6 begins with the opening of the seals on the scroll. John is reporting what
he sees to the reader. The scene in chapter 6 continues from the events in
chapters 4 and 5.
In Chapter 4, John, caught up into heaven, saw God on his throne
surrounded by the four living creatures, the 24 elders and all the angels of
heaven. In chapter 5, we see a scroll, which no one in heaven, on the earth
or under the earth can open. Then a lamb appears on the center of the
throne of God, He alone can take the scroll. Jesus Christ is represented as
the slain lamb, which died for the sins of the world. He alone who became
man can take and open the scroll.
The scroll represents the title of the earth, the title Adam lost
at the fall. In chapter 6, Jesus Christ, the Lamb, has the seven sealed
scroll. When Christ opens the seals, events begin to occur on the earth as
Christ takes possession of the earth from the kings of the earth. By
opening the seven-seals, events described in this chapter begin to unfold.
The opening of the seventh seal brings the seven-angels with seven trumpets
who complete the judgments in the first half of the tribulation period.
In the book of Revelation, we see the judgments of God presented in three
phases; seals, trumpets and bowls. The 7 seals and 7 trumpet judgments
occur in the first half of the tribulation period, the seven bowl judgments
occur in the second half of the tribulation period. The two-halves of the
tribulation period, are separated by mid-point. The whole tribulation
period is a seven-year period according to Daniel 9:27, and Revelation
11-13. The period begins with the agreement to allow
Temple worship and
sacrifice on Mt. Moriah. This same agreement, broken with the stopping of
sacrifice and setting up of image in the Jewish Temple separates the first
half from the second half.
The First Seal: The White Horse
1 Now I
saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four
living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see."
2 And I
looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown
was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation
from chapter 5, John is still in heaven watching the Lamb who had just taken
the scroll from God the Father.
Lamb The Lamb is in the midst of the throne with the Father,
surrounded by the four living creatures.
Come and see
John is invited by one of the four living creatures to come
and see what happens at the opening of the first seal. The opening of the
first seal begins the tribulation period, Daniel’s 70th Week,
The time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30;7).
One prerequisite in the start of the tribulation, is the rebuilding of
the Jewish Temple on
and the establishment of sacrifice in worship. If the rapture occurs prior
the tribulation (Pre-tribulation), it is doubtful Christians will see the
rebuilt Temple. However, there are events that must precede the building
of the Jewish Temple.
In order for a Jewish Temple to be built, on the third most holy location
to Islam, The building known as the Dome of the Rock must be
removed. This is no small order, when we examine the earth’s population we
see about 6.3 billion people,1.3 billion are Muslim over 20% of the worlds
population. They would have a problem with
Israel destroying a
building which commemorates their prophet, Mohammad, ascent into heaven, and
Islam’s victory over Christianity and Judaism. Israel understands the
current situation, and for this reason in 1967 when Israel defeated Jordan
and conquered East Jerusalem, they allowed the Temple Mount to stay under
Muslim control. Any move by Israel against the Dome of the Rock would
unleash the Muslim world against Israel.
Russian Islamic Invasion of
Israel (Ezekiel 38-39)
The Bible clearly speaks of a day in the future in the “Latter years”
(Ezek. 38:8) after “Many days”, after the Jews are gathered from the nations
of the world back in the
when they will be attacked. Nations specifically mentioned in those attacks
(Iran), Put (Libya) and Cush (Ethiopia) all three nations are Muslim today.
Iran is openly hostile to Israel, supporting, arming, and equipping
Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, pointing thousands of missiles toward
is also an ally of Syria, with a mutual defense treaty, today;
Syria is still officially at war with
Included in this alliance against
Israel are the nations
referred to as Gog and Magog and her allies from the far north of Israel,
including Gomer and Togarmah. According to Ezekiel, this invasion into
Israel will end in defeat for these attacking nations. To the far north of
Israel is Russia, currently Russia has formed an alliance with Iran.
recently built a nuclear reactor for
Russia has also agreed to supply nuclear fuel to power up the reactor.
Israel has threatened to attack the nuclear reactor to prevent Iran from
acquiring a nuclear warheads to arm their missiles, the Shahab III, putting
Israel in range of Iranian nuclear strike.
