What I am sharing here came as one of those, “Aha-moments” when my continuing journey through Revelation 6 was matched with a Scripture that helped me appreciate what God is giving us in the symbolism of the seven seals. While I have only begun meditating on the six seals described within this chapter, I can already see how this particular Scripture helps me understand them.
I am beginning with the conclusion that the seven seals are pictures to help us visualize what is going to happen throughout the Church Age. Instead of a long doctrinal explanation of what is going on behind the scenes, we are given a picture, or a series of pictures, to tell us the whole story.
The number “seven” in association with the seals tells the church that this is the whole story. “Seven” in the book of Revelation indicates completeness from the divine viewpoint. The things described in the seven seals give a comprehensive picture of what will happen between the two comings of Christ.
I believe that God wants his church to be satisfied by his answer. In a sense, we have asked him our questions, and he has given us his answers. We have asked him, “when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”, and he has given us all the answer we need. We have asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?", and he has replied, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”
We cannot treat the book of Revelation as God’s way of changing his mind on this answer, but as him reinforcing this answer. The reason Revelation is given in such beautiful imagery is so we can be assured that God has everything looked after, down to the minutest details of the times and seasons, and it is not for us to know what he has fixed by his own authority.
Then, as though helping us in the area we don’t usually think of inquiring, he answers the question, “If it is not our business to know the times or seasons our Father has fixed by his own authority, what is our business while Jesus is gone?” His reply is, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”.
What should occupy our thoughts, motivations, strategies, and activities, is, “how do we experience the power of the Holy Spirit making us Jesus’ witnesses wherever we are until he comes?” When we feel insecure about something to do with our witnessing, we can remind ourselves that whatever we are facing is covered by what is revealed in the seven seals, it is all looked after by God, so we can give ourselves to our work while he looks after his.
Although the book of Revelation is not contradicting Jesus’ words that it is not our place to know the times and seasons the Father has fixed by his own authority, what it does give us is an affirmation, or testimony, that the times and seasons truly are under the authority of the one who sits on the throne. The symbols make it clear, in one beautiful picture after another, that this is the case, but without giving us those details that would help us pin-down where we are in the divine timetable. The only things we really know are that we are somewhere between the first and second comings of Christ, and we are one day closer to Jesus’ return than we were yesterday.
So, in this mind-boggling, and yet mind-resting way, God gives us symbols that cannot be explained in times and seasons to assure us that God has fixed the times and seasons by his own authority. At the same time, the symbolism of the seven seals shows us that everything will unfold in complete conformity to all that he has determined.
The conclusion is that, while God is looking after the times, seasons, and all they contain, we must give our attention to being so filled with the Holy Spirit that we are his witnesses through the world, and throughout the generations, until Jesus comes.
From my heart,
© 2014 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)