Revelation

Chapter 6



In this chapter, the first of the seven seals is about to be opened. The woes of those seals, because of the wrath of God, are a series of events symbolically portrayed to John. Again the pictures described are not literal pictures but representations of events that in our time have either happened already or are about to happen.

It should be noted that Christ is the one who renders or administers this wrath of His Father.


    The prophecies related in Revelation are not new prophecies.   They are prophecies spoken of in part or in whole throughout the old and New Testament.  What is new in Revelation are the details concerning these events.

    "Mary is going to make us breakfast tells us we will have a breakfast.  However, it does not tell us what that breakfast will consist of; eggs, oatmeal, or corn flakes.  Revelation not only tells us what will be on the menu but how it will be cooked and why.

    To Daniel, Isaiah, and the prophets of old Christ was a future event.  They knew little of the details concerning the life of the Messiah.  For them, It was all to come.  John on the other hand was well acquainted with all the details of the life of Jesus on earth.  To John it had begun in his lifetime and, in fact, was already in his past.  Since then almost two thousand years have gone by and we in the present can recognize in our past what John did not live to see.  Our past was for John, future events.  However, much of what John saw, as future events, has now become our past.

    Just plain common sense tells one that the Wrath of the Creator of the universe is not something one can ignore or take lightly.  The wrath of God forebodes dire penalties.  Yet, God never sets a trial up without giving us a way out.

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it. (ASV)

This is why Christ has told us:

Matt 24:21

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (KJV)

Matt 24:22

And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (ASV)

[Notice above we have used two different versions of the Bible to relate the two scriptures. One might find debatable semantics of a word or two but the message itself remains exactly as it was intended in both versions.]

That way out is faith. Faith in the very Lamb who carries out this wrath of God predicted in Revelations.

    So the wrath begins with Christ holding the book in his hand and the events that were to prophets like Daniel and Isaiah the future are initiated by the lamb breaking the first of the seals. John relates what he hears as "A voice like thunder" in the opening verse.  The creator with the thunderous voice of one of the beasts commands this event.  John cannot ignore this thunderous voice.

Rev 6:1-17

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!" (NIV)

    Why is it, one of the four beasts that call for us to come and see? Because these four beasts are symbolically related to the earth and the events about to happen concerns all mankind.  It concerns the creatures of the earth and the beasts are the cherubim angels assigned to manage these earthly functions; be that nothing more significant than a sparrow falling to earth or such a milestone occurrence as was about to be related.  That the first beast speaks with a voice of thunder means it is a direct order from Jehovah just as if Jehovah himself were speaking it.  These four beasts represent the four angels that oversee the earth.

The first seal is broken and as the scroll unfolds this is the picture John sees:

Rev 6:2

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. (NIV)

    We know the color white is a perfect blending of all the colors in the spectrum of our vision, and stands for purity in the Bible.  Why?  Because if there were too much of one color, blue for example, than the color white would have a bluish cast to it.  If this were so then the white would not be pure white.  So white is pure only when there is a perfect blend of all the colors of the spectrum which makes up white.

    Why then a white horse?  Are horses in heaven?  Of course not but remember John is not seeing the real heaven.  He is seeing metaphorical creatures that make up a symbolic explanation of real events that for John were to come.   This being so, we see the horse has upon his back a rider, bearing a crown and a bow.  The rider of this white horse is obviously of royalty for he is given a crown.   Since the Greek word "stephenos" is used here for crown, it means a crown of victory.  This can be verified in Esther.

Esth 6:8

Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal, which is set upon his head: (KJV)

    This royal rider, spoken of in the above scripture is obviously a very special rider.

Esth 6:9

And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. (KJV)

    Now Esth 6: 8,9 above have nothing to do with Rev 6: 2.  The scriptures above are used only to convey the fact that the horse is part of a royal person’s apparel.  The horse is also equated Biblically with strength.   Look up the word horse in a concordance and you will see what is meant. A horse also symbolizes strength in battle.

Job 39:19. Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? (KJV)

Prov 21:31. The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. (KJV)

    So we see that this royal rider on the white horse (pure strength in battle) is sent forth to the earth [which is why one of the four beasts calls our attention to it] with victory absolutely assured for the rider already wears the crown of victory.  The crown not only tells us this but the fact that he is given a bow confirms it.  In ancient times, archers were the backbone of an army.  All archers were powerful men.  They had to be!  Try pulling a fifty-pound test bow sometime and you will see why we say that.  [By the way a bow and arrow are the same weapon.  One without the other is, pretty much, useless.]  Nonetheless, let us see how the Bible uses the bow and arrow symbolically.

