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The Seven Seals

 

Begin Text:

 

Today, we begin our study on Revelation 4. Chapters 4-6 tell an incredible story and grasping the significance of this story will take some time and effort. You already know that Bible study takes effort and you should know that every effort you put forth to know and understand God will be rewarded because Hebrews 11:6 says:

 

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

 

And Revelation 1; 3 says,

 

“Revelation 1:3   Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”

 

Revelation 4-6 has puzzled Christians ever since the book of Revelation was written. Many Christians overlook the timing and purpose of chapters 4 and 5 because it is easy to do so, but they get all excited about interpreting Chapter 6 (which includes six of the seven seals). The problem with this approach is that the intended meaning of the seven seals cannot be reached because we cannot properly understand the seven seals without first understanding the role and importance of the book that was sealed with seven seals! The story of the seven seals centers around the book that was written by the Father and sealed up with seven seals so that no one could see what he had written!

 

What would you think of a person who gets excited about the wrapping on a gift and ignores the gift that was wrapped up? In simple terms, the book sealed with seven seals is God’s way of resolving His biggest problem. The seventh seal will be broken at the end of the 1,000 years and the book will be opened. At that point in time, God will show everyone three things:

 

1.   That He has perfect foreknowledge

2.   That he can be trusted to limit the use of His perfect foreknowledge. He will not influence or manipulate His subjects to suit His plans.

3.   That even though He foreknew the rise, the agony and the price of sin, He did nothing to prevent it because as a God of love, He freely grants His children the power of choice.

 

In other words, when the book is opened, God will prove to the universe that (a) Yes, He foreknew the rise of sin in Heaven and on Earth, (b) He foreknew the price of sin, the death of Jesus, and (c) He did not predestine anyone to be saved or destroyed. Each person chooses their eternal destiny. We can choose to be rebellious against God or we can choose to be submissive to His will. IT’S A MATTER OF CHOICE! Because human beings have the power of choice, we are responsible for our actions.

 

Revelation 4:1   After this [that is, receiving the seven messages for the seven churches] I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet [the voice of Jesus 1:10] said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must first take place after this or hereafter KJV].”

 

Revelation 4:2   At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

 

Remember, the book of Revelation begins with John “in the Spirit.” Revelation 1:10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, And I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,

 

Revelation 1:11   which said, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches:

 

The Apostle Paul also had an out of body – “in the Spirit” experience…

 

2 Corinthians 12:1   I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.

 

2 Corinthians 12:2   I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven [birds, stars, God]. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know, but God knows - - 

 

2 Corinthians 12:3   And I know this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows - -

 

2 Corinthians 12:4   was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things; things that man is not permitted to tell.

 

2 Corinthians 12:5   I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

 

2 Corinthians 12:6   Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7   To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  

 

Paul and John were given visions and while in vision, they could not tell if they were in the body or not, hence the expression, “in the Spirit.” However, they were fully cognizant of the experience after it was over - - - the reality of it, the conversations, the revelation of information otherwise unknown and the surrounding were as real as yesterday’s memory.

 

John saw the throne of God…

 

Revelation 4:3   And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian.

 

Jasper is an opaque gem that is usually red, but it can be pink, yellow, green, brown, and grayish blue. When other minerals are embedded in jasper, jasper shows bands and patterns that are very pretty. Carnelian is an opaque gem that comes in coral, orange and red colors.

 

A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Emeralds are generally translucent and greenish to bluish-green in color. When added together, the jasper, carnelian and emeralds produce the three primary colors (RGB) from which all colors are produced.

 

Revelation 4:4   Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns [stephanos] of gold on their heads.

 

The 24 elders were people who lived on Earth at one time. God took two different witnesses from each of the twelve tribes to Heaven when Jesus ascended. (Ephesians 4:8) These people were resurrected when Jesus died (Matthew 27:53) and elevated to the position of priests. They have been given a front row seats around God’s throne because they will serve as a jury of human witnesses from Earth at this extremely important meeting.   

 

Revelation 4:5   From the throne came flashes of lightening, rumblings and peals of thunder. [These phenomena will be studied later on.]

