I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Chapters six through eight record the Lamb of God opening the seven seals from the scroll. Obviously, there is not enough space in a devotional format to cover all this content in three devotions. Therefore, I will try and present the bigger picture of what these chapters are communicating.
The events revealed in these three chapters move us toward the great consummation of this age. These first six seals reveal the antichrist and his plan and program for all of mankind. His program is marked by war, carnage and death. This antichrist (Satan) is the most complete counterfeit of Christ Himself. The world itself is plunged into “all the terrors of the despotism of his authority.”
Just as God has a plan and purpose for all mankind, Satan also has a plan and purpose for humanity. In his book, Exposition of the Whole Bible, G. Campbell Morgan writes, “The opening of the sixth seal is immediately followed by premonitions of the coming One. Over all the government of the false are signs of the established order of the true.” The events under this sixth seal are described as absolute terror. Before Christ returns, the universe and everything that is in it will convulse in preparation for the coming of the King. Some scholars believe that the opening of the sixth seal begins the last half of the seven-year Great Tribulation prophesied in Daniel chapter nine.
Chapter seven describes a pause, and first deals with events on earth. Restraining angels are seen holding in check God’s divine judgment. Then it is revealed that God will appoint and seal 144,000 servants from the tribes of Israel. These chosen servants will be God’s spokespeople for the last 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation. They will go about the earth to proclaim that Jesus is the promised Messiah of God. They will oppose the work of the antichrist. They will be the world’s last hope of repenting and accepting God’s Son.
In chapter eight, we have the opening of the seventh seal which introduces the seven angels blowing the seven trumpets. This seventh seal is marked by silence in heaven. The silence here has to do with great solemnity and great seriousness. The Lamb of God is still in charge. He opens the seventh seal, and there is introduced a fanfare of seven trumpets. In his commentary on Revelation, J.V. McGee writes, “This is a very solemn scene. The Lord Jesus Christ orders a halt on all fronts: heaven, hell, and earth. Nothing can move without His permission.” This can be described as the lull before the storm.
Questions to Ponder
As you think about these seven seals, what does this reveal about the character of God? How does it make you feel to know that through all of this, Jesus is still in charge? In view of Christ’s second coming and the consummation of this age, how does this impact how you live your life today?
- Bow before the Lord in worship – “Salvation belongs to our God, Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Rev. 7:10
- Lay before our Holy Lord saying, “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Rev. 7:11-12
- Confess any lack of reverence or holiness.
- Thank Him for His forgiveness and everlasting love and power!
Hope of the World, I ask that we Your church will know You better as the Lamb of God, Soon Returning King. Draw us closer to You in the place of intimacy and holiness and empower us to run with You in ministry and fearlessly make You known to those around us, compelled by Your great love. Work in and through us I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.