Gen 49:24

But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel: (KJV)

Psalms 64: 7

But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. (KJV)

2 Kings 13: 17. And he said, open the window eastward; and he opened it. Then Elisha said shoot; and he shot. And he said Jehovah's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Syria; for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou hast consumed them. (ASV)

    So, we can see the bow and arrow are used as symbols of God's power in doing battle with an enemy. Rev 6: 2 is telling us Jehovah has sent a rider forth, arrayed with what he needs to do battle with those that oppose Him.  However, it is not just a battle this rider is charged with; which is confirmed by Christ Himself:

Matt 10:34

Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (ASV)

    "He is sent forth conquering and to conquer." "Conquering and to conquer." (KJV)  This is not a redundant statement.  With the lamb, who is God's only begotten son, appearing on earth, as a human being, Christ begins His process of conquering.  He began by collecting those with the right heart to follow him.  In the end, at his Second Coming, he will conquer all, which will include eliminating Satan.  Hence, the words "Conquering ... and to conquer."

    He began by explaining that through grace we were free of the rigid condemnation of the law. We were not free from the law itself but the very stringent condemnation of the law.

    We must digress here to explain the difference between the law as given to the house of Israel and the law as it pertains to the Christian.  There were over four hundred laws given to Israel.  God was saying to the Israelites obey all these laws and I will make you "A holy nation of priests." (Exodus 19:6)

    However, the law as given to Moses for the Israelites was extremely rigid.  If you broke one you had broken them all.  That is what Paul means when he speaks of the condemnation or curse of the law.  It was rigidly enforced, No variation from the laws written by Gods own hand in stone; witnessed by the eyes of Moses on the mountain.  Just the same, God knew mankind would have a tough time abiding by these laws especially in a world ruled by Satan.  So as part of the law, he established atonement days.  Days set aside where forgiveness for breaking a law would be allowed. Even these days had laws one had to follow to be granted that forgiveness.  But with it all there was still ... one law missing.  A law predestined to follow at a given time.  The atonement days merely foreshadowed the establishment of that final law promised by God:

Jer 31:31

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (KJV)

Jer 31:32

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (KJV)

Jer 31:33

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (KJV)

    To understand a law we must use our mind or brains.  Just the same, the desire to follow that law must come from our hearts.

   In the last verse above, God is referring to his new or spiritual house of Israel. That day arrived for mankind when the Son of God drew his first breath as a human baby.  For with that first breath came the final law ... the law of Grace.  Christ himself confirmed this when he said:

Matt 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. (ASV)

    The definition of fulfill is to complete.  With Christ came grace the final law completing the law through Christ as the eternal spiritual high priest.  The new covenant, for the new spiritual Israel [which as a Christian you become a citizen of] now meant that if you broke one of the laws Christ could instantly forgive that infraction in acknowledgement of all the laws you had been honoring. You need not follow a ritual of sacrifice to atone for that sin all you need do is have a sincere desire to be forgiven that sin.  To repent the action that brought about the sin.

    God wiped away laws that could not be followed after the destruction of the temple.  Not by changing them or erasing them but by compiling them into what we call the golden rules.  Love God and do unto others, as you would have others do to you.

Matt 5:18

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. (ASV)

Matt 5:19

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (ASV)

Matt 22:40

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

The law is, for most people, a very confusing subject.   The reason for this is religion teaches that Christ canceled the law and we no longer have to be concerned with it.  This is not only wrong but an outright lie.   Simple logic tells us that one cannot love his neighbor if he is committing adultery with that neighbor’s wife.  This is true of murder, theft etc.   Therefore, Christ said:

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (KJV)

But since we mentioned adultery let us, use adultery to show how Christ extended grace, to an adulterous woman, which may help explain how the law applies to us as Christians.

In chapter 8 of John, we are told of this incident which we shall give here directly from the word.

John 8:4-6

4. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6. This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Twice the scriptures say Christ wrote on the ground.  What was he writing?   Most likely the sins each elder was guilty of, as that elder stepped up to cast the first stone.  Which seems to be verified in verse 9 below?  That was the way a stoning was conducted. The eldest elder threw the first stone then the next etc.   When the elders had let fly their stones, the rest threw stones as a group.

John 8:8-11

8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?

