THE BOOK OF REVELATION
~ The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Revelation Chapter 6
Before we look into this chapter let me state a few important facts concerning the scroll that was sealed with seven seals (cf. Rev.5). The majority of Endtime Message preachers believe that the Seven Seals were opened in 1963 by Bro. William Marrion Branham, the Seventh Angel to the Seven Church Age. They believe that the Seven Seals could be opened only sometime in the future towards the close of the Church Age because the Book of Revelation is a prophetic book.
I firmly believe that such exegesis is completely wrong. The Book of Revelation clearly shows us that the Lamb took the seven-seal scroll from the right hand of the Almighty One who was sitting on the throne. He then began to break and open the Seven Seals one by one. This took place sometime in the year 96 A.D. when the Apostle John was given the privilege to be the only earthly witness. When each seal was broken something happened. The 'contents' of each and every seal were unveiled and displayed to John but in symbolic form. However the full revelation of the Seven Seals was given to the saints only in 1963. The revelation of the seals enables the saints to know what is going to take place in the future and to know what had already taken place in the past. But the early saints might only be able to understand in fragments what those prophetic symbols were supposed to depict concerning the future events ahead of their time.
So it is clear that there is an opening, a revealing and a fulfilling for each seal. The Seven Seals on the title deed actually stood in the way of full redemption being realized. Therefore they had to be broken. That was why the Lamb had to peel off and break loose the seals one by one. When each seal was broken and loosen, the 'contents' that were revealed would have to be fulfilled. And each fulfillment of the 'contents' brought redemption a step closer to full realization. When the Seventh Seal was opened the whole title deed could be unrolled to reveal its entire contents which were written on both sides (cf. Rev.5:1-4). Only when the Seventh Seal is fulfilled can all the contents (of the scroll) be claimed.
Here's a little information about ancient scrolls. An ancient scroll usually contains writing arranged in small columns on a length of papyrus with a wooden roller attached to each end of it. The rollers are slightly projected to serve as handles. The papyrus is rolled or unrolled by means of the two roller-handles. When important scrolls are transported or stored they are rolled up (closed) and secured with strings or wrapped up completely with a large piece of cloth.
The seven seals placed on the scroll (in John's vision) were most probably seven bands of clay encircling the closed (rolled up) scroll with the owner's signature of sorts impressed on each of them.
Now, with the revelation given in 1963, we should understand what John had seen in his vision as the Lamb opened the Seven Seals.
The First Seal
Verse 1: And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Notice that when the First Seal was opened, John heard one of the four living creatures give a command with a voice like a noise of thunder. When seven angels visited Bro. William Branham in 1963 during a hunting trip in Arizona, U.S.A. there was a thunderous blast. This thunderous blast does not provide the link which makes the Seven Thunders mentioned in Revelation Chapter 10 equate with the Seven Seals when they are opened. This is a common fallacy found among the Branhamites.
The actual command or announcement given was Come! and not Come and see!” The word come may also be translated as go. It was directed at something that appeared when the first seal was opened. It was not directed at John. The command Come! was given each time one of the first four seals was opened. Each of the four living creatures around the throne of God took their turn in announcing the opening of the four seals. The first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (Rev.4:7). The order in which they appeared was important because that was God's counter-measure to combat the Antichrist spirit which went out of Satan's domain in four successive and intensifying ways throughout the Church Age as symbolized by the white horse, the red horse, the black horse and the pale horse.
Verse 2: And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
When the lion-like living creature raised his voice like thunder and said, Go! John looked and saw a White Horse go forth with a Rider on its back. He had a bow and was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Now, the White Horse and its Rider which John saw in this vision did not come out of the written scroll or the title deed when the first seal was broken. Some preachers have the mistaken notion that the White Horse and the Rider actually came out of the written scroll when the seal was opened. They interpreted that the White Horse and its Rider were parts of the written mystery in the scroll. They have the same interpretation for all the Seven Seals. However, the truth is that the vision was a result of the opening of the seal itself. It had nothing to do with what was written in the scroll. Nothing came out of the scroll. Nothing sneaked out of the scroll. Nothing was read out of the scroll because the scroll was still sealed with the other six seals.
In Bible prophecies an animal usually symbolizes a powerful and dominant movement or belief an ISM, which may be religious or political, or both. There is a spirit behind every ISM. For example, China is governed by COMMUNISM and is represented by the Oriental Dragon. Communism is both a religious and a political ideology. It is moved by an anti-God spirit through the head of the beast, the governmental leaders.
