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Thread: Revelation 6 Commentary

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    Default Introduction to the Horses in Revelation - A Study in Zechariah

    Some of you know I have been writing a commentary on the book Revelation. I just finished the introduction to Revelation 6, which is a study in the book of Zechariah. Since it was relatively easy to format this one for the board, I went ahead and did, so I could share with y'all. I got my notes done for Revelation 6 and can't wait to dive into the rest of this study!

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    Introduction to the Horses in Revelation - A Study in Zechariah

    Before we continue our verse-by-verse study in the book of Revelation, it is necessary to take a detour to the book of Zechariah to understand the purpose of the horses in Revelation. The prophet Zechariah was the son of Iddo, who was a priest (Nehemiah 12:12-16). He was a contemporary to the prophet Haggai during the reign of Darius (Zechariah 1:1), after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon. Zechariah was given a series of visions, two of which include different colored horses.

    Zechariah 1:8 - I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white.
    Zechariah sees several horses, divided into three colors. We will come back to the colors later. Sitting on one of the red horses, is a man identified in Zechariah 1:11 as the "Angel of the Lord." Other passages show us that the "Angel of the Lord" was the pre-incarnate Christ:

    Exodus 3:2-6 - And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn." So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground." Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.


    Judges 6:21-23 - Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face." Then the LORD said to him, "Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die."


    Judges 13:21-22 - When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"


    Zechariah 12:8 - In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.


    The following passage describes the pre-incarnate Lord as a man, like Zechariah:

    Joshua 5:13-15 - And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?" So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.


    The man and the horses are "among the myrtle trees in the hollow." A myrtle tree is an evergreen shrub that grows in moist, but not too humid areas near the Mediterranean Sea. That the myrtle trees were growing in a "hollow," or a ravine, is no surprise, as a ravine forms by the flow of water, like a stream. Israel used myrtle branches to make booths during the Feast of Tabernacles, after their return from the exile:

    Nehemiah 8:14-15 - And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written."


    God said Israel was the least of the nations:

    Deuteronomy 7:7 - The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples.


    God made Israel a great nation and kingdom. Disobedience of God's Law resulted in the split of the kingdom, and eventually exile. God brought Israel "low for their iniquity":

    Psalms 79:6-8 - Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. For they have devoured Jacob, And laid waste his dwelling place. Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, For we have been brought very low.


    Psalms 106:40-43 - Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people, So that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles, And those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times He delivered them; But they rebelled in their counsel, And were brought low for their iniquity.


    Israel has been at the bottom of the "ravine" since the exile, when the "times of the Gentiles" began, where other nations would have dominion over Jerusalem. The Gentile dominion will end when Jesus returns (Luke 21:24-27). The picture here in Zechariah is the hope of the future restoration of Israel, which will find fulfillment in the Feast of Tabernacles when Jesus returns.

    The myrtle tree is a very fragrant and desirable tree. In the following prophecies about Israel's restoration, the Lord likens their future to the myrtle tree and other desirable trees:

    Isaiah 41:19 - I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, The myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine And the box tree together...


    Isaiah 55:13 - "Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."


    As an interesting side note, Queen Esther's Hebrew name was "Hadassah," which means "myrtle tree." At one of Israel's lowest points in history, Esther gave hope to the Jewish people, by risking her life to save them:

    Esther 4:13-16 - And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"


    Zechariah 1:9 - Then I said, "My lord, what are these?" So the angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what they are." 10 - And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, "These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth. 11 - So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly."
    Zechariah asks the angel about the horses in the ravine among the myrtle trees. The man standing with the horses tells Zechariah God sent the horses to "walk to and fro throughout the earth." We find similar wording in the following passages that describes the "eyes of the Lord":

    2 Chronicles 16:9 - "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars."


    Zechariah 4:10 - "For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth."


    Recall from Revelation 5:6, the Holy Spirit represents the eyes of the Lord "sent out into all the earth." Satan is also seen moving about the earth:

    Job 1:7 - And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."


    Recall from Revelation 4:8, Satan is a cherub, and thus has many "eyes" like other cherubim and seraphim.

    The army of the Lord has creatures that look like horses that "run to and fro":

    Joel 2:4-11 - Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array. Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?


    What we can gather from the passages above, is that these spirit beings are able to move quickly and survey what is taking place on Earth. Zechariah 6:5 confirms that the horses in Zechariah's visions are spirits. These spirits report to the Lord that "all the earth is resting quietly." As we will see in the next section, the Lord is angry about this.

    It seems rather odd that the Lord would have spirits report to Him what is going on throughout the Earth, when He knows everything. Perhaps it is for the benefit of the spirits. We know that angels have interest in what is going on here on Earth:

    1 Peter 1:12 - To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.


    When the son of God report what they observed on Earth, Satan also reports to God, but uses his observations to accuse man:

    Job 1:6-11 - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"


    In short, spirits report to the Lord what they see happening on Earth, and apparently gain some benefit, or learn from what they see. It is interesting to note, angels await judgment (1 Corinthians 6:3). Since angels await judgment, I presume all spirits will likewise be judged, since Satan, who is a cherub, also awaits judgement (Daniel 9:9-11). If so, I wonder if what these spirits did when they "walked to and fro throughout the earth" will determine the outcome of their judgment.

    Zechariah 1:12 - Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?" 13 - And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words. 14 - So the angel who spoke with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I am zealous for Jerusalem And for Zion with great zeal. 15 - I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; For I was a little angry, And they helped - but with evil intent."
    The "earth is resting quietly" (Zechariah 1:11), apparently because the nations are at ease. God is very angry with the nations, because they went beyond what the Lord directed in judging Judah in the 70-year exile; they had "evil intent" in their motives. We learn more about these nations in Zechariah 1:19. Here we see the Angel of the Lord acting as intercessor before God for Israel. This is more evidence that the Angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ, because "He makes intercession for us":

    Romans 8:34 - Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.


    Zechariah 1:16 - "Therefore this is what the Lord says: 'I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,' declares the Lord Almighty. 17 - "Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.'"
    The Lord tells Zechariah that restoration to Jerusalem is coming. Isaiah describes this restoration as a myrtle tree that comes up instead of a brier:

    Isaiah 55:13 - "Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."


    Zechariah 1:18 - Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were four horns. 19 - And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" So he answered me, "These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." 20 - Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. 21 - And I said, "What are these coming to do?" So he said, "These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."
    The four horns are the nations that scattered Judah. Recall from Revelation 5:6, horns generally represent kings or kingdoms in Scripture. These four horns, which the Lord used to scatter Judah, He calls "beasts" in Daniel and Hosea:

    Daniel 7:17-18 - 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.'


    Daniel 7:2-7 - Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it. "And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh!' "After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns."


    Hosea 13:5-9 - I knew you in the wilderness, In the land of great drought. When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me. "So I will be to them like a lion; Like a leopard by the road I will lurk; I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, And there I will devour them like a lion. The wild beast shall tear them. "O Israel, you are destroyed, But your help is from Me."


    History has shown these four horns, or kingdoms, are: Babylon (lion), Medo-Persian (bear), Greece (leopard), and Rome (wild, terrible beast). While many nations have ruled over Judah, these four are the nations which "scattered" the Jews into exile. Zechariah sees four craftsmen that would cast out the horns of these nations as punishment for their "evil intent" (Zechariah 1:15).

    It is not clear if these craftsmen are earthly or spiritual. If the craftsmen are on earth, then each subsequent horn would become the craftsman that cast out the horn that was in power at the time. In other words, the Medes and Persians were the craftsman that cast out the horn of Babylon, Greece the craftsman that cast out the horn of the Medes and Persians, and Rome the craftsman that cast out the horn of Greece. The Roman Empire has not been cast out yet. It will revive in the last days and be cast out by the Lord and His saints:

    Daniel 7:23-27 - "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 'But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'"


    Zechariah 6:1 - Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze.
    Skipping over to chapter 6, Zechariah has another vision about horses. In this vision he sees four different chariots of horses coming between two mountains. Horses and chariots are vehicles of war:

    Proverbs 21:31 - The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.


    Job 39:19-25 - "Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder? Can you frighten him like a locust? His majestic snorting strikes terror. He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms. He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, The glittering spear and javelin. He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded. At the blast of the trumpet he says, 'Aha!' He smells the battle from afar, The thunder of captains and shouting."


    Jeremiah 46:9-10 - Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates.


    Recall from Revelation 1:15, bronze signifies judgment. God used "four horns" to judge Israel, which is reminiscent of the four horns on the altar that was overlaid with bronze and used to make atonement for sin:

    Exodus 27:1-2 - "You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide - the altar shall be square - and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze."


    Exodus 29:36 - And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it.


    Mountains in Scripture show dominion. The following passages depict mountains as kingdoms:

    Jeremiah 51:24-25 - "And I will repay Babylon And all the inhabitants of Chaldea For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight," says the LORD. "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth," says the LORD. "And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain."


    Daniel 2:34-35 - You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.


    Daniel 2:44-45 - And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold - the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."


    Both Babylon and the Lord's Kingdom arrive during a time of judgment. God used Babylon to judge Israel and other nations. Babylon was later judged by the Medo-Persian kingdom. When Jesus returns it will be in judgment, when He will destroy all the kingdoms of the world. The passages below also show a relationship between mountains and judgment:

    Psalm 36:6 - Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast.


    Psalm 72:1-4 - A Psalm Of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king's Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor.


    Revelation 16:19-20 - ...And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.


    Clearly, the two bronze mountains Zechariah saw in his vision depict judgment. Zechariah 6:5 shows that these chariots of horses are coming from Heaven. Moses patterned the tabernacle after heavenly things:

    Hebrews 8:4-5 - For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."


    The two bronze pillars in the earthly temple apparently represent the bronze mountains in Heaven:

    1 Kings 7:15, 21 - And he cast two pillars of bronze, each one eighteen cubits high, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of each... Then he set up the pillars by the vestibule of the temple; he set up the pillar on the right and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the left and called its name Boaz.


    Recall from Revelation 3:12, "Jachin" means "he establishes" and "Boaz" means "strength." In light of the following Psalm, the bronze pillars in the earthly temple are appropriately named for the mountains they represent in Heaven:

    Psalm 65:6 - Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power.


    Zechariah 6:2 - With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 - with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses - strong steeds. 4 - Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5 - And the angel answered and said to me, "These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth.
    Zechariah 1:9-11 hinted that these horses were spirit beings; here we are explicitly told that they are "four spirits of heaven." At face value, it looks like the horses are the spirits, as there was no hint of any rider, except for the pre-incarnate Christ in Zechariah 1:8. However, in this passage the horses pull chariots, which may imply that there are riders. The chariot and horses of fire that took Elijah to Heaven had riders, or horsemen:

    2 Kings 2:11-12 - Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.


    The Lord's army has both chariots and horses of fire, but no riders mentioned, like in the previous passage:

    2 Kings 6:15-17 - And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


    The Lord's army in the following passage describes both horses and mighty men, which probably means it includes both horses and horsemen:

    Joel 2:3-5, 7-9, 11 - A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array... They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief... The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?


