The vision of the seals
These seals express events to be fulfilled;
1st Seal: The Conquerer
“… 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. And 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. …” Revelation 6:1-2
The Four beasts
We came across them in Revelation 4:7, “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.”
- Lion – the prophecy of victory, (the first seal).
- Calf – a symbol of slaughter, war and persecution, (the second seal).
- Man – a symbol of heresy and false opinions, (the third seal).
- Eagle – a symbol of resurrection and the forerunner of the final victory of the just over the death and Hades,(the fourth seal).
2nd Seal: Conflict on Earth
“And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And 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.” Revelation 6:3-4
Calf – a symbol of slaughter, war and persecution, (the second seal).
3rd Seal: Scarcity on Earth
“And 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. And 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.” Revelation 6:5-6
Man – a symbol of heresy and false opinions, (the third seal).
4th Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 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.” Revelation 6:7-8
Eagle – a symbol of resurrection, final victory of the just over death and Hades, (the fourth seal).
This should remind you of Passover; “By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land : which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.” Hebrews 11:29
5th Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs
“And 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: And 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? And 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.” Revelation 6:9-11
6th Seal: Cosmic Disturbances
“I watched as he broke the sixth seal, and there was a vast earthquake; and the sun became dark like black cloth, and the moon was blood-red. Then the stars of heaven appeared to be falling to earth-like green fruit from fig trees buffeted by mighty winds. And the starry heavens disappeared as though rolled up like a scroll and taken away; and every mountain and island shook and shifted. The kings of the earth, and world leaders, and rich men, and high-ranking military officers, and all men great and small, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and rocks of the mountains, and cried to the mountains to crush them. “Fall on us,” they pleaded, “and hide us from the face of the one sitting on the throne, and from the anger of the Lamb, because the great day of their anger has come, and who can survive it?”” Revelation 6:12-17 TLB
- The sixth Seal is the future
The four horses
The Lamb, Christ opened the first seal and John looked and saw;
1. A white horse. (vs 2)
Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed upon his head; he rode out to conquer in many battles and win the war.
- a time of peace, progress and victory and success in every way, be it evangelism, everything going as intended.
2. A Red horse. (vs 4)
- Times of desolation, judgment, war and persecution.
All happening to “…take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another…”
3. A black horse (vs 5)
- woe, mourning and darkness and ignorance. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:2
He that sat on it had a pair of balances in his hand meaning;
- the knowledge and practice of true religion will became scarce.
- famine of the word of God and of true religion
- the necessities of life will be at excessive prices, and more costly.
4. Pale horse
The rider was Death, the king of terrors.
- This is the moment when whatever may tend to make life happy is destroyed.
- when the mystery of iniquity is completed, and its power extended both over the lives and consciences of men.
All of the above are the instruments of God’s anger, or judgments upon the disobedience of mankind: all public calamities are at his command; they only go forth when He opens the seals or sends them, and no further than he permits. God gave them power.
Read also about The seal of the living God
7th Seal: Event leading to the Seven Trumpet
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Revelation 8:1
Chapter 8 begins where chapter 6 ended.
This seal includes the 7 trumpets and the 7 vial of judgments and all coming in rapid succession just before Christ returns. These judgments are so terrible that the angels stand breathless in awe and anticipation of the reality of the judgments, God is about to unleash.
“Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow their mighty blasts.” Revelation 8:6
The first angel blew his trumpet
“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Revelation 8:7
- Hail and fire mixed with blood were thrown down upon the earth.
- One-third of the earth was set on fire
- One-third of the trees were burned, and all the green grass.
The second angel blew his trumpet
“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” Revelation 8:8-9
- What appeared to be a huge burning mountain was thrown into the sea, destroying a third of all the ships
- A third of the sea turned red as blood; a and a third of the fish were killed
The third angel blew his trumpet
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Revelation 8:10-11
- A great flaming star fell from heaven upon a third of the rivers and springs.
- The star was called “Wormwood” or “Bitterness” because it poisoned a third of all the water on the earth and many people died.
The fourth angel blew his trumpet
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” Revelation 8:12
- A third of the sun was blighted and darkened, and
- A third of the moon and the stars so that the daylight was dimmed by a third, and the nighttime darkness deepened.
See also The Trumpet Judgements