The imprisoned Apostle John on the Greek Island of Patmos is in the Lord’s Day. What a grand privilege it is to see into that day which is yet to come!
It is now that we see the unveiling and the revealing of what had been sealed up and known only to God, the author of the contents of the seals. When on earth Jesus told his disciples …
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)
Later, Jesus told his disciples …
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42)
And at Acts 1:7, Jesus told his disciples …
“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)
The future events of The Revelation By Jesus Christ That God Gave Him were known only to the Father. Even Jesus did not know and neither did the angels in heaven. When the Lamb took the scroll from his Fathers hand, he was the only one worthy to open the scroll and look at the contents; this would include the contents of the seven seals!
The seven seals in which the lamb was able to take from God’s hand and open are the events that are to unfold after Christ’s 1000-year kingdom over the earth ends. Each seal is future a time period of unspecified length. Each could span hundreds of years!
When Jesus taught “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” at Matthew 24:36 and elsewhere, he spoke of that day. Day is not a 24-hour day, but a period of time. Day is used in the same context as if one would say, “In the day of the horse and buggy” or “In my grandfather’s day.”
Here, in Chapter 6 of the revealing, we are not given the details of what is contained within each seal opening. That comes later.
For now, we are given an overview of events of what must happen before the great day of God and His Lamb’s wrath come. It will be a final day preceding the beginning of a new one.
The First Seal
The Lamb of God opens the first of the seven seals. John sees a white horse and its rider! Please pay close attention to what this rider is carrying and what he has on his head, as this will help us identify who the rider is and in what capacity he charges forth.
“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” (Revelation 6:1-2)
Firstly, white horses are usually reserved for kings. They symbolize his royalty. The rider is holding a bow, an instrument of war. The rider was given a crown. Who will give Christ his crown, his kingdom? His God! That this rider is given a crown identifies him as Christ himself as king! Please keep in mind John is seeing the future. This event has not occurred yet. Happily for us, we are allowed to see what will happen.
At Matthew 24:3, Jesus’ disciples asked him what sign (a single event) would present itself that would signal his return (as king and start of his kingdom) and the end of his age (end of his kingdom).
Jesus answers their question at Matthew 24:30 where he tells them …
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”
The sign – seen in heaven, not on earth – is Christ as king as indicated by the crown on his head!
This rider has a mission, to take what he has been given by the Creator of the heavens and the earth: The earth as his kingdom for 1000 years!
He has to remove what stands on the surface of the ground: Kingdoms of men. They all must go! He will not share his kingdom with the kingdoms of men. Too, the one who offered him all of the kingdoms of the world must be imprisoned for the exact duration of Christ’s kingdom. Yes, Satan the Devil must be imprisoned by earth’s king in those future days for 1000 years so that he will not be able to interfere with Christ’s administration. (Matthew 4:8-9; Revelation 20:7-8; Revelation 20:2-3)
So, the opening of the first seal indicates to us that Christ must have a kingdom over the earth for a time span. It must run its course and then end. His 1000 year kingdom over the earth as a very important purpose that gets all of mankind at the door of God’s kingdom. We know that this time span is 1000 years. (Revelation 20:4; Revelation 20:6-7)
Notice that nothing harmful occurs during the ride of this White horse and its rider. Why? Because this ride is a 1000 year time period: The 1000 year reign of Christ’s benevolent kingdom over the earth. Satan is locked up during this time.
The Second Seal
Notice at the opening of the second seal that another horse comes out! It should be noted that all of the horses do not come out and ride together! Each one comes out at different times!
Notice that this horse is fiery-red in color and its rider is not wearing a crown. What does this mean? That by the time this horse and rider come out, Christ’s 1000-year kingdom will have ended. This is when things take a turn for the worse for the inhabitants of the earth in those future days after Christ’s kingdom will have ended!
It should be noted that all of the horses do not come out and ride together! Each one comes out at different times! (R. Jerome Harris)
“When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.” (Revelation 6:3-4)
By the time the second seal is opened, Satan will have been released from his prison of 1000 years and goes forth to …
” … to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.” (Revelation 20:8)
Notice the reference at the opening of the second seal that “Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.”
This is what the release of Satan from his prison will lead to! Christ’s 1000 year kingdom over the earth will leave it a peaceful place to live. At the expiration of the 1000 years and the releasing of Satan upon that future society, the peace will slowly erode away!
