Revelation Chapter 7 – Servants of God

“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 wind (ruach) blows upon the land (eretz). The Hebrew word kanaph is translated into ‘four corners’ and means ‘to the extremity’ and ‘wings.’ These angels or messengers of Elohim stand at the ‘extremities of the earth’ or ‘as far as their wings ‘can go’ and hold back the four winds.

Years ago when I listened to one teacher of prophecy, he suggested that perhaps events in Revelation were not so much chronological, but happening at the same time. Whether all that happens with the four winds occurs simultaneously I don’t know, but all of the following Scriptures include the four winds and from the events it seems plausible 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 ‘four winds’ of war and judgment will be 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 bring forth the breath of life that raise the dead to life. In the moment after the opening of the sixth seal, the breath of life will enter dry bones preparing 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’ 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 not human, one like a bear gnawing on three ribs will be told to devour the flesh of humans, one like a leopard with bird’s wings and four heads will rule over humanity, and the last with iron teeth and 10 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 that moment when the ‘four winds’ of judgement are held back, the dead are raised, the chosen are gathered, and the demonic forces are prepared. A stillness will cover the land, the sea 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 of Elohim. This messenger tells the other angels to ‘Wait!’ They are not to harm, injure or wound the sea and the trees until the servants of Elohim 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 going to be sealed will be the ‘laborers’ for Elohim, they will be bound to Him in the time to follow the sixth seal.

The Seal of Elohim Himself

Once again a ‘seal’ is used to show the authenticity of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh Himself. It is His seal that will ‘set apart’ those workers who He marks. The Hebrew word for ‘seal’ is chatham and is used for the word ‘sign’ of circumcision to ‘mark’ the covenant Elohim made with Avraham. In Romans 4:11, this ‘seal of righteousness’ was given to him because of his faith before he was circumcised in the flesh. The ‘seal’ of Elohim is a covenant mark and when it is established, it becomes ‘law’ and cannot be revoked or changed.

Revelation chapter 14 gives a little more insight into those in Isra’el who are given the covenant mark. First, they are men redeemed from among the men of Isra’el as firstfruits for Elohim and ‘the Lamb.’ They are not men redeemed from the world, but from the nation of Isra’el. Firstfruits is an allusion to the Feast of Firstfruits and a great harvest. Whether or not these firstfruits are those who are raised from the dust to become a great army is not specifically stated, but they are firstfruits and the symbolism is those who are raised from the dead.

“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).

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

These men of Isra’el have never lied from their mouths. They have no fault, no blemish on their lives, and are considered blameless. They have not had sexual relations with women. In this day and age of apostasy and immorality, finding one or two men who are celibate is difficult, but Elohim will seal 144,000 Israeli men who have remained sexually pure and are 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).

Over the years, I’ve read different perspectives about the ‘purity’ of these men. Those who don’t believe the verses mean physical purity suggest it is spiritual purity where these men never defiled themselves with other religions and/or Christian ideologies and denominations. There are also those who want to include women as part of those sealed. There is no suggestion of either of these perspectives in the Hebrew.

Though it would be politically correct in this modern age to include women, women weren’t called to be warriors. In our modern cultures, women in the military has become normal, but it is not part of Elohim’s kingdom culture. Men were the warriors with few exceptions. Though men and women can be workers for the Kingdom, the battle during the coming judgments to usher in the Kingdom of Yeshua are not meant for the faint of heart. The men sealed for the years of Jacob’s Trouble are unique men and were born and raised for this very purpose and time. Women being defiled with women is an abomination to Elohim and would automatically disqualify them from the equation.

As for spiritual purity, there is some merit to including this concept because with their ‘virginity’ and ‘sexual purity,’ these men are focused solely on being a ‘bondservant’ of Elohim. They have no deviated from serving Elohim and He is their entire life. Because of this, they may be the very men Adonai told Ezekiel to ‘seal.’ These ‘sealed’ men have not succumbed to accepting the abominations the culture condones nor approve of the behaviors. They grieve over the disgusting practices being allowed in the holy city of Jerusalem.

“Adonai said to him, “Go throughout the city, through all Yerushalayim, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and crying over all the disgusting practices that are being committed in it” (Ezekiel 9:4).

Tribes of Israel

In this day, there are many non-Jews who claim to be Isra’el. Though as believers in Yeshua, non-Jews become part of the Olive Tree of Isra’el and join the community of Isra’el, they are not DNA Isra’el. Some may suggest that the ‘sign’ for Isra’el is the Shabbat based on Ezekiel 20:20 “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.” Though this may be a possibility, this ‘sign’ is for all Isra’el, not just men.

The ‘seal’ of Avraham and his descendants was ‘circumcision,’ and one of the ‘signs’ for a man to be of Israeli descent is ‘circumcision.’ It stands to reason that the 144,000 men who are sealed are actually descendants of the sons of Avraham, Yitzak, and Ya’kov except for those in the tribes of Ephraim and Dan.

The number of men who are sealed is 144,000 or 12,000 from each Tribe of Israel: Y’hudah, Reuben Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin.

There isn’t much description about the 144,000 in Revelation 7. They are just men being sealed from the 12 Tribes of Isra’el. In Revelation 14 details are given suggesting that perhaps as they walked through the days of tribulation, they were transformed from just men of Isra’el into powerful men of Elohim who became firstfruits of those redeemed from the earth singing a new song before the Creator of the Universe.

Chapter 7 – White Robes

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