    When we come across these spirit horses again in Revelation, they have riders who are given authority to administer judgment on the earth. The bronze mountains show us that judgment is here in Zechariah too, but it is unclear whether the horses are given power to mete out judgment, or if we can deduce from Revelation that implied riders have that authority. Regardless, the authority comes from the Lord, who sends these horse-drawn chariots from the bronze mountains of judgment:

    Isaiah 66:15-16 - For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many.


    Zechariah sees four different kinds of horses that come from the bronze mountains. There are also four different kinds of horses in Revelation. In Zechariah 1:8, the prophet sees three colors of horses. The table below shows the translated colors or markings of these horses, along with the original Hebrew for the Old Testament, original Greek for the New Testament, and translated Greek from Hebrew in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament:



    The white, red, and black horses match in the Greek. However, the last horse looks different between passages.

    The Hebrew word "saroq" in Zechariah 1:8 is also used in Isaiah 16:8, translated as branches or vines, but literally means "clusters," as in the clustered fruit of the vine. The Septuagint translates "saroq" with two Greek words "psaros," which means speckled, and "poiklilos," which means varicolored, also used to describe Joseph's "coat of many colors" (Genesis 37:3).

    The Hebrew word "barod" in Zechariah 6:6 is also used in Genesis 31:10, which means dappled, mottled, grisled, or gray-spotted. The Septuagint translates "barod" as "poiklilos," which means varicolored, also found in Zechariah 1:8. The translators of the Septuagint believed that this horse was similar, if not the same type of horse described in Zechariah 1:8, based on their use of the Greek word "poiklilos" for both.

    In Revelation, John describes the last horse as "chloros," which means green. The same word is found in Mark 6:39, Revelation 8:7, and Revelation 9:4, to describe the color of grass and plants. At first glance, it looks like this horse is completely different from the horses in Zechariah. However, John seems to focus on the color, while Zechariah seems to focus on the pattern of the horses. Also, the color green has a large spectrum. A horse the color of green grass doesn't seem to fit the context of this horse being connected with death, which is probably why most translators call it a "pale" horse:

    Revelation 6:8 - So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.


    The following excerpt from the article: "Ancient Greek Color Vision" has some interesting insight about the color "chloros":

    As seen through the eyes of the Ancient Greeks, color perception is a very different thing than our own color perception... In his writings Homer surprises us by his use of color. His color descriptive palate was limited to metallic colors, black, white, yellowish green and purplish red, and those colors he often used oddly, leaving us with some questions as to his actual ability to see colors properly... He calls the sky "bronze" and the sea and sheep as the color of wine, he applies the adjective chloros (meaning green with our understanding) to honey, and a nightingale ... [W]e must think about his meaning, did he indeed see honey as green, did he not see the ocean as blue, how does his perception of color reflect on himself, his people, and his world.

    Homer's odd color description usage was a cultural phenomenon and not simply color blindness on his part, Pindar describes the dew as chloros, in Euripides chloros describes blood and tears. Empedocles, one of the earliest Ancient Greek color theorists, described color as falling into four areas, light or white, black or dark, red and yellow; Xenophanes described the rainbow as having three bands of color: purple, green/yellow, and red. These colors are fairly consistent with the four colors used by Homer in his color description, this leads us to the conclusion that all Ancient Greeks saw color only in the premise of Empedocles' colors, in some way they lacked the ability to perceive the whole color spectrum.

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/61


    Based on this article, a pale green or greenish-yellow color is not out of the question. If Zechariah and John both saw the same type of horses, this might be what they saw:



    This horse is a pale green color, with a variegated pattern that could be described as dappled, mottled, grisled, spotted, speckled, or even clustered like grapes on a vine. As we will see in the next section, the direction the Lord sends these horses out may support that the two prophets saw the same horse in all three visions.

    Zechariah 6:6 - The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country." 7 - Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, "Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth." So they walked to and fro throughout the earth.
    As mentioned in the last section, it is unclear if Zechariah and John saw the same type of fourth horse. That being said, note the four ways the pale green horse has authority to kill:

    Revelation 6:8 - So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.


    God warned Israel that if they didn't follow His statutes, they would die from the wild beasts, the sword, pestilence, and famine:

    Leviticus 26:21-26 - Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate. And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.


    These are the same as God's four judgments He poured out on Jerusalem through the Babylonians, though worded a little differently from Revelation:

    Ezekiel 14:21 - For thus says the Lord GOD: "How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem - the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence - to cut off man and beast from it?


    Ezekiel 5:15-17 - "'So it shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken. When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread. So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.' "


    Jeremiah 15:2-3 - And it shall be, if they say to you, 'Where should we go?' then you shall tell them, 'Thus says the LORD: "Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity." ' "And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction," says the LORD: "the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy."




    The "north country" is the area north and east of Israel including Babylon, and Medo-Persia, who conquered Babylon:

    Jeremiah 46:10-13 - For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates. "Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured. The nations have heard of your shame, And your cry has filled the land; For the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; They both have fallen together." The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would come and strike the land of Egypt.


    Jeremiah 50:8-9 - "Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans; And be like the rams before the flocks. For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon An assembly of great nations from the north country, And they shall array themselves against her; From there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; None shall return in vain."


    The "south country" naturally would be Egypt. When God announced through His prophets that Babylon would conquer Jerusalem, He warned the people to go into exile quietly. For those who tried to stay or flee to Egypt, God sent three of the four severe judgments after them:

    Jeremiah 42:13-17 - "But if you say, 'We will not dwell in this land,' disobeying the voice of the LORD your God saying, 'No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there we will dwell' - Then hear now the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to dwell there, then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die. So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to dwell there. They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. And none of them shall remain or escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them.'"


    Jeremiah 44:13-14 - For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to dwell there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return and dwell. For none shall return except those who escape.


    Beasts are not mentioned directly in the passages about Judah fleeing to Egypt. However, the following prophecy about the judgment on Judah, at the hands of Babylon, describes the beasts as cleaning up the dead bodies, but not causing death like the other three judgments:

    Jeremiah 34:17-21 - "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and every one to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim liberty to you,' says the LORD 'to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine! And I will deliver you to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it - the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf - I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies shall be for meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth. And I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army which has gone back from you.


    The theme of these four severe judgments is certainly death. God clearly warned that anyone who went to Egypt instead of surrendering to Babylon would die by three of the four severe judgments. Their dead bodies would be meat for the beasts, which is the fourth of the severe judgments. Therefore, the pale green horse in Revelation and the dappled horses in Zechariah both involve the four severe judgments of God. The variegated pattern of this horse may reflect the manifold judgment that comes when the Lord sends this type of horse out.

    God sends out the horses in Zechariah in specific directions. The horse-drawn chariots originate in Heaven, but the point of reference for their movement on the earth is Israel, since this is where Zechariah was given his visions. The white and black horses go north, the dappled horses go south. The red horses are not sent in a specific direction, but go out with the other horses throughout the earth, after the other horses first go in the direction the Lord sends them:



    Notice that the dappled horses go south of Israel, or toward Egypt. As shown earlier in this section, when Judah fled to Egypt instead of surrendering to Babylon, God sent out His judgments of death after them. Note, the pale horse in Revelation 6:8 involved the same judgments God used against Judah in Egypt. This is further evidence that John and Zechariah saw the same kind of horse; John described the color, while Zechariah described the pattern.
    We will go into more detail about what the other colors of the horses represent in the verse-by-verse study of Revelation, but for now, here is a summary, based on the context they are given:



    If the white horse means conquest, and the black horse means famine in Revelation, do they mean the same in Zechariah? Look where these horses go in Zechariah's vision. Babylon conquered the Assyrians, which is north of Israel. The prophet Nahum prophesied desolation of Nineveh, the seat of the Assyrian Empire:

    Nahum 2:8-10 - Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, Now they flee away. "Halt! Halt!" they cry; But no one turns back. Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, Or wealth of every desirable prize. She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; Much pain is in every side, And all their faces are drained of color.


    The white horse of conquest and the black horse of desolation coming to Assyria certainly fits the same meaning of the horses in Revelation. As shown to Zechariah, all the horses go throughout the world after the white and black horses go north and the dappled horses go south. The red horse in Revelation means war and bloodshed. After Babylon conquered Assyria, Israel, and Egypt, they continued to expand their empire through war, until the Medes and Persians overpowered them. Therefore, the red horse in Zechariah's vision is also about war like John's vision in Revelation. In the midst of war, Egypt suffered the judgments of death, represented by the dappled horse, as a result of welcoming those fleeing from Judah:

    Jeremiah 44:13-14 - For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to dwell there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return and dwell. For none shall return except those who escape.


    All the horses in both Revelation and Zechariah have a global scope, as they "walked to and fro throughout the earth." Zechariah saw the conquest and desolation in the white and black horses, death in the dappled horses, and expanding war in the red horses, just like John in Revelation. But the global conquest never found fruition because another empire came up stronger, restarting the cycle of conquest, desolation, and death through war. In Revelation, there will only be one empire, and the conquest of the antichrist will stretch to the farthest parts of earth:

    Daniel 7:23 - "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces."


    Daniel 11:41 - He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown...


    Going back to the four horns in Zechariah 1:18, if the craftsmen are on earth, then each subsequent horn would be the craftsman that cast out the horn that was in power at the time. The pattern of conquest and desolation, followed by more war, continued through the empires of all the horns. The last empire, or the revived Roman Empire, will come in the wake of war, desolation, death after the spirit of conquest through the antichrist.

    Notice that the empire conquered by each horn is north of Israel. Each subsequent horn took over both Egypt and Israel. The severe judgments of God: the sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts naturally follow war and conquest. The horses' movement in Zechariah's vision fit the conquest of all the empires:



    To reiterate, each horn conquered the seat of the ruling empire. The seat of each empire was north of Israel and their conquest spread south, taking Israel and Egypt. War continued in each empire, expanding their territory until the next horn arose in power. In other words, the white and black horses went north of Israel when a horn conquered the ruling empire, the dappled horses went south when the new ruling empire continued their conquest, taking Israel and Egypt. The red horses and all the horses ride out in war, conquest, desolation and death, as the empire expands. Here are the empires at their furthest extent:



    Zechariah 6:8 - And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country."
    The horses' mission is to give rest to, or quiet the Spirit of the Lord, or the Holy Spirit. The earth was "resting" in Zechariah 1:11, where we are first introduced to these spiritual horses, after the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon:

    Isaiah 14:3-7 - It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: "How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of the rulers; He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, He who ruled the nations in anger, Is persecuted and no one hinders. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; They break forth into singing.


    But God was angry:

    Zechariah 1:15 - I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; For I was a little angry, And they helped-but with evil intent.


