Chapter 6, the scene shifts from future events in heaven to future events on earth. We have looked at what will happen in heaven between the Rapture and the Tribulation Period. Now we turn our attention to what will happen on earth during this same period of time. There is much debate abouthow long this period will last, but three years is a good possibility.
The Seven Jewish Feast Days
God gave the Jews seven feast days to observe forever.
It can be shown that
1.) Jesus was crucified on Passover (the first feast day)
2.) Jesus was in the grave on Unleavened Bread (the second feast day)
3.) Jesus arose from the dead on First Fruits (the third feast day)
4.) the church began on Pentecost (the forth feast day)
5.) there is reason to believe the Church will be raptured on Trumpets (the fifth feast day)
6.) there is reason to believe the Second Coming will occur and the Tribulation Period will end on Atonement the sixth freast day)
7.) there is reason to believe the Millennium will begin on Tabernacles the seventh feast day)
Interestingly enough, between Trumpets (the Rapture) and Atonement (the Second Coming and the end of the Tribulation Period) there is a ten-day period called the "tendays of awe," the awesome days, or the ten days of repentance. Since the seventieth week or the (Tribulation Period) corresponds to seven years (one day of the seventieth week = one year of the Tribulation Period), it is resonable to assume that the ten days of awe will correspond to ten years. This period of time will give people, Gentiles and Jews, an opportunity to grieve, mourn, repent and accept Jesus as Messiah before the Second Coming occurs and their fate is sealed forever. It will also allow three years for the Antichrist to come on the scene and rise to power before the Tribulation Period begins.
The Number Seven
During the tribulation Period Jesus will start to deal with the Satanic trinity and man's rebellion on earth. His course of discepline will be directed from heaven, but the terrible events will take place on earth. The Holy Spirit has divided these events into three sets of seven: seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, and seven bowl judgments. It would be easy to say that twenty-one judgments will occur, but that is not the case. The first six seals will be broken one at a time and each seal will produce a judgment for a total of six judgments. The seventh seal will not produce a seventh judgment. Instead it will produce the seven trumpets. The first six trumpets each produce a judgment for a total of six. But the sevents trumpet will produce the seven bowls. When the seventh bowl is poured out, the Tribulation Period will come to an end.
A small number of phophecy experts suggest that these judgments will occur simultaneously. This can't be. The seven trumpets do not begin until the seventh seal is opened, and the seven bowls do not begin until the seventh trumpet is blown.
Over the centuries people have always tried to figure out the Antichrist's identity, since he will probably be alive when the Church is raptured. But the problem with this is he will be restrained and will not be revealed until the proper time. When the true Church is raptured, it will be time to start watching for the Antichrist. He will not stand out at first, so the best thing to look for will be a popular and powerful person. When he signs a seven-year treaty to protect Israel, his identity will be known.
(John Haggee) states the Antichrist will be a man who makes his debut upon the stage of world history with hypnotic charm and charisma. He will probably come from the European Union or a country or confederation that was once part of the Roman Empire, which stretched from Ireland to Egypt and included Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
Rev. 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Like a Tiny Snowball Rolling Down A Hill
The terrible judgments will not begin like a nuclear explosion, but rather like a tiny snowball rollng down a long hill. They will not appear that bad at first but they will gain strength and momentum with each roll. Things will eventually get out of control and become so bad that mankind would destroy the earth were it not for the Second Coming of Jesus.
Notice who opens the seals. Jesus!!! He is in charge of the judgments and their timing. He once said,Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father (John 5:22,23). When he opens the first seal, one of the four living creatures will speak in a voice like a thunder.
In each of the first four seals a horse and rider are released by one of the four living creatures of (Chapter 4). Each horse is waiting in its stall ready to charge, as if in a race, when the command is given. They will not, however, all race out at once. Each horse must wait for its command, and its command will be given by a different living creature when Jesus breaks a seal. When all four living creatures have commanded their horses to come forth, all four horses will have been released. Each living creature summons its horse by speaking just one word --Come!!!
