Lesson 12 Revelation 6:1-17 The Book With Seven Seals: The First Six Seals

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1 Lesson 12 Revelation 6:1-17 The Book With Seven Seals: The First Six Seals

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5 Lessons for Today Wherever the Gospel goes, persecution follows. As Jesus said, He did not come to bring peace but a sword. We must realize that our stand for truth will sometimes set us opposed to the world, even sometimes our own family. Suffering in various forms may very well result. The Lord answered the cry of the martyrs. He brought down the persecuting power that was Rome. This should give us confidence as well; if we hold true to our testimony, we will be vindicated. We will be clothed in white one day.

6 The First Six Seals The book (or scroll) given to the Lamb has seven seals What is a seal? A piece of wax put on a scroll to protect its contents Usually imprinted with the symbol of some royal or great official Only those with proper authority could break the wax seal The Lamb, who has all authority, opens each seal issuing forth a vision Contents are revealed in symbols I looked I heard I saw A grand vision that John experienced Let us seek to see and hear what is portrayed as well

7 The First Four Seals Four Horsemen What is the significance or symbolism of the number four? Generally signifies the world in its full extent; the world in which men lived, worked and died All four have to do with events that affect men on the earth Each begins with the statement of one of the four living creatures The creatures are here to do the bidding of the One on the throne Each one in turn makes the statement, come and see Perhaps to John telling him to come closer and see each vision But more likely, a thunderous call to each horseman to come forth on its symbolic mission

8 The White Horse What does white usually symbolize? Purity and holiness; perhaps in this case heavenly purity What might a bow symbolize? Suggests conquest; was often used in warfare Used metaphorically of God as ruler or conqueror: Ps. 7:12; 45:5; Hab. 3:8 13 Q.3. What was given the rider of the white horse? A crown Stephanos from a word meaning to twine or wreathe; a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; this was the victory crown What did he go forth to do? To conquer

9 The White Horse Seems to symbolize Christ and His cause being made known to the world Portrays the theme of the entire book Victory in Christ Jesus Christ came to the earth to redeem mankind Conquered the devil s power over sin and death Continues to conquer every effort of this destroyer Goes forth as well to conquer the souls of men He has been crowned; now reigns in heaven over His kingdom

10 The Red Horse What might red symbolize? This is the blood color; often indicates war and bloodshed Could also indicate the fires of persecution This one was able to take peace from the earth kill (or slay) same as that in 5:6 (the Lamb slain) and in 6:9 sphazo to butcher (especially an animal for food or in sacrifice); to slaughter Given a sword machaira the sword of the Roman infantry; also used in Mt. 10:34 referring to a sacrificial sword A butchering sword would slaughter men in sacrifice long or great because of the extent to which it was used

11 The Red Horse Some suggest indicated warfare, such as by the Parthians However, doesn t seem to fit This horse follows the white one. Wherever God makes and entrance, the sword of persecution follows. (Harkrider) This rider deprives the world of peace seems to be a reference to the religious persecution of those who follow Christ 2 Tim. 3:12 all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Matt. 10:34 Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword... Domitian was beginning a persecution that had the whole empire involved in causing Christians to suffer Continued for more than two hundred years until Constantine issued his edict of toleration The devil makes certain that Christians will have problems to test their faith

12 The Black Horse What might this color represent? Grief and mourning. Woe. Darkness. What did this rider have in his hands? A pair of scales Implies measuring out something; in this case food A voice from the throne Quart of wheat about enough food for one person in a day A denarius equivalent to about a day s wages Barley was of even less value poorer fair that might enable more persons to eat Food is scarce; they would be barely able to feed themselves much less a family

13 The Black Horse Christians were sometimes harmed economically if they refused to worship the emperor Might have very little pay; barely able to support their family This rider portrays persecution like the second rider Here, more in the form of economic hardship What about the last phrase? do not harm the oil and wine These were luxuries The rich continue to enjoy their food and advantages of this life Were likely aligned with or compromising with emperor worship could continue to enjoy such things Christians were put to the test Live for this life or for the world to come Stand for truth and suffer or compromise and enjoy the good life