11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (KJV)

    Now let us look at the point of this event.  Christ knew that under the law she was to be stoned, for the law clearly stated "Thou shalt not commit adultery"  Yet, under the law there had to be two witnesses to condemn her to death.  Although there was no man left to condemn her there were still two witnesses present when the accusers had left.  Those two were God and Christ, for they both knew she was guilty.  Christ therefore could have ignored the incident and left her to the punishment prescribed by the law, or, since Jesus was without sin Christ could have cast the first stone.  Instead, notice exactly what Jesus asked her. "Hath no man condemned thee?"  When she replied "No Lord" Christ exercised the final law he had brought with him. GRACE! For his next words are "…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (KJV)

    Notice in the entire event above, the woman, did not, confess to sin, she did not plead for mercy, nor did she show a contrite heart.  In fact she uttered only two words, "No Lord". Yet by his words "…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (KJV)  we know that Jesus knew she was guilty.  Christ did not change the law by this nor did he alter it by one jot or tittle.   Are we sure of this?  Well listen to what Jesus tells us in the 15th chapter of John.

John 15:10

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (KJV)

    As has been said the Law as given to the house of Israel was extremely stringent. Yet, Jesus observed it to the letter.  The law was totally unyielding! It was stringent because if you broke one law then you had broken them all.   However, if you accept Jesus as the Son of God you immediately fall under Grace and under the law of grace administered by our High Priest, Jesus can instantly forgive.

How simple!   How grand!   How magnificent!

Now let us get back to this first rider in Revelation.

    Understanding the above makes it crystal clear why only Christ possesses the requirements to be this rider.  It also makes it clear when this rider began his journey of conquering.  It started the day he was born as Jesus of Nazareth.  To Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, the people and prophets of old, the birth of Jesus had not yet occurred in their time.  It was, to them, a joyful future event.   But to John the birth of the Messiah had already occurred during his lifetime.   To us this rider appeared on earth almost two thousand years ago.  To us, this symbolic rider galloped through our past and on into our present; he is still riding.   God’s son is still symbolically mounted.  Still symbolically galloping through our history, ever present.  The glorious rider appeared on earth in our past.   He is here in our present and we can be sure he will be here in our future.

    Again, we are confronted with time and the difference between how Jehovah views it and how we see it.  Our view is past present and future.  The creator’s view is like a huge circle.  Since the seals were pre-ordained, they are part of that circle which, like any circle, has no beginning or end. This is why Enoch and Elijah could receive the benefits of eternal life from that grace, long before the Messiah appeared on earth as a male infant.  It is why the law was so stringent.   The law for sinners would not be relaxed until the anointed horn or his salvation appeared as an infant in a manger.

    Also again, these are symbolic figures.  Christ was not born riding on a white horse.  But he WAS born perfect.  He was prepared to do what his father wanted him to do.  He did come to do battle for He told us so in the following verse.  Let us examine that verse to see what he meant.

Matt 10:34

Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    The Greek word used here for sword here is "machaira".   Its literal translation is a short sword or knife.  Metaphorically an "instrument of a magistrate or a judge."  If the judge pointed the sword of justice at you then you were judged guilty.  If the handle faced you then you were innocent.  That it is used here in this metaphorical manner is easy to discern.

    Christ killed no one.  Christ would not allow his disciples to use a literal sword even to protect or defend him.  When Peter cut off the ear of one of those that came to arrest Jesus; Christ stopped him and repaired the ear damaged by Peter's blade.  Clearly showing that physical battle is not what Christ was talking about.  

    So then, what is this sword spoken of in the above verse?    It is the double edged sword of truth that kills lies, distortion, and man made doctrines that lead one away from Jehovah and the kingdom given to his one and only son Jesus Christ.

    On the other hand, Christ also came as a magistrate of the law.   He... IS the one that does the judging.  He has and is doing just that.   He does this with this symbolic double-edged sword of truth that pierces right to the heart of any matter.

Let us proceed with Revelation.

    Still, John is no sooner anxiously starring at the splendor of the first rider than another is called to his attention.

Rev 6:3

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" (NIV)

The commands of "Come" were not just to the riders but to John, to come and see for himself what was charging forth from the opening of these seals.

Rev 6:4

Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. (NIV)

    Man has been slaughtering one another since Cain killed Abel.   It is not a new event on the surface of the earth.  What is new is ... this rider is under the direction of the creator.  This rider manipulates the powers of the earthly kingdoms to make war on one another.  This in itself is not new; God has done this repeatedly throughout the Old Testament.  Nonetheless, it is the first time God does this to accomplish his wrath against man and his symbolic chosen people the house of Israel.

    If one studies the forces that came into play bringing about the conditions for the first world war it becomes plain that mankind was in no way in control of what was happening.  As an example of what I mean.  The Kaiser and the King of England were cousins.  The Kaiser wrote letters to the King of England imploring him to do something to stop the impending war.  The King of England replied with his own pleas for the Kaiser to do something.  The truth is there was nothing either one, alone or together, could do to stop the flood of events that lead directly to assassination of the Austrian Prince that triggered the bloodshed of the years of 1914 to 1918.