 

Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits [that is, the seven angels that stand before] God. The brilliance of these seven angels looked like seven lamps to John.

 

Remember Revelation 1:47 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven [ministering] spirits before his throne,

 

Revelation 4:6   Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.         

 

This sea of glass is awesome, a great transparent platform of shiny sparkling glass that supports God’s throne. I think the beauty of this platform is magnified by the fact that God’s government is totally transparent. Ezekiel also saw this platform:

 

Ezekiel 1:22   Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked like an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome.

 

Ezekiel 1:26   Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire [translucent bluish color], and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man.

 

Revelation 4:6… In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.

 

The covering of eyes indicate the four creatures are omniscient that is, “all seeing.” The four living creatures see everything taking place in the universe.

 

Revelation 4:7   The [face of the] first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

 

Revelation 4:8   Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings.

 

Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was [present through ages past], and is [present], and is to come [throughout eternity].”

 

Ezekiel also saw the four living creatures:

 

Ezekiel 1:4   I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightening and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal,

 

Ezekiel 1:5   and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man,

 

Ezekiel 1:6   but each of them had four faces and four wings.

 

Ezekiel 1:10   Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.

 

Ezekiel 1:12   Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went.

 

Ezekiel 10:12   Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels.

 

Ezekiel and John saw the same four creatures that stand before God’s throne. Ezekiel tells us that the four creatures are identical, that is, each creature has the same four faces as the other four creatures. In other words the four living creatures are four clones, they are identical.

 

It is interesting that Ezekiel counted four wings and John counted six wings. The number of wings indicates swift flight. Also, John does not mention the four wheels that Ezekiel saw. The obvious question is: What does these four “all seeing” creatures represent? 

 

Answer: The Holy Spirit.

 

This may sound strange at first, but consider this: The four living creatures represent the work and the ministry of the Holy Spirit who is omniscient. This means He can be at four different points of the compass at the same time and in the same form.

 

The Holy Spirit is a co-eternal, distinct and separate member of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is a God just like the Father and the Son are Gods. The Holy Spirit has omniscience ( represented by the covering eyes) and He has omnipresence (represented by the four clones). This incredible being was represented to Ezekiel and John as four living creatures that were identical.

 

The Holy Spirit sees everything taking place at all times, He can read our hearts and minds, and the Holy Spirit can be billions of places at the same time. As we will see shortly, the four faces of each creature represent four capabilities of the Holy Spirit:

 

1.   Lion – Strength (Numbers 23:24)

2.   Ox – Endurance (numbers 23:22)

3.   The face of a man – intelligence (Ecclesiastes 8:1)

4.   An eagle – Deadly foe (Deuteronomy 28:49)

 

The Holy Spirit unites all creation with the heart and mind of the Father and He brings glory to God constantly…   (John 16:14, Matthew 12:31)

 

Revelation 4:9   Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,

 

Revelation 4:10   the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. 

 

They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

 

Revelation 4:11   “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

 

Revelation 5:1   Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

 

Revelation 5:2   And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”

 

(The question of worthiness indicates some serious qualifications are required to break open the seals so that the contents of the book can be read…)

 

Revelation 5:4   I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

 

(John is upset… and we don’t know why this is so upsetting at the moment.)

 

Revelation 5:5   Then one of the (24) elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

 

Revelation 5:6   Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns [all power] and seven eyes [omniscience], which are the seven spirits [angels] of God sent out into all the earth.

 

Revelation 5:7   He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. [Because He alone – in the entire universe is worthy to undertake the fulfilling the demand under each seal and exposing the contents of the book.]

 

Revelation 5:8   And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were given golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints [that is, the 24 elders are the saints].

 

[“Prayers of the saints….” This language is taken from the sanctuary services in the Old Testament. Morning and Evening, special incense was put on the glowing coals of the Altar of Incense by priests. As the sweet fragrance drifted in and around the temple, people would come to the courtyard and while standing there they would present their petitions and praises to God because of the sweet aroma of the incense was designed to teach Israel that God’s love for sinners overpowers the stench of sinners… thus, it was understood among the Jews that God would be favorable to their requests and praise if they offered evening and morning when incense was offered by the priests.

