Revelation 6:7-11 - Seals 4, 5 (pale horse, souls under the altar)

 7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.  

Revelation 6:7-11

 

When explaining the seals, many bible students group the first four seals together because of the horses.  However, the first, second and third seal prepare the church to have oil in its vessel when the midnight cry sounds.  The fourth and fifth seal open and close the Days of Awe (Feast of Trumpets).  The fourth and fifth seals act as bookends for the Days of Awe.  The fourth seal marks the first days and the fifth seal identifies the final days.  The Days of Awe consist of a set number of days full of grace at the closing of the ages.  This period of time is fully dedicated to the reconciliation of nonbelievers before the day of salvation ends.  It is God's desire to attend to the needs of the world.  The needs that move us to action include food, clothing, shelter coupled with all our wants or wishes.  God knows we have greater needs than needs of the flesh; therefore, the Days of Awe are both full of awe and awful.    He will turn our fearful carnal natures to attend to our need for spiritual things.

 Israel used trumpets as an ancient day intercom system.  The sound of the trumpet was to give a sure sound so the people within the nation would know to prepare for coming events.  The trumpets were often used to give warning to Israel of looming danger such as  war or disaster.  The Feast of Trumpets (Days of Awe) deliver warning to Israel that God, their king, is soon coming and reminds them to make preparation for their Day of Atonement. 

The trumpet sound delivered on the first day during Feast of Trumpets is the Midnight Cry that wakes the ten sleeping virgins warning them that the bridegroom comes soon.  Matthew 25:1-13  Jesus is the bridegroom.  John 3:28-30  However, His appearing is delayed until after the Days of Awe which are dedicated to the Gentiles (nonbelievers in the world) as a time of reconciliation.  Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:1-2   Many will be reconciled, but many more will harden their heart becoming hostile to God's own.  The virginal state of the ten virgins has been correctly attributed to their character.  However, their virginal state also indicates the time in which they live.  They are still virginal, because they are merely betrothed until the marriage banquet has been fulfilled with the coming of the bridegroom.  Revelation 19:6-9

When they hear the Midnight Cry, the virgins are initially very excited that the bridegroom is coming.  However, they begin to understand that the bridegroom tarries.  Only part of them has enough oil in their vessel to wait for Him during the time of delay.  It is not just a matter of patiently waiting, it is a matter of endurance during a time of great duress that puts such a taxation on their faith.  The church has been lulled to sleep by peace and prosperity.  God has been gently shaking his beloved trying to rouse her from slumber; however, each time she rolls over and goes right back to sleep.  Matthew 28:36-46  The sleeping church will be rudely interrupted by cataclysmic chaos.  It is the work of God to wake His sleeping bride by any necessary means.  However, it is the work of Satan to consume the oil in your vessel so your light goes dim, then dark. 

The opening of the fourth seal releases awful events upon the earth.  Incredible things will happen on a global scale.  Things our generation and the ones before us could never imagine.  One fourth of a given population will die during these events.  If this death occurs on a global scale, may God help us because nearly two billion people could die during these events.  This is not the time for the church to wimp out.  The only hope the world has is the one offered by the wise virgins.  Sadly, most in the world will despise the work of the church because Satan will offer a faux salvation.  The good news is that many will receive the truth during the Days of Awe even up to the last hour.  Matthew 20:9-16

Many in the house have sheltered and secluded ourselves in the houses of God built for our own gratification; few have been working in the Lord's fields.  We ignore the suffering of the world foolishly believing our status in the house entitles us to preferential treatment.  As our hearts grow harder, our hands grow softer and our backs grow stiffer refusing to bow to anyone.  If we are not willing to bend our knees to the needs of others, we may not serve the Master at His coming.  Matthew 25:31-33, 41-46  Many of us are not prepared for the hardship of working in the fields.  Therefore, if we do not seek oil today and receive it in the blessed time of the outpouring, our lamps will quickly go out.  Do not be foolish in this matter, ask of God and He will give it to you abundantly if you seek it during the time of your visitation.

