John is receiving a vision to deliver to the persecuted church. Yesterday’s lesson revealed a scroll sealed with 7 seals that God was holding in His hand. We saw in chapter 5 that “The Lion from the tribe of Judah” was able to take the scroll and open its seals. Chapter 6 tells about the opening of 6 of the 7 seals.
The first 4 seals reveal coming calamities announced by “the four horsemen” – things like war, death, economic collapse, pestilence, etc.
The opening of the 5th seal reveals that the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God are crying out to God for vengeance.
The 6th seal reveals great disturbances in heaven and on earth – disturbances really too fantastic to be taken literally… “the stars of heaven fell to the earth?” If that happened literally there would be no more earth.
It is certainly easy to think this chapter is talking about our present day and the current events we are now living through, but remember the 7th seal has not yet been opened and really the book is just getting started.
Rather we might think of it as telling the 7 churches that terrible judgments are coming and God is going to punish those who have persecuted His saints.
Who was Antipas (2:13) and how might he be found in chapter 6?
The martyrs cried out, “how long?” When does God say the blood of the martyrs will be avenged?