The rider on this firey-colored horse is The Son of God. Yet here, he is not shown as a king. Why? Because his kingdom will have ended. The purpose of being given a kingdom over the earth for 1000-years fulfilled! Now, we see him in a different role. What? As God’s champion! As His Warlord! To do battle against the one who was released from his prison and who will deceive all of the nations to fight against and resist what must surely come down from heaven to the earth, God’s kingdom!
That this rider is given a large sword means he will prevail in battle.
The Third Seal
The Apostle John sees the Lamb of God open the third seal. The third living creature summons him to come and look!
“When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6)
Notice that this horse is a black horse and the rider has no crown on his head, thus indicating that Christ’s kingdom would have ended. Notice that the rider on this horse has a pair of scales in his hand.
As I have already stated, the events mentioned here occur after Christ’s one-thousand-year kingdom will have ended and Satan is released from his abyssing of a thousand years. All of the nations we know today will have long been destroyed. There will be no man-made governments. No human rule over humans. The great resurrection of all of mankind will have already taken place! All of mankind will have been raised to perfection as a result of Christ’s 1000 year kingdom over the earth. They will be at peace with one another … until … Satan is released from the Abyss and he disrupts that peace.
Therefore, something will occur in those distant future days that will affect the entire earth where the earth will not produce food as it did previously. Food shortage!
The reference “do not damage the oil and the wine!” is a warning to conservation. Not to use up too quickly basic commodities that sustain life before the food shortage ends.
There are those who say that the above reference means that the wealthy will not be impacted by a food shortage. This is not the case. Why?
Because back in ancient times and even in Jesus’ day oil and wine were not luxuries. Back then, bread, wine, and oil were ordinary staples. Oftentimes, water was not always good to drink so people would drink wine instead and they would use it for medicinal purposes.
So the warning “do not damage the oil and the wine!” is a call to be mindful of not consuming too quickly those staples that sustain life. We must keep in mind that this future time period will be completely different from what is now. It appears that a system of food harvesting and distribution will have been established during Christ’s 1000 year kingdom and no one will be wanting and no one will go hungry. When his kingdom ends and after some time, this will change.
The Fourth Seal
What follows the black horse and food shortage is Death and Hades.
“When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind 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 6:7-8)
This horse is pale in color. A color of sickness. Notice that the rider has no crown on his head, indicating that his ride goes out after Christ’s kingdom of 1000 years has ended.
Notice that the rider on this pale horse has a name, Death and Hades! You will notice in The Revelation By Jesus Christ That God Gave Him, that Death and Hades are mentioned in one breath.
Death always comes before Hades. That is why we see it written that ” Hades was following close behind him.” So who is or what is Hades? Well, when people die, where do they go? Into the grave. The Grave follows Death.
The Grave is Hades. Another name for Hades is Hell. The Grave is Hell. The Grave is not a fiery place of eternal torment. All who die, enter into Hades or Hell. Jesus, The Son of God, was no exception. When he died, he entered into his grave for three days and then his Father in heaven resurrected him. So, Jesus showed that it is possible to come out of the grave back to life again.
As a result of the ride of this pale horse and it’s rider named, Death and Hades, over one-forth of the earth’s inhabitants will be killed by sword (execution or extermination), famine, plague, and the wild beasts of the earth.
The food supplies of the earth in those future days will be so infected, it will impact the food supply of wild beasts. They will become diseased and further spread deadly viruses. It is possible that people will eat diseased meat.
The Fifth Seal
There is no horse and rider at the opening of the fifth seal. Yet, the fifth seal is also a time period of events that must pass over the earth before the final day of the end and coming down of God’s kingdom to the earth.
I find the opening of the fifth seal very interesting because something happens within this time period that will turn around what the last three horses and riders leave in their wake. Also, something occurs within this time period that will cause the slaying of many of Christ’s faithful ones at the hands of other humans!
“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?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” (Revelation 6:9-11)
During this time period of the opening of the fifth seal, John sees souls under the altar who were slain because of the word of God. Is this because of Jesus? No! This is because of a message that comes from God in those days and declared to the human society within this time period. More on this in a moment.
It appears that Satan will establish his throne (kingdom), which is the Beast during the time period of the opening of the fifth seal. His Beast will change things for the better. So much so the inhabitants in the earth in those days will declare, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?” (Revelation 13:4)
The people will willingly worship (support and give allegiance to) the Dragon (Satan) because he had given authority to the beast. (Revelation 13:4)
During that time of Satan establishing his kingdom (The Beast) over the earth in those days, the inhabitants of the entire earth will be expected to worship it, that is, support and give allegiance to it. During the time period of the fifth seal, many of Christ’s faithful ones will refuse to worship the Beast and its image and they will be executed on account of their stance.
