25 Nov. Revelation 6:1-17

25 Nov. The 'Lamb of God' opens the seven seals

"Then I watched while the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, 'Come!' I looked, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out, determined to win the victory."

"When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, 'Come!' Then another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take away peace from the earth and to make people kill each other, and he was given a big sword."

"When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come!' I looked, and there before me was a black horse, and its rider held a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard something that sounded like a voice coming from the middle of the four living creatures. The voice said, 'A litre of wheat for a day's pay, and 3 litres of barley for a day's pay, and do not damage the olive oil and wine!'"

"When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, 'Come!' I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named death, and Hades [the world of the dead] was following close behind him. They were given power over a quarter of the earth to kill people by war, by starvation, by disease and by the wild animals of the earth."

"When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been killed because they were faithful to the word of God and to the message they had received. These souls shouted in a loud voice, 'Holy and true Lord, how long until you judge the people of the earth and punish them for killing us?' Then each of them was given a white robe and was told to wait a short time longer..."

"Then I watched while the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black like rough black cloth, and the whole moon became red like blood. And the stars in the sky fell to the earth like figs falling from a fig tree when the wind blows. The sky disappeared as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place."

"Then the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the rich people, the powerful people, the slaves and the free people hid themselves in caves and in the rocks on the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us. Hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb! The great day for their anger has come, and who can stand against it?'"

          (Revelation 6:1-17)

 

 

The next 6 chapters of the book of Revelation (Chapters 6 to 11) record John's vision of the ceremonial opening of the 7 seals on the scroll so that people are ready to be judged before God according to their deeds on the Day of Judgement.

In Revelation 6:1-17, the Lamb (Jesus) symbolically opens the first six of the seven seals on the scroll.

The opening of the first four seals reveals a series of symbolic riders on horseback - the 'four riders of the Apocalypse'. The first, on a white horse, appears to represent a time of peace following a great victory. The second, on a red horse, appears to represent a time of war and bloodshed. The third rider, on a black horse, appears to represent justice, carrying a pair of weighing scales, the traditional symbol of dispensing justice. The fourth rider, on a pale horse, symbolises death and Hades - the world of the dead resulting from war, starvation and disease.

The breaking of the fifth seal reveals the martyrs who have been killed for their Christian faith, while the opening of the sixth seal represents the end of the world and the coming of the Day of Judgement before God.

All of this represents a dramatic run up to the opening of the seventh seal, which follows in Chapter 8 - but not before the coming together of Jewish and Gentile believers in tomorrow's reading.

The photo (by Ehav Eliyahu) shows a 200-year-old Yemenite Torah scroll from the Ramban Synagogue in Nahalat Ahim, Jerusalem.  

You can read more from John's revelation to the seven churches of Asia Minor @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/johns-vision-of-gods-heav…


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