 

In ancient times it was a fatal mistake to presume to enter into the presence of any king without bathing or in common clothes and God did not allow Israel to treat His temple with contempt. When the four living creatures and the 24 elders [who are priests] fell down and worshiped the Lamb, as priests they presented their praise and their prayers with the incense to insure that nothing would dim their praise of the Lamb.]

 

Revelation 5:9   And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

 

Revelation 5:10   You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:11   Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.

 

[This is no ordinary worship service. Billions of angels have been assembled around the Father. The Holy Spirit is present. The Lamb is present. And, a book with seven seals is at the center of attention.]

 

Revelation 5:12   In a loud voice they sung: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,

 

1.   to receive power [that he didn’t previously have]

2.   and wealth…  [that he previously didn’t have]

3.   and wisdom…[that he previously didn’t have]

4.   and strength…[that he previously didn’t have]

5.   and honor… [that he previously didn’t have]

6.   and glory…. [that he previously didn’t have]

7.   and praise!…[that he previously didn’t have]

 

Revelation 5:13   Then I heard every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

 

[John describes great rejoicing!!! However, no one on Earth knew about this event at the time it took place, so how could John say, “every creature in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth and the Sea was singing! I’ll respond to this question in a minute…]   

 

John 5:14   The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” 

 

1.   What is this event about?

2.   What qualifications are necessary to receive the book?

3.   When did this event occur?

 

Introduction

Long ago, before any angels or human beings existed, there were three co-eternal Gods.

 

They had the same powers, abilities and prerogatives. Today, we call them by many names and various titles, but I would like for you to think of them as one family having the last name “God.”

 

Father God,

Son God,

Holy Spirit God.

 

Three equal Gods, separate Gods, co-eternal beings. They are sometimes called: The Trinity or the Godhead.

Because of their great love for each other, these three Gods relinquished certain powers and prerogatives to each other so that they could have a very large family. Their perfect union is called “one God” because they are one in purpose, plan and action.

 

Deuteronomy 6:4   Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God (‘elohiym = Gods). The Lord is one. 

 

(Hebrew: a compound “one” – one union involving others)

 

Genesis 3:32   And the Lord (‘elohiym) said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and also take from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

 

Out of love for one each other, three Gods voluntarily surrendered their lives to each other in a manner that is similar to human marriage.

 

Genesis 1:27   So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 

Genesis 2:24   …a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

 

Two people = one flesh? How is this possible? Hebrew: They are a compound one as in one group.

 

After some discussion among themselves, it was agreed that one God would take the highly exalted but lonely job of sitting on the throne and serving the universe as Ruler over Everything.

 

It was also agreed that one God would serve as the Creator of life and that He had to live among His creation as one of them. In other words, the Creator had to see and experience life from the perspective of His creation!

 

It was also agreed that one God would become invisible and live within the hearts and minds of everyone the Creator created. The end result of their marriage and submission to each other is that throughout the universe:

 

1.   God rules over everything

2.   God walks beside us

3.   God lives within us

 

Because these three Gods are infinite, and their creatures is finite and mortal, their union is a wonderful but painful solution…  Consider for a moment what they had to give up to start a family!

 

We have a lonely Commander in Chief that sits on a brilliant and glorious throne….  His majesty, brilliance, glory and power is so great, that no one can see Him!

 

John 6:46   “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.”

 

1 Timothy 6:15:   “…God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

 

1 Timothy 6:16   who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”

 

Because the Father is so majestic and glorious, the family needs a God living among them so that we can understand the character and love of God from our limited perspective.

 

Hebrews 4:15   Fore we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are---yet was without sin.

 

Hebrews 4:16   Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

And, every being in the universe is permitted to have immediate and continual communication with God through the Holy Spirit. God’s universe is huge, and he doesn’t want to be far away from His children. So, we have instant and continual communication with the Father through the work of the Holy Spirit!

 

Romans 8:26   In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

 

Romans 8:27   And he searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

 

Here’s the point: In order for these three loving Gods to have a family, they first had to relinquish their great and equal powers to each other – and the good news is that they joyfully did this!

