Revelation 6:12

Wednesday Night Bible Study

March 26, 1997

Introduction

We saw chapter four as the start of the future events, where John is raptured into heaven to find himself before God's throne.

John saw:

God's throne, and God was like a clear, reddish light upon the throne.

There was a greenish halo ("rainbow") around the throne, and also around the throne were 24 smaller thrones, with 24 elders sitting on them (possibly representative of the leaders of God's people in heaven), clothed with white, wearing golden crowns.

We saw the four "beasts", or "living creatures" that surround the throne, also known as the "cherubim", each having six wings, four different faces, and being covered with eyes.

Then John saw in the hand of God a scroll, a "title deed" to the planet earth.

We talked about how a piece of property, once it's been sold, might be bought back by a relative of the original owner.

No one was eligible to buy back the earth until the Lamb stepped forward, the Lamb who had been slain, the one who bought us back, redeemed us with His own precious blood.

The inhabitants of heaven all responded in worship because someone was worthy to open the earth and redeem it back from sin.

Now the stage is set, around God's throne, with the Lamb holding the "title deed" to the earth, and He's about to open it, starting the process of exchanging ownership from Satan back to mankind and God.

:1-2 The First Seal

:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals

We're going to witness the Lamb opening up the scroll.

Keep in mind this is a scroll that had seven consecutive seals.

It had a little writing on it, then was rolled up a bit, then sealed, then a little more writing on it, rolled up some more, then sealed again, and on until there were seven seals with seven portions on it.

In opening the scroll, each time a seal is broken, a little more of the scroll will be unrolled, and as the writing is unveiled on the scroll in heaven, things take place accordingly on the earth.

The Tribulation begins.

This is generally looked upon as the beginning of the seven year tribulation period.

There is difficulty with the Book of Revelation because there aren't too many chronological milestones to mark the passage of time.

We don't know how long each seal lasts, or just when they start or stop. Don't think that because the Tribulation is seven years long, that each seal is one year long. We don't know that.

There are several different "schemes" in looking at the events in Revelation.

There are three different groups of sevens:

Seven seals

Seven trumpets

Seven bowls

Scheme #1 - One idea is that they are basically the same, just described in a different way.

The first seal is the same as the first trumpet, which is the same as the first bowl, etc.

The problem is that though there are similarities with the seals, trumpets and bowls, they don't match up exactly.

Scheme #2 - Another scheme is to look at them as consecutive events.

First comes the seven seals.

After the seventh seal is finished, then comes the seven trumpets, followed by seven bowls.

Scheme #3 - A final scheme is to look at the seventh event of each group as containing the next group itself.

In this scheme, the seventh seal contains all seven trumpets.

The seventh trumpet contains all seven bowls.

The net effect is still chronologically the same as scheme #2, except that the seventh item lasts all the way until the end, when Jesus comes back.

This is why on the seventh trumpet, it's said:

(Rev 10:7 KJV) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Background to the Tribulation Period - Daniel 9:24-27

A. What's its purpose?

1. To finish the "seventy weeks". (Dan.9:24)

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

A "week" is simply a group of seven, here a group of seven years.

In other words, it's a time to bring God's people, the Jews to a full relationship with Him.

We'll see in a minute that all but one "week" has been fulfilled. The tribulation is the seventieth "week".

2. To finish God's wrath. (Rev.6:16,17; 11:18; 14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 19:15; Isa.13:9,11)

It is a time of God's judgment on the earth, as God cleans up all the little "loose ends".

When it is finished, nobody is going to be able to say, "How come this person can get away with this awful crime?"

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

God's wrath is mentioned eight times in Revelation.

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

B. Who is it for?

1. It is to redeem the Jews. (Dan.9:24; Jer.30:7)

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people....

Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

2. It is not for the church. (1Thess.5:9)

I Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

If the tribulation is to finish and display God's wrath, and God has not destined us to wrath, then we won't be going through the tribulation.

C. How long is it?

Seven years, the last "week".

(Dan 9:25-26 KJV) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. {26} And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel's prophecy covered a period of 70 weeks of years (490 years). 69 of them have already passed up to the point of "Messiah".

Sir Robert Anderson, head of Scotland Yard in Britain during the first part of this century, has carefully worked this out for us, in his book, The Coming Prince. On the precise day when 483 of these prophetic years had run their course, Jesus rode down the Mount of Olives on a donkey and was presented to the nation as their King.

When "Messiah" was "cut off" (Jesus dying), the time clock was stopped.

We can see the clock being stopped because Jesus died around 32 A.D., and the Romans, the people of the prince to come (antichrist) didn't destroy the city until 70 A.D.