Every nation and empire of the world, beginning with the Babylonian Empire of Nimrod (cf. Gen.11), is basically founded upon a religious principle or idea. When the religious principle or idea catches on among the people a movement, an ISM, is formed. The group will develop into a tribe with a certain political identity. Through time it will become a nation and, through aggression, may become an empire.
At this juncture, we shall briefly take a look at the two Beasts and the Image of the Beast described in Revelation chapter 13 and see what they symbolize. The First Beast that came out of the sea is identified with Romanism in its final stage. It was a composite beast that embodied the spirits of the other beasts which came before it. The way this beast was shown to John shows us that it had come a long way from the time of Abraham because it was the SEED OF ABRAHAM through the righteousness of faith (Rom.4:13) that Satan wanted to destroy. The Second Beast which came out of the land is identified with Americanism. The Second Beast (Americanism) would cause the people to create an Image to the First Beast (Romanism or Roman Beast). The Image to the First Beast is identified with Ecumenism (the Ecumenical Movement).
Now, after the First Seal was opened, John saw a White Horse which had a Rider with a bow and a crown was given to him, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. Here we see Satan's counterfeit move in opposition to the Holy Spirit of God.
Satan has always been in direct opposition to the working of God in His people. When God sent Moses on the scene, Satan sent Balaam. Moses prophesied and his prophecies came to pass; Balaam also prophesied and his prophecies came to pass, too. Moses was God's anointed one; Balaam was the false anointed one. When God sent Jesus as the Christ to His people, Satan opposed that move by sending Judas Iscariot, with an antichrist spirit, to betray Christ. One Spirit leads to Life, the other leads to death. These two opposing SPIRITS have actually been in combat since the time of Eden. They will continue until Christ Jesus returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
After His ascension, Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church. This Holy Ghost power in the saints moved them to be witnesses of the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God's Word unto salvation to every one that believeth (Rom.1:16). Now, this White Horse that came forth out of Satan was a move not only to oppose but also to counterfeit God's work. White symbolises purity and the horse represents the power of the Word. Satan had knowledge of all that. Jesus Christ and His saints were seen (in John's later vision) riding on white horses (Rev.19:11-16).
Satan produced his counterfeits not long after the Church started. His counterfeits appeared so much like the real works of God. In a shrewd way Satan began to move the people away from the true revelation of God's Holy Word. It was a very subtle move. But how did Satan do it? Just as the Spirit of God worked through man, Satan also did his work through man. Satan had many false prophets. And he had his man on the horse and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. It was the year 53 A.D., the year Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in Thessalonica telling them that the mystery of iniquity doth already work (2 Thess.2:7a). It is the spirit of antichrist working through men (making them antichrists in the flesh) who create counterfeits of the works of the Holy Spirit in the Church. The wheat and the tares had already began to grow together in the Church (cf. Matt.13). Later, while at Miletus during his third missionary journey, Paul warned the Ephesian elders saying, For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).
Our Lord Jesus had prophesied that Satan's counterfeit of the work of God in the last days would look so real like the genuine one that it would deceive the very elect if it were possible (Matt.24:24). But, thank God, it is not possible for Satan to deceive God's elected ones.
Notice that the Rider on the White Horse had a bow with no arrow. It means that he was a bluffer; he was just impersonating a conqueror. He did not even have a crown but was later given one. It again shows that he was not the real McCoy he was not what he pretended to be he was not born of royalty. What a sham! Yet, he rode out like a conqueror bent on conquest. Satan was impersonating Christ of whom King David sang about in Psalm 24: Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.” That's right. Jesus Christ is the King of glory. He is the Word of God, holy and invincible. He cannot be hindered by any circumstances and is not afraid of any enemy. Amen. Satan has found himself up against the spirit of the Lion!
As the antichrist spirit started to move in the Early Church in this white innocent form, Satan began to create a system that appealed to the religious carnal mind. It was something that charmed and lured the people in the same way the Serpent beguiled Eve. Generally most people just see with their eyes rather than seek to understand with their hearts (cf. Isa.6:10). Also, people are attracted to big, powerful and beautiful things. So Satan began to dress up the clergy and bestow impressive titles on them (based on the doctrine and practice of the Nicolaitans).. He also introduced rituals that had the appearance of godliness. And as the carnal mind accepted them, Satan continued to add things that had a form of godliness but without the power of the Word of God. In this manner Satan gradually led the Church away from the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God in the 5-Fold Ministry. Of course, those who were deceived did not belong to the fold of Christ in the first place. John wrote in his epistle concerning this offshoot, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 Jhn.2:18-19). Later this separated group fell prey to the teachings of Balaam which brought them spiritual death, and finally they allowed the woman Jezebel to be their spiritual teacher and leader (cf. Rev.2:14,20).
