“After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the land, on the sea or on any tree. I saw another angel coming up from the east with a seal from the living God, and he shouted to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea, “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!” I heard how many were sealed — 144,000 from every tribe of the people of Isra’el: From the tribe of Y’hudah, 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Re’uven, 12,000; from the tribe of Gad, 12,000; from the tribe of Asher, 12,000; from the tribe of Naftali, 12,000; from the tribe of M’nasheh, 12,000; from the tribe of Shim’on, 12,000; from the tribe of Levi, 12,000; from the tribe of Yissakhar, 12,000; from the tribe of Z’vulun, 12,000; from the tribe of Yosef, 12,000; from the tribe of Binyamin, 12,000” (Revelation 7:1-8).
After the Lamb opens the sixth seal, there is an interlude before opening the seventh seal. Angels, standing at the four corners of the earth, hold back the four winds so that no ruach (wind) blows upon the eretz (land). The Hebrew word kanaph is translated into ‘four corners’ and means ‘to the extremity’ and ‘wings.’ These messengers of Elohim stand at the ‘extremities of the earth’ or ‘as far as their wings’ and hold back the four winds.
The prophetic events described in Revelation are not always linear, but happen at the same time with more detailed descriptions. Each of the following Scriptures include the ‘four winds’, and from the events, it seems possible that these events happen concurrently.
“Adonai-Tzva’ot says: ‘I will break ‘Eilam’s bow, the mainstay of their might. I will bring against ‘Eilam the four winds from the four quarters of the sky and scatter them to all those winds” (Jeremiah 49:35-36).
The ‘four winds’ according to the prophet Jeremiah are the winds of war. The ‘four winds’ will come against Eilam and scatter its people into those winds. The ancient name, Eilam, is the modern Iran. For a moment after the opening of the sixth seal, the ‘winds of war’ and judgment are held back.
“Next he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath! Prophesy, human being! Say to the breath that Adonai Elohim says, ‘Come from the four winds, breath; and breathe on these slain, so that they can live.’ So I prophesied as ordered, and the breath came into them, and they were alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army!” (Ezekiel 37:9-10).
The ‘four winds’ according to the prophet Ezekiel breathe on the dead of Isra’el and bring them back to life. In the moment after opening of the sixth seal, the breath of life will enter millions upon millions of dry bones creating a massive army.
“I had a vision at night; I saw there before me the four winds of the sky breaking out over the great sea, and four huge animals came up out of the sea, each different from the others” (Daniel 7:2-3).
The prophet Daniel has a vision of the ‘four winds’ of the sky breaking out over the sea. In the moment following the sixth seal, four beasts will appear out of the nations. One, a lion with eagle’s wings, will stand on two legs and be given a human heart though it will not be human. Another like a bear gnawing on three ribs will be told to devour the flesh of humans. A third is one like a leopard with bird’s wings and four heads and will rule over humanity. The last beast will have iron teeth and its ten horns will crush whatever opposition remains.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory. He will send out his angels with a great shofar; and they will gather together his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31).
When Yeshua explained the signs before his return, he used the ‘four winds’ to reveal the ‘extremity’ of the places from where his chosen people would be gathered. In the moment following the opening of the sixth seal, along with a great shofar blast, the chosen of Yeshua will be gathered from one end of heaven to the other.
In the moment when the ‘four winds’ of judgment are held back, the dead are raised, the chosen are gathered, and the demonic forces are prepared. A stillness covers the land, the seas, and the trees.
Another angel comes up from the ‘east.’ In the Hebrew, the phrase is ‘to the east of the sun.’ The same phrase is translated in Psalm 113:3 as ‘sunrise.’
This messenger that ‘rises with the sun’ like the dawning of a new day has the seal, the signet ring, of Adonai. This messenger tells the other angels, “Wait!” They are not to harm, injure or wound the sea or the trees until the servants of Adonai are sealed. The Hebrew word for ‘servant’ is avar which means ‘bondsman.’ It comes from the word avodah which means ‘worker’ or ‘laborer.’ Those who are sealed will be the ‘laborers’ for Adonai; they will be bound to Him following the opening of the sixth seal.
