By Dan Luehrs
“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” (Revelation 6:1).
There has been much written and spoken about these seals, but nothing I have ever heard has satisfied my spirit, until I read Jane Leade’s revelation on them in her book called, The Revelation of Revelations. This has greatly opened my understanding. The Spirit of God began to clarify in me some of these things and give me understanding into why I had been going through great tribulation for years in my own life. When we can have an understanding into why we are suffering, we can better embrace it. For when I go through hardships, I begin to look for a greater revelation of Jesus Christ in my life. Nothing is lost with God. Even for our ashes, He will give us beauty.
Revelation starts with “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” And that is what it is about: the revealing of Jesus Christ in us. The Book of Revelation is not just about end time event, but the unveiling or the unsealing of Jesus Christ within His people. Jesus must be revealed in the earth through His people for all to see. This people will arise and shine with His glory! At the same time, there will also be a people rising up with the likeness of Satan. But before this happens, there will be a people that have paid the price in following the Lamb wherever He goes. These will be ones totally conquered of the self-life by Jesus in their inner life, so that He might manifest Himself through them.
THE FIRST SEAL OPENED
“And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2).
The purpose of us becoming a Christian is not just to get to heaven one day. The Lord has a much higher purpose for saving us. It is to conquer us completely from the self-life, so that He can live His life through us without our rebelling against Him. Why would the Lord pour His glory through a people that is not yet broken of self? Would you give your car keys to your ten-year-old child and tell him to drive it around the block? I don’t think so, for he would get himself and others hurt, if not killed. That power would kill him, and so it is with the Church: God is waiting for a people to mature enough, so that He can give them the power and authority to do the work of the Kingdom in His name.
Jesus is now riding on His white horse, going about conquering all that come willingly to Him. He said in Matthew 21:44, "And he (or whosoever) who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." In Isaiah 53:10 it says, "But the LORD was pleased to crush Him (Jesus), putting Him to grief…." If it pleased the Father to crush the Son, how much more us? We must come to Him and ask Him to conquer us from our own self-reasoning, doubts, fears, and ambitions, for He must have a temple that is cleansed and prepared to receive His glory.
“And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him” (Revelation 6:4).
Notice it was granted to Him to take peace from the earth. This is not talking about the earth that we live on, but the earth that we are! Our bodies are made of earth. "The first man is from the earth, earthy…" (1 Corinthians 15:47). “Let your will be done in earth (us) as in heaven.” Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34 KJV). His main desire is to kill us. While Satan wants us physically dead, Jesus wants us dead to the self-life. Jesus is the Word, “For the word of God (Jesus) is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Yes, He has come to conquer you with His Sword. Let Him do it, my friend!
He will take worldly peace from us and restore it with His peace. Jesus does not give us peace as the world does. Carnal Christians and worldly people have peace when everything is going well, there’s plenty of money in the bank, work is going well and the marriage is going great. But red-hot Christians have His peace when everything is falling apart. This is the true peace of God: when we should be afraid, we’re not afraid because "the peace of God that passes all understanding" keeps you in rest and trust. To trust is not to be afraid any more.
Notice that it also says that men will slay one another. For many years now, being part of a local Church is like being in war. Churches and preachers are fighting against one another and people within the Church are fighting with each other. I have been hurt more in the Church than I ever have been in the world, and this is why so many people leave the Church. People seem to talk about you if you are doing good or bad, and those words spoken against us hurt. But, I really think that it is the leadership in the churches that do the greatest swinging of the sword. Let me explain. Saul became jealous of David and tried to pin him to the wall with his spear and wanted him dead for many years. And so it is today. God uses leadership to kill the Saul (self-life) out of us. Now the question is "Are we going to forgive these who have hurt us with their words or are we going to be vindictive, and talk about them and leave the church without resolving our differences?" It’s really our choice, you know. If we leave without forgiveness, we will never grow spiritually. Then we, ourselves, can't be forgiven and set free and we will begin to regress from where we came.
THE THIRD SEAL OPENED
“And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine" (Revelation 6:5-6).
The kingdom of the beast (the world system) must be brought down in us so that our desires and thoughts must only be for Jesus and what is best for His Kingdom. The beast must be starved out of us by God giving us a hunger for more of Jesus than for the things of the world. Jesus is a seed in us that must be fed and given drink. He said, “I was thirsty and you gave me drink and I was hungry and you gave me food.” Jesus is starving in most Christians today because all they give Him to eat is junk food: worldly entertainment along with worldly and religious head knowledge. Daily we must feed the life of Jesus in us with the milk and meat of His word, along with a fresh drink from the river of God.
We must be measured out. That is, are we coming into the full measure of Christ? Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). When we go through great trials are we acting more like Jesus, or are we reacting in the flesh of our old nature like fear, worry, anger, and unbelief? The real question is, "Are we becoming like Jesus in our obedience every day?" This is the full measure of Christ when we are walking in peace because of our obedience to Him. To keep my peace in my heart, I have found it much easier to obey than disobey.
“And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come. And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:7-8).
Notice the progression of each of these seals being opened. First, the conqueror comes to conquer us. Jesus is being revealed in us as these seals are broken one at a time, and this causes great tribulation within us. Second, a sword is given to kill the self-life out of us. Third, we are measured out to see if we are coming into His maturity. Next death must come to self. Each time a seal is broken the angel says, “Come” or in the Greek it reads, “COME SEE.” In other words, once we pass through these steps, we can see their effects on and in our life, but not before. We must have an experience with the things of God before we can understand the doctrines of the Bible. Head knowledge alone is not enough to satisfy our spirit man. This is why many that have not passed through this dying process cannot see or understand this. I would pray that God would give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in these things. When I first read Pilgrim’s Progress, I asked the Lord why He hadn’t given it to me sooner. He said, “You would not have understood it, because you had not experienced it.”
The progression of the fourth seal is death. It’s death to the self-life in us, so that Christ may live His life fully through us. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:5).
THE FIFTH SEAL OPENED
“And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also” (Revelation 6:9-11).
These who have yielded to the process of death to self whom the Lord has slain with His mighty sword, lay under the altar waiting for the hour of their revealing in His glory. Up till now they have been hidden. "Why were they killed?" Because they have followed the Lamb wherever He goes! This is a death process in itself. We must follow as He leads us forward; this will be death to our reasoning and understanding. Leaning upon our own understanding will mislead us every time. If self is not dead in us, we will never be able to handle the power and glory that He is about to reveal in the earth, as our minds will get in the way of Him to perform His works. When Jesus was doing His miracles on earth, it was because He was following the Father’s leading and not His own. Jesus was dead to the self-life; this is why He was so powerful.
These that are under the altar ask, “How long O Lord!” Now I ask you, have you been saying this to the Lord, lately? If so, you’re probably under the altar hidden! Why "under the altar" you ask? Because we have gone through many fires and we have now become ashes under His altar, with nothing left of self to offer up to Him. All of our self-righteousness and carnal ways have been burnt to ashes by God Himself through the fiery trials He has allowed in our lives. This is the reason we have been through these fires, so that we become nothing. But soon, there is going to be a great exchange taking place. God does not waste anything, but He redeems it! Now He is going to redeem our ashes. “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3 KJV). Yes, the Lord is going to give us (His beauty) for our ashes. Praise His Name!
These were told to “rest” under His altar. Here is the perseverance and faith of the saints to trust God for the fulfillment of His promises. We are told in Scripture not to profane His Sabbath. What does that mean for us? Whenever we are not at peace within ourselves, we are profaning His Sabbath with worry and fears. Jesus is coming back to a people that are at rest within themselves; their wars have ended within and they are at peace. “Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest” (Isaiah 66:1)? Listen to what Peter said about the coming of the Lord, “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14).
These could not come out until the numbers of their brethren were killed even as they were. I believe the number to be killed is the 144,000. “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Revelation 7:4). Nevertheless while they were waiting, God gave them a white robe for their sufferings. I believe this to be their wedding garments. “And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:8).
“And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand" (Revelation 6:12-17)?
