Revelation 6

November Memory Verse: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone  hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me." Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

Revelation 6

Here’s a good snapshot summary of what’s happening in Revelation. I’ve referred to it before, but it bears repeating.

“After presenting the ‘Lordship of Christ’ in Revelation 1 and the ‘Letters of Christ’ in chapters 2–3, the book shifts from earth to heaven in Revelation 4, where the focus is on God’s throne. Then in chapter 5, Jesus—the Lamb who is a Lion—takes the seven-sealed scroll from the hand of the Father. He is the only one found worthy to open it. There are many interpretations of the contents of the seven-sealed scroll, but the only document that was sealed in this way in the first-century Roman world was a last will and testament. When a will was executed, seven witnesses were present to seal it. The will would become a seven-sealed document. That’s what we have in Revelation 5.

With Revelation 6 the main action of the book begins. Jesus, the Lord of the future, begins to open the seals one by one—each one a judgment. The first six seals are ominously opened. These judgments pave the way for the inheritance of the Kingdom. When the seventh seal is opened in Revelation 8, it appears that the scroll will be fully opened, but the seventh seal contains seven more judgments—called the seven trumpets. Each succeeding trumpet is blown, and more dire judgment falls.” (Mark Hitchcock, The End, 78–79. This is the best, most easily understood, book on the end times I have ever read, I highly recommend it)

Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up…maybe.

Reread the last three words of this chapter, “Who can stand?” What a powerful question. Chapter 6 records the opening of the first 6 seals on the scroll that appeared in chapter 5. The first four seals unleash the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

One question you might be asking is, “Are these seals in the future or have the already happened. Or, are we in the middle of them opening sequentially?” Simply put, I don’t know. My opinion is that these events are still future in the Tribulation period that is to come. We must hold such things with open hands. What is not openhanded is the cataclysmic destruction these events will bring.

Seal five appears to take a break from judgement to focus on all the martyrs who have been killed over the centuries. When crying out for justice, they are given a white robe and told to rest until all other martyrs had joined them.

Finally, the earth and sky crumble. All the rulers and the powerful, those who elevated themselves instead of submitting to the Lord, ran and hid. They had rather be sealed in a cave, like a tomb, than face the Lord… “who can stand?”

Several lessons stick out to me:
  • Seals 1–4 tell us things will continue to get worse.
  • Seal 5 shows us that God will not withhold bad things from his saints, however, they are the only ones in this chapter who find rest. 
  • Seal 6 illustrates God’s power and fury toward the unjust.

“Who will stand?” The answer is those who have a relationship with Jesus. Seal 5 alerts us that we may face terrible things, and yet, we will stand for eternity. Do not be discouraged. Stay faithful. It is hard, it will get harder, but when the wicked seem to prevail, understand that this is their destiny, nor yours.

By: Tyler Short

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