The Book of Revelation (part 15) Revelation 6 – Breaking the Seals
April 22, 2020
The Book of Revelation (part 15)
Revelation 6 – Breaking the Seals
With strange months both behind us in March, and ahead of us in April, many are wondering what the future looks like. God has graciously unveiled the future of the world to us in the book of Revelation.
We are going through the book of Revelation verse by verse on Wednesday nights. Our world is changing. Jesus’ return is soon! I want you to be informed as to what the scriptures have to say about His Second coming and what we should be doing to prepare for that day!
The book of Revelation is God coming to repossess the earth that rightfully belongs to Him, by judging nations, men, and the demonic hosts of hell that work with Lucifer to hold the earth in bondage to darkness and rebellion. The book of Revelation is God cleansing the earth of all contamination resulting from the fall of man and bringing it back to its pristine condition enjoyed before Adam’s sin.
Revelation 4 shows God as the creator, owner, and sustainer of all things. The Sovereign. The Almighty. He alone is worthy to bring fair judgments and justice into a fallen world.
Revelation 5 shows God with a scroll in His right hand, the hand of authority. The scroll is God’s title deed to the earth, He is the earth’s rightful owner and is preparing to take it back from His enemy Satan, who took the authority over it from Adam and Eve when they sinned.
A Lamb takes the scroll out of God’s hand. The scroll is a very important document, sealed with 7 seals.The person opening the scroll must have the authority to do so, and the authority to bring to pass the contents written on the inside and outside.
The scroll in God’s right hand contains what is necessary to cleanse the earth from all of the rebellion created by Satan’s reign, and deliver it to Jesus to oversee after His 2nd coming in His 1000 year reign! Then, it contains God’s plan for the eternal ages, as the New Heavens and New Earth bring the universe into balance with God’s creative and loving rule.
Today, we begin with Revelation 6.
There is an uncanny parallel between Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, which shows the opening of the scroll in God’s right hand in preparation for the return of Christ.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us a snapshot of what things will be like just before He returns, and how we can know the season of the rapture of the church, and of Jesus’ Second Coming.
Revelation 6/Matthew 24
Revelation 6:1-2 (NKJV) Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” (2) And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Revelation 6:1-2 – NLT
As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” (2) I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.
Matthew 24:1-2 – NKJV
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” [This was fulfilled in 70 AD under the Roman Emperor Titus…] (3) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Then, here is verse 25 that corresponds with Revelation 6:1-2 – Matthew 24:4-5 – NKJV
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. (5) For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
The breaking of this first seal on the scroll brings forth a rider on a white horse.
The rider represents false Christs. This rider depicts a warrior as he is carrying a bow and wearing a crown. This is none other than the anti-Christ, who is everything opposite of our Lord Jesus!
He will come as a man of peace, but later his heart will be revealed, and he will take peace away from the earth.
Some think the rider wearing the crown is Jesus, but the crown being worn by the rider is not the same as the one Jesus wears in Revelation 19:12. I believe that this rider is the antiChrist.
The word for crown (Gk stephanos) differs from the many crowns (Gk diademata) of Jesus in Rev 19:12. (HCSB Study Bible)
The breaking of this first seal sets in motion Daniel’s 70th week. We read in Daniel 9:27:
“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.”
Daniel 9 reveals 490 years of Israel’s history, from the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem after the Jews’ captivity to Babylon until the second coming of Christ. 483 of those years have already come to pass, and 7 of those 490 years remain to be fulfilled. We call this Daniel’s 70th week, because each week is actually a week of years, or 7 years. There are 7 years of Jewish history yet in our future.
According to Daniel 9:27, this last 7-year period will begin with the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and their surrounding enemies. That’s the next current event we should look for. Once that treaty is signed, there will be 7 years before Jesus returns in His second coming!
I have believed for all of my Christian life that we believers would be raptured to heaven, when this treaty is signed and the 7 years of Daniel 9:27 begin. But I have seen new light from the scriptures, as I will explain in detail as we move through this teaching. I hope we are raptured at that time, but if this treaty is signed, and we are still here, I want to show you what the Bible clearly reveals will transpire.
This first seal being opened begins the reign of the anti-Christ, who will be a political leader hailed as finally bringing peace to the Middle East by bringing Israel into a peace agreement with its hostile Arab neighbors.
This may or may not revolve around the creation of a Palestinian State. Time will tell. This peace agreement could be reached in the next few months, or it may be a few years in the making.
AntiChrist comes to power here with the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and its enemies.
Revelation 6:3-4 – NKJV
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Revelation 6:3-4 – NLT
When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.
Matthew 24:6-7a – NKJV
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
The breaking of the second seal on the scroll reveals a rider on a red horse, which depicts war coming to the earth.
Under the rule of this peace treaty created by a leader we call antiChrist, war will break out on earth.
