Saturday, August 26, 2023

Jesus Prevails

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "Jesus Prevails"
Written By: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter” - Revelation 1:19.

The Gospel of John is the first step in his obedience to Christ. In Revelation Chapter 1, Jesus reveals Himself to John in a vision: Jesus Christ in His full heavenly glory. John is in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10), and Jesus identifies Himself as the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:11), and then John sees Jesus’ heavenly presence, and describes Him to every reader.

In Chapters 2 and 3, we find the letters John wrote to each of the seven churches which were in Asia. These letters reveal first, the problems and commendations to each church, and secondly, they describe the state of “the Church” throughout the Church Age: the first century, to today.

In Chapter 4, John is called up into heaven to see visions of the future condition of the world (Revelation 4:1). As the sole surviving Apostle, John is the only Apostolic connection the churches still have. And as representing the Churches, his call into heaven is a type of the Rapture of the Church during end times.

In Chapter 5, John’s eyes become fixed on the Seven Sealed Book in the hand of God as He sits on His Throne (Revelation 5:1). But no one in heaven or earth was found worthy to open this book. John began to weep, until an elder spoke to him and told him that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David had prevailed to open the Book. John’s tears were likely the first and the last ever to be shed in heaven.

Today in chapter 6, the Church is in Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), and Jesus begins to open the seals of the book (Daniel 12). Those who remain on the Earth at this time are not Believers, but some shall become believers in Christ during the 7 years of the Great Tribulation period. And as we follow John’s words from the Lord, we learn quickly that God sees mankind in two categories: Believers and non-believers. What follows is judgment on an unbelieving world, and encouragement for those who have been “on the fence” about Jesus, Faith, and the Bible. We will read of the Church again in Chapter 19.
“…these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, ye might have life through His name" - John 21:31.

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:

Revelation 6:1-6 - "Jesus Prevails"


This morning we are beginning chapter 6 of the book of Revelation.  As with all the previous chapters, we are going to be learning a lot.  The church has already been raptured at this point, and the Holy Spirit has been removed with them. The four creatures, the twenty-four elders and the angels are praising God and glorifying the Lamb as He steps onto the stage of history to enact the judgments, the beginning of God's final wrath.

Back in chapter 5, we learned that Jesus was the only One worthy to open the scroll, which is the title deed to the earth.  As he breaks open the seven seals that secure the scroll, each seal unleashes God's judgment on the earth during the time called the Great Tribulation.  The seals encompass the entire seven-year period of the Tribulation, at which time the Lord will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.  
The Great Tribulation:  is a seven-year period of intense judgment on the earth.  The Great Tribulation fulfills the prophecies of Daniel 7-12.  
So, here in chapter 6, the focus has now changed from what is going on in heaven back to the earth. This chapter begins the turning point of future events.   The seven-year period known as the tribulation begins, and thus begins the pouring out final judgment.

Man's world is facing inevitable death because sin has consumed the hearts of man.  We see it in every aspect of culture and society in every sort of depravity.  Hearts have been given over to lust, pride, self-indulgence, immorality and the total rejection of God, and the truth of His Word.  God in His mercy and grace has given us through His Son, the gift of salvation, yet the scoffers scoff, the scorners scorn, and the mockers mock.  As a result, the whole world is sentenced to divine wrath.  
"Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish" (Psalm 1:5-6).
Jesus is beginning to open the seals on the scroll, again encompassing the whole tribulation period until His final coming.  There is mourning, confusion, and chaos on the earth.  It is here that Jesus breaks open the first seal.  

The First Seal - 

A White Horse - represents an unparalleled time of world peace - a false peace that is to be short-lived.  This peace will be ushered in by a series of false messiahs, culminating with the Antichrist.  

The Rider of the white horse - he is depicted as the hero, the one who will save the world from all of the chaos and suffering.  In reality, he is a satanic deceiver who gives the appearance of being a man of peace, when in reality, he is the prophesied man of lawlessness, whom Paul describes as "the son of perdition" - the son of Satan, the Antichrist, who will deceive, and maim, and kill a multitude of men without number. He will set up his false one-world system: government, religion and economy, and the people will look to him as their savior.

The Rider Carries a Bow:  This man carries a bow, without any mention of arrows. This is done to lull an unsuspecting world into a false sense of peace and security. But his real motive is to go forth conquering and to conquer, for in his wake, there follows war, famine, pestilence, and death. The rider on the white horse is a trickster, giving the appearance of a man of peace who is going to usher in world safety and prosperity for all. However, when he rides onto the world scene, he will come as a victor, intent on conquering and controlling.

