When does "God wipe away all tears"?

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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I am currently in a discussion about if Our Lord Jesus does or does not weep or cry now that He ascended into heaven, and by extension the glorified saints. It was brought up to me in The Book of Revelation that the saints have their tears wiped away by God in the future which supposes that in Heaven now they have tears till death, sorrow, and crying are passed.


Revelation 21:4

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

I realize this in my opinion incorrectly assumes the saints see us now and cry over our sin, as does Our Lord, which I do believe, because of Him being both man and God. My bones simply know this to be untrue knowing Jesus and the saints are now blessed because death, sorrow, crying, and pain has passed for them already.

#1 So in your opinion does Jesus and the glorified saints cry now?
#2 If they do not cry now were the "tears" wiped away when they died?

PS. I understand that the saints in heaven lack physical attributes until the resurrection. Even so I also believe they still lack the ability to be distressed in any way shape or form.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…

This can be read as having no sense of grief In my most humble opinion.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I realize this in my opinion incorrectly assumes the saints see us now and cry over our sin, as does Our Lord, which I do believe, because of Him being both man and God. My bones simply know this to be untrue knowing Jesus and the saints are now blessed because death, sorrow, crying, and pain has passed for them already.

Even so I also believe they still lack the ability to be distressed in any way shape or form.

Jesus is still subject to the pains and emotions that befall his sheep due to persecution etc.:

Acts 26:14
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

When Stephen was about to be stoned, Jesus rose to his feet in what was a heightened emotional state over what was about to happen:

Acts 7:55-56
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Consider also:
Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The word "touched" [συμπαθής] is defined in part as:
One “who is affected like another by the same sufferings, impressions, emotions,” or “who suffers, experiences etc. the same as another,” later one “who has fellow-feeling, sympathy with another.”

It appears that Jesus, in his present state, experiences the full range of human emotions.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…

This can be read as having no sense of grief In my most humble opinion.

I believe it indicates a longing by the saints (prior to the Last Judgment) for justice to be done. I.e. heaven is glorious, but will get even better after the Last Judgment and all wrongs are righted. I believe Rev. 6 (along with Paul's words about being absent from the body) indicates that the disembodied saints in heaven will be happy, yet no altogether happy as they will be when they are reunited with their glorified bodies and God restores the universe and rids it of evil.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I realize this in my opinion incorrectly assumes the saints see us now and cry over our sin, as does Our Lord, which I do believe, because of Him being both man and God. My bones simply know this to be untrue knowing Jesus and the saints are now blessed because death, sorrow, crying, and pain has passed for them already.

Even so I also believe they still lack the ability to be distressed in any way shape or form.

Jesus is still subject to the pains and emotions that befall his sheep due to persecution etc.:

Acts 26:14
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

When Stephen was about to be stoned, Jesus rose to his feet in what was a heightened emotional state over what was about to happen:

Acts 7:55-56
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Consider also:
Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The word "touched" [συμπαθής] is defined in part as:
One “who is affected like another by the same sufferings, impressions, emotions,” or “who suffers, experiences etc. the same as another,” later one “who has fellow-feeling, sympathy with another.”

It appears that Jesus, in his present state, experiences the full range of human emotions.

So when we have all our tears wiped away will we still be "touched" with grief?
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…

This can be read as having no sense of grief In my most humble opinion.

I believe it indicates a longing by the saints (prior to the Last Judgment) for justice to be done. I.e. heaven is glorious, but will get even better after the Last Judgment and all wrongs are righted. I believe Rev. 6 (along with Paul's words about being absent from the body) indicates that the disembodied saints in heaven will be happy, yet no altogether happy as they will be when they are reunited with their glorified bodies and God restores the universe and rids it of evil.

Is hell still within the universe?
 

Cymro

Puritan Board Junior
Being as Revelation is mainly symbolic in its conveyance of truth, I don't think we can literalise certain aspects that are expressed in a homely way for our understanding. The saints have no physical eyes in heaven, except the eyes of their souls which have been enlightened. Until they are united with their bodies, their five spiritual senses enumerated in scripture give them apprehension and comprehension of that blessed sphere of blissfull existence. Surely the reference to the wiping away of tears respects the removal of the former habits and pains of our earthly pilgrimage through this valley of tears. Old things are passed away, behold all things are new. Death is the handkerchief that the Lord uses to remove the symbols of pain,suffering and battered emotions. Nought that defileth shall enter that calm of eternity. If there could be tears they would be tears of joyful thanksgiving and endless praise, for worthy is the Lamb that was slain
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I think Jeff above summed it up well in that any tears will be of gratitude and not sadness.

