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After these things

Revelation 7:1 NKJV
After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
- The text "after these things" suggests that the prophet John is now seeing another separate vision. This is not a logical continuation from chapter 6.
- In fact we can locate ch.7:1-8 as happening in time sequence between verses 13 and 14 of chapter 6. At the current time (in 2017) 6:13 has occurred whereas 6:14 has not.
- Chapter 7:1-8 is in the process of happening but we know not when. These are spiritual events so they may have happened already and they may still be future. One thing is certain .. these sealing events are imminent.
- Just as the early rays of the sun, low in the east, are soft and gentle, so the sealing message, when it first arose, was weak and insignificant. However, like the rising of the sun, it gains power and strength over time until it reaches its zenith. Its high point represents the final proclamation of the gospel, identified as the loud cry ()

the four corners of the earth

Revelation 7:1 NKJV
After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
- The number four denotes universality i.e. the entire planet. This worldwide scope includes four points of the compass .. North, South, East and West.
- Better translated the "four quarters of the earth".

holding the four winds of the earth

Revelation 7:1 NKJV
After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
Zechariah 7:14 NKJV
“But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
Jeremiah 4:11–13 NKJV
At that time it will be said To this people and to Jerusalem, “A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in the wilderness— Toward the daughter of My people— Not to fan or to cleanse— A wind too strong for these will come for Me; Now I will also speak judgment against them.” “Behold, he shall come up like clouds, And his chariots like a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are plundered!”
Jeremiah 49:36 NKJV
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.
Jeremiah 25:31–33 NKJV
A noise will come to the ends of the earth— For the Lord has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,’ says the Lord.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, disaster shall go forth From nation to nation, And a great whirlwind shall be raised up From the farthest parts of the earth. “And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.
- Winds represent War; Strife; Commotion
Revelation 7:1 NKJV
After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
Revelation 7:3 NKJV
saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Some commentators attempt to interpret “the earth, the sea, or the trees” in this passage as having symbolic meaning (). However, these terms do not need to be seen as symbolic, rather, in this passage, they apply literally to elements of the surface of the planet. When the seven last plagues fall, they will seriously affect each of these areas of the planet’s environment. The second plague impacts the oceans and the seas. The third plague affects all the water of the dying planet, and the fourth plague, one of fierce heat, will surely involve the destruction of the remaining forests of the world as well as all existing vegetation.

ascending from the east

Revelation 7:2 NKJV
Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea,
Ezekiel 46:1–2 NKJV
‘Thus says the Lord God: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened. The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening.
Matthew 24:27 NKJV
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Revelation 16:12 NKJV
Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
Revelation 7:2 NKJV
Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea,
John 6:27 NKJV
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Ephesians 4:30 NKJV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 1:13 NKJV
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Isaiah 8:16 NKJV
Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.
Ezekiel 9:1–6 NKJV
Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple.
The Seal of the living God is the acceptance of Jesus as your saviour and the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads

Revelation 7:3 NKJV
saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Ezekiel 9:4 NKJV
and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
Exodus 13:16 NKJV
It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”
Deuteronomy 6:1–8 NKJV
“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deuteronomy 11:18 NKJV
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Revelation 13:16 NKJV
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
- The Seal of the living God is received in the mind by accepting and believing, and is expressed in the hand by behaviors through faith.
Revelation 7:4 NKJV
And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
Revelation 14:1 NKJV
Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
Revelation 14:3 NKJV
They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
- Must be a symbolic number within a symbolic passage
- The tribes are not always listed in a consistent order in the Old Testament. Approximately eighteen different orders are given for the list of tribes. differs from most of the Old Testament listings.
First, the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are missing. This omission is because these two tribes were involved in apostasy and have been replaced by Joseph and Levi. Second, the order of the names is different.
- Why is this particular order used for the twelve tribes in ? It has been discovered that when the Hebrew meaning of the name for each tribe is translated, a significant description of the character of the 144,000 is presented. (See Handout).
- 12,000 of each tribe is (literally) a "remnant" when compared to the original numbers.
- The 144,000 are "sealed" before the plagues are poured out indicating they are (literally speaking) alive on the earth during the time of trouble. (Compare with the vision in v9 and onwards which seems to be be taking place in heaven.)
Revelation 7:4 NKJV
And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
Romans 10:12 NKJV
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
Romans 11:1–2 NKJV
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,
Romans 11:11 NKJV
I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
Romans 11:23 NKJV
And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
Romans 11:26 NKJV
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
Romans 11:29 NKJV
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Galatians 3:26–29 NKJV
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 4:5–7 NKJV
to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Galatians 4:28 NKJV
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
Galatians 6:15–16 NKJV
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Ephesians 2:12–13 NKJV
that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
- John is talking in this verse about spiritual Israel which encapsulates physical Israel as well as those who accepted Christ after His death and resurrection.

a great multitude which no one could number standing before the throne and before the Lamb

Revelation 7:9 NKJV
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
- Johns vision is now switched away from the 144,000 to the redeemed of all ages standing before the throne and before the Lamb (in heaven)
- This new vision adds weight to the idea that the 144,000 pass through the troubled times on earth but are not the only ones to be saved. The dead in Christ from all ages are resurrected to be saved as well.
- The language of this passage () is reminiscent of the prophetic feast connected with the sanctuary - the Feast Of Tabernacles.
Revelation 7:9 NKJV
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Matthew 21:1–11 NKJV
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Mark 11:1–11 NKJV
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.” So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?” And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Luke 19:29–38 NKJV
And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Then one of … where did they come from?

Revelation 7:13 NKJV
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
- Is the Angel here referring to the great multitude or the 144,000?
- Verse 14 answers the question. The elder is referring to the 144,000. They are the ones that came through the great tribulation.
- Where did they come from? The answer is in V14.
Revelation 7:16 NKJV
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
- Why would the elder describe the 144,000 this way? Because they were on earth during the 7 plagues.
- Again referring to the 7 plagues.
- During the seven last plagues, the 144,000 are promised protection. Nevertheless they will suffer some of the effects of the plagues.
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