Revelation Chapter 7:1
Revelation 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.”
This “after” is after the happenings of the first six seals. These angels (ministering spirits), were to do something to the whole earth (four corners of the earth). These angels were waiting for orders from God.
The 4 quadrants of the compass; that is, the angels will take up key positions on earth. Their job at this moment was to control these four winds until God said release them. The four winds is a figurative expression, indicating all the earth’s winds, those from south, east, north and west. The 4 angels will turn off, for a brief interlude, the essential engine of our earth’s atmosphere. The wrath is held back until those who must be sealed are sealed.
Verses 7-14: Suggest that before the world is plunged into the plagues and disasters ushered in by the sixth seal judgment at the end of the first quarter of the Tribulation, God will raise up an army of 144,000 Jewish evangelists to spread across the globe and bring in a soul harvest of unimaginable proportions. Each of these “servants” of God will receive a “seal” on his forehead. While we don’t know exactly what this seal will be, the text seems to suggest it will be visible, (at least to Christians). Whatever the seal is, it affords these 144,000 Jewish witnesses “of all the tribes of the children of Israel”, some kind of supernatural protection. At least until the great soul harvest (of Rev. 7:9), can be accomplished.
Chapter 7 is a parenthesis in the chronology of Revelation, showing God’s program of grace and salvation during the period of judgment. The winds depict God’s judgment of the earth, and the four angels are restraining agents who hold back the judgment until God’s special servants can be sealed.
This answers the question posed at the end of chapter 6. Two distinct groups will survive the divine fury:
(1) 144,000 Jewish evangelists on earth (verses 1-8); and
(2) Their converts in heaven (verses 9-17).
The parenthesis probably looks back to the same time period as that covered by the six seals, so that the 144,000 must be sealed before the Tribulation judgments begin (see article “144,000”).
Here John indicates a transition in what he sees. We saw the same wording in Revelation 4:1 that showed a clear transition from the Church Age to the beginning of the Tribulation. That transition was in the main narrative, which shows the Church Age ends before the Tribulation. Whereas, the transition in chapter 7 shows us that John is seeing something different from the main storyline; the narrative pauses after the events in Revelation 6 and resumes in Revelation 8. This describes an interlude.
Recall from the “Revelation Introduction,” an interlude is a parenthesis in the main dialogue, where we are given more information, or a different perspective to the main storyline. In other words, an interlude is a background story to the narrative, with clear indications that each interlude reaches back or forward in time, and generally returns to where the primary narrative left off. There are four interludes in Revelation as shown in the graphic below. This study will show that the interlude in chapter 7 begins before Revelation 6and ends in Revelation 14:
The Hebrew word for “corners” literally means edge, or wing. The “four corners of the earth” show that the entire globe is in view, as shown in the passages below:
Isaiah 11:11-12 – It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Revelation 20:7-8 – Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
Recall from Revelation 6, the number “four” relates to the earth. We saw that the four living creatures announced the four spirit horses of the first four Seal judgments. Here John sees four angels holding back the “four winds.” We will see in Revelation 7:2-3, the “four winds” have the power to cause destruction on the earth, sea and, and trees. A casual read would lead one to believe that these are four physical winds that cause the destruction described in the following Trumpet judgments:
Revelation 8:7-9 – The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
However, the source of these judgments on the earth, sea and trees in these Trumpet judgments appears to originate from outside the atmosphere, as discussed in Revelation 6:12-14, not from the “four winds.”
In seeking a literal interpretation for the “four winds,” it is interesting to note there are four major jet streams, or channels of fast moving wind, that meander around the earth in the upper atmosphere:
“Jet streams are caused by a combination of a planet’s rotation on its axis and atmospheric heating (by solar radiation and, on some planets other than Earth, internal heat). Jet streams form near boundaries of adjacent air masses with significant differences in temperature, such as the polar region and the warmer air towards the equator.”Source: Wikipedia
As an interesting side note, Israel is about 32°N in latitude, and lies in the “Ferrel Cell” circuit pictured above, which is an air flow circuit formed by the differences in air masses between the Subtropical and Polar Jets in the Northern Hemisphere. In the following passage, King Solomon accurately describes the “Ferrel Cell” circuit:
Ecclesiastes 1:6 – The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit.
