The Seven Sealed Book

Rev 6:1-17

1 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."

2 And 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.

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

4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. 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.

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.

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; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

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

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.

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.

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?"

11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

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.

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.

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

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,

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!

17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (NKJ)

As we begin this time of judgment in the book of Revelation, some Christians my recoil from this because of the terrible things that are going to take place. We must not forget that God has continued to be very gracious for 2,000 years as man has gone on in his rebellious ways. And than there must come a time for judgement. Paul put it this way in Rom. 2:3-5 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

What is the relationship of the events of Revelation to Christ's sermon on the end times? (Matt. 24-25) As J. Dwight Pentecost points out (Things to Come, pp. 280-82), the order of events in Revelation and the order of events in Matthew are strikingly similar: (a) war (Matt. 24:6-7; Rev. 6:3-4), (b) famine (Matt. 24:7; Rev. 6:5-6), (c) death (Matt. 24:7-9; Rev. 6:7-8), (d) martyrdom (Matt. 24:9-10, 16-22; Rev. 6:9-11), (e) the sun and the moon darkened with stars falling (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-14), (f) divine judgment (Matt. 24:32-25:26; Rev. 6:15-17). It should be obvious that the events of Revelation have their background in previous prophecies, which aids in interpreting John's symbolic revelation. The evidence points to the conclusion that it describes the final period (probably the final three and one-half years) climaxed by the second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament: Electronic Edition c 1997, Parsons Technology, Inc.

1 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."

2 And 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.

Do not confuse this scene with that described in Rev. 19:11, where we see Christ riding in conquest. No, the rider here is Antichrist, the false Christ, beginning his conquest on earth. The fact that he has a bow, but no arrows, indicates that he conquers the nations peacefully. After the church has been raptured, the way will be opened for Antichrist to move in triumph (2 Thes. 2). There will be a false peace temporarily, for he will unite Europe and make his pact with the Jews (1 Thes. 5:2-3). This passage parallels Matt. 24:5 and fulfills Christ's prophecy in John 5:4 Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament; Warren W Wiersbe

We would expect the Antichrist to resemble the Christ, because Antichrist is Satan's great imitation! Even the Jews (who ought to know the Scriptures) will be deceived by him (John 5:43; 2 Thes. 2:1-12). This great deceiver will come as a peaceful leader, holding a bow but no arrows! (Our Lord's weapon is a sword; Rev. 19:15.) Antichrist will solve the world's problems and be received as the Great Liberator. Be Victorious-Revelation, Electronic Edition; Wiersbe, Warren W.

Since the Christians have been raptured out of this world along with the power of the Holy Spirit, lawlessness will abound. Everyone will think that peace is sure and on its way but all hell is ready to break out at the hands of the son of hell, the antichrist himself. Notice what Paul says about him. 2 Thess. 2: 6-12; 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8And 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. 9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (NKJ)

And as they think that this rider on the white horse will bring unparalleled peace and prosperity then sudden destruction will come. 1 Thess. 5:3; For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (NKJ)

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

4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. 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.

This worldwide peace will not last long, for while men are saying "Peace and safety," terrible wars will break loose. This parallels Matt. 24:6-7. Red is a color associated with terror and carnage. In Revelation we have the red horse of war (6:3-4), the red dragon (12:3), and the red beast (17:3). Note that God gives Antichrist authority to take peace from the earth; this is all a part of the divine plan. Antichrist exchanges his arrowless bow for a great sword, and men begin to kill each other. This indicates clearly that methods of international agreement and diplomacy will not bring lasting peace. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament; Warren W Wiersbe

It is an amazing thing that men, created in the image of God, should become so blinded with hate or lust or ambition or envy that they should seek to destroy the precious lives of others. Yet the very first man born in the world slew his brother, and men have followed in the way of Cain ever since. Not only the barbarians of Genghis Khan, but the sophisticated butchers of Nazi Germany and Red China and Stalinist Russia in the enlightened twentieth century have murdered millions. The genocides in Cambodia and Viet Nam and in various African nations continued the same pattern. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris

What we see now taking place in Kosovo and what took place in Littleton Colorado will be insignificant when compared with this coming event.

