The 7 seals of Revelation, come from the Scroll that only one person can open; the Lamb of God who was slain, Jesus Christ. And as the apostle John saw the Lord open them, he saw the events of each of its 7 sections, and recorded what he saw according to the direction of the Lord.
In John’s experience, as the Lord opened each of the first 4 seals, one of the 4 living creatures called unto John to “Come and see” what would happen. Each of the first 4 seals brought about a horse and rider, each with very distinctive purposes. The 5th seal shows huge persecution and martyrdom of believers. And the 6th and 7th, each show a facet of the rapture itself.
- SEAL #1 / Revelation 6:1-2 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”
The Antichrist, though evil, is portrayed to have a white horse because he will have the appearance of being good. He will be given a crown of authority, the means to conquer and the time for his assignment. It will not be of his own might or power, but “will be allowed” by God for His purposes. Mankind (as a majority) will continue to choose wickedness rather than God, so He will give them over to what they will have chosen.
- SEAL #2 / Revelation 6:3-4 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Peace will be removed from the earth. The Antichrist will be a master of deceit (Daniel 8:25). He will speak of peace but will really be a conqueror. As the Lord said, there will be wars and rumors of wars. Consider the following verses and see how well they fit with the first two seals shown so far, and also with, the third and fourth seals that will follow.
The seven seals truly correspond with Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Here is one section of verses in particular.
- Matthew 24:3-14 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.“
Does this sound like Christians will not go through perilous times? Not only will it be so, but it will be necessary to “endure to the end.”
- SEAL #3 / Revelation 6:5-6 “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
The 3rd seal, shows darker and bleaker times, with food becoming scarce and expensive.
- Mark 13:8b “And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles.”
John heard direction given not to harm the oil and the wine. This is possibly a sign to remind us that those who trust in the Lord will be helped as Elijah was helped by the ravens and the Zarephath widow with the unending flour and oil (1 Kings 17:8-16).
- SEAL #4 / Revelation 6:7-8 “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
By pale horse, it means “pale” like “the pallor of sickness.” John’s descriptions of the colors of the horses have gone from imitation white, to fiery red, bleak and dark and now pale like the pallor of a sick person. From alleged peace to people killing each other and wars, to inflation and then a quarter of the earth will be inflicted with death by sword, hunger, death and beasts of the earth. It is no wonder that some Christians refuse to believe that the church will have to go through any of this, but we can know from the perilous times Christians went through in the early church, that if the Lord wants us to go through something, He has a purpose and a plan, as well as, He will give us the strength and means to handle anything that we will face.
Notice that “power was given” to Death and Hades. This will be allowed by God. I believe the famines and pestilences in the following Scripture, correlate with the hunger and death of the 4th seal.
- Luke 21:10-11 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.”
- SEAL #5 / Revelation 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been 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, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
This is clearly referencing Christians who will have died for their faith, been slain for the Word of God and the testimony which they held. White robes will be given to them and they will ask of the Lord, how long will it be until He will judge and avenge those who killed them? The answer will be, a little while longer, until the number of brethren, fellow servants of the Lord, are killed as they had been, until the number of them is complete.
I believe this correlates with the following Scripture.
- Mark 13:12-20 “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter. For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”
- SEAL #6 / Revelation 6:12-17 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
This will be the beginning of the coming of the Lord! Everything will be going dark (sun, moon and stars) in preparation of the Lord, who will come in all His glory and illuminate the whole earth.
I believe this correlates with the following Scripture.
- Mark 13:24-27 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”
Six seals will be past and the 7th coming quickly. But before John recorded the 7th seal, he stopped to write about the 144,000 Jews, who must be sealed for their protection.
- Revelation 7:1-4 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
- SEAL #7 / Revelation 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
The reason there will be silence in heaven, is because this is when the saints and angels will come with Jesus, to claim His own from this earth.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
The Lord is merciful, but He is also just. The day of the coming of the Lord, with the rapture of His church, will also be a day of reckoning.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
In closing, note there are some differences between the 7 seals, 7 trumpets and the 7 bowls. The seals are not shown to be distributed by angels as the trumpets and bowls are. The seals are prophetic involving what both the church and wicked will go through, while the trumpets and bowls are reserved solely for the wicked, because they are the judgment and wrath of God.