It is reasonable to surmise that the Lord commissioned the four angels to restrain these four jet winds from causing destruction on the earth by keeping them in their “circuit,” moving eastward around the world since God formed them. As noted above, jet streams form due to differences in air masses and the earth’s rotation. If a polar reverse occurs during the Sixth Seal judgment, the four jet streams might be removed or altered from their circuit. Recall from Revelation 6:12-14, that a polar reverse could be the cause of the global tectonic upheaval that causes the global earthquake described by John and the earth being moved out of its place by Isaiah:
Revelation 6:12-14 – I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
Isaiah 13:13 – Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.
A possible magnetic polar reverse and global earthquake in the sixth Seal judgment could cause the earth’s rotation on its axis to be altered (Revelation 6:14). The Indonesian earthquake in 2004, the Chile earthquake in 2010, and the Japanese earthquake in 2011 all made slight changes to the earth’s rotation on its axis (Source: 1, 2, 3).
A global earthquake could drastically affect the earth’s rotation. Consequently, the path of the jet streams would be affected by a significant change in the earth’s rotation, which in turn would drastically change our weather patterns. It makes one wonder if our extreme weather of the last decade, blamed on “global warming,” which has been proven flat since 1998 (source), is at all related to the massive earthquakes that have affected the earth’s rotation on its axis.
While there is little doubt the jet streams will become altered in the sixth Seal judgment, there is no mention of the “four winds” in the judgments specific to hurting the earth, sea, and trees in Revelation. There is one specific wind in Scripture, the “east wind” (Genesis 41:6, 23, 27, Exodus 10:13, 14:21-23, 28, Job 27:13, 21, Isaiah 27:7-8, Jeremiah 18:17, Ezekiel 17:10-12, Hosea 13:12, 15, Psalms 78:26-31), that causes destruction, but is not found in Revelation either. In fact, wind is not mentioned at all in any of the Tribulation judgments.
The use of “four winds” in Scripture is generally used to denote a global scope:
Jeremiah 49:36 – Against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and scatter them toward all those winds; there shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.
Ezekiel 37:9-10 – Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ‘ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Daniel 8:8 – Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.
Daniel 11:3-4 – Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven…
Zechariah 2:6 – “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the LORD; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the LORD.
Matthew 24:31 – And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mark 13:27 – And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
Only the passage in Daniel shows the “four winds” as something other than a collective term used for the four cardinal directions:
Daniel 7:2-3 – Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.”
The four great beasts are the four empires (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome), or the four horns God used to exile Judah (Zechariah 1:18-21). God used the “four spirits” in judgment and conquest of each succeeding empire (Zechariah 6:6-7). The word for “spirit” in Hebrew is “ruach,” and in Greek “an’emos,” which can also be translated as “wind.” In the New Testament, the Greek word “pneuma” is used for wind and “an’emos” is used for “spirit.” However, the Greek Septuagint translates “spirits” in Zechariah 6:5 as “an’emos,” which is the same Greek word translated “winds” here in Revelation:
|Revelation 7:1||Winds||–||an’emos (Textus Receptus)|
|Zechariah 6:5||Spirits||ruach||an’emos (Septuagint)|
|Daniel 7:2||Winds||ruach||an’emos (Septuagint)|
In other words, the “four winds” in Daniel and Revelation are the same as the “four spirits” in Zechariah, which are the four horses in Revelation 6, as shown in the Zechariah study. Therefore, John sees the four angels restraining the “four winds,” which are the four horses before they ride out in judgment, which supports this chapter being an interlude that begins before Revelation 6, as discussed in the last section.
image courtesy: Revelation 7-1 spiritual minefield
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.