September 23, 2018 • Pastor Netz Gómez
The Lamb Opens the Seven Seals
I. INTRODUCTION TO THE SEVEN SEAL
Apocalipsis 5:7-9 “Then He [Jesus] came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne [The Father]. Worthy Is the Lamb… 9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals…”
a. In this passage Jesus takes the scroll sealed with seven seals from the hand of the Father, which represents the title of ownership of the earth and the plan of action required to cleanse the earth. One by one, Jesus will open each seal to issue a series of judgments against the wicked.
b. The moment in which Jesus opens the seals is key to the interpretation of Revelation. We believe that the seven seals are: literal (not symbolic), future (their fulfillment is still to come), progressive (increasing in intensity) and numbered (released in sequential order).
c. We believe that Jesus has not opened the first seal because the bowls are still filling with the prayers of the saints.Rev. 5:8 “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty- four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
d. In the generation the Lord returns, God will shake the nations to judge the kingdom of darkness, purify the Church and bring the great harvest, including the salvation of Israel.
Hag 2:6-7 “… For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations [Jesus]… says the Lord of hosts.”
II. THE INVITATION TO PUT ATTENTION AND UNDERSTAND
Rev. 6:1 “Now I saw when the Lamb [Jesus] opened one of the seals; and I heard one of
the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.””
a. Come and see: John was exhorted four times to “come and see” (6:1, 3, 5, 7). He had to draw near God to pay attention and understand. We must also “come and see” to have understanding and agree with Him regarding His plan.
b. Principle of judgment: The judgments of God for the end times will remove everything that hinders love. He will use the least severe means to reach as many people at the deepest level of love without violating anyone’s free will.
c. The judgments of God against the ungodly in the first four seals are the result of God taking away His restraining hand from wicked men, allowing them to sin unrestrainedly against each other.
d. The first four seals are caused by the actions of sinners. And from the fifth to the seventh seal they involve supernatural actions from heaven.
e. Each seal leads to the deployment of the next seal. For example, the untying of the Antichrist in the first seal (Rev. 6: 2) leads to a World War in the second seal, which in turn causes a famine and economic crisis in the third seal, followed by death and illness, etc.
III. FIRST SEAL: POLITICAL AGGRESSION OF THE ANTICHRIST (6:1-2)
Rev. 6:2 “And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”
b. White: The white color symbolizes righteousness because the reign of the Antichrist will initially appear righteous but he will be a counterfeit of Jesus riding a white when He comes back to reign on earth in Rev. 19:11 Mt.24:4-24 “4 Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many….
24 For they will… show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
c. Bow: The rider of this horse looks like he is ready to go to war but with an arrow-less bow in his hand. Initially the Antichrist will obtain political power without violence. This speaks of his victories or peaceful conquests using deceptive diplomacy.
d. Crown: The Antichrist wears a crown as a symbol of his political authority.
- Jesus has all authority (Mt. 28:18) and He will give the Antichrist a limited sphere to act
for seven years.
Jn. 19:11 “Jesus answered, [to Pilate] “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above…”
Rev. 13:7 “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
- Satan and the wicked leaders will also give their authority to the Antichrist.
Rev. 13: 2 “The dragon [Satan] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority [to the Antichrist].”
IV. SECOND SEAL: WORLD WAR (6:3-4)
Ap. 6:3-4 “When He [Jesus] opened the second seal… 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”
a. Great sword: This sword speaks of extreme forms of bloodshed from war and violence. The Antichrist will begin using a “arrow-less bow” but will then use a “big sword”.
b. Take peace from the earth: The context when the seals are opened is a false world peace, which will end with the opening of the second seal and the abomination of desolation.
1 Thes. 5:3 “For when they say, “Peace and safety! [false treaty]” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
c. The Antichrist will make a peace treaty with many nations for seven years and then he will break it.
