Revelation 7:1-17 Part 2


1)    After this I saw four messengers having stood upon the four corners of the earth restraining the four winds of the earth in order that the wind might not blow upon the earth or upon the sea or upon any tree.

2)    And I saw another messenger going up from dayspring having the  Living God’s seal.  And he did cry out in a great voice to the four messengers to whom it was given to injure the earth and the sea, saying

3)    ‘you may not injure the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.

4)    And I did hear the number of the ones who have been sealed, one hundred and forty four thousand have been sealed from all the tribes of the sons of Israel:

5)    from the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,

6)    from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,

7)    from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,

8)    from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

9)    After this I looked and, Lo!  a great crowd which no one was able to number out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, having stood before the throne and before the Lamb, having been arrayed in white garments and palms in their hands,

10) and crying out with a great voice, saying ‘The Salvation to our God, To Him Who sits on the throne and the Lamb!’

11) And all the messengers had remained steadfast round the throne, and the elders and four living creatures fell on their faces before the throne, and they did worship God,

12) saying ‘The praise and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the might to our God to the ages of ages.  Amen.’

13) And one of the elders uttered, saying to me ‘Who are these who have been arrayed in white garments?  And whence did they come?’

14) And I addressed him: ‘My lord, you have known!’  And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation.  And they did wash their garments and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.’

15) Because of this are they before the throne of God.  And ‘they do service to Him day and night in His sanctuary’ And ‘the One Who sits on the throne shall tabernacle over them.’

16) ‘They shall no more hunger, nor shall they thirst any more, nor shall the sun fall down upon them, nor any burning heat.’

17) ‘For that Lamb in midst of the throne shall feed them, and He shall lead them upon springs of living water, and God shall wipe away every tear out of their eyes.’


I promised last week that I would expand upon the different “appearances” of our Lord as He reveals Himself, and as the prophets and apostles describe Him and how He appears in the text of Scripture here in the Revelation.  And we’re talking about what He “looks like” here.

The appearance of the Son of God, having assumed the Rulership of all things, is presented as being very diverse, according to the work that He has done and that which He is doing.  The work of the enthroned God the Son is intimately associated with His Person; His Person is intimately associated with His appearance; and His appearance is intimately associated with His work!  (One of the examples that we offered last Lord’s Day is the appearance of Jesus Christ as the Lamb slain and with seven horns and seven eyes.  That’s how He appeared in the heaven; and John wrote the description!)

And neither His Person nor His appearance nor His work can be distinguished, or separated out, or categorized.  He is God.  And He determines Himself to be what He is.  And He determines how He appears.  And man, with all of his ideas about what God the Son is supposed to look like, just ignores (in many cases), how He reveals Himself!

And because the way He reveals Himself is so neglected (for the most part), the Church, therefore, has a certain “weakness” in its Trinitology and its Christology.  Its discernment of all that our Lord has done, and all that He is doing (i.e. His Person and His work), has been diminished, or restricted, somewhat by its lack of attention to the multifaceted and diverse work that He does, and how He appears in His work.

Let me give you some examples of that from the older Scripture.  And as I give you these, please remember (as has been established previously) that whenever God is accomplishing the work of the covenant in His creation, it is Yahveh – second Person of Triunity – Who is involved… whereas in other instances in which God refers to Himself, or speaks of Himself, or identifies Himself, He refers to Himself by other names… such as Elohim (and there are others as well by which He identifies Himself).

But in those instances in the older Scripture having to do with God’s direct covenantal involvement with His creation and with His creatures, He identifies Himself as Yahveh; and we find a great number of them (there are seventy two of them as a matter of fact), (we find a number of them) translated (in the common translations) “angel of the Lord”.

And it’s unfortunate that the English translators used the term “the Lord”, because, for English-only readers, it shields them from the name by which second Person of Triune God identifies Himself!  The Name (underneath the English translation “the Lord”) is Yahveh!  And it’s not “the Yahveh”, it’s just “Yahveh”.  The article “the” isn’t present in the Hebrew text.  It’s just “supplied” by translators in order that the reading in English is smoother.