It may be contained in the Middle East, or it may spread to other continents. Keep in mind that the Bible is an Eastern book, and these events are dealing with Israel and the surrounding nations. It remains to be seen whether or not or how much these events affect the USA.
With the interconnectedness of the world in the 21st century, we in America could certainly be affected financially, politically, and militarily by the war that occurs.
Revelation 6:5-6 – NKJV
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
Revelation 6:5-6 – NLT
When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. (6) And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.”
Matthew 24:7b – NKJV
And there will be famines,
When Jesus breaks the 3rd seal, a rider on a black horse appears. This depicts famine and inflation due to scarcity of food.
Olives and grapes (olive oil and wine) are staple goods in the Middle East, so verse 6 reveals that staple goods will be available.
This famine and subsequent price inflation are a result of war breaking out under the rule of this leader called antiChrist.
This may be more prominent in the Middle East or it may spread to affect other areas of the world. Again, we may watch this play out in real time.
Revelation 6:7-8 (NKJV)
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
Revelation 6:7-8 – NLT
When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” 8 I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.
Matthew 24:7c-8 – NKJV
…pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
The breaking of the 4th seal reveals a rider on a pale green horse, which depicts disease and death spread due to war and the sepsis coming from dead bodies.
Notice that this scripture says that these riders are given authority over ¼ of the earth. It doesn’t say that ¼ of the people on earth died. This ¼ of the earth could be the Middle East and surrounding area only. Again, we may see this play out in our lifetime.
Revelation 6:9-11 – NKJV
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Revelation 6:9-11 – NLT
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. (10) They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” (11) Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters — their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred — had joined them.
Matthew 24:9 – NKJV
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
This corresponds with the breaking of the 5th seal in Revelation 6:9, when John saw those who are martyred for their faithfulness to Jesus.
This begins the Great Tribulation, and actually begins after the antiChrist reveals himself 3 ½ years into Daniel’s 70th week…
Revelation 6:9-11 – NLT
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters — their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred — had joined them.
5th Seal – reveals martyrs who die for their faithfulness to Jesus and to His word.
The persecution of believers is already beginning worldwide … this is the spirit of antiChrist that is already at work.
There is an eerie parallel here to Islam and its Jihad war against the infidel.
The 5th seal is the time when the antiChrist breaks His covenant with Israel and shows who he really is.
This is 3½ years into Daniel’s 70th week of 7 years.
This is the beginning of the great tribulation.
Matt 24:10-14 – NKJV
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
When the antiChrist comes to power, lawlessness will take over.
World evangelism will be in high gear!
Then 3½ years into his agreement with Israel, he will break his word, and turn against Israel, showing his true heart …
Matthew 24:15 – NKJV
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
This is mentioned in Daniel 9:27.
Daniel 9:27 – NIV
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
Daniel 11:31 – NIV
His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – NKJV
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
On December 16, 167 BC, a Syrian ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Jewish temple by sacrificing a pig to Zeus on the Jewish Altar. He was a forerunner of what the antiChrist will do…
This will signal the beginning of the great tribulation, a time of great persecution of Jews and of Christians …
Keep reading in Matthew ….
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
Revelation 6:12-17 – NKJV
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and 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?”
Revelation 6:12-17 – NLT
I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. 15 Then everyone — the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person — all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”
Matthew 24:29 reveals the opening of the 6th seal on the scroll in Revelation 6:12-13.
Matthew 24:29-31 – NKJV
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Again, this refers to the cosmic disturbances mentioned in Revelation 6 …
The 6th seal reveals cosmic disturbances that occur and reveal the beginning of the Day of the Lord, or the wrath of God being poured out on His enemies.
This occurs during the “great tribulation” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24. The cosmic disturbances occur and actually cut short the terrible things that occur under antiChrist and his rule.
This is after the signing of the 7-year peace treaty with Israel and its neighbors, and is after the antiChrist turns against Israel.
The cosmic disturbances tell us that the rapture will occur very soon.
Here is a popular belief that is NOT true: that we will not know when the season of the rapture will be. It could happen any time.
Very clearly in scripture from Jesus and John we are told that cosmic disturbances will precede the rapture.
Scripture for cosmic disturbances
9 Behold, the day of the Lord comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. 11 “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
Joel 2:30-32 – NKJV
And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 32 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
Joel 3:14-16 – NKJV
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. 16 The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Acts 2:19-21 – NKJV
I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (21) And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The cosmic disturbances will tell us that the rapture of the church is coming soon. The church will be removed from the earth before the wrath of God is poured out during what the Bible terms The Day of the Lord.
And, the Day of the Lord will not begin until the 7th seal is opened and the 1st trumpet judgment begins in Revelation 8.
1. Are you living in such a way that, regardless of what changes you see, you know that God will provide for you and will give you direction?
2. Are you actively praying for God’s Kingdom to come, and for God’s will to be done?