What is the Meaning of the Seven Seals?

Beginning in Revelation 5:1 the seven seals are keeping a scroll closed.

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. (Revelation 5:1)

The only one worthy to open the seals is the Savior.

And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood… (Revelation 5:9a)

The scroll, when opened, will release the Antichrist to commence his deceptions and violence and the beginnings of God’s wrath upon all unbelieving mankind and upon the earth—as each seal is opened. When the Lord Jesus opens each seal, the scroll issues warnings of the seven-year Tribulation period—warnings that become progressively more and more harmful and punishing to whosoever rejects the Lord Jesus Christ.

The warnings are justified much the same as the warnings that were heard by those who laughed at Noah nearly 5,000 years ago:

5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6So the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7)

11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.” (Genesis 6:11-14)

The correlation with the prophecies of the warnings in Revelation are that the seals inform all mankind, who is willing to listen, that a different end of earth is imminent. In Noah’s time it was with water, but in the soon coming time it will be with fire—and the horrific Tribulation prior to the fire. Romans 1:18-32 describes the wickedness of today.

God has made the warnings available for whosoever is willing to read the Bible. The believers who will be raptured with the Church have already heeded the warnings and will, in-person from heaven, witness all the warnings coming to fruition:

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures [Born again believers are new creatures in Christ (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17)], and the elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, (Revelation 5:11)

When the Savior opens the first four seals they portray the seven-year career of the Antichrist in the Tribulation period:
1) The Antichrist’s conquering and deceptions;
2) taking of peace from the earth;
3) the famine and suffering on earth;
4) the power over a fourth of the earth to kill, starve, and torment earth’s inhabitants (Revelation 6:1-8).

The opening of the fifth seal imparts a heartbreaking situation down on earth where souls will be slain for having a Bible and for their testimonies of having faith in God during the Tribulation. (But, Revelation 7:14 tells they will be resurrected after the Tribulation and will have eternal life in heaven.)

The sixth seal foretells a great earthquake, the sun being darkened, the moon turning to the color of blood; stars falling to earth, and mountains and islands moving out of their place. All this will cause men to hide themselves in caves and in the rocks of the mountains—because:

“For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17)

The seventh seal gives a final warning.

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. (Revelation 8:1)

As the opening of the seals progressively revealed the devastations to come, the sounding of the seven trumpets prophesy much worse conditions ahead. The seventh trumpet will make known that God’s kingdom will prevail and that His Christ shall reign forever—His Millennial reign. All these warnings build up to the ultimate intensity of God’s wrath to be poured out from seven vials, or bowls, which will culminate with the battle of Armageddon, the falling of the Great Babylon rich city, and the Antichrist and false prophet being cast into the Lake of Fire.

After all these warnings, right here in our Bibles today, many people will still reject the Lord Jesus Christ—even while undergoing all the sufferings of the Tribulation:

And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9:21)

Every unbeliever will join the Antichrist in the Lake of Fire:

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 14 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

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