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.
Lots and lots of angels found in Revelation! It might be a good thing, especially if you are a student of the Bible or a student of eschatology, the study of end time events and prophecy, to attempt to identify just who these different angels, or heavenly creatures are. After all, we will be in their company for all eternity!
A traditional hierarchy of angels ranked from lowest to highest into the following nine orders: angels, archangels, principalities, powers, virtues, dominions, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
These particular angels seem to be the infantrymen by their ranking. These are the guys that are in the trenches! personally I love ministry best when I'm in the action of it! These angels or angelos (Gr)or messengers are given incredible orders! They are deployed to four very strategic positions around the globe, possibly the four compass points of the earth. It is easy enough to figure the north and south, but east and west locations are anybodies guess. God illustrates this unmeasurable distance when He cast your sin far away! How far you ask? As far as the east is from the west! There is a very eerie quiet as these angels somehow manage to hold back the winds of the earth. They will only have to restrain this force for a short season.
An account of the restraint laid upon the winds. By these winds we suppose are meant those errors and corruptions in religion which would occasion a great deal of trouble and mischief to the church of God. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind: here the spirits of error are compared to the four winds, contrary one to another, but doing much hurt to the church, the garden and vineyard of God, breaking the branches and blasting the fruits of his plantation. The devil is called the prince of the power of the air; he, by a great wind, overthrew the house of Job's eldest son. Errors are as wind, by which those who are unstable are shaken, and carried to and fro, Eph 4:14. Observe,
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
...that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting....
This is some amazing task for these four angels! But, another angel shows up to carry out a different task!
2 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, 3 saying,"Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
This angel has been set apart for a very special task! He carries with him the Seal of God. Now that seal is very special indeed, it is God's seal of authenticity and ownership! And now this angel is called upon to seal a very special group of new "Born Again Believers!"
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:
God has called His angel to seal 144,000 of the children of Israel for a very special mission. These sealed individuals are to be the evangelists of God during the time of tribulation! These 144,000 redeemed Jews will witness to all the world. One amazing result is that Israel will become a nation of redeemed Jews!
There are many groups or religions that claim this number as their own. Ellen G. White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church has said that they are the 144,000. The World Wide Church of God claims to be the 144,000, and you may note that historically, Mormonism has claimed to be this group as well. The Jehovah Witnesses have also claimed to be the 144,000. However, they changed their position when the number was reached in 1935. All other Jehovah Witnesses live in what is called "The Great Crowd."
I have found that if you go on-line and search "144,000" you will find many other references regarding that number. I believe however, the Bible teaches very clearly just who these people are. I find it interesting that groups that claim the 144,000, are referring to the account found in the Book of Revelation and moving them in an entirely different direction. So, I recommend that you not simply read the Bible, but study it! Become intimate with it! You will surely find that God will, through His Holy Spirit, take you deeper in understanding then you have ever dreamed possible! Shalom!
Now! May I present to you the original, accurate list of the "One Hundred and Forty Four Thousand" found in the Book of Revelation, chapter 7:5-8!
5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
Where is the tribe of Dan? Let's see what God has said in Deuteronomy 29:
And the LORD would separate him from all the tribes of Israel for adversity, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law,
You see,the tribe of Dan fell into idolatrous living when they were unhappy with the land God had given their tribe. They were given a coastal territory but migrated north to just above the Sea of Galilee. There they found themselves in close proximity with pagans and there they fell into idolatry. Oh dear! This is a terrible thing! Is that what you are crying out? Not to worry! Only trust in God's grace and unmeasurable forgiveness! When the Lord returns and establishes His Kingdom on earth, look who is the first to be named in the restoration of the land, Dan!
"Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one section for Dan from its east to its west side; 2 by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west, one section for Asher;
This particular passage also partially answers the question found in the end of chapter six; "Who is able to stand?" We will see two groups who will stand! The 144,000 are the first!
May God continue to bless you as we move through this incredible prophecy!
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