    The First World War and the Second World War are really the same war. Any good historian will agree this is so.  There was an armistice in Europe in 1918, which lasted roughly twelve years.  Then in Asia, the Japanese began their attacks on China.  No one surrendered in 1918 they, in effect, merely took a break.

    When Hitler became the chancellor of Germany in the thirties the rider of this second horse from the realm of heaven brought all his force to bear.   The result was a true world war.  No nation on earth escaped its repercussions, not even the ones that were supposed to be neutral.  Canada for the first time in its history declared and fought a war against another nation, Germany.   The ruler of Japan, Herohito, was without doubt the most powerful individual ruler of any nation.  So much so, the Japanese people considered Herohito to be a living god.  This was so strongly embedded in and believed by Japanese people that they would overt their eyes in front of him for fear of going blind.

    The people believed that to die as a warrior for the emperor and Japan was the greatest feat one could attain.  Yet, this all-powerful emperor, who did not condone or want war, was powerless to stop his countries march of conquest that lead to their destruction.  Why?

Eph 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual (hosts) of wickedness in the heavenly (places). (ASV)

    Here this horseman, sent from God, is using Satan's own forces against him.  The forces Satan has so carefully instituted over centuries.   Greed, envy, lusts for power etc.  Satan is therefore powerless, completely helpless; to stop his own system from being used by this horseman from heaven to create the wrath that is the beginning of Satan’s own doom.  How ironic!  How justifiable!  HOW MAGNIFICENT OF OUR CREATOR!

We now reach the next seal to be broken.

Rev 6:5

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. (NIV)

    Now the third rider gallops forth against the earth. In his hand, he is carrying a pair of balances. Some Biblical versions state its scales he is holding.   Both are correct for they indicate a form of portioning out allotments such as a measuring cup used in cooking.  What then is this rider measuring out?  Clearly, it is famine.  Here it is useful to further explain how Jehovah has and is using Satan's own forces to accomplish the purposes of the divine wrath.

    Famine is not knew on the surface of the earth although there is more than enough land and know how to bring it to a halt.  As an example of what I mean the United States is known as the breadbasket of the world, yet there are children in this country that die from starvation each year.

    Places like Ethiopia have turned forests into deserts.  Pleas to save the children are seen daily on television with an abundance of funds sent in.   Relief in the form of food and clothing and medicine has been sent. Just the same the Ethiopian government, due to political factions and other unjustified reasons, fails and even hinders its distribution.

    Hungry people, to plant crops, are chopping rain forests out of existence.  The problem with this is the ground is only good for one or two crops and then the ground becomes useless for planted crops; which necessitates more forest destruction.  By the way, once a rain forest is destroyed it is gone forever.   It will not reproduce itself.  For the ground that will not support produce, will no longer support a forest either.  All of this is brought about because greed, poverty, along with a host of other undesirable human traits have, down through the centuries, have always been very useful tools for Satan.  Now that the wrath being brought about by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, Satan is caught in his own web of misery, which he has been so carefully exploiting.

Why are we sure the scales represent famine? Because of the next verse!

Rev 6:6

Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!" (NIV)

    It may be hard to relate to famine especially when we live in a land of plenty such as the United States.  However, famine is running rampant throughout the world, more so than at any other time in history.  As a young boy (Here in the USA) I do not remember homeless people sleeping in the streets.  There probably were homeless people about but I never saw any.  Yet, a youngster of today, in any major city, can hardly avoid them.

    Why are the oil and wine stipulated for protection?  Jehovah has always used oil for anointing. Wine was often used for healing.  God's wrath, as we noted in the beginning of Revelations, had to come about.  John was told these things must take place.  But God's wrath is not endless.  It will come to a halt when its prescribed time has been completed, at which time healing will begin.

Rev 6:7

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!"

    Something else about Gods wrath should be pointed out here as this living creature or cherub angel calls forth the final horseman.  God’s wrath has been tempered beforehand.  We know this from other scriptures but also from the next to gallop forth, although this forth horseman sounds like the worst of them all.