    God used the Persian king to punish Babylon in the "north," bring the exiles back to Israel, and rebuild the temple. It is interesting to note, Zechariah 6:9-14, which comes after this passage, is about the temple. The nations in the "north country" God used for judgment, but they had "evil intent." God later judged these nations for their motives. In the following passage, we see that judgment quieted the Lord's "fury," or anger, toward Jerusalem:

    Ezekiel 16:42-43 - So I will lay to rest My fury toward you, and My jealousy shall depart from you. I will be quiet, and be angry no more. Because you did not remember the days of your youth, but agitated Me with all these things, surely I will also recompense your deeds on your own head," says the Lord GOD. "And you shall not commit lewdness in addition to all your abominations."


    God's "fury" is "wrath":

    Job 20:23 - When he is about to fill his stomach, God will cast on him the fury of His wrath, And will rain it on him while he is eating.

    If the spirit horses' mission is to quiet the Spirit of the Lord, and His fury is judgment unto wrath, it is no surprise that these same type of horses arrive at the beginning of the Tribulation in Revelation. In the Tribulation, the Lord's fury will be against "all nations":

    Isaiah 34:2-4, 8 - For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree... For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.


    The horses in Zechariah quieted the Lord's Spirit after the fall of Babylon. But Babylon will fall twice. Judgment is proclaimed against Babylon after the chariot of horses arrives:

    Isaiah 21:6-9 - For thus has the Lord said to me: "Go, set a watchman, Let him declare what he sees." And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen, A chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels, And he listened earnestly with great care. Then he cried, "A lion, my Lord! I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime; I have sat at my post every night. And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!" Then he answered and said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground."


    The second time Babylon falls will be right before Jesus returns:

    Revelation 18:2-8, 20 - And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her... Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"


    After Babylon falls the second time, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest when the Lord returns in judgment:

    Isaiah 59:16-21 & 62:1- He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; The coastlands He will fully repay. So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. "The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the LORD. "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore..." For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.


    In this introduction to the four horses in Revelation, we have learned that God sends these spirit beings to the earth in times of judgment against Judah. The last such judgment will begin at the start of Daniel's 70th Week, which is the last seven years of the 490 years determined in Daniel 9:24. When God sends the horses out in judgment in Revelation, it is not only against the Jews, but also against the inhabitants of the world. The horses will ride to quiet the Lord's fury against all nations, as shown in the passages in this section. Now that we understand the purpose of these horses of judgment, we can move on to our verse-by-verse study of Revelation.

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    Wow! Metronames I will be consuming this as soon as I can... Many thanks to you, and God bless your talent/work!
    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.... Living for Jesus - Listening for the Trumpet


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    Metroames,

    Thanks for bringing the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments together. Though it was a long read, it was packed full of good information.
    My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

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    Oh my goodness! Thank you for this study! I will be reading this in sections, so that I can get the most out of it. Very excited! I love studies like this. Right up my alley. Thank you again!

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    Metroames,
    Thank you for the time and energy you put forth with this study. Blessings!
    I'll Fly Away but won't need a plane!

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    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18

  8. #8

    Default horses in Zechariah

    This has some additional thoughts to make us think...

    Outline of Zechariah
    Introduction: (1:1-6) Zechariah’s ministry coupled with Haggai’s ministry concerning state.
    Division 1: (1:7 - 6:15) -- Gentile and Israelite Evil Judged in View of Messiah’s Earthly Glory and
    Place.
    Subdivision 1: (1:7 - 4:14) -- The Gentiles, Jerusalem, and Messiah’s Glory.
    Section 1: (1:7 - 2:17) -- The Gentiles and Jerusalem.
    The Vision of the Horses (1:7-17) Angel of Jehovah (v. 11) riding (v. 8 -- controlling) on the red horse
    (Persia), with red (Persia), bay (Greece) and white (Roman) horses
    (riderless, as if not under control) behind Him.
    The Vision of the 4 Horns and 4 Craftsmen (1:18-21) The four Gentile powers (see Dan. 2) overcome by the
    four-fold character of Messiah, depicted in the 4 living
    creatures and the 4 gospels.
    The Vision of the Surveyor (2:1-17) The effect of the 4 craftsmen results in Jerusalem being according to
    God’s measure -- in the coming kingdom.
    Section 2: (3:1 - 4:14) -- The Branch, the Great Millennial Light, the means of Israel’s restoration and future glory.
    The Vision of Joshua and the Branch (3:1-10) Past state of Israel seen in Joshua (not the true servant), then
    cleansed and fit, before God’s Servant, THE BRANCH, in view
    of the following two offices carried out by the true Servant.
    The vision of the Candlestick and the Two Olive Trees (4:1-14) The two offices of Priest (Melchizedek) and
    King give character to Christ as the great
    millennial light.
    Subdivision 2: (5:1 - 6:15) -- God’s Judgment of What is Inconsistent with the Character of the Man,
    the Branch.
    Section1: (5:1 - 6:8) -- The Judgment upon the Wicked.
    The Vision of the Flying Role (5:1-4) Moral transgressors of Israel cut off.
    The Vision of the Woman in the Ephah (5:5-11) Idolatry removed from the land of Israel.
    The Vision of the Four Chariots (6:1-8) The Gentiles quieted before Jehovah.
    Section 2: (6:9-15) – Israel Cleansed, and the Gentiles Having Been Quieted, There Follows the Coronation of the
    Melchizedek Priest: the Man (Man in View of this Priesthood) Whose Name Is THE
    BRANCH.


    Read the 4 craftsmen with this thought in mind:

    The Four-fold Presentation
    of Christ in the Gospels
    THE GOSPEL MATT MARK LUKE JOHN
    Christ in this Gospel King Servant Man God


    The four living Lion Ox Man Eagle
    creatures, symbols of
    the judicial power of
    God invested in Christ

    (rapidity)
    characteristic word quotations OT Straightaway Certain I am

    Colors of the robe put Scarlet Purple Gorgeous Purple
    on Him

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    I'm going to print and study this. I love studies like this. Thank you for sharing your work. Maranatha!
    Ph 3:15 (paraphrased):...And if on some point you and I think differently, that too God will make clear to us. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

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    Thank you Metroames for all you hard work putting this info together.

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    Good study!

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    Fantastic study..........seems spot on...........wish I could do this............I hated to see it end.

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    Default Metro....

    My study would be a bit shorter. The horses of Zech 6 are correlated to the horses of Rev 6 in this way:

    The white, red, and black horses of both are the AC's armies, the Muslim armies, and the Russian armies. The order of appearance is different because those armies "judge" Israel ("mountains of brass") in this order — red/KotSouth, black/KotNorth (Joel 2), white/AC (midtrib, Isa 28:18), and then the armies of the nations/mottled.

    Whereas in Rev 6 — white horse/AC (peace), red/Muslim, black/Russia, and Chlorous/Israel (in covenant with death and hell, Isa 28:15). Then, the power was given to "Death and Hell" to kill 1/4 of mankind .. not the horses.

    Just a few thoughts, if you will.

    skypair

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    Default Revelation 6 Commentary

    I have finished my commentary on Revelation 6. Below is the "meat" of the study. I have left out most of my graphics and the section heavy with tables, or else it would take me a whole night to post it here on the board. If you want to read the whole study in its entirety, complete with graphics, links to sources, and links to my other studies I reference, you can find it on my "homepage" under my profile. The introduction to this study can be found in this thread:

    http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?1841...97#post2360097

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    Introduction to the Seal Judgments

    In Revelation 5, we saw that the sealed scroll the Lamb takes from the right hand of God is the "purchase deed" to the Earth. Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer, being the only one worthy to open the sealed scroll and reclaim the Earth. Subsequent chapters in Revelation show that the contents within the "purchase deed" are judgments which must come to pass on Earth before the Lord returns. These judgments are to prepare for the Lord's earthly reign in two ways: To evict the rebellious inhabitants from the earth, and turn the Jewish people back to God.

    God has determined that twenty-one judgments will occur after Jesus takes the sealed scroll. The sealed "purchase deed" to the earth includes all twenty-one judgments, divided into three groups: Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls. The last Seal judgment includes the seven Trumpet judgments. The last Trumpet judgment includes the seven Bowl Judgments.

    Jesus breaks the Seal judgments at the beginning of the Tribulation, followed by a "half hour of silence" (Revelation 8:1) of the "hour of trial" (Revelation 3:10 ), or no judgments from Heaven for about half the Tribulation period. (Click here for more on the "half hour of silence"). After this "half hour of silence," the rest of the judgments from Heaven occur over the second half of the Tribulation, known as the "Great Tribulation" (Matthew 24:21):



    ...

    The Tribulation, or "Daniel's 70th Week," begins when Israel and the antichrist confirm a covenant (Daniel 9:27). God gave Israel 70 "weeks" in which He would punish their transgressing of the Law before the Messiah would come to rule:

    Daniel 9:24 - "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy."
    History has shown us that the 70 weeks are 70 "weeks" of years, or 490 years. There were 483 years from the command to Nehemiah to restore and build Jerusalem after Israel's exile until Jesus died, being "cut off" (Daniel 9:26). During those 483 years, God punished Israel under the yoke of Gentile rule. After the cross, God turned away from Israel because they rejected His Son (Romans 11).


    Seven more years are left of the 70 "weeks" of punishment. Today we live in the gap between the 483 years and the last seven years. During these last seven years, God will turn back to Israel. However, God will punish Israel along with His enemies through the judgments recorded in the "purchase deed" of the earth.

    ...


    Four horses ride throughout the earth in the first four Seal judgments. Recall from Zechariah 6:8, the spirit horses' mission is to quiet the fury of the Spirit of the Lord. His "fury" is judgment unto wrath. In the Tribulation, the Lord's fury will be against "all nations":

    Isaiah 34:2-4, 8 - For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree... For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.


    Just as these spiritual horses came with God's judgment against the nations during the first 483 years of "Daniel's 70 Weeks," we will see in the next few sections, they will come again with God's judgment against the nations during the final seven years.


    Revelation 6:1 - "Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals"

    John witnesses the Lamb breaking the first seal on the scroll, or the "purchase deed" to the earth. Recall from Revelation 5:9, the Lamb is the only one worthy to open the seals on the "purchase deed." The song of redemption sung by the elders and living creatures explains why the Lord is worthy to take the "purchase deed" and break its seals. The Lord's sacrifice paid the price:


    Romans 3:23-25 - For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood....


    Hebrews 9:11-12, 15 - But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption... And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.


    1 Timothy 2:5-6 - For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.


    It is important to note, the Lamb not only opens the first seal, but He opens ALL the seals. As we will see in Revelation 8, the last Seal includes the last fourteen judgments in Revelation. In other words, it is Christ who administers all twenty-one judgments.

    Revelation 6:1 - "And I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see.""

    ...

    After Jesus opens the first seal, one the four living creatures beckons John to witness what happens on Earth in response to the breaking of the seal; to "come and see" how God is going to deal with man:

    Psalms 66:5-7 - Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; They went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him. He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah


    The first living creature speaks with a thunderous voice. It appears that Ezekiel also heard a thunderous voice from a similar living creature, one of the cherubim (Ezekiel 10):

    Ezekiel 3:12-13 - Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: "Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!" I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise.


