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7 Seals of Revelation Explained In Layman's Terms

Book of Revelation: 7 Seals of Revelation Explained

Jesus Christ Revelation To John

Book of Revelation

Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Book of Revelation: Generalities
  3. Title & Author
  4. Main Topics
  5. Theology & Interpretation Perspectives
  6. Jesus Christ at Revelations
  7. Content of the Book
  8. The Letters to the 7 Churches
  9. The 7 Seals
  10. The 7 Trumpets
  11. The 7 Bowls of Wrath
  12. The Great Babylon
  13. The Thousand Years
  14. The Last Judgment
  15. The New Creation
  16. Conclusions

Introduction

Few books in the Bible are as complicated to understand and interpret as the Book of Revelation. From the time it was written until today, it continues to be one of the most commented and studied books by all Christians, from theologians to amateurs. Both its structure and content continue to challenge the ways of thinking and theology as generations pass.

In this brief article we will try to address the main characteristics of the book of Revelation.

Book of Revelation: Generalities

It takes its name from the first Greek word of the book apokalupsis, which is translated as Revelation (Revelation 1:1). Its name in English comes from the Latin translation of the Latin Vulgate, who named it apocalypsis.

This is a book of hope for the believer. On one hand, it is intended to be a promise of divine protection from God's judgments on the world. On the other hand, it is also a book of warnings, so that readers could to take it seriously and obey it, defending the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    • Title & Author

      Jesus Christ is the author identified in the first verse of the book, the giver of Revelation, as previously announced to the apostles at the Last Supper (John 16:12-14). Its writer is the Apostle John, between 75 A.D. and 90 A.D., in one of the periods of greatest persecution of the early church.

        • Main Topics

          It incorporates a number of important themes, revealing the invisible war waged by God against the forces of Satan and demons, as well as the final victory of Jesus Christ over the powers of evil. Other important themes of the book have to do with God's sovereignty over all things; Jesus Christ is King and His Second Coming; the judgments to the sinful world; the hope of a new creation and the faithful people of God.

            • Theology & Interpretation Perspectives

              Revelation focuses on Jesus Christ victorious, ruling over all things and receiving worship. Its main theological theme is eschatology (the events of the end times), from which we deduce the final political organization of the world in these times; the race and final defeat of the antichrist, as well as the last battle of human history; the millennial kingdom; the final judgment and the new creation.

              Interpretation

              Since it is a book full of symbolism, it has raised several interpretations that depend on the approach of each person or Christian denomination. Here is a brief summary of each position:

              Preterits believe that the visions of Revelation have already been fulfilled, specifically with the fall of Jerusalem or the fall of the Roman Empire. They are based on the multiple statements made by the apostle "the time is near" (Revelation 1:3 & 22:6).

              Futurism believe that the visions will occur in a period of final crisis just before the Second Coming. They include seven years of intense tribulation followed by a millennium in which Christ will reign over the earth.

              Historicism believe that chapters 4:1 to 20:6 offer a chronological outline of the course of church history until the return of Christ. Generally, the sequence of visions and seven-fold cycles of visions correspond directly to the order of events or eras, such as the Roman papacy or Islam.

              Idealism believe in part with historicism, but differs from this position in that the visions of Revelation reveal general spiritual principles that are always true and are involved in the war between the kingdom of God and the forces of evil.

                Jesus Christ at Revelation

                  Jesus Christ manifests himself in Revelation as victorious, while continuing to guide and interact with his church. It is revealed that he has received all power and authority to judge the earth (Revelation 2:3). The Lamb who took away the sin of the world (Revelation 5), will now pour out his righteous wrath on the sinful and unrepentant world (Revelation 6-18) and return in power to judge his enemies and reign forever in a new creation (Revelation 19-22).

                  Content of the Book

                  The Book of Revelation consists of a brief prologue (Revelation 1:1-8), followed by a central body containing four numbered series of seven messages or visions: the letters to the churches (chapters 2-3); the seven seals (4:1 to 8:1); seven trumpets (8:2 to 11:19) and seven bowls of wrath (chapters 15-16). The book ends with a brief epilogue (22:6-21) that repeats themes similar to those of the prologue, such as things that must soon come to pass (1:1 & 22:6); blessings of those who keep prophecy (1:3 & 22:7) and the designation of God as the Alpha and the Omega (1:8 & 22:13).

                    • The Letters to the 7 Churches

                      The first chapters briefly present letters addressed to seven churches in Asia Minor. These letters can be applied in three ways:

                      First, he describes the local conditions at the time of John's writing.

                      Second, they give a view of Christianity on earth at least at some point in its history. The features described have existed in part in every century after Pentecost. They could be said to bear a resemblance to the seven parables of Matthew 13.

                      Third, they give a consecutive prophetic vision of the history of Christianity, in which each church represents a specific period of time. The general trend is one of decline until the rapture of the church.

                        • The 7 Seals

                          Next, a series of seven visions of seals is introduced that describe the beginning of the judgments that will occur on earth. These seven seals correspond closely with the conditions of the beginning of sorrows described in Matthew 24:4-7. The first four seals release four horsemen, almost unanimously identified by Christians as the antichrist (white); war (red); famine (black) and death (yellow). According to this description, he was given power over the fourth part of the earth.

                            • The 7 Trumpets

                              When the seventh seal is opened, a silence of half an hour follows, a pause that precedes more severe judgments that intensify the destruction. It is deduced that the seventh seal opens the second sequence of judgments: the seven trumpets.