By the time of the Third Church Age (Pergamos) the antichrist spirit had conquered the souls of many worshippers as he rode, following the trail of the true ministry, from Jerusalem through the Land of Israel, all the way through Asia Minor and up to Rome. It was during this same age that the Rider was finally given a crown. This was made possible by the 'conversion' of the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, who united the church and state. Then the white horse rider had a recognized state church with the privilege of earthly power.
Even today the spirit of the White Horse still continues to conquer the souls of men. But the standard of the Lion of God also prevails in this hour to contend for the faith delivered to the children of God. The spirit of the Lion, which is in Christ Jesus, is the authority that God has put in the Apostolic office in the Church. It was in the Early Church and it is also present in the Endtime Church. And all the true ministers of God are motivated by the Lion spirit. Despite what the Organized Church may say the Lion ministry has never moved out of the Church.
The Second Seal
Verse 3: And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
Verse 4: And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
When the Lamb of God opened the Second Seal, the second living creature cried, Go! and John saw a Red Horse. When Satan realized that he could not lead the people totally away from the Word of God because the Lion spirit was guarding It and also the true worshippers had discerned his impersonation of the true Spirit of Christ, he set off another horse a red one. But the Rider who sat on it was the same personality that sat on the White Horse, except that his garb was changed. A change of garb meant a change of role. In his pursuit the antichrist was given the power not only to take the peace from the earth but also to spill the blood of the saints of God with a great sword (Grk: machaira) a sword of war.
The Red Horse was on the scene at about the end of the Second Church Age. Satan, who had already created a spirit of hatred towards the Jews and the Christians, moved the Roman Empire against the true worshippers of our Lord Jesus Christ and had many of them killed. When Pagan Rome became Papal Rome, which was the 7th head on the First Beast, Satan's success was at its height. The Red Horse Rider's great sword became real bloody from the 4th Century A.D. onward. Jews were killed because they were 'Christ-killers' or 'the plague of the earth'; Christians were killed because they were 'protestants' of the Roman Catholic Church; and many of the non-Jews or non-Christians were also killed because they just happened to be in the way. The great sword is still bloody today in certain countries but in a more subtle way because of political involvement.
It has been calculated by authentic historians that from 354 A.D. to the 18th Century, right through the Reformation Period, the Religious Roman Beast had shed the blood of no less than 68 million people in order to establish her unfounded claims to religious dominion. (This historical fact is found in The Glorious Reformation by S. S. Schmucker, D.D., Printed 1838.)
The Red Horse and its Rider were confronted by the spirit of the Ox the second living creature. This spirit in the Christians of that period caused them to labour hard to the extent that they willingly sacrificed their lives. Hundreds of thousands of Christians willingly sowed their lives as martyrs and their sowing had not been in vain; for out of their sowing came forth the Glorious Reformation.
The Third Seal
Verse 5: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
Verse 6: And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
When the Third Seal was opened, the third living creature said Go! This third living creature, which had the face of a Man, was there to face the Black Horse and its Rider. Under this Third Seal, Roman Catholicism literally ruled the world for about a thousand years. But it was a black time. This period is known in history as the Dark Age. It started from the 5th Century to the 16th Century.
Under the move of the Red Horse the Rider was killing all those who opposed, or refused to submit to, the power of Rome. Many of those Christians who had discerned the antichrist's move under the Red Horse were killed. Many went into hiding or were lying low to avoid detection. Whilst the Red Horse continued its atrocious activities, Satan sent out his Black Horse with its Rider carrying a pair of balances in his hand. During the rule of Papal Rome, inflation and scarcity of food were such a problem that a measure of wheat or three measures of barley cost a penny (denarius). A man's daily wage was just enough to buy a day's nourishment of wheat or barley for himself but not enough for his family. Of course the true believers suffered serious deprivation of food. Prophetically, these words speak of Papal Rome making money by selling her so-called religious truths to the people who would bow to her leadership. The Antichrist was selling man-made dogmas which he passed off as God's Truth. He would introduce dogmas according to his whims and fancies to make money out of the people.
