Angels of the Winds (Rev. 7:1–3)

 


Angels of the Winds (Rev. 7:1–3)

7:1 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. 

The expressions “after this” or “after these things” are usually followed by the verb eidon (“to see”). They are used several times in Revelation to introduce a new vision (Rev. 4:1; 7:1, 9; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1).[1]

The use of “after this” in this passage depicts events that come chronologically after Chapter 6.[2] The scene now goes on from revealing the impact of Christ’s resurrection and the glories that would follow (1 Pet. 1:11).

The phrase “the four corners of the earth” refers to the whole earth by designating the four primary points on the compass (north, south, east, and west), from which the four winds originate.

The Four Angels

As the vision unfolded, John first saw four angels that looked as though God had given them power over the elements of nature (Rev. 14:18; 16:5). They are standing at the four corners of the earth. They hold back the four winds (Jer. 49:36; Matt. 24:31). 

All the winds would blow on the entire earth if  God did not restrain the four angels, that “the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree” (Rev. 7:1).

The mighty four angels ensured that no wind would blow on any part of the earth. Taken literally, it would mean there would be no wind, no breeze, no waves breaking on the shore, and no movement of clouds in the sky; everything would be deathly still.[3] 

The Four Winds

In Hebrew and Greek, the word translated “wind” and “Spirit” is the same. We should view “the four winds” figuratively. Thus, Paul used the word “wind” to refer to the “wind of doctrines” (Eph. 4:14) or the “wind of teachings” (Eph. 4:14, NIV).

“The four winds” represents the power of God’s Spirit through the message of Christ’s gospel to all the earth. God planned that He would speak to us through His Son (Heb. 1:1). His words are spirit (wind), and they give life (John 6:63).

The gospel message also has a destructive element, which figuratively harms the “earth” and “the sea,” like the violent wind. “The earth” represents the carnal human nature, and “the sea” represents sinful human nature. In God’s plan, the gospel message would end the old sinful nature.

God appointed Jeremiah over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build, and plant (Jer. 1:10). The word of God is like a fire and like a hammer that breaks the rock into pieces (Jer. 23:29).

The four angels represent the four messengers, the disciples, who would preach of Christ’s gospel. Later on, “their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world” (Ps.19:4, NLT; Rom. 10:18).

The Angel of the East

7:2 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, 

The “angel ascended from the east” represents the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called “the messenger [the angel] of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1). He is also “the angel from the east” because He ascended from the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and will come back in like manner (Acts 1:9–12).

The Seal of God

7:3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” (NKJV)

 

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded the disciples not to go out of Jerusalem until they receive the power of the Holy Spirit according to God’s plan (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4–5). So, they had to wait until Christ sent them the Spirit of truth from the Father and sealed them with the seal of God on their foreheads (John 16:7; 2 Cor. 1:22). Then, God anointed His people in Christ and gave them the Spirit as a pledge for the glories to come (2 Cor. 1:21–22).

After the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, they became witnesses for Him. They preached the gospel to all nations, announcing the mystery of God in His servants through the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; Col. 2:2; Rev. 10:7).

Excerpt from: Revealing the Father through the Book of Revelation, by Hegumen Abraam Sleman, With God's grace, the book is available on Amazon. I would be blessed if you could get a copy of the book and review it. For more information about the book, please visit frsleman.net. I am looking forward to hearing your feedback. Pray for me!

Blessings to you,

Fr. Abraam Sleman
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[1] Revelation 1–22 MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Two Volume Set.

[2] Revelation 1–22 MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Two Volume Set.

[3] Revelation 1–22 MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Two Volume Set.

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