Rev 6:8

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. (NIV)

    Now the forth rider is clearly labeled death.  But notice it says, "Power was given unto them", THEM ... this scripture, in part, is a summation of the effects of the four riders.  Yet there is something very restricting about their ride.  They are sent forth to kill with war, starvation, pestilence and what have you; but these riders although given power over the whole earth can, by their efforts, only consume one fourth of the population.  God's wrath, by his own design, is limited to twenty five percent of the earth.  Would you like to hazard a guess at how many people died because of the first and second world wars?  Hint: Almost 20 million people died from influenza during what we call the First World War.  Stalin, the dictator of the USSR, murdered 20 million Russians, his own people, in a purge.   Hitler in his death camps alone slaughtered 12 million people. Half of which were Jews.  No one knows the number of Asians, particularly in China, the flag bearing the rising sun destroyed.  There is no real way of determining the exact amount of deaths due to this war predicted by Christ on the Mount of Olives two thousand years ago in Matthew 24 or Luke 21.  We may not have the precise number of dead due to these wars but you can bet your last breath Jehovah does and the time for Gods wrath has not finished yet.  Why is that being said so positively?

    When Christ was alive on this earth as a human being, the apostles asked him what would be the sign of his return and the end of this system of things.

Matt 24:3

And as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what (shall be) the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (ASV)

The Diaglott in the above verse states it as "the consummation of the age."

(Normally when the Bible refers to the earth it is speaking of the globe; the planet. When it refers to the world, it is usually talking about the nations, powers or system of things inhabiting the earth.)

Ps 90:2

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (ASV)

Notice: "The earth AND the world."

    If you read the twenty forth chapter of Matthew, you will see that Christ answers their question. This answer is of extreme interest because in the stream of time, throughout the Bible, it has significant meaning. Just to punctuate what He was telling them Christ begins In Matt 24:6 by stating:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for (these things) must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. (ASV)

    Christ is telling us that wars between men, as such, have no special significance to the Gospel. However, in the next two verses he stresses the beginning of the time of the end by pointing at a world war.

Matt 24:7

(ASV For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places.)

Matt 24:8

But all these things are the beginning of travail. (ASV)

The Diaglott states it as "A beginning of sorrows."

    Notice that Christ is specifically pointing to this worldwide clash as the beginning of the time of the end.  Since this is only the beginning that means there is more to follow.

    So, what is so special about this war amongst mankind that Christ is specifically pointing to it? The answer to this is it is not like any other war between men.  It is the conflict brought about because of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.  THE BEGINNING OF GOD’S WRATH.  These four angels representing the four beasts use Satan's own forces to begin Satan's own destruction, And Satan is powerless, absolutely helpless, to do anything to halt it.  As was said before how ironic. How Magnificent!  God has, in effect, caused Satan to shoot himself with his own gun.  Who but the Creator could do such a thing?  Who but the Creator would have even thought of such a thing?

    You might also note that the "holocaust" instituted by the Nazis during that, worldwide conflict was aimed directly at the House of Israel of old, the scattered Jewish nation.  The nation that had been warned time and time again that this wrath was coming, just as all other nations, through the word of God, had also been warned of its coming.  Again this was a Biblical prophecy for the future to those apostles who asked the question.  It was fulfilled at its appointed time and is now part of our past.  Just as in the opening of Matthew 24 Christ predicted the Temple was to be destroyed leaving not one stone upon another.

[People point to what is called the Wailing Wall and state it still stands.  However, the Wailing Wall is not part of Temple but what is left of the platform.  When Herod rebuilt the Temple, he had to do so according to the dimensions laid down by God.  There were no dimensions stated for a platform.   There was no platform mentioned in the Bible, in connection with the Temple.   Since this was the case Herod decided to build a huge platform covering thirty-five acres.  None the less the platform is not, and never was, part of the Temple.   Today, just as Christ said, there is not one stone upon another left of the Temple.]

    There is one more point to be mentioned about this prediction of a war involving the whole world.  Bible commentators who often point to other wars in other eras mostly back in the time of John.  To do this you must ignore the prophecies of Daniel concerning the time of the end.  This is particularly true when you realize that Christ is specifically mentioning Daniel's prophecies at Matt 24:15, concerning the end times.

    Well then, one might say the time for this should be easy to calculate and they are right:              IT IS EASY TO CALCULATE.

    In the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had concerning the great tree, God through Daniel explained that seven times would pass over the stump of the tree.  The times are seven years with each day representing a year.  The Hebrew year was 360 days long.  A year of 360 days is calculated from Noah’s time in the ark.   Seven times 360 equals 2520 days.  A day for year makes that 2520 years which begins with the fall of the temple in the year 607 BC.  Subtracting 607 years from 2520 gives us 1913.  However, we moved from BC to AD during that time.  Since there was never a year zero,  we therefore have to add one year making the Biblical date for this tribulation Christ was speaking of to start in … 1914.  To make it even more precise the Jewish year began in the fall.  The First World War began in October 1914.  As my father use to say … "Son of Gun; God was right again." This never surprised my father and it should not surprise any of us that things happen, exactly on the schedule, God has decreed and dictated.