                              A trumpet in Israel signified warning of judgment, therefore, we deduce that the seven trumpets are a growing call to awaken. This is in perfect coincidence in that only one third is affected, giving opportunity for repentance before the final cataclysm occurs.

                              The first four trumpets affect nature, while the last three affect man exclusively, hence they are called "woe", although each one is more severe than the previous one. They remind us of the plagues that struck Egypt in Exodus.

                              1. The first trumpet brings hail, mixed with blood and fire upon the earth, burning a third of all green grass, causing a great famine and paralyzing world trade, as few countries will be willing to export their limited grain reserves at that time.

                              2. The second trumpet precipitates a great burning mountain over the sea, turning a third of the world ocean into blood. This will cause a mega tsunami affecting coastal cities, as well as aggravating world hunger by disrupting the fish supply and sinking one third of all merchant ships, further disrupting global trade.

                              3. The third trumpet precipitates a meteor burning over a third of the water sources, turning them into wormwood. Many died from drinking these waters, which became bitter, worsening the water supply and triggering regional conflicts over the water crisis for human consumption and livestock.

                              4. The fourth trumpet disrupts one third of the earth's natural sources of light: the sun, the moon and the stars. Although unbelievers will think that the first three judgments are caused by climate change, at this point, no one will be able to maintain this assertion. All will have to acknowledge that they are caused by God.

                              5. The fifth trumpet represents satan (see Luke 10:18) opening the bottomless pit, releasing the imprisoned demons to torment unbelievers for five months. They were commanded not to harm any green creature (trees) or those who have the seal of God on their foreheads.

                              • Some think that these demons could take the form of aliens, to make mankind believe that there is extraterrestrial life and that we are victims of an invasion.
                              • Some go further and suspect that the antichrist will fake a false pact with the demons to withdraw five months after his release, in order to unify the world under his dominion.

                              6. The sixth trumpet releases four imperious demons in chains since the rebellion of satan. They will be very different from the army of the fifth trumpet, both in appearance and in their damage, which consists of killing one third of mankind. Both the number and magnitude of the judgment reveals to us that this is the last judgment mixed with warnings of repentance and mercy that God makes to unrepentant mankind. Sadly, unbelievers will not turn to God. This shows that punishment cannot change the sinner's character, only the new birth can do that.

                              7. Many see in the seventh trumpet the announcement of the return of Christ. Others see it as the prelude to the last cycle of seven judgments, which will be poured out without mercy or pity, since the time of repentance is over. This marks the last stage of the Great Tribulation.

                              •  The 7 Bowls of Wrath

                              While the first four bowls affect almost the same set of things previously described in the seven trumpets (ulcers in the worshippers of the beast; blood and death in the oceans; as well as blood to drink; scorching heat); the fifth bowl shows that not even the throne of the beast is immune to God's judgment.

                              The sixth bowl prepares the final battle between Jesus Christ King of Kings and the antichrist. Surprisingly, the seventh bowl announces the consummation of God's plan in history and the full arrival of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The disasters that follow have no parallel in human history.

                                • The Great Babylon

                                  Great Babylon (symbolizing a false religious and pagan system) is judged by God because of its abominations. John looks at some aspects that allow us to deduce that this false religious system could have its seat in Rome, although others are persuaded by previous verses that it could allude to the present Jerusalem in a future state of total depravity.

                                  It is known that this harlot is sitting on a scarlet beast (for some, a revived Roman Empire in a diabolical form; for others, it could be the European Union); she is dressed in purple and scarlet, displaying her riches and holding a golden cup, which represents the multitude of her sins and the blood of all Christians who have been killed by direct order of this false church.

                                  It is known that the restored Roman Empire will be ruled or influenced for a short time by this evil pagan religious system, but in the end, it will rebel against it and destroy it, consummating the wrath of God upon it.

                                    • The Thousand Years

                                      It is known that this is the time when Jesus Christ returns to earth to rule. Satan is bound for this time; the saints in Christ are resurrected and Christ shares in His rule with the church that remained faithful during the persecution. This is a time of renewal, prosperity, justice and peace in creation.

                                      At the end of this period, satan will be released to lead a final uprising. This gives us to understand that there will be unbelieving humans at heart in the millennium, with the capacity to sin, independent of satan. For others, this last attack offers a display of God's power before the final judgment is executed.

                                        • The Last Judgment

                                          This is the most tragic and serious passage in the Bible. At this point, there will be no more forgiveness for sins. The basis of this judgment is works and the proof is contained in the written books that will be opened on that day, revealing the character and actions of each person. The book of Life contains the names of those saved by Jesus, which will serve as a testimony against unbelievers.

                                            • The New Creation

                                              The final destiny of humanity redeemed by Jesus Christ, where God will dwell with them and there will be no more death or pain. Whether it is a totally new planet or a renewed one, the best of all will be that God's servants will worship Him and will be able to have intimate communion as they have never had before. There will be no barrier or mediation between God and his people. There will be no more serpent or evil to induce people to sin and rebel against God.

                                              Conclusions

                                              Revelation is a large and complex book. It has numerous images and symbols of difficult interpretation. Through this prophetic symbolism, the Apostle John illustrates the final triumph of Jesus Christ over the powers of Satan, as well as the judgments of God against unbelievers and unrepentant sinners and the new creation that will await those who persevere to the end by keeping the commandments of God and retaining the testimony of Jesus Christ.

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