The Seven Sealed Book

The Seven Sealed Book

The Seven Sealed Book

Revelation 5:1-5 "And I saw in the right hand
of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the
back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel
proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the
scroll and to loose its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on
the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to
look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to
open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders
said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of
Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to
loose its seven seals.’"

A highly
exciting, but little taught prophetic event, is
revealed to us in the Bible, beginning in Revelation 5. It
records the opening of a mysterious scroll or book which is bound
and sealed with seven separate seals. This end times sealed book
is very definitely connected with end time events, and there is
much for us to learn out of the sometimes daunting passages of
Scripture contained in the Book of Revelation, that on the
surface, tend to be allegoric and hard to understand.

John the Revelator, in the previous chapter, has been caught
up in the Spirit and beholds the throne of God, which is
surrounded by a rainbow, with 24 elders seated on 24 separate
thrones. Around the throne of God is a sea of glass like crystal,
with 4 living creatures resembling a lion, a calf, a man and an
eagle. All were praising and worshipping the one who sat on the
throne.

Immediately we can identify the fact that Jesus is centre
stage in this story. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He is
the Root of David. Most important of all, He is the Lamb of God.
He is the fulfilment of the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12 whose
blood was shed so that the death angel might pass over. Every
single living being in the heavenlies is worshipping Him!
Revelation 13:8 tells us that, "All who dwell on the
earth will (future) worship him, whose names have not been
written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation
of the world."
What a sight that will be. The Dalai
Lama - Muslim muftis and their followers - Hindu Gurus - Atheists
- Satanists - all will worship Him! We should never forget that
willingly or unwillingly, every knee will bow and every tongue
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. How much better to do so
willingly in this life than be forced to in the next.

What then is this book? What is its purpose? Why is it sealed?
When will it be opened? Is it past, present, future, or all of
these?

THE BOOK

This sealed book is the Book of redemption – the title
deed of mankind’s lost inheritance. Knowing this, it
becomes clearer as to why John wept when no one was found to open
the scroll, because unopened there will be no judgement, and if
there is no judgement there is no redemption.

All of Creation is waiting for this time. Romans 8:21-23
brings light regarding this wait, "…because the
creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For
we know that the whole creation groans and labours with
birth pangs together until now
. Not only that, but we
also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the
redemption of our body."

This book or scroll is foreshadowed in the Old Testament. God
has made a habit of having books, scrolls and tablets made
available for man to understand the dealings of God and His
purposes, so we are without excuse. In fact the Bible itself is a
case in point, as it is one of these.

Accordingly, through this Divine availability, we have
received the various Covenants that God has desired to make with
man, and so the Book of the Law is also known as the Book of the
Covenant. Deuteronomy 31:26 tells us that Moses commanded the
Levites to take this Book of the Law and put it beside the Ark of
the Covenant in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Even the
tablets of the 10 Commandments could be loosely described as a
"book" and they were held inside the Ark of the
Covenant.

The Law and the Covenants, containing God’s judgements,
fulfilled by the seven sealed book, are foreshadowed again in
Ezra’s time, when he took the Book of the Law, opened it
and read, whereupon the people fell down and worshipped God as
they heard the word.

This seven sealed book however, appears to have its roots
buried deepest in the Book of Daniel. God tells Daniel in Daniel 10:21,
"But I will tell you what is noted in the
Scripture of Truth."
Then God begins to reveal to
Daniel many of the things that will come to pass in the distant
future, at the ‘appointed time’ and the ‘time
of the end.’ Daniel was then told, "Shut up the
words, and seal the book until the time of the
end."
Daniel asks for understanding in 12:8 but God
says, "Go your way Daniel, for the words are closed up
and sealed till the time of the
end."

With the great privilege of being alive as New Testament
believers, we have recorded here for us in Daniel, the predicted
opening of the seals in our New Testament and the various
judgements which come upon the earth as a result. Now John is
transported in the Spirit to a time thousands of years after
Daniel, to find himself as a witness to seeing the One being
found who was worthy to loose the seals of the seven sealed book
of Daniel’s vision.

Space in this issue precludes teaching on the opening of each
seal and what it means, but this may be something we can do in
the future. However, I want to take you to a spiritual truth in
this story that applies to all of us if we are practising
Christians.

What follows are a few verses from Revelation 10:1-2 and Revelation 8:1,
"I saw still another mighty angel coming down from
heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his
face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had
a little book open in his hand. And he set his
right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,
…… Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke
to me again and said, ‘Go, take the little book which is
open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the
earth.’ So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give
me the little book." And he said to me, ‘Take and eat
it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet
as honey in your mouth.’ Then I took the little book out of
the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey
in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.
And he said to me, ‘You must prophesy again about many
peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.’"

Here we find a little open book is given by an angel to John
and he tells him to eat it, being as sweet as honey in his mouth
but in his stomach being bitter. John was told then to prophesy
to people and nations. What does this mean? Eating a book is not
the normal thing you would find someone doing – in fact if
I saw you eating a book I would assume you were dirt poor or the
wires had got crossed in your head.

However, there is a perfectly reasonable answer to this, which
actually will be a challenge to us. Let’s track down the
history of this book and what all this means. This little open
book, with the seals now loosed, is the same sealed book we read
of in Daniel, and in Revelation 5, now with its seven seals
opened in the time of the end.

