Revelation 5:1 ¶ 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. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Revelation 5:6 ¶ 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 it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Revelation 6:1 ¶ And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 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.
Why was this book sealed and the contents kept secret? Let us consider the Lord’s mind as much as we have revealed concerning this. It was sealed due to the sinful condition of the human heart. Isaiah 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. 4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; 5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. 6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. 7 They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. 8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.
Let us also consider the writings of the various apostles on this subject starting with the Apostle Peter’s writings. 1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Peter states that the prophets were of good use to the apostles as the Holy Spirit revealed his meanings through them which greatly ministered the fulness of God’s purposes. Therefore to have an apostle expound a prophet’s writings is of great importance to the building up of the new testament believer! Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
If you have a good bible with center reference column, take time to notice, just in the Book of Romans, how many references there are to passages in Isaiah and the other prophets. Take time to go back and read those Old Testament verses, seeing how the New Testament writer interprets them. It will be a highly valuable lesson for your soul as to how to interpret the dark sayings of the prophets words.
Just consider Peter’s interpretation of Joel’s dark sayings in his Pentecostal message as recorded in Acts chapter two. He firmly states that the rushing mighty wind, and the cloven tongues of fire, and the speaking in languages was “that” spoken of by Joel! Acts 2:14 ¶ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Did they see the sun literally go dark, or the moon literally turn into blood? Of course not! But this will educate us as to how the prophets declared such an upheaval in the realm of the spiritual, by such drastic natural images as these! The prince and power of the air – Satan himself – was being cast out of the heavenly realm by Christ’s victory at the cross. John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die. Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Here is another passage that instructs us as to why the little book was sealed seven times. 1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Therefore if this had been clearly revealed in the scriptures, Satan would have been wise to it. Remember that Satan quoted scripture passages to the Lord in his temptation in the wilderness. And remember that angels were present at Sinai for the giving of the law! And Satan is nothing but a fallen angel. Psalm 68:17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
Therefore if God’s purposes in Christ and his death to “destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil,” had been revealed, they would have been strongly resisted by Satan and his forces! But even that which had been revealed was so darkened to the hearts of the religious rulers that they fulfilled them anyway. Acts 13:27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. But even in this, the Lord had his will accomplished through their wickedness! Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Proverbs 16:4 ¶ The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
And both Mark and Paul commented on the beginning of the new age and covenant of grace. Mark 1:1 ¶ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Romans 16:25 ¶ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
And the Apostle Paul equated the revelation of the content of the sealed book to the corresponding calling of himself to the ministry of an apostle! Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
But now truly the Lord has shined the bright light of the gospel of glory upon those who had previously sat in the darkness of the era of the law. Matthew 4:12 ¶ Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Take note of the timing. It was at the ending of the Forerunner’s ministry that the new King of the gospel kingdom set forth his ministry. And John knew and spoke of this. John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And the Lord marked this day as the time when the harlots and publicans would press into the kingdom ahead of the scribes and pharisees! That is, realized and confessed sinners would enter the spiritual kingdom by the new birth, while the self-righteous religionists would be passed by! Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (“seize it by force [as a precious prize] – a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought for with most ardent zeal and intense exertion.” – Amplified Bible), 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Matthew 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
We must see that it was a display of both the wisdom and longsuffering of the Almighty God to keep this book sealed until the time of the accomplished redemption. Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed (on the cross) to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Pastor Gene Breed
September 16, 2022