This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Revelation. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.
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Chapter 6 and 7 records the first of three seven part judgments. The seven seals are first, then in Chapters 8 and 9 come the seven trumpets and then in chapter 16 come the seven bowls. As we begin to look at these judgments and their effect on mankind, it is important to remember that mankind has experienced thousands of years of God’s mercy. Kindness and grace and yet refused to repent. Paul talks about mankind’s unwillingness to repent in Romans Chapter 2.
Romans 2:3-5 (NIV)
3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
The judgments that you will see will actually demonstrate to you how great the mercy and grace of God really is, because the wrath and judgments are what the punishment and result of unrepentant sin looks like, and God by His great mercy and grace has given thousands of years for people to repent.
Revelation 6:1-17 (NIV)
1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. 3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. 5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” 7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. 12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 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! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
The first seal is opened. The rider on the white horse is not Jesus. It is the anti-christ. Just because he comes on a white horse don’t be confused. He comes carrying a bow not a sword. His crown is the victors crown, the wreath that was given to the winners at the games, it is not the royal diadem crown that is worn by Jesus. Unfortunately, millions will be deceived by the anti-christ. But you will know the difference, just look at Revelation 19.
Revelation 19:11-16 (NIV)
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
The second seal is opened. Red is indicative of blood. The rider on this horse will take peace from the earth. As a result men will slay each other in war and murder.
The third seal is opened. The black horse signifies famine, which would be a natural result of the wars that break out in the second seal. There is no time for planting and harvesting when there is widespread war. As food becomes scarce, food prices will skyrocket.
The fourth seal is opened. The pale horse is death. There may be a fifth horse right behind him called Hades, or it might just be an association between death and Hades. Most people are familiar with the four horseman of the Apocolypse, but there could be five. During these four seals ¼ of the earth’s population is killed.
The fifth seal is opened and an altar is reveled. Underneath are the souls of those who were slain for their witness and testimony for God. These people are not the church that we believe was caught up in the beginning of Chapter 4. These would represent the people who became Christians after the rapture and were then martyred for their faith. They are given white robes and told to wait a little while longer.
The sixth seal is opened and an earthquake unlike anything before it is unleashed that shakes and changes everything.
Even the way we perceive the heavens changes. The result is so dramatic that people respond in a universal fear of the wrath of God, which still doesn’t lead them to repent.