Summary: Having taken the scroll from the Father, the Lamb now begins to open the seals. As each seal is opened, (think of it as different chapters in a book) a new judgment comes upon the earth.
Revelation 6:1-2; 12:1-2,6a
Purpose: To show Satan’s true nature.
Aim: I want the listener to see Satan as he really is and avoid his allurements.
INTRODUCTION: Having taken the scroll from the Father, the Lamb now begins to open the seals. As each seal is opened, (think of it as different chapters in a book) a new judgment comes upon the earth. Remember, it is only the Lamb who is worthy to open the book. He is the only One who has the right to judge the world because Jesus endured the Cross. Hebrews 12:1-2 1 ... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NAU)
Jesus gave us the outline for this book in Revelation 1:19 "Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. (NAU)
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past "the things which you have seen"
2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present "the things which are"
2:1-3:22 A. The testimony of the church on earth
4:1-5:14 B. The throne of God in heaven
➽Ch.6-22 III. John’s Vision of the Future "things which will take places"
➽6-7; 12-14 A. Satan’s war against God’s creation
Let me remind you that the seven persons and the seven vials that we will come to later, repeat from an earthly viewpoint what the seven seals (which includes the seven trumpets) show us from heaven’s viewpoint. The seven seals prove God’s sovereign control over the universe. The seven persons display man’s responsibility for his own sin.
So, today we begin looking at a long passage (Chapters 6-18) about the judgments of God on this earth. John will see many devastating judgments that this world has never seen before and they are associated with the first six seals.
Why all of this talk about judgment? What’s the big deal? Isn’t God a God of love? Our problem is that we are in the habit of looking at sin through rose colored glasses. The editor of a small-town newspaper grew tired of being accused of shading the truth so that everything looked positive so one day he announced that he would only tell the truth from now on. So the next issue contained the following item: "Married -- Miss Sylvan Rhodes and James Collins, last Saturday at the Baptist parsonage, by Rev. J. Gordon.The bride is a very ordinary town girl, who doesn’t know any more about cooking than a jack-rabbit, and never helped her mother three days in her life. She is not a beauty by any means, and has a gait like a duck. The groom is an up¬-to-date loafer. He has been living off the old folks at home all his life; and is not worth diddily-squat. It will be a hard life for both of them."[Rotary Magazine. (printed in 1929), submitted by Bruce Rowlison, Gilroy, California]
We smile at this open honesty, but at the end of the age the Lord will allow the human race to be exposed for what it really is. Mankind will finally experience life without any of God’s protection from the results. Satan will be unmasked for what he is really like and the depraved nature of the human heart will be obvious for everyone to see.
By the way, I believe that all true Christians were raptured to heaven at the beginning of chapter four because the church is never mentioned again in the book of Revelation. The focus now shifts to the Jews, God’s chosen people. Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. (NAU) God’s promises to the Jews that they would have an eternal kingdom and an eternal King are about to be fulfilled.
➽ 1. The first seal
➽ 6:1-2 a. Heaven’s view: false peace
Jesus arrives in chapter 19 on a white horse, but this is not Jesus here because (1) Jesus is the One opening the seals and it wouldn’t make sense that He would be sending Himself and (2) the crowns are different. Jesus wore many crowns like the ones that kings would wear. The rider here wore a crown woven from leaves ("stephanos") that an athlete would wear for winning a race. The crown that Jesus wears is given to recognize Him as king--that is not a position that He earned, that is who He is.