Note: In order to gain a full understanding of this study, I urge you to read the previous lesson first.
In Revelation chapters 4 through 8:1 John writes of seven seals that Jesus loosens. Just as John saw Jesus standing amidst the “seven cahndlesticks” when writing about the seven churches, here John is invited into the very throne room:
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will 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 unto 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 unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. ” (Revelation 4:1-11)
In our previous studies on the sanctuary we learned that John, in vision, has been taken into the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. He sees the seven branched Menorah (candlestick) represented by the “seven lamps of fire”, as well as the Table of Showbread represented by the throne. It is here upon this throne that God, the Father is holding a scroll that is sealed with seven seals. No one is worthy to open the seals except Jesus, who is symbolically represented by “a Lamb as it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6). We have previously seen that Jesus is represented in Scripture as being a lamb who was led to the slaughter (see Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19). Since John sees the Lamb has been “slain”, he is being given a prophetic picture of what Jesus is doing after He was “slain” upon the cross. He is witnessing Jesus’ priestly work inside “the temple of God” (His people, 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19), represented by the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary.
John says he saw four beasts around the throne. These are not “beasts” as in other parts of Bible prophecy which represent kingdoms, but more accurately “creatures.” John describes the first creature “like a lion”, the second creature “like a calf”, the third creature “had a face of a man”, and the fourth creature “like a flying eagle.” This would have drawn John’s attention to the ancient sanctuary where surrounding the tent were the camps of the 12 tribes of Israel.
- On the Eastern side of the sanctuary were the camps of Issachar and Zebulon, with Judah as “the standard” (Numbers 2:1-9). The flag of Judah was a lion.
- On the southern side of the sanctuary were the camps of Simeon and Gad, with Reuben as “the standard” (Numbers 2:10-16). The flag of Reuben was a face of a man.
- On the western side of the sanctuary were the camps of Manasseh and Benjamin, with Ephraim as “the standard” (Numbers 2:18-24). The flag of Ephraim was a calf.
- On the northern side of the sanctuary were the camps of Asher and Naphtali, with the tribe of Dan as “the standard” (Numbers 2:25-31). The tribal flag of Dan was an eagle.
The seven seals represent seven different eras of history just as we saw the seven churches do in our previous study. (See our study: Who Are the Seven Churches?) In fact, they cover the same eras as the seven churches, only in a different view.
The First Four Seals
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals … And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal … there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal … I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand … And when he had opened the fourth seal … I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:1-8)
The first four seals that Jesus loosens reveal the famous four horsemen. The first seal reveals a “white horse” and “he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to” (Revelation 6:1,2). As we briefly study these seven seals you will learn that they are not so scary as they seem; for the first horseman is non-other than Jesus Himself.
In Revelation chapter 19 Jesus is described as riding a “white horse” (verse 11). Even heaven’s army is also seen riding on “white horses” (verse 14). What some of you might not know is that horses have a symbolic meaning in prophecy. By reading Zechariah 10:3, Joel 2:1-4, and Song of Solomon 1:9 (to name a few) we clearly see that horses represent people. Since Jesus is riding this white horse, we can conclude that the white horse represents His people or church. Therefore, the first seal is describing the period of when the early Christian church was in its “white” stage (white meaning pure or clean) and when the gospel of Christ spread throughout the land. Thus, this first seal represents the same period as does the first church (Ephesus). It represents the “Era of Apostles” (31 A.D. - 100 A.D.).
With that understanding, we can be assured that the second seal represents the same period represented by the church of Smyrna. The church of Smyrna represented a time of persecution, and this is represented by the second horse that is red, a color of sacrifice (Revelation 6:3, 4). Thus, this horse would represent the period known as the “Era of Persecution” (100 A.D. - 313 A.D.).
The third seal reveals a “black horse” (Revelation 6:5, 6). The rider of the horse is carrying “a pair of balances in his hand” (verse 5). This is describing the period of when tradition was being weighed as an equal to the Bible. The color black would thus represent falsehood or a falling away from Bible truths. We have learned that Paul speaks of this “falling away” when he wrote that a “falling away” from Bible truths and the rise of the “man of sin” (Antichrist) would happen before the Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). He warns that this ruler would “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (verse 4).
Just after the time of persecution, a flood of false doctrines and pagan traditions entered the church and were mixed in with truth. Thus a “falling away” began as foretold in Scripture. This black horse represents the same period represented by the church of Pergamos. It was an “Era of Compromise” when tradition and the Bible were weighed as equal. (313 A.D. - 538 A.D.)
The fourth seal reveals a pale horse (Revelation 6:7, 8). This is describing the same period as represented by the church of Thyatira when the leaders of the Roman church began to fully exalt themselves and made laws that all churches should obey their dogma. Anyone who willfully rejected their authority was put to death. This period roughly lasted from 538 A.D., when the pope was given full authority, and spans to about 1517 A.D. when the Protestant Reformation was at hand.
