Revelation 6

In the previous chapters, we read how John was taken up to Heaven in order to show him the things that must take place in the Last Days through the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals. Before the Seven Seals were opened, John witnessed the progression of events from the Lord’s ministry on earth to His ascension to Heaven, which meant that the events of the Seven Seals would begin following the Ascension of Jesus Christ. After being given the above order of events, John watched as the Lamb opened the First Seal.

When the Lamb opened the First Seal, John saw a rider on a white horse who is described as a conqueror bent on conquest.

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Rev. 6:1-2

The opening of the next Three Seals revealed red, black, and pale horses, which are described as bringing war, famine, and death.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. Rev. 6:3-4

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” Rev. 6:5-6


When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 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.
Rev. 6:7-8

In the Book of Zechariah, the Four Horsemen are further identified as the four spirits of heaven who stand before the Lord of all the earth.

With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. Then I spoke and said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” The angel replied to me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth.” Zech. 6:2-5

From the above passages, we learn that in the events of the Four Horseman, John was being shown the progression of wars and the heavenly forces behind them. The description of these wars begins with a king who rides out as a conqueror bent on conquest (white horse) and who initiates war (red horse). The disruptions of war lead to famines (black horse) and combined together, the above circumstances bring death by sword, famine, and plague (pale horse). The above wars will also bring death by the wild beasts of the earth, which also increase in numbers in lands affected by war, as seen in the following example.

The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. Deut. 7:22

When John was shown the wars of the Four Horseman, after being shown the Ascension of Jesus Christ, it meant that the wars of conquest, which have always plagued the earth, would continue following the Ascension of Jesus Christ. These same wars were also described by the Lord who said that wars and rumors of wars would continue like birth pains until the end comes.

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matt. 24:6-8


In these passages, Christ compared the Last Days to a woman in childbirth and tells us that wars and rumors of wars, along with earthquakes and famines, will increase in magnitude and intensity the closer we get to the end. Thus, the first event to take place following the Ascension of Jesus Christ will be the continuation of wars and their devastating consequences. These are the same wars that we see taking place today and that will continue until the end.

The Fifth Seal and the Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven

Along with increasing wars, famines, and earthquakes, the events of the Last Days will also include an increase in the number of those who will be slain because of the Word of God and their testimony. These martyrs will cry out to God for judgment and revenge as revealed through the opening of the Fifth Seal.

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. 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?” 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. Rev. 6:9-11

The above scene describes how as we approach the end of the Last Days, the souls of the Martyrs in Heaven, who have been killed since the time of Christ, will be gathered at the altar of God. These martyrs will call out to the Lord and ask, “How long until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” [1]

In answer to their cries, the Martyrs in Heaven will be told that they must wait a little longer until their brothers and sisters were killed just as they had been. This is a reference to a future period of world-wide persecution, known as the Great Tribulation, when the the full number of God’s people will be killed. The fact that the Martyrs in Heaven were told to wait a little longer tells us that the Great Tribulation will take place over a relatively short period of time. Once the full number of brothers and sisters are killed in the Great Tribulation, the condition given to the Martyrs in Heaven will have been fulfilled, which will lead to the next events of the Sixth Seal when the Wrath of God will be poured out.

The Wrath of God


When the Sixth Seal was opened, John saw the people on earth crying out in fear as they attempted to hide from the Wrath of God.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” Rev. 6:12-17

In these verses, we read how the Wrath of God will be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth, after the Great Tribulation, by means of a Great Earthquake, which will remove every mountain and island from its place, and a tremendous storm that will suddenly fill the sky like a scroll being rolled up. The severe storm will contain large hail that will cause the people on earth to hide in caves and to cry out in fear of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb. The mention of kings and generals among those who will attempt to hide from the Wrath of God tells us that these events will take place during a great war, known as the Battle of Armageddon, which we will read about in later chapters.

Order of Events

In the opening of the First Six Seals, we are given the following list of the events that will take place in the Last Days and the order in which they will occur.

Order of Events of the Last Days

1. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines
(Seals 1-4)
2. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
3. The Full Number of Brothers and Sisters are Killed – The Great Tribulation
4. The Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm
– The Battle of Armageddon (6th. Seal)

5. To be Announced (7th. Seal)

Footnotes:

[1] In the Revelation, the term Inhabitants of the Earth always refers to the unrepentant among mankind. Some Bible translations use the phrase, those who live on the earth, to describe this same group of people. Rev. 3:10, 6:10, 8:13, 11:10, 13:8, 13:12, 13:14, 17:2, 17:8   

Revelation Chapter 5
Revelation Chapter 7

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