Showing posts with the label Seven Seals

Fourth Seal

The fourth seal releases “Death,” and “Hades” follows gathering the dead in its wake  –  Revelation 6:7-8 .  The “victims” harmed by the first three seal openings have not been identified, although details from the tasks assigned to each “ rider ” provide clues. Nothing has been said about the enemies of the “ Lamb ,” or about judgments against the “ inhabitants of the earth .” Moreover, the actions of the “ four riders ” are never labeled “plagues,” “wrath,” or “judgments.”

Third Seal

The third seal releases the rider on the black horse, producing economic hardship  –  Revelation 6:5-6 .  When the “ Lamb ” opens the third “ seal ,” once again, one of the “ four living creatures ” summons its rider, this time on a “ black horse .” Apparently, it represents economic distress and food shortages. As before, his task is declared by one of the four “ living creatures ,” along with limitations on how much damage he may afflict.

Second Seal

The second rider was sent to “remove peace from the earth” and cause men to “slay one another”   –  Revelation 6:3-4 .  As with the first rider, the second horseman is commanded by one of the four “ living creatures ” to “ go forth .” Although each seal is opened by the “ Lamb ,” the involvement of the “ four living creatures ” emphasizes that heaven remains in firm control over the earthly events represented by each “ rider. ”

First Seal

The Lamb opened the first seal, releasing the rider with a “bow” and seated on a white horse, “conquering” and to “conquer.”  Immediately after ascending the throne, the “ Lamb ” begins to open the “ seven seals ,” starting with the first four. His right to open the scroll is based on his sacrificial death. But the opening of the seals does not yet reveal the contents of the “ sealed scroll ” itself. Breaking its seals is the preliminary step necessary before the scroll can be unfolded.

Seven Seals - Overview

In many interpretations, the forces unleashed by the breaking of the “ Seven Seals ” are linked to the horrific calamities that unfold on the Earth prior to the coming of Jesus at the end of the age, especially so when the first four seals are opened. Apparently, His patience with humanity exhausted, God pours out plagues on the world in a last-ditch effort to bring men to their knees in repentance.

The Sealed Scroll

In Chapter 5 of  Revelation , John saw the Scroll that was sealed shut with Seven Seals and tightly held in the “ right hand ” of the “ One Who was sitting on the Throne .” He dispatched a “ mighty angel ” to discover whether anyone in the created order was “ worthy ” to take and open the “ Sealed Scroll .” Despite an exhaustive search, at least momentarily, no one “ worthy ” could be found.

Sixth Seal - Wrath

The sixth seal ushers in the Day of the Lord, the time of wrath upon the inhabitants of the earth and all the Lamb’s enemies  –  Revelation 6:12-17 .  The opening of the sixth seal causes celestial and terrestrial trauma as the “ day of wrath ” dawns. It is nothing less than the “ great day of the wrath of God and of the Lamb .” Men of every rank panic in terror, but their every attempt to hide from the impending “ wrath ” is in vain. There is no escape, for no one can “ stand ” before the “ Lamb and the throne. ”

Martyrs under the Altar

The opening of the Fifth Seal revealed the souls of men kept “ underneath ” the Altar, saints who had been slain for their “ Testimony .” They pleaded with God for their vindication and for judgment on the “ Inhabitants of the Earth ” who had persecuted them. They were told to wait for Him to answer their plea until the full “ number ” of their “ fellow servants ” who were going to be slain “ just as they were ” was added to their company.

Silence in Heaven

At the end of the seventh seal, seven angels prepare to sound their trumpets, unleashing judgment on the “inhabitants of the earth”  – Revelation 8:1-6.  The saints have been “ sealed ,” washed “ in the blood of the Lamb ,” and brought safely through the “ great tribulation .” The full complement of “ witnesses ” has been assembled, and the time has arrived for judgment to be rendered against the “ inhabitants of the earth ” that persecuted the martyrs. Their plea for “ vengeance ” is about to be answered.

First Four Seals - Aftermath

The first four seal openings occur under the watchful eyes of the “Lamb” and the “four living creatures” around the “throne”  –  Revelation 6:8 .  Collectively, the four “ riders ” are authorized to kill “ a fourth of the earth .” Each seal is “ opened ” by the “ Lamb ,” and each respective “ rider ” is commanded to ride by one of the “ four living creatures ” that surrounded the “ throne .” The forces unleashed by the first four seals result from the “ Lamb ” breaking open the seven “ seals ” of the scroll.

Second Division - Outline

The  Book of Revelation  is divided into four main literary units, each identifiable by the entry of John “ in the Spirit ” and his relocation to a new visionary vantage point (Patmos, the Throne, the Wilderness, “ great high mountain ”). Each division is easily subdivided into smaller units; for example, the series of the “ seven seals ” or the “ seven trumpets ” - (Revelation 1:9, 4:1-3, 17:3, 21:10).