End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 9 w/AnswersRevelation Chapter 6
In this lesson, our study of Revelation takes us from the Throne Room of Heaven to the opening of the seven-sealed scroll and the beginning of God’s judgment on the earth. In their book, Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition: An Exposition of the Scriptures, editors John Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck ask five questions that are relevant to our study this week. Beginning with these five questions we will examine the opening of the seals and the beginning of the Tribulation Period.
As we begin, I will remind you again that Revelation is not necessarily a book written in chronological order. That is, it will portray an event or series of events occurring over time, then go back and portray some other event or aspect that also occurs or applies to that same time, or perhaps longer. Building step-by-step to the final return of Christ, we will need to rely on the Holy Spirit’s discerning eye and guiding wisdom in order to keep all that is revealed in the proper order; so that we will be able to understand the many and complex mysteries being revealed to us.
So, as we look at the specifics of Revelation Chapter 6, I would like for us to consider the five questions from John Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck referenced above. Then we will respond to a few additional questions related to the opening of the seven-sealed scroll.
Read Revelation Chapter 6 and consider five questions posed in "The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition" as well as several additional questions that follow:
- "Are the events which begin with the breaking of the first seal past or future?"
- ANSWER: The described events apply to the future. Walvoord and Zuck point out that "Actually, there is no sequence in history that clearly corresponds to these events. So it may be concluded that they are yet future."
- "What is the relationship of the seals to the Rapture of the Church?"
- ANSWER: As we discussed last week, since the Church is not referenced or mentioned after Revelation Chapter 4, it can be assumed that the Rapture of the church occurs prior to the opening of the seals.
- "What is the relationship of the seals to the "seven" in Daniel 9:27?"
- ANSWER: The events now being described beginning in Revelation Chapter 6 occur in the seventieth seven-year period (i.e., "seven") referenced in Daniel 9:27.
- "Does Revelation deal with the entire seven years anticipated in Daniel 9:27, or only with the last three-and-one-half years, often referred to as ‘The Great Tribulation’, or ‘a time of great distress’?"
- ANSWER: It appears that the described events cover the whole of the seven-year period referenced in Daniel 9:27, with much of it occurring in during the second half of the Tribulation, given that the first half of Tribulation is noted for a time of peace. From the opening of the fourth seal on, the events occur in the second half of the Tribulation period. Walvoord and Zuck point out that "certainly at least by the fourth seal (Rev. 6:7-8), the events described anticipate a time of unprecedented trouble".
- "What is the relationship of the events described in Revelation to Christ’s sermon on End Times?" Compare Matthew Chapters 24 and 25 with Revelation Chapter 6."
- ANSWER 1: If we review our study of Christ’s sermon in Matthew (Lessons 5 and 6), we will observe remarkable similarity between His sermon and the events described in Revelation.
- ANSWER 2: Specific examples include:
- War: Matt. 24:6-7 and Rev. 6:3-4.
- Famine: Matt. 24:7 and Rev. 6:5-6.
- Death: Matt. 24:7-9 and Rev. 6:7-8.
- Martyrdom: Matt. 24:9-10, 16-22 and Rev. 6:9-11.
- Sun and moon darkened, and stars falling: Matt. 24:29 and Rev. 6:12-14.
- Divine Judgment: Matt. 24:32 — 25:26 and Rev. 6:15-17.
- How many of the seven seals are opened in the verses contained in Revelation Chapter 6?
- ANSWER: Six seals are opened in these verses. The seventh seal, the most horrible of all judgments, will follow after we are shown those who will be saved during this terrible period.
- Identify what each of the four horsemen in Revelation Chapter six describe.
- The rider on the White Horse
- ANSWER: The world ruler.
- The rider on the Red Horse
- ANSWER: War.
- The rider on the Black Horse
- ANSWER: Famine.
- The rider on the Pale Horse
- ANSWER: Death.
- The rider on the White Horse
What a great and terrible picture is described in Chapter 6, as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are released upon the earth; and what horrible destruction follows them wherever they go throughout the world! Worse yet, this is only beginning. As we continue our study, we will learn that God’s wrath will be poured out in increasing amounts as the end of the Tribulation Period draws near. Praise God that Jesus, His son, will come to end the judgment and save mankind from destruction.