The Weekend Word
The Seven Seals – 1-4
1 Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!”
- John is watching as Jesus opens one of the seals.
- The creature sounds like thunder and says “Come” – he sounds like thunder because he is speaking for God.
- See John 12:28 – 29 “ Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered.”
2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
- Here in verse 2 we see that John looks, and what does he see – the same that we see – that as each seal is opened catastrophic things happen on and to the earth – end of the world stuff.
- White Horse – who is the rider? He comes with a bow, & a crown – he comes out conquering. He has all the signs of executing authority, however he is the opposite (or the counterfeit) of the rider of the White Horse in Rev 19:11.
- This one is a mimic with false prophecy – the rider in Rev 19 is called faithful and true.
- God is in control here – it is God who crowns kings – even the bad kings.
- Who is calling “come”? Who is it who is sending them forth? – God!
- Look how God used and moved Caesar Augustus, Pontius Pilate and even Nero, who was not looking to spread Christianity throughout the world – but did, through his persecution.
3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”
- 2nd living creature – 2nd seal – and again “Come”.
4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
- Bright red – also called fiery red
- Takes peace from the earth causing the people to kill each other.
- How does he do this? He is given a great sword. Swords are the symbol of strife and war.
- This is not solely a last days thing – this happened in the beginning – in the Garden as John tells us in his other writing 1 John 3:12 – “We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand.
- Black Horse
- Scales = Famine – see Leviticus 26 and Ezekiel 4
- The scales are symbolizing that if you need to weigh and measure food and water you have famine and need rationing.
- The famine and rationing are the result of war.
6 And I heard what seemed to be 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 wine!”
- Rationing leads to famine pricing. Perhaps like at one time 12 quarts for a denarius (1 day pay) and now you get only 1.
- Barley is the food of the poor and you still get rationed to an amount that will not feed a family.
- But a warning to them about the oil and wine.
7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”
- Note that each time it is a different living creature but the same message — Come!
8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.
- A pale green horse = the color of a corpse.
- Here is a name we don’t see in the baby books – Death & Hades – this is the place of the dead.
- Note that their reign is confined – they couldn’t go out into the entire world – they were given ¼ of the earth.
- Their destruction was limited to Famine – Pestilence – and Wild Beasts.
- At this point we have total calamity, and evil is running rampant and the demonic are all in charge … or are they??
This is the impression, but it is a false impression. God is the one at work here and he will use all kinds of instruments – but he still rules the universe – in this odd way – as the lamb that has been slain. Who would expect that?