Saturday, September 2, 2023

Seal Five, and Seal Team Six

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "Seal Five, and Seal Team Six"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“Write… the things which shall be hereafter.
Revelation 1:19.

Last week, we left off with verse 8 of Revelation 6. It is about the fourth horse of the Apocalypse, and its rider. This pale colored horse was ridden by Death, and Hell followed with him. Power was given to this horse and rider to kill with sword (or war), with hunger (or famine), with death (by innumerable means), and with the beasts of the Earth (or the animal kingdom).

N.B. (Nota Bene - Take Notice) - Studies have proven that HIV was transmitted to humans by a chimpanzee from the nation of Cameroon in Africa in the 1970's, or 80’s. But the first human case was discovered in 1959 with a man living in the Belgian Congo. The beasts of the earth can transmit terrible plagues to humans. There is much information about COVID-19 being the results of the common COVID virus (SR-2) being manipulated (changed) when somehow filtered through animal tissue until it is deadly to humans. If you recall the headlines from Britain 40 to 50 years ago, a form of encephalitis (a murrain) was somehow transmitted from bovines, and deadly to humans. A murrain spread across Europe in the 14th century that killed off thousands of cattle and sheep. It weakened humans a generation later to the point of susceptibility to The Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, which killed multiple thousands of people across that continent. The Biblical equivalent to murrain is the word Pestilence, a broad-based umbrella term covering many diseases. This 8th verse is not to be taken lightly! It is a strongly worded verse with historical significance. This is a warning of what’s coming to those non-believers remaining on earth. No one will be able to say, “Gee, I never knew!” The warnings have been in place since the writings of the Old Testament Prophets. Two hundred billion deaths will come from War, Famine, Multiple other causes, and even pestilences from animals well before the Lord’s return!

Please remind yourself, as we have covered, that the Church will be safely tucked away in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall be perfectly happy missing all these judgments. And so far, we’ve only scratched the surface of them. The 7th and last seal judgment gives way to the trumpet judgments. The excitement continues as we delve deeper into this magnificent Book of Revelation. We will read of them, but we will not experience them.

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even also as you do.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Sunday Morning's Audio Message
Revelation 6:8-17 - "Seal Five, and Seal Team Six"

Summary Notes:  

This morning, as we continue in Revelation chapter 6, we look again at the fourth seal that is opened, along with the fifth and sixth seals. We must keep in mind that the church has already been raptured at this point, the Holy Spirit has been removed, and we (all believers) are in the presence of the Lord, but here on earth God's wrath is beginning to be poured out. 

Today, as we finish chapter 6, we are going to come face to face with God's vengeance.  We are in a seven-year period that we have called the time of tribulation.  It is also called the time of Jacob's trouble with reference to Israel's role in it.

This seven-year period, identified in the book of Daniel as seven years, and identified again in the book of Revelation as to half of it being 3 1/2 years.  This seven-year period is when Jesus Christ not only judges the ungodly but takes back the earth and the universe for His own possession.

The Gospel of Matthew records a sermon that Jesus taught called the Olivet Discourse, or the Sermon on the Mount.  He too discussed this period of time, the tribulation period.  He said that these seven years will be divided into two halves.  The first half he called the beginning of birth pangs, the pangs grow more intense and closer together as you get nearer to the great event.   Of course, that great event is not the birth of a child, but the arrival of the Son of God.  These birth pangs describe the pain that the whole earth and its inhabitants will feel, as the time of His arrival draws nearer.  The first half (Matthew 24:8) is called the beginning of birth pangs.  The second half (Matthew 24:21), is called the great tribulation. 

What's interesting, keeping in mind the chronology of these events, in the Gospel of Luke chapter 21:22-36, he describes this second half of the tribulation as the days of God's vengeance.  So, the first four seals take place in the first 3-1/2 years of the tribulation, and the fifth through the seventh seals take place in the second half of the tribulation period. 

To recap, we have been going through the opening of the seven seals of the scroll by our Lord Jesus Christ. The scroll contains information about Christ taking back the universe. He alone is worthy to open the seals. Each one is a judgement that takes place on the earth and upon the enemies of God. As each seal is broken, another scene develops. These seven seals unfold in a seven-year period yet to come in the future that we know as the time of tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble, Daniel’s seventieth 

Briefly, and you can go back to previous studies to refresh your memory, we saw that the first seal opened was false peace, coming through the false Christ.  While some think that the first horse and rider represent Jesus, this is wrong.  The rider of this white horse is a false Christ.  The Antichrist (Read Daniel 11:36-37, Isaiah 14). 

The first seal is opened, described are the white horse and its rider. He who sits on the horse is the false world leader, the one who will exalt himself above God, just like Satan.  Remember, he's carrying a bow which we learned was a banner.  Jesus will not need to carry a banner of peace when he returns. His second coming will be a time of wrath, of judgment, a fearful and mournful time for the wicked, but a day of peace for the righteous.  In fact, there is a complete description of our Lord when He returns in Revelation 19:11-16.  There is a stark contrast between this first horse and rider (the Antichrist), and Jesus who is King of kings and Lord of lords in chapter 19, it's crystal clear. 

The Antichrist's characteristics mimic those of Satan.  His goal is to deceive, to conquer, and to be worshipped.  Great multitudes will follow him to destruction. Pastor Bob goes into greater depth in the audio teaching.

The second seal we saw was war. The third seal was opened, and we saw was famine. The fourth seal was pestilence, which could also include natural disasters as described by the Lord, including an earthquake.