Such an attack against
Iran, could very well
justify a Russian/Islamic invasion into Israel foretold by Ezekiel. A
growing orthodox movement which threatens the Dome of the Rock has also
brought threats from Iran against Israel.
"Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered
about you; and be a guard for them. 8 "After many days you will be
visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those
brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the
mountains of Israel,
which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations,
and now all of them dwell safely.
will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and
all your troops and many peoples with you."
Following this defeat of the Russian/Muslim powers, Ezekiel specifically
refers to a seven-year period where the people of
Israel will utilize the
remnants of equipment left by this invading army. Only 1/6 of the army
survives, they are left to bury the dead. The seven-year period mentioned
by Ezekiel corresponds to the seven-year of Daniel’s 70th week.
In the history of
Israel, Persia has never
invaded the land of Israel after it was resettled by Jewish inhabitants,
Assyria invaded Israel in 722 B.C., and Babylon invaded Judah three times,
(605, 597 and 586 B.C.).
however, did not need to invade Israel, because once Babylon was defeated,
by Cyrus the Great, in 539 B.C.,
became masters of Israel and Judah.
The invasion referred to by Ezekiel takes place in the future following a
“long period of desolation” and a resettlement of Jews from the nations of
the earth. This event is unique to the 20th century, when
Israel became a nation
again in 1948. Israel becoming a nation again was an event Ezekiel wrote
about in chapters 36, 37, 38, and 39, 2600 years ago.
The chronological events in Ezekiel correspond to the end-time scenario
both in Daniel and Revelation.
to be restored, gathered from the nations.
In the 1800’s
Jews began returning to the
In 1948, following the Holocaust
was allowed to become a nation again by powers that be.
Israel as valley of dry bones which becomes a mighty army.
Judah and Israel
become one nation.
Israel became a
very powerful military force in the middle east after 5 wars.
Today Israel is ranked as one of the most powerful nations on
earth, even though their population is only 5 million.
nations invades the newly established nation of Israel, gathered
out of the nations. God defeats the armies, Israel is victorious
over Gog and Magog.
Syria and other nations have formed an anti-Israel alliance
which very well could be the seed of Ezek. 38’s fulfillment.
buried in the land, Israel uses the remnants of their weapons
This alliance of
nations loses to Israel not because of Israel’s might but
because God intervenes.
Ezekiel the plans for a New Temple which God Himself will
defeat of Muslim nations
will be free to rebuild the Jewish Temple. This
however will be one built while Israel denies Jesus as messiah
and will desolated.
sees will be built by Christ Himself in the Millennium.
At the end of
the 70th Week, Christ returns and establishes the
Millennium Kingdom ruling from Jerusalem.
The invasion of Gog and Magog is seen as an “End Times” event by Judaism,
and Christianity. Following the defeat of the Russian/Muslim powers,
Israel will feel saved from
its enemies. This will open the way for the rebuilding of the Jewish
Temple. The Antichrist, who will come to power before or after this event
will consolidate world power and guarantee Israel’s right to build the
The view of the white
horse and its rider has been one of debate. Some see the rider on the white
horse as Jesus Christ, who John sees riding white horse in Revelation 19.
Jesus Christ at the end of the tribulation period returns in glory with
armies of heaven to set up the Messianic Kingdom, the Millennium follows the
return of Christ.
The white horse in Revelation 6:2 does not conclude the matter as the
Jesus Christ does in Revelation 19. The white horse of Revelation 6:2,
starts the events leading to the return of Christ. The white horse of
Revelation 6, is a picture of the pseudo peace established by the Antichrist
at the start of the tribulation period. This peace is removed by the very
next horse the Red horse. Paul speaks of this in I Thessalonians 5.
1TH 5:3 For when they say,
"Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains
upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.5:4 But you, brethren, are
not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.I Thes.
From the Seventy Weeks of Daniel (Daniel
9:24-27) we learn
Daniel’s 70th week, begins with a confirmation of a covenant
with “many”. This covenant is a “Peace” agreement giving Israel the right to
rebuild the Temple and offer sacrifice. The Hebrew word for confirm is
Gabar, meaning to prevail, to have strength, be strong. The
“Prince to come” (Daniel
9:26) uses the power of
military force to guarantee
right to rebuild the Temple and offer sacrifice.
