41At this point I had another vision and saw an open door in heaven. And the voice that sounded like a trumpet, which I had heard speaking to me before, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” 2
At once the Spirit took control of me. There in heaven was a throne with someone sitting on it. 3His face gleamed like such precious stones as jasper and carnelian, and all round the throne there was a rainbow the colour of an emerald. 4In a circle round the throne were 24 other thrones, on which were seated 24 elders dressed in white and wearing crowns of gold. 5
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder. In front of the throne seven lighted torches were burning, which are the seven spirits of God. 6
Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
Surrounding the throne on each of its sides, were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and behind. 7The first one looked like a lion; the second looked like a bull; the third had a face like a human face; and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. 8
Each one of the four living creatures had six wings, and they were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day and night they never stop singing:
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is to come.”
9The four living creatures sing songs of glory and honour and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives for ever and ever. When they do so, 10the 24 elders fall down before the one who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They throw their crowns down in front of the throne and say:
11“Our Lord and God! You are worthy
to receive glory, honour, and power.
For you created all things,
and by your will they were given existence and life.”
I saw a scroll in the right-hand of the one who sits on the throne; it was covered with writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel, who announced in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3But there was no one in heaven or on earth or in the world below5.3 world below: The world of the dead (see 1.18). who could open the scroll and look inside it. 4I cried bitterly because no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. 5
Then one of the elders said to me, “Don't cry. Look! The Lion from Judah's tribe, the great descendant of David, has won the victory, and he can break the seven seals and open the scroll.”
Then I saw a Lamb standing in the centre of the throne, surrounded by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb appeared to have been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that have been sent throughout the whole earth. 7The Lamb went and took the scroll from the right-hand of the one who sits on the throne. 8
As he did so, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God's people. 9
They sang a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to break open its seals.
For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God
people from every tribe, language, nation, and race.
You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God,
and they shall rule on earth.”
Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood round the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, 12and sang in a loud voice:
“The Lamb who was killed is worthy
to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength,
honour, glory, and praise!”13And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, in the world below, and in the sea — all living beings in the universe — and they were singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb,
be praise and honour, glory and might,
for ever and ever!”14The four living creatures answered, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshipped.
61Then I saw the Lamb break open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice that sounded like thunder, “Come!” 2
I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown. He rode out as a conqueror to conquer.
3Then the Lamb broke open the second seal; and I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4
Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given the power to bring war on the earth, so that people should kill each other. He was given a large sword.
Then the Lamb broke open the third seal; and I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there was a black horse. Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand. 6I heard what sounded like a voice coming from among the four living creatures, which said, “A litre of wheat for a day's wages, and three litres of barley for a day's wages. But do not damage the olive trees and the vineyards!”
7Then the Lamb broke open the fourth seal; and I heard the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8
I looked, and there was a pale-coloured horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades6.8 Hades: The world of the dead (see 1.18). followed close behind. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill by means of war, famine, disease, and wild animals.
9Then the Lamb broke open the fifth seal. I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because they had proclaimed God's word and had been faithful in their witnessing. 10They shouted in a loud voice, “Almighty Lord, holy and true! How long will it be until you judge the people on earth and punish them for killing us?” 11Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the complete number of their fellow-servants and fellow-Christians had been killed, as they had been.
And I saw the Lamb break open the sixth seal. There was a violent earthquake, and the sun became black like coarse black cloth, and the moon turned completely red like blood. 13
The stars fell down to the earth, like unripe figs falling from the tree when a strong wind shakes it. 14
The sky disappeared like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. 15
Then the kings of the earth, the rulers and the military chiefs, the rich and the powerful, and all other people, slave and free, hid themselves in caves and under rocks on the mountains. 16
They called out to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the eyes of the one who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb! 17
The terrible day of their anger is here, and who can stand against it?”