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Notes on Revelation

Four Winds

"I was just looking at Revelation 7.1 and was reading about the 4 angels: 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. Does anyone know the affect that would be on the earth if the wind stopped?"

Here are a few answers we received [through the BPR mailing list] to the question of what would happen if the wind stopped:

1. A layman's conjecture only here:

--much less pollenization.
--much less precipitation.


2. My guess is that the pollution concentration would be deadly without wind to spread it around, for starters. Fronts - the borders between areas of differing temperatures - would create isolated downpours that would flood certain areas while the rest became parched, although it is difficult to conceive of such conditions without winds between the areas. The rains would concentrate along lines where massive erosion would occur, and, if prolonged, would lead to devastation of the surface along those lines. Seas would become stale, not having oxygen blown into the water, killing fish, and possibly leading to temperature changes which would kill other aquatic life forms, exacerbated by the recent reduction in oxygen producing life forms dependent upon coral reefs. Plankton would perish and the seas would grow foul. Other dependent non-aquatic life forms would begin to suffer. Altogether, the planet would become an uncomfortable place for most of the world's creatures and flora. Quite soon, we would all be dead. That's the way I see it.




4. Dear friend, the stopped wind is the wind that means wars, rumours, commotions.


5. From Weather & the Bible by Donald DeYoung:

Wind is defined as air in motion. It moves from higher to lower pressure regions, much like water flowing downhill. During times of constant air pressure, the wind diminishes. The pressure differences themselves result from uneven heating of the earth by the sun. Most solar radiation is absorbed near the earth's waistline, in the region of the equator. The warmed air then moves both north and south. Along the way the air is deflected in different directions and to different altitudes. Wind thus works to even out differences in temperature and air pressure. The movement of large masses of air helps to distribute moisture across the face of the earth. Like a giant spoon, wind constantly stirs the atmosphere. Without it, severe hot and cold spots would persist at different locations.


6. Dust and black flies!


7. The Greek word for 'wind' in Rev. 7:1 is like the English word 'air'. This verse may be alluding a concept found in Genesis 1:2, 3. Life on this earth arosed by the stirring of God's Spirit (Pneuma-like our word pneumatic). God speaks over the 7 days of creation and there is life. Without God's Spirit there is no power to the air or no movement. When the earth has air that is not being moved, then in the natural world we do see death. God's Spirit is the power or the breath that gives the earth life; that moves air. Death comes when there is no more breathing or movement of air.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:3 And God said....

Without His Word by His Spirit 'blowing' on the earth there is no life. His Testimony (His Word, His Spirit) is being rejected by those of this earth at this time mentioned in the book of Revelation. Before the power of God's Spirit (which moves air) goes out of the earth, He tells the angels to seal up the 144,000 (12X12) living souls that have His breath or Spirit. Judgement does not come to those who have received God's Word, they have life. These are ones that breathe by God's powerful Spirit. Though the world has no more wind, He enables us to have moving air (breath) and life by His Spirit.

For more on the numbers 7 and 12 see Number Patterns in Scripture.


8. Though a literal interpretation of these verses is possible - and I now think is likely - I do not think that the full meaning of the verses is just in the literal interpretation. What follows is a ome notes I wrote some time ago giving a symbolic interpretation. Probably the idea in 1 Cor 15 "first the natural then the spiritual should be applied thus we would expect to see some form of literal stopping of the winds on earth, but this is just a sign of something far more meaningful - a spiritual barrenness.

The Winds in Revelation:


Background Ideas: -

(1) The seven seals depict events which affect the whole world in its manner of living. This is suggested by the fact the scroll is the title deed of the whole earth, not just of a part of it. The Trumpets, on the other hand, seem to deal with events in a more limited geographical area, Palestine and the nations affecting it.

(2) The symbolism is drawn from Zechariah 1:8-11, 6:1-8 where they are four spiritual forces that go out to bring judgement on Israel. They appear to be related to the four Gentile empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome - which were interpreted by the prophets to be God's rod of discipline on rebellious Israel (see Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28). However in the process of each one fulfilling its God appointed role each in turn got proud and so became the victim of another judgement of God brought on them in the form of the next empire in its turn.

