“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.” ~ Revelation 5:1
The seals are certainly on the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We will also see that the seals are opened only to the one who has been saved by the blood of the Lamb. Because only salvation through Jesus Christ can open your spiritual understanding. But even though you have been truly saved out of sin, you still cannot open the book of Revelation without the rest of the Bible. For it takes all the scriptures to open up understanding concerning: Jesus Christ, his salvation plan, and the meaning of every symbol and allegory contained within the book of Revelation. So in that sense, the seals are on the whole Bible, because we know that only the heart changed through the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ can understand the spiritual meaning of scripture. Otherwise the understanding is tainted by carnal human wisdom.
Jesus told a scholar of the scripture in his day:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3
It takes a heart changed by Jesus Christ to receive things that are only revealed to the soul through the Holy Spirit.
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom , which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it , they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
Only Jesus Christ (who was the Word that was made flesh – see John 1:10-14) has the authority to reveal and judge the spiritual conditions within the hearts of people throughout all time.
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:22-24)
It is God’s privilege to seal up understanding, and then to choose who is worthy to break the seals and reveal his true and faithful judgments.
“Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the LORD shall judge his people” (Deuteronomy 32:34-36)
“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him”. (Isaiah 8:16-17)
But why does God seal up the mysteries of his Word?
“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive” (Matt 13:10-14)
It is part of God’s judgement to seal the truth away from those whose heart is insincere towards him.
“For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isaiah 29:10-13)
It is also God’s privilege to seal up understanding until the appointed time that he has determined.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)
The seals on the book of Revelation are very much related to the message of the seven thunders (found in Revelations the 10th chapter) that were “sealed up” under the command and direction of “the voice from heaven.” These seven thunders were thundered as a report or as a result of the “cry” and “roar” of none other than Jesus Christ himself, for if you study the description in Revelation 10 of the “mighty angel (or messenger) come down from heaven” that “cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth” you will only find similar descriptions in other places of the Bible referring to Jesus (Daniel 10 &12, Revelation 1, Matthew 17, and Mark 9).
Thunder is the after report, or sound that happens after the brilliance of lightning has struck. Jesus is that bright light of truth that is later thundered out by a true ministry that has seen the glory of that great light!
- “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” (Matthew 4:16)
- “And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17)
Yet there are those to whom the book is not sealed. It is “they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” (Revelation 7:14-15)
They are the same ones we see here in the 5th chapter of Revelation that are also in the presence of “he that sitteth on the throne.” Therefore in Revelation it also speaks, for the benefit of those who have the “humble and contrite” heart to receive it, that the prophecy of Revelation (and the whole word of God) would not be sealed to them, because “the time is at hand”:
- “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3)
- “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 22:10)
So if the book is sealed to you, you need to ask yourself “why?” Is it because your heart is not right with God, or is it because it has not been your time or opportunity to have the seals opened yet?
Is now the time? Then keep prayerfully reading that God may open your eyes. If your heart is not right, when will it be? What is your priority? God knows. He will not open anything to anyone that does not sincerely make knowing Jesus Christ their first priority!