 

For example, the Gods we call the Father and the Son relinquished their right to be omnipresent to the God we call the Holy Spirit.  Of course, giving up this prerogative came with a price. The Father and the Son would not be able to be every place at the same time and the Holy Spirit would not be able to be visible.

 

All three members gave up very important prerogatives for the purpose of creating a family, but they joyfully yielded to each other because of their love for each other and for the family they could create.

 

Here’s another example of giving up their rights:

 

The Holy Spirit and the Father gave up the prerogative of creating. This right was given to the God that we call Jesus today. Jesus is the Creator of the universe, but the downside for Jesus is that He does not own anything that He creates! It all belongs to the Father!

 

Hebrews 1:1   In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.

 

Hebrews 1:2   but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

 

John 17:4   I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

 

John 17:5   And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world begun.

 

John 17:6   “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

 

John 17:7  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.”

 

Now that you have heard a little about the surrender and marriage of three Gods, and of their love for each other and their willingness to give up certain prerogatives to have a family, consider the following:

 

Revelation 4-6 contains a story about a book that was written by the Father before any life was created. This all-important-book was sealed with seven seals so that no one could discover what the Father foreknew. Jesus does not know what is in the book. The Holy Spirit does not what is in the book.

 

Their “right to know” was relinquished to the Father. The secrecy surrounding the contents of this book is affirmed by John’s comment and of course, the presence of seven seals! John wrote, “But no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.” Revelation 5:3

 

Yes, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit foreknew that sin would occur before life was created. But, the responsibility and authority for resolving the sin problem was given over to the Father by the other two Gods.

 

So, to resolve the sin problems that sin would eventually create, the Father wrote a complete history of the universe before history began! This book is appropriately called, “The Book of Life.”

 

At the end of sin’s duration (at the end of the 1,000 years), the seventh seal will be broken and this book will then be opened and the contents presented to the universe and numerous doubts and questions about the character, integrity and the government of God will be full answered and disclosed.

 

This book will eliminate every doubt about the character of God and His government when the proper time comes. Now you can see why faith in God is so important…. God asks us to hang on to our confidence in His ability to resolve the sin problem and one day you will see and understand why the Father has done things the way that He has.

 

Remember this: Faith, when seen in reverse, always makes sense.

 

When the Father wrote the book, He sealed it and put it in Heaven’s vault. Because he has perfect foreknowledge, He ordained that when it came time to break open the seven seals, they would be broken open in a way that the whole universe would be educated about the only being in the universe who was worthy to exonerate the government of God of all false claims and at the same time, redeem every submissive sinner.

 

In other words, the breaking open of each seal moves the universe toward a revelation of the true identity of Jesus. Very few people on Earth know at the present time that Jesus has all the rights and prerogatives that the Father has! Very few people understand that Jesus is just as much God as is the Father! And, the angles did not fully understand this truth until Jesus was found worthy to receive this book!

 

(Remember, prior to His birth on Earth, Jesus lived among the angels as Michael, the archangel. He lived as one of them.) See chapters 1 through 3 of Larry Wilson’s book, “Jesus: The Alpha and The Omega.”

 

When Jesus was found worthy to receive the book sealed with seven seals, the angels and 24 elders were stunned to see the Father step aside from the management of the universe and give Jesus complete authority and the responsibility of resolving the sin problem.

 

This exaltation of Jesus explains why the last book of the Bible is called “The revelation of Jesus Christ!”

 

As each seal is broken on the book, we move closer toward that day when the contents of the book will be revealed and we move closer to the grand and awesome event when a full disclosure of Jesus occurs!

 

From the very beginning, Jesus had every right, every power, every gift, everything that God the Father has, but Jesus relinquished these powers to the Father so that the Father might be exalted!

The point here is that the Father determined before sin that a day would come when all that Jesus relinquished could be returned to Him. The Father determined that if Jesus was successful in executing the plan of salvation, then Jesus should be fully disclosed before the universe as Almighty God. 