A shaking is now taking place in the Church of the Living God. “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, " Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven" (Hebrews 12:26). The heaven here is our mind. Many people are going through great quaking and tribulating in their own personal lives, and everything within them not founded upon the word of God will fall because it is sinking sand! “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:6-7 KJV). The word "enmity" here means, "to be as an enemy and adversary like Satan!" When we are living by our own fleshly reasoning, we are agreeing with the devil and are living out of second heaven revelation, rather than living in the third heaven, where we are to be seated with Christ. Out of the third heaven comes our revelation from God; our Head Jesus abides there. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
When John speaks of the sun, moon and stars, he again is talking about everything high and exalted in our lives coming down. Obviously, the stars could not literally fall to the earth, for they are many times bigger than the earth and the earth would be destroyed. Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
When people cover themselves with sackcloth, they also cover themselves with ashes. (See Isaiah 58:5). Again, these are the ones from under the altar that have been greatly humbled and broken of self. The sun and moon do not give their natural light, so that people cannot see their way clearly through the difficult times. Their reasoning is darkened and they must walk everyday in faith. Because of this, they do not understand the way the Lord is leading them. “The righteous one shall live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38): not just get saved by faith, but to live everyday pleasing to God in faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Verse 14 speaks about the sky splitting apart. Why is this? Because God Himself is coming down in the power of His Presence and the second heaven, or the mind, will be rent apart from the top to the bottom, the mind cannot comprehend God. The prayer of Isaiah 64:1-4 is now coming to pass, “Oh, that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Thy presence as fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil to make Thy name known to Thine adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Thy presence! When Thou didst awesome things which we did not expect, Thou didst come down, the mountains quaked at Thy presence. For from of old they have not heard nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a God besides Thee, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” Again in Exodus 19:10-11, the Scripture speaks about God coming down amongst the people, “The LORD also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
When Jesus reveals Himself with great power through His people, the world will go wild, as they did when He came down in the days of Moses. “And all the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance” (Exodus 20:18). Thank God there was Moses and Joshua prepared to stand in such glory. And so it will be, when He comes in power. God has a people prepared to stand in glory-fire and bring it down from Mount Zion to His people for a very great deliverance. “Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. "Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning" (Isaiah 33:14)?
The closer we get in relationship to our Lord and His glory, the more of us has to go. If we are not willing to die to our ways, His presence will drive us crazy under conviction. The book of Jonah tells us that he ran from the presence of the Lord, not from his calling to go to Nineveh. If you desire to get close to God, know that you will be burned to a crisp if you do not repent. How many people would open a furnace door and jump in? None, if they’re in their right mind! Yet, our God is a consuming fire. Would we dare draw close to Him with sin in our lives? If we are going to go into the life of our Father, as the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies, we must know that there is a fire in there. (See Ex 40:38). We must decide now if we want to go on any farther with our walk with God. For as we walk closer to Him, more of our flesh must be burned off so that we will become nothing, even as "the scum of the earth" as Paul said.
Revelation 6:17 asks the question, “Who is able to stand?” Or who has been prepared for such a day as this with all its trials and great stresses? Malachi 3:2 asks the same question, "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.” Again Malachi 4:1-2 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”
Yes, He is coming. But, He is first coming in His people before He comes for His people. Most Christians think that He is coming in some secret way and then they will be whisked away in some cloud somewhere. They never take into account these verses that should cause them to tremble before Him. Jude 24 says, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” If we will cry out to God and seek and obey Him with all our heart, we will be able to stand. Because His great power and fire has cleansed us, we will stand because of Him.
“Saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Revelation 7:3-4).
The sealing of the 144,000 is still a part of the sixth seal. These are the ones who have passed the tests, have come through the fires, and are able to stand in the day of His great power and glory. Why can they stand? There is nothing left to burn in them; they have been reduced to zero; they have gone through the fires by obeying the will of God. When the fuel in a log is burned up, there is no more to burn. Fire cannot harm it any more, and so, it is with us. Fire cannot harm fire, for God has now made His ministers a flame of fire and one with Him. (See Hebrews 1:7).
I don’t believe that 144,000 is a literal number or that it is the number of all the overcomers. Twelve in the Bible is for divine government. There are the twelve tribes, twelve apostles, 12 x 12 = 144 + 000. "Three" is the number of fullness, so three zeros would be fullness of His glory in the elect. We must come to zero in our own selves, so that His glory may shine through us. We are to become transparent like pure gold, so that He might be seen in and through us. When gold is completely refined it has no color in it at all, but is as glass. This is why we must go through the fires over and over to be refined of all the impurities of the flesh. “And the material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.” We are the city of God! “… And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:18,21).