This was their historical task, but by John's time this task was fulfilled so they are free to do other work. They are spiritual beings and so do not cease to exist simply because their first task is completed, God simply assigns new tasks. Instead of judging Israel they are to bring judgement on the world.

Hence we should expect their work in the End Times to be similar to their previous work - they will direct nations to war with each other to bring devastation and judgement. In particular they are aspects of the Spirit of Antichrist (see notes on Revelation 17) and so will bring about the Antichrist empire.

(3) The point of these Horsemen is to tell us that even at the time of the end God is still in control. The Antichrist's empire will be the most evil empire to ever have been on the earth, but even this is under God's direct rule.

(4) C/f Zechariah 6:5,6 "four winds" = "the four horsemen". Hence they are to be identified in Revelation 7:1 with the winds. This fluidity of symbolism happens often in prophecy so we should not be surprised at the change of title.

If we look at the four living creatures of Ch4 from an astrological viewpoint we see that they represent the "four corners" of the Zodiac, hence the four directions - North, East, West, South. Hence there seems to be some sort of association of the four creatures with the four winds, or horsemen. This again illustrates the fluidity of symbolism in REVELATION.

7:1 "After this I saw" - indicating a new vision, this is not an integral part of the seven seals. Hence it does not necessarily fit into the chronology of events that are happening on earth as described in ch 6.

"four angels...four corners of the earth...four winds".

The four winds are not the natural winds but (as we have seen) are the spiritual rulers of the four Gentile empires, the apocalyptic horsemen. These four winds are evil, but here are being restrained by four angels, hence the angels must be good. The horsemen, or winds, are being restrained - which suggests they are demonic in nature. This ties in with 2 Thess 2 where the spirit of Antichrist is being restrained by a friendly force ( for a full development of this theme see notes on REV 17 ). There is an appointed time for the four winds to be released. It appears that the full revelation of the Antichrist cannot be made until they are released so in earth time this event of the sealing of the 144,000 would appear to be before the events of ch 6:1,2.

The change in location is not important - the horsemen have had different functions over time in history centralised on different places. John seems to be quite fluid with minor details such as location. We are, after all, looking at a reality in the spiritual realm. The physical place they are located at has no real relevance.

(Beasley Murray) "The winds are restrained to produce a calm before the storm." This could suggest that there is a period of world peace just prior to the events brought about by the horsemen, i.e. the seals.

"earth...sea". The "wind" here is obviously not intended to be literal, so it is doubtful that we should press a too literal meaning for earth and sea.

"sea" - is a symbol of the rebellious masses of the Gentile nations (Rev 17:15).
"earth" - could refer to stable political countries.
"trees" - appears to be a symbol of political leaders and philosophies in Isa 2.

If we assume this symbolic interpretation is right then we come up with the idea here that there will be, just prior to the revelation of Antichrist, a period of peace on earth during which no disturbing "empire building" force can operate. However, after that period will come the incredible violence of the Seals.

It would appear that when these forces are released there is an amazing corruption of the earth, but this is not allowed to happen until the 144,000 are sealed. Assuming the proof below, that the 144,000 are the Church, then we possibly see here a suggestion that the Church is substantially completed before the final manifestation of Antichrist, however this should not be pushed too far as other scriptures seem to indicate a great harvest in the earth during the reign of Antichrist.


9. My son is stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson Arizona. We went to visit him (we're from Pennsylvania) and drove around various places near there to tour. One of the places we visited was the Biosphere.

I remember distinctly hearing about the trouble they had when it was started up. Everything they put into it was checked out and well planned. They even introduced bees to make sure everything would be pollinated. No matter what they did, the plants were dying. Especially the trees. Then they introduced the wind, or a breeze. That was what it took. Apparently plants need the wind to strengthen their branches and trunks to withstand the weight of the plant. The blowing of the wind sways the branches and somehow strengthens them. How interesting.

I imagine all the plants would die if the angles would stop the wind.


10. On the winds in Rev 7.1, don't forget this angle from (Lesson 13):

I The winds will cease to blow after Atomic World War I.

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree (Rev. 7:1, NASB).

A "After this I saw," establishes the end of AWWI as the beginning of the next chronologically ordered series of events.

