The Book of Revelation (part 16)
April 29, 2020
The Book of Revelation (part 16)
Revelation 6 – Breaking the Seals (Cont’d)
The Sixth Seal and the Rapture
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.
The last few weeks:
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.
We are in Revelation 6, and are going through the opening of the 7 seals on the scroll on God’s right hand.
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.
So we are looking at both Revelation 6 and Matthew 24 as we look at the seal being broken.
Revelation 6:1-11 – 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.
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
(3) 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.
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
(5) 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.”
Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
(7) 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.
Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs
(9) 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.
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 antiChrist, who is everything opposite of our Lord Jesus!
This first seal being opened begins the reign of the antiChrist. We looked at Daniel 9:27 last week and saw that there 7 years left of the 490 years that God showed Daniel of Israel’s future.
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.
When Jesus breaks the 3rd seal, a rider on a black horse appears. This depicts famine and inflation due to scarcity of food.
This famine and subsequent price inflation are a result of war breaking out under the rule of this leader called antiChrist.
The breaking of the 4th seal reveals a rider on a pale green horse, which depicts disease and death spreading due to war and the sepsis coming from dead bodies.
5th Seal – reveals martyrs who died for their faithfulness to Jesus and to His word.
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.
Matthew 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.
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),
Matthew 24:16-28 – NKJV
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.
Tonight, we continue with the breaking of the 6th Seal:
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. It is 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
Isaiah 13:9-11 – NKJV
(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.
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.
Here are New Testament References to what we call the Rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Passion Translation)
Beloved brothers and sisters, we want you to be quite certain about the truth concerning those who have passed away, so that you won’t be overwhelmed with grief like many others who have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who died while believing in him. (15) This is the word of the Lord: we who are alive in him and remain on earth when the Lord appears will by no means have an advantage over those who have already died, for both will rise together.
(16) For the Lord himself will appear with the declaration of victory, the shout of an archangel, and the trumpet blast of God. He will descend from the heavenly realm and command those who are dead in Christ to rise first. (17) Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord. (18) So encourage one another with these truths.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 (NLT)
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. (51) But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! (52) It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. (53) For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
John 14:1-3 (NLT)
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. (2) There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (3) When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 (NKJV)
The Day of the Lord
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NLT)
Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. (2) For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. (3) When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
(4) But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. (5) For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. (6) So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. (7) Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. (8) But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
(9) For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. (10) Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. (11) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Revelation 7: 9-17 (NKJV)
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (10) and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (11) All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, (12) saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” (13) Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” (14) And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. (16) They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; (17) for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
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?