Revelation 7:1-3 – Part 1

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Rev 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.
Rev 7:2  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,
Rev 7:3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Introduction

As always, we must keep ourselves focused on how these words “proceeding from the mouth of God,” can be “lived by” (Mat 4:4), and “kept” by “he that reads and hears the thing written therein” (Rev 1:3). It will help us to do this if we remember what is the Biblical meaning of the words ‘four’, ‘angels,’ ‘winds’ and ‘earth.’
We will demonstrate with the scriptures themselves that the number four signifies the whole of whatever is under consideration. We will show that ‘angels’ are messengers with a message or doctrine, that ‘winds’ and angels both effect the work of God with all of mankind, and we will again demonstrate that the ‘earth’ signifies the many called who are in rebellion against the doctrines of their own Creator.

What does the number four signify in scripture?

Here is our earlier study on this number. Once we know the scriptural meaning behind this number, and the scriptural meaning of the words ‘angel,’ ‘winds,’ and ‘earth,’ then we will understand the meaning of “the four angels,” “the four corners of the earth,” and “the four winds of the earth.” Here are the scriptures which reveal the Biblical meaning of the number four.

Four Equals The Whole

The number four throughout God’s Word signifies the whole of whatever is under discussion.
The whole earth:

Gen 2:10  And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
Gen 2:11  The name of the first [ is] Pison: that [ is] it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where [ there is] gold;
Gen 2:12  And the gold of that land is good: there [ is] bdellium and the onyx stone.
Gen 2:13  And the name of the second river [ is] Gihon: the same [ is] it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
Gen 2:14  And the name of the third river [ is] Hiddekel: that [ is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [ is] Euphrates.

Waters in scripture symbolize God’s nourishing Word. It is symbolized here as the nourishment for the whole land of Havilah and the whole land of Ethiopia. While the words ‘the whole’ are not used along with the rivers Hiddekel and Euphrates, nevertheless “the sum of God’s Word” (Psa 119:160) will demonstrate that this number always carries with it the significance of ‘the whole’ of whatever is under consideration.
 
The whole tribulation of God’s elect:

Gen 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Four hundred years symbolizes the whole period of tribulation endured by God’s elect at the hands of the world. Egypt was a very religious society. As such it symbolized Israel being carried away into Babylon long before Israel was carried away as slaves into Babylon. Babylon is simply God’s people in captivity in the world. Four hundred years is but the ‘whole’ as opposed to the complete period of time when God’s elect are “strangers in a land that is not theirs.” Four hundred is the symbol for the whole time God’s elect spend under the dominion of the flesh:
The whole of the flesh is to be subdued by God’s elect:

2Sa 21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

The whole of God’s elect who are the outcasts of this world.

1Sa 22:2  And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

The whole process of apostasy:

Pro 30:15 The horseleach hath two daughters [ Protestants and Catholics], crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
Pro 30:16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
Pro 30:18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
Pro 30:19  The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. 
Pro 30:20  Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

The whole of God’s elect in the whole earth:

Isa 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.

‘Four’ in the New Testament

The whole body should care for the whole body:

Mar 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Our flesh is wholly slothful.

Joh 4:35  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

The whole of death will be destroyed:

Joh 11:17  Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

Our whole covering is Christ:

Joh 19:23  Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

The whole time of our struggles with the flesh:

Act 7:6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.

The whole of mankind will be called of God:

Act 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: [ The animals in this sheet represent the whole of mankind]

Wholeness of patience:

Act 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

Whole- hearted vigilance on the part of the Adversary.

Act 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

The whole church should witness of Christ:

Act 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

The whole church is under the law:

Act 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;

Being wholly anchored in any way:

Act 27:29  Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

The whole of God’s elect:

Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Rev 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Rev 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever. The whole spirit working with the whole church:
Rev 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.

The whole strength of the cross (the altar is the cross), versus the strength of the flesh:

Rev 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
Rev 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
Rev 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

The whole world is deceived:

Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

What are angels?

We have covered this subject already in depth while considering these verses in chapter one.

Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [ was] as the sun shineth in his strength.
Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Angels are stars, and stars are angels. But what is it that stars and angels do? What in particular are these “four angels which stand on the four corners of the earth and hold the four winds of the earth?” If we can remember that scripturally the number four means the whole of the subject under consideration, then we know that whatever these ‘angels’ are, and whatever they are doing, we are concerned with the whole of it. So what do angels do, the whole of what they do is now being considered?
To answer this question we need, as is usually the case, to look at a few very revealing verses in the Old Testament.

Num 20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:
Num 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:
Num 20:16 And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:

Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, telling the king of Edom that the Lord had sent an angel to bring Israel out of Egypt. What is so revealing about these three verses is that the word ‘messengers’ in verse 14 is the same Hebrew word translated ‘angel’ in verse 16. Here is how Strong defines this Hebrew word:

H4397
mal’a k
mal- awk’
>From an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically of God, that is, an angel(also a prophet, priest or teacher): – ambassador, angel, king, messenger.

So the word ‘angel’ can be either a physical messenger, such as Moses sent to the king of Edom, or it can be a spirit such as God sent to bring Israel up out of Egypt. Which are the angels here in this revelation of Jesus Christ? What does the revelation of Jesus Christ say about this? Here is the answer to that question:

Rev 21:17  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

So the angel of each of the seven churches is “a man” sent as God’s messenger. The seven angels of the seven churches are Christ and His complete gospel within us.  Since the number seven has been established as scripturally meaning that which is complete, then the seven angels which are sent to the seven churches are the complete message of the messengers sent to the complete church down through all the generations of the church since Christ. We saw earlier (Rev 1:20) that the seven angels with their complete message to the complete church are in Christ’s right hand.

Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Then in chapter 5 we learned that there is a book in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne:

Both the complete and the whole message is within the book

Rev 5:1  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

Who is sitting on the throne? Is this Christ or is this His Father? In scriptural terms He that is sitting on the throne in chapter 5 is the same person and same throne we saw in chapter four:

Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Rev 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev 1 makes it clear that this is Christ who is sitting “with His Father in His Father’s throne.”

Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Col 1 makes it clear that it was Christ who “created all things” and that “all things were created for His pleasure.”

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [ things] he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

So it is Christ, by and for whom all things were created, who is sitting on the throne with the book in His right hand. He is in His Father sitting “with His Father in His Father’s throne” (Rev 3:21). Who then is “the lion of the tribe of Judah” who appears as a lamb slain from the foundation of the world to whom Christ hands the book that is in His right hand? As presumptuous and blasphemous as it may sound, that lion which appears as a lamb is scripturally those who are in that Lion who appears as a Lamb. It is those who are the very body of Christ and who, we are told, are slain with Him so as to be “seated with Him in His Fathers throne.”

Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

It is Christ who God has seen fit even to give the titles of both “the everlasting God and “the Almighty.”

Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
Rev 1:8  I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Who is this “slain lamb?” Well of course it is Christ. But didn’t we just show that Christ is “the Mighty God, the everlasting Father” and “the Almighty” who is sitting with His Father in His Father’s throne? How then can this Lion who appears as a slain lamb, at the same time be Christ? Here is how Christ is both sitting with His Father in His Father’s throne, and is at the same time receiving the book out of His own right hand;

Joh 14:20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Here is what Christ Himself tells us:

Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Joh 14:8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Joh 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

There are very few, to this very day, who believe these words of our Lord. It is not adding to that which is written to say that those who are in Christ are that lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world. Here are the verses which make this clear:

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Tit 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

What is it that “according to His own purpose… was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began?” Here it is:

Php 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

But surely this doesn’t mean that it is given to us to be slain with Him, does it? What do the scriptures teach?

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Is that really how God wants us to think of ourselves? Yes, it definitely is! That is exactly how the scriptures want us to think of ourselves:

Act 5:41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

We are expected to identify with our Lord in all of His sufferings. Here is how God’s elect are to see themselves:

Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: th at like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

If there is any truth to those words, then why would not we also be Christ’s lambs slain from “before the world began”;  “slain from the foundation of the world?” Indeed, are we not commanded to live by the book of the life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world?

Rev 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.

Are we not Christ’s lambs? Of course, we are.

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Paul goes so far as to tell us that the afflictions of the Christ are “behind” and are not “filled up” until they are filled up in our bodies, which are, of course “His body, the church.”

Col 1:24 Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly,

Here is this same verse in both the King James and in the Contemporary English Versions.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: (KJV)
Col 1:24  I am glad that I can suffer for you. I am pleased also that in my own body I can continue the suffering of Christ for his body, the church. (CEV)

There it is. We are that lamb as it had been slain, and it is us all to whom Christ hands the book with seven seals, and it is Christ in us who looses those seven seals to reveal to us the revelation of Jesus Christ within us.

Who are these four angels?

What an incredible calling! In the revelation of Jesus Christ we are not only Christ’s complete seven messengers, but we are His whole message. We are His body, we are his church; we are His messengers, and we are His lambs who, in Christ, are still in the process of being slain with Him from the foundation of the world.”   Christ is His Fathers messenger, and we are His messengers. Those are His very own  words to his disciples immediately after His resurrection. So these four angels, like all others Biblical symbols, are in some way Christ and His Christ. They are Christ’s messengers seen as their whole. In other words these four angels, just like the seven angels, are you and me as the whole of Christ’s messengers.

Joh 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

So we are Christ’s seven complete messengers, and as such  we receive  the whole message signified by these four angels on the four corners of the whole earth which ‘earth,’ we will cover in more depth next week.
The four angels are the whole message of God to the whole earth within us, with all of its seven kings and seven kingdoms. Being ‘the earth, we are dealt with and are affected by the four winds of the earth. Both the four winds and the seven spirits, are concerned with “all the earth.”

Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Rev 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.

We live by every word and we keep these things which are written therein. It is all the revelation of Jesus Christ within us.

Summary

We have seen many scriptures which demonstrate that the number four, where ever we find it within the Word of God, is concerned with the whole of what ever is under consideration.
We have seen that in this seventh chapter of Revelation the whole is concerned with “the earth,” and while we are yet to see the scriptures, next week, Lord willing, we will find that “the earth” in scripture, signifies our bodies of flesh and blood, through which Christ is, at this time doing His work within our lives.
We have seen that angels and stars both signify God’s messengers, whether men or spirit beings. But we have seen that in this book of revelation, these angels are God’s messengers in the form of “a man;” the man in whom Christ dwells, and by whom He is making known this revelation of Jesus Christ.
We have seen that “the four angels” are the whole message of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

We have seen that the man sitting on the throne in Rev 4 is Christ and He is handing the book to His christ – His elect.
Next week, Lord willing we will scripturally demonstrate the scriptural meaning of ‘the earth’ and the scriptural meaning of “the four winds of the earth.”

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