Dan, 9:27 “Then he [the Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week [3 1/2 years] He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate…”
V .THIRD SEAL: ECONOMIC CRISIS AND FAMINE (6:5-6)
Rev. 6:5-6 “I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard 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 the wine.”
d. The opening of the third seal speaks of the famine and the economic crisis which occur as a result of the world war that broke out in the second seal.
e. Pair of scales: The greatest economic pressures and the most severe famine in history are yet to come against the nations that embrace the ways of the Harlot.
f. Denarius: A denarius was equivalent to one day’s salary.
- A liter of wheat is the amount that a man would eat for a day with a minimum diet.
- The economic crisis will mean that the purchasing power will be reduced to the point of working all day to provide food for only one person for a day. This represents approximately ten times less the current purchasing power.
g. Wheat and barley: Wheat is superior in flavor and nutrition than barley. Barley is a lower grain and will be three times cheaper than the price of wheat.
h. Do not damage the oil or the wine: The oil was used for people to beautify themselves and the wine to bring comfort. This speaks of how people will still retain their outer appearance and use what numbs and entertains them to stay afloat while the crisis is going on.
Lk. 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness… and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”
VI. FOURTH SEAL: DEATH OF A FOURTH OF WORLD’S POPULATION (6:7-8)
Rev. 6:7-8 “When He opened the fourth seal… 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
a. Pale Horse: It is the color of the decomposition of a corpse.
b. Death and Hades: It is what happens with the physical body of the unbelievers which goes to the grave. Hades is the prison where the spirit of the sinners that has left this world goes before going to the lake of fire after the Millennium.
c. Fourth part: John saw a quarter of the world population being killed by sword, famine, death (pestilence) and wild beasts.
Ez. 14:21 “ For thus says the Lord God: “How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem—the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence —to cut off man and beast from it?”
d. Hunger: The starvation seen in the third seal will continue to climb in the fourth seal.
e. Death: This kind of death may be related to martyrdom, plague or disease. Deadly diseases will greatly increase.
f. Wild Beasts: Hungry beasts will be seen roaming outdoors to devour people due to the great hunger.
g. A fourth: Some estimate that the population of the earth in 2050 will be 10 billion people. The fourth part is approximately 2.5 billion which is 50 times greater than the total deaths in World War II.
VII.FIFTH SEAL: PRAYER MOVEMENT RELEASING JUDGMENT (6:9-11)
a.The opening of the fifth seal is related to the power of the prayer movement that will issue a great judgment on the Antichrist’s empire as seen in the trumpet judgments (Rev. 8-9).
Rev. 6:9-10 “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
b.The fifth, sixth and seventh seals imply celestial activity. The judgment of each seal increases in intensity. The fifth seal is more severe than the four that precede it. The shedding of the blood of the saints awakens the vengeance of God and nourishes the prayer movement. This is one of the turning points in the story that is seen in the book of Revelation.
Rev. 19:2 “For true and righteous are His judgments…and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants.”
c. they cried out: The intensity of the prayer ministry in heaven at this time gives us an idea of the intensity of the prayer ministry on earth. The Spirit that inspires the intercession in heaven will inspire the same prayer on earth with profound unity.
d. even when: This is the most recorded prayer in the Scriptures (Zec 1:12, Ps 6: 3, 13: 2, 74:10, 79: 5, 80: 4, 89:46, 90:13, 94: 3; Dan 8:13; 12: 6-13). Here is the prayer for justice about the cruelty of Antichrist, the vindication of God’s reputation and the liberation of His people
Lk. 18:7-8 “… And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him?… 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily…“
e. avenge: This is not a cry for personal vengeance, but God would eliminate the reprobate who oppress His people and hate His kingdom. They will long to see the cruelty of Antichrist stop.
f. Lord, holy and true, do not judge and avenge our blood. In the context of God’s judgments these two aspects are emphasized. When the saints rely on the sovereignty of God with confidence in the goodness of Jesus, they see that His judgments are holy because they do not violate love and are true in judging the guilty with accurate information. The judgments of God are neither too severe, nor too lenient, neither too early, nor too late, but they are full of holiness and truth. (Ps. 19:7-11)
- What do you think God’s protection is for all this to come?
- How can we prepare ourselves and our families for all that will come?