1st seal: Jesus’ kingdom growing
- I looked on when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a thunderous voice, “Come!”
- So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer.
2nd seal: wars
- Then when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!”
- And another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth, so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword.
3rd seal: famine
- Then when the Lamb opened the third seal I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” So I looked, and here came a black horse! The one who rode it had a balance scale in his hand.
- Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat will cost a day’s pay and three quarts of barley will cost a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”
4th seal: disease famine & sword causing death
- Then when the Lamb opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come!”
- So I looked and here came a pale green horse! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill its population with the sword, famine, and disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.
Time of endurance
- Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given.
- They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?”
- Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been.
The Shaking of the Powers of Heaven
- Then I looked when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and a huge earthquake took place; the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became blood red;
- and the stars in the sky fell to the earth like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when shaken by a fierce wind.
Return of Christ
- The sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
- Then the kings of the earth, the very important people, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.
- They said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb,
- because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”
- After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so no wind could blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
- Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He shouted out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given permission to damage the earth and the sea:
- “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
- Now I heard the number of those who were marked with a seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed from all the tribes of the people of Israel:…
- After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands.
- They were shouting out in a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God,
to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
- And all the angels stood there in a circle around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground before the throne and worshiped God,
“Amen! Praise and glory,
and wisdom and thanksgiving,
and honour and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
- Then one of the elders asked me, “These dressed in long white robes—who are they and where have they come from?”
- So I said to him, “My lord, you know the answer.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!
- For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them.
- They will never go hungry or be thirsty again, and the sun will not beat down on them, nor any burning heat,
- because the Lamb in the middle of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
- Now when the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.