This is Part 4 of my Bible study series on the “time of trouble.” Here, our focus is Revelation 7:1-3.
Read these verses prayerfully:
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. 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, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads” (Revelation 7:1-3).
This passage occurs immediately after Revelation 6:14-17 which describes “the great day of His wrath” and the end of the world. Revelation 6:17 ends with this question, “who shall be able to stand?” The very next verses (Revelation 7:1-3) answer the question. Those who are able to stand on “the great day of His wrath” are those who receive “the seal of the living God” before the four winds are released. Thus Revelation 7:1-3 clearly has an end-time message for you and me.
The words, “I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth” are obviously symbolic, for planet Earth does not literally have “four corners.” This represents heavenly angels and the Holy Spirit who are even now “holding the four winds of the earth” that they should not “blow” or “harm” anything until God’s servants are sealed in their foreheads.
“Winds” represent war, strife, and bloodshed (see Daniel 7:2-7 which describes the strife and conquests of four mighty ancient nations – Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome – fueled by the fierce “four winds of heaven”). In the “last days,” at this very moment, God’s holy angels are “holding,” or restraining, the full blowing of war, strife, and disaster around the world.
Yes, things are bad right now, but as they say, “We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Our world has no idea what’s coming. Most people also don’t know that if it wasn’t for the restraining work of God’s angels, things would be far worse than they are. Yet someday – no one knows when – these angels will “loose” the four winds, and the restraint will be over. Think about it: no more restraint of evil! Then the “time of trouble” (Daniel 12:1) will hit, the “seven last plagues” (Revelation 16) will fall, and after the seventh plague, Jesus Christ will return in blazing glory to rescue those who have been “sealed” in their foreheads (their minds).
“The seal of the living God” placed in the foreheads of Jesus Christ’s true people is the opposite of “the mark” of the beast which the Devil puts “in the foreheads” of his people around the world (see Revelation 13:16,17; 14:9-12). Thus, at the very end of time, all humanity will choose either “the seal of the living God” or “the mark of the beast” in their heads. When all are settled into one side or the other, then the four winds will be let loose. Yet the good news is that those who chose Jesus Christ completely, who trust Him fully, who obey Him completely, and who are sealed in their foreheads, have nothing to fear. When the four winds roar they will be protected from all “harm” because God will watch over them as the apple of His eye. We will study this in Part 5 of these posts.
To be continued…
P.S. To understand “the seal of the living God” and “the mark of the beast” more fully, we recommend our four-part DVD series, Mark of the Beast Mysteries ($19.95) and our little booklet, Decoding the Mark of the Beast (only $1.00). Both are now available from White Horse Media (1-800-782-4253).