The Seven Seals
For those interested in end-time prophecy, the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation provide very much to consider. They are a lengthy preview, a warning to us, of the many spectacular events that are coming upon the world at some time in the future. References to the very same events can be found in numerous places in the writings of the Old Testament prophets, as well as other books of the New Testament. See By The Book.
The knowledge found in the Book of Revelation was written by The Apostle John while he was exiled on the island of Patmos. It is important to note that it is not the revelation of any man, in this case John, but the revelation of The Father as given to Jesus Christ Himself - He does the revealing. (Revelation 1:1).
What are the Seven Seals?
The Scroll with the Seven Seals originates from The Throne of God in heaven (Revelation 5:1), they are given in heaven to Jesus Christ for Him to open (Revelation 5:5-10), but they happen on earth (e.g. Revelation 5:10, 6:4).
Although the opening of each seal in turn has a spectacular result, the seventh seal is far greater because it is divided into seven trumpets, and its seventh trumpet is further divided into seven bowls (or vials). The Return of Jesus Christ occurs during the events of the seventh trumpet (see also The Shofar).
The first four seals are commonly known as the "four horsemen of the apocalypse."
- The First Seal - Religious Deception and Persecution
"I watched as The Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (Revelation 6:1-2)
- The Second Seal - War
"When The Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword." (Revelation 6:3-4)
- The Third Seal - Famine
"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! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!" (Revelation 6:5-6)
- The Fourth Seal - Pestilence
"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 was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:7-8)
Then, terrible persecution of the Saints
- The Fifth Seal - Tribulation and Martyrdom
"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of The Word of God and the testimony they had maintained.
They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed." (Revelation 6:9-11)
Next, great Signs In The Heavens
- The Sixth Seal - Signs In The Heavens
"I watched as He opened the sixth seal. There was a great Earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red,
and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from The Face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of The Lamb! For the great day of Their wrath has come, and who can stand?" (Revelation 6:12-17)
And then the Seventh Seal, with its seven trumpets, and seven bowls. The last three trumpets are known as the "three woes."
Fact Finder: Did Jesus Christ also prophesy many of the same end-time events during His human lifetime?