Revelation 6. Forum Discussion

Earlier in Revelation we saw that God was sitting on a throne surrounded by 4 creatures, and 24 elders on thrones. There was a book that was sealed by 7 seals, and only Jesus was found worthy to open the book.

Now in chapter 6, we find out what the first 6 of the 7 seals are. The 7th seal will be revealed in chapter 7. The first 6 seals are:

  1. A rider on a white horse. John writes that the rider was given a crown which tells us that this person was in good standing with God. He also had a bow and, “Went out conquering and to conquer.”
  2. The 2nd seal deals with war. For this seal, we see a rider on a red horse who was, “Granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.” Perhaps this is God asserting that He has the right to take peace from the earth as He sees the need to do so.
  3. The 3rd seal mentions a black horse and that its rider had two scales. Once again, John writes that he heard a voice tell him to, “Come,” so that he could get a closer look. He writes that he heard a voice coming from the area of the four creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” So what does this symbolize? Perhaps the scales are representing the exchange of money for the wheat and barley. The NASB study Bible refers to the 3rd seal as “Famine.”
  4. The lamb (Jesus) breaks the 4th seal. This time John sees an ashen (pale) horse. The person sitting on this horse had the name, “Death.” John writes that Hades was following with him and that, “Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” The 4th seal of the book held by God and being opened by Jesus has to do with death and hell (Hades). Is it significant that they were only given authority over 25% of the land? Perhaps the 25% represents the worst of the population on the earth?
  5. As Jesus breaks the 5th seal, John does not see a horse. So to summarize, in the first four seals we have four horses: a white horse (associated with conquering), a red horse (seems to represent war), a black horse (possibly representing famine or the limited supply of wheat and barley), and an ashen, or pale horse (representing death). In the 5th seal, instead of a horse, John sees underneath the alter, “The souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.” They are held in reverence and John writes that they were each given a white robe. This is symbolic of their favorable position with God. These martyrs cried out with a loud voice saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” They were told, “They should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” It seems as if God knows who will be martyred and when. And it also seems that these people are remembered and that they are going to be honored by God for their sacrifice.
  6. As Jesus breaks the 6th seal, John gets a look into the awesome things that will take place on the, “Day of wrath”, which most likely is talking about judgement day after Jesus returns. John writes, “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

To better understand what we are reading in Revelation 6, let’s go back through our earlier studies in Revelation to see if we can gain some context.

In Revelation 1:3, John records, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

From that scripture we know that the words in Revelation are a prophecy. Since prophecy refers to, “A foretelling, prediction or a declaration of something to come,” (Source: Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language) we can deduce that what we are reading about in the book of Revelation are things that will take place sometime in the future.

Revelation is talking about things to come. And based on Mathew 24:36 only God knows when that time is.

But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

What a fascinating study of Revelation up to this point. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will continue our study and our efforts to rightly divide the word of God. Amen

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