If indeed the horse is the Spirit of God, then who is its rider?  Who would unleash such terrible things upon the world and why is He so mad at us?  I am sad to say that I believe the rider on the horse is our Lord.  The one that created us will give us a taste of His strange act.  Isaiah 28:21-22  This act is strange to Him, because He is by nature a creator God.  He will only destroy if it provides for rebuilding.  Isaiah 28:23-29  He wants to reconcile the world, but how can He do such a thing when the world does not pay heed to His voice?  Therefore, God will send judgment upon the world.  He will remove our security blanket.  God will cease to corporately intercede on behalf of the world because of our sins. 

Just as God sent judgment to Israel in the form of Babylon because of her sins, He will send judgment on the final generation.  However, remember that God did not desire to do this thing.  He sent destruction upon Israel so that Israel would be saved through chastisement.  God loves and desires to save the whole world and will use discipline the same way a father disciplines his children.  John 3:16; Hebrews 12:5-11

When Moses was about to climb Mount Nebo and die, He counseled with the Israelites.  Moses told the people that they were safe under the wings of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 32:9-12; Luke 13:34-35  However, Moses also told them that if they rejected their Lord, He would send four judgments upon them:  famine, pestilence, wild beasts and the swordDeuteronomy 32:23-27  This judgment is to make them wise so they will know their God.  Deuteronomy 32:28-29, 36-39  Moses delivered this final warning to Israel so they would know the nature of their God.  He is a jealous God and will not share His glory with another.  However, Moses had delivered this message as a prelude to the abundant blessings God wanted to extend to Israel which typifies his great love for all of us.

Leviticus 26 is a chapter dedicated to the four judgments of God:  sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts.  It is His great desire to shield all of the world, both the just and the unjust, from these judgments.  However, these judgments become harsh task masters when we do not discipline ourselves in accordance to the word of God.  The first part of Leviticus 26 is dedicated to God's ability and will to protect Israel from famine, sword, wild beasts and pestilence.  The middle part of Leviticus 26 describes the judgments God will send upon Israel for disobedience.  These judgments come in the form of pestilence, famine, sword and wild beasts.  The last part of Leviticus 26 describes God's provision for repentance.  If Israel will reject all foreign gods and return to the God that claims her, God will be faithful to receive her once again.  What a beautiful message to the world!

Moses was not the only prophet to know about the sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts of the fourth seal in Revelation 6:7-8.  Ezekiel lived during the time when the promised judgments would come upon an unrepentant Israel.  Moses warned Israel, and Ezekiel witnessed the fulfillment of the promises to an unfaithful nation.  Ezekiel's message was sent as an opportunity to repent.  Even right at the end, God wanted to save Israel from a deserved fate and she disregarded the warning--sounds like us.  Rebellion is the nature of all nations.  In Ezekiel 5:14-17 the nation of Israel is warned that four judgments are coming:  famine, wild beasts, plague and sword.

Many times God speaks to a group of people living in a specified era while also using the same words to speak to a generation yet to be born.  Ezekiel 14 is such a message.  The warning in this passage is to Israel, but it is also to the final generation.  Ezekiel delivers a clear message regarding the reason God uses these four sore judgments to chastise us.   I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people. . .  Ezekiel 14:5a 

God longs to reside within our hearts.  However, just as it was at the time of His birth, there is no room at the inn.  He longs to dwell with each of us so much that when we will not hearken to His voice, He will send others to speak on His behalf.  They are the prophets.  They reveal the will of God.  The ones that will receive the word of the prophets of God will receive the prophet's reward.  However, many will reject the prophet as well as the Lord. 

For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:  How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem MY four dreadful judgments - sword and famine and wild beasts and plague - to kill its men and their animals.

Ezekiel 14:21

 

Yes, Jesus is the rider of the of the pale horse.  When He opens the fourth seal, the four dreadful judgments of the Lord will be released upon an unrepentant world.  Why would He do such a thing?  It is His great desire that you would be drawn to Him.  He longs for you to turn from the world and all its glitter and lay up your treasure in His kingdom where your investment is certain and your return is sure.  Many will wonder about these events and great sorrow will prevail upon the face of the earth.  Know that when you see these things that God does not do harm without the potential for great good. 