The followers of the Papal system were greatly deceived because they were ignorant, superstitious and fearful. They were especially fearful of purgatory's pains that they would pay a priest large sums of money to pray for the souls of their deceased loved ones to escape from purgatory (something which the Papacy had invented to deceive the people). They had to pay money to have communion with God. They had to pay money to have their sins forgiven. They had to pay money when they wanted to get married or when a child was born or when someone was sick. Literally, the people had to pay money to the church for almost every religious and perverted indulgence 'ordained' by the Papacy. But what unholy indulgences! The Roman Catholics are still having the same indulgences today. No wonder the Vatican City is one of the richest nations in the world. Papal Rome will never change its religious or political scheme.
When Papal Rome came into power and ruled the world with her unholy “gospel”, time stood still in every realm. Everything that was good and beneficial to mankind came to a standstill. Knowledge in every field of science ceased to increase. Plagues, diseases and poverty scourged the earth with death. Foods were scarce. Flourishing cities became depopulated or simply crumbled. Evil works were rampant. Superstitions won the day. It was a time of great darkness. This period of the Black Horse was the heyday of Satan and his Roman Catholic wife.
Then the living creature that had the face of a Man possessed the wisdom of man to confront the spirit of the Black Horse. Through Martin Luther the spirit of wisdom condemned the indulgences that were harmful to the salvation of mankind. He contended that there was no Scripture for trading in indulgences and that it only encouraged people to sin. Luther stated his arguments in 95 Theses and nailed them to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on 31st October, 1517. That day was the beginning of the Age of Reformation throughout Europe. Throughout this period the spirit of man's wisdom was found also in many other men of God; some of whom were Bucer, Zwingli, Calvin, Cranmer and Knox. And the Gospel light began to shine brightly out of the great darkness created by Rome. The message was clear and simple: the just shall live by faith (Rom.1:17). As the people began to follow the light, the spirit of Papal Rome could no longer hold them. Many people were converted to the Word of God. Gradually people came out of their ignorance and shed their superstitions. Even progress were made in the different fields of science. Yes, the Religious Roman Beast had received a deadly wound (cf. Rev.13:3).
Throughout the Dark Age the spirit of the Black Horse and its Rider could not hurt the oil and the wine. In Biblical days, oil and wine were two basic necessities which travellers would carry with them on their journeys (cf. Lk.10:34). Natural wine and olive oil were used in cleansing and healing of wounds. The wine was especially used in reviving a wounded and weak person. Prophetically, the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit and His anointing, and the wine the stimulation of the revelation of the Word of God by the anointing of the same Spirit. Praise the Lord! The Satanic Rider on his Black Horse could not deprive the true believers of the spiritual food of the Lord Jesus. He could not touch that Life of God! The Holy Spirit saw to it that God's elect for that hour received the joy and revelation of the Word. He led those who reached out to the Lord to receive God's anointing and get a stimulation on His Word of Life. Hallelujah!
The Fourth Seal
Verse 7: And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
Verse 8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
At the opening of the Fourth Seal, the fourth living creature the Flying Eagle cried with a loud voice, Go! and there went forth a Pale Horse. Its Rider was Death and Hell followed him closely and they were given the power to engulf and detain their victims.
Now, in the original Greek the pale horse is actually a green horse. The word is chloros which means greenish, verdant. Bible translators chose the word pale to describe the horse because the Rider was Death. The word used was close to the truth. However, the actual colour of the horse, in the language of the Orientals, was black-green (blackish green). Black describes dying, death and green describes living, life. Remember how that the previous horse was black with its Rider carrying a pair of balances in his hands but that the spirit of man's wisdom bruised the head of the Papal Beast. It was dying; truly it was black. But then, Satan set off a green horse. What was he trying to do? He was trying to revive the bruised head of the Religious Roman Beast. It was his last and final move against God. And it is happening in this last age the Laodicean Church Age.
Now, when we look closely at the blackish-green pallor of death tissue of a horse we would realize there is a mixture of white, red and black which we cannot see separately. The same is true concerning the Pale Horse. And this is the age during which the Pale Horse is being ridden by its Rider called Death. He is trying to unite the churches of the world to form a One World Church which reflects the Image of the First Beast that John saw in his vision.
Satan did succeed in reviving the head that was wounded to death (cf. Rev.13:3) through an Image (Ecumenism Ecumenical Movement) formed by the Second Beast (Americanism) in honour of the First Beast (Romanism). In the late 19th Century several groups of churches in America sought to unite themselves as “a council (or alliance) of churches”. But it was only in 1948 that a more concrete religious movement crystallized at a gathering in Amsterdam, Netherlands which culminated in the official formation of the World Council of Churches. The idea of a One World Church was conceived during its July 4-20, 1968 meeting in Uppsala, Sweden. Today, almost every major denominational church has been deceived into becoming a member of this Ecumenical Movement which is leading them all back to Rome, the Great Religious Mother Harlot. O, what an ecumenical stew! What an ecumenical pot! Yes, there is death in the pot (cf. 2 Kgs.4:40).
