John sees what happens as the sealed book is being opened, cont'd...
Okay compare that to the more detailed account John gives in Rev. 7:1-3, "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 sea, Saying Hurt not the earth neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Verses 4-8 go on to tell how 12,000 of each of the tribes of Israel that are named there are sealed on the foreheads. But the important point to us as Christians in verses 1-3 is that the four winds being held back to be soon released by an angel of God are the beginning of the wrath of God on the earth and its inhabitants. I believe as revealed to me by God's Holy Spirit that these are the same four winds that Jesus' elect are being gathered out from in Mat. 24:31.

Yes verses 4-8 are referring to the tribes of Israel but now read verses 9-10 of Rev. 7. "After this (which again can be litterally translated "with these things") I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, 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 which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Remember as we've gone along through Revelation John has described everything he has seen in heaven and this is the first time a great multitude from all nations and tongues has been seen in heaven and they suddenly appear there before the 4 winds of the wrath of God are released on the earth... Sure there were 24 elders around the throne and martyred souls under the alter but never before did John see a great multitude of Jesus followers in heaven standing before the throne and the Lamb in white robes!

We read on and in verses 11-12 all the angels around the throne fell on their faces and worshipped and praised God when these multitudes appeared in heaven. Then in verses 13-14 we are told who these people are when one of the elders around the throne asked John "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" Then John says to the elder, "Sir thou knowest." The elder then said to John, "These are they which came out of (or from) great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Verses 15-17 go on to tell how these people are before the throne of God and will serve Him day and night in his temple and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them and they will hunger and thirst no more, they will not be in the sun or heat anymore and the Lamb shall feed them and lead them unto living fountains of waters and God will wipe away all the tears from their eyes!
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