Graceful Perseverance: The Bible, New Testament; Part 2 – 7/07
Welcome to this week’s blog. For the next few weeks, I will continue to focus on my favorite book, the Bible.
This week I will continue with part two of the Bible, the New Testament (the Bible, Part 2). I will identify the purpose of each book, the author of each book, the date written, key verses and key people involved to help give you a better understanding of the Bible before you dive into it on your own.
When you open your Bible, you will find the New Testament has 27 books, starting with Matthew (28 chapters) and ending with Revelation (22 chapters). To date, I’ve completed the overview of the Old Testament, 39 books, Genesis (50 chapters) and ending with Malachi (4 chapters). In regards to the New Testament, I’ve completed the overview of 26 books, starting with the book of Matthew through the book of Jude.
If you wish to revisit any of the Old Testament or New Testament blogs, you can find them on my website: https://www.thewitnesstoday.com/blog-archives.
The author and compiler of the final book of the New Testament is John, from the Island of Patmos. For hundreds of centuries there have been many approaches to interpreting the book of Revelation. Many of these approaches have supporters, but none of which have proved to be the only way to interpret or read this last book of the Bible.
The book of Revelation is written in “apocalyptic” form – a type of Jewish literature that uses symbolic imagery to communicate hope (in the ultimate triumph of God) for all of us who will be in the midst of persecution. The events in Revelation are ordered according to literary, rather than a traditional, chronological timeline. Revelation provides a powerful message of warning and instruction for end times or otherwise known as judgment day.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. – Revelation 1:3 (NIV).
The purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal the full identity of Christ, and to give warning and hope to believers. The author, Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation approximately 95 A.D. (From the Latin word annō Dominī – stands for “In the year of the Lord”), from the Island of Patmos.
Below are the chapters I have covered in this week’s blog. This format will help readers move through the book of Revelation at their own pace. I encourage you to study and jot down your questions as you go through each chapter and the supporting scripture.
Revelation - Chapter 5: The Scroll and the Lamb
Revelation - Chapter 6: Opening the 7 Seven Seals
The Scroll and the Lamb, Revelation - Chapter 5 - Who in heaven is worthy to take the scroll and open its seals? Only the Lamb of God, who sits to the right of the throne. He was the only one to open the seals because He (Jesus) was slain and His blood purchased for every tribe and language and people and nation.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! - Revelation 5:12 (NIV).
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. - Revelation 5:1-14 (NIV).
Opening the Seven Seals, Revelation - Chapter 6 - What is the meaning of the seven seals in the Book of Revelation? The seven seals are the first of a three, seven-part judgment on mankind from the Lamb of God.
The Lamb of God is a title for Jesus that first was spoken in the Book of John. The Lamb of God appears in John 1:29, where John the Baptist sees Jesus and cries out, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ The Lamb of God is the Messiah. The Messiah is also the ‘Lamb of God’ throughout the New Testament of the Bible. This may seem an unusual reference to those who are not familiar with biblical expressions, but to those who are familiar with the Bible, it is a cherished title for the beloved Messiah, Jesus Christ.
1st Part: The first of the three-part, seven judgments are the seven seals (Revelation 6).
2nd Part: The second of the three-part judgments are the seven trumpets (Revelation 8 and 9). Future blog.
3rd Part: The third of the three-part judgments are the seven bowls of God’s wrath (Revelation 16). Future blog.
As the each of the seven seals are opened, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, sets in motion the events that will bring about end times, the “Day of the Lord.” The final seal is not opened until the seventh seal is broken. This seventh seal reveals mankind’s immorality, and corruption and depicts God’s authority over the end time events or the end of human history as we know it. The opening of the seventh seal and events will be in a future blog.
When the first seal is opened four horses appear. These horses are symbolic of God’s judgment on man’s sin and revolt. The four horses represent false prophets, war, famine and pestilence. The four horses are an example of the final judgments we will bear. The four horses are four separate symbolic colors, each with their own figurative meaning.
The first horse is a white horse representing a conqueror bent on conquest, a victor. I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. – Revelation 6:1-2 (NIV).
The second horse color is red for warfare and bloodshed. When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. – Revelation 6:3-4 (NIV).
The third horse is a black horse, and represents famine. The high prices of wheat and barley exemplify famine circumstances. When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, ‘Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!’ – Revelation 6:5-6 (NIV).
The 4th Seal: And the fourth horse is the color pale, representing death and hades. When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come! I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild Beasts of the earth. – Revelation 6:7-8 (NIV).
The 5th Seal: When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood? – Revelation 6:9-10 (NIV).
The alter in verse nine represents the alter of sacrifice in the temple, where animals were sacrificed to atone for sins. In John’s vision, he saw the souls of martyr’s who died for preaching the gospel. These martyrs were told that this was not the final count, but still more would lose their lives for their belief in Christ.
Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. – Revelation 6:11 (NIV).
The 6th Seal: I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. – Revelation 6:12-13 (NIV).
The sixth seal is referencing our physical world. The first five seals, or judgments were directed toward specific areas, but the sixth seal is a universal judgment. Believers and unbelievers of Christ will all be afraid when the earth quakes.
The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.
They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’ For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it? – Revelation 6:14-17 (NIV).
The sixth seal has now been opened. Those on the earth will try and hide from God saying, ‘Who can withstand it?’ – His wrath. The seventh seal will be revealed in a future blog.
Let’s recap. This week we covered the chapters five and six of the books of Revelation (27th chapter) in the New Testament. Next week I will continue with the seventh chapter (144,000 Sealed) in Revelation.
I am hopeful that you are finding this format an easy, quick overview of the New Testament.
Blessings until next week,
Scripture Quoted From: New International Version Bible (NIV)
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