Looking down from Heaven - Revelation Chapters 6 & 7

 Jamma Mokhriby


In our previous message, "Looking Towards Heaven" we ended our study of the first six chapters of the Book of Revelation after the Rapture of the Church to Heaven at verse 2 of Ch. 6.
Jesus Christ then sent forth the evil ruler known as the Anti-Christ upon the world. In verses 2-8 of Rev. 6 we have a sweeping view of the infamous four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first of 7 seals that will be opened by Jesus released the Anti-Christ who was depicted as riding upon the first horse, which is white.
The Scriptures reveal that this man of sin will be exuberantly received on the global scene shortly after a devastating war had engulfed the Middle East. He will then strengthen a covenant in the region for a duration intended to last for 7 years (Dan. 9:27).
To the world's population peace on earth will finally seem possible, but we are told otherwise in I Thessalonians 5:3. We quote, "For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape."
In Isaiah 28:14-15 we are told that the rulers of Israel will have in fact made an agreement with Death and Hell during the time of this 7 year covenant.
The scroll in which Jesus is unsealing emulates the format of an ancient legal document. The document would have something written on a portion of it. That portion would then be rolled up to cover the words. A wax seal would then be applied at that point. More information would then be added and again the scroll would be rolled up and another seal added. This procedure continued until all of the information to be given was thus reserved for opening respectively at the appropriate time.
Revelation 5:1 reveals to us that this scroll containing 7 seals, which is being opened by Jesus Christ, is written on both the front and on the back. This suggests that the information from the 7th seal carries over onto the back.
The second seal which Jesus opens according to Rev. 6:3-4, sets loose the fiery red horse of war. This horse carries the one who will take away the peace the Anti-Christ will have been credited with establishing. Scripture supports that this red horse refers to the horrendous war of Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39 which will be led by the ruler referred to as "Gog" in Ezek. 38:1-4.
In Rev. 6:5-6 we find that when the third seal is broken a black horse carrying the rider of famine devastates the earth. We are shown that at this time, the equivalent of an entire day's wages will barely buy enough food to feed one person. Yet, we are also informed that the elite of the earth will still be able to acquire for themselves the provisions of luxury, which are illustrated by the oil and wine.
Revelation 6:7-8 then has us witness the breaking of the fourth seal which unleashes the fourth horseman who rides upon a pale horse. The rider is Death and following behind him to gather the souls of the damned is the personification of Hell.
They are given the power to kill with the same plagues God warned He would afflict Israel with if they did not obey Him in Ezekiel 5:17. These are the beasts of the earth, the sword, pestilence and hunger.
A quarter of the earth's population will die at this point of what will have been known as "the beginning of sorrows"
The second part of the Tribulation Period known as the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jacob means Israel), or the "Great Tribulation" is about to begin (Jer. 30:7 & Matt. 24:21).
Revelation 6:9-11 reveals to us the opening of the fifth seal at approximately halfway through the 7 year Tribulation Period. Here we find the people who had become believers after the Rapture of the Church. The Church will have disappeared from off the face of the earth faster than the blink of an eye at least 3 ½ years earlier (I Cor. 15:51-52).
Incredulous at first, shock will quickly turn to recognition of the fact of the Rapture for many. Having missed their opportunity to have been caught up at the Rapture the newfound faith of the tribulation saints brings them the power of Christ in their lives to pay the ultimate price. We have been told they will be "slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held."
The souls of these martyred believers are seen to be located in heaven "under the altar" while in notable comparison the members of the Church are seen in Rev. 5:7-11, before the opening of the first seal, gathered around the throne of God.
Of even greater contrast between the Raptured Church and these martyred tribulation saints is that Jesus instructed the Church in Matt. 5:44 to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.