When we keep in mind the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) which
precedes this event, and an earth, weary of religious conflicts between
Muslims, Jews and Christians, the earth will be ripe to accept a concluding
peace on the Jerusalem issue.
Israel will accept the
terms of the world leader, assuming the
built will usher in the age of Messiah. The Temple, however is built by a
nation who still rejects Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
will have a temporary false peace, this same person, the Antichrist, will
break his agreement with Israel after three and half years and stop
sacrifice and set up an image in the rebuilt Temple. This event, known as
the Abomination of Desolation referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15,
starts the second half of the tribulation. Jesus refers to Daniel, who
refers to this event in four verses. (Daniel 8:11-12, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11).
We see a picture of bow,
with no arrows. The lack of arrows demonstrates what Daniel 9:27 already
tells us, through military intimidation the Antichrist will enforce peace.
He will not need to attack, because his force will be so overwhelming
nations will not risk war, knowing they will loose. With the threat of
Russia and Islam removed, the Antichrist will have free reign.
Crown The type of crown worn by the rider on the white horse is a
Stephanos crown, a crown of victory. We are told the crown was given
to him, his victory on world scene is one permitted by God. The antichrist,
is the ultimate human ruler, he is last ruler on the earth, preceding
Messiah’s kingdom. Daniel (Daniel
11:36-44, 7:8,19-26) give
us an insight on the person who will one day rule the nations of the earth.
From the Seventy week of
9:26) we know he will be a descendent of the armies of
Rome. The armies of
Rome, 37 years after Christ’s death, destroyed the
Temple and Jerusalem.
Daniel tells us, “The prince to come” will be a descendent of these armies.
Many Bible expositors speculate he will be the leader of European nation,
the successors of the
Roman Empire. Europe will rise to the power of
Rome. The current problem,
with this view is Europe is militarily not in the position to force the
nations of earth to accepting peace terms. Secondly, Israel would not trust
Europe with its peace.
Europe is openly hostile to
Israel, with a growing
Muslim population, Europe is now under constant pressure to appease
Daniel in reference to the descent of the Antichrist, merely states he
will be a descendent of the armies, which destroyed
Jerusalem and the Temple.
This opens the possibility of the Antichrist being a descendent of Rome, but
not the leader of a European nation. He could be a European, a descendent of
the Roman armies, who heads a powerful nation such as the United States
following the Rapture, which can guarantee and protect Israel’s security and
lull Israel into a false sense of security.
The Second Seal: The Red
He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on
it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another;
and there was given to him a great sword. Revelation 6;3-4
The second seal follows the
first in chronological order. The Antichrist brings the earth into a false
sense of peace following battle of Gog and Magog and the reestablishment of
The words describing the
second horse reveal his character, the Greek word for the color is,
the color of fire, red. The red color of this horse is the color of
The second horse demonstrates the “False Peace” established by the rider
on the white horse. The world wants peace, but without God, and for a short
period they will seem like they have peace, without God, but then man’s
nature will take hold and war will quickly follow.
Kill one another
The description of what follows, the three remaining
horsemen, is what would happen following a nuclear war. We learn within
this early period of the tribulation, ¼ of the earth’s population dies. The
initial death will be from war as described by the Red horse.
Today, nuclear war is more and more a possibility as nations continue to
upgrade technology to defend themselves from potential assaults from their
and Pakistan are a great examples, these two nations by themselves have
almost 1.2 billion people. Yet both nations are increasingly their nuclear
and missile technology to outdo their neighbor. A nuclear war between these
nations would not just affect those who die from missile strikes but food
supplies and diseases, which would follow.
Great sword The weapon used is called in the Greek a
Megas or great. The destruction humanity can inflict on humanity
in the past, pales in comparison to what can happen today. Nuclear weapons
with greater fire power, held by smaller and smaller nations can turn world
description of “Great sword” is very applicable to a nuclear war following
the false peace established by the Antichrist.
The Third Seal: The Black
He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and
see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a
pair of scales in his hand.
6 And I
heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of
wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not
harm the oil and the wine." Revelation 6:5-6
Following the Red horse, we see a black horse this event follows the
chronological order of events taking place on earth. Following a nuclear
war, several events take place, one is nuclear fallout and destruction of
edible foods. Nuclear was does not only hurt living humans, but everything
living. Food and food supplies are destroyed in the process of nuclear war
as the radioactive waves pass through all living matter. This is then
followed by the particles which then begin to a fall on fields where food is
growing to feed the populations.
