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After this, I saw four angels standing at four different places on the earth. They were holding back the winds coming from every way. They did this so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree.

Then I saw another angel coming up from the place where the sun rises. He had something to put the mark of the living God on people. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels. They had been given power to hurt the earth and the sea.

The angel said, `Do not hurt the earth, the sea, or the trees until we have put a mark on the foreheads of God's servants.'

And I heard that one hundred and forty-four thousand people were marked. They were from every tribe of Israel.

5-8 welve thousand people were marked from each of these tribes: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin .

After this, I looked and saw many people. There were so many that no person could count them all. They were from every country, tribe, nation, and language. I saw them standing in front of the throne and the Lamb. They wore white clothes and they had palm branches in their hands.

10 They called in a loud voice and said, `Our God who sits on the throne, and the Lamb: they are the Ones who save people. Salvation belongs to them!'

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the leaders and the four living beings. They bowed down their faces in front of the throne and worshipped God.

12 They said, `May it be so! Blessing, praise, glory and wisdom, thanks, honour, power, and strength belong to our God for ever and ever! Amen!'

13 Then one of the leaders talked to me. He said, `Who are these people wearing white clothes? Where did they come from?'

14 Then I said to him, `Sir, I do not know.' And he said to me, `These are the people who have had much trouble. They have washed their clothes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

15 That is why they are in front of God's throne. They worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will keep them safe because he is with them.

16 They will not be hungry or thirsty again. The sun or any other heat will not burn them.

17 The Lamb who is in front of the throne will take care of them. He will guide them to the places where there is water that gives life. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.'