 

So, when Jesus was found worthy to receive the book sealed with seven seals, the Father restored to Jesus everything that Jesus had previously given up.

 

At this present time, Jesus rules from the throne of God as Sovereign God. At each of the seven seals is broken, this revelation of Jesus Christ on Earth becomes greater and grander! Jumping ahead for a moment, notice what Jesus does at the end of sin’s drama….

 

1 Corinthians 15:24   Then the end will come, when he [Jesus] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he [Jesus] has destroyed all [earthy] dominion, authority and power.

 

1 Corinthians 15:25   For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

 

1 Corinthians 15:26   The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

 

1 Corinthians 15:27   For he [the Father] “has put everything under his [Jesus] feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God [the Father] himself, who put everything under Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 15:28   When he has done this, then the Son Himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”

 

Notice this:

 

At the end of sin’s drama, Jesus once again relinquishes His divine powers to the Father so that Jesus might live among His creation. What humble Gods. Is there any other God like Jesus? Is there a more generous God than the Father? Jesus said, John 14:9,

 

“…Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…. [For I am just like Him!]

 

Philippians 2:6   [Jesus] Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

 

Philippians 2:7   but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

 

Back to the book sealed with seven seals: The breaking of each seal marks the beginning of a campaign to reveal more about the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. The next seal to open [the fourth seal] will contain an awesome display of authority and power.

 

At the present time most of the world either rejects, hates or of ignorant of the divinity of Jesus Christ, but this will change!

 

Timing:

 

Daniel saw the same scene described by John in Revelation 5, but he saw it from a little different angle.

 

Daniel 7:9   “As I looked, “thrones [actually 25] were set in place, and the Ancient of Days [the Father] took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels [circles of angels around Him] were also ablaze.

 

Daniel 7:10   A river of fire flowing [a procession of angels], coming out before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

 

Daniel 7:13   “in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

 

Daniel 7:14   He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.

 

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

 

We can easily date the scene in Daniel 7 as 1798. I covered this topic at length in my presentations on Daniel 7. In a nutshell, the Father called a great convention in Heaven in 1798 and all the angels are in attendance.

 

This convention begins with the Father taking His seat and after the court is seated, Jesus is found worthy to receive Earth as His personal kingdom. The Father has promised to give Earth to Jesus if He was found successful in redeeming mankind.

 

Psalms 2:7   I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said unto me, “You are my Son: today I have become your Father.

 

Psalms 2:8   Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”

 

(Don’t forget John 17…)

 

We know the year this convention began in Heaven is 1798 because the little horn power of Daniel 7 is wounded that year. In other words, God linked an event on Earth with an event in Heaven that we can’t see so that we could determine a date for the event in Heaven. 

 

John and Daniel saw Jesus found worthy to receive (a) a kingdom and (b) the throne of God and the book sealed with seven seals. This convention is the same event, so the timing of Daniel 7 and Revelation 4 & 5 is 1798.

 

I would like to present three reasons why John and Daniel saw the same event and the date is 1798:

 

1.   In Old Testament times, the High Priest was found worthy to cleanse the temple only on the Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9:24-26)

 

2.   The four rules of interpretation that I use produce a chronological matrix. This prophetic matrix aligns Revelation 4 & 5 with Daniel 7, this matrix aligns the opening of the third seal with 1844, and the prophetic matrix aligns the opening of the fourth seal with the casting down of the censer in Revelation 8:5. The point here is perfect harmony from the sum of all the parts. The first four seals properly align with a 1798 starting point.

 

3.   Most important, the exaltation of Jesus in Daniel 7 (given sovereign power) and the exaltation of Jesus in Revelation 5 (given sovereign power) are necessary and essential for the final work that Jesus, our High Priest, began in 1798. In other words, Jesus was found worthy to take over the assets of the Father for the purpose of concluding the sin problem. No one else in the whole universe is worthy to do this.

 

This explains a mystery. John wept and wept. Here’s why: If no one was worthy to open the book with seven seals, then the sin problem could not be resolved. If the sin problem could not be resolved, God’s kingdom would eventually fall into the hands of sinners. Think about this: God’s ability to resolve the problem of sin determines how eternity will play out.