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.

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; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

Famine and war often go together; see Matt. 24:7. The color black makes one think of famine; see Jer. 14:1-2 and Lam. 5:10. The rider (still Antichrist) holds a pair of balances, indicating that his government has established control of food. A measure of wheat was about a quart; and a penny was a day's wages for a worker. In other words, food will be so scarce it will take a person all day to earn enough wages for just a quart of grain! But note that there is no scarcity of oil and wine for the rich. The rich get richer and enjoy their luxuries, while the poor get poorer and can hardly get enough to eat. This indicates that all man-made schemes to give people even the necessities of life will fail. It is worth noting that grain, oil, and wine were the key products of Israel (Hosea 2:8). Since Antichrist has made his covenant with Israel, he would want to protect its resources. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament; Warren W Wiersbe

The first horseman carried a great bow, the second a great sword. The third held merely a pair of balances, but this also symbolized a great weapon. The balances depict trade and commerce, the determination of price equivalents for goods. The power of commerce, to generate prosperity or calamity, inflation or depression, opulence or starvation, has been understood and manipulated by politicians and merchants and bankers for thousands of years, beginning back in ancient Babylon. This is the period during which God's two Witnesses call for a worldwide three and a half-year drought. Tremendous famines, then shortages and hunger, quickly follow. Revelation 11:3-6. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris

a denarius. A Roman silver coin that had a normal purchasing power of 10 qt (9.5 lit) of wheat or 30 qt (28.5 lit) of barley. One qt (.95 lit) of wheat was the daily ration for a soldier. Thus a daily wage will buy food for only one person, who will have to share with his family. Ryrie Study Bible; Ryrie, Charles Caldwell, Th.D., Ph.D.

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

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 word "pale" suggests a leprous color (Lev. 13:49, "greenish"). Death rides this horse, and "Hades" (not hell) rides with him. Death claims the body, Hades the soul. God gives them authority to kill one-fourth of the earth's population! Four methods are used: the sword (violence and war); hunger (famine); death, or pestilence (disease accompanies war and famine); and beasts (nature takes over when civilization falls apart). Read Ezek. 14:21 for a parallel. Even the wild beasts will be hungry and attack humans! What terrible judgments await the Christ-rejecting world after the church is taken to heaven! See Matt. 24:7. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament; Warren W Wiersbe

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.

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?"

11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

The Greek word martus, which gives us our English word martyr, simply means "a witness" (see Rev. 2:13; 17:6). These saints were slain by the enemy because of their witness to the truth of God and the message of Jesus Christ. The forces of Antichrist do not accept the truth, because Satan wants them to be deceived and accept his lies (see Rev. 19:20; 20:10; also 2 Thes. 2:9-12). Be Victorious-Revelation, Electronic Edition; Wiersbe, Warren W.

The OT priest poured the blood of the sacrifice under the brazen altar (Lev. 4:7); and since the blood speaks of the life (or soul, Lev. 17:11), we witness here the souls of the martyrs under the heavenly altar. Their murderers had not yet been avenged. These martyred saints pray for vengeance; see Ps. 74:9-19, 79:5, and 94:3-4. It is true that saints in this age are told to pray for those who persecute them, and this is what Christ, Stephen, and Paul did (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 2 Tim. 4:16). But this period will be a time of judgment, when God will be answering the prayers of His people for deliverance and vengeance. After all, God is judging the world when they pray; so they are praying in the will of God. This parallels Matt. 24:9. God promises them that He will answer their prayers; but first, more of their brethren will be slain. We see other saints slain in 12:11, 14:13, and 20:4-5. . . . Revelation 20:4 indicates that these Tribulation martyrs will be resurrected to reign during the Millennium. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament; Warren W Wiersbe