The Fourth Seal - 

We covered last week, but Pastor Bob will touch on another aspect of this fourth seal today.  Make sure that you read today's Bobservations' Column for a clarification of what is the cause of so much death.
  • The sword - war
  • With hunger - famine
  • With death, and by the beasts of the earth - pestilence
The fourth seal is opened, and John sees a pale horse. “...his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” (Revelation 6:7–8). The result of this fourth seal is that one fourth of the earth’s population are killed “by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

John describes for us what was in the fourth seal opened, it is a pale horse (verse 8).  The Greek word for pale is "chloros."  It is where we get the English word "chlorophyll."  It describes the pale, ashen-green characteristic of the decomposition of a corpse. The rider of this horse is named Death, and Hell followed.   Go back and read today's Bobservations' Column for a greater understanding. 

The Fifth Seal -

The scroll’s fifth seal reveals those who will be martyred for their faith in Christ during the tribulation (Revelation 6:9–11; cf. Matthew 24:9). The souls of these martyrs are pictured as dwelling under the altar in heaven. God hears their cries for justice, and He gives each of them a white robe. The martyrs are told to wait “until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” God promises to avenge them, but the time was not yet (cf. Romans 12:19).

What we see here is vengeance, as those who have been martyred for the sake of Christ are praying that God would bring about swift vengeance.  These martyrs are those who have been killed for the Word of God and for the testimony that they held. 

When the Lamb had opened the "FIFTH SEAL," John saw under the "Sacrificial Altar," corresponding to the "Burnt Offering Altar," the "SOULS" of them that were slain for the "Word of God" and for the "testimony they held." The fact that their "SOULS" were under the "Sacrificial Altar" is proof that they had been offered as a "Sacrifice," that is that they were MARTYRS. But they were not the Martyrs of the Christian Church, for they had been resurrected and taken up with the Church. These Martyrs are those who will be killed for the "Word of God" and their "testimony" after the Church is caught out. What we see here is vengeance, as those who have been martyred for the sake of Christ are praying that God would bring about swift vengeance. These martyrs are those who have been killed for the Word of God and for the testimony that they held.
  • Under the Altar - probably a reference to the altar of incense, which pictured the saints' prayers ascending to God (verse 9).
  • Souls of the Slain - Christians martyred for their faith (verse 9). See also Revelation 7:9, 13-15; 17:6.
  • Rest Yet a Little Season - God will answer their prayer for vengeance, but in His time (verse 11). See also Romans 12:19.
  • Until...the number...was completed - More will be martyred for their faith.  God already know the number, and when that number is completed, He will move in to destroy His enemies (verse 11).

 The Sixth Seal -

When the Lamb of God opens the sixth seal, a devastating earthquake occurs, causing massive upheaval and terrible devastation—along with unusual astronomical phenomena: the sun turns black, and the moon turns blood-red, and “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” (Revelation 6:12–14). Survivors of the sixth seal, regardless of their social position, take refuge in caves and cry out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (verses 16–17).

When the sixth seal is opened we see mass destruction on the earth, and throughout the universe.  These are nothing more or less than great physical convulsions that shall shake the earth, and that have been foretold by the Prophets and by Christ Himself. Such physical phenomena and changes have happened before. We must not forget the "GREAT DARKNESS" that for 3 days overspread Egypt in the days before the Exodus (Ex. 10:21-23), nor the "DARKNESS" that settled over Jerusalem and Calvary on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ. Matt. 27:45.

What is also described here is great fear.  Those alive during this time will cry out, and begin to pray, but not to God, they pray to the mountains and the rocks to fall on them.  They would rather die under the crushing weight of the rocks then face the wrath of God and the Lamb.
  • The Sixth Seal - While the first five seals will result from human activity that God uses to accomplish His purposes.  The opening of the sixth seal He begins direct intervention.  The previous five seals are the precursors to the full fury of the Day of the Lord, which will begin with the sixth seal (vs. 17).  The events described in the seal unleash the seventh, which contains the trumpet judgments (chapters 8, 9; 11:15-18:24) and the bowl judgments (chapter 16).
  • Great Earthquakes - There have been many earthquakes prior to this (Matthew 24:7), but this will be more than an earthquake.  Al the earth's faults will begin to fracture simultaneously, resulting in a cataclysmic, global earthquake (verse 12).
  • Moon Becomes Like Blood - Accompanying the earthquake will be numerous volcanic eruptions; and large amounts of ash and debris will be blown into the earth's atmosphere, blackening the sun and giving the moon a blood-red hue (verse 12).
  • Stars of Heaven Fall - In the Greek, the word "stars" can refer to any celestial body, large or small, and is not limited to normal English usage.  The best explanation is a massive asteroid or meteor shower (verse 13).
  • Late Figs - Winter figs that grow without the protection of leaves and are easily blown from the tree (verse 13).
  • Sky Receded as a Scroll - The earth's atmosphere will be somehow dramatically affected and the sky as we know it disappears (verse 14).
  • Every Mountain and Island are Moved - Under the stress created by the global earthquake, great segments of the earth's plates will begin to slip and shift, realigning whole continents (verse 14).
  • Wrath of the Lamb - Earth's inhabitants will recognize for the first time the source of all their trouble.  Incredibly, prior to this they will be living life as usual (verse 16).
  • Great Day - The sixth seal will commence what the prophets call "the Day of the Lord" (verse 17).
"And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth." Isaiah 2:17-19

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