Revelation Chapter 7
Revelation Chapter 7
1. And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
In Chapter 4 we have already seen that the number 4 could represent the connection between God and man. Does that connection pertain to verse 1 also? The angles of God holding back the four winds so that they would not harm any thing on earth, for the time being. And what could these winds be? Are they the physical winds that spell disaster or is there a spiritual meaning that we need to have the Bible explain?
Since there are four winds mentioned, we shall first take a look at what appears to be the most obvious choice, north, south, east and west.
Wind – North
KJV Proverbs 25:23
23. The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
There is not much mentioned in the Bible about a north wind. This is the only other example I could find. The other text is mentioned in a relationship with the south wind.
Wind – South
KJV Song of Solomon 4:16
16. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
KJV Job 37:9
9. Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
KJV Job 37:17
17. How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?
KJV Zechariah 9:14
14. And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
KJV Luke 12:55
55. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.
There is no big surprise when we see the south wind associated with warmth and comfort. Those of us that live in the northern parts of the United States can testify of the relieving effects a south wind can have after a long cold winter.
Wind – East
KJV Ezekiel 19:12
12. But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
KJV Genesis 41:27
27. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
KJV Exodus 10:13
13. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
KJV Exodus 14:21
21. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
KJV Hosea 12:1
1. Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
KJV Hosea 13:15
15. Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.
KJV Jonah 4:8
8. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live
Based on the above text it would be safe to say that an east wind can bring about excessive heat and drying. The Bible also uses an east wind to illustrate a test, a trial a plague or a miracle depending on your perspective. God also choose to use an east wind to open the Red Sea. Was the opening of the Red Sea the freeing of the Israelites, or the beginning of a test?
Wind – West
KJV Exodus 10:19
19. And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
There is very little written about a west wind in the Bible. This seems strange because here in the United States our major weather patterns travel from west to east. So the west wind does bring most of our rain, thunder and snow storms. As the weather man explains, this is due to the path of the Jet Stream in our upper atmosphere. It is interesting to note that for the most part, hurricanes here in the United States travel from east to west.
The next question is, who controls the winds?
KJV Numbers 11:31
31. And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
It was God that used the winds to bring the locusts into Egypt and carry them away. He also use the winds to open the Red Sea. Now we see that God has also used the wind to feed His people.
KJV Proverbs 30:4
4. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
According to Solomon, it is God that has the power over the winds and so much more.
KJV Daniel 2:35
35. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
We all like to think that when it comes to Daniel, we already understand all of those prophesies. But this text holds a bit of an unexplained mystery. We all understand that it was Jesus that was the rock that broke this image to pieces. The questions is, why was the wind used to carry the dust of them away?
KJV Ecclesiastes 1:6
6. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
Think about this for one moment. Something, some power had to set these winds in motion. They could not have just started on their own. We can believe that if we wish. But none of us can deny the power and shear force of the wind. We have all seen and felt the destructive force of the wind to some degree. Now here are a few actual figures to consider.
It takes about one horsepower to move 2200 cubic feet at a speed of around 45 miles per hour. That seems like a lot of air to move at a decent rate of speed. So let’s take an average thunder storm moving at 45 miles per hour. Let’s say this thunder storm is 50 miles wide by 10 miles deep and just one mile high in the sky. This is not a very large storm at all, just a little over 73,500,000,000,000 cubic feet. So if we divide this by 2200 we can get an idea of just how much horsepower it would take just to move such a storm.
73,500,000,000,000 / 2200 = 33,454,000,000 horsepower. A V-8 truck may have a horsepower rating of about 250, that would mean that it would take 133,816,320 trucks operating at their maximum output to pull along this much air. And we are not even considering the water that this storm may contain. Now consider the power it would take to create a hurricane that may be hundred of miles in diameter with winds reaching speeds of 160 miles per hour. That kind of power may be enough to supply the electrical needs of this entire country for quite some time.
