Part 013 – The seven sealed scroll

The Book of REVELATION

 

A Study

Part 013

The seven sealed scroll – Revelation Chapter 5

The types and the anti-type

To properly understand the Book of Revelation, it would be best to approach matters from the standpoint of how the events seen in the book are first typologically presented not only in the Book of Daniel, but also in Exodus, Ruth, Esther and several other books of the Old Testament. The Book of Revelation and the Book of Daniel are companion books, and both cover the same material, with one book shedding light upon the other when scripture is compared with scripture. The Book of Exodus deals centrally with Israel during the Tribulation, Christ’s return, the overthrow of Gentile world power, and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom (paralleling events in Rev.6-20a). And the Book of Esther, as well, deals with the same thing as Exodus, showing other facets of the matter, paralleling the same part of the Book of Revelation. And the Book of Ruth foreshadows God’s dealings with the Church. To properly understand Revelation chapter five, it would be best to approach matters from the standpoint of how the events seen in this chapter were first presented in the Book of Ruth.

The Books of Ruth and Revelation

In Ruth chapter one, two Moabite women became members of a Jewish family and from that point onwards, events in the book foreshadow God’s dealings with the Church. The two women (Orpah who turns back, and Ruth who goes on) portray two types of believers – one unfaithful and the other faithful. And the remainder of the book deals with Ruth alone, showing not only the manner in which the faithful believers conduct themselves during this present dispensation but, as well, that which awaits them, following this dispensation. Ruth chapter two has to do with the life of believers during the present dispensation, laboring in the field. Ruth chapter three has to do with prepared believers appearing before Christ at His judgment seat after the end of this dispensation; and this is seen in Revelation chapters 1 – 3, where the overcomers who will form the bride, who are found worthy to rule the nations with Christ, are called out from the whole church. The prepared bride appearing at midnight on the threshing floor, through her presence, was requesting for both the redemption of a forfeited inheritance and for marriage.

Redemption of the inheritance

And in Ruth chapter four, Boaz redeems the forfeited inheritance and, in the process, takes Ruth as his wife. This has to do with the subject at hand beginning from Revelation chapter five. The whole of Revelation chapter five is given over to presenting Christ as the One found worthy and willing to redeem the inheritance. In connection with judgment, Christ is seen as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” and in relation to the redemptive process about to occur Christ is seen as “the Lamb that was slain” (Rev.5:4-12). The seven-sealed scroll contains the redemptive terms of the forfeited inheritance (the earth), and chapter six through the first part of chapter nineteen (Rev.6 – 19a) reveal the seals being broken and these terms being carried out. Then, in chapter nineteen, after the terms set forth in the seven-sealed scroll have been carried out, after the inheritance was redeemed, the bride is seen as Christ’s wife (Rev.19:7-9). Then, after the marriage festivities, Christ returns to the earth (Rev.19:11-16) and it is followed by the overthrow of Gentile world power (Rev.19:17-21) and the ushering in of the Millennial Kingdom (Rev.20a) with Christ, Israel and the Church occupying their proper regal positions over the earth.

Restoration of Israel

The seven-sealed scroll contains the redemptive terms of the forfeited inheritance (the earth), and chapter six through the first part of chapter nineteen reveal the seals being broken and these terms being carried out. In a parallel sense, these judgments which will come upon the earth as a result of the breaking of the seven seals, along with related events have to do with God’s end-time dealings with Israel, lasting seven years, fulfilling the seventieth and final week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan.9:24-27). Judgments during this period will not only result in (1) the redemption of the forfeited inheritance but also (2) bring Israel to the place of repentance. Not only must Christ redeem the inheritance, but two things must occur in parallel with this redemption:

1)  Israel must be restored as the wife of Jehovah

2)  And, those Christians removed from the body of Christ, forming the bride (brought to pass through and based on decisions and determinations at the Judgment Seat of Christ — Rev.1-3) must be wed to Christ

Promise to Israel

And through bringing all of this to pass, two marriages have to occur – a marriage between God and Israel, and a marriage between God’s Son and the bride whom the Spirit will have previously procured. In the Old Testament theocracy, Israel was to be placed at the head of the nations, with all the nations being blessed through Israel (Gen.12:1-3; Exo.4:22, 23; 19:5, 6). But Israel formed unholy alliances with the heathen nations and God eventually divorced Israel (Isa.50:1; Jer.3:1-8; Hosea 2:2). But Israel possesses a promise of restoration, and this promise is seen in numerous places in the Old Testament; it is repeatedly mentioned by all the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi. But the restoration can happen only if Israel confesses her iniquity and repents from all her harlotries. Note the way the promise is worded in Leviticus: If they (the Israelites) shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the land (Lev.26:40-42). This promise was repeated during the time of Christ’s first coming: Repent ye (a plural pronoun pointing to the entire nation of Israel), for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand (Matt.3:2; 4:17). This is also the promise to which attention was again called during the period of the Acts: Repent and be baptized every one of you (the entire nation of Israel) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 3:19-26) And Israel will one day realize this promise, when they are brought to the end of themselves by severe sufferings coming upon them through the judgments of the Tribulation (Matt.24:15-22).

Promise to the Church

Christians likewise possess a promise, which, as well, is regal in fulfillment. This is seen in various OT types and NT parables and in other places in both testaments and all the overcomers’ promises in Rev.2 and 3. Note how this promise is worded in Rev.3:21: To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

The entirety of the redemptive terms

The seven-sealed scroll contained the entirety of the redemptive terms and these redemptive terms, different judgments, are seen being brought to pass in a triad of sevens:

1)  The opening of the seven seals (6:1-17; 8:1)

2) The sounding of seven trumpets (8:2 – 10:11; 11:15-19)

3) The pouring of seven vials (15:1 – 16:21)

The breaking of the seventh and final seal produces “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” (Rev.8:1) because the judgments under this seal will bring the whole of the matter to a conclusion, and these judgments are shown to be of a severity unparalleled in man’s 6,000-year history (Jer.30:6, 7; Matt.24:21, 22). Following the silence after the seventh seal is broken, we see the sounding of seven trumpets, with judgments occurring successively in connection with each (8:2 – 10:11; 11:15-19). And out of the sounding of the seventh trumpet emanates the judgments of “the seven last plagues” or “the vials of the wrath of God” (15:1 – 16:21).

Divine perfection in God’s complete judgments

“Three” is a number showing Divine perfection and “seven” shows the completeness of that which is in view. So this triad of sevens (seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials), shows Divine perfection in God’s complete work relating to the redemption of the inheritance and the restoration of Israel. As it would be explained in the later parts of this study, the trumpet and vial judgments are not additional judgments to those previously seen through the breaking of the seals, but rather, they are further descriptions of the same judgments, providing more information, commentary and detail. Accordingly, completeness would have to be shown not only when the seventh seal is broken but also when the seventh trumpet is blown as well as when the seventh vial is poured out.

It is done

The breaking of the seventh and final seal produces “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” (Rev.8:1) because the judgments under this seal will bring the whole of the matter to a conclusion. Then through the blowing of the seventh trumpet, matters as they relate to the redemption of the inheritance are also seen to be complete, with the kingdom of this world becoming that “of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev.10:7; 11:15). This same thing is also seen immediately after the seventh vial has been poured out, shown by the words “It is done” coming directly from God’s throne (Rev.16:17). Matters can be viewed as having reached the same final completed state from any of these three vantage points.