After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
[/quote]"This is a number made up of 12 x 12 x 1000. Earlier in Revelation we had a number made up of 12 x 12, that of the "four and twenty elders" (4:4); but here that "twelve" is multiplied by itself, and then again by a thousand, indicating completeness and perfection in the ultimate degree. What is meant? That not one of those who are worthy shall be overlooked or forgotten." It also carries the thought that the natural universe, the powers of evil, and the ravages of time shall not interfere with God's plans till all are accomplished. Therefore, the 144,000 are a symbol of the total number of the redeemed, a definite number, unknown to us, but surely known by God." (Coffman)
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.
Thus says the LORD of hosts; "Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.
~Jeremiah 49:35-36 [the bow is the symbolic of the enemy's weapon here.... interesting]
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry...
Then He said unto me, "Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, 'Thus says the Lord GOD; 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.''" So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
~Ezekiel 37:1-2 & 9-10
Daniel spoke and said, "I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion...
~Daniel 7:2-4 [We'll see all four of the beasts Daniel describes as part of the "first beast" that rises out of the sea in Revelation 13]
"Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north," says the LORD: "for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, says the LORD. "Deliver yourself, O Zion, that dwell with the daughter of Babylon."
And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
~Mark 13:27 (see also Matthew 24:31)
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. 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, saying, " Do not hurt the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."
He cried also in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand." And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's ink horn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's ink horn by his side; and the LORD said unto him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." And to the others He said in my hearing range, "Go yourselves after him through the city, and smite: do not let your eye spare, nor have pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but do come near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
And He said unto them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: now go forth." And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, "Ah Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the residue of Israel in the pouring out of Your fury upon Jerusalem?!" Then He said unto me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, 'The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD does not see.' And as for Me also, My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, who had the ink horn [to seal the elect in their foreheads] by his side, reported the matter, saying, "I have done as You have commanded me."
And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the [great multitude of] souls of them [already in heaven] that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" [u]And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren [the elect], that should be killed as they were [but are still on the earth], should be fulfilled.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number [many more than 144,000], of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God Who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."... And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, "Who are these that are arrayed in white robes? And where did they come from?" And I said unto him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple [Ezekiel 44 - the Zadok; "the righteous"]: and He Who sits on the throne shall dwell among them [Ezekiel 48:35]. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes [Isaiah 25:8]."
But what [was] the answer of God unto [Elijah, who felt alone in his mission]? "I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." Even so then at this present time also there is a [chosen] remnant according to the election [election = choosing] of grace.
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