The blood was innocent blood, spilled in substitution for those who deserved to die, foreshadowing the sinless blood of the Lamb of God, crucified by those whom He came to save. The souls under the altar likewise had offered their lives in testimony for the sake of their Savior, their blood shed by those whom they sought to lead to salvation. But who were these martyrs? All the "souls" of believers had been clothed with glorified bodies on the great resurrection day when Christ first descended from heaven to the earth's atmosphere (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). The reasons for this interpretation have already been discussed and they seem conclusive. Thus, the martyrs seen at this time can only be those who were put to death for Christ's sake during the first years of the seven-year period. This in turn means they had become believers during that same period, since all living believers had been raptured into Christ's presence at the time of the resurrection. This, in turn, means that something has generated a great revival of belief in the true God and His Christ during this period in spite of the fact that there were no believers remaining on the earth at its beginning. For one thing, God will have sent his "two witnesses" (Revelation 11:3) into the world, prophesying and calling forth mighty miracles. Somehow also there will be 144,000 Israelites "sealed" for God's service during this period (Revelation 7:4). The result will be a "great multitude" saved (Revelation 7:9). The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris

When Christ rose from the dead, He escorted the souls of believers back with Him to heaven (Ephesians 4:8-10). At His return, both dead and living believers had received their resurrection bodies (Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53), and were thenceforth to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). The unsaved dead remained in Hades, and the souls of all others who die outside of Christ in the future will also abide in Hades until the resurrection of all those under the dominion of Death and Hades just prior to the final judgment (Revelation 20:13). But this leaves unsettled the question of the condition of those who die in Christ during the period after the resurrection of the saints. Apparently their souls will be translated to the vicinity of the Lord's throne, where they will rest at some location analogous to "the base of the altar" in the Levitical tabernacle, there to await the resurrection of their bodies. The latter in turn will evidently take place after the final completion of God's judgments on the earth. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris

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.

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.

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

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,

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!

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

This passage parallels Luke 21:25-26; see also Joel 2:30-31, 3:15 and Isa. 13:9-10, 34:2-4. Three earthquakes are mentioned in Revelation (6:12; 11:13; 16:18-19). There is no doubt that these are literal earthquakes, but along with them will be disturbances on earth and in the heavens that will frighten great and small. Some students think that these verses describe the results of atomic warfare, with the sun and moon blacked out, great land masses moved, and people hiding in holes in the ground to escape atomic radiation. This may be so; but we need to note that the people are hiding from Christ and His wrath in particular, not from some man-made catastrophe.

Verse 15 is a vivid description of what life will be like during the first three and one-half years of tribulation. For one thing, kingdoms will be revived. Today, the movement is toward nationalism and democracy; but this trend will change. See 16:12-14. Antichrist will rule over "the United States of Europe," the revived Roman Empire, with a number of petty kings following him (17:12-14). Another characteristic of Tribulation days is militarism; there will be "chief captains." This is a Roman title meaning "military tribunes" and is completely in keeping with the revived Roman Empire of Antichrist. Slavery ("bondmen") will be present; see 18:13, where "slaves and the souls of men" are included in the merchandise of Babylon. Great wealth will coexist with great poverty, and this redistribution of wealth will wreck the economies of nations. It seems, then, that the judgment of the sixth seal involves literal physical destruction in the heavens and on earth, as well as a shaking of the economic and political systems of nations. All of this will make it easier for Antichrist to extend his rule.

The peoples of the earth will know then that Christ is sending judgment, but they will not receive Him! They would rather hide in the rocks than in the Rock. The first three and one-half years of the Tribulation are mere preparation for the last three and one-half years, and this latter period is known as "the wrath of God" (see 11:18; 12:12; 14:10; 18:3; etc.). There is a pause, however, between the sixth and seventh seals (as there is also between the sixth and seventh trumpets, 10:1-11:13) for us to see the two great groups of redeemed who will be saved during the Tribulation period. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament; Warren W Wiersbe

These events are so obviously supernatural that even unbelievers are convinced of God's intervention in the world. "They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of Their wrath has come, and who can stand? The Teacher's Commentary; Richards, Lawrence O.

