I want to take a few moments of your time to discuss the significance of the opening of the Seven Seals of Revelation 5.
As believers of the end time message, we rejoice that the seals have been opened and revealed to us by the grace of God. It was in 1963 that the seals were opened by the Lord Jesus and then revealed to us by the prophet of Malachi 4:5-6.
This is a tremendous Biblical event which first leads to John weeping when he discovers no one is worthy to loose the seals and open the book. Next, it causes a Pentecostal revival in heaven of shouting and rejoicing that there was found one worthy. This should give us a moment to pause and consider the significance of this book and its contents.
In verse three we find exactly that, no man in heaven, earth or the grave was found worthy to claim and open the book.
I want to review the Scriptures here and take the time to fully grasp the reality of its contents.
Revelation 5:1-4 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.
We want to determine what this book is. As we do so let’s examine each aspect of these verses. The book is the in the right hand and the right hand signifies power or authority. John saw this book in the right hand of God himself, the original owner of all things. The KJV calls it a book, but it, in fact, is a scroll, as in the ancient means of writing. The book was written within and on the backside. The normal procedure is that the book would just have writing inside of it. But this scroll has writing inside and outside. This seems to signify to us that there is a great deal of information contained in this scroll. Finally, in verse one we see that the book was sealed with seven seals. As in the picture above, there are seven sheets of paper, each having been sealed.
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In verse two we find a strong angel asking the question “who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals?” This verse shows us that the book as a specific purpose and it cannot be opened by merely anyone. Since the book was in the hands of God we deem that the book itself is not even for God himself, the eternal and invisible Spirit to open. The strong angel made the proclamation and so we assume that this book is not even for the angels. A man has to be found worthy to open the book.
In verse three we find exactly that, no man in heaven, earth or the grave was found worthy to claim and open the book. The 24 elders were not found worthy, John was not worthy and neither were any of the prophets of old. No one was worthy. As a result in verse four, John weeps much. The word “weep” means to sob or wail aloud. This was on the order of alligator tears, snot bubbles, and loud lamentations. All humor aside this book was so significant that it caused John to lose all hope that no one was found worthy. The next word is much, in the sense that John “wept much”, however, this word could also mean “many”, that is, many around the throne wept as a result of no one being found worthy. What is the significance of this book? Let’s keep reading in the Scriptures.
Revelation 5:5-6 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. 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.
Amen! One of the elders informed John that he didn’t need to weep. There was a solution to the problem and the need to open and reveal the contents of the book. The elder informs him that the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed. The role that Jesus Christ plays as the Lion signifies him as King of kings and Lord of lords in his position during the millennial reign. It shows that judgment is coming and that the kingdom is at hand. It says that the Lion has prevailed, subdued or conquered to open the book and loose the seals thereof. So, in order to have the right to claim and open the book, you had to conquer. Prior to this time in the book of Revelation John had not seen the Lamb at all. Then out of nowhere standing in the middle of the scene of the throne, the four beasts and the elders was a Lamb that had been slain. John was told a Lion had prevailed and when he looked there was a Lamb standing in the midst of the throne and beasts and elders as it had been slain. He had been hidden from the scene. He had been seated to make intercession “for the ignorance of the people.” This is the role of Jesus Christ as intercessor. This hearkens back to the work of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. He took the blood into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled the mercy seat seven times. Each sin had a specific sacrifice attached to it, therefore, when they people knew of their sin they were to make an offering as quickly as possible. But for those sins done in ignorance, the High Priest went in once a year and made an Atonement for them.
Jesus Christ had fulfilled his time as an intercessor and now stood to claim his rightful possession, the seven-sealed scroll. It is clear that Jesus Christ is neither literal Lion or a literal Lamb. These are prophetic symbols. Jesus does not appear slain still, he is in his resurrected body, only with pierced hands and feet, to remind us of his work of redemption for us. Jesus does not have seven eyes and seven horns. These are symbols. Christ has seven Spirits that are sent forth into all the earth. These are seven messengers that are sent out with specific work to do. That is another subject for another time.
