Christian Churches of God

No. 140z




The Seven Seals

(Edition 2.0 19951109-20000825)

This paper deals with the seven seals of Revelation. The seven seals are composed of the first four seals, also known as the four horsemen, the fifth seal, also referred to as the great Tribulation, and then the sixth and seventh seals. The seventh seal is made up of the seven trumpets. The development of the seals over the last two thousand years is examined and the sequence up to the return of Messiah is given.




Christian Churches of God



(Copyright ã 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000 Wade Cox)

(Summary by Diane Flanagan, Ed. Wade Cox

This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

This paper is available from the World Wide Web page: and


The Seven Seals

This work is a brief summary of the seven seals. For a complete review of the subject please refer to the paper The Seven Seals (No. 140) together with the time sequence chart and in conjunction to listening to the audiotape.

The period of Jacob’s trouble spans a long part of history. There are specific events that must take place prior to Messiah’s return. These events must happen in their sequence prior to other events happening. In this scenario there are three alternatives for when the witnesses arrive on the planet.

Let us look at the beginning of the time frame starting with the four horsemen of the apocalypse (Rev. 6:1ff). Here we see Christ opening the seals. The seals were opened a very long time ago. Once open they stay open, are exponential and develop further with time.

The first seal is conquest and it started with false religion. The whole structure of religion on the planet is reflected in the wars of the heaven. There are numerous false religions on the planet currently. Satan was originally called Lucifer, and was and still is the daystar of this planet. Christ has qualified to replace Satan, as morning star of this planet, but has not yet taken over that role. The concept of the replacement of Satan by Christ is the replacement of the religious structure of this world, its government and its systems by another system of government. See the paper The Government of God (No. 174).

The accusations against the Church commenced as Christ gave the truth to the prophets, patriarchs and finally in person. As true religion takes hold, people are marshalled against it by the fallen Host. This will ultimately result in them marching against Messiah in the last days. From false religion logically follows war.

Revelation 6:3-4 indicates that the second seal was opened and a red horse went out and it was given him to take peace from the earth.

When the first seal was broken we saw divisions coming out of the councils in the 4th and 5th centuries. The council of Elvira proceeded to take away the Sabbath. The Council of Nicaea in 325 CE began to alter the Godhead. As time went on so did the alterations and descriptions. For more specifics of how these events happened see the papers Arianism and Semi-Arianism (No. 167) and The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268). For a more complete understanding of the Godhead see the paper Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81)).

The history of the religious systems is outlined in the text on Mysticism. The Babylonian system took over the planet just as Messiah said it would. We now have religious wars. As wars are fought people are dislocated and persecuted and the third seal is opened. From pestilence proceed famine and finally the fourth seal of death. The seals are ongoing and progressive.

The fifth seal of the Great Tribulation has two applications to it. It started when the religious wars started. It included the tribulation of 1260 years that went from 590 CE to 1850 CE that marked the end of the Holy Empire. See the paper The Fall of Egypt: The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms (No. 36) for more details. The fifth seal does have a latter day application also. See the paper The Pre-Advent Judgment (No. 176).

In Revelation 6:5-6 we see that thou shalt not hurt the oil and wine. The harming of the oil and wine has a spiritual significance. The oil is in reference to the Holy Spirit. We are the drink offerings poured out to the Lord. As we go through the tribulation some of God’s people will endure martyrdom as some of God’s people have done before. Our place of safety is the faith in the Lord and in knowing His plan. God is in charge and His plan will come to fruition. We see Scripture unfolding before our eyes.

The Tribulation of the fifth seal was reorganized as at the feast of Tabernacles in 1993. At that feast it effectively re-opened through the Papal Encyclical. Morris West said at the time that the encyclical effectively establishes the grounds for the Inquisition.

Revelation 6:9-10 talks of those slain for the Word of God crying out "… how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?" Surely, there are already those who have the white robe due to the witness they bore. Yet some of the elect still need to become martyrs of the faith for a witness to the world (see Rev. 6:11). Once false religions are set up, hatred and animosity follow.

The last Inquisition occurred in the Papal States between 1823 and 1846. The former Jesuit historian, Malachi Martin, has written at length on the issue, in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Church (pp. 254-255). Mostly, it was geared to eliminate the people who were established there under what is termed the Thyatira Era who were against the Catholic system. In the end, it brought about the destruction of the Catholic system itself under the 1,260 years, which finished in 1850 with the disbanding of all papal force and power from 1872.

The Thyatirans bore the brunt of the persecution for 1260 years. Many were martyred during this time. Though the Thyatira church is alive in the last days in Europe, Messiah is not laying any greater burden on them. They have been persecuted for a long time. The white robe is of martyrdom (Rev. 3:14-22). These white garments are the same white garments as of those who were slain for the word of God and testimony they bore.

The Laodicean church will go through the fire of purification so that some of its number may be saved. The Philadelphian church receives the promise to be pillars in the Temple of God (Rev. 3:11). They are pillars because they are stronger. Understanding and truth are central to them. They have voted with their feet and followed truth wherever it was being preached.

Revelation 3:10 has been taken to mean a place of safety. The text does not mean that. Rather it means we have God’s hand put upon us. Matthew 10:23 tells us we will be fleeing from city to city. It does not state that we are all hidden away in a certain area. Rather we serve as a witness to the world. We have a job to do.

Satan’s aim is do away with the elect. Satan realizes the elect are the nucleus of the millennial structure. Satan will attempt to destroy or discourage us. The only thing we know is that Christ will protect us; for the righteous, their bread and water is sure.

It is because of the elect that Messiah intervenes. Look at the Olivet prophecies. Except for the elect’s sake, this world would be allowed to perish. Christ will not let anyone suffer harm unless it serves God’s purpose.

Moses gave us an example. He put himself in front of the Angel of the Lord, to offer himself to be killed in order that the people might be saved. We have to pray, fast and work continually to save the people. God calls us out to prepare ourselves. That is our responsibility now.

The great Tribulation will go through all of the elect, which is all of Israel. Satan will attempt to destroy and discourage us. We are set apart as priests. The nation is a holy people. It is our responsibility to get the people to realize they are a holy people and humble themselves and repent before God.

We will not do anything of our own. All things are done by the might and power of the Spirit of God. It seems that the Holy Spirit is going to break the power of the nations. God may work through weak human beings so the world realizes God is in charge.

The texts on trumpets clearly tell us what is going to happen. The problem is the people will not repent, even though they are given every opportunity.

Our salvation will not be judged by the Tribulation. We are brought through the tribulation, tried by fire and developed. We will know the tribulation is over because of the heavenly signs (Rev. 6:12). The heavenly signs mark the calling out of the final components of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8).

From Revelation 7:1-8 we see the tribe of Dan is missing. Dan will merge with and work together with Ephraim in the last days. It will serve as a composite tribe of Joseph. Dan will take up his birthright promise of Genesis 49:16-18 as judge of Israel. Denmark was judged by its exemplary treatment of Judah in the Second World War.

The 144,000 are sealed so that the specific number makes up the government of God. Revelation 7:9-17 speaks of the great multitude. Christ does not want people who are faint hearted. We should fear God more than man. We are being prepared to help this great multitude through so that Christ does the organizing prior to his advent.

Revelation 8:1 tells us there is silence in heaven for an hour.

When Messiah comes he will deal with the rest of the world that have the mark of the beast. He will subjugate the nations. He will prepare all to begin the millennium properly.