Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 27-30
New Testament Reading: Revelation 7
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel rising up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were allowed to harm the earth and the sea, “Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God on their foreheads” (Revelation 7:1-3).
After opening the first six seals, Jesus pauses before opening the seventh seal, unleashing the seven Trumpet Judgments. Chapter 7 is a beautiful example of God’s love and mercy. Jesus in all His glory as Lord of Lords and King of Kings began pouring out His judgments on a sinful world. But He pauses and sends four angels to hold back the wind. It is a calm before the storm.
We should not see the four corners of the earth as an archaic look at the world being flat, with four corners like a map on a piece of paper. Instead, think of the four points (or corners) on a compass: North, South, East, and West. Every day we receive the weather forecast and told the wind is coming down from the north, or the wind is coming from the west. Sometime the wind comes from a combination of the corners as in coming from the northwest. Jesus sent His angels to restrain the wind at the source of it, the four corners or points of the earth.
God desires all people everywhere to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-4). And that is just as true in the future during the Tribulation as it is today during the Church Age. Even though the church had been raptured and those left on earth had not believed in Him, He still wanted to wait to save even some of them. What a patient, loving, caring God we serve.
In every age, God has His faithful remnant. Here during the Tribulation, there are 144,000 Jewish believers with a special task from God. This group comprises 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (v4-8). Apparently, these 144,000 are descendants of Abraham who did not believe in Christ before the Rapture. Then, during the beginning days of the Tribulation, they came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their Messiah—their Savior and Lord.
After them came a vast multitude from every nation (v9). There is no doubt as to whom this multitude is, because one elder explained it to John (v14). They are Gentiles who are saved through faith in Christ during the Tribulation. The fact they are standing before the throne and not seated with the elders indicates these people are not part of the church that was raptured.
The seventh seal will be opened, and it will unleash the seven Trumpet judgments. God’s wrath will increase in intensity and scope. But for this moment, there is rejoicing. Jesus told His Disciples I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). And now John experienced it firsthand as all the angels stood around the throne, and along with the elders and the four living creatures they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God (v11). All because of God’s love and mercy, He was patient during the time of Tribulation to allow this multitude to come to Him.