Thursday, September 3, 2009

The 7 Seals of Revelation

The study of the seals has brought many interpretations, but I have found as with the trumpets they do not meet the specifications of a fulfillment of the prophecy. Many believe that the seals occurred sometime in the past. For there to be a fulfillment there must be a beginning and ending point of the apocalyptic prophecy. All the specifications must be met and they must occur in chronological order. And as with any apocalyptic prophecy it can only be fulfilled once.

The Father wrote a book before He created humans or angels. This book contained all the names of anyone who would ever live and all the things that would ever happen. He then sealed it with seven seals. As each of these seals are broken it reveals more about Jesus and this revealing is what the book of Revelation is all about. As each of the seals are broken certain events correspond on the earth. These events help us to pinpoint where we are in time.
The first 3 of the seven seals are causes. Webster's dictionary gives the definition: one that produces an effect, result or consequence. The next 3 seals are the effects or the results of these causes.
The 1st Seal

And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2

Who are these 4 living creatures. We see a description of them in Revelation 4:6-11 These creatures have omnivision, they can see everything in God's universe. One is described like a lion, one like an ox, and one had a face like a man and the last was like a flying eagle. These faces represent characteristics that were appreciated in John's day. The lion is unchallenged with authority. He is the king of beasts. The ox had great value and was full of strength. The man is a free will moral being, and the eagle has wisdom, he is silent and swift but he can be deadly when it is necessary. These creatures day and night say, " Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, The Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come." These creatures are God's senior angels and they see to it that all God's orders are carried out.
Zechariah saw these same colored horses. …….. "These are the four spirits that are of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of the earth. Zechariah 6:5 And in Zechariah 1:10 …… "these are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth." In Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10 you can find detailed studies of these four creatures.
The rider of the white horse goes out to conquer, but he does not conquer anything at the time of the opening of this seal. The 1st seal represents the knowledge that Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not the church. The timing of this seal was shortly after 1798. For 1,260 years the Roman Catholic church (little horn power) had claimed that salvation, the power of life and death came through the church. The little horn power was brought down. History proves that this world power was the Church of Rome. When Jesus opened this seal a revival message went throughout the world that Salvation came by faith through Him and this event on earth was called the "great awakening" during the 19th century in America and Europe. Never has there been such a spiritual revival. The effect of the mission of this angel is not completed until the 6th seal, the effects of the seals are cumulative.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except himself. And is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from his mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Revelation 19:11-16 Jesus returns with all of heaven with Him !
How do we know when these seals began to open? The Bible answers our question.

"I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, And the books were opened. Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn (little horn power) was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. As for the rest of the beast, their dominion was taken away, but and extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time (In other words their descendents would remain.). I kept looking in the night visions And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man (Jesus) was coming, And he came up to the Ancient of Days (the Father) And was presented before Him, And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations , and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away. And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. Daniel 7:9-14 We see the Father take His seat in the heavenly court room and Jesus is given dominion, glory and a kingdom and subjects.

"As I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the Kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22 The horn power is the church of Rome, the first Christian church, who persecuted the saints for 1,260 years Daniel 7:25 And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alteration in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. A time is one year, times is 2 years and a half time is ½ year equals 1,260. A day for a year principle applies here so we are dealing with 1,260 years. We see that God declared a restraining order against the little horn (Church of Rome) in favor of the saints. The timing is shortly after 1798 when the little horn power was brought to its end. The deadly wound was inflicted upon the Papacy when Napoleon captured the pope in February 1798.
The 2nd Seal

And when He broke the 2nd seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another; and a great sword (the Word) was given to him. Revelation 6:3-4

The Bible must interpret itself. The sword that this rider carries is the "Word of God". In Jesus' messages to the churches:

'Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. Revelation 2:16 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

When God removed Rome's authority the gospel commission was given to the Protestants (protestors.) Bible Societies were formed and Bibles were printed and distributed all over Europe and America. The work of this angel was to release the Word of God. The people of the world began to hear about the Salvation of Jesus. Bible's, the Word, had been kept from them during the dark ages, (1,260 years). It is said that over 50 million people were killed by the early church. From the work of this angel the Bible Societies grew all over America and Europe. Never has the gospel spread so far and fast as in the middle of the 19th century. The Word was finally available to all those from whom it had been withheld. This cause will be the source of a great war under the 5th seal.