But Satan could not deceive the elect because God had sent down to His Church the Eagle, the fourth living creature that was around the Throne of God. The spirit of the Eagle is here and he has torn the mask from Satan for the elect to see that the move of his Pale Horse has the colour of a corpse, that is, blackish-green, livid, the greenish pallor of death, and that Death itself was the Rider. Amen. The antichrist spirit could not consume and imprison the true saints of the Lord Jesus Christ but it certainly has power over a quarter of the populace of the earth to kill them in every diabolical way its evil mind could conceive. Just wait till Satan becomes incarnate in the Pope.
Now, all the first four seals uncover the developments of the antichrist from the beginning of the Church. As Israel was once torn down little by little by the hands of the Devil (cf. Joel 1:4), so will be the Church. But God is now restoring the Church to the Glory of His Word before He turns to deal with Israel to restore her to her former glory. But not all of the Church are the true Church of Christ just as not all of Israel are Israel. God is only restoring that which belongs to Him. Remember that Christ and His Bride are outside that rotten religious mess of Christendom created by men.
The Fifth Seal
On the opening of the Fifth Seal no more announcement is made by any of the four living creatures around the throne of God. This shows that the seal has no connection to the New Testament Church.
Verse 9: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Verse 10: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
For years Bible students have interpreted that the souls under the altar were of the Christians who were killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. But the following observations of the verses disprove the interpretation. Firstly, the verses show that the souls were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held rather than for their faith in (or their testimony of) Christ Jesus, and secondly, they cried and asked God How long will You let them go before You take vengeance on those who spilled our blood? As true Christians do not seek for vengeance but they would rather pray for those who persecute them (cf. Lk.23:34; Acts 7:60; Rom.12:19), this group of souls could only be of the martyred Jews and not of Christians.
From the time that God blinded the eyes of Israel (cf. Rom.11:25) and turned to the Gentiles with His Gospel to gather a Church out of them (Acts 15:14-19), many Jews were killed from time to time. But during the Second World War from 1939 to 1945, Hitler and Eichmann of Germany killed 6 million Jews. This holocaust of the Jewish people created in the people of the world a greater awareness of the Jews and their faith. It was then God's appointed time to begin the restoration of the land of Israel. However, not all Jews who were killed truly died for their testimony of God's Word which was entrusted to Israel. Many cursed God instead of calling upon Him when they faced death. However for those Jewish martyrs who truly held on to God's promise of a Messiah and waited upon Him, their souls are housed under the altar for their names are found written in the Book of Life. But because they did not have the revelation that Jesus Christ was their Messiah they are not part of the Redeemed of the New Testament Church of Christ. Nevertheless God has ordained a place for Israel even before the foundation of the earth was laid. God cannot disannul the promise He made to Abraham when He blinded the children of Israel for the sake of the Gentiles. (Read Roman chapter 11.) Israel was predestinated to be God's true witness since He made a covenant with him. In the Oracle that was given to him Israel had the revelation of the One True God (Monotheism) though his children failed to recognize the Messiah and were thus blinded. They knew the Messiah would be God but they could not see the Mystery of God revealed in Christ. On the other hand, the minds of the Gentiles, who have been given grace to see their need to accept Christ as their Saviour, are so paganized that the majority of them conceive Jesus Christ as a third part of the fullness of the Godhead. (Please read Colossians 1:19 and 2:9.) Hence, they are unwitting subscribers to Polytheism. But the Bride of Jesus Christ in this hour has the full revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead.
Verse 11: And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
God's election stands sure. Those martyred souls under the altar are saved although they did not have the born again experience of a true Christian. This is further supported by the fact that they did not possess white robes like Christians do. (Every Christian possesses a white robe but a certain number of them will be clothed in fine linen. Compare Revelation 7:9-17 and 19:7-9, 11-16.) Instead white robes were given unto every one of them signifying that they were given salvation; they were saved. They had the mercy of God. Now, these souls were not saved because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; they did not even believe in Jesus Christ at all. They were saved by God's grace of election. They had the testimony of God and kept His commandments.
