A worthy lamb to open the seal

A Seal and A Worthy Lamb – Revelation 6

In Articles by Aaron Cozort

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… But one worthy to open each seal.

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A LOOK BACK: In chapter 5, John saw the One on the throne holding a scroll.  In it was a proclamation from God, but it was sealed.  He wept because there was no one found in Heaven, on Earth, or in the grave to open the scroll.  Then an angel appeared to John to tell him that one was worthy: the Lamb (Christ).

John watches as the Lamb opens the first seal.  Then one of the creatures from before the throne invites him with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”  Beginning here, John in this chapter will observe the opening of six of the seven seals on the scroll.  For the first century church, each prophecy is a glimpse into what will “shortly take place” (1:1) “for the time is near” (1:3).

The first seal – Out of the scroll comes a white horse with a rider.  The rider holds a bow and a crown (he’s king or a victor).  He goes out successfully conquers.

The second sealOut comes a fiery red horse with rider.  Its rider has a great sword and permission to remove peace from the earth and cause people to turn against one another.

The third sealNow arrives a black horse with the rider carrying a set of scales.  The one in the middle of the four creatures (i.e. God) tells this rider, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”  A decree that a day’s worth of bread will cost a day’s wage.

The fourth sealOut comes a pale horse with a rider.  This rider, identified as “Death,” and following Death is Hades (the grave).  Death is given power to kill one-fourth of the earth (consider this not a “literal” measurement, but a “portion”) using a sword, famine, and beasts of the earth.

The fifth sealJohn sees the altar of God.  Beneath it are souls of martyrs, who died for their testimony (i.e. proclaiming the Gospel). They are crying to God asking, “How long…” until judgment and vengeance rain upon their persecutors.

The sixth sealJohn sees a great earthquake, the sun turned black, the moon became red, the stars fall, the plant life dies, the skies roll up, and every mountain and island move. Here is Old Testament prophetic imagery of God bringing judgment upon a nation.  The reaction of those on earth is to flee and hide and seek even death as a protection against “the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

The chapter closes with a critical question, “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Next week: Who Is Able To Stand?