But you may say these are all Jewish men! Let me remind you what Paul said, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29). Very clearly then, we gentiles are Jewish!
We must be careful with our interpretation of the book of Revelation because much of it is symbolic. Each one of these twelve tribal names in Revelation 7:5-8 is an attribute of the Christian faith. We must remember that many of the Old Testament characters and stories are types and shadows to give the New Testament spiritual understanding.
Their meanings are:
Judah = "Praise"
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1).
Reuben = "See a son"
The overcoming Church is God’s son. "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Revelation 21:7).
Gad = "To overcome"
"He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Revelation 21:7).
Asher = "Happy"
“Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the LORD had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel”
(2 Chronicles 7:10).
Naphtali = "Wrestling"
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV).
Manasseh = "God causes me to forget all my sufferings."
“And Joseph named the first-born Manasseh, "For, he said," "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household" (Genesis 41:51).
Simeon = "Hearing"
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27).
Levi = "Unity"
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalms 133:1).
Issachar = "Reward"
“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1 KJV).
Zebulun = "Habitation"
We are the dwelling place of God.
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22 KJV).
Joseph = "Add a son"
Jesus is the first-born Son and we are added in with Him.
“And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son” (Genesis 30:24 KJV).
Benjamin = "Son of my right hand"
We will be at the right hand of the Father with Jesus.
“And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin” (Genesis 35:18 KJV).
Yes, each one of us is to have these characteristics as an overcoming Christian if we want to be sealed with His name. Why and how are they sealed, or in another term, "marked" for God? As we will see, God has His people marked for Himself and Satan has people marked for him.
Notice in Revelation 7:3 they are marked on the forehead. The forehead is the place where the mind is, and they are marked because their minds are fully on God. They desire nothing but to be holy and pleasing unto Him. God rewards them with His name. “And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). Think about it, what’s in a name? God’s name is His character and likeness. Man was created in the likeness of God, and now this is being restored to His people in the earth that have come through the fires and have died to self.
These are the ones that have come into the fullness of God and have partaken of His life behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies. Before the High Priest was able to go into the Holy of Holies once a year, he had to put on a change of garments. The very last thing he did was to put on a white turban with a golden seal on his forehead with the engraving saying, “Holy to the Lord.” (See Exodus 28:36, 39:30-31). The white denotes that his mind has become holy and also wholly given to the Lord.
There is only one head of the Church, and that is Jesus Christ. Our self-will must be dead, with our spirit and mind totally one with the Head, Jesus, so that there is no conflict of interest when we rule and reign with Him.
Now at the same time, Satan has a people on earth who are marked with his mark and name, because they have become one with him and his ways. All they can think about is the beast system and how to get rich or enjoy the world's goods. “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead” (Revelation 13:16). "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name" (Revelation 14:11). I know many have taught that the mark is literally in the forehead or hand. But this only means that their minds think and hands only do in or like the ways of the world. Let me ask you, "Do you believe that God’s mark on the forehead is literal?" No, of course not. It’s a spiritual mark in the heart. What do you think of most, God or the world? If it is the world’s ways, you may already have been marked and don’t even know it! Repent today of worldliness and fall in love with Jesus all over again before it is to late.
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).
Some ministers teach that these standing before the throne is the great harvest that has been saved through the preaching of the 144,000. However, I do differ with that teaching a bit. As I see it, they are the 144,000 that were just sealed, that have come through the same process as they did, the process of suffering. I believe this because these are the same ones that were given white robes in Revelation 6:11 for their suffering and righteous acts. Again in Revelation 7:14 (KJV), it says that they were given white robes for their suffering. “… And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
It is clearly written that if we want to partake of the glory, we must partake of the suffering of Christ. “These are they that have come out of great tribulation.”
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12 KJV).
“But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation” (1 Peter 4:13).
Now read carefully Revelation 7:15, "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them.”
“FOR THIS REASON THEY ARE BEFORE THE THRONE.” Why? They have suffered with Christ in His sufferings and were found faithful. Now, He has placed His glory over them. They do not have to go in and out of His presence, but can abide in His presence continually; for this is their reward for dying to self in this earthly life. “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them" (Revelation 14:13).
