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Hindrances to Good Soldiering

~ The Breaking of the Scroll’s Seals

Scene 4 – Four Horsemen Rev 6:1-8

All eyes are now focussed on the Lamb. No one but the Lamb can open the scroll by breaking its seals. It is up to Him to reveal to us His Majesty’s heart and mind, contained in the scroll.

The Lamb breaks open the first seal, and a command like thunder rumbles through the air: “Come!” That was the voice of one of the living creatures. Our eyes are diverted to the side, and we look upon the world. From the left a white horse appears, its rider a warrior, bow in hand. He is galloping ahead like a general leading his army to victory.

We see the Lamb break the second seal, accompanied by the second living creature’s command: “Come!” On earth, a red horse appears. Its rider holds a huge sword. He moves about more slowly. Where he passes through, people come to blows with one another. People are being murdered.

The third seal is broken, and the voice of the third living creature calls, “Come!” A black horse rides into the scene. Its rider holds the weigh-scales of a grain trader. A voice from the direction of the 4 living creatures is calling out grain prices. The prices of wheat and barley are staggering. However, there does not seem to be a shortage of oil and wine.
The Lamb breaks the fourth seal. The fourth living creature calls, “Come!” Into our vision comes a pale green horse. The rider wears a nametag: ‘Death.’ He gives us the feeling that hell and the grave are all around him. The colour reminds us of pestilence.

Rev 6:1-8

1. And I saw, when the Lamb opened one of the 7 seals,
and I heard one of the 4 living creatures saying
as with a sound of thunder, “Come!”
2. And I saw, and LOOK!: a white horse
and the one sitting on it having a bow.
[1] and a crown (victor’s laurel wreath) was given to him,
[2] and he went forth 1] overcoming &
2] in order that he might overcome.
3. And when He opened the second seal, I heard
8. And I saw, and LOOK!: a pale green horse,
and the one sitting on it, 1] his name, ‘death,’ &
2] hades followed with him,
and to them was given authority over 1/4 part of the earth,
to kill 1] with sword &
2] with famine &
3] with death &
4] by the wild beasts of the earth.

When we consider the purpose of the scroll’s seals, we must first ask, “What is their technical function?” They represent the impediments to the Church’s discovering God’s rescue plan for the world’s people (contained in the scroll). In spiritual terms, what is it that keeps the Church from clearly seeing into God’s purposes? Is it not misunderstandings and misconceptions about God’s relationship with His creation? As the seals are opened let us look then for the misunderstandings that need to be removed from our thinking, about how God is working out His plans for the world.

The breaking of the first 4 seals is cast in images from visions of the prophets Zechariah and Ezekiel. In Zechariah’s first vision (Zech 1:8-11), at a time before God takes vengeance for the destruction of Jerusalem, horses in three different colours have patrolled the earth. The
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