The 3rd Seal

And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come". And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it has a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, " A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." Revelation 6:5-6

We see this rider go out with a pair of scales in his hand. Even in our own judicial system, scales represent judgment. This rider went out to carry a message so that the people of earth might understand what Jesus was doing in heaven, for He had began to judge the dead and the year is 1844. Many still do not understand the pre-advent judgment, in fact most have not even heard of it or if they have, they rejected it because of an incomplete understanding. It is kind of like throwing the baby out with the bath water. In my own background in the church, if it is different then we don't believe it, and then it is a cult and we reject anything new as if God can't reveal anything new. Yet the books of Daniel and Revelation are only now being understood. We now have history behind us so that we can see exactly where we are in God's plan as new truth's unfold.
It is helpful if you will study the sanctuary service in order to better understand what Jesus is doing in heaven, for He is now our High Priest. The sanctuary service on earth was a model of what was going on in heaven. God has not left us to our own imaginations
The idea of a preadvent judgment is hard for some to accept. But think about it. When Jesus returns the Bible tells us the dead in Christ rise first and those who are alive will meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 So the records of the dead have to have been examined before the 2nd coming. The differences in the wicked and the righteous have been determined, otherwise we would see the wicked headed straight for heaven.

We know that Jesus received the Book of Life in 1798 and began opening the first seals. We also saw in Daniel 7:9-10 a heavenly court scene and that the books were opened. These books were the books of deeds or records. These books contain every thing that we do or say and every opportunity that we have had to come to Christ. God is fair in His judgment and every thing that we know or do not know is taken in consideration. All this is recorded by the recording angels. We are judged from these records as to whether we will receive everlasting life or death. We are judged by Jesus Christ Himself. It is important to realize that we are not judged from the Book of Life. The seventh seal will not be removed until after the 1,000 years of Revelation 20. What Daniel was witnessing was the judgment. This process began in 1844. Jesus began to investigate the records of the dead but, the living will judge themselves as to whether they take the mark in order to survive or live by faith in Jesus.
An interesting point is when Jesus was on earth He cleansed the earthly temple. It took 46 years to build this temple. It also took 46 years to prepare the way for understanding the pre advent message, 1798-1844. Just a little food for thought.
So how do we arrive at 1844.

In Daniel 8:14: And he said to me, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings (years) ; then the holy place will be properly restored (cleansed)." Now Daniel wanted to understand this vision and he was answered by Gabriel, ………"Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end. Daniel 8:17 We see in these verses that it pertains to the end times. We also see the process begins after the 2,300 years. The 2,300 years began with the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem in 457 BC and ended in 1844. Actually we can see that 2300 - 457 would be 1843, but there is no year 0 to span BC to AD so 1843 + 1 = 1844. Every sin is recorded in heaven's sanctuary just as the sins of Israel were recorded on the horns of the altar in the earthly sanctuary. On the Day of Atonement these sins were removed and the sanctuary was cleansed. In 1844 Jesus began this process in heaven and He began to examine the books of record.
Is there an event on the earth in 1844. Yes. This year certainly did not go by unnoticed. God raised up groups of people in America and Europe who had prophetic understanding about the 2,300 days in Daniel 8:14. One of these was William Miller a Baptist preacher, but Miller thought the cleansing was that of the earth and that the 2nd coming would occur when the 2,300 days expired. .Many people in many denominations believed that Jesus was about to return. There was a great revival. The followers of Miller became known as the Millerites. When Jesus did not return the Millerite revival died. But the understanding of the 2,300 days continues to unfold.

