This article lists and briefly describes the articles that discuss the second main section of Revelation, namely the seven seals in Revelation 4:1-8:1.
Revelation 4:1-8 – verse-by-verse
These verses provide a visual and timeless description of God’s throne room.
The 24 elders – Revelation 4:4
Based on descriptions elsewhere in Revelation, the 24 elders in God’s throne room are people; not angels. A review of the numbers in Revelation shows that 12 and 24 are associated with God’s people. Revelation merges God’s people from the Old and New Testaments into a single entity. The number 24, therefore, consists of 12 from Israel and 12 from the church age.
Revelation 4:8-11 – verse-by-verse
These verses describe the worship in God’s presence. This article also discusses the worship in Revelation 5, after Jesus appears on the throne and receives glory equal with the Father. Does this mean that Jesus is God; equal with the Father?
Revelation 5 is Christ’s enthronement.
This chapter presents a specific event. Based on descriptions in the rest of the New Testament, Revelation 5 describes Christ’s enthronement after His ascension 2000 years ago.
The sealed book is the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The sealed book symbolizes things that are not understood and the seven seals symbolize the things that prevent understanding. It is the book of God’s judgments as to who will inherit eternal life, also known as the book of life.
Christ resolves the crisis of the sealed book through demonstrations.
The book of Rev 5 is sealed because of a dispute between the angels of heaven over God’s judgments. Christ refutes Satan’s accusation through demonstrations of faithfulness: Firstly, during His own death, He overcame Satan’s ultimate temptation. Secondly, the deaths of God’s elect demonstrate their worthiness. God delays Christ’s return and the implementation of His judgments until all understand that His judgments are perfect.
Revelation 5 – verse by verse
This article is highly dependent on the other three articles on Revelation 5. The first four verses describe the time before Christ, verses 5-6 describe His death and the rest of the chapter describes what happens in heaven after His ascension.
The First Seal – the white horse
When the Lamb breaks the first seal, a white horse goes out conquering and to conquer. In the preterist view, this is the Parthians, who attacked the Roman Empire on white horses. Dispensationalists identify this as the antichrist. This article interprets it as the gospel.
Seals two to four
The four horsemen form a unit, which means that these seals stand is a cause-consequence relationship: The white horse is the gospel. The red horse is the persecution of God’s people when the gospel is rejected. The consequence is the black horse of famine (scarcity) of the Word of God, leading to the pale horse of spiritual death.
Souls UNDER the altar cry out for revenge. The souls are not believers that went to heaven in a bodiless state at death but symbolize God’s slain people as sacrificed ON the altar. Their cry for revenge symbolizes God’s awareness of the suffering of His people and His desire to set things right. They receive white robes but they have washed their own robes (Rev 7:14). They are told to wait until their brethren have been made complete, which means spiritually mature.
The sixth seal
This seal is creation in reverse: Everything is destroyed but it is not yet the end, for the people still hide, while they will be killed when Christ returns. But it brings us to the brink of His return, as indicated by the multiple allusions to the Day of the Lord, the “great day,” the “great earthquake” which moves mountains, the signs in the sun, moon, and stars.
Sealed through persecution
God’s people will also be sealed DURING AND THROUGH the Revelation 13-crisis in which the image of the beast will force all people to accept the mark of the beast. The plagues will begin to fall when every person will either have the mark of the beast or the seal of God.
The Seal of the living God
People are sealed with the Holy Spirit when they become Christians but the seal in Revelation 7 is something special that only end-time believers will receive to safeguard them during the final catastrophic events before Christ returns. God will make more of His grace and power available to the last-day church because she must accomplish more than the church in any age has yet accomplished.
The Time of the End
The seal of God comes down from heaven at a specific point in history. This article argues that the fifth seal, when the souls under the altar are told to rest for a little while longer, represents that point in time and that that is the beginning of “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4) when Daniel’s prophecies will become understood and preached.
144000 are sealed from the tribes of Israel.
These 144000 Israelites cannot be interpreted literally because numbers, in Revelation, are symbolic and because Revelation and the entire New Testament merge the church into Israel. The number 144000 symbolizes that these people are spiritually mature and will not withdraw their testimony under persecution.
The Innumerable Multitude
Revelation 7:9-17; verse-by-verse – Is the Great Multitude the same as 144000? They seem like complete opposites. Are this multitude described before or after Christ’s return?
This seal is very brief. In a single brief verse, it simply says that there will be silence in heaven for half an hour. On the basis of the context, this article interprets it as the sorrow in heaven when the lost are put to death at the return of Christ.
Does the seventh seal include the seven trumpets?
The seventh seal DOES NOT include the seven trumpets. The seals describe the experience of God’s people but the last two seals show the destruction of the lost. The trumpets then jump back in time to explain what God did to turn the lost from their disastrous paths.
People’s deeds will refute Satan’s criticism of God’s judgments.
Previous articles concluded that the sealed book is the book of life and the seals are Satan’s accusations against the people listed in the book. Breaking the seals symbolizes that Satan’s accusations are refuted. From the description of the Last Judgment in Revelation 20, this article concludes that it is the deeds of people that refute Satan’s accusations. God’s people will choose death rather than going against God’s laws. Satan’s people will show that they are irreversibly committed to evil.
Verse-by-verse summary – Revelation 4:1-8:1.
Each of the articles above also has a summary. The verse-by-verse summary is, essentially, a combination of these summaries.