 

Thoughts on the origin of sin:

 

Sin started when Lucifer, the brightest and highest of God’s created beings, exercised his God given right to rebel against his Maker. Lucifer and the angels (like Adam and Eve) were created with a pure heart, having a propensity for righteousness.

 

There was no taint of selfishness or rebellion in them. At some point in time, Lucifer chose, of his own free will, to rebel against Michael’s authority because Lucifer thought Michael was much like himself. This is how Lucifer became anti-Christ. Lucifer’s actions created a chain of problems, which ultimately introduced rebellion to the universe.

 

During a lengthy period of grace, God tried to get Lucifer to repent, but he refused. When Lucifer and his followers became hopelessly defiant, God cast them out of His house.

 

God did not destroy them because He knew His largest problem was not the presence of sin in His universe. From the beginning, God’s greatest problem is preventing sin and rebellion from rising a second time.

 

Think about this. If you were God, how would you prevent sin from occurring again among children that you gave the right to rebel? Because our “heavenly Father knows best,” He allowed Lucifer and his followers to live for a while so that angels and humans alike could understand the nature and properties of sin as it matured.

 

Because is omniscient and omnipotent and His character is love, He has devised an elegant process that, in the end, will constantly thwart the rise of sin throughout the endless ages of eternity.

 

In simple terms, the process works like this: At the end of sin’s drama, God will repopulate Heaven with redeemed people who once had sinful natures, but chose to submit to His authority. The angels who chose to rebel against God with Lucifer will be replaced by ex-sinners who overcame their rebellion and sin.

 

By doing this, God will have a host of seasoned witnesses elevated to the stature of “kings and priests” who will be able to resolve any issues that might lead to rebellion in the future! (Revelation 1:6) How ingenious! The victories of ex-sinners will forever keep the universe free of sin!

 

God knows that the price for sin has been too great to ever have it rise again. The Bible says that God is love. (1 John 4:8) Because He is a loving God, He gave each of His children the most precious gift that a Creator could offer a created being the power of choice.

 

If we so chose, we can rebel against our Creator. Of course, all choices have consequences, and rebellion against God’s laws and authority are not exempt; thy too have serious consequences. In the beginning, only God and the knowledge of good and evil. This means the angels did not understand the consequences – the harvest of sin.

 

However, when the drama with sin is completed, the knowledge of good and evil will exist as an eternal verity (a highly exalted truth that will never fade) because everyone in God’s universe will clearly understand four matters:

 

1.  God’s laws are designed for the benefit of His children. Because God knows the end from the beginning and He knows what laws are essential for eternal happiness, His laws are unchanging and non-negotiable.  God Himself is subject to His own changeless laws, even to the point of death. 

 

2.   There is no selfishness or self-seeking in God’s heart. The Father was willing to annihilate Jesus for our sins and Jesus was willing to cease to exist, if necessary, so that we could have eternal life.

 

3.   The self-centered behavior of the sinful nature is not only self-destructive it is corporately destructive. Rebellion exposes every innocent child of God to injury and loss.

 

4.   Because God will not impose His will on His children, the only way there can be happy and harmonious universe after rebellion occurs is through a justifiable annihilation of those that insist on rebellion.

 

Because these four matters will be widely understood and highly exalted at the end of sin’s drama, God will not be able to spare future rebels from immediate execution if sin rises again.

 

Keep in mind that God did not destroy Lucifer and his followers, or Adam and Eve, at the time of their rebellion, because the knowledge of good and evil had not yet unfolded in the universe.    

 

However, after the four points listed above are widely known and proven to be true 9at the end of sin’s drama), God will not tolerate rebellion against “the righteous order” necessary for the happiness and benefit of His children.

 

(Have you noticed in Genesis 2:17, that Adam and Eve were to be destroyed the very same day they sinned? God granted a stay of execution because Jesus offered to die in their place. Jesus was willing to die for Adam and Even because the guilty pair did not sin defiantly.)

 

This is a key point: God does not destroy sinners because he is offended. Rather, God destroys those who insist on rebellion because rebellion hurts everyone. Annihilation is the only way to terminate sinners and the horrible consequences of sin.