 

Yet, there will be some survivors - sons and daughters who will be brought out of it.  They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled regarding the disaster I have brought upon Jerusalem - every disaster I have brought upon it.  You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign Lord.

Ezekiel 14:22-23 

  

Many in Israel died during the ravages of Babylon demonstrating that death and the grave result from disobedience to the God of Heaven.  The entire world corporately benefits from the abundant blessings of God, and the entire world will partake of the chastisement of the disobedient.  Many in Israel died and went into captivity that were innocent.  Daniel and his three friends are good examples.  However, just like the rain, the four dreadful judgments fall on the just and the unjust.  It will be a blessing that many of the very young and old will be mercifully laid to rest so they will not have to endure even greater hardships during the Days of Awe.

The four dreadful judgments are mixed with mercy motivated by the desire to move men to repentance.  The seven last plagues are different, and are sent as an outpouring of God's wrath upon a completely adulterous generation with no desire to repent.  Revelation 9:20-21; 16:8-9  The righteous will witness the seven last plagues, but they will not come near our dwelling or our person.  Psalm 91  God will miraculously preserve us from the seven last plagues just as He preserved the Israelites in Egypt. 

Only God can command the death angel.  Ha Satan has no power to give or take life.  Job 2:6  He can persuade us to shed innocent blood and has been doing so since Cain slew Able.  John 8:44   However, it is only the Creator God that has the keys to death and the grave, and He gives it to whom He will.  Revelation 1:18; Matthew 16:18-19  When God comes He will come to rescue the perishing.  It is His heart's desire to save you, but are you willing?

The fourth seal opens the Days of Awe with death and the fifth seal closes the Days of Awe with death.  The first death is sent from God, the second is allowed by God.  The prince of this world can not slay our God.  Neither can he take our life, but he can command his subjects to do so.  God has put a restraint on Satan or humanity would have never made it out of the garden alive, but He has given humanity free will.  Therefore, only humanity has been given the prerogative of God which is to take or preserve life.  Matthew 16:18-19; 18:18-19  Man has been given the power to do good to one another; therefore, we should do good, but many choose evil.

This certainly in part explains why so much suffering has occurred upon our planet.  When humanity suffers at the hand of humanity, we blame God.  It is not His will that blood is shed by another, but God's will is that we choose life, for ourselves and others.  It is the will of the unrepentant ones to cause suffering and heartache.  This misguided will has been shedding innocent blood since the very beginning when Cain slew Able.  God did not desire that Cain slay Able, but He allowed it.  Why? All of mankind was given free will and the right to reign.  Do not think because you have the right of choice that God gave away His right of accountability.  All men will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of himself regarding the choices made.  Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10

Each of us has the right of choice.  We can choose evil or we can choose good.  Those that choose evil despise those that have chosen right living.  The final generation will demonstrate the clear, undeniable result of choosing evil.  This is a perverse generation that longs for the darkness the way a man stranded in a desert for days on end longs for water.  They will not tolerate the voice of dissension to the darkness.  Therefore, just as Cain slew Able and Israel slew her prophets, innocent blood will be shed.  When will God avenge the blood of all the righteous since the shed blood of Able, the first martyr?  When the full number of the fellow servants are filled.  As soon as the last lamb has been sacrificed God will come in vengeance .

 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

   “For your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  

Romans 8:35-37

We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.  Through the ages Satan has put the people of God to the faith test through trials and tribulations.  The believers of the final generation will not escape this trial.  His favorite ploy is to use our fears to overcome our faith through threat of death.  His servants do his will and have through history shed innocent blood.  Satan may put us down, but he can not keep us down.  Just like our Savior, we too shall rise again

The sixth seal describes the coming of the Lamb to redeem His lambs from every nation.  Satan will do everything he can to prevent this rescue mission.  Through Moses, God demanded that Pharaoh let His people go.  Satan too, shall release the people of God but not without a fight.   We can take confidence that God's might surpasses the fury of Satan.  The sixth seal describes this experience from the lost soul's perspective-a place we want to avoid.  The coming of Jesus will be an amazing sight as the heavens rip apart revealing all we refuse to accept because we are too blind to see.  Learn more. . . 

Post a Comment