Revelation - Chapter 6
The Seven Seal Judgment:
Beginning with the sixth chapter of Revelation apostle John was given the vision of coming judgments. They are the 7 seals judgments, 7 trumpets judgments and the 7 bowls judgments (6; 8-9; 16). These are terrifying scene of the great wrath of the Lamb. But they encourage and prepare believers to be steadfast in their faith. The Lamb who has triumphed over sin is worthy to open the seven seals. Christ is going to judge the world (6:17). Christ told the disciples about coming events of the end time in His Olivet Discourse (Matt 24, 25). They should reject the false teachers and remain faithful to the true gospel even unto death. The terrifying scene of the great day of the wrath of the Lamb is about to begin. Bible scholars differ on the interpretation of these events (6-19).
The First Seal: 6:1, 2:
When the Lamb opened one of the seals, John heard one of the four living creatures say with a loud voice like thunder
saying “Come”. This invitation is repeated to all four horsemen. John saw a white horse and its rider had a bow. He came out to conquering and to conquer. The rider had crown on his head (6:2). White is a symbolic of peace and purity. Bow speaks of war and crown is symbolic of authority. Some suggest that white horse is a picture of Christ (Rev 19:11). Others think this speaks of world evangelism (Matt 24:14). The rider revealed here cannot be Christ because he does not hold the scroll. Most probably the rider on white horse is the false Christ who comes in the name of Christ to deceive people (Matt 24:5). He promises world-peace and safety to everyone. Paul warns that "When he says peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them" (1 Thess 5:3). This is the Antichrist, who would sign a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:26). The arms race done today in the name of peace will only lead to more destruction. Only Jesus is the prince of peace and He alone can bring lasting peace (John 14:27). This false christ is the "Man of sin" mentioned in Daniel 9:36 (2 Thess 2:3-12).
The Second Seal: 6:3-4.
When the Lamb opened the second seal, a rider on a red horse appears. The rider carries a mighty sword in his hand. He was given the authority to take peace from the earth. Without the permission of God, Satan cannot do anything. There will be war and slaughter everywhere. This is the second phase of the reign of Antichrist. He will break the peace treaty once he made with the nations. This will cause worldwide war and bloodshed. People become disloyal and violent because of their sin and selfishness. Christ warned that there would be wars and rumors of wars (Mark 13:7). Antichrist could promise peace but cannot deliver real peace. Only Christ can give us lasting peace. Peace comes only when we are reconciled to God (Rom 5:11). Worry and anxiety are the result of absence of peace. Having justified by faith in Christ we have peace with God (Rom 5:1). Jesus Himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). Only Christ could bring ultimate peace in this world.
The Third Seal: 6:5-6.
When he opened the third seal, a black horse and a rider holding a pair of scale appears. A voice from among the four living creatures cried out, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wage and six pounds of barley for a day’s wage”. The balance suggests that a system of rationing will be enforced. A denarius was a day’s wage and would buy only enough wheat for one person for one day (Matt 20:2, 9). Because of war the production of grain will be greatly reduced. As a result there would be world wide scarcity of food and famine. There is going to be rationing of food. People will be told not to waste the olive oil and wine (6:6). It shows that even though hardship and suffering increase, God is still in control. We are rapidly heading for day.
The Fourth Seal 6:7-8.
When the fourth seal was opened, John saw a pale green horse. Its rider's name was death and Hades followed him. These two were given authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword. There will be famine, disease and wild animals everywhere. Hades is inhabited by souls of those who died in their sin (Luke 16:23). Pale is the color of a sick person or a corpse. There will be war, world wide plague and wild animals will roam in search of food because of famine. People will go through great suffering. God wants people to repent of their sins and turn to Him for safety. But they will not repent of their sin.
The Fifth Seal: 6:9-11.
The opening of the fifth seal changes the scene. When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, John saw under the alter, the souls of martyrs who died for testimony for Christ. They refuse to renounce their faith in Christ and worship the false god. They pour out their lives for Christ as a drink offering (Phil 2:17; 2 Tim 4:6). They will cry out with a loud voice “Lord holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” They will be given white robe and told to rest a little longer until many more will join their ranks. These may not be the martyrs of the church age, for they were caught up before the opening of the seals. The souls being under the alter is symbolic of the fact that they have been purchased by the blood of Christ. They know that vengeance belongs to the Lord and He will repay them (Rom 12:19). That is going to happen when Christ returns (2 Thess 1:6-8). Though they are slain, they are alive in the presence of God. What a beautiful picture of our eternal security. Believers may die but they shall live again (John 11:25). When Christ returns, the saved will be comforted and the unsaved will suffer judgment. Christians do not need to fear death and suffering because they serve a risen Savior (John 16:33). If we suffer with Christ now we shall reign with Him when Christ returns (1 Pet 4:13).
The Sixth Seal: 6:12-17.
When the sixth seal was opened there was great earthquake. Now the intensity of the judgment is increased. It is followed by the sun becoming black, the moon becoming as red as blood, the stars falling down to the earth, the sky rolling up like a scroll, and all the mountains and islands were moved from their places. God will pour out His judgment over nature because sin had contaminated the whole creation. This would make people panic and fearful. They looked for hiding places in caves and mountains to escape from the judgment of God. This hiding game started in the Garden of Eden. People want to escape from the wrath of the Lamb. They cry to mountains and the rock to fall on them to hide from the wrath of the Lamb. Wrath is God’s holy and settled attitude toward sin. No one can save us from the wrath of God except Jesus Chris who endured the wrath on our behalf on the cross. Human history reveals the depth of their rebellion toward God and their refusal to trust Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world (John 1:29). His sacrifice is sufficient for salvation of the whole world but only efficient for those who trust Him. Have you experienced this salvation by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ?