[Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and chief priests have delivered thee unto me. What hast thou done? Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from here. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king, then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end I was born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.]
Strange indeed for the judgment of man, for who knows within himself that his judgment be true?
Scripture tells us that Pilate was convicted of the truth in Christ, but failing to heed thereto, he lost his soul, causing the blood of the innocent to be shed. How many of us since the dawning of time have committed such things? Who was this Jesus? Who was this Saviour that nearly a whole religious nation rejected?
Matthew told us. Mark, Luke and John all recorded their side of the story of which remains unto this day, read and judged of all. Likewise, the Acts, the Book of Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, and such books open for our learning this most unique mystery of judgment and justice undone. But for all the records the most awe inspiring remains to be the most misunderstood, that being the Revelation of Jesus Christ written by the Apostle John to the churches of Asia and left on record that all who follow may ask the question:
"Who is this Christ and what remains to be the mystery of Him?"
In my work to unfold this mystery to you I will not use great techniques of scholarly display nor in-depth reasonings of philosophy, no sophisticated, congenial language shall be used, just simple talk and reason.
First of all, the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass are to be seen just as that: a revelation of Jesus to reveal to men His wishes and His desires for those who make up His church. For the kingdom of God being that of heaven, and not of this world, is to be revealed unto this world by the means He has chosen--the foolishness of preaching. John the Apostle while on the Isle of Patmos received the Lord's messenger and in obedience placed in written form all that he saw and all that he heard pertaining to the mysteries of Christ. And in good faith the Apostle stated, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3).
Likewise John was commanded of the angel, "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" (Revelation 1:19). Simply, John's record contains the past, present, and future events that revolve around the Revelation of Jesus Christ. John in faithfulness sent his writings to the seven churches in Asia and the will of Christ for these churches is plainly revealed from chapter 2 to chapter 4 of Revelation. Therefore on record, all may read and see how Christ has dealt with His churches of old.
Our subject of interest will be taken up from chapters 4-22, for these passages entail the events that are to be after John's time. For it is written (Revelation 4: entire chapter):
[After this I looked and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was, as it were, of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 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 an emerald. 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. 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. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes in front and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face like a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 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, who was and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever and cast their crowns before the throne saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.]
John states that "that which must be hereafter" --sometime after his day there will be a God who sits on His throne. There will be a jury of twenty-four elders. God will be declared as "worthy" to receive glory and honor and power" because unto Him and for Him all things were created.
John continues to say (Revelation 5: entire chapter):
[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. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose its seals? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look on it. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and read the book, neither to look on it. 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 its seven seals. 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 though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 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 the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open its seals; for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth. 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, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature that 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 honor, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped him that liveth forever and ever.]
Very clearly John tells us of a judgment in which only one question is asked, "Who is worthy" to open or to reveal a book found in the right hand of God clearly sealed with seven seals. John states, "No man in heaven nor in earth, neither under the earth was able to open the book neither to look thereon." Then John is pointed to the hope of all men: the Lamb that was slain. Here is a revelation of Christ as our High Priest in heaven. Here His work is revealed: the opening of the mysteries of God. These mysteries of which reveal Christ and His sufficiency to save all those whose prayers are directed to God through Him. Likewise Paul the Apostle has stated:
[So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw near unto God...But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore, he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified... For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins...of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest....See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.] Hebrews 5:5, 7:19, 24-25; 8:6; 9:24; 10:12-14, 26, 29; 12:18, 25.
Clearly then, John is showing us of that very event of which Paul the Apostle so clearly writes. Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant and the New Covenant is contained in the seven seals. If we the church have been so long awaiting that which must be hereafter, why is it that so many of us in Christendom have not even heard of the seven seals?
Why is this Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him such a mystery? The Apostle Peter gives us a clue when he said (I Peter 1:3, 5):
[Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.]
