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Opening the Seals

May 6th, 2015

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Revelation 6:1-2

The Redeemer is given authority to open the seals of the scroll held in the hand of God. He unleashes the future which leads ultimately to our redemption.

The first four seals are broken one by one, but also in a grouping, and they unleash four horsemen: a glorious conqueror on a white horse riding off to war; a bloodied combatant on a red horse in the midst of the conflict; the ensuing famine represented by the rider on the black horse; and Death riding a pale horse. These four horsemen re-depict a scene that has played out repeatedly in history. The rider on the white horse represents the politician who paints a glorious picture of war to the people who naively see only the good of the war, but then quickly follow bloodshed, famine, and death.

The rider on this white horse most likely represents the Antichrist, or the Prince who will come (Daniel 9:26). He comes into power through deception and manipulation, through making pacts and treaties and agreements with other rulers and powerful people, and he does so in a way that endears him to the masses.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they may all be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

People follow him not in punishment for their unbelief in God but out of the results of their unbelief. Satan is a deceiver and he will empower this person to impress and to deceive and to mislead.

Yet in spite of the removal of the church, there will be many people who come to faith in Christ during this time.  Jesus said,

Matthew 24:21-22: For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

The fifth seal is opened and no rider comes forth, rather, as has been done through the centuries, failure needs a scapegoat and believers in Christ are blamed for the woes that have come upon the earth.

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.

These are people who have come to faith in Christ and are blamed and martyred for the problems that the world has brought upon itself through unbelief. Repeatedly the reality of Proverbs 19:3 is revealed on a worldwide level, “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” Some will repent for their sins and turn to Christ in faith, but the majority it appears will continue in their unbelief and Christians suffer.

The martyrs are “under the altar,” meaning that their sins are forgiven through Christ, and they interceded for their brothers. They were dressed in white robes, indicating purity, and they cried out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10). God is a God of justice and He will avenge the blood of those slain for their faith in Him, but He will do it in His time and in His way, and do it justly.

The sixth seal is opened and the earth and the universe together seemed to judge the unbelievers who followed the Antichrist. It is as though the sun, the moon, the stars, and the very rocks and waters and fields of earth rose up in condemnation of man’s inhumanity toward man. People may decide on a course of action, they may convince themselves that it is right and justified, they may have great political rallies and market the action in a way that seems acceptable, but God judges the heart and He will bring judgment. There is a result of sinning and we cannot avoid it – not the pain it causes to people, nor its effect on the creation, and certainly not the judgment of Almighty God against it. “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:17)

Today, however, is the day of salvation. Now people are able to trust in Christ. You can be forgiven and cleansed now by turning from your sin and turning to Christ in faith, believing that He died for you and rose from the grave. Have you made this decision for Christ? Now is not too late.

Tomorrow we will examine chapter 7.

Second Coming of Christ , ,