Revelation’s Seven Seals
Revelation chapter 5 is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible. It is important because it sets the authority of Christ, the redeemer, to begin the process of wrapping things up. This process begins with seven seals, with the seventh seal expanding into seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet expands into seven bowls. Each seal, trumpet, and bowl has specific judgments for the earth and its inhabitants.
The magnificent scene in Chapter 5 shows the Son receiving a seven-sealed scroll from the Father. This document is heavily written upon on both sides, and is the document of the ages. As each seal is removed, the final steps of the end times initiate. Many Bible scholars teach that this document is the title deed to planet earth, and God is calling in the lease.
The first seal, beginning in Chapter 6, reveals the white horseman, and since this is so “Christ like” many erroneously believe that this person is Christ, but he is the imposter Antichrist. Revelation 19:11-16 reveals the real Christ mounted on a white horse. Daniel 11:37 says, “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.” Jesus indicated in Matthew 24:15-16 that the Antichrist would demand worldwide worship, and many will believe that he is God, (Daniel 11:36, Revelation 13:18).
The bow with no arrow indicates he will assume leadership in a bloodless conquest with promises of peace. He will probably be swept into power with a plan to bring peace and restoration from a possible worldwide economic collapse, Daniel 8:25, 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
He starts out as a “little horn,” seemingly insignificant, possibly as the leader of a small country (Daniel 7:8). His accomplishments are honored as he is “crowned” with a wreath given by man. He will first appear as a well-meaning and wise ruler with a three-point plan for unifying the world and bringing economic equality to all; one-world money system, one-world religion, and, of course, a one-world government. Ultimately, he is interested in world domination.
This first seal begins the seven-year ride of the Antichrist, the tribulation, and the beginning of the end. The actual seven-year tribulation will begin with the Antichrist signing a covenant of peace with Israel.
The second seal brings on the red horseman and the unraveling of the Antichrist’s peace plan. War breaks out with civil rebellion of man against man. The third seal reveals the black horseman who affects the economy with scarcity and famine. The command to not harm the oil and wine could have reference to the rich demanding favor, or it might also signify that God, at this point, will not allow medicinal products to be harmed or placed out of the reach of the needy.
The fourth seal is described as a “pale” horseman. The Greek word here may indicate the color green rather than pale as we understand it. Death and Hades follow this horseman and authority to strike one fourth of the world’s population with the sword, hunger, death, and apparently animals will turn on the population.
Although in our minds we may picture these horses galloping out with their riders of death and destruction in quick succession, the time span between these events will be enough for inhabitants to briefly recover and adapt between onslaughts. Imagine for a moment what spin the Antichrist will put on these events. How will he explain these things happening and maintain the blind confidence and trust of the world? Well, historical successes in climatic events have shown that if an enemy can be identified, people can actually not only be rallied but unified as well against that identified enemy. The Antichrist will name the enemy as those of the Book; he will somehow blame Jews and those who become Christians during this time.
“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 testimony which they held” (Revelation 6:9). Those who accept Christ during the tribulation period will have to face suffering the martyr’s death. The Antichrist will begin eradicating Christians during this period by garnering the support of his followers against them. Can you hear a news conference by the Antichrist calling on his followers to expose extremists, fundamentalists and to turn them over to his authority for the “evil acts” they have done?
The plight of the martyrs is important enough to the Lord that he gives special mention of them in this verse. These are the martyrs of the first half of the tribulation.
The sixth seal is marked with natural convulsions and other physical phenomena. The earth will shake with great earthquakes and the sky, moon, stars and sun will all be affected. These are not spiritualized events, but they will literally take place as supported by the following prophets:
Haggai 2:6, “For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;”
Joel 2:29, “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
Revelation 6:17 says, “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” The sixth seal finishes the first half of the tribulation. The next three and one half years are called the wrath of God or the wrath of the Lamb. The seventh seal expands into the seven trumpets, and the trumpets begin the wrath of God.
If the first part of the tribulation seemed intolerable, the next part will be so tremendous that it is accurately called the Wrath of God. Who is able to stand it?
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