Christian Churches of God







The Seven Seals of Revelation

(Edition 1.0 20060701-20060701)

The book of Revelation deals with Seven Seals that reveal the sequence of how God is dealing with this world in the end times.  It is an ongoing process that encompasses the Seven Trumpets as well as the Woes and the Bowls of the Wrath of God. This paper will just focus on the Seven Seals.  The sequel to this paper will cover the other aspects.





Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright ©   2006  Ruwani Wijesuriya, edited Wade Cox)


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The Seven Seals of Revelation


The Scroll and the Lamb


Revelation 5:1

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the Back, sealed up with seven seals.  (American Standard Version)


Revelation chapter 5 talks about a scroll (or a book) that God holds in His hand that has many mysteries pertaining to the end times before Christ returns to this earth.  This book is sealed with Seven Seals and could only be opened by someone who was worthy. There is only one such being and that being is Christ (the Lamb).  He qualified to open these seals by his perfect obedience and complete submission to God the Father.


Revelation 5:9

And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…..”

(New International Version)


These seals contain mysteries that were not known to any being, human or spirit, until Christ qualified to open them. As Christ opened the Seven Seals, they revealed the sequence of how God plans to deal with this world in the end times. According to John 1:1 only God the Father is omniscient and knows everything. This means that not even Christ knew these mysteries till he was allowed to open the seals. Christ then revealed them to John, who in turn passed them on to us.


Even though they were hidden until John wrote the book of Revelation, these seals were opened by Christ a long time before that and they will stay open and develop exponentially (grow in size and intensity) till he returns. In fact, the first seal was opened in the Garden of Eden when Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God. The Seven Seals also include seven trumpets and three woes that reveal more of the secrets of God.  We will examine those in a different paper. 


The Seals


Revelation 6:1: 

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in voice like thunder, “Come!” (NIV)


Now let’s go through each seal and see what they mean and the message Christ has for us.


First Seal:  False Religion


As Christ opened this seal, a white horse whose rider has a crown on his head and a bow in his hand comes forth. 


Revelation 6:2

And I looked and behold a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him:  and he went out conquering, and to conquer.  (ASV)


This seal represents what happens when we are disobedient to God and go against His will.  This is what Satan did in the beginning. Even though white usually represents peace, in this seal it is a representation of false peace that Satan creates as an illusion, which means that it is not real and cannot last.


Because Satan wanted power and control, he deceived some of his brothers to rebel against God. See also The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4).  He also deceived Adam and Eve into doing the same thing. Since then he has convinced most of the people on this planet to worship him rather than the One True God.  This is how false religion began. There are countless numbers of false gods and false religions on this planet today and that will continue till Christ returns and puts an end to it all.  Until then, this first seal will continue to progress.


Second Seal:  War


We will see that each seal develops from the seal that preceded it. The second seal is war and is a result of worshipping other gods (or the first seal). 


Revelation 6:3-4

And when he broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come,” 4 and another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. (ASV)


The red horse here represents bloodshed in war and all the destruction that it brings. What is the root cause of this bloodshed? When people believe in different religions or gods, they often don’t get along with each other. Each person feels that what he/she believes is the truth. This results in conflicts between people. It might start small as arguments but will soon escalate or grow into bigger conflicts such as wars between groups or nations. This destroys the peace that can only be had by worshipping the One True God and keeping His Laws. 


In a spiritual sense, this seal could also be referring to the war that we have to fight daily against Satan and his demons, because he is a roaring lion that wants to fight and destroy those that obey God and keep His Laws  (1Pet. 5:8). 


Just like the first seal, this second seal of war was also opened a long time ago and will continue till Christ returns and shows everyone that there are no other gods besides the Father (Eloah).


It is possible that this seal was also opened in the Garden of Eden when Satan created dissension between the man and the woman.  Adam blamed Eve for his sin and Eve in turn blamed Satan. Instead of taking blame, they both looked for someone else to blame (Gen. 3:12-13).  This is usually how wars start.


Third Seal:  Famine


Revelation 6:5

And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying “Come.” And I looked and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  (ASV)


The black horse here represents hard and difficult times. The scales, as a tool of measurement, represent famine where people will not have enough food to go around.  This is a direct result of the previous seal, which is war. When there’s war, crops are destroyed and a shortage of food occurs.  The prophet Ezekiel also seems to be referring to this time in the first few chapters and especially in chapter 14:13, 21.


In a spiritual sense, it could also mean that there will be famine or a shortage of God’s word, which is our spiritual food  (Jn. 4:34). This is why it is so very important to work hard now while we can and preach God’s word to as many people as we can because there will come a time when we will not be allowed to do that (Amos 8:11, Jn. 9:4). 


Even though famine comes upon the land, God promises to protect those who are obedient to Him.


