The Seven Seals of Revelation

The Seven Seals of Revelation

What will happen during the Great Tribulation. Part 1 of a 3 part series. The 7 Seals and the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

To most the Book of Revelation is a mass of highly confusing prophetic events which to most makes no sense whatsoever. I have to confess that I have read The Book of Revelation at least 50 or so times and only now is the fog slowly starting to clear. The man in the street as a whole is ignorant of one of the possibly greatest books ever written. The book is based on a vision by St John the Divine on future apocalyptic events that will happen in the "Last Days". God has deliberately hidden the deep meaning of this mysterious book from those who are spiritually blinded which means that He has hidden its meaning from most of the world.

Notice this blessing pronounced on those who seriously study the book of Revelation: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near" (Reveltion 1:3).

This article is gleaned from many sources from the web and presented in as clear and concise a manner as possible and is kept to the bare minimum to give an oversight of what these predicted events actually mean and represent. This is all rounded off with an analysis of where we are on the timeline of the 7 Seals in Revelation, whether the seals have been opened, how many or whether none have been opened at all. Something that can be read by believers and non believers alike.

The 4 views on Revelation

There are 4 views or interpretations on the Book of Revelation which include Historic, Preterist, Futurist and Idealist.

Preterist views
The preterist usually views that John was given an accurate vision, of a course of events that would occur over the next several centuries, to fulfill the prophetic seals

Futurist views
Moderate futurists typically interpret the opening of the seals as representing forces in history, however long they last, by which God carries out His redemptive and judicial purposes leading up to “the end”

Historicist views
Traditionally, the historicist view of the Seven Seals in The Apocalypse, spanned the time period from John of Patmos to Early Christendom.

Idealist views
The idealist view does not take the book of Revelation literally. The interpretation of Revelation’s symbolism and imagery is defined by the struggles between good and evil.

The Book of Revelation many say was a historical event that happened around 70ad but others say that "John [the author] received the Revelation in our own time, toward the end of the reign of Domitian." Domitian's reign ended in A.D. 96, so most Biblical scholars date Revelation to the mid-90s A.D, several decades after Jerusalem's fall at the hands of the Romans in A.D. 70. The case for the Futurist Interpretation of the Book of Revelation therefore stands on solid ground. Confirmed by this quote from Revelation

Revelation 1:19
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter

The view that is taken on this website is The Futurist view as in the Book of Revelation was a prophecy of future events to happen before the last days of this world and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.

The 7 Year Tribulation Period and Observations

The 7 Year Tribulation period takes place between Revelation Chapter 6 & 19 and "The Great Tribulation" takes place mid way through the 7 year Tribulation period and last for 3.5 years or 42 months confirmed by many Bible quotes. There are 3 sets of judgements from God in the form of Seals, Trumpets and Vials (Bowls). Each set of judgements contains 7 judgements making a total of 21 judgements during the Tribulation period. Some say the 7 Seals is a Pre Trib scenario and is actually Jacobs Troubles. The 7 seals contained secret information known only to God until the Lamb/Lion was found worthy to open the scroll and to look on the contents.

Important scrolls being secured with seals is mentioned in earlier Bible examples including Book of Daniel 12:4...
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

The number seven in the Bible often refers to perfection and/or completeness, and the fact that there are three categories of judgments – perhaps corresponding to the Trinity as in Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Spirit)

The seal judgments are also described in Jesus' Olivet discourse, found in Matthew 24 . The first four are mentioned in Matthew 24:1-7; the fifth in Matthew 24:9; and the sixth in Matthew 24:7 and 2

Further quotes in Matthew 24:8-14, Matthew 24:36 and 33 and Luke 21:8

The Seven Seals of Revelation
A condensed look at the Seven Seals of Revelation with relevant verses and the futurist view on what this represents and the symbols represented in these verses and also parallel verses mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.

The First Seal. The White Horse. Symbols Bow, crown

Bible Quote
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Futurist view
This rider represents the antichrist who will head the revived Roman Empire at the end of history, shortly after the Rapture of the church.
this seal represents religious deception

(see Matthew 24:5).Olivet Discourse

The Second Seal. The Red Horse Symbols Great sword
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Futurist view
The Antichrist will unleash World War III, and crush any who claim to be Christians after the Rapture. He allies with the Arab world in an effort to conquer the entire world. (Ezek. 38; Dan. 11) Only Jerusalem will stand in his way to world supremacy.

“hear of wars and rumors of wars” and that “nation will rise against nation” (Matthew 24:6-7) Olivet Discourse

The Third  The Black Horse Seal Scales
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the win

Futurist view
Inflation and famine will plague the earth during World War III. Though many will starve, the wealthy will enjoy the luxuries of oil and wine.

that “there will be famines” prior to His return (Matthew 24:7).

