Lesson One: The Seals
TEXT: Revelation Chapter Six.
A. Method Of Interpretation:
• In Revelation 6:1 we find the phrase, “as it were” meaning that what follows will be of a figurative or symbolic nature.
• John wrote what he saw and heard.
• This will be suggestive in nature and is not meant to be a final explanation.
B. Chronological Order:
With the breaking of the first seal we begin a study of a period of time lasting seven years
This period of time is designated by various names in the Bible:
• The day of the Lord,
The day of Jacob’s trouble,
The day of darkness,
The day of vengeance of our God, The Tribulation,
The Great Tribulation.
• Revelation chapter 6 through Revelation chapter 19.
• During this time the righteous judgment of God is meted out to the inhabitants of the earth who have rejected Him.
• These judgments are to be executed in three series: the seals, the trumpets and the vials.
• The trumpet judgments issue forth from the seals and the vial judgments issue forth from the trumpets.
The judgments will take place as follows:
SEALS: Revelation 6:1 – 19:21
TRUMPETS: Revelation 8:6 – 19:21
VIALS: Revelation 16:1-19:21
• 7 seals and 6 trumpets describe what will take place in the first 3 1/2 years of Tribulation.
• Vial judgments describe what will take place in the second 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation.
C. The First Seal: (Revelation 6:1-2)
• With the breaking of the first four seals we have four riders appearing on different colored horses.
• Each of these riders keeps on riding throughout the seven years of tribulation.
• The first rider is mounted on a white horse. He is Antichrist, II Thessalonians 2:7.
• He has the appearance of Christ but is wholly counterfeit.
• He rides a while horse which is a symbol of peace.
• His method is that of deception.
D. The Second Seal: (Revelation 6:3-4)
• The second rider comes forth on a red horse, which represents bloody warfare.
• False peace promised by the first rider is shattered, and the entire world is plunged into universal revolution with terrible bloodshed.
• The devil is called the “great red dragon” (Revelation 12:3).
• The rider on that red horse will be the devil’s representative.
E. The Third Seal: (Revelation 6:5-6)
• Famine always follows war.
• This black horse speaks of famine and inflation.
• The balances would indicate that everything must be weighed.
• The few rich leaders will become richer while the number of the starving will increase.
• The black day of famine is coming and millions will perish through starvation.
F. The Fourth Seal: (Revelation 6:7-8)
• The pale horse is one representing pestilence and disease.
• Hades is the abode of departed spirits between death and resurrection.
• With the riding of the fourth horseman, one quarter of the world’s population will die as a result of war, famine and pestilence.
G. The Fifth Seal: (Revelation 6:9-11)
• Here we have the first glimpse of the Tribulation Saints.
• Some will save their souls by laying down their lives in martyrdom.
• These martyred saints are both conscious and fully rational.
These martyrs will be:
1. Killed for the Word of God and their testimony,
2. Come out of great tribulation,
3. Wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb,
4. Serve in the roll of servants day and night
5. Cry out for righteous judgment.
H. The Sixth Seal: (Revelation 6:12-17)
• The judgments from the first four seals were the results of the actions of Antichrist.
• There was a great earthquake but it was not to be the end of the world.
• There are three great earthquakes mentioned in Revelation (6:12, 11:13 and 16:18-19).
• They who rejected the Rock of Ages now pray for the rocks.
Self Help Test
A. Explain the chronological order of the seal, trumpet and vial judgments. When does the first in each series begin?
B. Describe carefully just what happens when each seal is broken.
C. Find out the exact population of the world. Calculate the number who will die during the fourth seal judgment.
D. Where might we find a description of a limited atomic war?
E. Describe the scene in your own words.
F. Why must it be a limited atomic war only?