Rev. 4:1: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” The door that was opened cannot be any other than the one separating the two apartments; namely, the holy from the most holy, in the heavenly sanctuary, as shown by the earthly sanctuary built by Moses. That apartment was to be opened at the beginning of the judgment, typified by the day of atonement as previously explained. Then we make no mistake in concluding that the scene is the judgment in session, and as the voice said to John, “I will shew thee things which must be hereafter,” it is evident that he looked forward in vision to the opening of the judgment in 1844.
If these conclusions are correct, and the vision describes the judgment in progress, then the same must be proven by the things seen in vision. A judgment in session requires a judge, an advocate, a jury, and representatives of those who are to be judged, for they cannot be there (in heaven) in person. There must be books containing the names, and records of the deeds, of those who are to be judged; also the time of the judgment, and the reward. We quote the scripture describing the Great Judge: “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Rev. 4:2 and 3.)
The glory of God is represented by the likeness of precious stones. The rainbow reveals God’s never failing promise and great mercy. God said to Noah: “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.” (Gen. 9:12, 13.)
The following verse depicts the jury: “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Revelation 4:4.) The crowns of gold denote their kingly authority to act upon the case. The white robes show that they are men from earth, redeemed by Rev. 4:6.) “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. 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.” (Revelation 5:8, 9.) Note the beasts and elders all sang, saying: “For thou hast redeemed us out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Thus, the beasts, as well as the elders, are redeemed from the earth.
Again, note that the beasts and elders made a total of twenty-eight. It would be impossible for only twenty-eight persons to be redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation: for if there were only one redeemed out of every nation, the number would run into thousands, instead of twenty-eight. Therefore, it is evident that the “four beasts” are symbols which represent four groups of saints gathered from all ages, and out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation. In a similar way the world empires after the flood are symbolically represented by beasts. Thus by the beasts are represented those that shall be judged.
“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8.) “Full of eyes.” Eyes are to give light to the body. Therefore, they stand as a symbol, signifying that God’s people have had sufficient light in every age. “Before and behind” denotes prophetic light, revealing to them the past, present and future; this being made possible by the Spirit of God and by holy angels. The number “four” shows that there are four classes of saints to be considered in the judgment. Two of these classes are to be resurrected; namely, those who died naturally, and those who were martyred. The other two are they who shall be translated at the coming of Christ; namely, the 144,000 of Revelation 7:1-8, and the great multitude with palms in their hands, as shown in Rev. 7:9. (See “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 41-51.) As the wings of the lion, and also of the four-headed leopard beast (Babylon and Grecia) represent numbers of periods as previously explained (on page 33-42), then they must stand for the same on these beasts. They are to point out the seal under which the judgment began — the sixth seal — therefore six wings. “Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” That is, God before the judgment, in the time of the judgment, and after the judgment.
Rev. 4:7: “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.” The beasts by nature also represent the four periods of the church. The first beast is like a lion. “Lion” is the king of beasts, and is intended to point out the first period of the church before the ceremonial section, with which the judgment began. (See chart in “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, p. 224.) The second beast being “like a calf,” it is evident that he represents the sacrificial, or typical section. Thus the beast with the “face of a man” must represent the anti-typical period after the crucifixion. And the fourth beast was like a “flying eagle.” He represents the period in the time of the harvest. The last period is symbolized by the flying eagle to denote the church that shall be translated. A “flying eagle” is king of birds, as the lion is king of beasts, which is a sign of victory, thus making a perfect symbol. As the judgment of the dead began with the beast like a lion, — king of beasts, — just so the judgment of the living begins with the beast like an eagle, — king of birds. The entire truth of these “four beasts” is not yet revealed.
As the beasts and the elders praise and worship God, it is sufficient testimony that creation is satisfied that He is just, and true, and the Creator of all. Those whose names are written within the book of the “seven seals” are the ones whose sins are to be blotted out with the precious blood of Christ. Thus praise, and honor, and glory, is due to our God forever and ever.
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” (Isa. 43:25.) “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us, he will subdue our iniquities; and thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:9,19.) Shall we with the great apostle say: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?” (Romans 8:38, 39.)
Thus far our attention has been called to the Great Judge, the jury of twenty-four elders, the four beasts representing those who shall be judged, and the book containing the names — sealed with seven seals. Now our attention is turned to the advocate.
“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. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and the 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.” (Rev. 5:6-8.)
The “Lamb” is a symbol of Christ, our defender. Said John: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1.)
The seven horns on the Lamb signifies completeness of power and authority, verifying the words spoken by Christ: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt. 28:18.) This immeasurable power is for our good, and is freely offered to us. Said Jesus: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matt. 17:20.) Dear friend, these words are either true or untrue. There can be no middle ground. As Christ cannot lie, will you try His never failing word, and let Him fulfill His promise?
The seven eyes of the Lamb denote completeness of vision, evidence that there is nothing hid from our Advocate, and that all things are open and naked unto Him; equally so with God the Father. The Psalmist describes God’s power in vision in the following words: “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (Psa. 139:7-12.)
The Revelator says the horns and the eyes of the Lamb “are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” All of this power, both in might and in vision, is embodied and demonstrated by the Spirit of God. Said Jesus, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7.) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26.)
The “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5.) The lamps of fire, seven in number, present before the throne, represent completeness of the truth of God — present truth revealed to every generation since the world began — by which we are judged. Those who are obedient to all the light and truth given them, have come up to the requirements — they are sealed, and cleared from the condemnation of the law of God.
“The seven lamps… which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5.) This Scripture proves the fact that light and truth are revealed by the Spirit of God only. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26.) The rejecting of light and present truth is the sin against the Holy Ghost. “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost [present truth] it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:32.) Our attitude towards present truth would “Either make a tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” (Matt. 12:33.) Thus, present truth has the power to change the individual and fit him for eternal life, which is the seal of the living God. Said Jesus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5.)