KJV Luke 8:25
25. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him
The fact that Jesus can stop the winds and storm is mentioned in the Bible three times. A point that the author wanted to make. Just as Jesus can stop the winds, He also has the power to start these same winds.
KJV Acts 2:2
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Here the blessing of the Holy Spirit is described as a mighty wind.
KJV John 3:8
8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
At first this text can seem very difficult to understand. Now that we have looked at a number of text that explain the power and control of the wind it should be easier to consider how those text help explain what this text means.
KJV Job 1:19
19. And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
To gain a complete understanding we also need to look at this controversial text. Too often this is the only proof text given to prove a point that one may have concerning beliefs that are said to be Biblically based. This text is often assumed to mean that Satan is in control of the elements of this earth. Based on the above proof text, it clearly shows that God the Creator has been and always will have control of the elements of this planet. It is not my intention to enter into a conclusion or discussion on why bad things happen to good people. Debating that question would distract from the matter at hand.
There are other aspects to the word “wind”, that is the spiritual meaning of the word. We need to examine each one to see which meaning may best fit into he context of Revelation 7:1.
KJV Job 6:26
26. Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
KJV Job 8:2
2. How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
KJV Job 7:7
7. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
KJV Isaiah 41:29
29. Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.
KJV Isaiah 64:6
6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
KJV Jeremiah 5:13
13. And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.
Here are five different meanings that the word wind could represent, words, life, molten images, iniquities and prophets. Any one, or all of these could fit the context of Revelation 7:1. It makes sense that angels would be holding back the winds of false words, images and prophets.
Sea – earth
In chapter 4 we looked at a sea that was before the throne of God. Now we have a sea that is on the earth. Is there a difference between the two? It would not make much sense to simply accept the definition of a sea being the knowledge of God in this instance. So we need to compare other text that explain what the word sea could represent.
KJV Isaiah 17:12
12. Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
KJV Isaiah 57:20
20. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
KJV Jeremiah 6:23
23. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.
The sea can also represent people.
KJV Proverbs 11:30
30. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
KJV Isaiah 61:3
3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
We can easily see that trees are also used as a symbol to represent people. Here is Revelation 7:1 there are 3 representations of people. Why does God use the earth, the sea and of course trees to represent His people? Is it that God wants there to be no mistake that He is there and will be there to guard His people. In the past, the present and the future? After all, Revelation is a book that was meant to cover the past, present and the future.
2. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The interesting questions to consider here are, why is the angel coming from the east? Who are these four angels that are given power to hurt the earth and the sea? The last question to consider is, what is this seal that is given to the servants of God?
The first word we will take a look at is east. What is the Biblical significance of the word east?
KJV Genesis 3:24
24. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Man was driven out of the garden of Eden to the east.
KJV Ezekiel 8:16
16. And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
Men face east when they bow down to worship the sun
KJV Ezekiel 43:1-2
1. Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
The glory of the Lord comes out of the Heavenly Temple by way of the eastern gate.
KJV Matthew 2:2
2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
The star that lead to the birth place of Jesus was in the eastern sky.
KJV Matthew 24:27
27. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Jesus will return to this earth from the east.
As in the first coming of Christ, the second coming will be from the east. The east is very significant to all Christians. The Bible also shows us that Satan has set up a false worship looking to the east. Like all things, Satan is determined to set up an imitation to lead as many as he can astray. But from all of this, we can see a link that may be telling us this is a prophesy concerning the second coming of Jesus.
Seal of God
Now we are going to take a look at this seal of God? There is always a lot of speculation on what is going to be the seal of Satan. There have been so many books written about the mark of the beast and even movies made that try and capitalize on the need to know this information. As we will see again and again, the answers in the Bible are not very hard to find, and when we see the truth, we no longer look at these things as mysteries. Instead of spending a lot of time and energy trying to find out what the mark of the beast is, it is so much easier to see what the seal of God is.
KJV Deuteronomy 6:6-8
6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
KJV Deuteronomy 11:18-19
18. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
KJV Exodus 13:9
9. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt.