And, since we have this regrettable rendering of His Name, English readers never get the opportunity to discern the Person and work and appearance of God the Son – Yahveh – which is how He names Himself and reveals Himself as He attends His creation and His creatures covenantally!

As an example of that (and I’m going to give you a couple of them), I’ll read the first few verses of Exodus chapter three for you.  Here it is:


1)    And Moses is tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he is leading the flock behind the wilderness, and comes to the mountain of God -- to Horeb.

2)    And the Angel of Yahveh appears to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a thorn-bush: and he looks, and lo, the thorn-bush is burning with fire, and the thorn-bush was not being consumed.

3)    And Moses said, ‘Let me now turn aside and see this great sight; why is the thorn-bush not burned?’

4)    And Yahveh saw that he turned aside to see, and God called to him out of the midst of the thorn-bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses’! And he said, ‘Here I am’.

5)    And He said, ‘Draw not closer here:  take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you’re standing is holy ground’.

6)    And He said, ‘I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’.  And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.


Now, it should be perfectly plain that this Hebrew text, written by Moses, makes it precise and unambiguous that Moses is speaking to Yahveh, and that it is Yahveh – God – speaking to Moses.   And the text doesn’t say “the Lord”.  Yahveh is His Name.  And Moses hid His face for fear of looking at Him. 

Neither was Moses speaking to, nor was he looking at, a created “representative” of Yahveh.  Second Person of Triune God – Yahveh – appeared “as fire in a scrub-brush”.  That was His “appearance” as He spoke with Moses.  That’s how He “caused Himself to appear”.

Here’s another one, from the book of the Judges this time, chapter two:


1)    And the Angel of Yahveh came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, ‘I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you; and as for you,

2)    you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall throw down their altars: but you have not hearkened unto my voice. Why have you done this?

3)    Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [scourges] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.’

4)    And it came to pass, when the Angel of Yahveh spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice and wept.

5)    And they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to Yahveh.


The first thing that impacts our attention here is that Yahveh speaks to Israel in the first person singular!  I made you to go up out of Egypt, and I have brought you to the land which I swore unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you….”

The second to be noticed is the fact that Israel was to obey HIM!  But they didn’t.  And HE is the One Who pronounced sanctions for their disobedience.

And then thirdly, Israel wept and repented and sacrificed to Yahveh Who had, Himself, appeared to them.  Therefore it is obvious, once again, that this is NOT a created representative of Yahveh… it IS Yahveh Who appeared to them.

He is the very Word – the Message – the Telling – the Proclamation – the Declaration.  That’s what the Hebrew and Greek words, translated “angel”, mean.  It is “message”.  So, when “angel of Yahveh” is seen in the text, it is The Message, it is the Word, it is the Proclamation Who appears!  It is Yahveh Son of God.  He is “Word of God”; He is Message of God.

And each of the occurrences that I’ve read for you here, from Moses and from the book of the Judges, is an appearance of the Message.   It is an appearance of God the Word!   That’s the very reason why we translated the first lines of all the messages to the Churches in Revelation chapters two and three the way we did.  Rather than “write to the angel of the church in Ephesus” (which is how the text is represented in the English translations), it was rendered “write the Message for the Church at Ephesus.  Write the “Message”; write the “Proclamation”; write the “Declaration”!  The Message isn’t from the Word of God… the message is the Word of God!

So, rather than some mysterious “creature” showing up as fire in a burning bush, it is God the Word, second Person of Triunity Who appears.  He is The Message!

Rather than having some strange, perplexing, enigmatic creature appearing, and then being expanded upon by wild and imaginative human creatures into a mélange of cultic mystery religions, we instead gain a wonderfully wider understanding of our Lord – Yahveh – God the Word.  It comes right out of the text of Scripture; and our Christology (our understanding of the Christ – the Son of God) is exponentially magnified because of it.