Those who built the sanctuary in Solomon's day were paid with wheat and barley (2 Chronicles 2:10, 15). Those who first tried to build the understanding of heavens sanctuary are promised wages. Those who first carried this message believed that most of Revelation was fulfilled. They did not carry a complete message as they did not have full understanding but, God will give them a full reward for their services. There is also a warning in this seal. Don't harm the oil or wine. The oil represents the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4), the wine symbolizes doctrine or teaching. (Revelation 17:2) Receive the Holy Spirit, don't reject this teaching of the ministry of Jesus. New truths continue to unfold in prophecy as we come closer to it's fulfillment. We need to be open to the Spirit so He can reveal these deep things of God.

The 4th seal

And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying,, "Come." And I looked , and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:7-8

We see this rider go out and he brings death and Hades meaning the grave with him. The opening of this seal brings devastation upon the earth with these four judgments of God, sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts. Twenty-five percent of the people of earth will die during these judgments.
The fourth seal is chronologically the next to be opened. To those claiming that these seals were all opened in the past, where in history can we find that ¼ of earth's population has died from these judgments. We are not speaking of ¼ of an area but of the earth.

God has used these four judgments before when man has filled his cup of iniquity.
Ezekiel 14:13 "Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, and cut off from it both man and beast….

15 "If I were to cause wild beast to pass through the land, they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts…

17 "Or I should bring a sward on that country and say, 'Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,……

19 "Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it, to cut off man and beast from it…..

21 For thus says the Lord God, " How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beast, and plague to cut off man and beast from it!

22 " Yet, behold, survivors will be left in it who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they are going to come froth to you and you will see their conduct and actions; them you will be comforted for the calamity which I have brought against Jerusalem for everything which I have brought upon it.

23 "Then they will comfort you when you see their conduct and actions, for you will know that I have not done in vain whatever I did to it," declares the Lord God.

We also see where God used these judgments in Deuteronomy 32 and Leviticus 26.

For those who claim the seals have already been broken, this one seal proves that they have not. When in the history of this world has ¼ of the world been killed. This does not say one area but ¼ of the whole earth by sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts.
This seal is the next to open. Man is so busy all the time that He has forgotten his Creator. God is going to get his attention and His wrath is going to be poured out on this earth. Many will be ready to hear the gospel when all the props are knocked out. Everything we put our faith in, all the material things that we worship are gone. God has people everywhere and He will reveal His truths through His servants during this times. Many will come to Christ upon hearing truth with all man's traditions removed.

The 5th seal

And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also. Revelation 6:9-10

There will be many martyrs during the 5th seal because of the Word of God. Satan himself will be on the earth claiming to be God and many will believe him because of the miracles he performs. God's people will be faithfully witnessing, true to their faith. They would rather die than accept the mark. With the pressure on God's people they will shine and those who claim to be His and are not will be exposed. They will be no more straddling the fence, no more pretense.

The 6th Seal

And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb; for the great day of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has comp and who is able to stand?" Revelation 6:12-17

The opening of the 6th seal brings Christ's return for His people, but notice too that others come with Him. Just as the work of the 1st seal began on a white horse it's conclusion brings our Lord and Savior to our rescue on a white horse. Many do not realize that Christ does not return for us alone. God Himself comes with Him along with all the angels in heaven. What a sight!

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and he has a name written upo0n Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and he will rule them with f rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Revelation 19:11-15

The 7th Seal

And when he broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Revelation 8:1

There is only one place in the Bible that tells us when the 7th seal is opened and the contents of the Book of Life are revealed. Jesus opens the 7th seal at the end of the 1,000 years. Everyone who has ever lived will be alive at the same time. Can you imagine this scene.

The rest of the dead ( the wicked) did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:5-6

Verse 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

Verse 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

I pray that I will see each of you in heaven for that 1,000 years. It will be great getting to know you!

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