    Now what has been said above has been said before in this study of Revelation.  It has been repeated here because of its importance in relation to prophecy as dictated through Revelation.

    However, now that the four horsemen have been loosed upon the world, the Lamb opens the next seal, which deals with a different subject.

Rev 6:9

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. (NIV)

"I saw under the altar the souls of them slain for the word of God." (KJV)

Obviously, this is referring to the resurrected martyrs who accepted death rather than give up or alter the word of God or stop preaching the testimony they had been given to spread.

Acts 5:29-32

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (KJV)

    The above verses were said by Peter to the Sahandred who had arrested him and the other apostles for preaching the gospel. Peters answer did not go down well with the Sahandred for they immediately plotted the deaths of the apostles.


Acts 5:33
33    When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
(KJV)

   Because of these acts by the world against the annointed of God, they implore the creator:

Rev 6:10

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?" (NIV)

    At face value, this appears they are demanding vengeance for themselves. Yet, as true Christians they would have long forgiven those that acted against them.  Also, they are under the altar of God. They are home.  Protected, cherished as part of the family of God.  Nothing can again harm them in any way, so why are they seeking vengeance?

    They are seeking vengeance not for their own sake but for their God.   They know it was not for themselves they were killed.  They were martyred for the word of God.  Murdered for the Gospel that Christ had brought to them.  They know God demands retribution for the murderous acts against them.  Actions that were, in reality, against their God, against his word as well as against his Son.  They also know that this vengeance is due and belongs to God. 

Deut 32:35

Vengeance is mine, and recompense, At the time when their foot shall slide: For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things that are to come upon them shall make haste. (ASV)

Deut 32:41

If I whet my glittering sword, And my hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine adversaries, And will recompense them that hate me. (ASV)

    Even so, the martyrs are told to wait a little longer.  For even as the Wrath of God begins mankind in general cannot see it.

2 Pet 3:3-5

3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: (KJV)

Notice "For this they are willingly ignorant" People in general would rather let someone else tell them religious platitudes then look themselves for what God has so patiently explained in His word.

"The martyrs are told to wait a little longer" Even as the wrath progresses we are told in the next scripture of Rev 6 that there are yet those that will die for the word and their Lord. This scripture tells us this wrath did not end with the conclusion of the world wars. Just as Christ told us in Matt 24 this was but the beginning of the pangs of sorrow.

Rev 6:11

Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. (NIV)

    There are, true Christians who feel God has assigned a given number of martyrs to exist.  In other words, God predestined a given number to be slaughtered by Satan’s forces. Why?  God’s wrath is not aimed at his faithful followers it is aimed at those that will not listen to reason so carefully laid down in his word.  In fact, within the framework of reason God has said just the opposite.

Isa 1:18-20

"Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.

19. "If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land;

20. "But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (NAS)

    The answer to this question again centers on time.  The time God has allotted to his wrath.  God knows that although his faithful servants will eat the best of the land, but until He changes the system of things, they will also come under the condemnation of the world.  Christ made a point of this in John chapter 15.

John 15:17-19

17. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (KJV)

    This hatred by the world manifested itself in martyrs such as Christians being feed to lions and other wild beasts in arenas during the Roman rule.   It manifested itself in many other ways to numerous to go into here.  None the less this was not because God desired it or ordained it or because he set a given number of those that would endure this, but because it was a natural outcome of the madness inflicted by Satan and his demons.  This is why we are told:

Rev 14:12-13

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

13. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." (NIV)

    Which is exactly what happens, for these saints spoken of in Rev 6:11 are given white robes and told to rest until the time allotted for Gods wrath to be completed.  It is therefore not a given number of dead that is important here but a given span of time in which God knows there will be other martyrs who will die in the Lord.

    The word patience by the way appears seven times in Revelation and takes on a much more meaningful definition than what appears in Webster’s dictionary.

    It is at this point in Revelation, John now observes Christ as he breaks the next of the seven seals. A seal, heralding the final phase of Gods wrath.

Rev 6:12

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, (NIV)

    At first glance, this sounds terrible doesn’t it?  But the truth is it may be horrendous news for the Satan’s world but it is great news for the family of God.  News directly and immediately effecting those in heaven and those on earth.  Even though, this is where the patience of the saints or the family of God is really tested.  It is also the reason the saints resurrected to heaven were told they must wait a little longer. 