Jesus had said at Matthew 10:21-22 …
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Thus, Jesus had warned of a future time period – before the end – where there would be some Judas Iscariot-like betrayal occurring. Imagine an entire world once united under Christ’s 1000 year kingdom, only to be deceived and subjugated under Satan’s Beastly throne. They will be loyal to the Beast and the Dragon and will betray their former Brethren who refuse to worship the Beast. I believe they will think they are doing a good thing. This will force those loyal to Christ to be discreet in their words, actions, and movements. It is within the time period of the fifth seal that they will experience what is called The Great Tribulation. If they stand firm to the end, they will be saved for entry into God’s kingdom with no further testing required.
As for those who had supported the Beast, it will be very difficult to gain entry into God’s kingdom, but possible. (More on this as I progress in this series).
The White robe each of the faithful ones who die indicates that they have proven themselves faithful and worthy eternal life in God’s kingdom when it comes down to the earth.
Hardship will intensify for the remaining faithful ones alive within the time period of the fifth seal. They will eventually be rounded up and killed too.
It will be during the time period of the fifth seal that a message will be declared throughout the entire earth that will agitate Satan’s Beastly throne and its supporters. This message comes from The Most High God that He will give to His Angel to declare. Jesus spoke of this message at Matthew 24:14 where he said …
“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.”
You will learn later that no human will be entrusted with declaring this perfect message from God. It is a message of warning and judgment to all of the inhabitants of the earth in those days.
When that message – The Gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom – is declared, who will respond favorably to it? How many will respond favorably to it? Who will reject it and remain loyal to The Beast as their mindset will be … “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?“
I will talk more about the Gospel of the Kingdom, which is yet to be declared when I get to Chapter 14.
The Sixth Seal
The time period of the fifth seal has ended. The declaration of warning and judgment declared upon Satan’s throne (The Beast) and all of its worshipers.
Visible changes are seen in Satan’s throne. There are fear and uncertainty. Once held sentiments that the beast is invincible waning. John writes …
“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called 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 their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” (Revelation 6:12-17)
There was a great earthquake. Not an earthquake and many aftershocks, but an earthquake great in magnitude. This is no literal earthquake, but a human society shaken and agitated as a result of the declaration of the “Good News of the Kingdom” message.
What a pervasive, powerful, and piercing message it will be! This message will without a doubt alert the inhabitants of the earth that something from above is coming it’s way, approaching.
That it approaches is indicated by the sun appearing to turn black like sackcloth made of goat hair. In ancient times, bags for carrying grain and other items were made with woven goat’s hair. Sackcloth was the traditional garment of mourning. Thus, no happy and secure times for Satan’s Beastly throne and its diehards.
The whole moon is observed as turning a blood red. The moon is a heavenly body and without it, no life would exist on earth. The moon raises the level of the world’s oceans towards the equator; it keeps the earth’s rotation stable; stabilizes the weather; tilts the earth’s axis to give us seasons; and, the biggest impact that the moon has on life is through tides.
The regular movement of water that exposes the land at the edge of the ocean, and then covers it again just a few hours later. This could have encouraged life to adapt and move from the oceans to land. There is so much more the moon does for earth’s benefit.
The point here is that God created the moon and placed it in its position for a purpose. He alone has control of it. That the moon is seen as blood-red is warning to the inhabitants of the earth that what approaches the earth is from God and the power of the Dragon cannot stop what approaches.
We also see “the stars in the sky fell to earth.” Well, these are not literal stars, but they are heavenly in origin. What do I mean? Well, we know that there are countless stars. Our sun is a star and it is small in comparison to many other stars. Stars are hot and if any star would literally fall out of the sky to the earth we would instantly burn away to nothing.
The stars that fall from heaven are Angels who fought alongside Satan in the war in heaven between Michael and his angels and The Dragon and his angels as described at Revelation Chapter 12:7-9. Satan and his angels will be cast down to the earth. This is what is being described as “the stars in the sky fell to earth.”
So, it will be in the time period of the opening of the sixth seal that this war in heaven will occur and Satan is once and forever cast out of the presence of God in heaven … and his angels with him.
