Revelation Chapter 6

            THE 7 SEALED SCROLL

                 THE FIRST SEAL


      As we left chapter 5, God is on His throne.  He holds a scroll in His right hand.  The scroll is sealed with 7 seals, containing the judgments to come.  The Lamb is found to be worthy to open the scroll.  Of course, Jesus IS the Lamb.  Now, John watches while Jesus takes the scroll from His Father and prepares to break the first seal.

      BUT, before we watch as the seals are broken, there is something else we need to clear up.  This is the controversial subject of when the Rapture will take place.  

      I want to share with you another of Dr, Adrian Rogers’ explanations from his Legacy Bible.  It is better than anything I can come up with on this subject, 

                                                                               The Rapture, from 1 Thessalonians 1
      Friends, soon and very soon, we will lay our eyes upon the Lamb of God who died for us.  I believe that we are on a collision course with destiny.  The signs of the time are all around us, but I have almost stopped looking for the signs.  Now I am listening for the trumpet and then the shouts.  I believe that soon we are going to hear the cry: “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go out to meet Him.” Matthew 25:6.   One of the most blessed truths I know is that Jesus may come at any moment, even before we finish this lesson. 

      The early Christians were also looking for the coming of the Lord in Glory. 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come..”  Dr. Rogers took these verses and backed into them, taking the last part of the verse first.  Let’s look at it from his perspective. 
      Quoting Dr. Rogers:

      “First, there is the impending wrath to come.  Not only is Jesus coming, but there is also the wrath to come, the Great Tribulation. (Daniel 12:1; Matt. 24:21).  The wrath to come will make our worst days seem like a Sunday school picnic.  It will be a time of hell on earth, a time of unspeakable suffering. The Book of Revelation speaks of the wrath that will come.  There will be a white horse of dominion, ridden by the Antichrist (Rev. 6:2) There will be the red horse of destruction, a spirit of hatred that will inflame men to kill (v. 4). There will be a black horse of deprivation, which will bring famine (v. 5).  Finally, will come a pale horse of decimation, when millions will be killed, and hell will claim their souls (v.7).  The Great Tribulation will be a time when demon spirits are unleashed upon this earth (9:1-12).
     “Second, there is the expectant wait.  We ‘wait for His Son from heaven’ (1 Thess. 1:10).  This is the Son who delivered us from the wrath to come.  But here’s the question: Will the church go through the Great Tribulation?  I think not.  Paul writes, ‘God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation.’ Or deliverance, ‘through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (5:9).  God chastises His children, but He doesn’t pour out His wrath upon His children.  His wrath is for the unsaved.  And before God pours out wrath, God will take His children out. 
      “Lastly, there is the exemplary work.  How are we to get ready for the Rapture?  The Thessalonians ‘turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God’ (1 Thess 1:9.) Likewise, you must turn from idols, from gods of greed, from debauchery, and wine from sexual lust, from hatred, from anything you trust and serve and fear more than God.  If you would be ready for the coming of Jesus, you must serve the living and true God.  It’s not enough to believe He is returning soon. You must put your belief into action – begin to serve Jesus and to warn others of the wrath to come.  You need to get your head out of the clouds of prophecy and get your feet onto the pavement of soul winning.  And you will wait for Jesus to come. You will look for His coming, live for His coming, long for His coming. You will be praying. Even So, come, Lord Jesus.’” 
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      As we come to chapter 6 the scene shifts to the earth.  The natural question:  What happens on earth when the church leaves?  The great tribulation takes place – that’s the subject of chapters 6-19.  Remember that the Tribulation covers the first 
3 ½ years and the Great Tribulation covers the last 3 ½ years of the period known as the Tribulation.  We are assuming that the 
Rapture occurs sometime during the last part of the first 3 ½ years, before the Great Tribulation begins.  I say we assume, although we do not know when it will occur.  We are only speculating at this point. No one knows, only the Father in Heaven knows for sure. 

Now, Jesus no longer walks among the lampstands.  They have been removed.  He is no longer the High Priest, standing as intercessor.  He is now the executor of God’s will on the earth as He opens the seals of the book.

Notice that the great tribulation does not break suddenly like a tornado.  The opening of the seals is gradual, logical, chronological.  They are opened one at a time.  (Rev. 6:1-2)
 
                                                                      THE FIRST SEAL, THE CONQUEROR
         Revelation 6: 1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”
2.  And I looked, and behold, a white horse.  He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 
        Notice in verse 2 that the crown “was given to him”.  That’s important as we will see in a moment. 

When the first seal is removed. John sees one of the infamous four horsemen of the Apocalypse,  The white horse makes his grand entrance.  He is symbolic of a conqueror. Now, just how do we know this?  Look at him. 1. He is carrying a bow, a useless weapon, because he has no arrow.  2. He wears a crown which was given to him.  He is allowed to have the crown, it is not earned.  The Greek word for crown is diadem. But, watch this:  In this verse the word used for crown is stephanos, meaning a fake crown.  Donald Grey Barnhouse, a noted author and historian, says it is like a child who dresses up in jewelry from the dime store to imitate the rich.  Let’s be realistic for a moment.  The truth is that the world is looking for a man on a white horse, one who promises peace and prosperity. The rider of the white horse, when he comes, will carry peace symbols in front of him and evil plans in his back pocket.  Specifically, peace to Israel.  Daniel 9:26, 27 says that there is a “prince that shall come:” who will make a covenant with Israel to protect her from her enemies.  What a hero he will be!  He is great at making promises, but all he wants is their souls.  He hasn’t come yet, so what does this have to do with us today?  Already, we are seeing his advance team.  The spirit of the Antichrist is already invading our world.  It loves to infiltrate the church, stir up trouble, divides congregations, church splits.  In 1 John 4:2 John warned us to test the spirits to see whether they are from God.  This was when I was warning you about when you read some particular authors.  I think you understand what I meant.  How are we supposed to know? If a person acknowledges that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, that person passes the test.  But we must always test the spirits to see if they be of God.  

Spirit of Antichrist has invaded our educational system.  Biblical principles of right and wrong are done away with.  Just this week, in the news, one of our House representatives made a statement from the floor of congress that “What God wants isn’t important in our government.” Can you believe that !!!  Here in America!!! Also, our educational system is teaching Value-clarification – teaching children about abortion, homosexuality, radical issues, things they can’t possibly understand.  If values are not absolute, how does anyone discover the difference between good and evil, right and wrong?  We live in a society that believes if it feels good do it.  Antichrist is a phony, the peace he brings is false because there’s another rider after him who brings war.  When Christ brings the real peace. It will be permanent.

                                                                                                   Get ready for the second seal……..    NEXT TIME    .
                                                                                                                 Blessings precious friends,
                                                                                                                                                              Maggie