Seven Seals

The seven seals are one of the very few things I had heard about before starting this Revelation class and like most people, my information came from TV and movies.  This week I finally read something about the seven seals from the source.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” Revelation 5:1

In scripture, the right hand is always symbolic of authority or power and that was a prominent point made in class by both the notes and the lecturer, but I think there is more to it.  In terms of the energetic anatomy, the right side sends and the left side receives information.  When I read this first line in chapter five, I immediately thought, “Ooh, an important message is being sent to John for humanity!”

Sealed ScrollWriting on both sides of a scroll is apparently very unusual.  I’m still trying to figure out how John saw any writing at all because the scroll was rolled up and sealed. The class notes say, Scrolls normally were written on one side.  Such double-sided writing was for private use and not for public consumption.  The use of seven seals indicates this document was in the style of ancient wills and testaments.  The curriculum then segued into verbiage about Jesus dying on the cross, but I went where I usually go and thought, “Private use, personal consumption, seven seals, seven chakras, completeness, wholeness, mastery, going deep, secrets revealed, this is good stuff!”

Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll? John is now weeping because he doesn’t think there’s anyone out there worthy.  If the line is rephrased to something like, who is in complete alignment with their Spirit or God-self?, the answer is somewhat obvious in this context.

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.  The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.  He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. Revelation 5:6-7

There’s a lot here to talk about.  Jesus is the perfect lamb.  This symbolism goes back to Exodus where Moses had families sacrifice a perfect lamb and smear the blood over the entryways to their homes to protect firstborns from slaughter; the lambs were substitutes for their children. The Jews (Hebrews, Israelites) believed that the consequence of sin was always death so they sacrificed animals as substitutes for themselves.  It was a common practice.  Jesus is referred to as the Lamb because Christians believe he was the substitute for humanity and was sacrificed for the eternal forgiveness of sin.

The lamb is described as having seven horns and seven eyes.  There’s that seven again to tell us this is a representation of Divinity: wholeness, perfection, learning life or knowledge.  Scripture generally uses horns as symbols of power and strength, but it occurred to me that perhaps the word horn was also meant to be a musical instrument.   The lamb’s ability to hear and see everything, have complete knowlege, may also be what the seven horns and seven eyes mean.

The seven spirits of the churches in this passage are symbolic of persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation.  There are seven continents, seven chakras (each resonating to different frequencies of color and sound), seven pure colors in the full visible spectrum (seven eyes) and seven notes in a full musical scale (seven horns).  I think the vibrational energy of sight and sound is significant here because it points to the full potential of humanity.

This scene where Jesus accepts the scroll feels a lot like a graduation ceremony or a Nobel Peace Prize presentation to me.  It is a celebration for an extraordinary accomplishment complete with a new song for the occasion.

You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. Revelation 5:9-10

The use of the word purchased is thought-provoking.  It implies we were bought by God.  This metaphor has humanity enslaved by toxic patterns (sin) of thought and behavior, purchased by a Divine master, and set free by the teachings of Jesus. I’ve also heard the word ransomed used in a similar way.  In this metaphor we are prisoners where a ransom is paid for our release.  Either way, both are in alignment with Jesus’ spiritual teachings about surrender, Thy will be done.

Jesus is acknowledged for his accomplishments while in human form.  It really doesn’t matter where one stands on the man-God debate, the fact that contemporary humans even recognize the historical figure Jesus two thousand years after his death is a testament to his impact while living.

In the next phase of this ceremony, we get a list of seven attributes earned by Jesus: power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise.

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise. Revelation 5:12

John’s vision wraps up with a scene where all of creation sings and rejoices and worships God (him who sits on the throne) and Jesus (the Lamb).  Christians believe they are one and the same and this imagery with the Lamb standing at the center of the throne in Revelation 5 supports their belief.  I think what John saw was a representation of Jesus’ full ascension ceremony.

Now that we have established Jesus is graduated, I can’t wait for the seven seals to be broken!

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One Response to Seven Seals

  1. Beverly says:

    Philly-I see your inner engineer working on identifying a set of structural coincidences and pointing to their inter-connectedness in the paragraph that starts out with “The seven spirits of the churches…” Keep providing those points of knowledge from the other philosophies you have studied! It is illuminating to so many of us who have been indoctrinated in one belief system! Love- Beverly

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