    Before we start to find the scriptures that explain all this let us put verse 12 and verse 13 together. As they were intended when John wrote them. The comma after "Blood red," in verse 12 along with verse 13 starting with "and", in lower case, clearly mandate both verses being part of the same thought.

Rev 6:13

and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

    Let us remind ourselves this is all symbolic language.  The seal is broken and the result is a great earthquake.  What is this symbolic earthquake... symbolic of?

    To begin with notice the scriptures are referring to "A great earthquake." Singular!  One great earthquake!  Earthquakes in general are big news but not rare events, although they have become more prevalent in our time.   The question here is how could one earthquake effect the whole world in such a totally disastrous manner.  If one were to SPECULATE it could be said that an earthquake that would destroy New York City, would disrupt the financial status of the whole world. {New York City ... is ... near a fault over which sits a nuclear fission plant.}

    However, to speculate in such a manner would mean that in the middle of opening the seals we have suddenly changed from symbolic meanings to literal interpretation.  If this were the case than Rev 6:13 would render the rest of the scriptures as meaningless.  If the literal stars of heaven fell to the earth, aside from being a physical impossibility, they would literally swallow up the earth. The earth would simply no longer exist.  All the earth and all the flesh on it would disappear.   We know this is not going to happen because Jesus has told us those days would be shortened, and for precisely that reason.

Matt 24:22

And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (ASV)

So one great "literal" earthquake is not what the scriptures are speaking of here.  The use of the word "Earthquake" in this text is symbolic of shaking up world governments.  As an example of what is meant; the USSR plagued the world with strife and torment for roughly eighty years.   Then one day the world woke up to find the USSR no longer existed.  Within a weeks time it was gone.

In checking a concordance under the word "Nations" one can find over thirty scriptures applicable to Rev 6: 12 The following are just some of them.

Ps 59:8 But thou, O Jehovah, wilt laugh at them; Thou wilt have all the nations in derision. (ASV)

Ps 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the nations, And punishments upon the peoples; (ASV)

Isaiah 34:2 For Jehovah hath indignation against all the nations, and wrath against all their host: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. (ASV)

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (ASV)

Ps 22:28 For the kingdom is Jehovah's; And he is the ruler over the nations. (ASV)

Ps 10:16 Jehovah is King for ever and ever: The nations are perished out of his land. (ASV)

Psalms 10:16 above is the reason for the shaking up or symbolic earthquake that drastically alters the affairs of mankind.  None of this was a surprise to the prophets of old particularly Daniel.  Listen carefully to what he had to say about the end times you and I are now living in.

Dan 2:44

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. (NIV)

The above verse is the culmination of the history of mankind predicted by God to Daniel in response to a dream by the then king of Babylon Nebachadnezzer.  Can we depend on that interpretation of a dream about a statue roughly 3400 years ago?  Well this is what God says concerning that:

Dan 2:45

This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-- a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy." (NIV)

Now that we understand that the earthquake represents God crushing the nations that exist and replacing them with His Kingdom ruled by His Son, who was that rock "but not cut by human hands" what does "…The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair…" mean?

    It was common for sackcloth to be dark and sometimes made of hair from animals such as goats. It was also common for sackcloth to be used to strain substances as well as being used for mourning.  Goats in the Bible are often connected to those that oppose God.  There was the scapegoat that the Priests of Israel placed all the sins of the nation on and sent into the desert to die.  We could go into minute detail about this but there is no need.  For portrayed by this symbolism here is that while the nations are being crushed by God He will also be sifting or straining all the sins of the world, and placing them on the backs of the nations being consumed by his truth.     That the sun is turned black refers to the fact that during a 24 hour day there is no spot on earth that is not covered by its light. Nonetheless, they will be dark days for the world.  And as we will learn shortly, no one will be able to hide from it.

"And the moon became as blood." This phrase acts as a final warning from God. There is an old sea chant about the weather, which goes like this.  Yellow moon skies are fair. Red moon… sailor B E W A R E!   What the chant meant was a red moon indicated extremely rough seas with fierce winds.         And what caused all this to come about?  Verse 13, which as we have pointed out before is really part of verse 12. Since this is quite important lets look at it again.

Rev 6:13

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (KJV)

    As has been noted before wind is associated with actions God takes in relation to the earth and its inhabitants.  East winds usually represent some form of disaster such as the plague of locust brought on Egypt.  Calming west winds took the locust away.  A fierce east wind opened the path through the Red Sea for the Israelites.  Stopping that east wind brought destruction of the pharaoh’s army that was pursuing the host of Israel.  So it is, that a mighty wind shakes up heaven itself.  Lets see how the Bible relates what was happening here.