The Fourth Seal The Pale Horse  Death (Hades follows him)

Bible Quote:
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Spells death for one-fourth of the earth’s inhabitants. The war started by the Antichrist, will reach the finale with the seven bowls of judgments.

the “pestilences” Jesus said would come to earth’s inhabitants prior to His return (Matthew 24:7). Olivet Discourse

The Fifth Seal. The Martyrs Symbols: White robes
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Futurist view
This judgment encompasses Christians who will be martyred, for their faith in Christ, during the Great Tribulation by not bowing down to the Antichrist and by not submitting to the global economic system that forces all people on the earth to receive the mark of the beast. Their deaths place them in good company of the righteous throughout the ages.

the fifth seal was that of the Great Tribulation that will be directed against the physical descendants of Jacob and God’s faithful people before Christ returns. Describing this time, Jesus said, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matthew 24:9-10. Also Matthew 24:21-22

The Sixth Seal: Darkness and Cosmic Disturbances
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Futurist view
The sixth seal will be the literal cosmic disturbances caused by nuclear war or a global earthquake that causes volcanic debris to pollute the atmosphere, which turns the moon blood red and the sun dark. In addition, there will be massive meteor showers (“the stars… fell”). Thus follows the first half of the Tribulation where God’s wrath consumes the earth. Such wrath does not harm the Church because it was already 'raptured' before the Tribulation started, according to the pretribulation rapture theory.

foretold as signs of the day of the Lord, the time of Christ’s return to earth. The prophet Joel had described this as “a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” and a time when “the sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. … The heavens and earth will shake” (Joel 2:2; Joel 3:15-16). Olivet Discourse Matthew 24 and Luke 21 in the Pre Tribulation signs

The Seventh Seal Seven trumpets The Wrath and Mercy of God

The breaking of the seventh seal occurs in Revelation 8 and marks the second wave of judgments, the trumpet judgments:

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

Futurist view
The “silence” is the hush of expectancy for the verdict about to be pronounced on the guilty. The prayers are from the Christians who will be martyred by the 666 Antichrist in the Great Tribulation, the last three and a half years of the “end-time” tribulation. Both the trumpet and bowl judgments will be unleashed on the wicked during the second half of the tribulation, each judgment intensifying to the next.

Where are we on the Book of Revelation Timeline.

That´s the million dollar question isn´t it, have any of the seals been broken that would set the Revelation timeline in motion. I don´t think anybody has the answer, the right answer that is, anybody that thinks they do, you may want to check them against scripture. There are many views out there, the popular ones are we are at about the 5th seal period in the timeline, another one I heard just recently which is a bit more extreme is we are on the Sixth Trumpet (more detail on the 7 trumpets in Part 2).

Personally if anybody pushed me hard for an answer and I was well and truly cornered I would say this "In my personal opinion and based on Revelation scripture we are as mentioned in Matthew 24 in the "Beginnings of Sorrows" approaching the opening of the First Seal, at the very most at the 4th Seal" We are not in the Great Tribulation period yet, if we were it would be without a shadow of a doubt undeniable. That´s just my view and I´m sure there are many others out there and loads will disagree.. Put another way and looking at Seal 4 where one quarter of the earths population dies by hunger or famine...........this clearly has not happened yet!

What we are witnessing in the world now is Matthew 24 with wars and rumours of wars, some famine, some pestilence and earthquakes going off the scale in diverse places. As worrying as these events are, these are warning shots and milder versions of what is to come. There is no way after reading Revelation that you can say we are in the period of the 42 month Great Tribulation.

Some say Revelation is in chronological order, the course of events will unfold as stated in that Book. Others say it is not a tick list and things will unfold as God wants it to unfold and the vision that is presented is just a general guide and warning only of what is to come. Some others say that if all of mankind got on their knees and repented of their sins and believed, then the Book of Revelation and it´s events would be halted. All highly debatable scenarios but it cannot be denied that Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation are unfolding before our very eyes, things are in motion and mankind is powerless to do anything but to wait and watch. Only those that are truly in the faith, the "sheep", the "little ones" as mentioned many times in the Bible can even begin to fathom what lies ahead in the foreseeable future.

On a final note and putting the heated Rapture debate aside these verses were designed to put those in the faith...put their minds at rest.

1. The end times cannot be stopped by anyone or anything: "13. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?" ( Isaiah 43:13 ).
2. There is a way to escape God's wrath before it comes. Paul writes in Romans: "1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." ( Romans 8:1 )
3. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (. 2 Corinthians 5:21

And finally two verses one worth repeating again as mentioned in the opening verses of Revelation "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." ( Revelation 1:3 )
The second being this in the closing Chapters of Revelation 21:7-8
7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Further information and articles used to compile this post.

The Seven Seals of Revelation via Wikipedia 
The Olivet Discourse via Ted Montgomery 
The Seven Seals of Revelation The Seven Seals of Revelation Reviewed by Frank John on September 28, 2016 Rating: 5
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