It's interesting that the Greek translation for "bow" is pronounced toxon, and it and it means a piece of fabric.  Can you envision a man on a white horse carrying a flag of peace and safety?  Well, this flag is described as having the colors of the rainbow, representing the peace and blessings of God.  It's interesting how the rainbow and flags are used even now as a perversion of scripture.  This flag represents a false sense of peace and security.

The Rider Wears a Crown.  The crown is a kind of laurel wreath.  The Greek word is staphanos, this is not a royal diadem.  His crown is an imperial crown of a conquering dictator, which is to display his authoritarian control and his mission to impose one-world totalitarian authority over the souls of the men he deceived. The mission of this satanic tyrant is not to bring peace to a weary, war-torn world but to kill and to maim, and to set his throne above God.

The Second Seal - 

A Fiery Red Horse:  It's blood-red in appearance and speaks of the devastation of war (see Matthew 24:7).  God will grant this horse and its rider the power to create worldwide war.  But as horrible as this judgment is, it will be only the "birth Pains, the beginning pains of God's wrath.  The rider on the second horse is a powerful warrior. He is an influential, political leader and military man who commands a mighty 'war-machine', and excites global unrest and civil rebellion. He bursts into the pseudo-peaceful world-scene, carrying a great sword in his hand, with power to engulf the nations of the world, in a terrible and bloody war.

The Sword - depicts assassination, revolt, massacre, and wholesale slaughter.

The Third Seal - 

A Black Horse:  Black signifies famine (see Lamentations 5:8-10).  Worldwide war will destroy the food supply and spawn global hunger.  

A Pair of Scales:  The third rider held in his hands a pair of scales - a common measuring device - two small trays hung from each end of a balancing arm indicating the scarcity of food. This represents unprecedented famine. His shocking announcement of terrible food shortage, worldwide, was confirmed, as something like a voice from the center of the four living creatures said, "a quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius.

As each rider is summoned onto the world stage, we discover a terrible time of trouble unfolding - a time of destruction, death, and tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will do so again. Each rider carries in his hand an implement that dictates his nefarious role as the 70th week of Daniel begins to unfold. 

The Fourth Seal - 

A Pale Horse:  The Greek word for "Pale" is Chloros, from which the English word "chlorophyll" comes.   This describes the pale, ashen-green pallor characteristic of the decomposition of a corpse.  

It is as the Lamb breaks the fourth seal on the seven-sealed scroll and the fourth living creature booms out his ominous command to "COME", that the final, formidable horseman emerges on his pale-green steed. The rider is no respecter of persons. No-one is exempt from the icy fingers of Death or Hades - the place of the dead. Shockingly, a quarter of the population of the earth will be slaughtered as the floodgate of evil is unloosed.

Throughout the history of the earth, evil dictators have massacred millions, emperors have instigated war, and famines have resulted in the death of untold numbers of men and women. There is hardly a time in the entire history of humanity when nations have not risen up against other nations and death and destruction have resulted from man's lust for power, through the enslavement of others. But these former times of conflict pale into insignificance, by comparison with this future bloodbath and carnage which will commence with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Death:  His name that sat on the horse was DEATH. God grants this horseman the authority to bring death to twenty-five percent of the world's population. Hades (v.8) is the place of the dead, which is identified as a common and fitting partner for death.

The seals of Revelation 6 represent the overlying theme of God’s judgment on evil. This is not only a prophecy but a practical teaching and encouragement to believers of every age. It reflects the character of God. He is good on His Word. Jesus is the King of Kings with absolute authority over the entire Universe. He will vindicate His people and deliver a fatal blow to His enemies. This is something that should be celebrated by those covered in the blood of the Lamb.

This is also a warning to those who have not come to faith in Jesus. The gospels declare that salvation comes through Christ alone. It is the gift of God by His grace through faith in Him. He who took our place on the cross and bore the punishment that we should have received for our sin is still calling you to come to Him and believe.

It is also vital to be sure that we are truly in the faith. The true gospel repeatedly commands unbelievers to repent (Matthew 4:17; 11:20–21; Mark 6:12; Luke 5:32; 13:3, 5; 15:7, 10; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:9–10; 2 Timothy 2:25) and declares, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). In fact, the scriptures urge us to “EXAMINE” ourselves “to see if you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5), and also reminds us that true believers will be known “by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16-18; cf. Luke 6:43–44).

We are about to move into the absolute wrath of God unleashed on the earth. It will be frightening and disturbing as God’s wrath is something fierce. But what also is seen here in Revelation 6 is His gracious love. Although the next several chapters are filled with horror, they are also a merciful warning. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it. Jesus willingly gave up His life for us so that we could have life in Him – be made right with God. God so loved the world (the rebellious, cantankerous, self-absorbed world) that He gave His only Son. And whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. There is still time, seek the Lord while He may be found.

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