Showing posts with the label Seven Seals

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.

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.

Sealed Scroll

The One Sitting on the Throne held a scroll sealed with seven seals. A universal search was made for one “worthy” to open it  –  Revelation 5:1-4 .  Next, John sees the scroll that is sealed shut with seven seals held in the “ right hand ” of the “ One Sitting on the Throne .” He dispatches a “ mighty angel ” to discover someone in the created order who is “ worthy ” to take and open the scroll. Despite an exhaustive search, at least momentarily, no one “ worthy ” is found.

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.

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. ”

Fifth Seal - Martyrs

The fifth seal opening reveals the souls of martyrs kept underneath the altar as they plead with God for vindication and justice  –  Revelation 6:9-11 .  The opening of the fifth seal reveals the souls of men slain for their testimony “ underneath ” the altar, where they plead with God for vindication for what they have endured at the hands of their enemies. But they must wait for justice until the complete number of their “ fellow servants ” who are to be slain - “ just as they ” - are gathered to join them.

Seven Seals - Overview

Upon his arrival before the Throne, the Lamb began to open the seven seals of the sealed scroll .  The forces unleashed by the “ seven seals ” are linked often to the horrific calamities many expect before the return of Jesus, and especially so with the first four seal openings popularly described as the “ four horsemen of the Apocalypse .” Supposedly, with His patience exhausted, God plagues rebellious humanity in a last-ditch effort to bring men to repentance.

Throne and the Lamb

SYNOPSIS: The central figure of the book is the freshly slain Lamb who alone has the authority to open the Sealed Scroll, beginning with its seven seals - Revelation 4:1-5:14.  The scene in chapters 4 and 5 is the theological center of the book of Revelation and sets the stage for all that follows. Through a paradoxical victory, the sacrificial Lamb is crowned sovereign over the Cosmos.