Revelation 6:6

and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!" (RSV)


The oil here is referring to the Holy Spirit and the wine refers to the elect. In this Scripture God is promising us protection through His Holy Spirit. So we see that our protection is only through obedience and holding on to God’s truth.  See also Ezekiel 36:29-30. 


Fourth Seal:  Death


Revelation 6:7-8

When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" 8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (RSV)


What is the result of war and famine?  Well, it is usually death. That’s what the pale horse in this seal represents (the word pale from SGD 5515 means green or yellowish, which could be referring to illness and pestilence).


This seal sees over one fourth of people on this planet dead. In a spiritual sense, it could also be referring to those that fall away from God’s truth by the famine of the word of God and allowing Satan to win the spiritual battle. These people would be considered spiritually dead because they did not hold fast to God’s truth and His Law. They allowed the cares and the desires of this world to overcome them.


Fifth Seal:  Martyrs


Five is the number of grace and also representative of the Church. Therefore, it is no surprise that the fifth seal would refer to the tribulation of the Church and martyrs in the faith.


Those that pulled through the first four seals and remained faithful to God are Satan’s primary target. He will do everything possible to destroy them and stop God’s plan of salvation from unfolding.  But these people are given so much of God’s Holy Spirit that they are willing to give up their lives and die rather than give in to Satan. Many people in the faith have already done so in the past.


Revelation 6:9-11

And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled [their course]. (ASV)


We are under God’s protection as long as we keep His Law and He will not allow any harm to come to us.  However, this doesn’t mean that we will be persecution-free. We are tried by fire and tested as gold refined in the fire  (Rev. 3:18; 1Pet. 1:7; Zec. 13:9). This means that God does allow some of His servants to be persecuted and killed as a witness to this world.  We have to be willing to love God to the point that we trust Him enough to give up our physical life for a much greater spiritual reward with Him. We all have to be willing to lay down our life for our brother as Christ did. Just as he gave up his life and received a white robe, these martyrs will also receive a white robe as a reward. What does it represent? It represents eternal life with God and a position as a pillar in His temple (Rev. 3:12).


Sixth Seal: Heavenly Signs


Revelation 6:12-14

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; 14 the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (ASV)


This seal that heralds the heavenly signs of terror marks the end of the tribulation of the Church, which was the previous seal (the 5th). By this time God would be done adding the final numbers to His elect of 144,000 who will be in the First Resurrection (Rev. 7:1-8), along with the Great Multitude who are the main body of the Church. The 144,000 are already sealed by the time this seal opens. 


Even during this seal of terror, nations will not repent. Many will hide themselves in caves and rocks and ask to be killed but yet will not repent (Rev. 6:15,16). These nations and people are allowed to be destroyed and killed because God is merciful. Because their hearts are hardened by evil and sin, it is better for them to die (Rom. 6:23) and be given another chance later in the Second Resurrection. However, there are those individuals (not whole nations) that will turn to God and reject Satan during this time.  These people will also become part of the Great Multitude and will also be given white robes and access to the First Resurrection (Rev. 7:9-17). 


Seventh Seal:  The Seven Trumpets


After the multitude repents in the previous seal, there is a silence in heaven for about half an hour. We do not know exactly how long the period of a half hour will be (it could be literal or it could be prophetic), but it is a sign that the 6th seal is done and the 7th seal is ready to be opened. This is the beginning of the seven trumpets. This final seal lasts through all of the seven trumpets as well as what follows as the woes or bowls of God’s wrath (please refer to the attached chart). These will be explained in a separate paper called The Seven Trumpets.


Is it necessary for these seals to take place?  No.  If the nations had repented they would not need to take place. But the nations refused to repent, and brought these things upon themselves. Their sin and stubbornness made these events necessary. So until all these seals are complete and the sequence unfolded, the Millennium cannot start. It is all a part of God’s merciful master plan of extending salvation to every single being that He has created. However, nothing of the false religious system of this age will be allowed to contaminate the millennial system under Christ.


Matthew 18:14

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (ASV)


So what will be the only thing that will protect us and save us from these prophecies? The Bible has a simple answer. It is how we live our lives in obedience to God and our love for the truth.


Romans 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (ASV)


For further study see the paper The Seven Seals (No. 140).





False Religions (White Horse)






Wars (Red Horse)






Pestilence (Black Horse)





Death (Grey Horse)






Great Tribulation






Heavenly Signs






The Seven Trumpets






Trees and grass burned






Seas struck






Water struck






Heavens struck




                                 (1st woe)


Bottomless pit opened




                                 (2nd woe)


1/3 of man killed




                                 (3rd woe)


The Seven Bowls






Malignant sores






Seas turned to blood






Water turned to blood






Scorching sun






Darkness & pain






Kings of the East






Great earthquake