The weeping of John leads us to understand the extreme significance of this book. Then the connection of this book with someone being worthy to open it brings it more into the light, but I want to continue on in the chapter to really get the full sense of the purpose of this seven-sealed book.
Revelation 5:7-10 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
So, the Lord Jesus Christ came forward to take the book out of the hand of God. The man Christ Jesus had been interceding for our sins in the throne of God and now he stands in the midst of the throne, beasts, and elders and then comes forward to claim the book as his own. This is a prophetic book and this is a prophetic scene that John witnesses. He was not seeing a contemporary event, but a prophetic one to take place at the end of the age. It must be so, for look at the words of God to Daniel.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Daniel 12:8-10 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
In 1963 as Brother Branham prepared himself to receive the revelation of each of these seals the Lamb came forward and made his redemption claim.
It is only at the time of the end that this book will be opened and its contents revealed. It remained a hidden mystery until the last and seventh church age. So, back to the significance of the book. The angels and the elders fell down to worship the Lamb of God and their song of worship was that “you are worthy to take the book and open the seals because you were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood.” The word redeemed in the Greek is agorazo? and it means “to purchase.” Jesus paid the purchase price for us. But there is a second part to redemption and that is to claim your property. You first pay the price and then you claim your property. Redemption was not complete at Calvary. The price was paid, but the claim was not made. Notice what Paul writes to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The day of redemption was a future time in the days of Paul. Look at what Peter writes.
1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Here we see salvation as something that will be revealed to the church in the end time. This is precisely connected together with the words given to Daniel. There will be an opening of the sealed book at the end time and it will cause that many shall be purified and made white and the wise will understand it.
In 1963 as Brother Branham prepared himself to receive the revelation of each of these seals the Lamb came forward and made his redemption claim. This book, therefore, is the title deed of redemption, containing the names of the redeemed and the mysteries of redemption to be revealed in the last time. He died to purchase the right to this book and its contents. Without taking this book all was lost. The Lamb takes the book and breaks the seals one by one. He looses them and John then writes down a vision connected to each of them. In 1963 Brother Branham revealed the meaning of each of them. This could only happen when those seals were opened. As soon as the seventh seal is broke open the whole book can be revealed.
So, the significance of the seven-sealed book is that it is the title deed to redemption and it contains the names of all the redeemed and the mysteries of redemption that must be made known in the end-time in order to complete the work of redemption. When Jesus Christ claims, opens and reveals the book then he is no longer interceding for the ignorance of the people. The whole mystery is made known and revealed. Ignorance cannot be claimed anymore. There is always grace and mercy for God’s elect, but now in the plan of redemption, there has been a transition. Salvation has been revealed in the last time. We no longer have a Lamb as though it had been slain, awaiting the time to make redemption claims. Revelation 10 shows us the whole picture. This is a complete article in itself which we will go into detail on in the future.
So, the significance of the seven-sealed book is that it is the title deed to redemption and it contains the names of all the redeemed and the mysteries of redemption that must be made known in the end-time in order to complete the work of redemption.
We see from Revelation 10, that in 1963, Christ comes down in Angelic form with an open book, seven thunders utter their voices and the seventh angel messenger reveals the mystery of God and then this book is given to John, representing the Bride, and she is to eat the book. The fact that it is an open book shows that once it was sealed. Now, Christ comes down to reveal that book and it comes from seven thunders down to the seventh angel messenger, William Branham. Now, the book goes from the hands of the one that claimed it, Christ, and is given to his Bride to eat. She is to become one with the book. This is clearly a new phase of redemption. If we don’t eat the open book then we aren’t experiencing the full process of redemption that Christ paid for at Calvary. If we refuse to eat this book we are refusing the Atonement made by Jesus Christ.