B God sent the four-angel team to help explain the most important event that will occur directly after the atomic war ends.

C The angels stationed themselves at the four points of the compass and assumed bodily positions that would project the idea of holding the earth's four winds.

D Since this event will occur after AWWI, it follows that this major climatic disruption will be a direct negative consequence of that war.

E The statement, "so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree," means cessation of wind movement on land and sea will be absolute after AWWI; the leaves on the trees will not even rustle.

F Where should we expect to find an explanation for why global wind movement will come to a standstill after AWWI?

- In the continuing prophecy following this verse.

II A fifth angel explains why it is important for the post- AWWI winds to be halted.

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads" (Rev. 7:2-3, NASB).

A The fifth angel's commands indicate that any release of the post-atomic war's winds would seriously harm "the earth, sea, and trees."

B Note also that the fifth angel's directive "to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea," establishes the fact that the four angels will eventually "harm the earth and the sea" at some future time when they release the winds.

C Modern man's experience with the deadly effects of radioactive fallout from nuclear explosions confirms the Bible's forewarning that all the planet's life-forms would be seriously harmed if the winds continued to blow after the atomic war.

D Computer simulation studies predict that a 10,000 megaton atomic war would contaminate 30% of Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude land areas with enough radiation to cause widespread mortality among all mammals, including human beings.

E The studies also show that if the post-AWWI winds were halted the area affected by fallout would be substantially reduced.

III The advent of the 1980s 1.2 billion instructions per second supercomputers provided insight into the forces that will bring the post-AWWI winds to a standstill.

A Note first that until the invention of the atomic bomb and the 1980s generation of supercomputers (which enabled scientists to do meaningful nuclear war studies), the Bible's nuclear war prophecies remained as locked to the human race as the day they were written.

B Logically then, scientific studies provide a sensible place to look for insight into why the post-AWWI winds will cease to blow.

C Nuclear war studies estimate that in a global nuclear war 10 to 20 thousand burning targets would loft several hundred million tons of smoke into the atmosphere. Day will quickly be transformed into night over vast continental areas.

D Simulations revealed that almost half of the atomic smoke will be driven into the thin air of the stratosphere where sunlight will raise the temperature of the smoke-ladened air between 30 and 80 degrees C.

1 The hot clouds, like hot-air balloons, would rise and expand, and then spread out horizontally and move briskly around the globe.

2 Meanwhile, the low altitude tropospheric air over the land below, deprived of up to 95 percent of its daily ration of solar energy, will be effectively sealed off.

3 Thus, the lower level "four winds of the earth" will become motionless, or "held back, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree."

E The loss of low altitude wind currents will keep the highly radioactive atmosphere above the blast areas from blowing into adjacent uncontaminated airspace.

F Hence, the "four angels standing at the four corners of the earth" symbolically established that the winds will "not harm the earth or the sea, until . . . ," the worst of the atomic fallout above the blast zones has had time to settle out of the smoke clouds and return to the surface below.

G Thus, despite predicted widespread crop damage around the globe from sub-freezing "nuclear winter" effects, the absence of lower level wind currents will actually be a blessing in disguise for the earth and its inhabitants.

IV How long will the winds remain restrained?

A The question comes down to how long the atomic smoke- induced global temperature inversion will last?

- According to the text it will last "until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."

B "We" in the command: "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until 'we' have sealed the bond-servants of our God in their foreheads," is a direct reference to the commanding angel and his four-angel team.

C Since both the commander and the team symbolically represent independent future events, the plural "we" means the two future events will, in some way, combine their distinct forces to accomplish the process of "sealing the servants of God" in the post-AWWI period.

1 The stopped winds will be one contributing influence.

2 The other contributing influence will spring up from the direction the commanding angel was introduced-- "from the rising of the sun."

a Since the Apostle John was a Jew from Palestine, all directions are given with Israel as the central point of reference.

b Therefore, the fifth angel ascended "from the rising of the sun," or East of Israel, to call attention to some special influence in "sealing" the servants of God going out from the East, directly following AWWI.

3 The information needed to fully explain the situation is not given here; however, the matter will be easily resolved in a later chapter.

