After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They were holding back the four winds of the earth to keep them from blowing on the land, the sea, or any tree.
I saw another angel coming from the east with the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been allowed to harm the land and sea,
"Don't harm the land, the sea, or the trees until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
I heard how many were sealed: 144,000. Those who were sealed were from every tribe of the people of Israel:
12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
After these things I saw a large crowd from every nation, tribe, people, and language. No one was able to count how many people there were. They were standing in front of the throne and the lamb. They were wearing white robes, holding palm branches in their hands,
and crying out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the lamb!"
All the angels stood around the throne with the leaders and the four living creatures. They bowed in front of the throne with their faces touching the ground, worshiped God,
and said, "Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen!"
One of the leaders asked me, "Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I answered him, "Sir, you know." Then he told me, "These are the people who are coming out of the terrible suffering. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
That is why they are in front of the throne of God. They serve him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
They will never be hungry or thirsty again. Neither the sun nor any burning heat will ever overcome them.
The lamb in the center near the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs filled with the water of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."