The opening of the first four seals releases four angels riding horses, commonly called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. By the sixth seal events are visible to people living on earth.
SEAL #1: 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.” I 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. (Revelation 6:1-2)
The Spirit of CONQUEST comes into the arena. This angel brings the desire for world domination. This Spirit works to establish a one-world government. It promotes globalization and seeks to integrate nations, institutions and religions. This Spirit criticizes any form of fundamentalism, even from a faith that does not present a threat of any kind.
SEAL #2: When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And 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. (Revelation 6:3-4)
The Spirit of WAR is the second angel entering the world scene. War is a predictable response to the aggressive Spirit of Conquest. This angel rides a red horse, with red symbolizing bloodshed. Jesus said concerning this time, 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. He then described the starvation resulting from the opening of the third Seal, and in various
SEAL #3: When 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. And 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.” (Revelation 6:5-6)
The Spirit of FAMINE causes catastrophic food shortages. A denarius was a common wage for a day’s work, meaning that people will expend their entire income to obtain food. (Matthew 20:2)
SEAL #4: When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death
The fourth angel is named DEATH. This angel rides an ashen horse, a color attributed to a seriously ill person near death. Hades is the unseen world of the dead where there are two very different residences. One area is where God’s people reside; there is a separate area for condemned persons. Jesus called the area of Hades where believers dwelt “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). That Hades was following Death means that a trip to the unseen world (Hades) immediately follows a person’s death.
Many people die because of famine and pestilence, possibly a reference to biological warfare. To kill by wild beasts is reminiscent of when the Roman Empire fed Christians to the lions. However, the application here points to soldiers on the battlefield. Ezekiel foresaw wild animals feasting on human flesh: “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, “Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth (Ezekiel 39:17-18a).
A Call for Justice
SEAL #5: When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Revelation 6:9-11)
Those in heaven saw the release of the four horsemen and understood these events signaled the beginning of the end-times. The martyrs now ask how long will it be until those who murder us are judged. They are told to wait patiently until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed. In other words, additional believers are yet to be martyred. Just as Israel poured the blood of sacrificed animal at the base of the altar, the souls of sacrificed martyrs were under the altar in heaven. (Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:7)
The Visible Seal
SEAL #6: 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; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then 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; and 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; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)
The spilling of innocent blood has stained the earth blood red. The people on earth soon see another planet that appears covered with blood, the moon. When the sun is blotted out (turned black) during a lunar eclipse, the moon really does turn a blood red color. The moon turns a metallic red resembling the color of iron in blood. At that time, the entire world, to include every mountain and island, shakes. This worldwide earthquake is likely caused by meteorites slamming into earth, one after another; similar to how a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
These events should shake the world to its senses. God wants people to confess sin—repent—and turn to him. Even unbelievers will know that scripture foretold this event, and understand that this event precedes the outpouring of God’s wrath. People will seek religious leaders to plot a course that might deter such wrath. However, people do not say, “I repent of my sins.” Instead, they believe the best option is to hide. This wrong attitude creates an opportunity for dishonest leaders and false prophets to say “follow me and find safety.” Using this type of approach, the Antichrist and false prophet will lead most of the world astray.
Antichrist may declare that if people repent then God will withhold disaster. God showed mercy to ancient Nineveh. When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. (Jonah 3:10) At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. (Jeremiah 18:7-8) Yet it will be impossible to follow false prophets—and simultaneously repent.
Next God protects selected believers, specifically those identified as being bond-servants of God. The seal placed upon these believers identifies them for participation in the impending rapture. After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the
At the time God provides bond-servants this protection, the earth will have remained unharmed by end-time events. The land and the sea are unharmed—even the trees have not been harmed.
And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: (Revelation 7:4). The early rapture of the Philadelphia Church will include 144,000 Israeli believers. These 144,000 believers are never again seen on
A question is asked about the identity of those who suddenly appear in heaven —who are they? —and where did they come from? Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14) The answer clearly states that this multitude was rescued from the great tribulation—they were just raptured from earth. That more than just the 144,000 Israeli believers are raptured is evident from the number
An event from Israel’s history foreshadowed this early rapture. God has already protected passionate believers from judgment, protecting those who sigh and groan over wicked behavior. Those protected first received a mark on the forehead, matching the seal on the foreheads of the 144,000 raptured Israelis. Ezekiel wrote that the LORD gave an angel the following instructions. The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple. (Ezekiel 9:4-6)
The Philadelphia rapture must occur at this point—after the sun is blotted, the moon turns blood red, and a worldwide earthquake occurs—because this sequence of events matches what Jesus taught. Jesus’ commentary in the Gospels is consistent with events in Revelation. (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:26-28)
After Jesus breaks the seventh seal, the scroll can be read and put into effect. However, excitement subsides with the realization that Israel and the Laodicea Church are left-behind. The Seven Trumpets that soon follow will result in global nuclear war. For such reasons, there is silence in heaven.
|Seven Seals||Description||Seen on earth?|
|Seal #1 (Revelation 6:1-2)||Angel on a white horse (Spirit of Conquest)||no|
|Seal #2 (Revelation 6:3-4)||Angel on a red horse (Spirit of War)||no|
|Seal #3 (Revelation 6:5-6)||Angel on a black horse (Spirit of Famine)||no|
|Seal #4 (Revelation 6:7-8)||Angel on a pale horse (Spirit of Death)||no|
|Seal #5 (Revelation 6:9-11)||Martyrs ask God to avenge their blood.||no|
|Seal #6 (Revelation 6:12-17)||The moon appears covered with blood; people panic.||yes|
|Early Rapture (Revelation 7)||Believers who endure with patient maturity are raptured.||yes|
|Seal #7 (Revelation 8:1)||Silence in heaven for about half an hour||no|