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The Seventh Seal in Revelation – the Lamb’s Book of Life is Opened

Bible Study with Larry Wilson
WUAS Internet Bible Studies

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Publish Date: July, 2016
Last Updated: July 18, 2017
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Jesus is Deity Like God the Father

“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.” (Revelation 8:1)

Seal #7 – The Revelation of Jesus Completed

Unless a person understands that each series of apocalyptic prophecies progresses in chronological order, he might conclude the seventh seal occurs before the seven trumpets. On the other hand, if a person understands the sixth seal to be Jesus’ second coming, he might wonder why the seventh seal would be broken after Jesus’ second coming. The confusion arises because the book of Revelation disconnects the seventh seal from the previous six seals. Revelation 6 describes the first six seals and Revelation 7 gives the story of the 144,000. Then, the seventh seal is found in Revelation 8! God gives an interesting solution to this question because He is deliberate and purposeful in everything He does!

Apocalyptic prophecy is chronological in nature. Each apocalyptic prophecy has a beginning and ending point in time and events occur in the order given. We see this pattern repeated without exception in Daniel and Revelation seventeen times. This pattern in apocalyptic prophecy resolves many questions. For example, when we study the metal man in Daniel 2, it is easy to identify the chronology. Similarly, when we study the four beasts and the little horn in Daniel 7, we can easily identify the chronology of events. Then in Revelation 6, we can easily identify that the seals occur in chronological order. Jesus was found worthy to receive the Book of Life in 1798, then He broke each seal in chronological order. However, the chronology of each apocalyptic prophecy is not always easy to see.

The first apocalyptic prophecy in Revelation begins with Revelation 4:1 (the beginning point in time for this prophecy is 1798) and the chronological order of this prophecy ends with the sixth seal. The sixth seal is Jesus’ second coming in Revelation 6:17 (this is the ending point in time for this prophecy). We know the chronological order of the seven seals prophecy ends with the sixth seal because Revelation 7:1, the next verse after Revelation 6:17, cannot occur after Jesus’ second coming. So, the chronological order in Revelation is broken at Revelation 7:1 and this forces a new prophecy to begin. In other words, the 144,000 cannot be selected and sealed (the story in Revelation 7) after the kings and generals of the Earth hide in the caves and cry out for the mountains to fall on them (the sixth seal). Therefore, the second prophecy in Revelation begins with Revelation 7:1 and the third prophecy in Revelation regarding the seven trumpets begins with Revelation 8:2. Please take a moment and study the chart below to see how these prophecies align.

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The prophet John did not divide the book of Revelation into chapters and verses. Centuries after John wrote Revelation, scholars divided the Bible into chapters and verses for reference and study and they did not know what to do with the one sentence describing the seventh seal. This sentence does not appear to fit within Revelation 7 which deals with the 144,000 and the numberless multitude and it does not appear to have anything to do with the seven trumpets. Since they could not move the sentence to the end of Revelation 6 so that the seventh seal would follow after the sixth seal, they decided to make this one sentence the first verse in Revelation 8. (To their credit, they did not tamper or alter the order of the text that John wrote! They did not move this one short sentence from its all-important location!)

Please notice that the second prophecy in Revelation (Revelation 7:1 through 8:1) is in chronological order. There are three events in this prophecy.

  1. Jesus selects and seals the 144,000 just before the fourth seal is broken (Revelation 7:1-4)
  2. Jesus saves a numberless multitude during the great tribulation and takes them to Heaven at the Second Coming. John saw them standing before the throne in Heaven. (Revelation 7:9-14)
  3. Jesus breaks the seventh seal. Silence in Heaven. (Revelation 8:1)

Now that you see the chronological order, the explanation of why Jesus breaks the seventh seal 1,000 years after the sixth seal at the end of the millennium might surprise you. Consider these four steps:

  1. The Lamb’s Book of Life is separate and distinct from the other books in Heaven.
  2. The Bible says the Book of Life is opened once, at the end of the one thousand years. “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Revelation 20:12)
  3. The Lamb’s Book of Life is the book sealed with seven seals. Therefore, the Book of Life can only be opened when the seventh seal is broken.
  4. Because the second prophecy in Revelation is given to us in chronological order, the seventh seal can only be broken open after the numberless multitude have been taken to Heaven and are seen standing around the throne. Consider the timing in this verse: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. . . . Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes – who are they, and where did they come from?’ I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ ” (Revelation 7:9,13,14)

The saints described in verses 9-14 are not the saints from all of the ages. The saints in Revelation 7:9-14 will come out of great tribulation and they will stand around the throne indicating there will be a huge harvest of souls at the end of the world! After this event, John saw the seventh seal opened. (Revelation 8:1). This forces the timing of the seventh seal to the end of the 1,000 years because the Lamb’s Book of Life is only opened at the end of the 1,000 years. Once Jesus breaks the seventh seal, everything the Father wrote in the Book of Life will be exposed. For the first time in the history of the universe, the Father will permit everyone to see this solemn fact: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

Great White Throne Judgment

At the end of the thousand years the holy city, New Jerusalem, will descend from Heaven with all of the saints inside. (Revelation 21:2) After the city comes to rest, the wicked will come to life from their graves. (Revelation 20:5) The wicked, from Cain on down to the Second Coming will number in the tens of billions. Remember that most of these people did not see the Second Coming because they were asleep in their graves. On this day of resurrection, two great classes of people will be present. The saints, a thousand years older, but free of the aging process and any deformity, will see the wicked’s miserable and degenerate condition. The wicked will rise from their graves just as they went in. The wicked will be astonished as they study the gleaming walls of New Jerusalem. They will see family members, friends, and individuals who they regarded as poor, weak, unsophisticated, and uneducated. Generals, kings, presidents, scholars, statesmen, tycoons, religious leaders, and greedy employers will be found standing outside the city. (Matthew 7:14; 19:24)

Jesus will resurrect the wicked for three reasons:

  1. Jesus will confront each wicked person with the result of His investigation. Jesus will have a personal face to face meeting with each created being. This will be possible through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus will do this because He loved every wicked person and He wants every wicked person to know that He personally investigated and weighed the conduct of each sinner’s life. Jesus wants every wicked person to know exactly why He could not grant him eternal life. To put His investigation and decision beyond controversy, Jesus will open the books of records and present the evidence to each person. Each wicked person will see the record of his life. Each wicked person will see the unvarnished truth just as God saw it. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) Jesus will deny eternal life to the wicked because they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and rejected God’s voice in their hearts. (Matthew 12:31,32) After reviewing the evidence and hearing Jesus’ decision, the wicked will kneel down and confess, “In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.” (Isaiah 45:24) Unlike Esau, who regretted selling his birthright for a dish of food, the hearts of the wicked will not be changed. (Hebrews 12:17)
  2. Jesus will resurrect the wicked so that they can provide restitution. During the millennium, the saints will have reigned with Jesus. This means that the saints will sit in judgment with the Judge of Mankind. They will be required to go over the records of the wicked and determine the amount of restitution each wicked person must pay. “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” (1 Corinthians 6:2,3) “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.” (Revelation 20:4)

This may shock some people, but the golden rule is ironclad and it cannot be violated. As you did unto others, the same will be done unto you, with additional penalties. Jesus said, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2) The doctrine of restitution is a marvelous study. Basically, it teaches that whenever we do wrong, God requires that we make every effort to restore the damage and make it right. If we refuse to make things right, God will see to it that restitution is extracted from us at the appointed time, even if we are unwilling to repay. This is why Paul wrote, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) During the millennium, the saints, many of whom were victims of crimes and predatory behavior, will determine the amount of suffering which their wicked assailants must repay and God will extract restitution from them in a lake of burning sulfur. In many cases, the wicked will burn and suffer according to the decisions made by their victims. God’s law demands it.

Contrary to what most Christians believe today, God does not forgive or ignore sin, instead he transfers the guilt of our sin away from us. In God’s economy, sin always requires atonement. Only after the wicked have totally paid restitution will they be allowed to perish. Many wicked people have committed horrible crimes and gone to their grave thinking they got away with murder. They will be surprised when they learn they have been awakened from the sleep of death to provide restitution for their deeds by suffering. The saints will also pass judgment on Lucifer and each demon. Jesus will completely expose the culpability of Lucifer and his demons and the saints will judge them during the millennium. In the end, justice will be served. The wrath of law will be satisfied.