D The subject of "until," that is, how long will the winds be restrained before the "sealing" of God's servants will be brought to completion, will also be explained in the same later chapter.


The surface of the Sun and the regions immediately exterior to it constitute a domain in which various forces are played out on an immense scale. The bright surface layer of the Sun is called the "photosphere", a region a few hundred kilometers thick at a temperature that ranges from 5770 degrees kelvin at its innermost part to 4400 degrees kelvin at its outermost part, the Sun's temperature minimum. Above this is the "chromosphere", approximately 9000 kilometers thick, where the temperature ranges from the minimum at the photosphere-chromosphere interface to approximately 20,000 degrees kelvin. And above the chromosphere is the "corona", the Sun's faint outer atmosphere, where the temperature is 2 million degrees kelvin or more.

The solar wind is the steady flow of charged particles, consisting primarily of protons and electrons, from the solar corona into interplanetary space. The solar-wind particles have energies high enough to enable the particles to escape the Sun's gravitational field, but the wind is influenced by the Sun's magnetic field, and the particles can be trapped by planetary magnetic fields.

On 11 May 1999, the particle density of the solar wind unexpectedly decreased to a remarkably low value -- approximately 0.2 particles per cubic centimeter, compared with a normal value of 10 particles per cubic centimeter, and a special meeting of the American Geophysical Union was devoted to the phenomenon last December.

... ... Alan J. Lazarus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US) presents an account of the special meeting, the author making the following points:

1) Other instances of low-density solar wind are known, but this period of more than 27 hours on 11 May 1999 was the longest known period having a density below 1 particle per cubic centimeter. At 360 kilometers per second, the speed of the wind was near its typical value of approximately 400 kilometers per second, but the pressure exerted by the wind was so low that the shock front formed by the interaction between the incoming supersonic wind and the magnetic field of Earth moved outward from its usual location (approximately 15 Earth-radii in front of Earth as measured along the Earth-Sun line) to at least 60 Earth- radii and near the Moon.

2) Normally, the completely ionized solar wind *plasma compresses the dayside magnetic field of Earth because of the relatively high conductivity of the wind. The resulting pressure flattens the magnetic field on the sunward side and drags it out on the night side into a tail many Earth-radii long. On 11 May 1999, the unusually low pressure resulting from the low-density wind allowed the magnetic field of Earth to reassert its dipolar shape over a larger volume.

3) The term "strahl" refers to a particular region of the solar wind electron velocity distribution, the region forming a beam that streams in a narrow cone along the magnetic field lines. On 11 May 1999, the strahl dominated the electron velocity distribution. Because the solar wind density was so low, the strahl electrons were relatively unscattered by collisions in the solar wind, and they arrived near Earth in an unusually intense and narrow beam that penetrated into the north polar region. The electron collisions with the atmosphere of Earth over the north polar region generated the strongest x-ray emissions ever seen from the polar cap.

4) Why periods of very low density solar wind occur remains unknown, but such low wind flux periods tend to appear on the ascending portion of the *solar activity cycle, which is the period we are in now. The author concludes: "Discussion of low solar wind flux periods will undoubtedly occupy solar astrophysicists for years to come."

Alan J. Lazarus: The day the solar wind almost disappeared. (Science 24 Mar 00 287:2172) QY: Alan J. Lazarus []

Text Notes:

... ... *plasma: In general, in this context, a "plasma" is a fully ionized gas consisting of ions and electrons moving freely.

... ... *solar activity cycle: The term "solar activity" refers to all active phenomena on the surface of the Sun, including sunspots, active prominences, flares, active regions, etc. In general, solar activity is strongly associated with magnetic fields which are believed to arise from a dynamo action within the Sun. Solar activity increases and decreases in a cycle lasting approximately 11 years.

Summary & Notes by SCIENCE-WEEK 9Jun00
For more information:

Why are wind measurements so important for weather forecasting?

"The wind carries heat, moisture, momentum, radiatively-active trace gases, and aerosols," answers Rothermel. "The wind interacts with clouds and radiation to produce weather and climate, and variations thereof. Moreover, numerical model simulations indicate the addition of new wind observations may improve forecasts more than the addition of new temperature or humidity data."


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