The O.T. "Day of the Lord" is frequently characterized as a time of earthquake, falling stars, and terror on earth. This imagery is very familiar to readers of such passages as Isa. 2:10, 19, 21; 13:10; 34:4; Jer. 4:29; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:31; 3:15; Zeph. 1:14-18; Matt. 24:29; etc. The Bible Reader's Companion; Richards, Lawrence O.

The phrase "wrath of the Lamb" seems a paradox. "Wrath of the lion" would be more consistent. We are so accustomed to emphasizing the meekness and gentleness of Christ (Matt. 11:28-30) that we forget His holiness and justice. The same Christ who welcomed the children also drove the merchants from the temple. God's wrath is not like a child's temper tantrum or punishment meted out by an impatient parent. God's wrath is the evidence of His holy love for all that is right and His holy hatred for all that is evil. Only a soft and sentimental person would want to worship a God who did not deal justly with evil in the world. Furthermore, the people mentioned here are impenitent. They refuse to submit to God's will. They would rather hide from God in fear (remember Adam and Eve?) than run to Him in faith. They are proof that judgment by itself does not change the human heart. Not only will men seek to hide from God, but they will blaspheme Him as well! (Rev. 16:9, 11, 21) Be Victorious-Revelation, Electronic Edition; Wiersbe, Warren W.

 

The Seven Sealed Book

Rev 6:1-17

1 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."

2 And 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.

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

4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. 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.

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.

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; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

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

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.

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.

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?"

11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

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.

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.

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

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,

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!

17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (NKJ)

 

In this passage we have what is called the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The first four seals of the seven sealed book. The next two seals are also seen in this chapter but the seventh seal will come later. In our message this morning we want to explain briefly the general nature of the seven seals, meaning of the four horsemen and the and the fifth and sixth seals.

 