As long as Noah was on the earth, God did not send the flood, but when Noah entered the ark, God did send the flood and judged the world. As long as Lot and his family were in Sodom and Gomorrah, God did not send fire and brimstone to destroy the cities. But likewise, when Lot and his family were safely out of Sodom and Gomorrah, God did not hesitate to judge these cities. Today, as long as the Church is in the world, God will not send these terrible judgments. But as soon as the Church is taken to heaven, God will not hesitate to pour out his wrath.
Rev. 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
A White Horse
Chapter 19 also speaks of a rider on a white horse - Jesus. For this reason, a few experts suggest that this rider will also be Jesus. But most experts disagree, believing this rider to be none other than the counterfeit Christ, or Antichrist.
He will come forth with a bow. A bow was an effective weapon in John's day; a symbol of military power. However, nothing is said about arrows, so many think this rider will come forth as a man of peace.
Crowns were worn by heads of state. Those who wore them usually earned ot inherited the right to wear their crown. But this man will receive his crown as a gift, meaning he will not earn or inherit it.
The world will be looking for such a ruler who can put an end to nuclear weapons, environmental and economic problems, proery, etc. He will go forth as a conqueror bent on conquest, thereby abandoning his peace program in an attempt to dominate the world. But his use of force to attain his goal of world domination will be a disaster, resulting in the persecution and death of all those who oppose him. The earth will have charismatic leader negotiationpeace treaties that are a fake.
When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem as a man of peace, he did not ride in on a conqueror's white horse, but on a donkey. When he returns as a conqueror at the end of the Tribulation Period, he will ride on a White Horse. Notice that the Antichrist does not ride in on a donkey in peace, but rather on a horse in conquest.
Rev. 6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
Rev. 6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
A Fiery Red Horse
The Antichrist will barely have his peace program off the ground when Jesus breaks the second seal. This time it will be the second living creature who speaks the command, Come!!!
A fiery red horse will go forth and its rider will have an unusual power. He will take peace from the earth and cause men to slay each other. This rider will charge forth with a great sword in his hand, signifying that he will go forth with many powerful weapons of war.
Some experts associate this rider on a red horse with Communism. The prophet Exekiel fortells the rise of a dictator from the far north, (possibly Russia) who will go forth to attack Israel in the last days. He will advance with a great army carrying swords and riding horses, but will meet defeat when many of his own troops slay each other because God will turn each man against his brother so that God's glory may be shown.
The Prince of Peach - The Prince of Wars
The Antichrist will be a false prince of peace. God will show the world he is a fake by causing his phony peace programs to fail. Jesus is the true Prince of Peace. When world leaders reject him, they reject the only solution to their problems.
Rev. 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
Rev. 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
A Black Horse
Peace without the Prince of Peace is no peace. The eend result can only be war. War will rule the whole world after the Rapture. The Wars of foolish and deceitful men will kill farmers, destroy land and crops, and cause the collapse of social, physical, and political structures. These wicked men will destroy, confiscate, and hoard food supplies causing despair, misery, poverty, and death.
When Jesus opens the third seal, the third living creature will give the samd command as the first two, Come!!! This horse will be black, the color of grief and mourning. Its rider will hold a pair of scales that symbolize economic disaster and famine. The scales will be used to weigh food which will sellfor a ridiculously-high price. A small quart of wheat will cost the equivalent of a day's wages, but many will not be able to survive on this, so they will be forced to buy barley, a cheaper food that is usually fed to animals. Three quarts of barley will still cost a equivalent of a day's wages, so no money will be left for clothes, housing, or automobiles. In spite of all this, the rich will still be able to afford luxury items such as oil and wine.
Jesus is the Bread of Life, but the Antichrist will be a false bread of life. The Antchrist will prove to be a fake when his food programs result in famine.