The third horse pictured is a black horse, which is used to
depict famine elsewhere in scripture. (Jeremiah 4:28, Lamentations 4;8-9).
Following the war, food will be in short supply on the planet and many will
is the picture of commerce in the world. Today, the idol of the earth is no
longer socialist doctrines but capitalism and success without God. Many in
the former Communist nations no longer look to Communism as their hope but
the success and prosperity of Capitalism. Nations on the earth are pushing
commerce and success as the hope of their nations. Godless capitalism, is a
growing movement in the world today.
The hope of success for the most part is a godless and corrupt hope,
which pushes sex without marriage, homosexuality, violence, murder and host
of other sins. Many of these same countries reluctantly accept Christian
missionaries and evangelism as an appeasement for free trade. The Gospel
however continues to give people a choice, what really is important.
In the tribulation period, people will be forced to choose the God of
Heaven or humanity.
Quart of wheat
The Greek word used here,
is the amount
of food a laboring man would eat in one meal. Wheat was is a higher quality
food then barley. The cost of wheat was one days wages, or a denarius.
Following the wars of the Red horse, the lack of food will cause world wide
inflation resulting in famine.
The voice is coming from
the center of the Throne, from the midst of the four living creatures. This
could very well be the voice of Christ, reminding those who live on the
Earth through Revelation chapter 6, that earthly food and commerce is not
humanities hope but God’s word alone. This is the message in John chapter
6, as Christ explains the concept of eternal life versus the temporary life
in this world.
the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the
world." 34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 And
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never
hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:33-35
amount equivalent to what a day laborer would make. (Matthew 20:2) A full
day of labor was required to have enough to eat for one day.
Three quarts barley This was a lower quality food then wheat. Barley, was food
for animals and the poor. Here the same denarius will purchase 3 meals of
barley versus one meal of wheat.
and the wine These were foods of luxury and wealth. These items are
contrasted to the wheat and barley, which require a whole days labor. The
wealthy will not suffer like those who will need food to get by on a daily
The Fourth Seal: The Pale
He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature
saying, "Come and see."
8 So I
looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was
Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a
fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the
beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:7-8
Following the war, and famine of the Red and Black horses,
death is the result. This is the fourth seal.
The color in the Greek
Chloros, and means green or pale green, the color of young
vegetation. The fourth rider, is personified as “Death”, because the result
of the war and famine is death on a large scale.
Hades As we go through the book of Revelation, we are constantly
being informed of the location of those who died. Here for example we are
told, the dead enter Hell or Hades. In the fifth seal we see the dead in
Heaven. In chapter 14, those who receive the mark are warned about the
lake of fire, in 15 we see those who die after rejecting the mark in
Heaven. Many will die and enter an eternity apart from God as a result of
these events. Here the dead are being swept into Hades or Hell.
Fourth of the earth
Greek word for Earth here is
which means the livable or arable earth. This verse
informs us about the magnitude of the events taking place in the early part
of the tribulation period. Today the earth’s population is estimated at 6.3
billion, imagine ¼ of the population of the earth dying, the number would be
well over 1.5 billion people.
The tribulation period will not be mild in any way. Horror scenes
portrayed in the movies cannot begin to describe the events to take place in
this period. For this reason, Jesus warned this is period unlike any in the
history of the world and never to be repeated again. (Matthew 24;21-22,
Daniel 12;1, Jer. 30;7)
fourth horse and it rider collect the results of the Red and Black horses.
War brings death, causing famine resulting in more death. Another result
from war and famine, the animals also turn on man. During this period,
beasts of the earth see man as another food source. Animals will no longer
have the inner fear of mankind.
The Fifth Seal: Persecution
of the Faithful
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 testimony which they held.
they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true,
until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they
should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow
servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was
completed. Revelation 6:9-11
During this period of
upheaval on the Earth, John is given another glimpse of events taking
place. Following the rapture and the establishment of “Peace” under the
rule of the Antichrist, the persecution of Christians begins. In the first
half of the tribulation, the Antichrist will usher in a unified religion
combining elements of Christianity and Islam, all who refuse this one world
religion will be killed. This changes in the second half, as the Antichrist
proclaims himself to be god and demands to be the center of worship. (Daniel
11:37, 2 Thes 2:4).
