Apocalypse
Greek for the revealing of something hidden. Today the term is most often used to refer to time period in which the end of the world will occur.
Apostasy
The turning from and opposing of one’s former religion.
Apostolic
Having to do with the 12 apostles or their teachings. This term is also sometimes used in Catholic circles as a synonym for “papal,” as the Pope is seen as the successor to the Apostles.
Heresy
Primarily used in religious circles to describe a person or doctrine that disagrees with that religion.
Revelation 6 Commentary
Summary: Read Revelation 6 KJV along with a helpful commentary.
 
 

Revelation 6 KJV

Commentary

1And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

2And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

6:1-2 The Vision of the Seven Seals

The seven seals repeat the same history as the seven churches, but with a different emphasis. In chapters 8-11 we will see how the seven trumpets cover the same basic timeline but with its own distinctive focus.

The first four seals are widely known as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” In Revelation the horse is an animal associated with war. See Revelation 19:11, 19. The four horsemen represent the churches as they go forth to battle their enemies. The colors of the horses (white, red, black, and pale) indicate a change from purity to apostasy.

The 1st Seal: A White horse: The Pure Church

White represents purity and righteousness. Revelation 7:14; 19:8; Isaiah 1:18. The pure white church went out “conquering and to conquer.” During this time the Gospel spread like wild fire. Paul said that the Gospel “was preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Colossians 1:23), and his opponents said that they had, “turned the world upside down.” Acts 17:6. The white horse is the apostolic church going forth victoriously under the banner of Prince Jesus.

3And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

4And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

6:3-4 The 2nd Seal: A Red Horse: The Persecuting Church. Red is the color of sin (Isaiah 1:18), the dragon (Revelation 12:3) and bloodshed (2 Kings 3:22-23). When the faith and devotion of the Church became corrupted it lost the power of God to carry the Gospel forward in victory. It then began using the power of the state, uniting with the dragon (Pagan Rome in the form of the Emperor Constantine) to persecute dissenters. The phrase “kill one another” suggests internal controversy, discord and strife.

5And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

6:5-6 The 3rd Seal: A Black Horse: The Corrupt Church. Black is the color of darkness and error. The “balances” used for measuring “wheat” and “barley” are a symbol of the buying and selling of the Gospel, salvation and forgiveness. The “wheat” and “barley” was 8-16 times more expensive than normal indicating scarcity and famine. The Church, during this time, entered a period of great moral and doctrinal error, substituting pagan beliefs and practices for the truths of God’s Word, and merchandising the Gospel. Thus they caused a scarcity of the bread of life. God decreed, “Hurt not the oil and the wine,” which symbolize the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:3, 6) and the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:26-29). Even though the Church was in great darkness, God preserved a people with the true Gospel of salvation.

7And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

6:7-8 The 4th Seal: A Pale Horse: The Dead Church. This pale horse is the color of nausea and death. The Church that should have been pointing the way to eternal life was instead spreading death. “And Hell [the grave] followed with him.” The spiritual “Death” that spread across Christendom was accompanied by a moral and intellectual paralysis. The Holy Scriptures were forbidden to the people; nobles, commoners and clergy alike were largely ignorant of the great truths they contain. For centuries the Christian world made no progress in science, arts or civilization. Millions lived miserable lives of ignorance and squalor.

Ezekiel 14:21 lists war, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts as judgments on apostasy from God. Whenever the Church takes up the sword to coerce the conscience, a famine of God’s Word results. Pure Bible truth is replaced with the pestilence of heresy, opening the way for persecutors (wild beasts) to punish and chastise the Church, and multitudes perish.

9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

6:9-11 The 5th Seal: The Martyred Church. “Under the altar the souls…slain for the word of God.” Apocalyptic language teaches lessons and truths in pictures or symbols. God does not keep literal souls under a literal alter in heaven. During the middle ages, the Papal system had millions of people put to death because they would not renounce Bible truth. Here is pictured, in symbolic language, the many martyrs of all ages whose blood, like the blood of Abel (Genesis 4:8-10), cries out to God for justice and a vindication of the truths for which they died. The Bible teaches that the dead in Christ rise and put on immortality when He returns. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

6:12-13 The 6th Seal: The End-Time Church, Mid 1700s-The Second Coming of Christ. This seal corresponds to the time of both the church of Philadelphia and the church of Laodicea. Under the sixth seal the language shifts from symbolic horses and souls to literal signs and disasters. The prophecy says “there was a great earthquake,” “the sun became black as sackcloth,” “the moon became as blood,” and “the stars of heaven fell.” These signs have all received a striking and impassive fulfillment.

On November 1, 1755, Lisbon, Portugal was the center of a tremendous earthquake. Its effects were felt over an area of 4 million square miles. On May 19, 1780 beginning around 9:00 AM. heavy black clouds blotted out the sun drawing the dark of night over New England. That night, when the darkness finally lessened and the moon appeared, it had the appearance of blood. November 13, 1833, brought the most extensive display of falling stars which has ever been recorded. These are the same signs that Jesus gave to let us know when His coming would be near. Matthew 24:29-30.

14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

6:14-17 The rest of the sixth seal is yet future and describes events that occur when Jesus returns. The heavens will be rolled back “as a scroll,” and the earth will be in a state of violent upheaval. Those who are ready to meet Jesus will joyfully exclaim “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us.” Isaiah 25:9. But what a sad day for those who have rejected Jesus as King they will beg for the mountains to fall on them and hide them from his face.

In these precious hours while time yet remains, we can still make peace with God through Jesus Christ who loves us. To those who repent, He extends forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9); for those who persist in evil, He dispenses punishment in the lake of fire and the second death. Revelation 20:14-15. Which destination will you choose? Make Jesus your personal Friend and Saviour and you will have nothing to fear.

 

Ahead to Revelation 7

This commentary is adapted from Amazing Prophecies, © 2010 Family Heritage Books.

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