The Fifth Seal
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation 6:9-11)
The fifth seal reveals an altar and “under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” The word translated as “soul” most often means “life.” These are not spirits or ghosts that have been separated from the body by death. This is symbolic language of those who had been persecuted and killed by the papal power during the period of the pale horse (fourth seal).
These souls, or persecuted people of God are found “under the altar” (verse 9). This terminology refers us to the altar of burnt offerings where the lambs were offered. Some of the blood from the lamb was poured out at the foot of the altar, thus a clear connection to these persecuted saints who are found “under the altar” or at the foot of the altar as “they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
These souls under the altar cry, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Verse 10). Notice these people are looking forward to a time of judgment and appear to be crying out to God for vengeance. This same concept is found in the book of Genesis where God says that Abel’s blood cried out to Him from the ground:
“And He (God) said, What hast thou (Cain) done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” (Genesis 4:10-12)
Take note how the cry of Abel’s blood affected the earth itself, “When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength.” God could feel the negative vibrations and groanings coming from the earth as it absorbed the blood of Abel. Paul wrote: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22). And Isaiah wrote:
“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:4, 5)
The earth, filled with violence and bloodshed, is crying out to her Creator to set things right. We also read that the vibrations that were coming from the transgressions of Sodom and Gomorrah turned into a great cry:
“And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20, 21)
Through the drastically changed vibrations of the earth under those cities, God could feel that something very disturbing was taking place and that those people were about to bring upon themselves their end through their lawlessness, without even suspecting it. The resonance of that cry violently hurt (grieved) our Father’s heart.
The cry for vengeance from the souls under the altar is a cry for God to execute His way of judgment and vengeance which is not the way of fallen man; “for man's anger does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). The Remedy Bible paraphrases it this way: “Almighty Lord who always does what is right, how long until your diagnosis of the inhabitants of earth is made known and you set right the wrong done to us?” The answer is, not until we have been cleansed from the false idea of what God's vengeance truly is.
God’s vengeance is not lashing out with violent force towards the sinner. God’s vengeance is always doing good towards the sinner to draw him/her unto Himself. On one Sabbath Jesus stood up to read from Isaiah chapter 61 which is all about His ministry and the day of vengeance:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Do you find it strange that “the day of vengeance” is surrounded by all these good and kind actions? God’s vengeance is:
- To preach good tidings unto the meek.
- To bind up (heal) the brokenhearted.
- To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound in sin.
- To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD (the Jubilee).
- To comfort all that mourn.
- to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
God’s vengeance is all about healing souls and rescuing us from the enemy’s grasp. Paul also gives us the proper description of God’s vengeance, and if we will permit Him to live in and through us, we will do the same:
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21)
Therefore, we should not believe that these are literal ghosts or spirits under the altar that are conscious of the events being played out on earth who are screaming for vengeance. They simply represent those who had been slain under the preceding seal, who are asleep in Jesus awaiting their resurrection.
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalm 146:3, 4)
“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun (until their resurrection).” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6)
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
With that said, we can confirm that the fifth seal points to the beginning of the period of the Protestant Reformation and is a parallel to the fifth church - Sardis (1517 -1755 A.D.).
The Sixth Seal
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)
The sixth seal reveals cosmic disturbances on the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, giving evidence that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain” under the weight of sin (see again, Romans 8:22). The order in which John lists the disturbances is very important. He says:
- “lo, there was a great earthquake” (verse 12).
- “the sun became black as sackcloth of hair” (verse 12).
- “the moon became as blood” (verse 12).
- “the stars of heaven fell unto the earth” (verse 13).
- “the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (verse 14).
Let’s take a look at the first event - “a great earthquake.” Did a great earthquake happen around the close of the fifth seal (1755)?
“On November 1, 1755, Lisbon, Portugal, was destroyed by a great earthquake which occurred at 9:40 in the morning. ... The total number of persons killed in Lisbon alone was estimated to be at least 60,000, including those who perished by drowning and in the fire that burned for six days following the shock ...” (Encyclopedia Britannica, (1967 edition), Volume 7, pp. 856-857, article “Earthquake”)
“The Lisbon Earthquake, which occurred on November 1, 1755, was the most notable earthquake of history.” (Nelson’s Encyclopedia, Volume 4, p. 205)
“By far the most spectacular earthquake of earlier times was that of Lisbon, in 1755. This has some claim to be regarded as the greatest earthquake on record. If it is possible to believe the reports, the felt area, which was certainly more than 700 miles in radius, extended from Azores to Italy, and from England to North Africa. ... The damage to Lisbon itself was very great. ... Great numbers of people were in the churches, for it was All Saints’ Day, and the time of the first Mass.” (G.A. Eiby, About Earthquakes, New York: Harper, 1957, pp. 141-142)
“Probably the most famous of all earthquakes is that which destroyed Lisbon on November 1, 1755. ... Alexander von Humboldt [German scientist] stated that the total area shaken was four times that of Europe.” (Perry Byerly, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1961 edition, Volume 7, p. 848, article “Earthquakes”)
Amazing! This great earthquake which destroyed Lisbon happened right on schedule! It occurred right at the close of the fifth seal (1755). Now what about the second event? Did the sun become black as sackcloth sometime following the great earthquake of 1755?