    The Lord's voice is also like thunder, showing His greatness:

    1 Samuel 2:10 - The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.


    Job 37:2-5 - Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He sends it forth under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.


    Psalms 18:7-14 - Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.


    Psalms 77:16-20 - The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.


    The thunderous voice of the first living creature, likewise, shows the immense and formidable nature of what is about to happen on Earth. "Daniel's 70th Week," or the "time of Jacob's trouble," will be an unprecedented time in the history of man:

    Jeremiah 30:7 - Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble....



    Revelation 6:2 - "And I looked, and behold, a white horse."

    The four living creatures announce the arrival of four horses in the first four seals. Each horse has a rider, but the attention is initially drawn to the horse. The horses' prominence over the horsemen should draw us to seek meaning in other Scripture to their significance. As shown in the introduction, these horses are found in the book of Zechariah and tied to God's judgment.

    Recall from Revelation 1:14, the color white usually represents purity and cleansing from sin (Isaiah 1:18, Psalms 51:5-7). However, in the context of this passage in Revelation, white symbolizes conquest. Incidentally, great military leaders like Alexander the Great, Napoleon and others are often found riding white horses in portraits.

    The Tribulation begins with the arrival of a white horse with a conquering rider, and ends with the arrival of a white horse with a conquering rider:

    Revelation 19:11-15 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


    These two white horses, however, are not the same. As discussed in the introduction, the first white horse on conquest has connections to the other three horses that follow. The white horse that comes at the end of the Tribulation also has a rider coming in conquest, but this horse is not connected to the other horses of war, desolation, and death, and its rider comes to put an end to the judgments. In other words, while both white horses come in conquest, the first wreaks havoc in destruction and the last comes to bring peace to the world. The rider of the last white horse is clearly the Lord Jesus Christ, the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The rider of the first white horse is different, as noted below:




    Revelation 6:2 - "He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer."

    The rider of the first white horse carries a bow. A bow is a weapon of war:

    1 Chronicles 5:18 - The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war.


    Isaiah 21:15 - For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, From the bent bow, and from the distress of war.


    Jeremiah 6:23 - They will lay hold on bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.


    2 Samuel 22:35 - He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.


    God uses the bow in judgment:

    Psalms 7:11-12 - God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.


    Jeremiah 46:9-10 - Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates.


    Jeremiah 50:14-15 - "Put yourselves in array against Babylon all around, All you who bend the bow; Shoot at her, spare no arrows, For she has sinned against the LORD. Shout against her all around; She has given her hand, Her foundations have fallen, Her walls are thrown down; For it is the vengeance of the LORD. Take vengeance on her. As she has done, so do to her."


    Lamentations 2:4 - Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow; With His right hand, like an adversary, He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye; On the tent of the daughter of Zion, He has poured out His fury like fire.


    Zechariah 9:13 - For I have bent Judah, My bow, Fitted the bow with Ephraim, And raised up your sons, O Zion, Against your sons, O Greece, And made you like the sword of a mighty man.


    The first white horse comes in conquest. Many believe that the rider of this white horse is the antichrist, as he will set out to conquer the nations:

    Daniel 11:39-44 - Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.


    Daniel 8:24 - His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.


    Conquest doesn't necessarily come with war. Some believe that because arrows are not mentioned with the bow, the rider of the first white horse comes to conquer in diplomacy. However, there are other passages where arrows are not mentioned, but implied:

    2 Samuel 1:22 - From the blood of the slain, From the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, And the sword of Saul did not return empty.


    1 Kings 22:34 - Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded."


    2 Chronicles 17:17 - Of Benjamin: Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him two hundred thousand men armed with bow and shield.


    That being said, the antichrist does begin his conquest in diplomacy, before using military means to expand his power. (Note: The following prophecy in Daniel 11 was partly fulfilled in history by Antiochus Epiphanes, but complete fulfillment is yet future in the antichrist):

    Daniel 11:21-24 - And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.


    Daniel 9:26-27 - ...And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary... he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week....


    This covenant of peace is a false peace and a "covenant with death" (Isaiah 28:15-22), in contrast to the true covenant of peace, which the Lord will make with Israel when He returns:

    Ezekiel 34:25, 27-28 - I will make a covenant of peace with them... They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.


    Recall from Zechariah 6:5, the four horses the Lord sends out in judgment, including the white horse, are spirit beings. The passages below describe similar spirit horses with riders that are spirit beings as well:

    2 Kings 2:11-12 - Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.


    Joel 2:3-5, 7-9, 11 - A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array... They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief... The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?


    The rider of the white horse is not the antichrist himself, as he is a man (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Rather, the evidence suggests that the rider is the spirit of lawlessness. There are at least two archers in Scripture who were antichrist types, which support this notion. The first archer in the Bible was Ishmael (Genesis 21:21). Another famous archer was Esau (Genesis 27:1-4). As shown in the study: "Nationality of the Antichrist," the spirit of lawlessness has manifest in the offspring of Ishmael and Esau. The antichrist may even be offspring from this same cursed line. Whether or not this is the case, the antichrist will certainly be operating in the spirit of lawlessness.

    Note the white horse or its rider cannot be the spirit of antichrist. The spirit of antichrist works to deny Christ:

    1 John 4:2-3 - By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.


    The man who will be the antichrist will work in both the spirit of antichrist, denying Christ, and the spirit of lawlessness, set out to conquer by any means.

    The rider on the first white horse wears a crown. The crown of the first rider is a "stephanos." As discussed in the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" study, the "stephanos" is the victor's crown. In the ancient Olympics, judges awarded ivy crowns or wreaths, called "stephanos," to the winners of the various events at the "Bema." They still do this at the Olympics and other athletic events today, using medals instead of crowns. This crown is different from the crowns the Lord Jesus Christ wears when He returns on the last white horse in Revelation.

    The Lord has "diadems," or crowns of royalty on His head when He returns to Earth (Revelation 19:12). That being said, the Lord does wear the "stephanos" in Revelation 14:14, when He harvests the last of the souls of the Tribulation Saints to Heaven, before He returns. Wearing the "stephanos" in this instance shows the Lord's victory in winning souls, in the midst of the trials of the Tribulation.

    The crown of thorns put on the Lord's head at His crucifixion is also called a "stephanos" (Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2, 5). The thorns represent His rejection (Hebrews 6:8). But this rejection led to victory over sin and death because of the cross (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). In contrast, when the Lord returns wearing "diadems," it symbolizes His royalty as "King of kings":

    Revelation 19:12, 16 - ...on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself... And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.


    Since the "stephanos" is a crown of victory, the rider of the first white horse wearing this type of crown signifies victory in his conquest:

    Revelation 13:4-7 - So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.


    Daniel 8:23-25 - "And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. "Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.""


    The reason the antichrist will be successful in conquest through the Tribulation period, is because of the unrestrained spirit of lawlessness working through him until the Lord returns:

    2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 - For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.


    In short, the white horse rides out in judgment when the Lamb of God breaks the first seal on the "purchase deed" to the earth. The rider on the white horse has characteristics of the antichrist, but other scriptures show that the horses and their riders sent out by God are spirit beings. Therefore, the first white horse and his rider represent the spirit of lawlessness, who operates through the antichrist in victorious conquest, first by diplomacy, and later by military force.

    Revelation 6:3 - "When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see.""

    ...

    When the Lamb of God opens the second seal, the second living creature calls John to see what happens on Earth in response, just as the first living creature did after the Lord broke the first seal. The voice of the second living creature is not described as thunderous (Revelation 6:1). This may suggest that the first horse and its rider are more significant because a thundering voice is like the Almighty's voice:

    Job 37:2-5 - Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He sends it forth under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.



    Revelation 6:4 - "Another horse, fiery red, went out."

    The second horse that rides out, after the Lamb of God breaks the second seal, is a "fiery red" color. This is the same color as the dragon described in Revelation 12:3. The color red in Scripture signifies sin and bloodshed:

    Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.


    Isaiah 63:2-3 - Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.


    2 Kings 3:22-24 - Then they rose up early in the morning, and the sun was shining on the water; and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood. And they said, "This is blood; the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!" So when they came to the camp of Israel, Israel rose up and attacked the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they entered their land, killing the Moabites.


    Revelation 6:4- "And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword."

    The red horse comes to take peace from the earth, thus, red signifies bloodshed in this context. The rider of the first horse brings a false peace, which later ends in conquest. Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:15-22 show this false peace, or "covenant with death," will last through the first half of "Daniel's 70th Week." Therefore, the peace covenant confirmed between Israel and the antichrist is different from the peace that the rider of the red horse takes from the earth, as Jesus breaks this seal near the beginning of "Daniel's 70th Week," but the "covenant with death" continues to the middle of the Tribulation.

    Peace being taken from the earth shows the global nature of this judgment. Some believe many of the Seal judgments have already been broken, being the birth pangs described in Matthew 24, which lead up to the Tribulation period. The fact that the world hasn't dissolved into anarchy, as described here in Revelation, is evidence that the second seal has not been broken yet.

    When the rider on the red horse takes peace from the earth, people kill each other. The Greek word translated as "kill," means to slay, slaughter, or butcher. This is not the first time in Scripture God turns people on each other in judgment:

    2 Chronicles 20:14-15, 22-24 - Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's...'" Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.


    1 Samuel 14:12, 20, 23 - Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, "Come up to us, and we will show you something." Jonathan said to his armorbearer, "Come up after me, for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel." ...Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man's sword was against his neighbor, and there was very great confusion... So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.


    Judges 7:20-22 - Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers - they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing - and they cried, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!" And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man's sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.


    Like in the story of Gideon, the rider of the red horse is given the "sword of the Lord." I believe the sword that causes people to kill each other, is the same sword from the Lord in the following passage, about the "Gog and Magog War":

    Ezekiel 38:21 - "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother."


    Later, we will see that more parallels to the "Gog and Magog War" are found in other Seal judgments, which suggest this war is part of the opening act of the Tribulation period, or "Daniel's 70th Week."

    While the following verse is in the context of discipleship and the ramifications of following Christ, it is interesting that Christ says that He did not come the first time to bring peace, but a sword:

    Matthew 10:34 - "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword."


    Absolute peace on Earth has been elusive. Until Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation, true peace will not come. However, the significance in Christ breaking the second seal, is that any semblance of peace that was on the earth will end, resulting in anarchy and unrestrained violence.

    Revelation 6:5 - "When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand."

    ...

    A third living creature announces the third seal. John sees a black horse with a rider holding a pair of scales. Black is biblically associated with desolation and famine:

    Jeremiah 4:27-28 - For thus says the LORD: "The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it."


    Lamentations 4:8 - Now their appearance is blacker than soot; They go unrecognized in the streets; Their skin clings to their bones, It has become as dry as wood. Those slain by the sword are better off Than those who die of hunger; For these pine away, Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.