Now, before we bring that into the newer Scripture (the Revelation), I also promised you that we would also take a quick look at the Word of God – the Message – the Proclamation, as He appears in His creation and to His creatures, as “man”.

And one of the most interesting, and most theologically significant, passages in all of Scripture – especially to us who are most attuned to covenant theology, is Abraham’s encounter with Yahveh at the oaks of Mamre – Genesis 18.  I’m going to get this as close as I can to a literal translation for you.  So…enjoy:


1)    And Yahveh (and remember, the English translations say “the Lord”) appears unto him among the oaks of Mamre, and he is sitting at the opening of the tent, about the heat of the day;

2)    and he lifts up his eyes and looks, and lo, three men standing by him, and he sees, and runs to meet them from the opening of the tent, and bows himself towards the earth,

3)    And he says, `My Lord, if, I pray thee, I have found grace in Your eyes, do not, I pray thee, pass on from thy servant;

4)    let, I pray thee, a little water be accepted, and wash your feet, and recline under the tree;

5)    and I bring a piece of bread, and support your heart; afterwards pass on, for therefore have you passed over unto your servant;' and they say, `So may you do as you have spoken.'

6)    And Abraham hastens towards the tent, unto Sarah, and says, `Hasten three measures of flour-meal, knead, and make cakes;'

7)    and Abraham ran unto the herd, and takes a son of the herd, tender and good, and gives unto the young man, and he hastens to prepare it;

8)    and he takes butter and milk, and the son of the herd which he has prepared, and sets before them; and he is standing by them under the tree, and they do eat.

9)    And They say unto him, `Where [is] Sarah your wife?' and he says, `Lo – in the tent.'

10) And He says, `returning I return unto you, about the time of life, and lo, to Sarah your wife a son.'

11) And Sarah is listening at the opening of the tent, which is behind him;

12) and Abraham and Sarah [are] aged, entering into days – the way of women has ceased to be to Sarah;

13) and Sarah laughs in her heart, saying, `After I have waxed old I have had pleasure! – my lord also [is] old!'

14) And Yahveh says unto Abraham, `Why [is] this? Sarah has laughed, saying, Is it true really –  I bear –  and I am aged? Is any thing too hard for Yahveh?  At the appointed time I return unto You, about the time of life, and Sarah has a son.'

15) And Sarah denies, saying, `I did not laugh;' for she has been afraid; and He says, `No, but you did laugh.'

16) And the men rise from there, and look on the face of Sodom, and Abraham is going with them to send them away;

17) and Yahveh said, `Am I concealing from Abraham that which I am doing,

18) and Abraham certainly becomes a nation great and mighty, and blessed in him have been all nations of the earth?

19) for I have known him, that he commands his children, and his house after him (and they have kept the way of Yahveh), to do righteousness and judgment, that Yahveh may bring on Abraham that which He has spoken concerning him.'


Our covenant theology, our Trinitology, and our Christology are all heightened here as we see Triunity appear as man, and as we hear Yahveh – second Person of Triunity – speak – declare - message His covenant with Abraham and all his posterity.

One more of these and then we’ll continue with the diverse appearances of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Revelation.  This one is from the prophecy of Daniel, chapter three, where the prophet’s three friends have disobeyed king Nebuchadnezzar.  Listen closely:


13) Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14) Nebuchadnezzar answered and said unto them, Is it of purpose, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you serve not my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

15) Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made, well: but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that god that shall deliver you out of my hands?

16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

17) If it be so, our God who we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

18) But if not, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.

19) Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

20) And he commanded certain mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21) Then these men were bound in their hosen, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

22) Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

23) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste: he spoke and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.

26) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came forth out of the midst of the fire.

27) And the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their hosen changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them.

28) Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

29) Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill; because there is no other god that is able to deliver after this sort.

30) Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.