Instead, in Rev. 6:10, we find in contradistinction these souls crying out with a loud voice for the Lord to avenge them. They are told they should rest a little while longer until the number of believing martyrs is completed. We will learn more of these additional martyrs in Chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 6:12 then reveals to us what takes place when Jesus opens the sixth seal. The breaking of this seal introduces the terrifying closing half of the Tribulation Period with a great earthquake, the sun blackens and the moon appears as blood. Stars will fall from the heavens, the sky will roll up like a scroll, and every mountain and island will be moved from its place. It is the day of God's wrath.
Joel 2:27-32 tell us that this will be the long awaited time when salvation will at last be seen in Jerusalem. This will be when the Lord calls the remnant of the children of Israel and they will listen to His voice. Great supernatural manifestation will once again be seen among God's elect when He pours out His Spirit upon them.
Chapter 7 of Revelation reveals more concerning this great spiritual awakening. (See also Ezek. 39:22-29 & Acts 2:17-39).
Revelation 7:1-3 tells us that after the great signs shown in Rev. 6:12-14, four angels standing at the four corners of the earth will be instructed to stop the winds from blowing upon the earth. This will take place after 144,000 children of the tribes of Israel are sealed by God on their foreheads. This appears to be a visible seal when considering the language used in the Scripture of Rev. 7:3.
The stopping of the four winds from blowing across the face of the earth by God's four angels will cause unimaginable destruction and will alter the geographical face of the planet.
Many who search for the United States of America in Bible prophecy are unknowingly reading of its devastating fate when they read this passage. This may well be the time spoken of in Luke 21:25 where we are told of, "...the sea and waves roaring." For further information on this prophecy please review our Rapture watch Message, "Destruction from Earth's Four Corners."
According to Rev. 7:3-8 before this great destruction takes place, the sealing of God's servants from the tribes of Israel will have been completed. Only the tribe of Dan is found disqualified from the divine protection bestowed upon these 144,000 evangelists. This is due to Dan's gross idolatry recorded in Deuteronomy Chapter 29. Dan is not excluded from inheriting its birthright though, as is revealed in Ezekiel Chapter 48.
Once again, with the appointment of these Hebrew witnesses for Christ, we find a continual Jewish focus demonstrated throughout the Book of Revelation. For more information on this prophecy please review our Rapture Watch Message, "And so all Israel shall be Saved."
We now come to verses 9-17 which bring Ch. 7 to a close. Here we are given a view of a great multitude of believers who will be brought to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ during the final years of the Great Tribulation. These are the fellow servants and brethren that the martyred souls of Rev. 6:11 were told they would have to wait upon until they were likewise killed as they had been. After the last of these servants is slain the vengeance of God will be completed.
Revelation 7:9-12 tell us they will be comprised of a number that men will not be able to tally and are found forthwith in heaven praising the Lord dressed in glorious white robes.
Verses 13 & 14 verify who this vast company of believers are when the Apostle John is told, "These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Verses 15-18 confirm that this event we are witnessing in John's record takes place after the close of the Tribulation Period.
In verse 15 we no longer find the martyred tribulation saints located "under the altar" in heaven as we were shown previously in Rev. 6:9. But instead, we now find these martyrs "before the throne of God' serving Him in His temple.
Verse 16 promises them that they will never hunger or thirst again nor shall the heat of the sun strike them. These afflictions as we shall find out in later passages of the Book of Revelation, were some of the torturous trials these tribulation saints will have endured upon the earth before having been killed.
This passage refutes the teachings of those who insist that these tribulation saints are members of the Church who are supposedly going t be divinely protected from God's wrathful judgments during the Tribulation.
Verse 17 of Rev. Ch. 7 then concludes this grand heavenly scene with the promise of Rev. 21:4. After God has created a new heaven and earth we are promised that, "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
What a tremendous comfort these Scriptures will bring to the suffering saints of the Tribulation Period.
The days of the Great Tribulation are unlike anything that has or ever will happen again in the history of the world according to Jesus' words found in Matthew 24:21.
This is why Jesus told believers who would be living just before the day God's judgment was to come upon this earth to, "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."
Only those who have put their faith in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of these sins can be counted as worthy by God to escape all these things.