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat” (Revelation 7:16).
No more will they go though life suffering spiritual hunger and thirst pains, for they have come to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. They now feast at the River of Life and eat of the bounty of the Tree of Life. Neither does the stress of life burn them out, because they have entered the rest of God.
“For the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes" (Revelation 7:17).
The Lamb now sits on the throne of their heart and He leads them into the springs of life where there is no more sorrow. Praise God!
THE SEVENTH SEAL OPENED
“And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them” (Revelation 8:1-2).
Notice there are seven seals, seven angels, and seven trumpets. Seven is the number of completion, and this is when the mystery of God is finished. Those who have not gone through the progression of the first six seals will not make it to this final seal being opened in them and having Christ revealed through them. The seven trumpets has to do with the judgment of the second heaven. This is also the mind set on the flesh where Satan makes his throne. If our minds are set on the things of the world we will be greatly shaken by this. With each one of these blasts of the trumpets, demonic powers are both thrown down to the earth and demonic powers are released from within the earth to torment people that are living according to the flesh. Remember, Satan was given this right by God to eat all that is of the flesh or carnal. For God said unto him, “AND DUST YOU SHALL EAT.” This is what we are made of when we walk in sin, DUST! But it is said of Jesus, "… The ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me" (John 14:30).
These trumpets are not literal trumpet sounds, but are messengers preaching in the power of the kingdom of God. "Cry loudly, do not hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10). And again in Revelation 4:1, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." By the word of God, He created the earth. By His word alone, speaking through His prophetic Church, He will finish off the demonic powers.
Now look how these demonic powers are as fire that falls out of the second heaven:
“And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up” (Revelation 8:7).
I believe there are going to be many judgments taking place in the natural to symbolize what is taking place in the spirit realm. For what takes place in the spirit realm will effect what is happening in the natural. So we must prepare ourselves for both.
We are a three-part being, and our mind set on the flesh is that third part that will be destroyed by these great stressful fires that are coming to earth. If our minds have been rooted in this fleshly earth, as the trees are, or, if we are green and immature in our mind, it will be burned away by these fires of stress. We must learn to trust God now through all our trials, for God has given them to us that we might be prepared for the Great Day of the Lord. God is looking for full grains of wheat that have matured, so that He can harvest them.
“And the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood and a third of the creatures, which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed” (Revelation 8:8-9).
I believe that this mountain is the kingdom of Satan being thrown down to earth. Mountains, many times, represent governments in Scripture. "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys the whole earth," declares the LORD, "And I will stretch out My hand against you, And roll you down from the crags And I will make you a burnt out mountain” (Jeremiah 51:25).
The sea in the book of Revelation represents fallen humanity, because they are tossed about like the sea. Jude 13 says the wicked are as, “Wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam...” Such pressure is going to be placed upon the people at this time that they will sweat great amounts of blood as Jesus did under pressure. They would not receive His sacrifice, so now they must pay the penalty of their actions. But we, who are redeemed from these pressures, will be called to bring the peace of heaven to earth and into the lives of those who will receive it.
Much of the leader---ships (that’s what "ships" represent prophetically) of the false Church and governments of the world will be destroyed by the powers of this evil kingdom. I believe that’s what Revelation 12:4 means when it says, “And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth…” Satan is a fallen star, but the true servants of God are His "shining stars." "…The seven stars are the angels (Messengers) of the seven churches…” (Revelation 1:20). Even though we are God’s stars, many are falling because their love for God is growing cold, as sin is abounding in the earth. Isn’t it interesting how Satan calls worldly celebrities “STARS?” When, in fact, they are fallen stars that have become great black holes that suck everybody into them that is around them, living lives of sin with them?
“And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters” (Revelation 8:10).
I believe this great star is Satan, himself, being thrown out of the heavenlies, as in Revelation 12:7, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war.” This same star has been given authority to open the bottomless pit. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him” (Revelation 9:1). In Isaiah 14:12 he is called the morning star. "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!”
