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The Seven Seals (6:1—8:5)

Some years ago, a young man named Vernon Howell, a.k.a. David Koresh, together with over a hundred followers, held police and federal agents at bay outside a heavily armed compound near Waco, Texas. The story had a tragic ending. Koresh believed he was Christ, the Lamb of God and the only one able to open the seven seals and bring about the end of the world. Clearly, the ancient images of Revelation command people's attention today. Yet they are disturbingly subject to the uses and abuses of the human imagination. To the would-be interpreter, whether scholarly, pastoral or prophetic, these images should carry a warning label: Danger. Handle with care.

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