The First Seal
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,
-refers to the Crucified, Risen Christ and is proven by the use of the word “Lamb”
and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts (living creatures) saying, Come and see.
-This will follow the Rapture of the church, but we aren’t told exactly how long after the
Rapture the Great Tribulation will come. “...Come and see.” says that it is destined and cannot be
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse:
- Symbolic. Proclaims the antichrist presenting himself to the world as a prince of peace.
and he that sat on him had a bow;
-mentions no arrows. He preaches peace but is preparing for war as symbolized by the bow.
and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
-The crown represents the fact that he will conquer many countries. At first, he does so by peace but will quickly graduate to war.
Verses 1 and 2 Note: Christ is the Lamb. The Lamb takes the book from the right hand of God and breaks the seven seals one at a time revealing the contents of each seal. The chapter is made up of the following:
1. The First Seal – Revelation 6:1-2
2. The Second Seal – Revelation 6:3-4
3. The Third Seal – Revelation 6:5-6
4. The Fourth Seal – Revelation 6:7-8
5. The Fifth Seal – Revelation 6:9-11
6. The Sixth Seal – Revelation 6:12-17
The First Seal
When this was done, John heard, as it were, thunder. This is found 10 times in the book of Revelation. Then, one of the living creatures said to John “...Come and see.” The antichrist is symbolled by a rider on a white horse. This is not to be confused with the white horse rider in Revelation 19:11-21, Who is Jesus Christ. This rider (the antichrist) is symbolic. The rider (Christ)
and the white horse in Revelation 19 are literal.
The white horse of Revelation 6 begins a series of terrible events on earth. And the One in Revelation 19:11 ends these events. The antichrist will come on a white horse (symbolically) imitating Christ and claiming to be Him according to Daniel 9:27; 11:37.
The antichrist is portrayed as having a bow without arrows. At the beginning, he will come with peace symbolized by the white horse and “…by peace shall destroy many:…” (Daniel 8:25) But his true purpose will soon be revealed and peace will give way to war. Christ is symbolized as having a sword and not a bow (Revelation 1:16; 19:15).
The seven seals follow each other in succession. They begin the seven-year Great Tribulation period.
The Second Seal
3 And when he (Christ) had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast (living creature) say, Come and see.
-As we see here, all of the events on earth are decided, first of all, in Heaven.
4 And there went out another horse that was red:
-portrays another symbol. This time, war.
and power was given to him (the antichrist) that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
-This proclaims the fact that more people will be killed during the time of the Great Tribulation than at any other timeframe in history.
Verses 3 and 4 Note: The peaceful disguise as outlined in Revelation 6:2 will give way to the true colors of the antichrist. In Revelation 6:2, he only had a bow, but in Revelation 6:4, he is given a sword, and not just a sword but a great sword.
As John looks at the second seal being opened, the living creature tells him “...Come and see.” This horse is red typifying war and tremendous bloodletting, and peace will be taken from the earth.
Revelation 6:2 characterizes 1 Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” During the debut of the antichrist, the world will think peace has come. Over every radio station, every television station, every newspaper, every magazine, the words “peace and safety” will thunder out. The world will then learn that the intentions of the antichrist are not to bring peace but are to conquer, and he must do this by war.
No doubt, hundreds of millions of people will be killed during this seven-year Great Tribulation period. It is possible that nearly ½ of the world’s population (over 2.5 billion people) could be lost during this horrifying seven-year period of time according to Matthew 24:21 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
The Third Seal
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast (living creature) say, Come and see.
-is, as the previous two, opened by Christ. The timeframe for this will most probably be in the second year of the Great Tribulation.
And I beheld, and lo a black horse;
-represents famine, which always follows war
and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
-refers to the scarcity of food and is meant to portray that fact
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny;
-The world has rejected The Cross, and the world now faces judgment.
and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
-A petition that the olive tree and grapevine are not to be hurt is that these particular plants need no cultivation, hence, their ruthless destruction is forbidden.
Verses 5 and 6 Note: John hears the living creature say, “...Come and see.” Then, he sees a black horse. This is symbolic of famine, the result of the conquest and war of the first two seals. Due to the wars, most agriculture in the area will be seriously curtailed. From the description the voice gives in the midst of the four living creatures, we are told that food will increase 8 times
in value. Normally, one could buy 8 measures of wheat or 24 measures of barley for a penny (the penny used in Roman times was worth more than ours). The voice in the midst of the living creatures says, “…and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” meaning that the olive tree and the grapevine need no cultivation, hence their ruthless destruction is forbidden.