Sea Of Glass
“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” (Rev. 4:6.) According to the punctuation in the verse just quoted, it means that the beasts are in the midst of the throne and round about the throne. It would be impossible for them to be in the midst, and also round about the throne — mercy seat. If they were in the midst of the throne, they would be taking the place of God, the Judge, and His Son, the Lamb. Thus, we conclude that the first clause of the verse is mispunctuated. By omitting the colon the Scripture would read as follows: “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal and in the midst of the throne.” Thus, it is the sea of glass in the midst, and before the throne; and not the beasts. “The sea of glass” proceeds from the throne, and is a symbol of life eternal in the same manner as the “Lamb” is a symbol of Christ, our Advocate.
The sea is the most extensive body upon the earth; thus it is used to represent eternity. “Clear as crystal” denotes perfection, freedom from sin and defects. In Revelation 15:2, we read: “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire.” Fire would be the only perfect symbol that could be used to represent life. Therefore, the sea of glass proceeds from God’s throne, and represents life eternal, which is the reward of those whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life, within the seven seals. “And there shall in nowise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abominations, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:27.) In the judgment it is granted to the saints “that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name,” to stand on the sea of glass — life eternal. (Rev. 15:2.)
The arrangement and the scene, as described by John, proves that it is the judgment in session for it is held in the “Holy of Holies” — typified by the earthly sanctuary and its service, in which Aaron the high priest, officiated in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month. It was called the day of atonement — judgment, the cleansing of the sanctuary or purification of the church — the separation of the tares from the wheat. There we behold the Great Judge (God the Father), the Advocate (the Lamb — Jesus Christ the righteous), a jury (the twenty-four elders — clothed with the righteousness of Christ — white robes); a representation of those who are to be judged (the four beasts) the light and truth which they have kept (the seven lamps), the reward which is to be granted to those who are judged (sea of glass), and the book containing the names of all the righteous. beginning with Adam and on to the close of probation — the end of the gospel (seven seals). “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.” (Rev. 5:1.) Because the book contains the names of all who are sealed with the seal of God (His truth) it is called the book of seals, also the Lamb’s book of life.
In the following scripture we behold the entire universe watching with intense interest the affairs of the human family as the scroll unrolls, revealing to them the mystery of God: “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 3:9.) Quoting Revelation 5:11-14, “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saving, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” The Scripture quoted proves that the entire universe is satisfied with the love of God, and the righteousness of Christ. We repeat Rev. 5:13: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
The Opening Of The Book
“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof? 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, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 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. 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. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 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 the saints.” (Rev. 5:2-8.)
This scripture reveals that there is not another in the vast universe of God that is worthy, or that can open the book, for “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed.” Christ acquired the above title by His birth, and by His victory on the cross for those who would believe in Him as the Saviour of world. He has prevailed by shedding His blood on Calvary; thus none other can open the book for He alone has died for the human race. This “book” contains the names of the saints, and the “seven seals” comprise, prophetically, the world’s history, during which time the saints are sealed. These seven periods of unfulfilled history sealed the book, and the only one that could open it — see into the future — was the “Lamb.” The book was “written within and on the backside” — “written within” is the prophetic word of God; “and on the backside,” is the historical fulfillment of the prophecies. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8.) “Who hath wrought and done it, Calling the generation from the beginning?” (Isa. 41:4.)
It is Christ who has prepared the way for this judicial procedure to plead for His people, and to blot out their sins. “In the typical service, only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service in the day of atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment, the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. ‘Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel?’ As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living.” — “The Great Controversy,” pp. 480, 483.
Besides the book in the hand of the judge, there are other books, but this one which no other being in heaven or in earth was worthy to open, save the “Lamb,” is the one called “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” And the Revelator says that those only shall enter the city of God whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. ” ‘A book of remembrance’ is written before God, in which are recorded the good deeds of ‘them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.’ ” — Id., p. 481.
The Seals By Periods — Revelation Six
As the evidence brought forth cannot be questioned that with the book of seals the judgment opened, and as it began with the righteous who lived upon the earth first, and ends with the last, it is positive that the seven seals spread over the entire world’s history. Consequently, they include every saint since the world began. The number “seven” bears the same evidence.
As there are seven seals in consecutive order, it is clear that our world’s history is divided into seven different periods. The judgment begins with the first and ends with the last. Evidently the first six seals complete the cases of those who were dead preceding the judgment, and while it is in session; but the seventh sealing period, being the last, must concern the living.
There is sufficient scriptural evidence that all the saved in all ages are sealed with the seal of God; for this reason the seven periods are called “seven seals,” and the names of those who are sealed are written in the book; consequently, the book is sealed with seven seals. (See John 6:27; Eph. 4:30; 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:19; 2 Cor. 1:22; Rev. 9:4.)
The Meaning Of The Horses And Riders
Revelation 6:1-8, “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. And 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. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
The horses are symbols of the earth, revealing four great changes since the world began, and the riders depict the human family under these four great variations; thus making a perfect symbol, for we ride upon the earth as we would upon a horse. Had sin not entered within the human family there would have been but one horse. But since sin entered and marred the plan of God for His children, the earth was cursed, and thus a great change came; and as sin multiplied curse after curse was added. Therefore, the white horse was succeeded by red, and the red by black, and the black by pale.
The rider on the white horse was given a crown, but after sin entered he lost his crown of kingship and glory. Therefore, the rider on the red horse, instead of having a crown, has a great sword; and to the sword was added a pair of balances, and to the balances, death.