Well, the king’s pronouncement that this was an “angel” or “messenger” was certainly true, except it was the Word of God – Yahveh - as He appeared as the fourth “man” in the furnace.  And that’s “in addition” to our much quoted vision of Daniel, as recorded by the prophet in chapter seven.  Listen to it:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.


But now I want to take you back to God the Word, second Person of Triune God, and His diverse and varied “appearances” in the Revelation.  And please remember that it is God the Word, Yahveh – Jesus – Who came to seek and find and save all of His people, those who had not bowed the knee to the baals (idols) of Israel, all of whom were rescued from the fiery furnace of the abomination of desolation – a fiery furnace turned up a perfect “seven times”.  That’s what chapter seven is all about, as it continues in context of chapter six.

And what John sees, here in the first three verses of chapter seven, is God the Word crucified, risen, ascended, crowned and enthroned in His Person and appearance and work as arch-angelos Michael!  As the translations have it: Michael the archangel.

As the three verses indicate, He “goes up from dayspring” (which we’ll explain later); He has the “seal” by which the elect are sealed; and He is the “Uncreate” God the Son, as He commands His created messengers at the four corners of the earth (which is Israel).

The one John describes here is no superior rank of angelic creature.  This is Micha-el – God the Word.  This is Yahveh – God the Son as He is intimately involved in His work of the covenant, just as He was in the older Scripture.

The name itself - “Micha-el” (Michael) - means “one who is as God”, so the English pronunciation – Michael - comes directly from the Hebrew language!

Between judaism and mohammedanism and the unreformed Church and the artistic renditions of countless artisans, quite a number of archangels have been included in extra-Biblical literature.  But any above the number “one” simply indicate the ramblings of idolators.  There is only “one” Archangel. 

As we’ve seen, the Word of God is quite different from mythology.  The letters of Paul and Peter to the Churches condemn the veneration of angelic creatures, for the insertion of any creature between Triune God and all that He’s made is idol worship.

But we’ve already seen from the older Scripture that Yahveh – Son of God – appeared as man; and He also appeared as “angel of Yahveh” or “message of Yahveh”.  We are taught that the very “Word” – appeared in the administration of His covenant!

Further, is the name “Micha –el” revealed anywhere in the older Scripture?  Is He prophesied?  Is Michael the Archangel prophesied in the Old Testament?  But of course!

Chapter eleven of the prophesy of Daniel is his vision of the dominance of the fourth great kingdom of the world – Rome.  And during its dominance, and during its fury at the covenant nation of Israel, Daniel learns the following… at verse one of chapter twelve:


1)    And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince who stands up for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of distress such as never was since there was a nation until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that is found written in the book.


And what are we reading in the first three verses of Revelation seven?  There appears One Who has the seal of the Living God, Who stands up out of “dayspring” to deliver His people from the desolation to come.  And He commands His angelic creatures:


“You may not injure the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”


It is “Michael”, the Great Prince of Daniel chapter twelve.  He stands up and every one of His people are sealed (delivered) – every single one who is written in the book!  It is prophesied that He would stand up for His people and deliver them; and here in our text is the fullness of the prophecy!


Now.  In the writings of the fathers of the early Church, we read that they were absolutely sure that, even though the name “Micha-el” isn’t included, the prophet Malachi wrote of Him appearing in the last days.  Here’s chapter three verse one:


1)    Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the angel ( or Message) of the covenant, in whom ye delight: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.


The “angel of the covenant” there in Malachi is “Micha-el” – “the One Who is as God”, Who comes with the seal of the covenant to deliver His people.  And it was Jesus, speaking to His disciples, who said, “I was sent to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.  And here He is in the text of Revelation seven, doing just that!

The dominant view of the early Church fathers was that Second Person of Triune God Himself is "Angel of the Lord" mentioned in infallible Holy Scripture. This mainline view of the early Church was resurrected, after a long period of mystery and mythology, by the Protestant Reformation in the preaching and writing of John Calvin (and later also by Matthew Henry, Hävernick, Keil, Abraham Kuyper and Hengstenberg, et al.).