As Joseph who was sold out by his brothers into Egypt, Christ Jesus was sold out by the Jews to the Romans. While Joseph was in Egypt he got himself a Gentile wife. Later when his brethren came into Egypt and found out who Joseph was, they were afraid that he would surely kill them for mistreating him. The same was true of those Jewish souls under the altar when they found out who Jesus Christ really was. But as Joseph forgave his brothers, Jesus also forgave those Jews. God's mercy overshadowed them because God blinded them for a purpose just as Joseph was sold into Egypt to achieve a purpose. In both cases, lives were saved according to God's predestinated plans.
Now, these slain Jewish souls were told to rest or wait for a little season, a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and kindred brothers, who were to be killed as they themselves had been, was complete. Now, the little season points to the period between the year 1948, when Israel became a nation, and the return to earth of the One whom they had pierced. This little season will not stretch beyond the generation that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:32-35 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” The prophecy of the fig tree putting forth leaves points to the regathering of the Jews to their homeland.
Saints of God, this present generation will see the return of Christ for His Bride. It is also the same generation that will see another blood bath upon Israel. It will happen when the Antichrist breaks his seven-year covenant, concerning Israel, three-and-a-half years after he has made it with the politicians and religious men. Thousands of faithful Jews whose names are written in the Book of Life will die for their faith in that dreadful period of the Great Tribulation. The generation will end with the coming of Christ and His Bride to the Battle of Armageddon after the Great Tribulation which would complete the whole of Daniel's Seventy Weeks prophecy (Dan.9:24-27).
One important thing concerning the Seventh Seal must be mentioned right here. Though the Seventh Seal is not mentioned in this chapter, nevertheless, its fulfillment is right in this little season of verse 11 that separates the two blood baths of the faithful Jews. When the Seventh Seal was opened in Revelation 8:1 John saw nothing but witnessed a brief period of silence in heaven. Theologians generally believe that the Seventh Seal consists of the Seven Trumpets, Seven Vials and all that follows. If that is so would not John have seen them and written all about them? (Just wait till we get to Revelation chapter 10.)
The Sixth Seal
Verse 12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Verse 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.
Verse 14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Verse 15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Verse 16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Verse 17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The Sixth Seal opened up to show the 'scenarios' in the Day of the Lord which comes right at the end of the 3˝ year Great Tribulation. Immediately prior to that, the Seventh Trumpet will sound to herald the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev.11:15-19). With its sounding the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven is opened (Rev.15:5) bringing the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant into full view showing that MERCY is no longer seated on the mercy seat. It signifies that the blood is no longer on the mercy seat; that mercy is withheld once the last elect is slain in the Great Tribulation. Also, the Seven Angels are getting ready to pour out the Seven Vials of God's plagues upon the earth (Rev.15:1; 16:1). They are the wrath of God. Once the Seventh Vial is poured out the Sixth Seal immediately takes effect. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matt.24:29-30).
What a day! The heaven and the earth will be so shaken that unusual phenomena occur. There will be awe as well as distress among the people of all nations. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Lk.21:25-26).
This Day of the Lord covers a period of 75 days beginning with the pouring of the wrath of God upon the earth. It includes the Battle of Armageddon (Rev.19:11-21; Zech.14:1-4,12), the Resurrection of the Tribulation Saints (Rev.11:18; 20:4) and ends with the Judgement of the Nations (Matt.25:31-46) before the Age of Regeneration (Matt. 19:28) begins. This 75-day period is arrived at by taking the 1335 days mentioned in Daniel 12:12 and substracting 1260 days (or 42 months) that the Antichrist will rule after he takes away the daily sacrifice of Israel in the middle of the 70th Week (of Daniel 9:24-27).
In closing this chapter let me state that it is unscriptural for anyone to teach that the Church of Christ needs to go through the Great Tribulation before she is raptured. The Bible clearly teaches that there are two groups of Christian people, one is called the wheat and the other is called the tares (Matt.13:24-30,36-43). The wheat are the true believers of the Word whereas the tares are the false believers (or make-believers) of the Word. The wheat group is further divided into two categories which are specifically called the wise virgins and the foolish virgins. These virgins are Christians who desire to meet the Bridegroom (that is, Christ the Word and Lord). But only the wise virgins will get to meet their Lord and go into the marriage. The foolish virgins are left out. Read Matthew 25. Hence, the wise virgin Christians will go into the Rapture before the Great Tribulation begins. The foolish virgins will have to face the indignation of the Antichrist and die a martyr's death at the hand of the Antichrist before God's wrath is poured out.
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Revelation Chapter 7
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