The First Six Seals Pt. 1 (Revelation 6-7)

 

  1. Revelation
  2. John’s vision (Son of Man)
    1. Letters to churches
  3. Throne room…
    1. Slain Lamb takes scroll with seals

 

Now continue with breaking seals…

  1. We’ll couple chapters 6-7
    1. Can’t do both in one sitting
    2. But keep in mind that they’re related
      1. Six = breaking of first six seals, culminates in judgment at the request of martyred saints
      2. Seven = sealing 144,000 saints, innumerable throng worshiping
    3. Can’t get full meaning of one without the other
  2. Lots of description / symbolism here
    1. Reluctant to add meaning
    2. Prefer to be certain
  3. So, goal is not to find meaning in every detail / see map of last days events
    1. Instead, try to see big picture / gospel
    2. To do that we’ll want to understand the reaction of original hearers
      1. Feelings produced are timeless
      2. So are spiritual truths
  4. And, of course, we remember that a blessing is intended (1:3)
    1. These broken seals are judgment on the world
    2. But also deliverance of the saints
      1. Keep the Exodus from Egypt in mind
    3. At the center of everything is the Lamb
      1. He is on the throne
      2. Worthy to break the seals
      3. Strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies
      4. Prompts his own to worship
    4. Don’t be afraid…be blessed!

 

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 3And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. 5And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. 7And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

  1. The first seal causes a noise like thunder
    1. One of the four beasts tells John to look
    2. Beasts take turns with each seal
  2. Unveil “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”
    1. Order and identity less than important than what they do
    2. White = conquering king
    3. Red = war
    4. Black = famine
    5. Pale (gray, green) = death and the grave
  3. Basically, catastrophe for the earth
    1. Striking that judgment is self-served (sin plays out)
      1. Not some bizarre supernatural ending
      2. Horrible but natural / at the hands of men
    2. Apparent peace with white horse
      1. The conqueror wears a crown
      2. Perhaps brings sense of peace
      3. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thess. 5:1-3)
    3. And so the rider on the red horse takes peace with war
      1. He causes men to kill each other
    4. So much killing causes famine
      1. The price of bread skyrockets to a day’s wages
      2. Still, oil and wine are untouched because there’s more judgment to come
        1. Like Egypt, not everything was destroyed at once
        2. Each plague brought new terror
        3. Egypt was slowly decimated
    5. In all, a fourth of population dies
      1. The pale horse carries death
      2. And hell followed with him
        1. Hell is the grave
        2. And the companion of death
    6. This is exactly as Jesus predicted:
      1. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mt. 24:3-13)

 

Now, the martyred saints see all this but realize it’s not enough:

9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

  1. They witnessed / died for their faith and desire judgment on their enemies
  2. But the time isn’t yet so given robes and told to wait
    1. Remember robes are symbol of salvation for faithful (Sardis in 3:5)
  3. The reason it’s not time is because more believers must die
    1. Amazing / baffling plan
    2. Every day written before the first one starts (Ps. 139:16)

 

Then we jump to the answered prayer:

12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

  1. Next seal is in chapter eight
  2. Therefore, sixth seal and seventh chapter should be read together
  3. They ask for judgment and here it is:
    1. Earthquake
    2. Sun, moon, stars cease to function
    3. Heaven rolled up like a scroll (pass away for new heaven?)
    4. Earth utterly destroyed
    5. Every man from kings to slaves seeks relief
      1. Beg mountains to crush them
      2. “Hide us from the face of God”
      3. “Hide us from the wrath of the Lamb”
    6. This is the Day of the Lord
      1. No one can stand
      2. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)

 

We’ll see how this all ties into chapter seven next week. For now, let’s see the hope this shows us in the gospel:

  1. Comfort in God’s absolute sovereignty and power
    1. Over the horsemen
    2. Over the kings and all peoples
  2. So we can trust his timing and plan
    1. Includes suffering
  3. Because we know his judgment is coming
    1. Destruction vindicates
    2. So no hope in world, citizenship, resources
      1. As stated to churches in letters
      2. World is passing: “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Pt. 3:7-10)
  4. Our only hope is his peace
    1. Rome won’t always rule
    2. Satan will be overthrown
    3. Sin and death will be destroyed
    4. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jn. 14:27)

 

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. 2Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 5I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 6My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. 7Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. 8And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Ps. 130)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s