    A "pair of scales" is a device with two scales hung and balanced on a center beam. Pre-measured stones act as counter weights to measure items such as food or currency. The next verse shows the context of the black horse is indeed desolation and famine.

    Revelation 6:6 - "And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius.""

    The voice John heard is presumably that of the Lord, as He is the one in the midst of the four living creatures in Heaven:

    Revelation 5:6 - And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.


    It appears that a denarius was a fair day's wages in the first century:

    Matthew 20:2 - Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.


    A quart of wheat or barley is enough to feed one person for a day. After Jesus breaks the third seal, a person working might make enough wages to eat, but not enough to cover any other necessities of life, let alone feed more than a few family members, that is if they buy barley instead of wheat. Therefore, the picture painted here is of famine, which causes rampant inflation. Incidentally, inflation and famine usually follow war. Therefore, it is no surprise that after peace is taken from the earth (Revelation 6:4) both famine and inflation become a global issue.

    As noted in the last section, the color black denotes desolation and famine. Wheat and barley are staple grains used to make bread. The following passages confirm that eating "bread by weight" signifies famine:

    Ezekiel 4:16-17 - Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity."


    Leviticus 26:26 - When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.


    Revelation 6:6 - "And do not harm the oil and the wine."

    The voice from the midst of the four living creatures orders the third horse not to harm the oil and wine in this judgment. The popular belief is that not harming the oil and wine indicates the rich and elite are not affected by this judgment, because oil and wine are not necessities for life, and therefore considered luxury items. However, oil and wine were not considered luxury items in ancient times, but common staples, as well as wheat and barley:

    Deuteronomy 7:13 - And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.


    2 Chronicles 2:15 - Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants.


    2 Chronicles 31:5 - As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.


    Nehemiah 5:11 - Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.


    Historically, it is true that the rich generally benefit from inflation. The drought in the Middle East at the time of Joseph demonstrates this:

    Genesis 47:13-17 - Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed." Then Joseph said, "Give your livestock, and I will give you bread for your livestock, if the money is gone." So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the cattle of the herds, and for the donkeys. Thus he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock that year.


    Genesis 47:18-22 - When that year had ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord that our money is gone; my lord also has our herds of livestock. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants of Pharaoh; give us seed, that we may live and not die, that the land may not be desolate." Then Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for every man of the Egyptians sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. So the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he moved them into the cities, from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other end. Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had rations allotted to them by Pharaoh, and they ate their rations which Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their lands.


    Genesis 47:23-25 - Then Joseph said to the people, "Indeed I have bought you and your land this day for Pharaoh. Look, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones." So they said, "You have saved our lives; let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants."


    Pharaoh became exceedingly wealthy as a result of the drought, simply because of the nature of supply and demand. As the supply of grain went down, the price went up, until the people sold themselves into slavery. Generally, the wealthy are able to buy up whatever is of value during hard times and make a profit in the long run, whether it is in food or other commodities. It is interesting to note that by the end of the Tribulation, Babylon will be a rich city marked by an ample supply of all sorts of merchandise and food, including oil and wine. The world's wealth will be poured into this great city, while most are starving in the world:

    Revelation 18:10-13 - '...Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men."


    Another possible interpretation of not harming the oil and wine is that olive trees and grape vines have deep roots, which make them more drought resistant than other plants. In other words, the famine brought by the black horse will not become severe enough to harm the olive trees and grape vines. The prophet Haggai spoke of a drought that was severe enough to harm even the wine and oil:

    Haggai 1:10-11 - Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.


    I favor a literal interpretation foremost, so I believe the famine will not become severe enough to harm olive trees and grape vines, unlike the famine in Haggai's day. That being said, history has proven over and over that the rich prosper in difficult times. The city Babylon, being full of luxury in the midst of a world in devastation, supports the figurative view that the rich will coast through unaffected by the inflation brought on by the famine that ensues, when the black horse rides out. In other words, this prophecy may have both literal and symbolic fulfillment.

    Revelation 6:7 - "When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see.""

    ...

    The fourth living creature beckons John come and see what judgment the Lord is sending on the earth with the breaking of the fourth seal.


    Revelation 6:8 - "So I looked, and behold, a pale horse."

    John describes the last horse as "chloros," which is the Greek word for green. The same word is found in Mark 6:39, Revelation 8:7, and Revelation 9:4, to describe the color of grass and plants. The color green has a large spectrum. A horse the color of green grass doesn't seem to fit the context of this horse being connected with death, as shown in the next section, which is probably why most translators call it a "pale" horse, being a greenish-yellow color.

    Recall from Zechariah 6:3, it is probable the pale horse is the same kind as those described by Zechariah as sorrel, spotted, speckled, dappled, mottled, or grisled. John's focus is on the color of the horse, while Zechariah's focus is on the pattern of the horses. The horse to the right fits the descriptions given by both John and Zechariah:



    Revelation 6:8 - "And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him."

    The rider on the pale horse is given the name "Death." This rider is often pictured as the "Grim Reaper," a skeleton figure cloaked in black, carrying a large sickle. The "Grim Reaper" is prevalent in pop culture, having origins in mythology and paganism. Even so, "Death" appears as a real entity, as John describes him as the rider on the pale horse (Zechariah 6:5).

    Death and the grave are found together in Scripture when referring to the physical death of the body:

    Psalms 49:14 - Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.


    Hades is the place for the souls in the heart of the earth:

    Matthew 12:40 - For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


    Acts 2:31 - ...concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.


    "Sheol" is Hebrew for "Hades" in the Greek. Isaiah personifies Shoel, or Hades:

    Isaiah 38:18 - For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.


    These spiritual entities, together, show that judgment in the form of death is coming to the earth. During the Tribulation, those who are believers do not go to Hades, but to Heaven (Revelation 6:9-11, Revelation 7:9-15). We see that this judgment of death is on unbelievers because Hades is following Death, which is where lost souls go to await final judgment, before the second death in the lake of fire:

    Revelation 20:13-14 - The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.


    Recall from Revelation 1:18, Jesus has the keys of Death and Hades, which represents His power to release believers from their bondage because He paid the penalty for our death:

    1 Corinthians 15:54-57 - So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


    Revelation 6:8 - "And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

    The scope of the white, red, and black horse is global. The pale horse is only given power to judge a fourth of the earth with the four severe judgments of God. These four judgments are found elsewhere in Scripture as follows:





    ...

    Notice that the rider on the pale horse is given the same power as the riders on the red and black horses; the power to kill people by sword and famine. The variegated color of this horse may visibly show this manifold judgment of God, which includes some of the judgments of the solid colored horses. In other words, the solid colored horses only bear one type of judgment, but the variegated colored horse delivers multiples types of judgment. These judgments will exacerbate those same judgments brought by the previous horses to a fourth of the earth.

    Some believe this passage indicates that a fourth of the world's population will die at the hands of the fourth rider. However, the Greek word for "earth" is "gé," which refers to soil or land, in contrast to "anthrópos" for "men" (Revelation 9:15). Correlations to the "Gog and Magog War" also support that a fourth of the world's geography is in view, rather than the population. The fact that the inhabitants of Israel burn weapons for seven years, suggests this war will occur at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation (Ezekiel 39:9). Consider the following parallels between the Seal judgments and the "Gog and Magog War":




    As discussed in the "Gog and Magog War," God will not only send destruction on Gog's armies, but the damage will extend back to the attackers' countries, particularly the coastlands (Ezekiel 39:6). In other words, it is not just the armies that will see destruction on the mountains of Israel, but also the land they come from. Indeed, the geography of the countries involved in the "Gog and Magog War" is roughly a quarter of the world's landmass:



    While the destruction on Gog's army is first by fire, the fourth horse will ride out bringing more destruction by sword, hunger, pestilence, and beasts. As shown in Zechariah 6:6-7, these four severe judgments of God naturally follow war. War causes scarcity of resources and breeds pestilence. When natural resources dwindle, wild beasts begin to attack humans for food. The "Gog and Magog War" will be no different, but on a larger scale than ever before seen on Earth.

    ...

    As an aside, there is another place in Scripture where we find the four severe judgments of God mentioned together. Interestingly, Eliphaz, one of Job's not so understanding friends, mentions these judgments as a form of chastisement:

    Job 5:17-22 - "Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. In famine He shall redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. You shall laugh at destruction and famine, And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth."


    Job's friends were wrong about a lot of things. Here Eliphaz confused chastisement with God's judgment and wrath. However, a believer in the Tribulation period could find comfort in this passage. I find the mention of seven "troubles" interesting, in light of the seven years of Tribulation, in addition to the four severe judgments listed here that occur at the breaking of the fourth of seven seals. No matter what physically happens to the Tribulation Saints, God will restore them (Revelation 7:13-17, Revelation 20:4).

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    That work shows a great deal of care. Well done.
    The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
    Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
    (Psa 19:1b-2)

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    Revelation 6:9 - "When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held."

    When Jesus opens the fifth seal, John's attention draws back to the heavenly throne. John sees an altar "before" the throne (Revelation 8:3-4). Underneath the altar are the souls of those slain for the word of God; they died for their faith in Christ:

    Romans 8:36 - As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."


    In the earthly tabernacle, the "altar of incense" represents the heavenly altar:

    Exodus 30:1, 6-7 - You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood... And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it.


    Just as the martyrs are under the altar, the priest poured out the blood of the Old Testament sacrifice at the "base of the altar":

    Leviticus 4:7 - And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.


    Recall from Revelation 2, Symrna was a persecuted church. Christ encouraged them to remain faithful, even to death. The name "Symrna" is Greek for the bitter spice "myrrh." As the crushed myrrh is a fragrant aroma, the Lord sees those who are faithful, even to the death, for His sake:

    2 Corinthians 2:14-16 - Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?


    The "life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11-14). The martyrs under the heavenly altar of incense sacrificed their lives as an offering, which is a fragrant aroma, precious to the Lord:

    Psalms 116:15 - Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.


    Note the martyrs are "souls." They have not been resurrected yet. Some believe this group includes all the martyrs since Stephen (Acts 7:59-60). However, the Church body will receive their resurrection bodies at the rapture, before the Tribulation begins. Therefore, these are people who become believers after the rapture. Also, those responsible for their deaths still dwell on earth, as we will see in the next section (Revelation 6:10), which suggests these souls were recently martyred.

    After the "Great Middle East" and "Gog and Magog" wars, God will "reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth" (Zephaniah 2:11) and God will make Himself known to many nations (Ezekiel 38:23). Many will come to accept Jesus as their Savior after these two supernatural wars, which I believe take place near the beginning of the Tribulation (See study: "Putting the Prophecy Puzzle Pieces Together).

    These Tribulation martyrs will die by the "word of their testimony," which is their testimony of the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ:

    Revelation 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.


    John 3:32-34 - And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.