When the Scriptures speak of "waters," many times it can be talking about teachings that are coming forth. "Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb” (Deuteronomy 32:2). “That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26). But, as it is in Revelation 8:10, the waters of teaching have become poisoned with wormwood and many shall spiritually perish because of the incorrect teachings that are coming forth. We must know our Teacher, the Holy Spirit, and pray for discernment, trusting Him to lead us into all truth.
“And the fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were smitten, so that a third of them might be darkened and the day might not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way” (Revelation 8:12).
As this messenger sounds forth, great spiritual darkness falls upon the earth and Isaiah 60:2 is fulfilled, "For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.” These are going to be very difficult days for the world, with demonic powers covering the earth. Mankind has never seen anything like this before. This is why the eagle cries “…woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 8:13). And, again, this is spoken of in Revelation 12:12, “…Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." If our minds are fixed on the things of this world, we will be overcome by these powers. But, if we’re on fire for God, we will be seated with Christ in heavenly places. This spiritual darkness will not hinder us at all, but we will excel in this day, and will shine with His glory and bring a great deliverance to mankind! This will be the day of the revealing of the sons of God on the earth. “That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). Revelation 9:4 says that only those with the seal of God on the forehead will not be hurt by these judgements, because their minds are not on the things of this earth, but on the things above.
“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates" (Revelation 9:13-14).
Because there was no repentance in the people when these demonic powers were being released upon the earth, now even more powerful demonic powers are released to slay mankind. There are two different beasts released upon the earth in chapter 13. Verse 1 says that the first beast comes out of the sea; that is, it rises up out of the people. This would be the world system that most people are enslaved to. But the next beast comes out of the earth, and people will have no choice but to serve it or their life will be taken. “And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).
But, before the seventh angel sounds, there are seven thunders that will utter their voices. These thunders are very loud voices that will sound forth in the earth, even louder than the seven trumpets. In fact, I believe they’re already sounding forth in our day. Jane Leade of the sixteenth century was given a prophetic experience about these thunders. (They are written for you in the next chapter.) The writings have to do with the manifested sons of God being released in the earth; for this must take place before the seventh seal can be opened. In other words, the mystery of God must be finished.
“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7).
Notice it says, “In the days of the voice,” meaning this will go on for a period of time, until all is completed in the plan of God; that is, until this mystery of God is finished. What is the mystery of God? “Christ in you the hope of glory!” This is the great High Calling of God in Christ Jesus, to be filled with all the fullness of Him. When this takes place, the mystery is finished, and His sons have been manifested in the earth. Paul wrote about this in Colossians 1:26-27, “That is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:3).
In the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, this is being finished. Jesus' prayer for us to be one with Him in His glory is now being fulfilled. The voice of this messenger is even now sounding forth. You are now hearing this voice through this written message.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).
Notice that as the angel sounds forth, it is the end of man’s way of living with their mind set on the flesh. For God has now begun to reign with His great power and the nations are enraged. His kingdom has come and His will is done in us, as it is in heaven. For now there is a people that He can reign through on the earth. God has taken over the earth and He wins!
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven” (Revelation 12:7-8).
The name Michael means, “WHO IS LIKE GOD.” In other words, those, who are like God, will be given the grace to overcome the enemy and defeat sin and death in the mind and body and shall reign with Christ for one thousand years on earth.
As the seventh seal is opened in us, the devil and the powers of the second heaven are thrown down and our minds will be totally redeemed. We will no longer have to fight the battle that daily rages in our minds. Instead, we will have put on the mind of Christ, for we have become one with Him. The mystery of God will be finished, as His glory covers this new heaven (our mind) and earth (our body)!
“And I saw a new heaven (our mind) and a new earth; (our body) for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea” (Revelation 21:1).
Peter said in his second Epistle,
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens (the mind) will pass away with a roar (sudden crash) and the elements (ways of the world) will be destroyed with intense heat (pressure), and the earth (fleshly body) and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens (the mind) will be destroyed by burning (pressure), and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens (the mind) and a new earth (glorified body), in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless” (2 Peter 3:10-14).
Listen to the words of Malachi 3:2 and 4:1-2 again,
"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.”
"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”
“When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning” (Isaiah 4:4).
Make no mistake about it. He is coming in great fire and pressure to purify the daughters of Zion. Will you be ready to shine forth in His righteousness? Or will you burn under great pressure and stress with the worldly people?
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