The ‘Seal’ of Adonai
The ‘seal’ is shows the authenticity of Adonai Himself. His seal will ‘set apart’ those workers whom He marks. The Hebrew word for ‘seal’ is chatham and is used as ‘sign of circumcision’ to mark the covenant El Shaddai made with Avraham. In Romans 4:11, this ‘seal of righteousness’ was given to Avraham before he was circumcised in the flesh. The ‘seal’ of Adonai is a ‘covenant mark’ and cannot be revoked or changed.
Revelation chapter 14 reveals those are sealed with the ‘covenant mark:’ 144,000 or 12,000 from each Tribe of Isra’el: Y’hudah, Reuben Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. In Hebrew they are listed as B’nei Isra’el. B’nei was used for the ‘children of Noach,’ but means ‘sons.’ This phrase can be translated as ‘Sons of Isra’el.’
The 144,000 ‘Sons of Isra’el’ will be redeemed as firstfruits for Adonai and the Lamb. They are not redeemed from the nations of the world, but from the nation of Isra’el. Firstfruits alludes to the Feast of Firstfruits that will be followed by a great harvest resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20). Whether these firstfruits are those who are raised from the dust to become a great army is not stated, but they are firstfruits for service to Adonai and Yeshua.
“Isra’el is set aside for Adonai, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devour him [Isra’el) will incur guilt; evil will befall them,” says Adonai” (Jeremiah 2:3).
These ‘Sons of Isra’el’ have never lied. They have no fault, no blemish on their lives, and are considered blameless or tamim. Stating that they did not have sexual relations with women means the B’nei Isra’el are only men. In this world full of sexual immorality, finding one or two men who are sexually pure is remote, but Adonai seals 144,000 Israeli men from the 12 Tribes of Isra’el who are pure virgins.
“These are the ones who have not been defiled [by relations] with women, for they are celibate. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased and redeemed from among men [of Israel] as the first fruits [sanctified and set apart for special service] for God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouth, for they are blameless (spotless, untainted, beyond reproach)” (Revelation 14:4-5, Amplified Bible).
Some suggest the verses mean not a physical purity, but a spiritual one. They suggest that these men never defiled themselves with other religions, gods, ideologies –– including Christian –– and remained spiritual pure from idolatry.
There are some who want to include women as part of the ‘sealed’ redeemed. The phrase in Hebrew says, “they were not redeemed with women” removing the idea women altogether. These men are redeemed to follow the Lamb, to go to war with him. According to Torah, women were not included in military actions. In our modern world, women in the military have become normalized, but Yeshua must follow Torah as it is his Father’s Kingdom law. Men were the warriors with few exceptions. Though men and women both work for the Kingdom, the battles during the Tribulation are not meant for the faint of heart. The men ‘sealed’ for the seven years of Jacob’s Trouble are unique –– born and raised for ‘such a time as this.’
In the days of King David, warriors remained celibate. This is another clue that these men will be virgins. These 144,000 ‘Sons of Isra’el’ may be warriors Adonai told Ezekiel to seal. These ‘sealed’ warriors have not succumbed to the abominations of the world, and they grieve over the disgusting practices being allowed in the holy city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:4).
Tribes of Isra’el
There are many gentiles who claim to be Isra’el. As believers in Yeshua, gentiles become part of the Olive Tree of Isra’el and join the Community of Isra’el, but they have not descended from one of the Tribes of Isra’el.
Some suggest the ‘covenant mark’ is the seventh-day Sabbath –– “and keep my shabbats holy; and they will be a sign between me and you, so that you will know that I am Adonai your God” (Ezekiel 20:20); however Shabbat is a ‘sign,’ not a ‘covenant mark.’
The ‘covenant mark’ for Avraham was circumcision. One of the ‘signs’ for a man to be of Israeli-Jewish descent is circumcision of the flesh. It stands to reason that the 144,000 men from the Tribes of Isra’el who are ‘sealed’ are descendants of Avraham, Yitzak, and Ya’kov and would be circumcised.
The ‘covenant mark’ will be unique in that it will be visible and set-apart these 144,000 virgin men for the army of Yeshua. As they war with the Commander in Chief through the days of tribulation, they will be transformed from virgin men of Isra’el into redeemed warriors and sing a new spontaneous song.
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