The “seven seals” are “seven judgments” from God that will take place during the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation Period spoken of by Daniel the prophet. The Lord spoke of these same judgments in Matthew chapter 24 and referred to them as “the beginning of sorrows” in verse 8. Let’s take a brief look at each of these “seal judgments” using the NKJV (unless otherwise noted).

  1. Verses 1-2: “Now I saw when the Lamb opened ONE OF THE SEALS…and I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him” (NKJV). The Tribulation Period begins with a man making peace in the Middle East through BLOODLESS CONQUEST, pictured by the “white horse.” The rider on the horse will be a European leader who is crowned as the head of the Revived Roman Empire. He will sign a 7-year peace treaty with the Jews as we see in Daniel 9:27: “Then shall he [the Roman Prince of verse 26] confirm a covenant with many for one week.” He will have military force (illustrated by the “bow”) but will not use it at the beginning.
  1. Verses 3-4: “When He opened THE SECOND SEAL…another horse, fiery red, went out, And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.” The “peace” that was promised under the first seal is short-lived, for BLOODY WARFARE will break out (pictured by the “red horse”). 1st Thessalonians 5:3 says, “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them.” See Matthew 24:6-7.
  1. Verses 5-6: “When He opened THE THIRD SEAL…behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard 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; and do not harm the oil and the wine’.” Here we see the result of war: FAMINE, symbolized by the “black horse.” A “quart of wheat” was enough for “one meal” and it will cost a “denarius” which is a full day’s wages. Rich people will still be able to afford luxuries as seen in “the oil and the wine.” See Matthew 24:7.
  1. Verses 7-8: “When the Lamb broke THE FOURTH SEAL…behold, an ashen horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth” (NASB). The “ashen horse” represents DEATH (“Death” claims the “body” and Hades the “spirit”). Besides war and famine, “pestilence” (killer diseases) and “wild beasts” will claim lives throughout one fourth of the world. See Matthew 24:7.
  1. Verses 9-11: “When He opened THE FIFTH SEAL, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held, And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” This seal clearly speaks of MARTYRDOM. The Lord predicted this in Matthew 24:9, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and KILL YOU, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”
  1. Verses 12-14: “I looked when He opened THE SIXTH SEAL, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a might wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. The sixth seal brings a GREAT EARTHQUAKE (the first of three…see Revelation 11:13 & 16:18-19) which will have devastating effects on the heavens and land masses. We would again refer you to Matthew 24:7.
  1. Revelation 8:1-2: “When He opened THE SEVENTH SEAL, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.” The “seventh seal” introduces the “seven trumpets,” which will be even worse than the seal judgments. (217.9)  (DO)