Our first indication of how we should interpret the eating of
this book lies in Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are Your
words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

This is the first interpretive connection that brings
understanding to our puzzle as to why one would eat a book. The
Bible is simply telling us that reading the words is as good as
eating the very finest of food, because it will do us a colossal
amount of good in a spiritual sense.

Then we find a whole procession of Old Testament scriptures
talking about this. Jeremiah 15:16 says, "Your words
were found and I ate them."
Ezekiel 2:8-9 records,
"…open your mouth and eat what I give you. Now
when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me, and behold,
a scroll of a book was in it",
then Ezekial 3:3b,
"So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in
sweetness."

The taking, receiving and eating of the little open book, is
the receiving of spiritual knowledge. The Word of God is the one
and only book that God intends man to eat. The Word is what we
eat! In Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, and John 4:31-34 we have
the same thought expressed to us in each of these Scriptures
which is , "Man will not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

In 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 we are told that they (Israel) all ate
the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink.
For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and
that Rock was Christ.

Now that we have gained foundational understanding as to
eating spiritual food, we can build on that understanding. We can
see that prophetically, we have an unsealed book that is now open
with a prophetic message for the Church. The message is this.
When the Word is preached or we simply read the Word, we receive
spiritual food. We digest the Word so that the Word becomes
flesh.

However this doesn’t entirely explain the sweet and sour
aspect. Why is the Word both sweet and bitter? When we check out
the New Testament, we find our answer. God is revealed as a God
of love and a God of judgement. While God loves
everyone, only those that are obedient to Him and have been
washed of their sin through the precious blood of Jesus Christ,
will escape the wrath of an angry God, who will on a day to come,
execute judgement at the Great White Throne. When we consider
this, we can see that the sweetness of taste is God’s mercy
and grace – the bitterness is the fact that God is a God of
judgement.

Finally, John had to eat the book before he could prophesy.
This was to nations, tongues and Kings. From this, we have
underlined the fact that once we understand the basics of the
Word of God, we have a witnessing task ahead of us. Romans 10:14-15
says, "How then shall they call on Him in whom
they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom
they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel
of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"

Only those who have digested God’s Word can witness and
prophesy to a lost world. Every Christian has been called as a
witness. We have been appointed as Ambassadors. Nothing has
changed. You and I are not exempt from the Great Commission. God
does not have a plan B. Your family, your friends, your workmates
are waiting for you to share with them the little book you have
eaten.

All have to hear the Word of God in the last days! Matthew 24:14
says, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be
preached in all the world as a witness to all
the nations, and then the end will come."
It’s
really important for each of us to not delay or hinder the coming
of the Lord by not playing our part. Share your faith and fulfil
your call as a witness unto the Lord. The Scripture requires it.
God expects it. The world needs it.

IT’S PURPOSE

This Book of the Law contains a book of judgements to be
executed upon the earth. The opening of the seals is the
beginning of God’s final dealings with planet Earth and the
people on it. Up until this time Jesus has been resting, seated
on His throne, waiting for this moment, when the trigger of
seal-opening will again, at its climax, thrust Jesus centre-stage
on the earth as redeemer and saviour to those that love Him, and
a righteous judge bringing destruction on those who
don’t.

When Jesus ascended in resurrection power after His death and
burial, various Scriptures tell us (Mark 16:19, Revelation 3:21,
Hebrews 8:1 etc) that He sat down on the right hand of His
Father.

There are just two occasions recorded in Scripture where Jesus
stands up from being seated on the throne. The first occurs in
Acts 7:56, when Stephen, the Church’s first martyr, is
stoned to death. He looks up and sees Jesus standing, to honour
and receive him into eternal rest and blessing. The second
occasion is recorded in Revelation 5:6 where Jesus stands to
receive the seven sealed scroll. This is highly significant! When
Jesus is seated grace prevails. When He stands, judgement
begins!

WHY IS THE SCROLL SEALED?

Daniel was given partial insight into the hidden things of
God, this in fact being the experience of every Prophet of God.
It was as if God had opened up a book of His intentions for
Daniel to view. However, the revelation and insight was to be
limited and so the book was to be sealed.

Even unto recent times a letter, official document, commands
from a king, or a significant communication, was closed with
sealing wax and a unique seal or engraved impression of the
sender was placed in the hot wax. This seal could not be broken
and repatched. In other words, the letter was only to be opened
by the one authorised, and any tampering would easily be
seen.

John wept because no one was found worthy to open this seven
sealed scroll or look at it. But one of the elders speaks to John
and tells him the Lion of Judah (Jesus) has prevailed and is
worthy to open the scroll. This word ‘prevailed’
tells us that the scroll has a legal value and has much to do
with the title deed of earth and its inhabitants, which Jesus
wrested from the devil by His sinless death on the Cross of
Calvary.

TIMING

When did, or when will the seals be opened? Many of the best
expositors and Bible teachers are in unison with the answer to
this question. They say the opening of the seven seals in reality
has already begun and will continue up until the second coming or
at the very least, the revealing of the Antichrist.

One thing is for sure – if we live to see the
Lord’s return, these seven seals, opened in heaven, will
have been visited upon the earth and fulfilled the purpose to
which they were prophesied.