe, and will join one day, the redeemed throng in heaven, who adore
the Lord Jesus Christ.