They have come out of the great ordeal (Rev 7:14)

“I said to him,

‘My Lord!

You are the one who knows.’

Then he said to me,

‘These are they

Who have come out

Of the great ordeal.

They have washed

Their robes

And made them white

In the blood

Of the lamb.’”

καὶ εἴρηκα αὐτῷ Κύριέ μου, σὺ οἶδας. καὶ εἶπέν μοι Οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης, καὶ ἔπλυναν τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐλεύκαναν αὐτὰς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ Ἀρνίου.

John said “I said to him (καὶ εἴρηκα αὐτῷ), ‘My Lord (Κύριέ μου)!  You are the one who knows (σὺ οἶδας).’  Then he said to me (καὶ εἶπέν μοι), ‘These are they who have come out (Οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐρχόμενοι) of the great ordeal (ἐκ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης).  They have washed their robes (καὶ ἔπλυναν τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν) and made them white (καὶ ἐλεύκαναν αὐτὰς) in the blood (ἐν τῷ αἵματι) of the lamb (τοῦ Ἀρνίου).’”  John got involved in a conversation with one of the twenty-four presbyters who had asked him a question.  He immediately responded that the heavenly presbyter should know the answer to his own question.  Then this presbyter responded that yes, he did know who the people in the while robes were.  They were the people who had gone through the great ordeal or tribulation.  They had washed their robes to make them white with the blood of the lamb.  This conversation is a little like the prophet Zechariah with the angel in chapter 4:4-5, “I said to the angel who talked with me.  ‘What are these?  My lord!’  Then the angel who talked with me answered me.  ‘Do you not know what these are?’  I said, ‘No!  My lord!’”  Zechariah questioned the angel who had been talking to him.  He wanted to know what did this vision meant.  The angel then responded to Zechariah by asking him the same question.  He seemed bewildered that Zechariah did not understand this vision.  Thus, John may have had this in mind.  Many people have tried to pin down an explicit tribulation of the early Christians without a great deal of success.  Suffice it to say, many Christians suffered in the late first century after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Have you had an ordeal or tribulation because of Jesus Christ?

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