    1 John 5:9 - If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.


    It appears that the breaking of the fifth seal is the point at which God allows Satan and the powers of darkness to persecute and kill believers without restraint, until the Lord brings in the last of the harvest of the souls of believers in Revelation 14:13-16. The "Mystery Babylon" religion will slaughter the saints in the first half of the Tribulation, and Satan and the antichrist will slaughter them in the second half of the Tribulation:

    Revelation 17:5-6 - And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.


    Revelation 12:11, 17 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death... And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


    Revelation 13:10-12, 15 - He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed... He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.


    Revelation 6:10 - "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?""

    At first glance, the fifth Seal judgment looks like martyrdom on believers in the Tribulation. However, as the four living creatures called out the horses of judgment, these slain believers call out for justice and judgment against those who dwell on the earth, particularly those who spilled their blood before Jesus breaks the fifth seal. In other words, the fifth Seal judgment is not on the martyrs, but is a curse announced by the martyrs on the earth dwellers; particularly on those who murdered them.

    The earth dwellers are clearly God's enemies in the Tribulation. They rejoice when God's two prophets are slain (Revelation 11:10) and they worship the image of the beast (Revelation 13:12-14). However, an angel presents these earth dwellers with the Gospel at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 14:6), which suggests not all of them will reject Christ. Indeed, the following passages specify the earth dwellers that make allegiance to the beast, who overcomes the saints, are those not written in the Lamb's "Book of Life," meaning they are the earth dwellers who are eternally lost:

    Revelation 13:7-8 - It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.


    Revelation 17:8 - The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.


    The martyrs call out to the Lord, and address Him as the one who is "holy and true." Recall from Revelation 3:7, this title shows that the Lord sets Himself apart from sinfulness and He is faithful. The martyrs are confident in their imprecatory prayer against those who killed them for their faith in the Lord. If an ungodly man avenges a widow, the Lord will certainly avenge His own:

    Luke 18:1-8 - Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' " Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"


    The martyred saints ask the Lord "how long," until He judges and avenges their blood. The Psalmist's plea is the same as the martyrs under the altar:

    Psalms 94:1-6, 14-15 - O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs - O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth; Render punishment to the proud. LORD, how long will the wicked, How long will the wicked triumph? They utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves. They break in pieces Your people, O LORD, And afflict Your heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, And murder the fatherless... For the LORD will not cast off His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance. But judgment will return to righteousness, And all the upright in heart will follow it.


    Righteous judgment will come, but it will be in God's timing. God is longsuffering to give opportunity for all to come to repentance:

    2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.


    Even during the Tribulation judgments, we find that God gives opportunity for repentance, but most will still reject Him:

    Revelation 9:20-21 - But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.


    Revelation 16:9,11 - And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory... They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.


    When the Lord returns, the opportunity for repentance will be over, and He will avenge His servants:

    Isaiah 61:1-2 - "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn."


    Isaiah 63:1-4 - Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength? - "I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come."


    In the Old Testament, the Law called for each family to have an "avenger of blood," against any who might murder one of their relatives:

    Numbers 35:19-21 - The avenger of blood himself shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. If he pushes him out of hatred or, while lying in wait, hurls something at him so that he dies, or in enmity he strikes him with his hand so that he dies, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.


    The Hebrew translated "avenger" is "gaal," which is the same word used for "kinsman redeemer." Recall from Revelation 5:5, Jesus is the "Kinsman Redeemer" to man, therefore He is also the "Avenger of Blood" for His redeemed murdered for their faith:

    Deuteronomy 32:43 - "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people."


    Psalms 9:10 - And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You... When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble.


    Recall from the Revelation 6:9, the "Mystery Babylon" religion will slaughter the saints in the first half of the Tribulation (Revelation 17:5-6), and Satan and the antichrist will slaughter them in the second half of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:11, 17 & 13:10-12, 15). The Lord avenges the blood of His saints when He judges "Mystery Babylon," the harlot religion, and Babylon, the capital city of the antichrist's global government:

    Revelation 19:1-3 - After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!"


    Revelation 18:10, 20 - ...Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come... "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"


    It is interesting to note, Jeremiah prayed to see vengeance on those who tried to kill him, and the Lord answered this prayer, as He will the martyred saints' prayer under the altar:

    Jeremiah 11:19-23 - But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more." But, O LORD of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause. "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, 'Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, lest you die by our hand' - therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.'"


    On the other hand, during the "dispensation of grace," Paul admonishes believers to show love to our enemies:

    Romans 12:19-20 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."


    Both Jesus and Stephen prayed for God to forgive their enemies, not for vengeance:

    Luke 23:34 - Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.


    Acts 7:60 - Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


    As discussed in the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" study, grace and judgment cannot work concurrently. Imprecatory prayer, or prayer calling for judgment, is not found in the News Testament, except for Revelation, which covers the "dispensation of judgment." Clearly, the "dispensation of grace" is over when the martyred saints ask the Lord to vindicate their death. Indeed, the fifth Seal judgment continues against the "earth dwellers" over the course of the Tribulation, with vengeance specifically taken against Babylon the harlot religious system (Revelation 19:1-3) and Babylon the city (Revelation 18:10, 20).

    Revelation 6:11 - "Then a white robe was given to each of them"

    Recall from Revelation 1:14, white represents cleansing from sin:

    Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."


    Psalms 51:5-7 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


    Atonement means that our sins are "covered." Therefore, being clothed with a white garment symbolizes the covering of our sin with the blood of the Lamb (Exodus 30:10, Hebrews 9:11-14).

    Recall from Revelation 3:5, the Lord promises a white garment to all those who overcome. An overcomer is one who believes Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5). In Revelation 4:4, twenty-four elders represent the Church, who wear white robes. But the Church is not the only group who believes Jesus is the Son of God. The Tribulation saints are also overcomers, acknowledging that the blood of the Lamb is their only means for salvation. Here we see the constant stream of Tribulation saints entering Heaven, clothed in white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb:

    Revelation 7:9, 13-14 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands... Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."


    Revelation 6:11 - "And it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer"

    Those who overcome keep the commandments of God:

    1 John 3:23-24 - And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.


    1 John 5:3-5 - For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?


    Here we see that the martyred saints are overcomers, who will rest from their labors after they die:

    Revelation 14:12-13 - Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' ""Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."


    Their labors are undoubtedly the work they did spreading the Gospel, which is what they died for. The following verses support that notion:

    Matthew 11:28 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


    John 4:35-38 - "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."


    1 Thessalonians 2:9 - For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.


    Revelation 2:2-3 - I know your works, your labor, your patience... and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.


    Jesus tells the martyrs to rest a "little while longer," which at this juncture is roughly seven more years.

    Revelation 6:11 - "until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed."

    The martyrs are to rest until the number destined to die is complete. Here we see Jesus, as the Son of Man (Revelation 1:13), reaping the last of the harvest of souls at the end of the Tribulation:

    Revelation 14:12-16 - Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.


    The differentiation between "brethren" and "servants," is that brethren refers to kin, and servants are typically slaves or hired help. Being a brethren or servant is not necessarily mutually exclusive. As in the case of Jacob, Esau was both a brother and servant to Jacob:

    Genesis 27:37 - Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?"


    When Jesus referred to His brethren, He was talking about Jews. On the other hand, His servants include both Jew and Gentile. Since John sees both brethren and servants, the martyrs under the altar probably include both Jews and Gentiles. In other words, the martyrs are all fellow servants, but they are not all brethren or kin with each other, being both Jew and Gentile.

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    Revelation 6:12 - "I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood."

    John looks back toward Earth when the Lord breaks the sixth seal. The earth experiences a great earthquake. At the same time, there is an eclipse of both the sun and the moon. While the first five Seal judgments bring catastrophes greater in magnitude than anything seen on earth since the flood, there have always been wars, famine, pestilence and martyrdom of God's people. In the sixth Seal judgment, something never seen before by man will occur. This judgment will affect even the cosmos. Even God's enemies acknowledge He is the source of this terrible judgment (Revelation 6:16).

    Haggai also prophesied about this great shaking of the cosmos, when God would come to judge the nations in the Tribulation:

    Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22 - "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts... Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: 'I will shake heaven and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots And those who ride in them; The horses and their riders shall come down, Every one by the sword of his brother.'"


    Isaiah and Joel describe both the global earthquake, and the cosmic shaking and darkening of the moon and sun:

    Joel 2:10 - The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness.


    Joel 2:30-31 - "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD."


    Isaiah 13:9-13 - Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. "I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger."


    Isaiah 24:18-23 - And it shall be That he who flees from the noise of the fear Shall fall into the pit, And he who comes up from the midst of the pit Shall be caught in the snare; For the windows from on high are open, And the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again. It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, As prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously.


    Notice Isaiah describes the earth moving like a drunkard, being moved out-of-place. This suggests something alters Earth's gravitational field, moving it out of its normal orbit. Heavenly bodies that are massive enough and/or move close enough can affect the gravitational and magnetic fields of other heavenly bodies, such as other planets, stars, large asteroids, or comets.

    Also, consider that John witnesses a darkening of both the sun and the moon. The sun will look like black sackcloth, which is a dark course material people wore as a sign of mourning or repentance. A blood moon describes the reddish-brownish hue seen during a lunar eclipse. The massive global seismic activity described by the prophets may set off volcanoes around the world, spewing ash and blotting out the sun and making the moon look red (Source).

    However, for the sun to appear dark globally, volcanoes would be going off all over the world, as the blackening of the sky only occurs near the volcano. While this is not out of the question, and the "pillars of smoke" described in Joel 2:30 above support this notion, another possibility, is that a foreign heavenly body moves between the earth and the sun. If this foreign body is large enough and moves close enough, it could affect the gravitational field and cause a global earthquake, in addition to the volcanic activity described by Joel.

    As discussed in the next few sections, it is possible a foreign body like a comet or large asteroid passing between the sun and earth could cause both a solar and lunar eclipse, darkening both the sun and moon, if the moon is at or near its full phase as shown below:



    Note that the darkening of the sun and moon in the sixth Seal judgment is not of the luminaries themselves. Instead, something is blocking the light.

    A partial darkening of the luminaries will occur at the fourth Trumpet judgment:

    Revelation 8:12 - Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.


    The complete physical darkening of the sun and moon occurs at the end of the Tribulation, right before Jesus returns at the "great and awesome day of the Lord," better known as the 2nd Coming:

    Matthew 24:29-30 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."


    Mark 13:24-26 - "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."


    Revelation 6:13 - "And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind."

    After the earthquake and darkening of the sun and moon, "stars" fall to the earth. Obviously these are not stars like the sun. John is probably describing what we refer to as meteors, or "shooting stars," which is space debris that falls to the earth, glowing as a result of the heat, as it enters the atmosphere. If a large heavenly body passes by the earth, these falling "stars" could be part of the debris field that typically follows a foreign body like a comet or large asteroid.