  1. The third reason that God will resurrect the wicked at the end of the 1,000 years is because Jesus breaks the seventh seal! This will be the only moment in the history of the universe when everyone whom God has given life will be alive. Billions of people and angels will be present. The wicked will be outside the Holy city with Lucifer and his angels, and the saints will be positioned inside the city with all of the angels of God. What a meeting! At this point in time, Jesus has something to say to everyone (literally to everyone who has ever lived).

I understand that Jesus will break the seventh seal and every being will look into the sky at what appears like a movie screen for about half an hour. A giant movie will play on this screen and everyone will see who Jesus fully is. The Father has ordained that Jesus would only be revealed when every creature stands before Him. Jesus will show angels and humans alike that He is an Eternal God, a member of the eternal Trinity, and possesses every attribute of the Father. Jesus is responsible for the creation of everyone at the meeting and that He was not willing that anyone should perish. He will explain that He was willing to die for any angel or human being before He created them. Jesus will reveal His love for God’s children to every being that draws breath. This touching revelation will take half an hour. Everyone will begin to understand the depth and magnitude of God’s love and that Jesus is fully God. Everyone will see scenes from the Creation, the Fall, the Redemption, and the Restoration and everyone will be humbled into bowing before the most powerful force in the universe: Divine Love.

The Seventh Seal

After Jesus breaks the seventh seal and the half hour presentation ends, He will then show everyone what the Father knew from the beginning. Jesus will show that the books of records and the Book of Life are identical. The choices of angels and humans alike were recorded as they happened and even though the Father foreknew the rise and price of sin, He authorized the creation of life anyway. (Hebrews 1:2) After the Book of Life has been opened, Jesus will confirm seven eternal truths before the assembled host:

  1. The Father has perfect foreknowledge. He will not, under any circumstances, use His foreknowledge to manipulate the choices and affections of His children. He treats and respects His finite children on the basis of infinite love.
  2. The Father is love. Even though He foreknew the rise of sin and the staggering price of redemption, He chose to have children and gave them freedom anyway.
  3. The Father gives free will and the power of choice to His children. Even though He foreknew which individuals would be saved and which would not, He gave everyone the freedom to love and obey Him or to hate and rebel against Him.
  4. The Father’s ways are not deemed righteous because He declares Himself to be righteous. Instead, God’s ways are deemed righteous because He has demonstrated perfect righteousness during the presence of sin and rebellion. The Book of Life will prove that the Godhead only uses omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence to ensure the eternal rule of the law of love throughout an expanding universe. The Godhead does not use these incredible powers to maintain an elevated position in the universe.
  5. The Father is unbelievably humble and selfless. Jesus is a perfect mirror of the Father. Jesus was willing to forfeit His eternal existence so that Adam and Eve and their offspring might have the possibility of recovering all that was lost through sin. The Father would have done the same thing if He served the universe as the Creator.
  6. The Father’s government is based on the eternal principles of righteousness and justice. Because the Father lives within the boundaries of unchangeable laws, only God could save sinners. The plan of salvation required perfect blood to transfer the sinner’s guilt to the scapegoat. A perfect life was required to restore the righteousness that sinners need. Jesus met and satisfied both requirements.
  7. The Father ordained long ago after the knowledge of good and evil has become universal, people redeemed from the penalty of sin will use their experience and influence to thwart sin if another event should arise.

When the whole universe sees these seven truths, the saints will fall on their faces saying over and over, “God is too good and too great to describe.”

What a Savior! Jesus will exonerate the Father’s government and redeem sinners from their sins! What a God! The angels will rejoice at this revelation of Jesus as they see the contents of the Book of Life. Everyone who will be there will know that the Father has revealed His beautiful and selfless character through Jesus. The saints and angels will fall on their faces before Jesus praising Him for His goodness and generosity. Saints and the angels of God will declare again and again that worthy is the Lamb! The Godhead can be totally trusted. The Godhead is worthy of nonnegotiable faith.

