Posted by: watchmancurtis | February 2, 2010

Revelation Study Week 12

Today’s study had us examining the mysterious and challenging seven seals of Revelation.  We covered a lot of ground today as we jumped back and forth through the Word trying to gain a better understanding of this topic.  About four years ago I was asked to fill in as the leader of a study of the book of Revelation and the topic was the seven seals.  There was only one problem.  I had no clue of what they meant.  I remember asking the Lord to give me understanding in this area and I am thankful He did.  The Lord led me to Matthew 24 which was like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly into place.  Once you understand the seven seals I think you can see that they are the key to understanding the rest of Revelation.

Derek Prince called Matthew 24 the spine of End Times prophecy.  It is a remarkable account of the signs to watch for before Christ returns.  What I was amazed to find there on that day in which I prayed for help, was the seven seals.  Each seal is mentioned in order by Christ.  They aren’t called seals there, but it is hard to miss them when you know what to look for.  As we go through each seal I will also list them from the account in Matthew 24.

Seal 1: Revelation 6:1-2 The first seal is a white horse with a rider carrying a bow.  He is going out to conquer.  I have heard it argued that this represents Christ since the rider is on a white horse and we see Christ on a white horse at the end of Revelation, but there are a few problem with this theory.  First of all, Jesus is the one opening the seals.  He is not the one going forth.  Secondly, Jesus returns with a sword coming out of his mouth…not a bow.  Perhaps this is someone who wants to look like Christ.

Matthew 24:5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”  This first seal seems to be a false religion personified by the Antichrist who conquers by deception.  He will claim to be God and will mislead many.

Seal 2:  Revelation 6:3-4 The second seal is a red horse with a rider who takes peace from the earth so that men slay one another.  He represents war.

Matthew 24:6-7a “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.  For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.”

Seal 3: Revelation 6:5-6 The third seal is a black horse and a rider carrying a pair of scales in his hand.  A voice is heard saying that it will cost a days wages just to get a little food.  Yet there will be rich people concerned about their oil and wine.  This seal represents famine.

Matthew 24:7b “And there will be famines”

Seal 4: Revelation 7-8 The fourth seal in an ashen/pale horse and Death is its rider.  Hades is following close behind.  They are given authority over a fourth of the earth to kill with sword, famine, pestilence and beasts of the earth.

Matthew 24:7b-8 (King James Version) “And there will be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”  We have seen war, famine and pestilence now in these seals.  So far they match up perfectly.

Seal 5: Revelation 6:9-11  This seal is different from the previous four.  We do not see a horse and rider here.  Now we see those who have been killed for the cause of Christ.  These are martyrs.  They are waiting for justice to be done, but they are told to wait a little longer.

Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

After this Jesus gives a few more details of this period of time.  We are told that when you see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel that those who are reading this in Judea are to flee to the mountains.  The Abomination of Desolation does not happen until the midpoint of the 70th Week of Daniel…that is three and half years into the seven year period.  This is found in Daniel 12:11 where there will be 1,290 days or three and half years.  We are also told that it is at this point that the Great Tribulation begins (Matt. 24:21).  Those who hold to a Pretribulational rapture see the whole seven years as the Great Tribulation.  Yet Jesus says that the Great Tribulation does not begin until the Abomination of Desolation is set up. 

Seal 6: Revelation 6:12-17  This is a powerful seal.  There are cosmic signs in the heavens.  The sun is darkened and the moon is turned to blood.  The sky is split apart like a scroll rolling up.  Every mountain and island are moved out of their places and the kings of the earth and many others hide because they realize the wrath of God has come.  You will find these very cosmic signs in Matthew 24:29-31, Isaiah 13:6-16, Joel 2:30-32, and Acts 2:20-21.  It is interesting to note that it is only after the sixth seal that the wrath of God is said to be about to come.  Most people see the wrath of God has the full seven years of the 70th Week of Daniel, however that is not the case.  The wrath of God or the Day of the Lord is not until the end.  In fact is impossible for the wrath to be the full seven years unless the cosmic signs happen first.  Joel 2:30-32 tells us that these signs will be sent BEFORE the day of the Lord.

Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.  And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” 

Immediately is a very important word here.  It is time sensitive.  As soon as the tribulation of those days is over the cosmic signs will be seen and then Jesus will come and have his angels gather his elect from one end of the sky to the other.  This is a very clear picture of the rapture to me.  Can we see this in Revelation as well?  I think so.  Revelation chapter 7:9-17 shows a great multitude in heaven after the cosmic signs.  John is told that these are those who have come out of the Great Tribulation and they will not have to suffer any longer.  At the beginning of Revelation 7 we even see four angels at the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds.  The same picture we see in Matthew 24.  I know many do not teach this, but I firmly believe that is clear in scripture.

There was a question at this point regarding Matthew 24:24 where Jesus said that “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”  This is the verse that Preterists (those who see these things as already being fulfilled in A.D. 70) hang their hat on.  They say that these verses are not pointing to a future event for us, but events that had to be fulfilled during the lives of the people Jesus was talking to.  Yet is that what Jesus was saying?  Let’s look at the preceding verses.

Matthew 24:32-34 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too when you see all these things, recognize that He is near right at the door.  Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

The fig tree, in my opinion, represents Israel.  You can see this is Jeremiah 24 and Hosea 9:10 and someone else mentioned Jesus coming to Nathanial under the fig tree.  Jesus is saying that the generation that sees Israel blossom again will not pass away until all of these things have been fulfilled.  Israel became a nation in May of 1948.  Jerusalem was gained back in 1967.  In Luke 21 we are told that “Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  My friends the time of the Gentiles is closing if it hasn’t already closed.  Jesus is coming back soon.  I believe with all my heart that there will be people alive who saw either the miracle of 1948 (which fulfilled a prophecy in Isaiah 66 about a nation being born in a day) or the gaining back of Jerusalem, when Christ returns.  He is at the door and we must be ready. 

Like I said, we covered a lot of ground today.  I didn’t have time to cover everything we talked about, but our next study (in two weeks) will be a review of everything we talked about today so perhaps I’ll be able to share more then.  Until then be watchful, prayerful and ready.

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Responses

  1. I only have one word to say: WOW!!

  2. http://kingofages.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/the-prophets-warn-samaria-and-judah-gods-covenant-part-3/

  3. Your study is really very good. I also am post-trib. Thank you very much for your well thought out commentary.


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