Morning Bible Study
next Saturday – play video
imprisoned on the island of Patmos for his faith when he sees a vision of the
future. John saw a
door opened in heaven and he
was caught up before the throne of God. He began to describe what he saw.
He sees “One”
sitting on the throne with a green rainbow around the throne. Twenty-four
elders with golden crowns. Lightning, thunder, and voices. Four living
creatures known as the cherubim. And lots of worship.
In chapter five, John sees a scroll in the hand of God – we believe it is
the title deed of the earth. Man
had sold his inheritance to Satan when Adam sinned and was removed from the garden
of Eden. Now in heaven it is time to purchase the property back for man. For
the transaction to take place, there needs to be a “kinsman redeemer”, a close relative who can
afford to pay the price of redemption. This is when Jesus steps forward and takes the scroll. He
appears as a Lamb that had been slain. He is our “close relative” who has paid
for our redemption.
6:1-2 First Seal
: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.”
:1 seals – sphragis – the seal placed upon books, scrolls
the title deed of the earth, is sealed with seven wax seals. Each time a seal is broken, the
scroll is able to be opened a little further until the next seal appears.
With the breaking of each seal, something happens.
:1 one of the four
creatures” are the cherubim, awesome angelic beings who surround God’s throne. These are the beings that
have six wings, faces like a lion, ox, man, and eagle.
Each of the living creatures will be involved with one of the first four seals.
Along with each living creature, there will be a horse and rider.
:1 Come and see
John is invited to come and see what happens when the seal is broken.
Heaven is watching
From time to time I am asked questions about heaven.
will be asked if people in heaven can see us on earth.
I think it’s entirely possible.
John is going to record the things that are going on in earth while he
watches from heaven’s grandstand.
The writer of Hebrews
tells us all about the great heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, and then links them
in chapter twelve like this:
we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every
weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us
He is painting a picture of the “games”, like the Coliseum in Los Angeles,
with lots of spectators in the crowd, and we’re the ones down on the playing
It may be that the “witnesses” in the stands are simply a
figure of speech – that the great heroes of the faith are simply examples that
we are to follow.
But the word “witness” speaks of someone who has seen something. I think the
implication is that heaven is watching us.
Would you act any differently if you had to live your life
on the field at the Coliseum with the stands full of people? Get used to it.
Instead of doing some of the things we do, perhaps we
ought to focus on what they do on the field of the Coliseum, running our race,
running to win. Watch what the guys on
the field do …
Eric Liddell clip from
the 1981 movie, “Chariots of Fire”.
Some of you might find comfort in the fact that your grandfather
is “watching” you.
Some of you might be a little freaked out to think that
your mom or dad actually just saw what you did on the field a few hours ago …
: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.
:2 white horse
A white horse is a symbol of victory. After a victory, Roman generals would ride a white horse in
triumph with their captives following them.
We’re going to see four horses involved with these seals.
This is similar
to several visions that Zechariah saw (Zech.
Horses seem to represent God’s
activity on the earth. They are the forces He uses to accomplish His
Then I turned and
raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from
between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze. Then I answered and
said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
:2 a bow
This rider has a bow,
but no arrows.
It is thought that this means that even though this person wields power, it will come not
through warfare, but initially through diplomacy.
– stephanos – a crown; a mark of exalted
rank; given as a prize to victors in public games
:2 conquering and
The person on this white horse is apparently growing in political power.
:2 He who sat on it
Who is this one sitting on a white horse with a bow?
Some say this
is Jesus Christ because Jesus is riding a white horse in Rev. 19:11. But keep in mind
that Jesus is showing up at the END of the tribulation, and we’re just at the
beginning in Rev. 6.
Now I saw heaven
opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called
Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. And the armies in
heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Rider #1: Antichrist
We believe this is the “Antichrist”
The word “antichrist” doesn’t mean “opposite of Christ”, it means “in place of
He will try to take the place of Jesus as the “Messiah”
and savior of the world. He will steer people away from Jesus to follow him.
The antichrist comes to power on the world scene at the beginning of the
tribulation period (just like here).
He will be a
world ruler that will initially bring peace, but will eventually bring war.
He will deceive
many to think that he is the Christ, when he is actually from the devil.
He is described
as “the prince” in Daniel’s prophecy about the end times:
9:26–27 NKJV) … And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city
and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end
of the war desolations are determined.
It was the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple
in AD 70. We believe the antichrist will be connected to a form of a restored
27 Then he shall confirm a
covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring
an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one
who makes desolate…
When the antichrist comes on the scene, he will make a
treaty with the nation of Israel for “one week” or literally seven years. This
is the period of the Tribulation that has started here in Revelation.
We’ll learn much more about this individual when we get to Rev. 13.
Is the antichrist already in the world?
If he is, there
is something that holds him back from taking power.