Truly Christ is our only Saviour, our only Mediator between man and God. Likewise, it is true the opening of the seven seals by Christ is as much or more so important for our salvation as any other former gospels. If this salvation is "ready to be revealed in the last time," as Peter says, then we should hear another statement from the Apostle Peter (I Peter 1:13):
[Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ]
So the question remains--What are the seven seals? And the answer remains--a Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. If these things were to have shortly come to pass then surely they must have already been fulfilled, and if so , does that mean we are His servants if we know these things not? Or could it be that the things which must be hereafter pertaining to God's throne, the judgment, the book, and the Lamb receiving that book are events directed primarily to the last times or the last days? If that's the case are we in the last days? If so then it must be time for God's servants to know these things (Psalms 90:12-17; 91:1-4; 11:3, 4). The servant of God will find as we continue in our searching of the scriptures that every book of the Bible meets and ends in the book of Revelation. Gems of most sacred truth are to be uncovered, golden promises never before seen are to be brought to view, for when has grace ever been needed more than now in the time of which we live?
THE FIRST SEAL
Although we, the servants of God, do not live in Asia, we are nonetheless to be beneficiaries of their counsels; and they likewise, not being alive today are no doubt to be a part of the grace which we are to receive.
Revelation 6:1-2. Here in our Heavenly Zion we see the Lamb loose the first seal. This preview of God's revelation of His Son is to be of our utmost interest, for not only will it more clearly reveal the nature of Christ, but it will likewise unfold more clearly the Divine nature of God who is the Author of this revelation. Now let's turn to Psalms 45
Verse 1: "My (God's) heart is inditing a good matter: I (God) speak of the things which I (the Creator of all things) have made touching the King (Christ), my (God's) tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Here we see God not only creates all things by His Word but in His wisdom, He has chosen some things to be written that by the power of His word He may bring to pass in His own time. Here, we see God by His written Word foretelling his determined purpose for His Son, Christ.
Verse 2: "Thou art fairer than the children of men, grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God hath blessed thee forever, Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things." Clearly in Revelation Christ is fairer than the fairest. Those who receive the seals receive the grace found therein. Christ is capable of destroying his enemies for His majesty truly is great in Heaven, for it is witnessed that all angels bow before him. What is it that Christ shall ride but the white horse because the book given to Him is the truth and He shall ride prosperously.
Verse 5: "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies whereby the people fall under thee." Here we see the meaning of the bow of which the first seal speaks. Let us pray that none of us refuse "Him that speaks from Heaven" and the Spirit of Truth that is now speaking from heaven for it is likewise written in verse 6:
"Thy throne O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God (Christ), thy God (Father), hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. King’s daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir, Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, thy father's house; so shall the King (Christ) greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him."
How can any man deny that the first seal is a preview into the event spoken of by the 45th Psalm? How important is this insight? How important is it to God, or to Christ, or to the church? While on earth Christ spoke many parables regarding His kingdom and his bride. Let's hear one and see if we cannot more clearly understand the importance of these things. Matthew 22:1-14:
[And Jesus answered and spoke unto them again by parables, and said, The Kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son, and sent forth servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; and they would not come. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them who are bidden, Behold I have prepared thy dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready, come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise; and the remnant took his servants and treated them shamefully, and slew them. But when the king heard of it, he was angry; and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they who were bidden were not worthy. Go, therefore, into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all, as many as they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. And he saith to him, Friend how camest thou in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.]
Notice that in this parable of Matthew, Christ clearly teaches that those with indifferent attitudes who would not come to the Marriage Supper were to be slain. Their disinterest offended the King who we know is God. So, likewise, today if we disregard the truth of the first seal we really disregard Christ, who opened it and in so doing we disregard God who gave it. This indifference most surely will place one's salvation in jeopardy.
[Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner; this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?]
In this passage we see Christ pointing his hearers to the Rock (His God). We know in Revelation 4 God is pictured as one who appears to be as jasper and sardine stone. This one is the same stone to which Christ referred to. So again we are reminded that what the Father gives to Christ is a revelation of Jesus Christ that God gives to Him to show unto his servants.
Was it really David who wrote the Psalms or was it God who spoke through David? Was it really the prophets who wrote their books or was it God who spoke through the prophets? If it was God, we must conclude God claims the book as His and we should more earnestly take it as God's Word.
We find now in Revelation 19 a verification of the events we have just read. Revelation 19:1-13.
"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God; For true and righteous are his judgment; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand." And again they said, "Alleluia!" And her smoke rose up for ever and ever! And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" And a voice came out of the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him both small and great!" And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying "Alleluia! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white for the fine linen is the righteousnes of the saints." And he said unto me, "Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he saith unto me, "Thus are the true saying of God!" And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, "See thou do it not! I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren, that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns, and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood and his name is called The Word of God."
