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Lesson 9 Revelation 6:9-9:21

Lesson 9 Revelation 6:9-9:21
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A Spiritual Interpretation of Revelation

As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065

Lesson Outline

  1. Metaphysical meaning of the souls under the altar.
  2. Metaphysical significance of the earthquake under the 6th seal.
  3. Metaphysical significance of "God will wipe away every tear."
  4. Metaphysical significance of SILENCE under the 7th seal.
  5. Implications of afflictions and earthly suffering in general.
  1. Rev. 6:9-9:21
  2. Be Ye Transformed 226-236
  1. Metaphysically, what do the souls under the altar stand for in human nature?
  2. What does the earthquake under the 6th seal symbolize?
  3. What is the metaphysical symbolism of the number 144,000?
  4. From your own metaphysical understanding, comment upon the fact that SILENCE is under the 7th seal.
  5. Should we try to justify and explain earthly suffering? If not, what should we attempt to do about it?

Lesson Text

Rev. 6:9-10 "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, 'O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?'"

The vision under the fifth seal symbolizes something which occupies a large part in the subconsciousness of most persons: old disappointments and unhappy memories of being mistreated. These memories in us want to be assured that God's law of divine justice works. They want to be released from our subconscious (under the altar).

Rev. 6:11 "Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been."

These words spoken to those under the altar constitute the assurance from the Christ Mind that God's law of divine compensation (justice) is always working, no matter how things may outwardly seem. All shall receive justice and right compensation under divine law. No good effort remains unrewarded. No unjust treatment remains uncompensated for. Even unhappy memories can be transformed into useful experience.

Rev. 6:12 "When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake. ..."

The imagery of this sixth vision is so complex that it seems to defy point-by-point analysis. But, in general, it symbolically describes the continuation of the process of God's law of divine justice and compensation being fulfilled.

Many of our greatest rewards and compensations start out as seeming chaos and confusion (earthquake). But often, in reality, things are not shaking apart and getting worse, but they are shaking into new relationships in order to get better. Many of the "earthquakes" in our lives are really preludes for blessings, preludes to success.

Rev. 7:2-4 "Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God ... saying, 'Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.' And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel."

The twelve tribes of Israel symbolize the twelve spiritual faculties of man. The "seal of God" symbolizes the identity of a divine idea. The twelve faculties originate as divine ideas--144,000 is twelve times twelve, followed by three zeros. Zeros always symbolize "unlimited or unspecified." Here we have reference to the perfected human consciousness, which would be the twelve faculties combined and blended and integrated so that they, in a sense, "multiply one another to an unlimited degree (144,000)."

Rev. 7:13-17 "Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, 'Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?' I said to him, 'Sir, you know. ' And he said to me, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more... For the Lamb in the mi'dst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living waters; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'"

The great majority of human tears are shed over regrets, guilts, and hurt feelings. Countless tears have been, and are still being shed for these causes. As a person grows in spiritual understanding, he begins to realize more and more that such tears are not as necessary as he once thought they were. He finds fewer occasions for tears. And when he comes into the fullness of understanding of the meaning of Christ within, he ceases further tears. In this manner it can be said that "God will wipe away every tear."

Rev. 8:1 "When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour."

This is the culmination of the opening of the seven seals. This final step in the process of self-discovery is the realization of the meaning of becoming inwardly still and silent.

Knowing how to enter the true silence is usually one of the final things a person learns to do in his efforts to attain self-understanding and self-mastery. The ability to become inwardly still and silent is a mark of real attainment in development of spiritual consciousness. Silence begins with the quieting of all inner mechanical talking. It is a conscious, willing merging of self with the great SILENT principle of Being.

All ideas and principles are, "in the beginning," silence or light. But in order to be brought into expression and become manifest, they are brought into the realm of vibration, which is the realm formed by the power of the Word. The power of the Word produces expressions and manifestations of silent ideas and principles. But all ideas and principles originate and reside in the silence.


Rev. 8:7 Hail and fire, mixed with blood, fall upon earth and burn much of its vegetation.

Rev. 8:8 A third of the seas turn into blood.

Rev. 8:10-11 A star called Wormwood falls into the waters of the earth and turns the waters bitter.

Rev. 8:12 Much of the earth is enveloped in total darkness.

Rev. 9:3-6 A plague of stinging locusts torments mankind for five months.

Rev. 9:17 An army of monstrous creatures riding fire-breathing horses ride over the earth, killing a third of its inhabitants.

These strange and disturbing visions symbolize the various aspects of what we view as earthly suffering in general. No explanation is given as to why these afflictions occur. No justification is offered. It is a mystery. It just seems to happen.

The same appears to be the case concerning earthly suffering in general. For most persons, there is not a satisfactory explanation as to WHY we suffer. There are explanations as to what causes suffering, and what kind of suffering is endured, but no real answer as to WHY. There seems no real justification for much of it. To most people, earthly suffering, on the whole, is a big mystery with no logical explanation. Like the afflictions in chapters eight and nine of Revelation, it just seems to happen.

NOTE: It is important to realize that when the word "WHY?" is used in connection with questioning earthly suffering, it does not mean the same as, "How did it happen?" or "What caused it?" The word WHY is asking for a "good reason" or a "useful justification."

There are some further details concerning these visions of earthly suffering which are interesting to note:

(1) They are all temporary disasters. None affect the earth permanently. This is true of all general suffering. It is always temporary. Suffering may be a part of a cycle within a person's life, but it does not become all of a person's life. A person's life is eternal, but nothing that occurs as a part of a person's life is eternal. Events and conditions are always temporary, including all forms of suffering.

(2) These visions describe only part of the Earth and its inhabitants to be afflicted at any given time. This fact symbolizes an important metaphysical point. Only a certain part of a person's being can suffer; not one's entire being. And only a portion of one's existence can be afflicted at any given time; not one's whole life. This may seem scant comfort, but at least it offers some comfort. Forms of earthly suffering, such as pain, disappointment, depression, anxiety, grief, lack, etc.; even though these hurt part of the man (1/3 of the earth), they do not and cannot harm the whole man. The Real Self of a person is always higher and greater than any part of himself that is suffering. And, eventually, new good can be brought forth even from suffering.