“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ ” (Revelation 6:1)
God prepared the book of life before life on Earth and in Heaven began and we now know why He sealed it with seven seals. These seven seals also have an important purpose. Long ago, the Father ordained that the seven seals on the Book of Life would be associated with seven revelations about Jesus. The Father has infinite love and wisdom and everything He does is always ultimately beneficial. The Father’s ways never have unintended consequences. The Father foresaw the drama with sin was an opportunity to reveal many aspects of His universe. For instance, through the ministry and death of Jesus, we now can understand the ravages that come with the curse of sin, the depth of God’s love for sinners, the properties of divine love, the character and nature of God’s judicial system, the intricate balance between mercy and justice, the patience and longsuffering of a loving Father, and His thoughtfully designed plan to make lemonade out of the lemon of sin. Finally, at the end of the 1,000 years, all created beings will learn that the Father has not and will not use His foreknowledge or omnipotence to manipulate beings having free will. As a bonus, the Father has a wonderful surprise for everyone that will inherit eternal life. Because Jesus is an exact mirror of the Father, the revelation of Jesus Christ will be a perfect revelation of the Father!
Remember, before sin existed, the Father designed a process to resolve the sin problem that would take several thousand years to accomplish. When the time arrived to start the final chapter in this plan, the Father summoned the angelic host and the twenty-four elders. (Revelation 4-6; Daniel 7:9,10,13,14) At that time, the Father gave Jesus sovereign power to break the seven seals.
The twenty-four elders surrounding the throne are people who were resurrected when Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:52) and went to Heaven when Jesus ascended. (Ephesians 4:8) God selected two witnesses from each of the twelve tribes and gave them “front row seats.” They have occupied this exalted position because they are there as members of a special jury. The Father resurrected 24 human beings (think of them as first fruits of the dead) to observe the process He is using to resolve the sin problem. The Father is using these elders because the process involves the judgment of sinners (e.g., the redemption and the annihilation of human beings) and the 24 observers are there to maintain total transparency in the judgment process. These 24 elders are ex-sinners and the Father has given them substantial authority. If any elder witnesses a presentation or decision on another human being that appears to be incomplete, unfair, or improper, that elder has the authority to halt the judgment process until a satisfactory resolution is produced. The Father has placed 24 ex-sinners (peers of the people being judged) around the throne and given them the authority to halt the judgment process to show that He is love. He is more than fair!
When Jesus was considered as a candidate to receive the book sealed with seven seals, everyone agreed (including the 24 elders) that Jesus was the only being worthy of the task. Jesus’ perfect compliance with the Father’s will, a victorious life over every temptation, and His shed blood made him worthy to redeem man. (Revelation 5:9, John 6:38; Hebrews 5:7-10) No one but the Creator could meet the required specifications. We must not focus on Christ’s accomplishments as amazing and surreal as they are. Instead, we need to focus on the task ahead of Jesus, His use of sovereign power to break the seven seals!
Before sin began, the Father planned that opening each seal on the Book of Life would initiate a new campaign on Earth. Also, when each seal is broken, we receive a new revelation about Jesus. This is why the book of Revelation is called, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The book of Revelation contains seven revelations that will sweep away a thousand mysteries about Jesus. Jesus is far more than an angel or a man. Jesus is a God just like the Father is a God!
My understanding is that Jesus received the Book of Life in 1798 and He broke the first seal at that time. If indeed, a new revelation about Jesus occurs in Heaven and on Earth when each seal is broken, we should be able to find distinctive evidence of this. As the revelation of Jesus grows in glory and intensity, all creation will see a full disclosure of our Creator at a point in time. This day will occur at the end of the thousand years because each being who received life will be there. After the Father has given Jesus all the power, glory, praise, and accolades that can be given, Jesus does not retain this power forever. Jesus will not eternally bask in glory and fame that will eclipse the Father. Instead, Jesus will choose, once again, to be subject to the Father so that the Father can be God Most High and Jesus can live among His created beings as one of them. What a stunning revelation about the love, humility, and meekness of the Godhead! And the eternal bonus that goes with this knowledge is this: “Like Father – like Son!”
The seven seals are associated with these seven revelations of Jesus:
Seal 1: The salvation of Jesus
Seal 2: The teachings of Jesus
Seal 3: The judgment seat of Jesus
Seal 4: The authority of Jesus
Seal 5: The faith of Jesus
Seal 6: The glory of Jesus
Seal 7: The Deity of Jesus