Rev 12:3-5

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.

    This dragon is identified in verse 9 of chapter 12 as Satan.   The stars he takes with him to earth are angels that followed him.  The Bible has labeled these angels as demons.  Notice, that as many as a third of the angels in heaven followed Satan in his rebellion against God.

4. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.

5. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.

(NIV)

    Now we don’t have to wonder who this dragon symbolizes for we are told in no uncertain terms exactly, who it is.

Rev 12:7-10

7. And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

8. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

9. The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

10.Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. (NIV)

    There are two things, about the above scriptures, that should be clearly pointed out here especially about verse 10 above.  In fact the first, and by far the most important, should be bellowed out by all Christians. "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,"

    The universe has always belonged to God. It has been his intention from the very beginning with Adam and Eve to establish a righteous kingdom on earth from which spiritual beings would be adopted and changed, in a twinkling of an eye, into spiritual sons as brothers of Christ.

1 Cor 15:51-52

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Cor 15:52

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (NAS)

It is speaking here of a resurrection for the dead.  It is also speaking of the living We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

    Why are the living connected with the dead?  Because in the eyes of God we are all dead until we accept His Son as the ruler and high priest of Gods Kingdom.  A righteous kingdom both in heaven and earth is Gods purpose and the reason He created the universe to begin with. "And we shall be changed."

    We all know what happened in the Garden of Eden and that Satan threw a challenge at God saying "I could make all men worship me just as if I were the true God."  God answered Satan by saying, in effect, OK I will give you so much time.  When that time is up I will destroy you and all you have built and return things to what I had intended from the start.  The reason for the above to be shouted by Christians is because, HALLELUJAH, that date in Gods time has finally arrived.

    Now the world in general does not see this yet.  It is still to early in the thousand-year reign of Christ for them to notice.  To them, all things are as they always were particularly since Christ’s reign begins with Gods wrath.   But, to a Christian aware of the promise and signs clearly marked in His word, The Time of the End for Satan and his system of things has already begun.  It began in 1914.  And, for the world in general, just as Christ said it would, it came as a thief in the night. They never noticed!

1Thes 5:2

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (KJV)

Rev 12:12

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."(NIV)

    The Word Sea in the above scripture is not referring to oceans but to the general population of man.  It is this casting of Satan to the earth that is the start of Gods wrath.  Satan in his fury commences his world powers to war on one another

Rev 6:14

The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (NIV)

    If this were a literal event, it would mean the atmosphere would disappear.  Without an atmosphere there would be no oxygen to breath, which means all life, would cease.  Since we know all life will not disappear what could this mean.

    Everyone knows that the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west.  However, if you awoke tomorrow and saw the sun rising in the north instead of the east, would you not become aware that something drastic in nature had occurred while you slept?  So then is the meaning of the "The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up." It is telling us that there will come a time in this wrath of God, that mankind in general will not be able to ignore that drastic changes were being made beyond even the ability of nature to accomplish.  Islands by there nature are the tops of mountains jutting up from the sea floor.  We have discovered that mountains mean governments and the inclusion of islands represents that no government, large or small, would be unaffected by this earthquake or shaking up.  They would all be consumed by the word of God, just as Daniel 2:44 tells us, and that it will be as unexpectedly startling, to the sea of mankind, as the sun suddenly rising in the west instead of the east.

Rev 6:15

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

    In short, every single person in the sea of mankind will become frightfully aware that it is none other than God making these changes.  They all try to take refuse in the governments and religions they have so blatantly honored above God.

Rev 6:16

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!" (NIV)

    They are pleading with these mighty governments and religions to do something to protect them from the "…face of him who sits on the throne". While they beg for relief from these helpless governments and religions, represented by rocks in caves, they all realize that there is no protection from the wrath of God.  The reason for this is:

Rev 6:17

For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" (NIV)

    One word stands out like a beacon in the verse above, "THEIR" The word is clarifying that "Their" represents God Almighty’s wrath carried out by the lamb precisely as it is stated in verse 16.  As to "…Who can stand?"  No one, whether they are man or demon, can oppose stop or in any way hinder this centuries old threatened wrath of the creator.

    In the prolog preceding this Chapter of Revelation, it was stated that Christ is the one carrying out the wrath of His Father. If you doubt this, re-read verse 16 above and note "From the wrath of the Lamb!"

   If you have been counting, six of the seven seals have been opened in this chapter. In chapter, 7 we will find that the lamb also broke the seventh seal in chapter 6 but its consequences were delayed for a very specific reason. The details of the consequences of each broken seal will be elaborated on as the rest of the chapters of Revelation unfold.


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