Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mill stream in Quimperle, France

Monday, December 26, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Dec 28, Rev 6-11

Today's readings are Rev 6-11. Tomorrow's are Rev 12-18.

As the seven seals are broken, and the four horsemen are unleashed, notice that it is Christ who is in charge.

There are many interpretations of what the seven seals represent and who the horsemen are. Looking at the language seems to suggest the horsemen represent the gamut of human lust gone wild. This runs contrary to what many of us have learned about these symbols. Carefully considered and removed from overly-speculative applications, the idea that they are the four attributes of and unbridled and unholy mankind plays well into the fallen state of the world and the true nature of human beings apart from Christ. If this is true, then Christ, when He begins to open the seals, leaves men to their own devices and the impact it has on the world is disastrous. Once again, this is one interpretation among many. Take a quick overview and see if it rings true to you.

If this is accurate, it lends a new meaning to each of the horses and their riders. The rider on the white horse represents humankind setting itself up as a conquering king, taking the place of God, opposing Him, displaying a lust for conquest and power.

The rider on the red horse represents men battling against themselves, fighting each other for control of that power. Civil war breaks out all over the world as mankind struggles first with God and the with each other.  Peace is taken away.

The rider on the black horse represents the effects of all that war, sorrow, grief and mourning. There is also great suffering that follows the wars. Famines and shortages of necessary goods follow, causing more grief and suffering.

The rider on the pale (light green) horse represents disease and death, the aftermath of the famines and shortages. Many die.

The fifth seal is a plea for justice on behalf of those martyred for the sake of Christ. They have been the innocent victims of mankind left to its own self-centered, godless desires. The martyrs cry out and pray. They must wait for their justice, but it will surely come.

The sixth seal is a sign that the end is very near. There is a shaking of the earth, signs in the heavens and mountains crumbling. This may be a description of future events, but it is more probably John telling us the stage has already been set for the final battle. The shaking and the signs have been with us for quite some time as have the wars and rumors of wars. Perhaps there will be an escalation of these things just before the battle. Perhaps not. Either way, John tells us, the church should not despair because we have the promise of heaven. Those who do not believe only have judgment to look forward to.

Rev 8 begins with the seventh seal and silence. There is an indication that this is the mark of the end of history. Before describing it fully, we hear about the seven trumpets in the hands of seven angels, perhaps representing the prayers of the of the martyrs for justice to be served. The angels, having blown the trumpets, are the heralds of the living God, pronouncing His judgment on the world.

The first four trumpets affect a part of the world but not all. Judgment is being poured out. Justice is being served. But, there is still time for those who remain to repent and be saved.  

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