The Fourth Seal
7 And when he (Christ) had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
-presents a horror of unprecedented proportions
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:
-symbolic of death
and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
-signifying that almost all who died went to hell
And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
-This probably refers to the Middle East and its vicinity.
Verses 7 and 8 Note: Now, when the fourth beast (living creature) whose face looks like an eagle’s, says to John “...Come and see.” he saw a pale horse which typifies death. It also says that “hell followed him.” Much death will result from the wars and pestilence following these horrible battles. Some say that these are two horses (death and hell). That could well be, but the implication is that it’s only one horse, the pale horse, which represents death with hell following, meaning that most of those dying will go to hell.
The Bible states here that these 4 seals influence a “fourth part of the earth.” This fourth part will include the Mediterranean area as well as most, if not all, of Europe including the Soviet Union according to Daniel 11:44.
The question is often asked, “Will the Great Tribulation period be worldwide?” The answer is, “Yes.” The entire world will be greatly affected. However, the brunt of the horror that Jesus talked about (Matthew 24:21), will take place in the area I have just mentioned (the Mediterranean). However, when the planetary bodies are affected, and they will be (Revelation 6:12), this will affect the entire planet. Most events described in the book of Revelation concerning the Great Tribulation period will take place in the “...seat of the beast;...” (Revelation 16:2,10 Revelation 12; Revelation 18:1-24)
The Fifth Seal
9 And when he (Christ) had opened the fifth seal,
-There is no announcement concerning the opening of this seal as it had been with the others.
I saw under the altar (the Altar of Incense) the souls of them that were slain
-does not refer to an indeterminate state for the resurrection has already taken place and all now in heaven have glorified bodies. The word “soul” is merely used in the sense of identification and not as a state.
for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
-corresponds with Revelation 12:11
10 And they (the souls under the altar) cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true,
-pertains far more than a cry for vengeance. More than anything else, it is a cry for the entire episode of sin and shame to end. It is the culmination of the cry of the ages.
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
-It is certain that The Lord will “Judge” and “Avenge” (Matthew 12:36)
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them;
-symbolic of the righteousness of the saints of Revelation 19:8
and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
-They will have to wait until the conclusion of the Great Tribulation, probably about another 5 years.
Verses 9 -11 Note: The fifth seal takes us into Heaven to see the events transpiring there. When John is given this glimpse into Heaven, he sees the altar (under which are the souls of those slain for the Word of God). This is the same Golden Altar of Worship that sat immediately in front of the veil in Moses’ Tabernacle in type. As the priest walked into the Tabernacle, to his
right he would see the table of shewbread. To his immediate left would be the golden lampstand. In front of him would be the Golden Altar of Worship. Behind it was the veil with the cherubim on it. Behind the veil was the Ark of The Covenant with the mercy seat and the golden cherubim looking down toward it. The blood was applied to the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement each year.
In Moses’ Tabernacle (and in Solomon’s temple as well) coals of fire were taken from the Brazen Altar that sat outside the Tabernacle. The fiery coals were a type of God’s judgment upon sin. Those coals of fire were placed on top of the Golden Altar of Worship inside the Tabernacle. Incense would then be poured upon the burning coals filling the Tabernacle with fragrance. This was done day after day by the priest. At all times, the smoke, filled with fragrance, would permeate the Tabernacle where the priest would minister. This was a type of the saint’s prayers.
Every prayer of every child of God offered correctly by the shed blood of Calvary, comes up before God as the smoke of incense according to Revelation 8:4. However, as the coal of fire was taken from the Brazen Altar, typifying the judgment of God upon sin, hence, typifying Calvary. God would accept no worship unless it came by the shed blood of the slain Lamb.
There is much worship of God in the world today, but God hears none of it, recognizes none of it and accepts none of it, unless the person has accepted Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior. The worshiper must recognize Him as the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, Who lived a sinless, spotless life and died on Calvary, becoming the substitute for mankind and then rising
from the dead on the third day.
When we identify with the great price Christ paid at Calvary, and with His resurrection, we are saved. It is called The Doctrine of Substitution and Identification. Then, and only then, God will recognize the worship of any individual.
So, these people John is referring to in Revelation 6:9 will be saved after the Resurrection of the Dead in Christ. They will have been martyred between the Rapture and the Fifth Seal in the first 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week, the Great Tribulation period. This period will take in all the events of the seals and the first six trumpets. The antichrist, at this time, will murder countless numbers of individuals who have confessed Christ as their Savior.