Rev. 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
Rev. 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
A Pale Horse
The world will have a false peace, then war, and then economic collapse and famine. Things will grow progressively worse. this obviously contradicts those who say things will get better and better, or those who teach that the Church will eventually bring in a perfect society. the Bible says, There will be terrible times in the last days and evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse (II Timothy 3:1, 13). When Jesus opens the fourth seal, it will be the forth living creature's turn to command a horse by saying, Come!!! This horse will surge forth creating an eerie sight because of its pale color. In the Greek translation of the Bible, the word used for pale is "chloros," meaning pale green like chlorophyll. This horse is the color of spoiled meat and rotting flesh. his rider and the creature following him are personified by Death and Hades. This rider won't be looking for the saved who have been raptured or the few who have accepted Jesus during the Tribulation Period. Instead, an he will be hunting the great mass of people who are destined for an eternity in hell. Sadly, this horse and rider will go forth to harvest the souls of unbelievers to fuel the fires of hell.
Notice the progression: The rider on the white horse will be only partially armed. He will have a bow but no arrows. The rider on the red horse will carry a single large sword. the rider on the black horse will have two weapons - economic collapse and famine. This rider, the pale horse, will have four weapons - a sword, famine, plagues, and wild animals. It will get worse and worse, not better.
The sword signifies continuing war and bloodshed; famine signifies starvation; plague signifies diseases; and wild beasts signify the animals of the earth. This last weapon will be a strong signal to the "politically correct" who worship Mother Nature and value the life of animals over unborn babies. God will show the world that it's wrong to worship Mother Nature. Hungry animals will turn on the unbelieving world and add to the death and eternal damnation of more than one billion people.
Rev. 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Following the Rapture, a multitudes will accept Jesus. They are usually called the Tribulation Saints. World leaders will say these Christians are a treat to the world government, world peace, world religion, and the environment. Therefore they must be dealt with. Followers of the New Age Movement teach that the earth must go through a cleansing in order to proceed to perfection. This cleansing they envision will include the death of all who ture to Jesus.
The opening of the fifth seal switches attention from the death of unbelievers to the death of believers; from the pit of Hades to under the altar in Heaven. The four living creatures will summon no more horses. The last three seals will be different from the first four.
Jesus obviously will not forget his people because he showed John the souls of these slain believers gathered in a special place. They will have died because of the word of God and because of the testimony they maintain. Many of these will be from families of Christians who left in the Rapture. Others will be jews who realize the mistake they made in not accepting Jesus. Some will have heard the Word of God for the first time. Others will finally come to grips with their sin and turn to Jesus who said, Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.(Matthew 10:28) These believers will realize that the Antichrist can do nothing worse than kill their body; for God will raise them from the dead. They will choose to die one death (physical), rather than two (physical and spiritual).
Rev. 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
The souls of the Tribulation Saints are under the altar crying out instead of rejoicing and praising God around the throne with the rest of the Church. Unlike those who received their glorifide bodies in the Rapture, these saints will have to wait until later for theirs. Because of this they will be fully conscious and able to rationalize the persecution, torture and murder they have endured. They will have a sense of justice andwant to be raised, vindicated, and given glorified bodies.
They will cry our with a loud voice which is reminiscent of (Psalm 94:1-3) O Lord, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, o Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. how long will the wicked, O Lord, howlong will the wicked be jubilant? They will utter the prayer Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).
Rev. 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
These martyrs will not be rebuked for asking to be vindicated. They will receive white robes signifying the righteoussness of Jesus. Some experts suggest these robes may indicate some type of intermediate body, but whatever the case, we know that the martyrs will be able to hear, understand, and converse because Jesus tells them to be patient.
The Tribulation Saints will be told to wait until other believers are killed, indicating Jesus has a specific plan for the rest of the world.
Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Definitely Not A Harvest Moon
When Jesus opens the sixth seal, the whole earth will shake. John calls thes shaking the great earthquake, but the description sounds more like a nuclear explosion. It may be a great earthquake triggered by one or more nuclear explosions. Whatever it is, it will be massive. The whole earth will go into convulsions, and the appearance of the sun and moon will be changed.
While the earth is going through tremendous vibrations, the sun will be darkened as if almost black, and the moon will turn blood red. It could be that one or more nuclear explosions will take place, causing the earth to shake violently and spew tons of debris into the atmosphere. The resulting atmospheric pollution will cause darkness to cover the land and the moon to appear red. The cataclysmic effects of Mount St. Helens and El Nino will be dwarfed in comparison.