Lucifer Attacks God's People

As saints and angels of God rejoice over the contents of the Book of Life, Lucifer, his demons and the wicked multitude will be moved to anger. They cannot blame anyone but themselves for their hopeless position outside the city. They cannot do anything to save themselves from the suffering that they are about to receive. As they gaze on the glorious holy city and the rejoicing saints inside, they feel darkness, jealousy, and despair. Their hatred for God rises and Lucifer seizes the moment. He assumes command and marshals the mighty host to make war against Jesus, inspiring them to take the city by force. The nature of false religion is to do whatever it takes to save self: “They marched across the breadth of the Earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves. But fire came down from Heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:9,10) This torment, which the wicked receive day and night forever and ever, reflects the demands of restitution. The wicked will suffer until their debt is paid in full. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 4:1-3)

When Jesus completely annihilates the wicked, He will create a new Heaven and a new Earth. (Revelation 21:5) Then, after using his creative abilities, Jesus will do something even greater! “Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) Amazingly, Jesus will give His great authority as Almighty God to the Father so that the Father can be everything. Jesus will relinquish the throne and return to living among His created beings as one of us. This action reveals the true nature and character of God. God is love. Let’s shout it: GOD IS LOVE!

Summary

This book has been lengthy, but I hope you have found the information helpful. The next time you read it through, the entire story will make more sense because you will know the end from the beginning. The story of the seven seals is inspiring and I am very grateful for the opportunity to share the results of my investigation with you. The first apocalyptic prophecy in the book of Revelation is dedicated to the seven seals because there is no grander topic than the revealing of all that Jesus fully is. He is worthy to receive worship, praise, honor, strength, glory, wisdom, and power. Even in our wildest dreams, no angel or man could have invented a God with the awesome attributes of Jesus! Even though He is more than we can possibly understand, we can love Him with all of our hearts.

The Father wrote the Book of Life before Jesus created life. The Father prerecorded the history of angels and humans and then sealed the book with seven seals so that no one could view the contents of the book until the appropriate time. In 1798, Jesus was found worthy to receive the book and begin breaking the seals. When Jesus breaks each seal, a new revelation about Him occurs:

  • Seal 1: The salvation of Jesus
  • Seal 2: The teachings of Jesus
  • Seal 3: The judgment bar 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

We are now waiting for Jesus to break the fourth seal. This seal marks the beginning of the great tribulation. The stage is set and the hour is almost here for Earth’s final curtain. For six thousand years, Earth has been a theater of conflict between good and evil. The drama of sin is almost over. We are very close to the Second Coming. The next revelation of Jesus will be awful and awesome at the same time. A great declaration of His sovereign powers will soon occur. (Remember the five physical phenomena?)

At the end of the seventh millennium, the drama of sin will close when the seventh seal is broken and Jesus exposes the contents of the Book of Life. Because the Book of Life will be found to be identical with the books of record, the Father will silence the charge that He used His foreknowledge to manipulate the choices of His children and the outcome of events for eternity. The universe will see that even though God knows everything and has all power, He can be explicitly trusted to respect the power of choice that He grants to each of His children. When Jesus breaks the seventh seal, every question about the Father’s integrity, character, and government will be resolved because an open Book of Life and the books of records will say everything that needs to be said.

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Larry W. Wilson

Larry Wilson, founder of WUAS, became a “born again” Christian in 1972. His interest in the gospel has led him on a 40+ year quest to learn more about what God has revealed to Earth’s final generation. The results of his research have been shared all over the world in books, television & radio broadcasts, media interviews, and seminars that are publicly available on all different types of media (see our Christian Bookstore).

What is Wake Up America Seminars (WUAS)?
Wake Up America Seminars, Inc. is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization with a focus on the study of End-Time Prophecy. WUAS is not a church, nor does it endorse any denomination. Our focus is singular: We are dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and His imminent return. We are delighted that people of all faiths are diligently using the Bible study materials produced by WUAS. All study materials are based solely on the Bible alone.

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