God's timeclock stopped for God to work with the Gentiles. But when the time of the Gentiles (the church age) is over, then God will be dealing once more with Israel.

Romans 11:25-26 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

I believe God's timeclock will start again when the Holy Spirit is poured out once again on the nation of Israel (Ez.39:29). This will happen after God has restored Israel as a nation (dry bones, Ez.37), and at the time that Israel is attacked by Russia (Ez.38,39).

Ezekiel 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

We will see traces of this "seven year period" throughout the book of Revelation:

(Rev 11:2-3 KJV) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. {3} And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.42 months is 3 1/2 years.

1260 days is also 3 1/2 years (in Babylonian years, being Daniel's point of view, used as "prophetic years")

(Rev 13:5 KJV) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.:1 one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

We're going to see that the four cherubim are involved with these first four seals.

They will each take a turn saying to John "Come and see".

Apparently, as the seal is broken in heaven by Jesus, something takes place on the earth.

:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse

Zechariah has an vision that's similar to this, with horsemen on different colored horses:

(Zec 1:8-11 KJV) I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. {9} Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be. {10} And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. {11} And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

In Zechariah's vision, the riders would appear to be actual angelic beings on patrol around the earth.

It's possible that what John sees could also be angelic beings, but there's more to it.

They also seem to be tied to specific events upon the earth.

:2 and he that sat on him

Who is this rider on the white horse?

Let's get a clue:

(Rev 19:11-13 KJV) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. {12} His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. {13} And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Who could this be in our verse?

It's not Jesus Christ, it's the "antichrist".

He's going to be a very close copy, but not the real thing.

Jesus Himself said,

(Mat 24:23-24 KJV) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. {24} For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Before the Antichrist comes

Somebody has to get out of the way.

(2 Th 2:3-8 KJV) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. {5} Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? {6} And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. {7} For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. {8} And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

I believe that the "restrainer", the one who "lets", is the work of the Holy Spirit through the church.

When the church is removed from the earth through the Rapture, the antichrist will be able to gain power.

We are the "salt of the earth" (Matt 5), and as such are a preservative in the world against evil. When we are gone, all kinds of wickedness will break loose.

It's interesting that John , as a representative of the church, finds himself caught up into heaven in chapter 4, and the tribulation starts in chapter 6.:2 had a bowNote, no arrows, just a bow.

This tends to lead some to think that the antichrist will be able to get many to follow him first by persuading them, without the need to actually use weapons, only perhaps threats.

He is going to be a deceiver:

(2 Th 2:9-10 KJV) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, {10} And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

:2 a crown was given unto him

He is known as a "prince".

(Dan 9:26-27 KJV) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. {27} And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

He is the "prince that shall come".

It was his "people" who destroyed Jerusalem, his people being the Romans.

He will make some kind of treaty with the nation of Israel (the many) for one week, seven years, or possibly just a treaty that will be in effect during the seven year tribulation.

Halfway through the week, 3 1/2 years, he will stop temple sacrifice (which has to be started in order to stop it!), and set himself up as God.

End Times Update:

Red Heifer

(SNS News Service -Israel..3/19..Arutz-7 News) The birth of a red heifer (cow), in a farm in the religious youth village of Kfar Hasidim (near Haifa), has excited sectors in the religious community. A delegation of some 25 experts, including Rabbis Yisrael Ariel and Yoseph Elboim, visited the farm last week to examine the six-month old cow, and concluded that it is in fact an acceptable red heifer, according to Torah requirements. However, the cow must be at least two-years-old before it can be used. Until then, the cow will be carefully watched, to ensure that nothing occurs to invalidate its status. According to Biblical law, the cow's ashes are used for purification from certain forms of impurity, and is therefore a prerequisite for the renewal of Holy Temple service.

His crown is given to him by Satan.

(Rev 13:1-2 KJV) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. {2} And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

There's a lot of symbolism here, but the beast described here is another description of the antichrist, and the dragon is Satan.

Satan will give the antichrist his power and authority.

His crown is not the same as Jesus' crown.

Antichrist wears a "stephanos" - more of a badge of victory like a gold medal.

Jesus wears a "diadema" - a symbol of true royalty.

Re 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

:2 he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

The Antichrist will set out on his path of world domination.

Could the Antichrist be in the world today?

Very, very possible.

Lesson:

Are you ready?Be careful not to be looking too hard for "antichrist".We're to be looking for Jesus Christ.As we have our eyes on Jesus, it will make us more like Him.

(1 John 3:1-3 KJV) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. {2} Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. {3} And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.