One more try...

So in heaven, we, along with Jesus, experience some sort of lobotomized disengagement when aware of the suffering of our brothers and sisters on earth?

Is not Jesus touched with the feelings of our infirmities?

In post #4, I thought I gave three scriptures which demonstrated that Jesus is concerned in an emotional way for the situation of the believers on earth. In the Revelation passage below, I show that the believers themselves are touched with the circumstances of fellow saints who are suffering on earth.

What about the cry of the martyrs who were anxiously concerned for the condition of their "fellowservants?"

Revelation 6:9-11
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

My bottom line is that I believe the scripture teaches that the saints in heaven, as also the angels, are engaged in the drama that is taking place on earth in time. Not that they have a sinful anxiety for what is going on, but that they do, in a completely sanctified way, "feel" the pain and suffering of their fellow-servants on earth. Surely Jesus does. Surely the angels do. (1 Peter 1:12) And Rev. 6 teaches that the saints do.
 
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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I think Jeff above summed it up well in that any tears will be of gratitude and not sadness.

One more try...

So in heaven, we, along with Jesus, experience some sort of lobotomized disengagement when aware of the suffering of our brothers and sisters on earth?

Is not Jesus touched with the feelings of our infirmities?

In post #4, I thought I gave three scriptures which demonstrated that Jesus is concerned in an emotional way for the situation of the believers on earth. In the Revelation passage below, I show that the believers themselves are touched with the circumstances of fellow saints who are suffering on earth.

What about the cry of the martyrs who were anxiously concerned for the condition of their "fellowservants?"

Revelation 6:9-11
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

My bottom line is that I believe the scripture teaches that the saints in heaven, as also the angels, are engaged in the drama that is taking place on earth in time. Not that they have a sinful anxiety for what is going on, but that they do, in a completely sanctified way, "feel" the pain and suffering of their fellow-servants on earth. Surely Jesus does. Surely the angels do. (1 Peter 1:12) And Rev. 6 teaches that the saints do.

So the tears do not get wiped away till the resurrection. I am simply having a hard time believing Jesus is somehow sad now in heaven along with the saints who are with Him being somewhat "restless".
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The war is still going on and the Church is now split between both sides of Jordan. And the Holy Spirit is said to be able to be grieved here in this age.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
The war is still going on and the Church is now split between both sides of Jordan. And the Holy Spirit is said to be able to be grieved here in this age.

This I know without a doubt. The Holy Spirit may be said to be "as if" He is grieved. This is a debatable subject but what you are implying is simply not true in this age.

Think of this subject in this way. Imagine God having passions such as anger, sadness, or grief before time began. If one does such one can see God possessing grief, anger, or sadness as not proper to the divine essence. So if God is immutable (which God is) then His divine essence did not change when time began and this essence continues without any change in His being.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…

This can be read as having no sense of grief In my most humble opinion.

I believe it indicates a longing by the saints (prior to the Last Judgment) for justice to be done. I.e. heaven is glorious, but will get even better after the Last Judgment and all wrongs are righted. I believe Rev. 6 (along with Paul's words about being absent from the body) indicates that the disembodied saints in heaven will be happy, yet no altogether happy as they will be when they are reunited with their glorified bodies and God restores the universe and rids it of evil.

Is hell still within the universe?

It appears that heaven and hell might even be within sight of one another.

And the sight of hell may be shown to the saints as an evidence of God's grace to them throughout eternity and as a cause of joy over God's victory over evil. The saints will not be troubled, but will rejoice over this sight.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…

This can be read as having no sense of grief In my most humble opinion.

I believe it indicates a longing by the saints (prior to the Last Judgment) for justice to be done. I.e. heaven is glorious, but will get even better after the Last Judgment and all wrongs are righted. I believe Rev. 6 (along with Paul's words about being absent from the body) indicates that the disembodied saints in heaven will be happy, yet no altogether happy as they will be when they are reunited with their glorified bodies and God restores the universe and rids it of evil.

Is hell still within the universe?

It appears that heaven and hell might even be within sight of one another.

And the sight of hell may be shown to the saints as an evidence of God's grace to them throughout eternity and as a cause of joy over God's victory over evil. The saints will not be troubled, but will rejoice over this sight.

