THE SEALS OF THE BOOK
4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Now we get to things hereafter. Remember, we read John would write “the things which (he) hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;”. The situations of the seven Churches were ‘the things which (at that time) are.” At the time this was written, these things that are about to be revealed hadn’t started. But this is what they will be:
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
We get so hung up on who these beasts and elders are, we forget to concentrate on what they are revealing. But since they serve God Who is Spirit, I believe these beasts are spirit beings. We will see the Beast rising out of the sea later on. While that Beast will wield political power, a best assumption might be that the Beast itself is the spirit who controls the political mechanizations.
We assume there is a mystery of a riddle to every description.
But when John describes beasts full of eyes, that’s what he saw. If we ever see these spirits, these beasts after Christ comes back, they will probably look to us like John saw them.
There may indeed be many details we can learn from these descriptions, but they are always subordinate to that which we are clearly told.
However, later we will see descriptions of beasts that ARE symbolic rather than literal. But the symbolism WILL BE EXPLAINED. We will NOT have to guess.
“Eph. 1: 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
See? The innermost revelation is made known to us. The puzzles are simply delicious little details. Not without significance, but subordinate to what is clearly described.
Rev. 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Amen. The Lord God is the Arche, the Archetect. Jesus is the protos, the prototype, and we are in his image in the series.
Rev. 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
Angels are sometimes referred to as men. No being, no angel creature, in heaven, no being in earth, BUT…
Rev. 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
And. Not ‘then.’ And. While this was going on.
Rev. 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Now, I do not know if this refers to the twelve patriarchs of the tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles, or to others.
If it refers to men, John is shown what will happen the way Peter was shown Gentiles were to be accepted. It was like Jesus talking to ‘Moses’ and ‘Elias’ on the Mount if transfiguration, a vision of these men. Why?
Because the dead know nothing and the patriarchs of Israel are dead and the twelve apostles are dead, they sleep in Christ. They do not get back up until the last trump, remember?
And as we shall clearly see later in Chapter 11, this hasn’t happened yet when Jesus opens this book.
Rev. 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
We are about to get to where Jesus opens the book.
Rev. 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Some say this is Jesus.
I do not want to assume that. Jesus will conquer, with the words of his mouth, but his time is not yet. We will see him clearly later on, AFTER all seven seals are opened.
Rev. 6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
There have been wars since Cain slew Able.
Some of these wars have been brutal affairs, like the destructions of Carthage or Sardis.
But these are spiritual forces that have a hitherto unseen ability to conquer and power to take peace from earth.
Rev. 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
This third was a new economic situation. Every major drought or siege sees famine. The seal signifies something locked in that has been released. This will not just be Somalia or somewhere. This will be the widespread norm, it will increase and overtake.
Rev. 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
We’ve seen this since Revelation was written. A fourth of Europe and Asia devastated by plague. WW II, where we saw numbers like these. It will likely happen again.
Rev. 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
There have been times of great persecutions against Christians. But this has intensified to this day, wherein Christians face persecution and evil horrible deaths from secularists in America and Europe, Communists in China and Vietnam, Hindus in India, and Muslims from the Philippines to Nigeria.
But ‘rest,’ sleep, just a little while.
Wars have always been devastating. Populations decimated (large portions) or annihilated by adversaries. But since the time of Christ we have seen leaders on murderous rampages. Rome which under the Catholics who spent centuries purging apostates and heretics and pagans, torturing entire cities. Mohammed and the Muslims who slaughtered those refusing to convert, whose barbaric warring continues to this day. Genghis Khan and the Mongols who would encircle entire regions and slaughter all but one of every man and beast trapped within.
And remember the brutal wars of the twentieth century. It is estimated over eighty MILLION died in the six years of WW II, and nuclear devastated was unleashed on two cities.
And China freely states she plans on waging any war against America with nuclear force.
There have been times in which a fourth of the global population have been killed by disease.
I myself am pretty certain the first five seals are open. I’m not sure about the sixth.
Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Whether from a volcanic explosion, an astrological event or nuclear war, an earthquake will proceed a global event.
It may have been the volcanic explosion of Tambora in 1815 that triggered a global cooling or Krakatoa in 1883 that likewise technically filled the details here.
We may already be at the sixth seal. But again, I myself am not convinced it is or is not open.
Rev. 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
During this sixth seal, who is saying the wrath of God is come?
Jesus warned, we read it before, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Yet the end is not yet. These are the beginning of sorrows.
But when the sixth seal is or was opened, many will say the end is here, yet there will be a little while.
Nevertheless there will be a point in which the events cannot be mistaken for any other, and this is coming soon in this sequence of events. We now look at the firstfruits to Christ, the sealed of Israel.
THE SEALED OF ISRAEL
Rev. 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
This is why I believe the 6th seal is yet to be opened. After a global event that leads the population of earth en toto to believe the end is here, we will see that 144,000 of Israel will be sealed by God.
But there is a period of time between the 6th seal and the seventh. And until the 144,000 are sealed, the seventh trump will not sound.
!The 144,000 must be sealed before the first trumpet sounds.
Rev. 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
12,000 of each tribe of Israel are sealed, 144,000.
Many claim that because Israel is sealed, that the Church has been raptured.
It is no coincidence that in the past 50 years a messianic Judaic movement centered on faith in Christ as the Messiah has grown to nearly 300,000 people.
But we have not seen the last trump or a mention of meeting the Lord in the air. We know that until the Rapture, Jews can be both Israel and of the Body of Christ.
Rev. 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
After this. Not, ‘then.’ ‘Then’ is always subsequent, indicating immediacy. This may or may not be immediate, in fact if immediate, ‘then’ would have been used. We’ll keep reading.
Rev. 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
The time of God wiping away all tears, it comes later in Revelation. Has it come during the time of the seven seals? No. But this is a reminder of those persecuted, slin for the name of Christ.
During the time of these seals, God wants the saints persecuted to know their stand is not in vain. Those with the seal of God have a special protection. The rest of the Church does not. But when the 144,000 are sealed, it is a reminder the victory is ultimately ours. Our martyrs will rejoice.
And it is no coincidence that in the past 50 years a messianic Judaic movement centered on faith in Christ as the Messiah has grown to nearly 300,000 people. And it is growing larger daily.
But after the 144,000 are sealed, the seventh seal will be opened.