Immediately after the Rapture of the Church, there will be many millions of people who will give their heart and lives to The Lord Jesus Christ. Millions at that time (even hundreds of millions) will then realize that the Word of God is true, and from the Word of God, they will realize what is coming upon the planet and will give their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, and many will be killed by the antichrist as described in Revelation 6:8-9. They will be killed because of their allegiance to the Word of God and because of their testimony of Jesus Christ. These people will come from all over the world but will probably have a greater concentration from the area where the beast (antichrist) is more active, the Middle East, Europe, etc.
In the 10th verse, they’re asking The Lord how long this is going to continue on earth and when it will be that The Lord will take vengeance on those who are committing these dastardly crimes. Also, we learn from this passage that the soul and the spirit (or inner man) have the form and shape similar to the outer man and fits into the body even to the outer skin. This is
based upon the fact that the soul is that part which feels, and the spirit is that which knows. The inner man can wear clothing, rest, eat, drink and do other things according to Matthew 17:5 Luke 16:19-31. As the Bible says, “the souls of them,” it seems they have not yet been given a glorified body (man is a tripartite creation, spirit, soul and body, 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
In the 11th verse, we are told that white robes were given to these individuals which means that the soul and the spirit (or inner man) can wear robes exactly as anyone else. They are told to rest for a little while (until the end of the Great Tribulation period) also signifying that there are many more tribulation saints to be martyred as well, pursuant to “…until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation 6:11)
The Sixth Seal
12 And I beheld when he (Christ) had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; (the first of several) and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,
-probably caused by dust filling the air due to the earthquake
and the moon became as blood;
-does not mean the moon was actually turned to blood but that it “became as blood.” Again, probably referring to the dust particles filling the air.
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth,
-refers to meteorites or shooting starts
even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
-There will be a bombardment on the earth of these meteorites which will cause untold damage.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together;
-pertains to the shaking of the heavens which instigates the meteorites
and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
-This proclaims power of unimagined proportions. The greater thrust will, more than likely, be in the Middle East.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
-presents this as a wasted effort, for men cannot hide from God. As well, it takes in everyone from poverty to plenty.
16 And said to the mountains and rocks,
-Foolish man now prays to the rocks.
Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,
-pertains to God the Father, but all understand mankind and what he means to everyone is going to have to deal with the One Who sits on the throne
and from the wrath of the Lamb:
-The Lamb is the Savior today. Tomorrow, The Lamb is Judge.
17 For the great day of his wrath is come;
-The” great day” is the coming Great Tribulation which will last for seven years.
and who shall be able to stand?
-This refers to the fact that man has set himself against God ever since the fall. Now, man will see exactly how powerful God actually is.
Verses 12-17 Note: Now, we have the sixth seal opened, and the Bible tells us that there is a great earthquake. This is the first great earthquake mentioned in the Great Tribulation period. The second earthquake is mentioned in Revelation 8:5. The third one is mentioned in Revelation 11:19. Then, the last one is mentioned in Revelation 11:13 and Revelation 16:18, which seem to
speak of the same earthquake.
Then, it tells us that the sun became black as a sackcloth of hair. The sun is spoken of as being as darkened in Revelation 6:12; 8:12; 9:2; 16:10. Then, it says the moon becomes as blood. Five times the moon is spoken of as being affected as a result of
the darkened sun. Even the stars fall to earth. This does not refer to stars as we know stars but to meteorites or shooting stars. In the past, there has been tremendous damage done by meteorites that failed to burn on their trajectory from heaven to earth. Some have been immense, causing great harm when they hit. Many will fall to earth.
The reference in verse 14 to heaven departing as a scroll and mountains and islands being moved is not the destruction of the earth. It is the heavens affected by the sun being darkened and the moon becoming as blood with the stars of heaven falling to the earth. Every mountain and island being moved speaks of the great earthquakes shaking the Middle Eastern area. The Great Tribulation period will be characterized by something the world has never known before, except in the most modest circumstances. And we’re speaking of the wrath of God. This is why Jesus spoke of the Great Tribulation such as has never been seen. This is what makes the great Tribulation so horrible. Suffering pain and destruction are the same whether from God or man. However, the reason the kings and the great men and the mighty men are hiding themselves in the dens and in the rocks is they see the demonstration of great power on this earth and they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is from God. There is no fear like that which comes upon an individual when he realizes this. Men will try to hide from wrath. Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” This statement tells us that The Lord will have raptured His church before this terrible wrath. Praise God! The anger of God will be poured out, not upon His children, but upon those who have rejected the shed blood of The Lamb and from the wrath of the Lamb. The question in the latter part of Revelation 16, “...and who shall be able to stand?” simply means that no one on the planet will be able to stand against the wrath of God.
The Book of Revelation Chapter 6
Scripture is in BLACK FONT
Words of Jesus in RED FONT
Notes in BLUE FONT