  1. The Seven Sealed Book
    1. It is the whole story.
      1. In this seven sealed book are the final judgments of God on a sinful rebellious world.
      2. As we will see as we go through this book, what John is seeing is the same series of events over and over again.
      3. This is the same way the book of Daniel is written.
        1. Each time Daniel has another revelation it only sheds more light on what he has already seen.
        2. Daniel first gets the revelation of the four world kingdoms.
        3. Later he finds out more and more about those kingdoms and individuals in those kingdoms.
        4. But everything is still within the framework of the original visions.
      4. So it is in Revelation
        1. We have the seven seals which begin and ends the return of Jesus Christ.
        2. Next we see the seven trumpets which begin sometime after the first seal but end with the end of the return of Jesus Christ.
        3. The seven bowls are toward the end of the tribulation period but still they end with the end of the return of Jesus Christ.
        4. There are the seven personages but it still all ends with the return of Jesus Christ.
    2. It is all encompassing.
      1. It covers the whole of the seven year tribulation period.
      2. The Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls are included in it.
      3. The Seven personages are included in it.
      4. It goes through chapter 19.
  2. The Four Horsemen
    1. The rider on the white horse
      1. At first look this seems to be Jesus Christ.
      2. But this is the antichrist.
        1. He is riding the white horse at the wrong time, the beginning rather than the end.
        2. The other horsemen do not make appropriate companions.
        3. It is the wrong crown for in Rev. it is the sovereign's crown not the victor's crown as here.
      3. This rider goes forth to conquer but not with military power but with diplomacy.
      4. He will have no resistance since the Christians and the power of the Holy Spirit are gone
      5. .2 Thess. 2: 6-12; 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8And 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. 9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (NKJ)
      6. And as they think that this rider on the white horse will bring unparalleled peace and prosperity then sudden destruction will come. 1 Thess. 5:3; For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (NKJ)
      7. He will confirm a covenant with many for seven years but in the middle of that will break the covenant and begin to persecute the people of God. The Jews and new Christians.
    2. The rider on the red horse
      1. This represents the change in the world at the middle of the seven year period.
      2. Where once there had been promises of peace and prosperity now only war and civil strife seems to be mankind's legacy.
      3. It seems that this does not simply mean only the armies of the antichrist but as it says they will kill one another it could mean widespread ethnic and civil unrest.
      4. Can we imagine all the ethnic hot spots in the world erupting in a seeming synchronized disruption.
    3. The rider on the black horse
      1. This rider with his set of balances indicates famine and shortages.
      2. War always leads to shortages.
      3. Wars lead to displaced refugees.
      4. Wars lead to disruption of food production and distribution.
      5. The problem will be so great that the world relief organizations will be ill equipped to respond.
      6. What this is saying is that it will take a days wage to earn enough food for just one person.
      7. The idea of not touching the oil and the wine indicates that the very wealthy will not feel the effects of this first of many great tragedies.
    4. The rider on the pale horse
      1. Finally comes death.
      2. This rider is given power over one fourth of the world population to kill them with death.
      3. This indicates not only those who die by the sword of the second horseman and the starvation of the third horseman but of the terrible pestilence that will ravage the earth.
      4. Most people today cannot remember when many diseases circled the world in a matter of months, killing thousands, because we have antibiotics, but the world is facing new antibiotic resistant bugs.
      5. We are seeing a resurgence of TB and some new diseases.
      6. The language here seems to indicate that one fourth of the worlds population will die as a result of these things.
  3. The Martyrs under the altar
    1. Where do these people come from.
      1. The rapture that has taken place before this time has removed all the saints form the earth.
      2. But it has not removed our books, Bibles, web sites, tapes and videos.
      3. When the rapture takes place there will be an immediate interest in what has happened.
      4. Many will turn to our libraries and other Christian literature and of course the millions upon millions of Bible we are going to leave behind.
      5. From this source millions will come to faith.
      6. These will seal their testimony with their own blood at the hands of the godless world system that enjoys the loss of a dominate Christian witness against their wicked ways.
      7. At the sealing of the 144,000, lest John think this is all that will be saved out of the tribulation period, he is shown a multitude that non man can number.
      8. Rev 7:9-14 9 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, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" 14 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. (NKJ)
      9. But the fifth seal indicates that many of them will be martyred.
    2. Why are the calling for the judgment of God on those who put them to death.
      1. In the New Testament times we expect forgiveness even of the persecutors by the persecuted.
      2. But the tribulation is not a period of grace but of judgment.
      3. God's judgment has been tempered with mercy but for the tribulation period, it will be a time of God's wrath as we will see under the next seal.
  4. The Final Picture
    1. Great Earthquake
      1. I believe that when we get to this point we have come to the end of the tribulation period.
        1. The sun becoming black as sackcloth and the moon turning to blood will not happen at the middle of the tribulation period but the end.
        2. This coincides with what Jesus said about the very end in Matt 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. (NKJ)
        3. When the sky recedes as a scroll, it is all over.
        4. Also notice that the people are expecting the immediate judgment of God.
      2. We see great earth quakes associated with the sixth trumpet and the seventh bowl.
      3. These earth quakes will destroy every city and even remove the mountains and the islands.
    2. The Signs in the Heavens
      1. Not only are there signs on earth that the end is very near but there are also signs in the heavens.
      2. The stars fall, the sky is rolled up, the sun becomes black and the moon becomes like blood.
    3. The Wrath of the Lamb
      1. The people of earth realize that God's judgment against sin, their sin, has come and they go to the rocks to hide.
      2. What is interesting is that they do not repent. Several times in Revelation it says, they did not repent.
      3. But doesn't the term wrath of the Lamb seem self contradictory
      4. How is it that the Lamb would come with such wrath?
        1. It comes because God is holy and must judge sin.
        2. Our sin has been judged in Jesus Christ but not the worlds.
        3. The unrepentant will bear their own sin.
        4. Jesus will return in power and glory
        5. II Th 1:7-9 when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (NKJ)

But today we are in a day of grace. Jesus has purchased your salvation on the cross. He will forgive today. But there is no guarantee of tomorrow. Won't you come to Him today. Today is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time. Yes we are still in the age of grace. Aren't you glad that Jesus deals with us in grace and not in wrath.

 

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com