Scripture reading for December 25th: Revelation 6-7
The drama in heaven continued with John watching the Lamb open the scroll one seal at a time. With each seal, there was a revelation John wrote down for us. With our imagination, we can see a picture as John described it. These visions represent judgments that are coming on the earth.
The vision with the first seal was a white horse and rider. The rider held a bow and rode out as a conqueror. The second seal brought a vision of a red horse and rider. This rider held a sword and would take peace from the earth by causing men to slay each other. The third seal brought a black horse and rider. That rider held a pair of scales and spoke of famine. The fourth seal brought a pale horse and it’s rider was named “Death” and Hades was close behind. This rider was given power to kill a fourth of the earth.
These seals revealed judgments coming on the earth. The fifth seal changed the scene from earth to heaven’s altar. Under the altar were the souls of a multitude who had been slain for their testimony and the Word of God. They asked the Lord how long before judgment would come for their blood. They were told to be patient until their brothers who would be killed would be complete. (Revelation 6:9-11)
The sixth seal brought a great earthquake. The sun turned black and the moon turned blood red. The stars in the sky fell to earth and the sky receded like a scroll being rolled up. With this destructive turmoil, the people left on the earth hid in caves and among the rocks of mountains. They asked the rocks to fall on them to hide them from the face of the One on the Throne and the wrath of the Lamb.
Revelation 7 was an interlude in the heavenly drama. Between the opening of the sixth and seventh seal, John described the marking of 144,000 from the tribes of Israel. John then saw a multitude in white robes from every nation, tongue and tribe. They were worshiping the Lamb. John was told that they were those who came out of the great tribulation. (Revelation 7:13-14) These awesome events are scenes of things yet to come. We must have the seal of God to avoid the seals of judgment opened by the Lamb.