Question No. 20:—What Biblical proof is there to show that the events of the Seven Seals (Rev. 4-8) span the entire world’s history, which is contrary to the Denomination’s teaching that they cover only the Christian church period? Don’t you know that the book with the seals is symbolical of the books of Daniel and The Revelation?
The foundation upon which rests the Denominational position that the seals are prophetic of events in the New Testament period, is their interpretation of the first seal, concerning which John says:
“I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Rev. 6:2.
This scripture is unauthoritatively interpreted to mean the early Christian church. The facts that the horse in the vision was white and the young church pure, the rider conquering and the church growing do not in themselves make a rock foundation upon which to build up a theory that the events of the seals began with the Christian church.
John was in vision shown the seals about sixty-five years after the Pentecost, in the period when the church was already declining from her peak purity and steady growth. The Voice said to him: “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Rev. 4:1. In other words, the events which he was about to be shown were to develop in the future from the time he had the vision. Now let us take notice of what he saw:
“I was in the Spirit,” says John, “and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne…. 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…. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much,… 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.” Rev. 4:2; 5:1, 3-5.
Mark that the events symbolized were to materialize sometime after John had the vision, not before. Furthermore, where in any instance have the Scriptures ever symbolized the church by a man riding on a horse? If the horse symbolizes the church, then what of the man?
Obvious it is, that in this vision John was looking forward to the commencement of some important event that was to take place in the future from the time he had the vision rather than back when the church began. Moreover, it was to be in heaven, not on earth. As thousands upon thousands surrounded the throne upon which sat the Great Judge holding up the book that was sealed with seven seals, the event obviously is more like the commencement of the Judgment of Daniel 7:9, 10 than like the commencement of the preaching of the gospel.
Speaking of the book which was sealed with the seven seals, the Spirit of Truth says: “Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.”–Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 294.
In this connection each component part of the entire symbolism dovetails with both sacred and profane history, and also with the Third Angel’s Message itself–thus giving “power and force” to the latter.