A vision: four horsemen

I saw the Lamb break the first of the seven seals on the scroll.

Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!”

I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to engage in battle and to conquer.

When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!”

Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a great sword and authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.

When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!”

I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay, but don’t harm the olive oil or the wine.”

When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!”

I looked up and saw a pale horse. Its rider was called Death and the Grave followed close behind him. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine and disease, and by means of wild animals.

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for their faithful testimony. They called out to the Lord saying, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge the people of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Then a white robe was given to each of them and they were told to be patient for a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—fellow servants of Jesus who were due to be martyred—had joined them.

I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun turned dark like a black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like figs falling from a fig-tree shaken by the wind. The sky rolled up like a scroll, and all the mountains and islands were moved out of position.

Then everyone on earth—the kings, the politicians, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and every free person—hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried out the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can endure it?”

John

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