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, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.(Rvelation 7:1-4)
John had a vision of the marking of the servants of God, an event which should occur before the great tribulation.
He saw four Angels, standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth from blowing on the earth, sea or the trees.
The earth can be understood as literal, but it is also a prophetic metaphor for Israel, “The meek shall inherit the earth…”.
The seas also can be literal but they are a metaphor for the Gentile people.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.(Isaiah 57:20-21)
Why do the heathen rage? And the people imagine a vain thing?(Psalm 2:1)
The trees represent the individual nations;
“Learn the parable of the fig tree and of all the trees…”(Luke 21:29)
Before the Gentiles, Jews and Nations are to be subject to the wrath of God revealed in the Tribulation, John saw that there would be an Angelic sealing, a marking of all of those true servants of God. to separate them from the wrath coming, and to assure that all of God’s people would be marked with the seal of God’s ownership.
We saw something similar in the prophecies of Ezekiel, in the last days of Judah.
He cried also in mine 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 lieth 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 inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen 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, which had the writer’s inkhorn 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.(Ezekiel 9:1-4)
Immediately before the destruction of the temple and of the nation of Judah God sent Angels to ut his seal on his own remnant.
Who are the remnant? They are marked by the fact that they never could make peace with the apostasy and immorality which flourished around them, They continually cried and sighed over the abominations which had become commonplace in Judah. These believers couldn’t compromise, they rejected the false doctrines, the immoral practices, the idolatrous worship that virtually all of those around them had succumbed to. This exposed them to hatred, rejection and false accusation, but they “cried and sighed” to God over it all.
What is the ‘Mark of God? If there is a “Mark of the Beast” which signifies the ownership of Satan, there is certainly a “mark of the Lamb”.
Long before there will be a tatoo, or a rice sized implant. or whatever the Beast will demand for the sign of ownership, there will be a sizable constituency which has already been programmed to think like the beast (the head), and the act in accordance with the customs of the beast(the hand). The final manifestation ony points to the inner reality.
Even so the Mark of the Lamb signifies those who think and act as the Lamb would act.THe New Testament tells us that the Lord has set a seal of ownership upon those who are truly His own.
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.(2 Timothy 2:19)
Before the outpouring of the coming wrath, the plagues, vials and trumpets of Divine judgement visit the earth, The Lord wants us to know that everyone, who belongs to Him is known and bears a seal of ownership. The Christ rejecting world doesn’t know us, nor does the gawdy harlot church, but Jesus and the Father know full well those who love him and have entrusted their lives to Him.
When the angels release the winds, the spirit of judgment shall be loosed to hurt the nations, Gentile and Jew, but the servants of God are marked, sealed and will be preserved for Him whatever may come. They have met the lmb and they bear his charachteristics in theor soul, mind, hands and feet. Thus they are delivered from the pressure to worship the Beast.