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 this verse there are
three fours: four angels; four corners; and four winds. Four is associated with
the bible subject of the work of the Holy Spirit. For this association see the
four beasts; the four living creatures and their four faces; the four horses;
the four chariots representing the four spirits of the heavens; the four rivers
flowing out of the garden of Eden; the four gospels; the four wheels going
wherever the spirit led them; and the four Hebrew and Greek words translated
into the English word Spirit.
The word "angel" literally
means messenger. Thus the four angels are spiritual messengers bringing their
message to those appointed for it. As we shall see in v.2 it was given to the
angels to hurt the earth and the sea. In Rev. chapter 9 we see these four
angels bound in the great river Euphrates and they were to slay the third part of men. We will have much more to
say about these four angels and their work when we get to the 9th chapter.
The word "wind" is often
associated with the "spirit" in the scriptures. The four winds are used to
indicate the entirety of the earth: Mark 13:27 "And then shall he send his
angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the
uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." Furthermore
as the winds are directed of God so the Lord's people are directed by the
Spirit: Zec. 2:6 "Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north,
saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven,
saith the LORD." In Ezekiel the four winds were used in a way to
indicate the work of the Holy Spirit in giving life: Ezek. 37:9 "Then said he unto me,
Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith
the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain,
that they may live."
The phrase "four corners of
the earth" is used to indicate the four quarters of the earth or the totality of
the earth. We read in Is. 11:12 "And he shall set up an ensign for the
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the
dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Both the Greek word
in Rev. 7:1 and the Hebrew word in Is. 11:12 that are translated "corners"
literally means quarters.
The "earth" is sometimes
used to indicate the dwelling place of God's people:
1. Ps. 25:13 "His
soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth."
2. Ps. 37:9
"For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall
inherit the earth."
3. Ps. 37:11
"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the
abundance of peace."
4. Ps. 37:22
such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of
him shall be cut off."
5. Matt. 5:5
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
The word sea is sometimes
used to indicate the "sea" of humanity:
1. Is. 60:5
"Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be
enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the
forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee."
2. Jere. 51:42
"The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves
3. Ezek 26:16
"Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay
away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe
themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at
every moment, and be astonished at thee."
4. Dan. 7:3
"And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another."
5. Zec. 14:8
"And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem;
half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in
summer and in winter shall it be."
6. Rev. 13:1
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea,
having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his
heads the name of blasphemy."
The "tree" or "trees" are
used in a lot of different ways in the scriptures. However, it is almost always
indicative of things which have life. The usage of tree in verse 1 seems to
indicate singularity as opposed to the use of trees which would indicate
plurality. Thus that the wind would not blow on any tree is indicative of no
individual life being hurt while the sealing process was going on. Some had to
be sealed before anyone was hurt.
Rev 7:2, 3 "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."
Bible directions all have
significance in the scriptures. For instance the direction of east is
associated with sin:
1. When God drove
man out of the garden because of sin, He placed at the east of Eden Cherubims
and a flaming sword that kept the way of the tree of life.
2. Cain slew his
brother on the east of Eden.
3. It was in the
east, in the land of Shinar that man built the
tower of Babel in rebellion
against the commandment of God.
4. When Abraham
made an altar to worship the Lord, he had on east of him Hai (which means heap)
and on the west he had Bethel (which means house of God).
5. When Lot
separated from Abram he journeyed east to Sodom.
6. In Pharaoh's
dream the east wind blasted the seven thin ears of corn.
7. The east wind
brought the locusts of judgment upon the land of Egypt.
The direction of west is
associated with righteousness:
1. When Abram
built an altar for worship he had Bethel (house of God) on the
2. A mighty west
wind took away the locusts of judgment upon the land of Egypt.
3. Is. 59:19
"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the
rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the
LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
The angel was ascending from
the east, thus he was headed in the west direction or the direction of
righteousness. The fact that he was ascending also indicates he was going in
the direction of righteousness. The angel had the seal of God. This seal was
different from the seven seals on the book of salvation. This seal was an
authenticating seal. Kings and others had seals, usually on their rings, by
which they authenticated that the document or thing on which they impressed the
seal was a valid document or thing and represented the authority of the king:
1. 1 Kings 21:8
"So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent
the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling
2. Neh. 9:38 "And
because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes,
Levites, and priests, seal unto it."
3. Est. 3:12 "Then
were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and
there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's
lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the
rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and
to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it
written, and sealed with the king's ring."
4. Est. 8:8
"Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it
with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and
sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse."
5. Est. 8:10
"And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring,
and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young
6. Dan. 6:17
"And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king
sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the
purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel."
The seal referenced in verse
2 is the seal of God indicating it came from God and is a symbol of the
authority of God and that the one sealed by it is authentic and is authorized by
God. It is the servants of God and only the servants of God that were sealed in
their forehead. We read in 2 Cor. 1:21 "Now he which stablisheth us with you
in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given
the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." Notice that God did the sealing
and it was the servants (members of the church at Corinth and the one who
preached to them) that were sealed.
We also read in Eph. 1:13
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of
your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that
holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Notice that the ones sealed were sealed after they heard the word of truth, the
gospel of their salvation, and after that they believed the truth and trusted in
Christ. The sealing was a testimony to them that they were of God and were the
children of promise. This is the earnest of their inheritance. The sealing
didn't make them children of God but testifies to them through their experiences
and belief that they are children of God and servants of God.
The sealing in the forehead
is simply indicating that they were sealed in their minds by the Holy Spirit of