08 December 2015

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 6

Let’s head back into the book of Revelation! Remember that John is in God’s throne room, witnessing all of creation worshiping Him. John’s eyes are constantly on the Lamb who was declared the only one worthy to open the scroll with seven seals. Today we look at the first six seals on the scroll.

There are three judgments in Revelation – the scroll, the trumpets, and the bowls. The seven seals on the scroll set the stage for more severe judgments from the trumpets and then the bowls.

When the Lamb opened the first four seals, four riders on horses were released.

The white horse and its rider – The rider is carrying a bow and was wearing a crown. The rider most likely is the Antichrist because the word used for crown here refers to a victor’s crown not a kingly crown.

The red horse and its rider – The rider represents war. He is given the power to remove peace and to promote killing.

The black horse and its rider – The rider represents famine. He is given the power to limit food supplies.

The pale horse and its rider – The rider’s name is Death. He is given the power to kill more than 25 percent of the earth. The “pale” color actually is a pale green, sickly color.

The four horses and their riders will bring conquest, war, famine, and disease. God allows all of these judgments, but they are limited. God has the authority to send judgments on humans. These judgments are a warning for anyone who does not know Jesus as their Lord and an invitation for people to repent and turn to God for refuge.

When the Lamb opens the fifth seal, John sees the souls of martyred believers under the altar (which is the Altar of Sacrifice). The martyrs are crying out to God, asking when He will avenge their deaths. He told them to wait because more people must be martyred.

Why does God allow suffering? If we suffer for Christ, it proves we belong to Him. Suffering is temporary. It produces perseverance, character, and hope. Believers are called to wait on the Lord to resolve suffering.

When the Lamb opens the sixth seal, there is a severe earthquake. The people recognize the judgment is from God, but they refuse to turn to God. They cry out to the rocks instead of the Rock of Ages; to creation instead of the Creator. Who do you call on when you are in trouble?

Things to Think About
  • The only refuge for God’s coming wrath is Jesus Christ.
  • God told the martyred souls they must wait for their deaths to be avenged. What am I waiting for God to do?
  • I must take comfort as I trust in God’s sovereign timing and righteousness.
  • God’s wrath will fall on those who refuse to call on Him for rescue.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’ ” – Revelation 6:16-17 NIV

This is the end of the first part of this BSF year! I’ll be back with more weekly lessons after the Christmas break. As you celebrate Jesus’ first coming as a baby, also celebrate His victorious second coming yet to take place!