    The following passage in Isaiah is about the Tribulation, because it describes judgment against the "whole earth" and "all the nations." The "Assyrian" is a title of the antichrist, as discussed in: "The Nationality of the Antichrist." God will destroy Babylon at the end of the Tribulation by fire (Revelation 18:8-9). Note how Isaiah describes this destruction as a "broom":

    Isaiah 14:22 - "For I will rise up against them," says the LORD of hosts, "And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, And offspring and posterity," says the LORD. "I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, And marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations."


    A comet could be described as a broom. If a comet passes by earth at the beginning of the Tribulation in the sixth Seal judgment, the debris following in its tail could plague the earth for years. Some could get caught in Earth's gravitational field, and the earth would also move through the debris field every year, like it does the Lyrid meteors left by Comet Thatcher (Source).

    Other Tribulation judgments might originate from a comet and its debris tail. Comets consist of ice. If pieces of a comet break off and fall to earth before it melts, it could be described as hail. Comet particles would burn as they enter the atmosphere:

    Revelation 8:7 - The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.


    The second Trumpet judgment could be a comet fragment the size of a mountain:

    Revelation 8:8 - Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.


    In both the first and second Trumpet judgments blood appears. The Greek word for "blood" is "haima," which is where we derive our words like "hemoglobin," pertaining to human blood which consists of iron, and "hematite," describing the blood red color of iron oxide (Source). Iron oxide has been found in comets (Sources: 1 2 3 4). Iron oxide could cause water to look like blood (Sources: 1 2 3). Iron oxide in dust particles have been known to form blood rain (Source). Therefore, comet fragments entering the atmosphere could look like hail and fire, mingled with blood (Revelation 8:7), and a sizable fragment could make a large body of water become as blood (Revelation 8:8).

    Comets contain hydrogen cyanide, which has a bitter taste (Source). If a piece of a comet enters the atmosphere, it could rain down this gas on waters or streams, and/or hit a significant water source that could make rivers and streams bitter:

    Revelation 8:10-11 - Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.


    John describes the stars falling like "late figs" shaken off the tree by a "mighty wind." Late or ripe figs are loose, and if shaken, fall easily from the tree:

    Nahum 3:11-12 - You also will be drunk; You will be hidden; You also will seek refuge from the enemy. All your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs: If they are shaken, They fall into the mouth of the eater.


    If a mighty wind shakes many figs from a tree, the imagery could easily describe a large meteor shower...

    In the following parallel passage, Isaiah also describes the falling stars as leaves falling from the vine. When the leaves turn in the fall, a windy day will make the leaves rain off the trees and vines, much like a fig tree would drop its late figs. The brilliant color of the fall leaves captures the fiery look of falling stars, or meteors:

    Isaiah 34:2-4 - For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree.


    As an interesting side note, some believe "Tophet," which arrives during the "indignation," when God will "sift the nations," is the theorized heavenly body that causes the destruction in the sixth Seal judgment. Tophet's description as the "breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone" sounds a lot like a comet:

    Isaiah 30:27-28, 30, 33 - Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire. His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err... The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, And show the descent of His arm, With the indignation of His anger And the flame of a devouring fire, With scattering, tempest, and hailstones... For Tophet was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; Its pyre is fire with much wood; The breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it.


    Similar wording is found in the "Gog and Magog War," which I believe parallels some of the Seal judgments, as discussed in Revelation 6:8:

    Ezekiel 38:19-22 - "For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."


    Some believe the "stars" falling to earth are speaking of the fallen angels who are cast out of Heaven:

    Revelation 12:6-9 - Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.


    While angels are called "stars," as discussed in Revelation 1:20, the timing of the war in Heaven is toward the middle of the Tribulation, when Israel flees to the wilderness (Matthew 24:15-22). While some believe the Seal judgments are spread evenly through the first half of the Tribulation, I personally see the seals as being opened in rapid-fire succession near the beginning of the Tribulation.

    History has shown that the consequences of conquest and war depicted in the first four seals naturally occur immediately afterward. Also, the "half hour of silence" in the seventh Seal judgment (Revelation 8:1), the timing of the two witnesses' ministry (Revelation 11) and the seven years to burn weapons after the "Gog and Magog War" suggest that Jesus breaks all the seals at the beginning of the Tribulation. Therefore, I do not believe the "stars" falling in the sixth Seal are angels, but literal shooting stars from the debris tail of a heavenly body, near the beginning of the Tribulation.

    Revelation 6:14 - "Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place."

    The cosmic disturbances and the great earthquake are clearly tied together. John tells us "every mountain and island was moved out of its place" in the great earthquake. Isaiah indicates this great earthquake that shakes the foundations of the earth has to do with "open windows." During this earth shaking event, people will hear a fearful "noise":

    Isaiah 24:1, 18-20 - Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste, Distorts its surface And scatters abroad its inhabitants... And it shall be That he who flees from the noise of the fear Shall fall into the pit, And he who comes up from the midst of the pit Shall be caught in the snare; For the windows from on high are open, And the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again.


    Interestingly, fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field have been observed before earthquakes occur (Sources: 1 2). The magnetic field is formed by movement of the liquid iron outer core. The tectonic plates move over the liquid mantle.

    Study of plate tectonics has shown that the magnetic field has reversed several times in earth's history. A magnetic reversal means the earth's magnetic north and south poles in the crust and the inner core poles reverse.

    The following is a hypothesis on what might occur in a magnetic pole reverse:

    In popular literature, many conjectures have been suggested involving very rapid polar shift. A slow shift in the poles would display the most minor alterations and no destruction. A more dramatic view assumes more rapid changes, with dramatic alterations of geography and localized areas of destruction due to earthquakes and tsunamis. Source: Wikipedia

    Scientists believe that the magnetic field becomes weak in a polar reverse. In other words, our protective shield from solar activity would be down. This could be what Isaiah was speaking of when he said the "For the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken" (Isaiah 24:18).

    A polar reverse is thought by some to have occurred at the time of the flood. Note that when the flood began the "windows of heaven were opened," and the water broke through the earth, which suggests massive tectonic activity occurred:

    Genesis 7:11 - In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.


    Massive tectonic activity appears to have continued for a few generations after Noah. Many believe the completion of the division of the continents occurred during the days of Peleg:

    Genesis 10:22-25 - The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.


    While it is generally thought the "windows" opened at the flood were the collapse of the water canopy, which caused the rain for forty days, it doesn't fit Isaiah's description of the "windows" for the Tribulation. Since God promised He would never flood the earth again, it makes more sense that the open "windows" are the shield of the magnetic field being down during a pole reversal, causing the collapse of the water canopy and tectonic activity in the flood, and less protection from the sun, as described in the fourth Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:8-9).

    As discussed in the last few sections, the sixth Seal appears to be a foreign heavenly body passing between the earth and the sun. If such a body enters the earth's magnetic field, the magnetic field of both the earth and the foreign body will interact with each other. Based on the small fluctuations observed before earthquakes today, imagine what kind of earthquake would occur if a foreign body wreaks havoc with Earth's magnetic field.

    Research has suggested that polar reversals can happen repeatedly and rapidly when the magnetic field is unstable (Source). Polar reversals tied to massive tectonic activity may explain how the earth was rapidly transformed during the flood, and again during the Tribulation:

    Revelation 16:18-20 - And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.


    Interestingly, the migration of the poles has accelerated in movement and the magnetic field has weakened in recent years (Sources: 1 2). There have also been numerous reports of mysterious sounds heard all around the world. These sounds have been reported as hums, low rumbles, booming, and even the sound of metal clanging, thought to be related to changes in the magnetic field (Source). If the magnetic field is already making noise because of small fluctuations in the magnetic field, imagine the noise that will be heard throughout the world if the magnetic poles reverse. Perhaps, this is the fearful noise spoken of by Isaiah, when the Lord shakes the earth's foundations (Isaiah 24:18).

    Both John and Isaiah tell us the sky will recede like a rolled up scroll:

    Isaiah 34:2-4 - For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree.


    The Greek word John uses for "receded" literally means to separate, or part asunder. This is the same Greek word used to describe the parting of ways of Paul and Silas from Barnabas and Mark (Acts 15:39). Revelation 6:16 suggests that the parting of the sky is more than a physical event, where the veil between the physical and spiritual realms is temporarily removed. However, a magnetic polar reverse may make the sky physically appear as a rolled scroll moving across the sky.

    The Aurora Borealis occur at the poles, caused by solar activity interacting with our magnetic field. During high solar activity, the aurora belt expands southward. The Aurora Borealis could be described as a rolled up scroll:



    During a magnetic polar reverse, there would be numerous "poles" on which the Aurora Borealis would manifest. Theoretically, the Aurora Borealis, which looks like a rolled up scroll, could appear all over the world during a magnetic polar reverse, because there would be numerous "poles" set up in a weakened magnetic field during reversal:

    Click here for simulation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIdW-ngRZMs

    Revelation 6:15 - "And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains" Taking refuge in the earth is a sign of great distress, as when Saul attacked the Philistines and they gathered a large army, preparing to retaliate:

    1 Samuel 13:4-7 - Now all Israel heard it said that Saul had attacked a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel had also become an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called together to Saul at Gilgal. Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.


    The terror of the sixth Seal judgment drives people of all classes to hide underground. Isaiah describes this as a humbling experience for those who are "proud and lofty":

    Isaiah 2:10-12 - Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up - And it shall be brought low.


    Isaiah 2:17-21 - The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.


    Isaiah shows that a fearful noise causes the people to seek refuge underground. Recall from Revelation 6:14, this noise may be caused by disturbances in the earth's magnetic field. Apparently, some people will be trapped underground and die. Those who resurface will face the "snare" of the Tribulation judgments (Luke 21:25-35):

    Isaiah 24:17-22 - Fear and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall be that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who comes up from the midst of the pit shall be caught in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again. It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.


    John classifies the people as "the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man." Kings are rulers over the nations (Psalm 2:1-2). The "great men" are men who have great influence on people, but do not have an official ruling position (2 Kings 10:6). The "rich men" are the global elite, and the ones really in charge, as the whole world has become indebted to them (Proverbs 22:7, James 5:1-5). "Commanders" are military leaders (Judges 11:6, 1 Samuel 9:16). "Mighty men" are men of valor, or men of renown in battle. Slaves are people in bondage, and free men have liberty (Jeremiah 34:8-11, 2 Peter 2:19). Every class of people will seek refuge underground from the terror of the sixth Seal judgment.

    These people hiding in fear at the beginning of the Tribulation become hardened like Pharaoh to the supernatural judgments (Exodus 7-14), as they continue in rebellion and eventually gather to fight against Christ in the battle of Armageddon:

    Revelation 19:17-19, 21 - Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great." And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army... And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.


    It should raise a few eye brows that a recent trend, among governments, doomsday "preppers," and especially the elite, is to build lavish underground bunkers (Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8). Some protest this is a conspiracy theory and we would know about a heavenly body approaching Earth that has the potential to cause the destruction described in the sixth Seal judgment, thus the Tribulation cannot happen until such a heavenly body is discovered. I contend that such a discovery, if made, would not be made known to the public, because it would cause mass panic. Even with the rise in amateur astronomers, we might be at the mercy of a few select scientists who have access to advanced technology and government funding. Then again, God could knock a heavenly body off course that nobody would see coming until it was too late.

