Welcome to Part 4 of a 5 Part Series
In Part 1 of this series (Intro) we looked at the various views of the Rapture, and introduced The Day of the Lord as our focal point to determine the pertinence of the church in the last days. In Part 2 (The Day of the Lord) we took a somewhat in-depth look at what the Bible has to say about the Day of the Lord. And in Part 3 (The Olivet Discourse and the Abomination of Desolation) we looked at Matthew 24 to see what Jesus (the world’s foremost Expert on the end-times) had to say about these things. Each part of this study builds on the one before, so it may be helpful to review parts 1-3 prior to reading this segment.
Today, we’ll be focusing on Revelation 6 & 8; the opening of the Seven Sealed Scroll. Since the goal of this series is to identify the Day of the Lord, it’s necessary to review the events contained within these Seven Seals to best determine when The Day of the Lord actually begins.
In addition, we will be comparing this information with Matthew 24 and the other scriptures we’ve looked at so far in this study. To more clearly show the similarities of these verses, I’ve categorized them by subject as well as chronologically. As you read through, keep in mind that the wording will not always be the same in the associated verses, but the related concept is present.
Below is a chart I put together with a brief outline of Revelation 6, which summarizes each seal. At the conclusion of today’s study, we will update this chart by incorporating what we’ve learned. Out of necessity, there will be quite a lot of information shared, but I will try to keep it as concise as possible. My apologies in advance.
The Seven Sealed Scroll
I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:1-5
The Rider on a White Horse
Revelation 6:1-2 – Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come”. I looked, and behold, a white horse, and the one who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Matthew 24:4-5 – Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”
Daniel 9:27 – And he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come the one who makes desolate, until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, gushes forth on the one who makes desolate.
Note: Many believe that the First Seal portrays the entrance of the Antichrist onto the political scene. I’m not convinced. For many reasons, I believe he will be on the political scene well before the First Seal occurs–perhaps even right now–albeit unknown. It seems more likely to me that this Horseman represents the exact time in which the Antichrist confirms a covenant with Israel, as foretold in Daniel 9:27. This transaction with Israel officially and scripturally places him on the eschatological scene; and I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that both the First Seal and the confirmation of this covenant, are said to mark the starting point of the 70th week of Daniel.
War; Ethnic and Civil Uprising
Revelation 6:3-4 – When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come”. And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that people would kill one another; and a great sword was given to him.
Matthew 24:6-7a – “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
Note: Nation against nation: The Greek word for Nation in Matthew 24 is Ethnos (Strong’s 1484): A multitude, people, race, belonging and living together. Used here, it indicates ethnic and civil uprising against one another within a people group or common nation. Kingdom against kingdom: War between countries.
Famine; Economic Crisis
Revelation 6:5-6 – When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come”. I looked, and behold, a black horse; and the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living 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.
Matthew 24:7b-8 – “There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
Note: A denarius represented a day’s wages at the time this was written, so clearly the price of food is now exorbitant. This suggests worldwide food shortages, rationing, and famine conditions; which would logically result from long term war and widespread economic crisis.
Revelation 6:7-8 – When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come”. I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and the one who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and famine, and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Matthew 24:9-13 – “Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold. But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved.”
Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22 – “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place–let the reader understand–then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again. And if those days had not been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.“
Note: When we take into account all the information that we’ve been given about this rider–his name is Death; Hades is following with him; he has been given authority over a fourth of the earth to kill–I don’t think it’s unreasonable to at least consider that we may well have discovered the placement of the Abomination of Desolation, which occurs at the midpoint of the seven years. The fact that the next Seal describes Martyrs in heaven, further supports the plausibility of this scenario.
Martyrs in Heaven
Revelation 6:9 – When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained. and they 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 live on the earth?” And a white robe was given to each of them; and they were told that they were to rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters who were to be killed even as they had been, was completed also.
Note: These Martyrs are already present when the Fifth Seal is opened. We’re not told whether this group encompasses all martyrs across the centuries, but it is clear that more are being added to their number throughout the period of the Fifth Seal. This again, lends to the plausibility that the Abomination of Desolation is contained within the Fourth Seal.
Revelation 6:12-17 – And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black 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 drops 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 was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the eminent people, and the commanders and the wealthy and the strong, and every slave and free person hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the sight 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?”
Matthew 24:29-31 – “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet blast, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
Joel 2:30-31 – I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
Note: A picture is worth a thousand words. So, rather than discuss the similarities here, I’ve emphasized them and added the supporting scripture of Joel 2:30:31. If you read through carefully, I think you will come to see that they are all speaking of the same event. The implications are undeniable; these cosmic disturbances herald the imminent Day of the Lord.
The Day of The Lord
Revelation 8:1-5 – When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense ascended from the angel’s hand with the prayers of the saints before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and hurled it to the earth; and there were peals of thunder and sounds, and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
Revelation 6:15-17 – Then the kings of the earth and the eminent people, and the commanders and the wealthy and the strong, and every slave and free person hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the sight 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?”
Note: By all indications, the Day of the Lord has arrived and the judgments of God are about to commence. This is a day of darkness and gloom. Specifically, The Day of God’s Wrath and Judgment against the wicked; as foretold by Old and New Testament writers alike, throughout the Bible.
The Bible tells us that those who belong to Christ, are not destined for wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Romans 5:9, Ephesians 5:6). Jesus suffered the wrath of God on our behalf, so we do not need to fear the Day of the Lord. There are many opinions concerning the rapture, and some are more valid than others. But the majority agree, the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before this great and terrible Day of the Lord begins.
Based on the comparisons above, does the sequence of events below (from Part 3 of this series) hold any water? Bear in mind that it was created based solely on Matthew 24 and Daniel 9, with no reference at all to Revelation, Chapter 6; further attesting to the relationship of these passages to each other.
To summarize and incorporate the information presented in this segment, I’ve included an updated Sequence of Events and Chart.
Sequence of Events from Part 3
- Covenant Confirmed
- Commencement of the 70th Week: Daniel 9:27
- Beginning of Birth Pains
- Deception: Matthew 24:4-5
- Wars, Rumors of Wars, Civil Unrest: Matthew 24:6-7a
- Earthquakes, Famines: Matthew 24:7b (Plagues, Luke 21:11)
- The Abomination of Desolation
- Death, Martyrdom, Falling Away: Matthew 24:9-12
Updated Sequence of Events
- Seal One – Antichrist on the Scene
- Confirms a Covenant with Israel
- Commencement of the 70th Week
- Seals Two & Three – Beginning of Birth Pains
- Wars, Rumors of Wars, Civil Unrest
- Earthquakes, Famines (Plagues, Luke 21:11)
- Seal Four – The Abomination of Desolation
- Death, Martyrdom, Falling Away
- Seal Five – The Souls of Martyrs Under the Altar
- Martyrs in Heaven as the result of the Fourth Seal
- Seal Six – Earthly and Cosmic Disturbances
- Heralds the Day of the Lord
- Seal Seven – Seven Angels with Trumpets Sound
- The Day of the Lord begins
Skip to Part 5 of this series: Conclusion – Where I will wrap up our study by presenting a few more pieces of crucial information; a logical end time sequence of events; and what I believe to be a credible summary and conclusion based on the material shared over the past several weeks.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org
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