Revelation 6:1-8 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Pt. 3
Topic: Sunday Eve. Bible Study Passage: Revelation 6:1–6:8
Rev. 6:1-8 Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” 2I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.3When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” 4And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.5When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”7When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
The Sixth Seal—Terror
Revelation Chapter 6, like Matthew 24, takes us right through the high points of the end time events to the brink of total destruction, just before Jesus arrives.
Mt. 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Revelation 6 is a complete summary of 'things to come' right up to the appearance of Jesus in the heavens. The 2nd coming.
The rest of the book is like rooms with diorama's. Come into this room and see, . . . and different segments are shown.
We'll see that the seventh "seal" contains 7 trumpets, and each trumpet blast is some segment of the very end. Then the 7th trumpet has seven bowls of wrath that will be poured out, and these all happen almost together.
I've been thinking about what Peter prophecied in 2Pet. 3 about the end of the world. Think about what we just read in Matthew as we read through this prophecy of Peter's.
2 Peter 3:7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
And Matthew says, unless these days were cut short . . . you'd have Peter's prophecy fulfilled. The earth would dissolve with intense heat.
The world is close to coming unraveled, and Jesus shows up and says hold it right there. And He reigns on earth for a thousand years, and then Peter's prophecy is completed.
Revelation 6 ends right at that threshold. If Jesus didn't return the world would dissolve with heat. The molecules would all fly apart! But that isn't the plan of God. A 1,000 year reign on a perfect earth IS the plan of God.
Look again at Matthew 24:22 because it's one of the most important verses in the Bible when it comes to all of the confusion about pre-millenialism, post-millenialism, a-millenialism, dispensationalism, blah blah blah.
the greek order is something like this from an inter-liner.
and - if - not - had been shortened - the - days - those - not - anyhow - there would have been saved - any - body - , - because of - however - the - elect - will be shortened - the - days - those
The purpose of the sentence is about the days being shortened. The word for shortened is of interest. It's the same word used both times in the sentence but in different tense. future tense first. past tense second.
It's an unusual word. It only occurs 4 times and only 1 occurance per tense. kolobÅthÄ"sontai from koloboó. And the meaning is most interesting. It means to cut off. Chop off. Mutilate. Very abrupt! So if you had a foot long sausage and want to make it into 2, you get a meat cleaver, and you kolobÅthÄ"sontai it.
In the sense that it is used in Matthew 24, it means; to curtail abruptly. To curtail abruptly.
That's most interesting in view of Peter's prophecy and Revelation 6. The universe is coming unraveled.
Unchecked, you have Peter's prophecy completed. The earth, and all of the wicked in it, burnt up. And all of the elect burnt up with them. But I think all of these things begin to happen, and the heavens begin to come apart, and Jesus comes back and says "hold it right there" and reigns on an obviously altered, obviously different earth, for a thousand years.
Like a parenthesis. Then Peter's prophecy is completed.
12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
I can't say it often enough. Who breaks the 6th seal? Who holds the destiny of this world in the palm of his hand? Jesus. The Lamb of God.
and there was a great earthquake......rev. 16:18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
Picture the earthquake when the tektonic plates split apart and formed the continents.
Psalms 97:5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD-- at the presence of the Lord of all the earth.
Psalms 46:6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
Amos 9:5 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn--the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egypt--
We could go on and on like this from the Old Testament.
If you look at google earth at the country south of Jerusalem down to the nile, it is hill country. Round topped hills and valleys. Thousands of them. All stepped for agriculture. Hills hills hills, and the biblical picture, when Jesus comes, is of a woman taking a bed covering that's all messed up and lumpy, and giving it such a shake, a foot or so in the air, that when it floats back down to the bed, it's perfectly smooth. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 shakes!
That is the picture of this earth when Jesus appears in the sky! Mountains will melt like wax. Hills and valleys will become a plain.
On that day, Isaiah 40 will become quite literal;
Isaiah 40: 1“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
2“Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the LORD’S hand
Double for all her sins.”
3A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
4“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
5Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6:12b ...and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
Again, this judgement of darkness is repeated over and over in the old testament. The lights in heaven go out!
Isaiah 50:3 I clothe the sky with darkness and make sackcloth its covering."
Ezekiel 32:7 When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light.