If so I guess we may be crying to an extent for all eternity. ;)

I can believe that till the final resurrection there may be some grief but at that last day I believe all grief will be done away with. :)
 

Cymro

Puritan Board Junior
WCF----32, The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness , are received into the highest heavens. Our holiness now is defective because of the remains of sin in our members, but death brings holiness to perfection for the soul. Perfection in a state and place of perfection. The former things are passed away. I don't think we can attribute to the Godhead the passions we experience, so to speak of the Spirit being grieved means that our sin keeps Him at a distance from us. The humanity of Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because of His past experience in being tempted as we are, yet without sin. I take that as, He Knows, because He Felt, when He tabernacled amongst us before He ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
When does “God wipe away all tears”?

The vision in Revelation 7:9 John sees of “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, [that] stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands” is explained to him by an elder in Rev 7:14-17:

These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.​

We see a prophetic precursor of this in Isaiah 25:8:

He will swallow up death in victory;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces;
and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth:
for the LORD hath spoken it.​

These both are a picture of the church triumphant, the consummated end of what we earlier saw in Rev 7:1-8, which pictured the symbol of a military census—the church militant still on earth, and in “great tribulation” (v. 14).

As there will remain a portion of the church militant undergoing great tribulation—their tears and their blood shed profusely—until the very end when the Lord returns to gather His persecuted elect, the wiping away of all tears will not as yet have been done:

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them (Rev 11:9).

And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them [their killers] which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them (Rev 11:11, 12).​

And until all the saints that should be killed are, those departed into the heavens are told they “should rest yet for a little season” till that be accomplished (Rev 6:11).

So what we see on the new earth in New Jerusalem in Rev 21:4, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”—this shall be because “there shall be no more death . . . for the former things are passed away”. How quickly this shall be between the saints (both the living and the dead) being raptured unto the Lord and given their resurrection and glorified bodies is not clear, but it may be fairly fast. Some of our number will have been very freshly killed and abused, so their tears—the pain perhaps still remembered vividly—may need the tender wiping away of our heavenly Father and Lord. And who knows what we may experience when we all of us are given our resurrection bodies—will we have fresh remembrance of what our bodies had experienced before their deaths? Many things we don’t know.

We may all have tears to be wiped away at that time. And, will we have the marriage supper of the Lamb right after this, and then later appear with the Lord when the great white throne judgment is held and the goats consigned to the lake of fire? It is understood in the “modified idealist” amil view that events sequential in the visions are not necessarily chronologically sequential. The Lord’s first priority, it seems to me, will be the tender loving care of His bride that has just gone through the fiery trials of purification for His name's sake.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
WCF----32, The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness , are received into the highest heavens. Our holiness now is defective because of the remains of sin in our members, but death brings holiness to perfection for the soul. Perfection in a state and place of perfection. The former things are passed away. I don't think we can attribute to the Godhead the passions we experience, so to speak of the Spirit being grieved means that our sin keeps Him at a distance from us. The humanity of Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because of His past experience in being tempted as we are, yet without sin. I take that as, He Knows, because He Felt, when He tabernacled amongst us before He ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high.

Thank you Jeff this does speak to the intermediate state and it appears a longing for the full redemption of their bodies. If this means we see in glory what is happening on earth I am not convinced of. I am rather convinced the saints in heaven now cannot see us here below because they "behold the face of God".

So far as Jesus, Who is able to see us and hear our prayers, Hebrews 4:15 it does say He is currently being touched by the suffering that we go though on earth. I think those in glory are touched by seeing Our Lord feeling what is going on down below since they "behold" Him.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Revelation 6:

9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth” and avenge our blood. 11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.…

This can be read as having no sense of grief In my most humble opinion.

I believe it indicates a longing by the saints (prior to the Last Judgment) for justice to be done. I.e. heaven is glorious, but will get even better after the Last Judgment and all wrongs are righted. I believe Rev. 6 (along with Paul's words about being absent from the body) indicates that the disembodied saints in heaven will be happy, yet no altogether happy as they will be when they are reunited with their glorified bodies and God restores the universe and rids it of evil.

Is hell still within the universe?

It appears that heaven and hell might even be within sight of one another.

And the sight of hell may be shown to the saints as an evidence of God's grace to them throughout eternity and as a cause of joy over God's victory over evil. The saints will not be troubled, but will rejoice over this sight.

If so I guess we may be crying to an extent for all eternity. ;)

I can believe that till the final resurrection there may be some grief but at that last day I believe all grief will be done away with. :)

Did you read all of my reply? In Revelation, the saints rejoice due to God's judgment on Babylon. So we won't be crying for eternity, but rejoicing over God's complete and final justice done.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Did you read all of my reply? In Revelation, the saints rejoice due to God's judgment on Babylon. So we won't be crying for eternity, but rejoicing over God's complete and final justice done.

Yes. Though I doubt we will see those in hell for all eternity, maybe now but not for eternity.
 
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