14 The Pale Horse This horse is pale Could be translated green, dull bluish or leaden color, or an ashen hue as the color of a sick or dead person Seems to symbolize disease and death The rider personifies death Has a companion Hades the realm of the dead Power is given to this rider Christ, who rules with all authority and all realms, allows this rider to function in a limited capacity

15 The Pale Horse Power to do harm to a fourth of the earth Kills with the sword sword of warfare using nations to execute judgment on the earth Kills with famine or hunger often occurred with warfare Kills with death (pestilence or disease) often follows with famine Kills by the beasts of the earth roaming more freely All of these comes upon mankind in general Judgment against the world of unregenerate people A limited judgment 1/4 of the earth Unfortunately, Christians would likely suffer as well since these type of events didn t discriminate

16 The First Four Seals Four Horsemen 1. The going forth of Christ in the gospel 2. The persecution of saints which followed the preaching of truth this brought saints and the world into conflict 3. Discrimination in labor and business which further added to the suffering of Christians 4. The judgments that fell upon society as a result of pagan rejection of the divine message

17 The Fifth Seal Martyred Saints The altar thusiasterion a place of sacrifice Not the altar of incense as in most of the book Souls of those slain are under the altar They have been sacrificed gave their life for the cause of Christ Slain further emphasizes this idea; to sacrifice Why were they slain? For the word of God because their stand for that truth Because of their testimony of Jesus Christ and faith in Him Physical death was the price that they paid Had already given their lives Persecution had already begun From the beginning, Christians endured persecution

18 The Fifth Seal Martyred Saints Their cry (v. 10) How long? Wanted to see their cause vindicated; wanted judgment The answer (v. 11) First with white robes long flowing robes royalty and victory; white the heavenly color Rewarded for their faithfulness; will be with God in heaven Request for vindication is answered a little while longer Period is indefinite; relatively short by some comparison There would be more martyrs still before that time > 200 years Note consciousness does not end at death. Our spirits will live on in eternity. See the souls of the dead living on; looking upon events on the earth

19 The Sixth Seal A Great Cataclysm Earthquake, sun blackened, moon turning blood red, etc. Same type of imagery was used in other places in the Bible: Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord Acts 2:20 ushering in of the kingdom on the day of Pentecost Also Joel 2:10; 3:15 Mt. 24:29 destruction of Jerusalem, note v. 34 that generation would see it Such language is used of any judgment, not just the final judgment Sixth seal judgment on Rome (vindication requested) or the final judgment

20 The Sixth Seal A Great Cataclysm The sky receding The image of a scroll being rolled up If a scroll is rolled up, the reading of its contents has been concluded The time of that empire is over; has come to an end Mountains and islands moving These are symbols of permanence and strength the very foundations of the earth were removed. Islands were symbols of the most remote and distant lands or the extent of a nation or empire The very foundations of the empire are moved out of place

21 The Sixth Seal A Great Cataclysm Vv Closes with a picture of men on the earth all walks of life are pictured a judgment that affects all and is extensive In that day, one s position or status matters not; they are drawn together by a common calamity Seek to hide themselves from the great and awesome judge Fear is so great, wish for the rocks to fall on them to hide them The day of wrath has come; none are able to stand in the face of this Would seem this is not the final judgment Final judgment will come in a moment will be no time to hide Will happen in an instant; in the twinkling of an eye 1 Cor. 15:52 Furthermore, this same description occurs three times in previous history where it refers to a national calamity Hos. 10:8; Isa. 2:19; Lk. 23:30

22 The Sixth Seal A Great Cataclysm Vv (cont.) Who is able to stand? Closes with this rhetorical question The obvious answer is no one However, the next chapter and scene will depict some that in fact are able to stand If men today understood the truth of these messages, they would be eager to be saved

23 Lessons for Today Wherever the Gospel goes, persecution follows. As Jesus said, He did not come to bring peace but a sword. We must realize that our stand for truth will sometimes set us opposed to the world, even sometimes our own family. Suffering in various forms may very well result. The Lord answered the cry of the martyrs. He brought down the persecuting power that was Rome. This should give us confidence as well; if we hold true to our testimony, we will be vindicated. We will be clothed in white one day.

24 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10

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