Notice how in verse 9 it says, "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb!" And he said unto me, "These are the true saying of God!" Being the true saying of God, the first seal of Revelation 6:1-2 must be true according to the saying of God in Psalms 45. And how can we be blessed if we know nothing about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb nor what it entails?
[Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.]
Are we starting to see the King a little more clearly? And how about that heavenly land very far off?
[Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples.]
Has not David truly witnessed on behalf of God by God's own power this beautiful marriage of which all are called to receive the knowledge of?
[For I, the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed whom the LORD hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.]
We should surely at this moment realize the importance of learning more thoroughly the meaning of Christ according to the seals lest we be found without "the wedding garment" of God's judgment, for if we receive this enlightenment, this grace which comes from heaven, we shall be partakers of the marriage of the Lamb for we are the guests who will "Hearken and consider."
Jeremiah 23:5, 6, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20:
[Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name, whereby he shall be called, THE LORD IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but the LORD liveth, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries to which I had driven them, and they shall dwell in their own land....For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? Who hath marked his word, and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: It shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart; in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.]
This beautiful prophecy, the Desire of Ages, entails of Christ the Lord our Righteousness and also warns us of the latter days should we be found not standing in the counsel of the Lord. If we, the church of God, stand in the counsel of Christ, especially in the light of the seven seals, shall we not be a part of that beautiful bride spoken of in Jeremiah 33?
[Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name of which she shall be called, THE LORD, OUR RIGHEOUSNESS.]
She, the city, she, the saints, those who are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and His Word, for it is also promised in verse 17, "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel." For Christ remains a King "forever." (Psalms 45:6)
Ezekiel 37:24-25 Daniel 12:1:
[And David, my servant, shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd; they shall also walk in mine judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob, my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell in it, even they, and their children, and their children's children forever; and my servant, David shall be their prince forever.]
[And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.]
If we are to be found written in the book, surely we should be found in the first seal for there Christ is revealed, shall not we also be revealed as one who "hearkens and considers" for is not He "our Lord" and shall not we "worship" him "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).
In Hosea 2:14 we read, "Therefore, behold I will allure her [and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her]" The Christian Church being scattered from Jerusalem went throughout all nations. Being amongst the Gentiles, the gospel was to impart unto the Gentiles the riches of God's mercy.
Verse 15: "And I will [give her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of] Egypt." Here it is promised that once the unfaithful ones as Achan are taken from amongst God's people we will definitely have a deliverance and all the prophets agree.
Verse 16: [And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi, and shalt call me no more Baali.] If we are to call God by such an endearing term, we are to know Him a little better and what better [way] to know him than in the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Verse 17: [For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.] All false teachers and false prophets are to be forgotten for there is one God, and one Lamb, and one seven seal truth.
Verse 18: [And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the ground; and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and I will make them to lie down safely.] Just as Isaiah 11 has promised, so Hosea also promises, peace for those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Verse 19 and 20: [And I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the LORD.] So again, here we see the importance of this opportunity of learning these seven seals and the complete entailment of what that includes.
Verse 21: [And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth.] Are we not a part of this event by faith? Is not heaven in total unity to the receiving of these seals from God? Is not God's word supreme in heaven? And it being the Word which reveals Christ now is the time like never before to pray that we may be worthy to understand these things more clearly.
Verse 22 and 23: [And the earth shall hear the corn and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them who were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.] We will not go at this point into the in depth meaning of the book of Hosea in every particular for our primary subject at this point is the first seal and the Marriage is that subject. This should inspire us to look into the meaning of Hosea 3:5
"Afterward [shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD, their God, and David, their king, and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.]
Joel 2:15, 16: [Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assembly the elders, gather the children, and those that nurse at the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.] Yes, the bride is definitely to be revealed for we know that Christ is in the Heavenly Sanctuary anticipating His Marriage of which God has spoken. Should we not eagerly ourselves be ready to accept this truth and come out of our closet and be revealed to the world as those who love Christ in truth and in righteousness.
Amos 9:11,14,15: [In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches of it; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old... And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD, thy God.]
Obadiah 21: [And saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.]