“They speak of it as the Dark Day, they whose forebears lived through the soul-stirring experience in 1780, echoes of which have come down through so many New England generations. It was a day on which countless thousands turned fearful eyes toward a sunless sky, nameless terror clutched at their throats. What awful portent was this? What grim visitation was at hand? ... Darkness invaded the Northeast without warning on Friday, the nineteenth of May ... about ten in the morning and spread swiftly. ... People spoke in hushed voices. They lighted candles in the houses, and as the blackness grew deeper toward noon great numbers of them fell upon their knees at home or in the churches and sent up fervent prayers.” (John Nicholas Beffel, “The Dark Day in New England,” The American Mercury, April 1943, pp. 481-485)
Again, we see that the second event happened right on schedule. It happened soon after the great earthquake (1755) on Friday May 19, 1780. So amazing was this phenomenon that scientists reported that it was not caused by an eclipse:
“That this darkness was not caused by an eclipse, is manifest by the various positions of the planetary bodies at that time; for the moon was more than one hundred and fifty degrees from the sun all that day, and, according to the accurate calculations made by the most celebrated astronomers, there could not, in the order of nature, be any transit of Venus or Mercury upon the disc of the sun that year.” (R.M. Devens, Our First Century: 1776-1876, chapter 4, “The Wonderful Dark Day - 1780,” p. 95)
Also remember that an eclipse of the sun never lasts for more than a few minutes, but this Dark Day of May 19, 1780 lasted several hours.
What about the third event? Did the moon become red as blood shortly after the Dark Day of 1780?
“Midnight came - and passed. Thousands of square miles under the black blight [referring to the Dark Day of May 19, 1780], white faces and fear-filled eyes were dimly visible in the flickering of candles and torches. ... Suddenly there were shouts. Thousands of eyes turned skyward: blood-red and dim, the moon appeared. Now, again, there was hope. Tears of joy flowed freely. It was 1 o’clock on the morning of May 20.” - (Vincent H. Gaddis, America’s First Black Friday, Coronet, May,1946, p. 88)
Yet again the third event happens right on schedule. The moon turning to a blood-red color happened early the morning after the darkening of the sun in 1780. J.N. Beffel quotes a British astronomer named Sir William Herschel as saying:
“The Dark Day in Northern America was one of those wonderful phenomena which will always be read with interest, but which philosophy is at a loss to explain.” (“Dark Day in New England,” The American Mercury (April 1943), p. 484)
Now what about the fourth event? Did the stars fall to the ground sometime after the moon turning red on May 20, 1780?
“The attention of astronomers was particularly directed to the extraordinary shower of meteors which occurred on the 13th of November, 1833. I [Denison Olmsted] had the good fortune to witness these grand celestial fireworks ... an exhibition of the phenomenon called shooting stars. ... The extent of the shower of 1833 was such as to cover no inconsiderable part of the earth’s surface, from the middle of the Atlantic on the east to the Pacific on the west; and from the northern coast of South America to undefined regions among the British possessions on the north, the exhibition was visible, and everywhere presented nearly the same appearance. ... Probably no celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with so much admiration and delight by one class of spectators, or with so much astonishment and fear by another class. For some time after the occurrence, the ‘meteoric phenomenon’ was the principal topic of conversation in every circle.” (Professor Denison Olmsted, The American Journal of Science and Arts, Volume XXV, 1834, pp. 363, 364)
Again, this part of the prophecy happened right on schedule.
What else is interesting is that Jesus also foretold of these events when He was on the earth. He leaves out the “great earthquake” and just refers to the frequency of earthquakes as His second coming approaches (Matthew 24:7). Jesus then gives a list of a few things that will also take place before His second coming. He refers to the destruction of Jerusalem that happened in 70 A.D. (Matthew 24:15-20). Then He goes on to say about times of tribulation for His people (verse 21). This refers to the period of the “Dark Ages.” Then in verse 29 Jesus says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” The tribulation of the “Dark Ages” ended soon after the Protestants escaped the grasp of the Roman church and set out for the New World (America) to set up freedom of religion. Thus, the end of the tribulation and the beginning of the phenomena spoken by Jesus would take place sometime after America was gaining its independence and freedom in 1776. The first event that Jesus refers to is the darkening of the sun. This event, we have learned, happened in 1780. Right on schedule according to Bible prophecy!
