"A Great Storm Approaches", Part 36
The “four winds” continued.
Pastor Russell’s thoughts:
QUESTION (1911) In Revelation we read about the four winds of heaven being held by four angels
that they should not blow upon the earth nor hurt the trees and grass, etc. What do we understand
these winds to signify and how soon may we expect them to be let loose?
ANSWER-It is a symbolic expression, of course, dear friends. All the book of Revelation is symbolic.
The four winds we understand to represent the completeness, as we speak of a square as being
complete, and as the four corners of the earth; and again we speak of north, south, east and west,
thus giving the four corners of the earth, figuratively. And it is represented that the angels are holding
Well, certain winds are represented in symbolic language as being false doctrines --as, for instance,
"be not carried about by every wind of doctrine." Here false doctrines are symbolically spoken of,
winds that carry about some that are unstable, that do not understand the divine plan; they never get
settled as to what anything means, because they have never had a right understanding of the matter.
They have never had the solidifying influence of the truth upon them. Then again winds are used to
represent strife. And winds again are used to represent war and trouble and confusion. And four
winds let loose would represent a whirlwind, you see, as the four would come together; and so the
Scriptures represent that in the end of this age, the time of trouble that will come on the earth will be
as a whirlwind from the four corners of the earth.
Now what will cause this whirlwind of trouble?
I will remind you that Satan is said to be the prince of the power of the air, and otherwise he
is said to be the prince of demons. These powers of the air, we believe, are the demoniacal
powers, the powers of the evil spirits, and our thought respecting the letting loose of those
four winds is that it will mean a time of the breaking loose of the fallen angels from the
restraint which has been upon them for now about four thousand three hundred years, since
the time these fallen angels sinned, as Saint Peter says, when the ark was preparing-going
back a long ways to the days of Noah; they were then shut up on account of their
disobedience to God; they were restrained in chains of darkness, Saint Peter says, and Saint
Jude also, and this restraint of chains of darkness was to be UNTIL a certain time, namely,
until the judgment of the Great Day.
Our thought is that this text of Scripture has reference to this same power of the air. The
same fallen angels; and the breaking loose or letting loose of these from restraint means that
the time will come when God will no longer restrain these evil spirits, and that there will be a
great time of trouble come upon mankind as a consequence of their being permitted to
interfere with the human race. We cannot doubt that certain spirits that worked havoc back in the
days of our Lord would have done still worse if they had had an opportunity. We cannot doubt they
would do the same today if they were permitted. Evidently, to my mind, the fallen angels have been
restrained for all these centuries. The wind has not yet been allowed to blow, the great storm which
they willingly would brew has not yet been allowed to come to pass, and will not be allowed to come to
pass until the 144,000 shall have been sealed in their foreheads; that is, until the elect shall all have
been recognized of God and identified and completed. Then suddenly these evil influences will be
allowed to come upon the earth, and a time of trouble will ensue such as NEVER was since
there was a nation. Jesus says, "Neither will there ever be again such a time." (Q737:1)
“These four winds, let loose equal the start of anarchy, the time of trouble. These coming together
would constitute a whirlwind (Jer 25:32) and may also signify the letting loose of the fallen angels. If
discontent and selfishness can sway mankind under present conditions, what may we expect when the
powers of the air are allowed to gain temporary liberty for the sake of showing the evil tendencies of
the unregenerate heart, that no liberty can bring true happiness, except that which is in harmony with
God.” (Z.11-157; R.4822)
Some further thoughts on the subject as taken from Brother Frank Shallieu’s work “The Book of
Ezekiel”, page 218
Q: How does the spirit (or breath) come from the “four winds”?
A: The term “four winds” is used in Daniel 7:2; 11:4 and Revelation 7:1 to pertain to the Time
of Trouble on the world, whereas Ezekiel 37:9 viz.,
“Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath,
‘thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain,
that they may live.”
Is a picture of Israel, specifically of Jacob’s Trouble. It is like a zoom lens that has a wide focus on the
world and then concentrates a close-up focus on Israel. The loosing of the four winds (the fallen
angels) will occur in or during the time of Jacob’s Trouble. Stated another way, the loosing of
the four winds will precipitate the climax of the Great Time of Trouble [i.e. Armageddon]
following the invasion of Gog and Magog as spoken of in Chapter 38 of Ezekiel. The intent of
the fallen angels will be to destroy God’s handiwork. Since the true Church will be gone when the fallen
angels are fully loosed, their target will be the Jews. If those days were permitted to be prolonged, no
flesh would survive, for the fallen angels are vengeance-prone. First, Satan and the fallen angels
will dispatch the Great Company, who must die before the Ancient Worthies are raised
perfect. Christ’s merit, which has been loaned out to Christians, must first be released and paid over
to Justice for the world before it can be used for the Ancient Worthies. Therefore, the first evidence
that this has occurred will be the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies.
Q: Are the four winds of Ezekiel 37:9 different from the four winds of Revelation 7:1?
A: Yes, in that the fallen angels will be only partially loosened at first. Proof texts that Ezekiel
37:9 pertains to the judgment of the fallen angels are Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4. Satan will be
on hand for the Great Company, but a very, very short time later the fallen angels will be
loosed en masse, coming in “like a flood” (Isa. 59:19). When the fallen angels are fully loosed,
real trouble will break out, for they will cause more trouble than Gog and his armies ever
could. Following this “wind,” the graves will be opened in regard to the Ancient Worthies and
With the release of the four winds likewise comes, “The beast that was, is not, and is to come
again”, Rev 17:8, our final segment in this study. For more on this it will be necessary to look under
the study entitled “IT COMES”.
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