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The Seven Seals

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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.

 

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