The Plot Thickens
Revelation Week 3
Pastor Kris Freeman
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Scripture: Revelation 6 through 8 (NKJV)
The First Seal: The Conqueror
6:2 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.
The scroll cannot be opened and read until all the seals have been broken. There are seven. The next two chapters outlines the “beginning of sorrows” – some think these events have already taken place, and others signify it as the beginning of The Great Tribulation.
- The first seal is the The Great Conqueror and since he is on a white horse, some believe this to be Jesus (Revelation 19:11). However, the wide-held view is that this is the Antichrist.
- The bow indicates he is a warrior
- The crown suggests he is a ruler
Matthew 24:4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name claiming ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.
The Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
4 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.
- The red color of the second horse stands for bloodshed, war and killing.
- In mythology and historical accounts of war-time, red is associated with war. The Greek mythological god “Ares” (Roman: Mars) name meant “are cursed.” The Roman name Mars meant “fights in battle” In the literary work by Homer The Iliad and The Odyssey, Ares is one of 12 Greek gods but known as the god of war, who is led by a chariot of four horses. Two of these horses were red, representing flame and destruction: Aethon (Latin) meaning burning fire, and Phlogeus (Latin) meaning fire-bright flame. The other two horses were Conabus (the clashing and clanging horse) and Phobus (the horse of fear and panic).
Both in the Biblical account of Revelation and the historical or literary accounts of war and mythology, the color red signifies war and always has.
The Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
5 So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 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 the wine.”
The black horse represents famine and drought. The mentioning of the amount of money for wheat and barley and scarcity of oil and wine is to signify the shortage upon the earth of things needed for people to survive.
The Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it is 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.
- The pale horse means “yellowish-green” and represents sickness and death. It is the color of a corpse. Hades follows after death to take those who have died. Hades in Biblical narrative is the place of Death. In mythology, Hades was the god of death. Many mythological stories parallel those of the Biblical narrative in other forms.Hades (Strong’s #86) is a Greek term which means the place of the unseen. It designates the invisible world of the dead, and is echoed by the Old Testament Hebrew word Sheol. All people who pass from death go to Hades, but unfortunately this term has been confused with Hell, the place of eternal punishment. But there is a different Greek word for Hell: Gehenna (Mark 9:43-45).
- The fourth judgment is the inevitable consequence of the first three seals (sword, famine and pestilence). They are the same means God used to bring Israel to repentance (1 Kings 8:33-39, 1 Chron. 21:12). In chapter 7 of Revelation, a godly group arises as a result of these things.
The Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs
9 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 for which they held. And they cried with a long voice, saying “How long, Oh Lord, holy and true, until you judge ands avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then 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, completed.
The very reason John was exiled to Patmos was because of punishment for sharing God’s Word, but he was not martyred, just banished. In Exodus 29:12, sacrificial blood was poured under the altar, so the martyrs represent the sacrifice that was made for God. The completion of God’s vengeance is not carried out until Revelation 19:2.
The white robe is for those that overcome (Revelation 3:5). Remember in scripture, God said “vengeance is mine says the Lord. I will repay.” (Deut. 32:35. Romans 12:19). Payback will come in God’s perfect timing.
The Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances
12 I 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. And the stars of Heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, and 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 and the mountains. And said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand?”
The events of the sixth seal match the words of Jesus in Matthew 24, signifying the nearing of the coming of the Lord. The “clouds roll back as a scroll” is most notably recognized from the coming of the Lord described in the song, It Is Well.
Wrath means anger, and is poured out on those who reject God. Those protected by the Lord are enabled to stand (see next chapter). The cosmic and seismic disturbances are greater than any the earth has ever seen. Many earthquakes are caused by cosmic and seismic shifts which alter the earth’s tectonic plates.
An interruption in the seals for the 144,000 Jews
7:1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow upon the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels…saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.
1. Judah – the Lion of the Tribe
2. Reuben – Jacob’s firstborn
Dan and Ephraim are omitted, perhaps because of their gross idolatry during the period of the judges. Joseph and Manasseh are both included bringing the number to 12.
There are two multitudes listed in chapter 7: the 144,000 Jews above who arrive at a later time, and the multitude which cannot be numbered (Revelation 7:9-17). The four angels are the designated agents of God’s judgements and the four winds represent the directional appointments of God’s wrath from every direction: east, west, north, south.
Seals are signs of ownership and in ancient times were stamped onto a document by a signet or cylinder on the place where it was opened and closed. By most, the children of Israel is referring to the Nation of Israel, and those Jews who had yet to accept the Messiah and now believe.
A Multitude from The Great Tribulation
7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around on the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom Thanksgiving and honor and power and might Be to our God forever and ever Amen. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “who are these arrayed in white robes and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of The Great Tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, an serve him day and night in his temple. And he who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat, for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Believers who did not see Christ here on earth will get to see him in eternity where he will dwell with them. The shepherding reference is a direct response to the 23rd Psalm. There is also an answer to the blessing of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.