This is Part 3 of 6 parts answering a friend’s question regarding the Rapture and end times. Parts 4-6 will be posted on succeeding days.
The book of Revelation records what the sequence of events will be during the Tribulation. It begins with seven seals recorded in Revelation six. As they are opened the world is both deceived and brought to temporal judgment prior to eternal punishment. The seven seals are described below.
The first seal describes the rider on the ”white horse of peace.” This white horse describes the deception of the anti-Christ who will conquer the minds of those who remain to believe him, “And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” (Rev. 6:2 NKJ). The white horse describes conquering and peace, which is parallel to the passage described above from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3.
The second seal describes the red horse, which brings the coming of war. This will not be an isolated war or even a war like the two “World Wars in the 20th century. These will be international wars in which most of the countries of the earth will be involved,
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Rev. 6:3-4 NKJ)
The third seal will be a black horse and the resultant famine from the world war destruction of seal two,
5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Rev. 6:5-6 NKJ)
The scales describe how everything will be measured, because there will be so little of everything. The wheat, barley, oil and wine will be measured and a small amount will be acquired after a whole days wages.
The fourth seal is the ashen or pale horse which describes the global evidence of death. The rider is named “Death” and “Hades.” He will have power to use the means of the first three horses of war, famine and death, including the scavenging of animals for their flesh,
7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6:7-8 NKJ).
The fifth seal will bring great ”persecution” on all people. This will be persecution on all people, who had placed their faith in the Lord Jesus as a result of putting the pieces of the puzzle together regarding the disappearance of genuine believers at the Rapture. Prejudice and persecution of believers will characterize the climate of death,
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Rev. 6:9-11 NKJ)
They will be hated for their faithfulness to the Word. However long or short they survive during the Tribulation, their reward will be great!
The sixth seal will be characterized by global destruction as the world has never seen. Earthquakes will shake the earth’s crust, clouds of darkness from volcanoes will darken the skies and mighty men will be shaken to the bone as they seek death rather than humbly seeking the Lord Jesus,
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:12-17 NKJ).
This will also be the time of the greatest evangelism the world has ever seen. Jews from every tribe will trust in the Lord Jesus and be spokesmen for Him, rather than crucifiers of Him. Revelation seven describes 12,000 from each tribe who will seek the glory of God and honor the Lamb of God by proclaiming His finished work on the cross.
The seventh seal will be very unusual. It will be a transition of momentary silence to prepare for the trumpet judgments,
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Rev. 8:1-6 NKJ)
This completes the seal judgments, which lead into the trumpet judgments, which will be posted tomorrow.