6:1-17 Opening Six Of The Seven Seals Of The Book
Memory Verse: Revelation 6:9–11
6:1-8 The Four Horsemen Of The Tribulation
- 4:1-5:14 In chapter 4 we moved from the earthly realm into the heavenly realm where God on the throne was describe in vivid detail. Then in chapter 5 our attention was turned towards the book in the right hand of God and the One worthy to open it. Jesus was presented as the one and only person worthy to open it because, as the Lamb of God, He died for the sins of the world. He steps forward, takes the book and before He opens it, the heavenly host start worshipping Him.
- 6:1a Now, the story continues in Heaven as Jesus looses six of the seven seals of the book. These seals represent judgements that will be carried out upon the Earth during the tribulation period. The order the seals are opened also most likely represents the sequence in which these events will happen.
- 6:1-2 The First Seal: Deception (White Horse) – Jesus (the Lamb) opens the first seal and John hears one of the four beast (his voice like the sound of thunder) saying, “Come and see.” Then John saw a white horse with a person riding it carrying a bow, given a crown and went forth to conquer. This represents deception. It represents a time of false peace that will deceive the multitudes of the world. This peace will not be won (conquer) through war but through a peaceful covenant (the bow has no arrows). He will be looked to as the world leader who unites the nations in peace for a time (a crown was given unto him). It represents the false Christ: promises peace to deceive the world to follow him.
Matthew 24:3–5; Daniel 9:24–27
- 6:3-4 The Second Seal: War (Red Horse) – Jesus opens the second seal and John hears the second of the four beast saying, “Come and see.” Then John saw a red horse with a person riding it who was given a great sword and power to take peace from the earth, meaning that they should kill one another. This represents war. The world was deceived by a false peace and it results in war in a great scale where there is going to be lots of deaths because of it.
Matthew 24:6-7; Daniel 11:36–45
- 6:5-6 The Third Seal: Famine (Black Horse) – Jesus opens the third seal and John hears the third of the four beast saying, “Come and see.” Then John saw a black horse with a person riding it who had a pair of balances in his hand. Then in the midst of the four beasts John heard a voice say, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This represents famine. Most likely because of the world-wide war, there will be a world-wide famine and food will be rationed (a pair of balances). The voice is most likely the voice of God, reminding us this is a judgment coming from Him. The amount of wheat and barley at the given prices represent the inflated prices of the basic food supply and the limited supply of other food items (oil and wine).
- 6:7-8 The Fourth Seal: Death (Pale Horse) – Jesus opens the fourth seal and John hears the fourth of the four beasts saying, “Come and see.” Then John saw a pale horse with a person riding it whose name was Death, and Hell followed with him. Power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, hunger, death and the beasts of the earth. This represents death. One-fourth of the worlds population will die. They will die as a result of the war and famine, but also because natural disasters, such as earthquakes or diseases (death) and animals attacks or disease carried by animals.
6:9-11 The Martyrs Of The Tribulation
- 6:9 The Fifth Seal: Vengeance – Jesus opens the fifth seal and John saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. These are believers who where martyred during the above judgments. They are “under the alter” because they haven’t been bodily resurrected yet. They were killed because they were faithful to the Bible and boldly proclaiming Jesus in spite of the opposition to the message they preached.
- 6:10 The question of the martyrs: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” These martyrs petition God asking Him when He will put a stop to the evil taking place on the earth and judge those who are working evil against the saints of God, those who are the unrepentant enemies of God.
- 6:11 The response to the martyrs: First, they were given white robes. The white robe represents the righteousness they were given by God. Second, they are told to rest for a little season, because there were other believers who would also be martyred like they were. Martyrdom is part of God’s plan in spreading the gospel.
6:12-17 The Wrath Of The Lamb
- 6:12-14 The Sixth Seal: Destruction – Jesus opens the sixth seal and John sees great destruction caused by natural disasters. Destruction so great that it can only be attributed as the judgement and wrath of God being poured out on the Earth. First, there is a great earthquake, which caused great destruction. Second, the sun is blacked out, it won’t give light like normal. Third, the moon became as blood, the moon will also be blocked causing great confusion and panic. Fourth, the stars of heaven fall to the earth, there will be asteroid or meteor showers. Fifth, the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, the atmosphere will somehow be affected. Sixth, every mountain and island were moved out of their places, meaning the foundations of the earth are shifting.
Matthew 24:21, 29; Joel 2:31
- 6:15-17 The reaction to all of this is fear among all men not matter their position in society (kings, great men, rich men, chief captains, mighty men, bondman, free man). They hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. Instead of repentance they cry out to the lifeless rocks. They wish for death instead of facing the wrath of Jesus. This is the great day of His wrath and they know no one can stand against it.
- Who is worthy to open the seals?
- What are the first four seals?
- What is the fifth seal?
- What is the sixth seal?
- Who is able to stand during the great day of His wrath?