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Daniel and Revelation
Revelation 6 – The Six Seals
of the Scroll
Revelation 6:1-8 I saw that the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as with a voice of thunder, "Come and see!" (2) And behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow. A crown was given to him, and he came forth conquering, and to conquer. (3) When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come!" (4) Another came forth, a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth , and that they should kill one another. There was given to him a great sword. (5) When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come and see!" And behold, a black horse , and he who sat on it had a balance in his hand. (6) I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don't damage the oil and the wine!" (7) When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see!" (8) And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine , with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.
The four horses of white, red, black, and pale (Revelation 6:1-8) can be found in Zechariah 1:8-11, 6:1-8. In Revelation they are single horses with a rider. In Zechariah they are chariots of horses. The chariots of horses go out in the four directions: west, east, north, and south (Zechariah 6:1-8). All go out all at the same time, to see the state of the world. In other words, what are the signs of the world that are observed by these four horses?
Zechariah 6:1-7 NIV I looked up again—and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains - mountains of bronze! (2) The first chariot had red horses, the second black, (3) the third white, and the fourth dappled - all of them powerful. (4) I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?” (5) The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. (6) The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.” (7) When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.
The white horse goes west. The red horse goes east. The black horse goes north. And the pale horse goes south. Directions are given from Jerusalem.
Zech. 6:1-7, Rev. 6:1-8
Signs of the generation
Conqueror bent on conquest
United States (The West)
Power to take peace from the earth
People’s Republic of China
Holding a pair of scales in his hands
Death and Hades.
Wars, famine, AIDS, wild beasts
Africa / The World
Right after World War II, the world changed. The United Nations was formed. Israel became a nation in 1948. The United States (West) became a world superpower. The People’s Republic of China (East) came into power in October of 1949, right after World War II. The USSR also became a world superpower right after World War II. Russia is directly north of Jerusalem.
At the end of World War II, these three nations developed the atomic bomb. This is the “conqueror bent on conquest” (Revelation 6:2 – white horse) in the West, and the “power to take peace from the earth” (Revelation 6:4 – red horse) in the East. For the first time in history, our knowledge had reached the point where we can destroy the entire world. This knowledge is forcing us to move towards a one-world government. At the same time, our knowledge is bringing the world into a global economy. Our technology and global economy have brought about many world changes since World War II.
To the North was the USSR. The Soviet Union is known for failing because of its poor communist economy. Poor economy is described in association with the black horse (Revelation 6:5-6). The pair of scales, associated with the third horse, indicates trade (economy). A quart of wheat for a day’s wages and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages is extremely poor economy. Oil and wine were the cash crops in Biblical times.
The direction of the fourth horse is south. To the south of Jerusalem is Egypt. This rider is on a pale horse. South in the Bible is Egypt, which is symbolic of the world, and Pharaoh is symbolic of the antichrist. This does not mean the antichrist will come from Egypt.
The fourth horse is the kingdom of the antichrist. "Death; and Hades [are] following with him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8). What better description is there of Africa? There are constant wars in Africa. Africa has been known for people dying in famine during this generation. AIDS originated in Africa and is now epidemic in Africa. And Africa is known for wild beasts. These four plagues, especially including AIDS, could easily wind up taking a fourth of the world’s population.
This United Nations government rules all the nations of the world, but does not have its own geographical nation. The UN is a government, but it has not had the military power needed to enforce its "resolutions." More and more, however, that is changing. The militaries of the world are shifting to the United Nations. The UN was formed right after World War II. We have been under a one-world government for the entire baby-boom generation. But its power has been only slowly increasing, like the slow boiling of water with a frog in the pot.
So, the four horses are symbolic of the three superpowers and the UN, which rules the world during the end-time generation. They show a view of the entire world, as the four chariots of horses go out in four different directions. They show a time when knowledge reaches the point of mankind being able to destroy the world. So, the knowledge and fear of weapons of mass destruction is forcing us into a one-world government under the rule of the antichrist. The knowledge increases since World War II have been unbelievable. And it is at time when the global economy has brought the world together.
Revelation 6:9-11 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. (10) They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" (11) Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14 NIV). Can the great commission be achieved during our baby-boom generation? People who study the various people-groups believe that it can be done. Successful mission activity during this baby-boom generation has been like no other generation in history. For reasons previously stated, I believe that the success of missions will climax during the time of the trumpets. Has the gospel already been preached in every nation? By some measures it has already happened. But during the time of the trumpets we will see people from every “nation, tribe, people, and language” (Revelation 7:9) coming to know Jesus Christ. We must all ask the question, “Am I willing to die for Christ?” Am I willing to be a martyr? This is the fifth seal.
Does the fifth seal suggest that the dead are not asleep? This is often argued as such. But does the fifth seal literally take place? Do these souls literally speak from under the altar? Are the four horses and four riders literal? The seals are simply poetic ways of describing events leading up to the Christ’s appearance. This sixth seal is the same. It describes the actual appearance of Christ. But I doubt the sun and moon will literally turn dark and the sky roll up like a scroll. As we will see, these are simply images that John is drawing from Isaiah in order to make his points. Remember that Isaiah is a book of poetry and should be read as such.
Revelation 6:12-17 I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood. (13) The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind. (14) The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (15) The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers , the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. (16) They told 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, (17) for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"
Matthew 24:29 says that immediately after the Tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. This is a quote from Isaiah. Is it literal? Will the moon be darkened just before Christ returns? Isaiah is a book of poetry. When Isaiah speaks of the sun and moon being darkened (Isaiah 13:10), for example, he is not speaking literally. In Isaiah 24:23, the sun and the moon are given emotions. So, this is simply a way of speaking about worldwide changes through poetry. The moon shining like the sun, and the sun seven times brighter (Isaiah 30:26 NIV) speaks of a time of joy, when the “Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.”