As I write this, Satan still has access to heaven and the presence of God! Recall back in the book of Job where Satan was when he had an exchange with God over Job. Satan entered among the other angels (sons of God) before God. (Job 1:6)
That the heavens “receded like a scroll being rolled up” is not the result of nuclear detonations as many have been led to believe. Remember, we are talking about a future time period were the nations that exist today and such weapons will have been a thing of the past.
The heavens receding like a scroll being rolled up means that the Good News of the Kingdom will have been declared. No more declarations come out of heaven until Satan and what he will have established on the earth are destroyed once and forever!
We are also told that “every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Mountains are established things. Seemingly unmovable objects. The mountains referred to here are things that Satan will have established within his throne on earth; his Beast. As I mentioned previously, the inhabitants of the earth in those days will have the utmost trust and confidence in The Beast and worship (support) it. To their amazement, the so-called invincible Beast will be shaken and there will be signs of it weakening. Mountains are land-born. Islands reside on water. Water represents people. Islands are usually unmovable. Islands represent other things within Satan’s throne created by his worshipers. So the reference to Islands being removed from their places is due to the waters (people) being agitated. Confidence in each other and the things they have established will erode away.
The reference to the kings of the earth is not political Presidents and Prime Ministers of the nations. Those things will be long gone. The kings of the earth – as you will later learn – are an interesting lot. These are the men who Jesus promised will be kings and priests with him for the 1000 year duration of his kingdom on earth. (Revelation 20:6; see Revelation 5:10 and Revelation 1:5-6)
Note: I will talk about this group – The Kings of the Earth – at length later in this series. You will see that they are exactly who I say they are.
During the time period of the sixth seal, Satan will get these men – Kings of the Earth – to serve him via his Beast to battle against the Lamb. (Revelation 17:12-13)
The entire inhabited earth towards the end of the time period of the sixth seal will see utter chaos and confusion. They call out to the established things that once supported and protected them to fall on them in the sense of concealing and protecting them from the face of the one who sits on the throne (God) and from the wrath of the Lamb.
This is interesting because the inhabitants in the earth in those days will not literally see God or the Lamb, but will see or perceive that it is God’s Kingdom that approaches the earth! Why? Because the declaration of the Gospel of the Kingdom would have announced it’s coming! Imagine the fear among the unfaithful and among those who did not listen. Satan, on the other hand, has always known that his time was short. At this future point in time, the earth becomes his bunker to fight what approaches. He will have lost the battle in heaven, now the earth is his stronghold. This battle on earth will not be with human-made weapons. No! This will be a spiritual battle between two kingdoms: The one that approaches from above and the one Satan will have established on earth.
Satan will prepare those who are loyal to his Beast to battle the coming down and establishment of God’s everlasting kingdom on the earth. You will learn that this is Armageddon. Armageddon is not a war! It is a place! The place is the planet earth!
The spiritual battle to ensue will be over who is the rightful owner of the earth.
This final spiritual battle will take many years. How many, I do not know. The reference to “the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains” shows in those future days of the time period of the sixth seal, that Satan’s Beast will have structure and order. There will those who will have responsibility and authority over others; those who will have more by way of material things than others; those who are independent such as farmers, fishermen, and businessmen; those who are slaves in the sense that they work for someone. Generals! No, not military generals. These are persons who have specific responsibilities, oversight, assignments, or skills others do not have. (Food Inspector General, physicians, etc)
I do not know the exact structure of Satan’s Beastly throne. But there will be order, structure, and initially, it will be peaceful and safe and those who dwell within it, will not want to see it upset or go away.
When Satan and his angels are cast down, they get to work on the inhabitants of the earth; especially one group in particular
The time period of the opening of the sixth seal will an extremely interesting time period. A lot of things happen within it!
Not finished yet! More is yet to occur within this sixth seal time period!
Please keep in mind that none of the events of The Revelation By Jesus Christ That God Gave Him have had a start of being fulfilled. This is all future. Many hundreds of years yet future!
Also, keep in mind that the opening of the seven seals only gives us an overview of these future events. You will see later as the details of each seal will be revealed.
I will keep you informed within what seal those details belong.
Lastly, when reading The Revelation By Jesus Christ That God Gave Him, it appears that it is all over the place. It isn’t. It is written like a painter who paints the outline of his painting first and then goes in and fills in the details and colors.
So, anyone trying to read it as if it is in chronological order from Chapter 1 to Chapter 22, you will get very confused.
Next, let’s learn about another very important event that must occur within the time period of the sixth seal.