Today the Middle East is brimming over with weapons of mass destruction. There are unsubstantiated reports that now Israel and Iran both have the nuclear bomb. Couple this with unfulfilled prophecy and we can understand why the prophet Isaiah said Damascus will be turned into a ruinous heap and the mountains of Lebanon will be on fire. The prophet Ezekiel said Egypt will turn to utter waste and desolation for forty years. It is easy to see the possible results of atomic or nuclear weapons.
The prophet Joel said The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Joel 2:28-31). According to Ezekiel, the sword will come upon Egypt when the day of the Lord is near.
Rev. 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
The Golden Rul of Interpretation states, "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense." This, however, is one of those instances where the plain sense does not seem to fit because most stars are bigger than the earth. No star could fall to the earth as late figs drop from a fig tree without decimating the planet.
Since the word stars in the Greek translation could also be translated meteors, this could indicate a meteor shower. It could also mean a missile attack. During the Persian Gulf War nights were filled with cruise missiles and laser-guided smart bombs one can easily see how someone living almost 2,000 years ago would describe scenes like this as falling stars. Whatever this is, stars, meteors, or missiles, they will fall to earth like overripe figs dripping from a fig tree in a mighty wind.
Rev. 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
A Giant Tidal Wave
This seems to be another indication of a coming nuclear war. During a nuclear blast the wind is rapidly pushed out displaced for several miles, creating a vacuum at the center fo the blast site. Suddenly, this wind, like a giant tidal wave, rushes violently back into the vaccuum. The shy actually rolls up on itself. This explosion will be so great it will cause every mountain and island on earth move.
Rev. 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Run For Your Life
There will be worldwide panic. Regardless of one's status in life, all people will try to hide. Multitudes will leave everything behind and rush into caves and bomb shelters. Multitudes will flee the cities to hide in the mountains, Kings and princes will flee their palaces. Great generals and mighty men will turn and run in fear of their lives. People of every class will flee and hide. Survival will be man's only concern.
Rev. 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Nothing Will Escape
Will these panic-stricken people call on Jesus? No!!! They will call on Mother Nature. They will call on the rocks and mountains to fall on them, because they will want to hide from the face and wrath of God.
Multitudes will finally admit the existence of God. They will even admit that it is possible to anger Jesus, but they will not turn to him. Instead they will try to hide, but to no abail since nothing can escape the sight of God.
Rev. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
A Day Of Wrath
The day of wrath is another name for the Tribulation Period. The mulltitudes will recognize the beginning of thatday when the first seal is opened. Sadly, we read nothing about people repenting and accepting Jesus - only the realization that the dreaded Tribulation Period has come. And there is the question: Who can stand? The answer is in Revelation 16:18. 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.
A Tribulation Yet To Come
1.) In Daniels 70 - Weeks Prophecy, the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel's prophecy is the period of time (69 weeks X 7 years/weeks = 483 years) between the decree for the captive Jews in Babylon to return to Israel to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Since these first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel's prophecy were literally fulfilled, we can only assume that the seventieth week (the last week of seven years) will also be literally fulfilled.
2.) Some people do not understand why prophecy teachers say there is a gap between the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel's prophecy and the seventieth week the Church Age - the period between the triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed after the sixty-ninth week. That happened in 70 A.D. when the Romans overran Israel, burned Jerusalem, tore down the Temple, and killed 5 million Jews. Part of the prophecy has been fulfilled. But a careful study also reveals that the seven-year covenant to protect Israel, that he will break that covenant and stop all animal sacrifices. For this to happened. Israel had to be restored sa a nation (which happened in 1948) and the Temple must be rebuilt (which has yet to happen). Part of the prophecy is yet to come.
3.) Some believe the Church will succeed in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth without the world goind through the Tribulation Period. But the angel Gabriel told Daniel the Jews would go through the entire seventy weeks before the kingdom of righteousness is brought in. Since the earth has never experienced some of the things prophesied for that time, it must go through them before the Kingdom of God can established.
4.) Some people believe that the seventieth week of Daniel had been fulfilled by the time Jesus arrived, but Jesus spoke of these things as future events, not events of the past.