Revelation 6

The Seven Seals

In this chapter, John is shown the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals, which contains a description of the Final Events of the Last Days. 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 that brought 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 these passages, we learn that in the events of the First Four Seals, John was being shown the wars that have always occurred on earth and the heavenly forces behind them. The progression 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 disruption of war leads to famines (black horse) and together, the above circumstances bring death by sword, famine, and plague (pale horse). The above wars are also said to bring death by the wild beasts of the earth, whose numbers multiply in lands affected by war, as explained in the following verse.

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

As we mentioned in the previous chapter, the events of the Four Horseman have been occurring throughout the history of mankind but will grow in frequency and intensity the closer we get to the end.

“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

When we combine the Lord’s warning with the previous passages, we find that in the events of the First Four Seals, John was being shown the wars, famines, and plagues that have always occurred on earth, and that are taking place today, and that will increase like birth pains the closer we get to the end. In this way, the Final Events of the Last Days will be preceded by like events, including earthquakes, that will grow in magnitude until the final day.

The Fifth Seal and the Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven

Along with increasing wars, famines, and earthquakes, the Final Events of the Last Days will also be preceded by a similar increase in the number of those who will be slain because of the Word of God and their Testimony of Jesus Christ. 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 account tells us that 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?” (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.)[1] In answer to their cries, the Martyrs in Heaven will be told that they must wait a little longer until the full number of 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 God’s people will be killed in numbers so great they cannot be counted. (We will read about the Great Tribulation in the next chapter.)

Although the Prayer of the Martyrs for judgment and revenge is something that is rarely mentioned in Christian literature or teachings, it is the pivotal event that will trigger the transition from the events that are now to the events that will take place later. Following their prayer, and after the rest of their brothers and sisters have been killed, the judgments of God will begin as described in the opening of the Sixth Seal.

The Wrath of God


When the Sixth Seal was opened, John saw all 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 incaves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall onus 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 by means of a Great Earthquake, which will remove every mountain and island from its place, and a Severe Hailstorm, which will suddenly fill the sky like a scroll being rolled up. As described in these passages, the Severe Hailstorm 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, which we will read about in later chapters.

Based on the events described in this chapter, we can add the events of the Seven Seals as following after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In addition, we can place the Great Tribulation, when the full number of the brothers and sisters will be killed, as occurring after the events of the Fifth Seal when the Martyrs in Heaven will pray for judgment and revenge. Added to our list of events that cannot be placed yet in the Timeline of Events, is the opening of the Seventh Seal which has not yet been revealed to John.

Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

2. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
3. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
4. The Great Tribulation when the Full Number of Brothers and Sisters will be Killed
5. The Wrath of God is Poured Out (6th. Seal)
6. To be Announced (7th. Seal)

Footnotes:

[1] The Inhabitants of the Earth are described as the unrepentant on earth in the following verses. 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

Questions and comments may be sent to RevelationStudyGuide@gmail.com
Bryan Coray is the author of Keep Watch: The Order of Events of the Last Days, available on Amazon