The Seal of the Living God
(1) After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They held back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind would not blow on the land, sea, or against any tree. (2) Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, holding the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and sea: (3) “Do not damage the land, sea, or trees until we have put a seal on the foreheads of God’s servants.”
(4) Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from every tribe of the sons of Israel: (5) 12,000 from Judah, 12,000 from Reuben, 12,000 from Gad, (6) 12,000 from Asher, 12,000 from Naphtali, 12,000 from Manasseh, (7) 12,000 from Simeon, 12,000 from Levi, 12,000 from Issachar, (8) 12,000 from Zebulun, 12,000 from Joseph, and 12,000 from Benjamin.
The Great Multitude in Heaven
(9) After these things I looked and saw before me a large multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before God’s throne and the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their right hands. (10) And they shouted with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!”
(11) Then all the angels standing around God’s throne and around the elders and the four living creatures fell down on their faces in prostration before the throne and worshiped God, (12) declaring, “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever! Amen (let it be)!”
(13) Then one of the 24 elders asked me, “Who is this large multitude of people wearing white robes? Where did they come from?” (14) I said, “Sir, I do not know, but you know.” And then the elder said, “This large multitude came out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb. (15) For this reason they are before God’s throne and serve him day and night in his temple. The one sitting on the throne will shelter them with his presence. (16) They will never again be hungry or thirsty. They will never feel the scorching heat of the sun. (17) This is because the Lamb—who is at the center of the throne—will shepherd them and lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”