Joel picks up on this in Joel 2:31, with the sun being darkened, and the moon turning to blood. But Joel says this happens “before” the day of the Lord begins. So, what at first seemed figurative now seems more literal. It’s possible that poetry turns into actual signs. This can be the literal signs of the blood-red moons we see during a total lunar eclipse. But it’s also true that John is simply alluding back to Isaiah to make his point that the world will be terrified when Christ returns.
The sixth seal speaks of the sky being rolled up like a scroll. It also says the stars are like the leaves of fig trees when a strong wind blows. This can be found in Isaiah 34:1-4. There can be no doubt that John was referring to this passage in Isaiah. This helps us understand what John is saying. Christ will be “enraged at the nations” when He returns. As we will see, Christ will return to stop the surrounding nations from attacking Israel, attempting to “wipe Israel of the face of the map,” after Israel is no longer strong and able to defend herself.
Isaiah 34:1-4 ESV Draw near, O nations , to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. (2) For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host [armies]; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. (3) Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. (4) All the host [armies] of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.
This passage in Isaiah seems to be speaking of two major aspects of the great tribulation. First, Isaiah describes Armageddon. God himself destroys the armies of the nations as they attack Jerusalem. “The stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood.” This, we believe, happens at the end of the great tribulation. Second, Isaiah describes the war in heaven that we believe will happen in the middle of the seven years. Does this mean that the war in heaven and Armageddon both happen immediately when the sixth seal is opened? No, I believe the sixth seal sets in motion the start of these events. In the sixth seal, John writes, “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 sixth seal marks the start of the great day of Christ’s wrath. It’s the time when the world realizes Christ has appeared, and they are terrified.
Verse 14 of the sixth seal says, “Every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” Is this to be taken literally? Or is this also an allusion to Old Testament Scripture which must be considered in our interpretation? Perhaps it’s literal but at the same time we are given an assurance that God is our refuge.
Psalms 46:1-3 ESV To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength , a very present help in trouble. (2) Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, (3) though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
I believe John is saying that those who trust in the Lord should not be afraid even though the rest of the world will be terrified when Christ appears with the New Jerusalem. Many Christians will be caught up in fear of the world. But John is saying to trust in the Lord and to not be afraid.
When the sixth seal is opened, there will be a great earthquake and Israel will be shaken. Compare the sixth seal with how Gog is defeated in Ezekiel 38. In the sixth seal, the world is shaken. “Every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” It says the “kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” Now read it in Ezekiel 38.
Ezekiel 38:18-20 It shall happen in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils. (19) For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; (20) so that the fish of the sea, and the birds of the sky, and the animals of the field, and all creeping things who creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the surface of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
Notice that Ezekiel 38:20 speaks of the Lord's "presence." God shows up and the world is terrified. Ezekiel 38:18 says, "My wrath shall come up into my nostrils." In the sixth seal of Revelation (quoted above), the world is terrified saying "hide us ... from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" Notice the similar language in Luke 21:24-26.
Luke 21:24-26 They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (25) There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; (26) men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jews were taken as prisoners to all the nations. This was the second dispersion. The time of the Gentiles began when Herod the Great died. After Herod died, the Roman Empire began stationing a Roman governor in Jerusalem. The trampling of Jerusalem in the time of the Gentiles continued until the Six Day War. This end-times baby-boom generation, beginning after World War II, and becoming adult around the time of the Six Day War, marks the end of the time of the Gentiles. After the final seven weeks of Daniel's vision are over, Christ will appear in the New Jerusalem and the world will be terrified. As we read in Ezekiel 38, Christ's "presence" will return just in time to stop the Islamic nations, led by the Islamic Antichrist, from destroying Israel.
So, the six seals are all about the end-time generation that will see the resurrection (Daniel 12:2) and the return of Christ. The breaking of the six seals allows for the understanding of God’s mystery. It’s about a time when the wise will fully understand the answer. We will know the day and the time of the resurrection. But the wicked and the foolish will not understand.
The sixth seal of Revelation involve signs in the sky. I believe this sixth seal involves the appearing of the New Jerusalem. This is associated with the blood-red moon from Joel. There are two things that happen before the coming day of the Lord. Elijah comes (Malachi 4:5). And the blood-red moon comes (Joel 2:31).
I believe the blood-red moon is a lunar eclipse. The moon turns dark red, and doesn’t give its light, during a full lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse must occur during a full-moon. Sometimes, there is another lunar eclipse six months (moons) later. There are cases where there are as many as four blood-red moons in a row. On very rare cases, this occurs during the Jewish calendar months of Nisan and Tishri. These, of course are the most holy months on the Jewish calendar. They mark the beginning of the civil calendar and the beginning of the religious calendar. Pastor Mark Biltz, a Messianic Jew, discovered that four future lunar eclipses will occur on Jewish festivals, each six months apart.
1) Passover, April 15, 2014
2) The Feast of Tabernacles, October 8, 2014
3) Passover, April 4, 2015 and
4) The Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015
Pastor Mark Biltz did some further study and found these four lunar eclipses, occurring on the full moons of four succeeding Passovers and Feasts of Tabernacles, happened only twice during the 20th century. The first was in 1949-1950, the year after Israel became a nation. The second happened in 1967-1968 the year Jerusalem was no longer being trampled upon by the Gentiles. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1493, the year after Columbus discovered America. After these coming four, it will not happen again anytime during this 21st century. Remember that these four signs would happen before the day of the Lord. The last of these would be perhaps a year before the appearance of the New Jerusalem.