KJV Psalms 119:18
18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
KJV Proverbs 7:2
2. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
Is there any doubt that the seal of God is simply keeping His law? Now is there any reason why we need to even begin to speculate on that the number or mark of the beast is? I would think that by the above verses we can already see what the mark of the beast will be.
The third question is, why was these four angels are given the power to hurt the earth and the sea? What other accounts does the Bible give us concerning angels coming to earth to destroy anything?
1. And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 13. For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.
24. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
25. And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
1 Chronicles 21:15-16
15. And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
2 Chronicles 32:21-22
21. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 22. Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.
As we can see from these 3 examples, there seems to always be a different and distinct reason for God to send a destroying angle. In Genesis we see the destruction of Sodom. 1 Chronicles shows us that the sins of David brought about an angel with a sword. 2 Chronicles shows us that God will stand behind His people and fight for them. So what conclusion do you draw from Gods use of a destroying angel?
4. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
5. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
One Hundred Forty Four Thousand
The first question is, “what does this number one hundred forty four thousand represent? There are many explanations out there. But what does the Bible say?
KJV Revelation 14:3-5
3. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
This is the only other place that this number one hundred forty four thousand is used. Clearly this points out that this is a clear and distinct number. It appears to be a special group that shares special privileges in Heaven. In no way does this text make any reference that this is the exact number of people making their way into Heaven. Verse 9 of Revelation 7 confirms this. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number…. Revelation 9 is now referring to a different group in Heaven.
The next number to look at is the number twelve.
KJV Genesis 49:28
28. All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
There are of course the twelve tribes of Israel.
KJV Exodus 24:4
4. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
KJV Exodus 28:21
21. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
KJV Joshua 3:11-12
11. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. 12. Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
KJV 1 Kings 11:30-31
30. And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: 31. And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
KJV 1 Kings 18:31-32
31. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32. And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
The Bible contains numerous text that call reference to the twelve tribes if Israel.
KJV Matthew 10:1
1. And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Jesus also choose 12 disciples.
KJV 2 Chronicles 4:3-4
3. And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast. 4. It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
KJV Matthew 14:20
20. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
KJV Matthew 26:53
53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
KJV Mark 5:25-27
25. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26. And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
KJV Mark 5:41-42
41. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
KJV Luke 2:42-43
42. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
KJV Revelation 12:1
1. And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
KJV Revelation 21:12
12. And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
KJV Revelation 21:14
14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
KJV Revelation 21:16-17
16. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
KJV Revelation 21:21
21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
KJV Revelation 22:2
2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
There are so many things that the Bible has shown the number twelve to represent. The question you need to ask yourself while reading each and every text, is there one significant thing that this number twelve represents? The tribes of Judah could represent all of those that are saved. The family of God. The disciples could represent the job we are to do while here on this earth. The fact that God uses the number twelve in so many designs in the temple could represent the promises of God. Eternal life in the city of God.
9. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Notice how this text begins. After seeing the one hundred forty four thousand and describing the twelve tribes if Israel, John sees a new sight and this sight consists of many more people then he have previously just witnessed with the one hundred and forty four thousand.
We have already seen in chapter 5 that the Lamb represents Christ and garments (white robes) represents the righteousness of Christ.
10. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12. Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14. And I 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.
15. 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.
16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17. 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.
This is one of the reasons why people find Revelations so difficult to understand. Here we are in Chapter 7 and John seems to be writing about a description of Heaven. So how is it that Chapter 7 contains a description of Heaven and there are fifteen more chapters to go? Are there other examples in the Bible where a writer may tell a story and go back later to fill in more details? We see this in Genesis in the story of creation.
KJV Genesis 1:27
27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
KJV Genesis 2:21-22
21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Now we need to realize the actual Author of both of these books. Although Moses put these words to pen, he was not there to witness the first moments of creation. It was God that revealed these things to Moses. Just like God revealed a message to John.
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