 

When the universe clearly understands the consequences of good and evil choices, sin’s victims will prevent a second rise of sin forever. (Nahum 1:9; Matthew 12:31,32)

 

So, at the current time, God is resolving two problems. He is resolving the existing problem with sin, and He is resolving the problem of sin in such a way that all His children will refuse to participate in sin again!

 

How wonderful! When the current drama with sin ends, it will become obvious that only an omniscient God of love and wisdom could so masterfully resolve both problems.

 

Foreknowledge at Work

 

The subject of God’s foreknowledge can be hard to understand because God’s behavior is not like our behavior. (Isaiah 55:8,9) God’s love is pure. This means that He has no selfishness in Him.

 

God does not manipulate His creatures on the basis of His foreknowledge.

 

He has given us the power of choice and He always treats us on the basis of love even though we do not make choices that are contrary to His will. Fallen human beings have selfish hearts. If we had the gift of foreknowledge, we would use this incredible power for selfish purposes. 

 

We would manipulate circumstances and people to our satisfaction and we would manipulate the outcome of life itself to protect ourselves and enhance our assets. In other words, if the gift of foreknowledge were mixed with human selfishness, the result would be extraordinary manipulation of those around us. Consider the following illustration:

 

Let us assume that a recently married husband and wife have foreknowledge. Let us assume they intend to have a family of nine children. Since they have foreknowledge, they foreknew that their firstborn child will be a son that they will call “Louis,” and they know he will be born on August 10, 2004.

 

Fifty years later, on Louis’s birthday, August 10, 2054, they know that Louis will start a heated argument and he will attempt to kill both parents that evening.

 

Prior to his fiftieth birthday, this husband and wife know that Louis will attempt to steal their assets to support his reckless and indulgent lifestyle and his addiction to drugs. Because they have foreknowledge, the parents know that Louis will use lies to alienate the other siblings from them.

 

To keep his true motives from being detected, Louis will try to convince his brothers and sisters that his parents are evil.

 

Furthermore, he will claim they owe him money and are unwilling to meet their obligation

 

The parents foreknew that two of their children will sympathize with Louis and take sides with him. Even though they know these terrible events will unfold, they also know that during his first forty years of life, Louis will be a wonderful, lovable son.

 

In fact, of all the nine children, Louis will be their favorite. Since these parents know the situation will be on Louis’s birthday in 2054, what should they do right now to protect themselves and their other offspring from Louis?

 

A.   Have no children.

B.     Have eight children, do not give birth to Louis

C.   Abandon Louis immediately after he is born.

D.   Kill Louis before he turns forty.

E.   Kill Louis when he starts taking drugs.

F.   Kill Louis when he begins to tell lies to limit his influence on the other children.

G.   Write out the contents of what you know is going to happen (foreknowledge) and seal it up before any child is born so that at the right time, your children and grandchildren can examine the whole story and determine the truth about Louis as well as his parents.

 

These seven options may sound ridiculous, but they have a serious parallel.

 

God is all knowing and He foreknows everything in the past, present and future. Of course, some of these options were not viable options for a loving God, but they illustrate a range of considerations that God faced before creating life.

 

God foreknew about Lucifer, the first and highest of his created beings, would eventually choose to become His enemy. God foreknew the damage that Lucifer and his followers would create in His house. God also foreknew that Adam and Even would sin and that Earth would be filled with billions or rebellious people. (Isaiah 44:8; 46:10,11; Jeremiah 17:10;)

 

Given His heart of perfect love and foreknowledge, God looked at all the options and He chose the equivalent of option “G.” He wrote down a complete history of life before life began so that He could prove several things:

 

1.   God will not use His foreknowledge to manipulate His children.

 

2.   God allows His children to exercise their power of choice.

 

3.   God loves His children so much that He is will to cease to exist so that they might have His eternal life.

 

4.   God uses His omnipotence and omniscience for the sole purpose of sustaining the rule of love throughout eternity. God does not use His awesome powers to maintain His position on the throne.

 

End Text:

 

 

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