Many of those rejected Christ, never heard of Him or made light Him will
know about Him after the Rapture. Many on the earth, will come to the
saving knowledge, Jesus Christ died for their sins and only through Him, can
we have eternal life. The tribulation is a time of testing and trial for the
earth (Rev. 3;10), people will be forced to make their choice for eternity,
time will no longer be a luxury.
Why are we informed here of the persecution which will occur during this
period? The fifth seal is for those who need to know what will happen,
after they killed for their faith. Here Christ reassures the believer on
earth, not to fear death. Death, for those who know Christ, should not be
an event of fear but joyful expectation. Like those killed for their faith
today, or any Christian who dies, the Bible tells us we enter the presence
of the Lord in Heaven. Christ assures the new believers of the tribulation,
who immediately come under testing. Their home is in heaven, do not fear
Under the altar
There is a special place
for those who die after the rapture. While the raptured saints are before
the throne in their resurrected bodies, these saints are under the altar for
the time. They will also be resurrected, but the tribulation still has more
souls who will come to Christ at this point.
Those who are die, are clearly in Heaven, for their souls are located
under the altar in heaven. Revelation 5:9-11 is a reassurance to anybody
who suffers for their faith, the worst the earth can offer is death. After
death, we are in the Lord’s presence. (John 14:3, Phil. 1:23)
For the word of God They reason they died is because of their faith. Following
the rapture, many will want to understand what’s happened. The time after
the rapture and before the start of the tribulation, many will hear about
Christ and come to a saving knowledge.
Each saint under the altar
will have their own unique story on how they found Christ, and died for Him.
Those who die do not loose
their memory, these martyrs even though dead are fully aware of what
happened to them. The rich man who dies and goes to Hell in Luke 16:19-31
was fully aware of his life on earth and where he failed.
Dwell on …earth
These martyrs are dwelling
in heaven as opposed to those who are dwell on earth. Revelation 7:9-16
informs us during the tribulation, many on the earth are saved, a number
beyond counting from every nation, people and language.
They received a temporary covering, until they receive their
resurrected body (Rev. 20:4) at a later point.
Would be killed
At this point, more are
still to killed for their faith. During the tribulation, the earth will be
faced with two choices to accept or reject Jesus Christ. Revelation makes
one point very clear, death is not the worst event. Living and dying
without Christ is far worst then any temporary suffering on earth.
The Sixth Seal: Great
looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great
earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon
became like blood.
the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs
when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and
island was moved out of its place.
the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the
mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and
in the rocks of the mountains,
said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of
Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
Sixth seal Here is the first, of the earthly catastrophes to strike the
earth. Today when events strike other parts of the world, many can
instantly watch the events unfold from the comfort of their homes.
Following the wars, famine, disease of the early part of the tribulation, A
great earthquake rocks the earth. The whole earth will share in tribulation,
including the rich and comfortable.
An earthquake occurs when
the plates on which the crust rest move, causing a quake on the surface.
More severe movements cause greater shaking. Earthquakes are tied volcanic
activity below the crust, they are part of the same system. Pressure from
underneath moves plates, this pressure is sometimes released as earthquakes.
Other times the pressure is released when hot magna finds its way to the
surface causing volcanic activity.
volcanic soot released during this quake causes the sun to be darkened for a
time, followed by strange events in the sky turning the moon blood red.
Stars from heaven
Literally in the Greek,
Aster this is where the word asteroid is derived. If the
earthquakes and volcanoes were not enough, the earth is now struck by
meteors from space.
This earthquake will shake
the entire earth. During this period many will be moved to accept Christ.
When these events occur, someone earthly status will not protect them from
judgment. Here we ultimately see a demonstration of God’s mercy, people in
comfort are confronted with their own mortality.
Wrath of the lamb
On the earth, from the 5th
seal, we read about the persecution of those who know Jesus Christ. In the
6th seal, Christ the earth begins to feel the wrath of Christ.
The first five seals were the result of man’s inhumanity to man. In the 6th
seal, Christ repays those on earth for their actions against the saints.