Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree. And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God. And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, “Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.” Revelation 7:1-3
What might the winds in the passage represent? (Jer 49:36-37, Daniel 7:2)
If I wasn’t recently reading through Ezekiel, I probably wouldn’t have caught this, but hear me out.If we search the scripture to find out more about the 4 winds we see that at times the 4 winds scatter people, they also release the beasts from the sea but in Ezekiel 37 – the chapter on dry bones- the 4 winds bring breath into the bodies formed from the skeletons in the valley. (Keep in mind: Rev 7 talks about the tribes of Israel being sealed immediately after the verse about the 4 winds)
‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’” Ez 37:9b
Before we can move on, let’s go over some things from Ezekiel 37 so you can see this come together. (And hey! Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong-Is Ez 37 symbolic? Or is it specific? Or is it both? Who knows! that’s my disclaimer) Here’s what we know about the bones in Ezekiel 37.
- The bones are in a valley vs. 1 (Joel 3:14- could this be the valley of decision?)
- The bones are the people Israel 11 – “The whole house of Israel”
- They are bones of people who once lived and died vs 3
- They died in their sins because they needed to be cleansed vs 23
- When they were given new life, they were given God’s Holy Spirit and they would return to their land- this hasn’t happened yet so we’re going to say it’s talking about the last days
- They stood on their feet and became a great army. Also Zech 12:8, could this also be the army of Revelation 19:14? (That’s debatable, but they are considered a great army that goes out and fights for the Lord in the last days, no talk of white robes though- only those died in tribulation)
Photo: flickr artist Loslwl https://www.flickr.com/photos/loswl/4830572938
Okay so here we know that the 4 winds gave breath/life to the whole house of Israel that died. Notice also the very next verses in Revelation 7 talk about the tribes of Israel being sealed. Also, notice the winds weren’t allowed to harm the earth or sea (yet) but we don’t know if this wind just caused the prophecy of Ezekiel 37 to come to pass. In Rev 7:4, the People of Israel were marked with the seal of God and in Ez 37, they were given God’s Spirit (v14). What is the seal of God? Consider the verses below
- 2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
- Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
- Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye aresealed unto the day of redemption.
- 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
So considering the word seal and the verses above, let’s move on knowing that these tribes of Israel are sealed for salvation by the Holy Spirit.
But how did this happen? Well we know the bones were given new life, but we have more clues to this moment. Let’s go to Zechariah
- Zechariah 12:8-10 On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the Lord who goes before them! For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died
Look at this! Zechariah talks about the last days and a Spirit of grace and prayer poured out on the family of David. Does this prove the Holy Spirit’s seal of revelation 7 and Ezekiel 37? Possibly! We are told, in the verse above, that the people of Israel will see Christ, the Messiah, His piercings and mourn for Him as an only son, as a firstborn son who has died.
- Ez 39:29 . And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
Could this also be the valley of decision, since we know the bones were in a valley Ez 1 and Joel 3:14-16 talks about a valley of decision in the last days?
- Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Putting this together: The dead of Israel are given new life, they see and believe in Christ and are sealed by God – but there’s more! Let’s move on because Jesus is going to cleanse them on this very day with water, a fountain, river :
- Zechariah 13:1 “On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity.
- Ezekiel 47:1 [ The River of Healing ] In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side.
- Ez 36:25-27 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
More Proof that this chapter in Zechariah is about the Last Days:
- Zech 14:1-9Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! 2 I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. 3 Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, 8 On that day life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean,] flowing continuously in both summer and winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth.
I know there’s more , but for attention’s sake, let’s put some things together, assuming these verses are talking about the same day, time and moment.
This is between the 6th and 7th seal of Revelation. There will be a day and a time that the Lord God will rise of the dead of Israel who died in their sins and give them new life and a new spirit. (Consider 1 Thes 4:14-17 link in to prove this – the dead will rise first, and also salvation is for the Jew first and then the Gentiles Romans 1-2 which may prove the Jews rise first and are given a new spirit then the dead in Christ rise up before those alive on earth rise up- and maybe this is why Jesus tells many they will see the Son on man returning on the clouds- because they will be alive again!!!)
More proof! And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.Matthew 24:30
They will be sealed with the Seal of God and nothing will be able to harm them on earth. They will see Jesus, they will mourn for Him as an only Son. A river of cleansing will cleanse them from all their sins. They will be a great army for the Lord and will rise up in the last days to fight for Him.
- Are these 4 winds the same 4 winds in Ezekiel that give life to Isreal?
- Are the tribes mentioned in Revelation 7 that are sealed the same army that God rose up out of the valley?
- Is this the valley of decision from Joel?
- Is this where the people of Israel see Him who was pierced and mourn for Him?
Joel 3:21- the last days war, God will pardon the peoples sins that He has not yet pardoned
Oh, my people, dress yourselves in burlap
and sit among the ashes.
Mourn and weep bitterly, as for the loss of an only son.