(2 Th 2:7–8 NKJV) —7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now
restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And 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.
What restrains the appearance of the antichrist?
believe it is the work of the Holy Spirit through the presence of the
church on the earth.
When the church is removed in the Rapture, the way will be
paved for the antichrist to take center stage.
6:3-4 Second Seal
:3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature
saying, “Come and see.”
:3 He opened the
Jesus, the Lamb, opens
the next seal. Another of the cherubim gets involved and invites John to “come
: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.
:4 sword – machaira
– a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword; curved sword
This is a “great
small sword”. Could this refer to a nuclear weapon?
Rider #2: War
This could be an individual like #1, but it might just be a way of saying
that there will be global war breaking out.
NKJV) And you
will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these
things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
War has always been around and we shouldn’t panic each
time a new war breaks out.
But when this war breaks out, it will be big, and we are getting close
to the end.
The great sword
- makes me think about the loose weapons that are out there that might be in
the wrong hands.
Iran and its
weapons, and the problem of finding the shoulder launched anti-aircraft
It’s possible that things are falling into place for this.
Time for the next “seal”. I have a
“Wolverine” seal clip.
6:5-6 Third Seal
:5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say,
“Come and see.”
Jesus, the Lamb,
opens the next seal. The third cherubim speaks up, “Come and see”
:5 So I looked, and
behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
:5 pair of scales
– zugos – a balance, pair of scales
We’ve been talking about the ancient marketplace about the use of balance scales for
measuring things out.
This rider is carrying a pair of scales.
: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.”
– choinix – a dry measure that’s a little less than our
This is about
how much an average man might eat in a day.
– denarion – equivalent to an average
laborer’s daily wage.
:6 do not harm
– adikeo – to wrong someone; to hurt,
“Oil” refers to
olive oil, not crude oil.
It seems that the voice is saying that oil and wine won’t be harmed like
the staples of wheat and barley.
Oil and wine aren't considered necessities, but luxuries.
For the common or poor person, there will be a great famine. But for the
rich and privileged, there won't be any lack.
Rider #3: Economic Crash
Could you imagine working all day, getting paid, and all you can afford is a
loaf of bread?
Think of it this way, how about spending $80 for a loaf of bread?
I don’t know if you are aware of it, but the economy is a pretty big thing
in the news lately.
There are protests going on all around the world due to the economy.
In Greece they
are protesting cutbacks because the government has overspent.
The Wall Street
occupiers are protesting greed (I think)
interesting is a decree that came out last Monday about the economy by no other
than the Roman Catholic Church.
This is from the Reuters
Oct 24 (Reuters) - - The Vatican called on Monday for sweeping reforms of the
world economy and the creation of a ethical, global authority to regulate financial markets as
demonstrations against corporate greed continued to spring up in major cities
across the globe.
Some of you might think that this sounds like a noble
thing to say.
Some of us have concerns that the worldwide end-time false
religion (Rev. 17) might
be tied to the Roman Catholic Church – and the idea of them suggesting a
“global authority” to regulate financial markets sound like the perfect vehicle
for a world dictator to come into power and …
My point? Perhaps we’re getting even closer.
6:7-8 Fourth Seal
:7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living
creature saying, “Come and see.”
Lamb, opens the next seal. The fourth cherubim speaks up, “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.
– chloros (chlorine) – green; yellowish pale
:8 Hades followed
The idea is that as “Death” rides along, killing people, Hades comes
behind, collecting the souls and taking them to hell.
:8 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.
– rhomphaia – a large sword carried
over the right shoulder.
Rider #4: Death
We’re told who this rider is. Death personified.
I guess it makes sense – there has been war and famine. Now there’s death.
When this rider mounts up, ¼ of the earth’s population dies.
There are now 7
billion people on the earth. That means that 1.75 billion people would die at this time.
This could be across the entire planet, or localized in a certain
continent, such as in China or Africa.
People are dying because of war, hunger, and even the wild
animals killing people.
We have talked
about how one of the purposes of the Tribulation period has to do with the
nation of Israel – of God bringing them back to Him (Dan. 9:24-27).
We call this the time of “Jacob’s trouble”. Jeremiah writes,
(Je 30:7 NKJV) Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s
trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
(Da 12:1 NKJV) …And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since
there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
What do I do with this?
In our daily Bible reading we came across this on Friday:
(1 Pe 4:7
NKJV) But the
end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your
Peter talks about us learning to pray some serious
What could we be praying for?
That we would
21:34–36 NKJV) —34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with
carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you
unexpectedly. 35 For it will come
as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray
always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to
stand before the Son of Man.”
I don’t look at the Rapture as just escapism. It’s a
promise by Jesus that we could “escape” the things that are coming on the
We want to live lives differently than those in verse 34.
Are you ready?