    It is interesting that many of the doomsday "preppers" see the activity of the elite as a sign that something is coming and are following suit. Oh the irony it would be if these lost souls trying to physically save themselves, have a better idea of the closeness of the Tribulation than the Church!

    Revelation 6:16 - "And said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"

    The people at the beginning of the Tribulation will be so fearful of God's wrath that death is contemplated as a means of escape, like it was for Israel during the Assyrian conquest, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, during the Roman siege in 70AD:

    Hosea 10:8-10 - Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, Shall be destroyed. The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars; They shall say to the mountains, "Cover us!" And to the hills, "Fall on us!" "O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah; There they stood. The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity Did not overtake them. When it is My desire, I will chasten them. Peoples shall be gathered against them When I bind them for their two transgressions."


    Luke 23:28-30 - But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!' Then they will begin 'To say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"'


    The people that seek refuge underground are not only afraid of the cosmic disturbances, but also of the "face of Him who sits on the throne." Jesus is the "One" who sits on the throne in Heaven (Revelation 4:2), and He is the Lamb (Revelation 5:6). Those who seek the Lord's face are the righteous (Psalms 17:15, 24:4-6, 27:5-9). Those who want to hide from the Lord's face are evil and/or ashamed:

    1 Peter 3:12 - For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.


    Psalm 34:16-15 - The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.


    Ezra 9:6 - And I said: "O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens."


    God sees everything man does:

    Job 34:21-22 - For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.


    Hebrews 4:13 - And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.


    But God hides His face from those whose sin has not been reconciled through Jesus, being made righteous (Romans 5:10-17):

    Deuteronomy 31:17-18 - Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?' And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.


    Micah 3:4 - Then they will cry to the LORD, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.


    Isaiah 59:1-2 - Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.


    God sets His face against those He judges in wrath:

    Jeremiah 44:11-12 - Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will set My face against you for catastrophe and for cutting off all Judah. And I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to dwell there, and they shall all be consumed and fall in the land of Egypt. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine. They shall die, from the least to the greatest, by the sword and by famine; and they shall be an oath, an astonishment, a curse and a reproach!


    Ezekiel 38:18 - "And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord God, "that My fury will show in My face.""


    The Psalmist cuts right to the heart of the issue with these wicked souls:

    Psalms 10:3-6 - For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. His ways are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, "I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity."


    Psalms 10:7-11 - His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, "God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see."


    People foolishly believe if God hides His face from them, they will not be held accountable for what they do. In reality, God gives them over to their sin and judges them:

    Romans 1:18-29, 22, 24-26 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them... Professing to be wise, they became fools... Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions....


    Romans 1:28-32 - And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.


    A literal interpretation of seeing the face of the Lord would be a physical view of the throne in Heaven by the "earth dwellers." Some believe that the sky receding like a scroll (Revelation 6:14) is a veil being pulled back between the physical and spiritual realms, like in the following passages:

    Ezekiel 1:1 - Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.


    Matthew 3:16 - When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.


    Acts 7:55-56 - But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"


    Acts 10:10-11 - Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.


    The following passage includes parallel wording to men being hidden underground, and God not hiding His face from Israel, when He brings them back from the global exile, which will be complete by the end of the Tribulation:

    Jeremiah 16:14 - "Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "that it shall no more be said, 'The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' but, 'The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.' For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. "Behold, I will send for many fishermen," says the LORD, "and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes."


    The wording about fishermen and hunters may allude to believers sharing the Gospel with the Jews (fishers of men - Matthew 4:19), and the antichrist and his minions (antichrist/hunter types: Nimrod - Genesis 10:9 and Esau - Genesis 25:27) persecuting the Jews during the Tribulation. The following passages below, support that God will use persecution to bring the Jews home, which we have witnessed in our day since the Holocaust. The persecution in the Tribulation will work to bring all the Jews home:

    Deuteronomy 4:27, 29-31 - And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.


    Ezekiel 11:16-17 - Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone." ' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."'


    Revelation 6:17 - "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

    The "wrath of the Lamb" has come, as described by the evil earth dwellers (Revelation 6:16). The Lamb is the Son of God (Revelation 5:6), who took the "purchase deed" to the Earth (Revelation 5:7). Before He returns to physically inherit that which He bought with His blood, He evicts the rebels from Earth in His wrath:

    Job 21:30 - For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath.


    Psalms 2:7-12 - "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' "Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.""


    Psalms 110:1-2, 4-6 - The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! "...The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.


    Isaiah 13:11-13 - I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger.


    A "day" in scripture may refer to a period of time, and not necessarily a literal 24 hour day (Source). The Lamb's "day of wrath" encompasses the seven year Tribulation, or "Daniel's 70th Week." The wrath of the Lamb begins with the breaking of the first Seal, and ends when He returns to Earth:

    Malachi 3:2-7 - "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness. "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old, As in former years. And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien - Because they do not fear Me," Says the LORD of hosts. "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the LORD of hosts. "But you said, 'In what way shall we return?'"


    As noted in the passages above, one purpose of the judgments in the Tribulation is to draw Israel back to God. These passages also answers the question "Who can stand?" Only those who return to God and survive the refining fire of the wrath of the Lamb will be able to stand. A remnant of Israel will be saved through this "time of Jacob's trouble":

    Jeremiah 30:7 - Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.


    The prophet Nahum broadens the scope of those "who can stand" through God's wrath to all those who trust in Him:

    Nahum 1:5-7 - The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him. The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.


    Many believers will die during the Tribulation (Revelation 13:7-17, 17:16), but not one enemy of God will stand at the coming of the Lord (Revelation 19:10-21). Only believers will enter the Kingdom:

    Matthew 25:31-36 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'"


    Matthew 25:41-43, 46 - "...Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me...' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
    Some believe that God's wrath doesn't begin until the sixth Seal. But it is clear that the Lamb of God opens every seal, resulting in unimaginable catastrophe on Earth, on a scale not seen since the flood:


    Some believe that God's wrath doesn't begin until the sixth Seal. But it is clear that the Lamb of God opens every seal, resulting in unimaginable catastrophe on Earth, on a scale not seen since the flood:

    Revelation 6:1 - Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals...
    Revelation 6:3 - When He opened the second seal...
    Revelation 6:5 - When He opened the third seal...
    Revelation 6:7 - When He opened the fourth seal...
    Revelation 6:9 - When He opened the fifth seal...
    Revelation 6:12 - I looked when He opened the sixth seal...
    Revelation 8:1 - When He opened the seventh seal...


    It is at the sixth Seal judgment when unbelievers first acknowledge that God is pouring out His wrath. The Greek word translated "has come" is in the aorist tense, which generally depicts a past tense. In other words, when Jesus breaks the sixth seal, unbelievers recognize that all that has befallen them has been God's wrath. We live in a world today that rejects any notion that God metes out judgment through His creation. Even after the rapture and the global catastrophes that follow in the first five Seal judgments, it is going to take a shaking of the cosmos for man to finally admit that God is pouring out judgment on them.

  19. #19
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    Conclusion - Why the Seals have not been broken yet

    A theory becoming popular is that Jesus has broken the first five seals over the last couple millennia, and the rapture will occur when He breaks the sixth seal because an earthquake occurred after Jesus died on the cross:

    Matthew 27:50-54 - And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

    Those who believe this theory suggest if an earthquake occurred during Jesus' and the Old Testament saint's resurrection, then an earthquake should also occur at the resurrection and rapture of the Church saints. However, it is unclear from this passage if the earthquake occurred at Jesus' death, or three days later when the resurrection occurred. In addition, there is no mention of the earth quaking in the clear rapture passages in Scripture. Besides, as we saw in Revelation 4, the Church saints are already present in Heaven before Jesus takes the scroll in Revelation 5.

    The global nature of the Seal judgments alone proves that Jesus has not broken any of them yet. The first seal depicts global conquest through the spirit of lawlessness (Revelation 6:2). The second seal describes peace being taken from the earth (Revelation 6:4). The fact that the world hasn't dissolved into anarchy is evidence that this seal has not been broken yet. The global hyperinflation and scarcity described in the third seal (Revelation 6:5), which would naturally follow global anarchy, has not occurred yet. The wealthy appear untouched, while the rest of the world is driven to poverty (Revelation 6:6). Today, there is still a healthy middle class in the world.

    Some believe the fourth Seal finds fulfillment in the dire conditions found in most Muslim countries today. Yet, unnatural death by sword, hunger, death and wild beasts is not rampant in these nations, as "death" characterizes the fourth seal and compounds the global judgments of the first three seals, for a fourth of the earth. While it is true that about a quarter of the world's population is Muslim (Source), the Greek text indicates that a quarter of the world's land is subject to the fourth seal, not the population, as discussed in Revelation 6:8.

    If a fourth of the global population was in view, over 1.5 billion Muslims would be subject to unnatural death by sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts. The only time in history death occurred on such a scale was during the "Black Death" in Europe. Clearly, even the brutal conditions in most Muslim countries don't even come close to what occurred as a result of the "Black Death" in Europe.

    Note that Muslim nations only cover about a fifth of the earth's landmass. However, as discussed in Revelation 6:8, the nations involved in the "Gog and Magog War" roughly cover a fourth of the earth:



    As discussed in Revelation 6:10, the martyrs calling out for vengeance in the fifth seal does not fit in the "dispensation of grace." In addition, their call for vengeance is on those who killed them, which indicates their murderers are still alive on earth when Jesus breaks the fifth seal. This does not fit the theory the Jesus broke the fifth Seal centuries or millennia ago.

    As noted in Revelation 6:17, the aorist tense in the Greek shows that unbelievers come to realize at the sixth seal that the Lamb has been the one behind all the catastrophes that have befallen them up to the cosmic disturbances. Clearly, the Seal judgments have not yet taken place, and all are the wrath of God that affects all of creation.

    On an end note, the Lord breaking each seal is like an incremental removal of Himself from a world that hates Him. The Lord removes that which the world has taken for granted and reveals His wrath by turning them over to their sinful desires, allowing them to reap what they sow (Romans 1):


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    I've been corrected on the reference to Tophet in the section for Revelation 6:13. There are some who believe this is a body used by the Lord in judgment. I thought I had researched that point to verify, but apparently I did not. Tophet is actually a reference to Hell and also a place in the Valley on Hinnom where child sacrifice took place (Jeremiah 7). Nevertheless, the description about God's breath being like a stream of brimstone that is used to sift the nations is still interesting. Here is my correction to that section:

    As an interesting side note, when God will "sift the nations," His breath is described "like a stream of brimstone," which sounds a lot like a comet:

    Isaiah 30:27-28, 30, 33 - Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire. His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err.... The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, And show the descent of His arm, With the indignation of His anger And the flame of a devouring fire, With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.... For Tophet was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; Its pyre is fire with much wood; The breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it.

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