Revelation: Things Are Not As They Seem – Part 5

What Happens when Kingdoms Collide. Revelation 6:1-17; 8:1-6 May 1st, 2016


I. The OPENING of the SCROLL. (6:1-8:6)
A. The DECREE of the coming KINGDOM. (Rev. 5)
B. To whom does CREATION say COME? (6:1,3,5,7; Rom. 8:19-22)
C. REGIME change is not a PRETTY sight. (6:1-17; 12:12)

Last week Jake taught that the scroll was Gods decree, the destiny of humanity.
The Lamb was fit to open it and bring it all into play. There was hope and joy.
John stopped weeping. Yet when the seals are opened there is something that
leaves us cold. All that we see is war, famine, death, and suffering. Is this the
plan of God? The changing of a Kingdom is not a pretty sight. The old way
doesnt easily leave its position of power. The reality of the seals is the reality
that we live in.

1. What were your reactions as you read this passage in preparation for this
2. What are some of the ideas that you have attributed to these images (i.e. the 4
Horsemen) in the past? Are they different now?
3. Read Romans 8:18-27. How does this passage relate to our text for today?
Does it shed light on anything specifically?

II. The seals deal with REALITY not JUDGMENT.
A. RELIGIOUSLY motivated CONQUEST. (6:1-2)
B. The PRESENCE of WAR. (6:3-4)
C. FAMINE and ECONOMIC injustice. (6:5-6)
D. All this LEADS to DEATH. (6:7-8)
E. The SUFFERING of those who IMITATE Christ. (6:9-11)
F. The IMPLOSION of CREATION. (6:12-17; 4:11)
G. And God RESPONDS (8:1-6)

These seven seals should not be seen as judgments. These seals are the reality
of what is currently taking place. And all of this is under the limiting control of the
Lamb who sits on the throne. John describes what his listeners were living
throughand in many instances what we see all around the world today. But in
each seal we hear a crying out6 out of 7 times to God. As we cry out, the
kingdom comes. But it will not be painless.

4. How would you deal with this question If Gods a loving and compassionate
God, how come He allows all this evil to exist in the world? Do you find your
answer satisfying?
5. Jeff presented that the seals show the reality that we live in today. Do you see
more in them than that? Less?
6. How does the imagery and the response to the prayers in the fifth seal impact
7. The opening of the seals leads into the sounding of the seven trumpets. Read
ahead for the next few chapters. What is your response to these trumpets?

A. We LIVE in the IN-BETWEEN. (Heb. 2:8-9)
B. THINGS are not as they SEEM. (II Cor. 5:7)
C. The OLD is passing AWAY. (II Cor. 4:18)
D. PRAY for the Kingdom to COME. (Mt. 6:9-10)

How does this difficult passage apply today? Sure, we see the results of the
open seals anytime we turn on CNN, but what hope is there in this? The hope is
in the one who holds all of this in his hand. He is the one who limits the power of
the horsemen. He is the one who limits the sacrifice of his followers. He is the
one who sits in silence to listen to the prayers of His people. And He is the one
who will bring His Kingdom in its fullness. Yes, there is hope. Things are not as
they seem.

8. Do you find the opening of the seals hopeful or depressing?
9. What does it mean that The old is passing away? And how would you
explain that to someone who was not a Christian?
10.Have you been praying, Your Kingdom come? If so, what differences has
it made in your life.