The Seventh Seal
“And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” (Revelation 8:1)
The seventh and final seal is not loosened until verse 1 of Revelation chapter 8. In the middle of the sixth and seventh seal is the seventh chapter of the book of Revelation. This chapter is referred to as being a parenthetical chapter. In other words, this whole chapter could be placed between parentheses. The seventh chapter of the book of Revelation answers the last question asked in the last verse of chapter 6 at the end of the sixth seal which says, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17). Thus, the seventh chapter of the book of Revelation answers the question as to who will be able to stand through the great wrath of God that will come upon this earth. It answers the question by describing God’s people who will receive “the seal of the living God” on their foreheads which will protect them from God’s great wrath (Revelation 7:1-3), which is the removing of His protective presence from the unbeliever at their own request, resulting in the inherent consequence of self-destruction (see the article entitled, What is God’s Wrath?). Thus, we clearly see that God’s people will be sealed between the sixth and seventh seal.
Since this sealing takes place between the sixth and seventh seal then we can conclude that some form of judgment takes place between these two seals as well. We can therefore see a clear connection to the “Era of Judgment” brought forth by the seventh church (Laodicea). Remember, in our previous study we learned that the word Laodicea means “a people judged.” At this time Christ will stand up and say, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:11, 12)
Since Jesus is bringing His reward with Him, then this time of judgment must be completed before He comes, which is why the last of the extraordinary phenomena brought to view by the sixth seal is that of the sky receding “as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” (Revelation 6:14). This event is looking into the future at the time of the second coming of Christ. The era of judgment, therefore, must begin sometime right after the falling of the stars in 1833 A.D. Please remember, that in previous studies we learned that this time of judgment began in the Fall of 1844, right on schedule.
The seventh and final seal is not opened until the first verse of chapter 8. Personally, I feel this one verse should have been left as the last verse of chapter 7. The rest of chapter 8 begins with the blowing of seven trumpets. The opening of the seventh seal reveals that “there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” (Revelation 8:1). Why is there silence in heaven? The end of the sixth seal reveals certain signs and calamities that would come upon this earth by the sky receding like a scroll. This seventh and final seal describes the second coming of Christ when all of heaven will come to this earth and deliver God’s people.
Describing His second coming, Jesus says, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31). At the Second Coming Jesus will bring all His angels with Him. In Revelation 19 John describes the Second Coming by saying, “And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:14). Since all the angels who dwell in heaven come to this earth with Jesus at His second coming, then surely there will be “silence in heaven.”
The period of silence is said to be “half an hour.” Since a day (24 hours) equals one year (360 days - Jewish calendar) then one hour (which is 1/24 of a day) equals 15 days (360 divided by 24 = 15). Therefore, a half an hour would be half of 15 which is 7.5. Thus, prophetically speaking, the “half an hour” of silence becomes a little over a week of silence.
Therefore, as we can see, the seven churches and the seven seals describe events happening in seven different stages of earth’s history. We can see that we today are living during the time of the seventh church (Laodicea). We learned that these people are known for their “lukewarm” state. Jesus describes this as people who, “draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men.” (Isaiah 29:13).
As a result of this, God seals His people from among the others. God’s people will be sealed with the “seal of the living God” in their foreheads (Revelation 7:2, 3), while the unbelievers will be marked with the “mark of the beast” in their foreheads (Revelation 13:16). In Isaiah 8:16 God says, “Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among My disciples.”
God’s seal in our foreheads is His righteous Law which reveals His righteous character; for God has declared, “Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My Law” (Isaiah 51:7). The mind and heart are where God has always wanted to seal His Law;
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.” (Hebrews 8:10)
When we receive God’s Law in our minds or conscience, our own works and misapprehensions of God’s character will fade away and the light of God’s righteousness will illuminate our being. Those who are sealed with the seal of God are those who have the Father’s name (character) written in our foreheads (Revelation 14:1). The truth about God’s character will be completely restored in our minds. We will proclaim “the everlasting gospel (concerning His character) … unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear (be in awe of) God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come (in which we make our final decision concerning His character): and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (verses 6, 7). Why will we worship the Creator (Designer) of the heaven, earth, sea, and fountain of waters? Because all these things operate upon His Law of love.
We will warn of the fall of Babylon/confusion (verse 8), and by God’s grace gain the victory over the mark of the beast (verses 9-11); for we will have “patience” (perseverance) and “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (verse 12). No matter what Satan and his followers throw at us, we will not be moved.
Next Study: What Are the Seven Trumpets?