Joel 2:10 Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. 2:31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
Habakkuk 2:13 is an obscure little verse but it has always stuck in my mind as a reference to this phenomenon. It says; Is it not from the LORD of Hosts that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing?
Utter darkness. No sun. No moon. No more electricity. No stars.
Terrifying darkness. What's the first thing you do? Bump around in the dark until you find the box of matches. The only light on the earth will be bon fires. The nations will exhaust themselves trying to get something as basic as . . . light
Vs 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
OK, this is just silly, right. Science tells us that the stars are millions of times bigger than little planet earth right. Only an un-sophisticated 1st century author that didn't have modern science would have written this, right?? This proves the Bible is nothing but old wives tales, right??
It turns out (as usual) that those who say such things are the ignorant. Willfully so!
Stars. In the greek; asteres. We get our word asteroid. It means any heavenly body. Did you know that your tax dollars are being used to find and categorize as many of the asteroids as possible that have orbits near earth.
NEO's. Near Earth Objects. Suddenly, independent of the word of God, which they poo poo, men are inordinately interested in NEO's.
I watched a movie with Heather a couple of weeks ago. "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World". An asteroid is going to collide with earth in 3 weeks because the nuclear bomb they sent to deflect it didn't work. Probably the Sandia designed trigger mechanism failed.
People are worried about this. It turns out most of these are snuffed out by our atmosphere. We see them fizzle across the sky. Shooting stars. But in 1908, one a few kilometers wide hit Siberia. Caused a bit of a Nuclear winter.
So Scientists are predicting the cause and effects of possible hits. Different sizes and velocities etc. etc. The stuff they come up with sounds surprisingly like . . . Revelation 6.
I believe vs. 13 is very literal. Earth is going to be pummeled by asteroids, or meteoroids during this time when the heavens are breaking apart. Of course it is!
It turns out the earthquake, is a skyquake! The heavens will be shaken. Since we're just one little body in the heavens, we'll shake with them. Like nothing else ever seen!
Mt 24:29 "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
We talked last week about the Wrath of God. The Vengeance of God, equal somehow to His Holiness that fallen men have dis-honored.
How big is His Holiness? How vast is His wrath?
Not an earthquake like no eye has ever seen; a heavens quake.
How small do you feel right now, compared to an angry God?? Yet there's men flipping God off, as we speak.
Ullah's got arab boys throwing dirt in the air. Our God shakes the Heavens!!
We prefaced the seals with words.
1st Seal: White horse; world peace,
2nd Seal: Red horse; war and murders,
3rd Seal: Black horse; famine, pestilence,
4rth Seal: Ashen horse; death, hades.
5th Seal: Slain at the altar; martyred tribulation saints,
6th Seal: Terror.
Mens hearts will stop in their chests because of the level of terror when these things happen. The old testament mentions men who's knees slapped together, from the terror. Here men will expire, from the heart stress caused by Terror!
Those will be the lucky ones. The ones with strong hearts, well, fasten your seat belts, we're about to meet them.
14The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
How big is God? Science can't begin to measure the vastness of the universes. It goes on forever. Immeasurable. Yet, to our God, this immeasureable vastness is nothing but a veil. He rips it open like it's so much stretched out tissue paper. Like poking your finger through a piece of toilet paper.
Quite literally, God rips open the heavens, and he appears!
Isaiah understood. 64:1 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—
And He did. Mark's account of the baptism of Jesus has this very rending of the heavens;
Mk. 1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
When the Jewish leaders asked Jesus; Mk11:28 “By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?”29And Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.30“Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.”
Unbelief is profound. The evidence is IN. It's available for everyone.
You ask me "do I believe in free choice"? My answer is yes. Men choose to dis-believe. Profoundly so!
Once, the sky was rent, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove on Jesus. The only safe place away from an angry God, is IN THAT JESUS!
The second time the sky is rent open, the judgement that comes is un-believable!
15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Notice in verse 15 the great equalizing of an angry God. It doesn't matter if you're a slave or free man, king or commander, wealthy or poor. On that day, none of that matters . . . compared to an angry God who has rent the sky open!
Hebrews 10:31 sums up our study.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
This God, who is so angry and full of vengeance, towards YOU, who have spurned His grace, that He causes the heavens to shake, and the lights in them to fail as He appears in judgement.
On that day, there's only one safe place to be. In Christ. In Christ.