And of late, this entirely appropriate and necessary exegesis of the texts of Scripture has been held by modern commentators as well, including A.C. McGiffert and Nigel Lee.  And my more immediate mentor, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, although he was more a Christian philosopher than a Biblical exegete, admitted that the “angel of the Lord” appearances in the older Scripture were “Christophanies”.  Christophanies (a commentary term among Theologians) means a pre-incarnation appearance of the Christ.

Well, we’ve seen the prophesy of the One named Micha-el from the older Scripture (Daniel).  And we now read, here in our text, of the “angel” with the seal and the command of all the created messengers.  But where in the newer Scripture do we find the Word of God named and appearing as Micha-el, filling up the prophetic Word in Daniel?

Here is Revelation 12:7-9:


7)    And a great battle was made in the heaven, and Micha-el and His angels fought with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his angels;

8)    but they had no might, neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9)    And that dragon was cast down, the great old serpent that is called the devil, and Satan, that deceives all the world; he was cast down [cast out] into the earth, and his angels were sent with him.


The Hebrew word for “archangel” doesn’t appear in the older text of Scripture.  However, Calvin calls “Michael your Prince” an appearance of God the Son at Daniel 10:13 and at 10:21 and at 12:1 and 12:6f. 

And the Newer Testament mentions only one Archangel, or Leader of the angels, or “Commander” of the angels, at 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 9 and Revelation 12:7-9 (which I just read for you).

Calvin, also in His Daniel commentary said this:

"’Michael the Prince of the people should stand up....” (quoting Daniel 12:1) “By 'Michael' (Calvin says), many agree in understanding Christ as the Head of the Church - Michael the Archangel.  God was the Preserver of His Church by the hand of His only-begotten Son.”

Finally, note in Revelation 12 (which we read only in part) how a woman "brought forth a male Child” to rule all nations.  And her Child was caught up unto God. There was war in heaven – Michael and His created angels fought against the dragon and his angels (all of them being creatures).  And Micha-el overcame him [i.e. the Satanic devil] by the blood of the Lamb."  The Uncreate Micha-el here, became incarnate, was resurrected, and by His blood conquered Satan and his angels who had no strength against Him, and he and his angels were cast out.

We’ll get to all of that in chapter twelve sometime in the future, God willing.  But, for the sake of the proper understanding of this text (chapter seven), we had to gain a wider and more perspicuous view of the Person, work and appearance of Yahveh, our Lord Jesus.  “In the beginning was WORD; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.  And without Him nothing was made that was made.”

John describes His appearance for us.  He appeared here in the text of the Revelation as Arch-angelos – Micha-el – as He commanded His created messengers to hold back that which was coming quickly until all of those who He came to seek and to save were sealed… all of which is prophesied in Daniel.

Angelos – the Greek word – means “message”, word, proclamation, declaration.  Arch-angelos means “leader” of all of the created messengers; and it means “Prince” of all of God’s people in Israel who were to be sealed – rescued from the abomination, the fiery furnace to come.  Listen to the Revelation to Daniel:


24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  (Daniel 9:24-25)


21) But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holds with me in these things, but Michael your Prince. (Daniel 10:21)


1)    And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince Who stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.  (Daniel 12:1)


And, finally, listen to God’s Revelation to Ezekiel in chapter thirty-seven.  And remember that the prophecy of Ezekiel comes at a time about four hundred and fifty years after king David:


24) And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

25) And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their Prince for ever.

26) Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.


Michael our Prince, the Prince of the Covenant, is the Lord Jesus Christ as He appears, as prophesied, in delivering His people Israel from the fiery furnace (turned up seven times).  This is how He chose to appear in His work of “standing up” for His people.   This is how he was prophesied to Daniel and to Malachi to appear.  This is how He appears to John, written in the text of Scripture, as He fills up the prophetic Word… His OWN prophetic Word, and saves His people Israel.

He is the Commander of all the legions of created beings in the heaven.