The purpose of this prophecy (the book of Revelation) and all prophecy is to build our faith and confidence in our God and Savior and thus respond even more in heartfelt awe, love and obedience. It is not for curiosity seekers to just get inside information on future events. If the study of Revelation doesn't inspire us to greater obedience then we have truly missed the point. Revelation reveals that a day of reckoning is coming and all evil (demons, the Antichrist, Satan and all unrepentant people, will soon receive their due. It also gives us the clearest picture of heaven, our deepest longing, in all the Bible. And note the words our Lord said in the last chapter of this book to us, His people: "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."(Rev. 22:12) {"The nearer we come to the accomplishment of the Scriptures, the greater regard we shall give to them. The time is at hand, and we should be so much the more attentive as we see the day approaching." Matthew Henry}

Here is Steve Griffith's summary of the events in the first six seals, as follows:

* The signing of the Middle East Peace Treaty  and the rebuilding and completion of (a few months before the mid-point of the tribulation) the temple in Israel (Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4) and a return to the Levitical system of worship (Dan. 9:27). 

* The "peaceful" (no resistance) expansion of the Antichrist's empire beyond its ten-nation core into all nations whose principle religion is Christianity (ultimately the entire western world and the largest empire in human history). He, not the UN, will call all the shots.   (Rev. 6:1-2)                                                                                              

* The murder of many post-rapture Christians by the post-Rapture apostate church (the "harlot" – Rev. 17:6).                   

* The decree by the false prophet that all persons on earth make an image of the Antichrist to be worshiped (Rev. 13:14).

* The murder of those who refuse to worship the image of Antichrist (Rev. 13:15).                 

* The breaking of the peace treaty by the Antichrist exactly 3 1/2 years after its signing and the declaration  of the Antichrist, upon desecrating the temple, that he is God (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15-22; 2 Thess. 2:3-4).                              

*The placement of God's two witnesses in Jerusalem (at the precise moment of the Antichrist's desecration of the temple) to prophesy for God for the second half of the tribulation. (Rev. 11:1-6)                                                                  

*The immediate flight of several million Jews to the mountains of Israel and Jordon for the duration of the Tribulation. (Matt. 24:15-22; Rev. 12:13-16) 

*The invasion and devastation of Israel by the Antichrist. (Dan. 11:40-45; Rev. 12:13-16

*The worldwide persecution of the Jews by the Antichrist. (Rev. 12:13-16)                              

* The implementation of the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell. (Rev. 13:16-17)

*The genocide of post-Rapture Christians by the Antichrist. (Rev. 12:17)                         

*The destruction of apostate Christendom by the Antichrist. (Rev. 17:16-17)                         

*The takeover and slaughter of the Middle East, Africa, Islamic Indonesia by the Antichrist. (Dan. 11:36-45; Rev. 6:3-8) {Note: the Antichrist's Empire has now reached its maximum geographic size.)

"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, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"  The black horse symbolizes famine, since the prices for the wheat and barley are extraordinarily high, as they would be in a time of extreme drought and famine. It will take a day's wages for one person just to feed himself much less a family. One can get three quarts of the less expensive barley (the food for cattle and horses). These are starvation conditions which often follow after war. The oil and wine are luxuries for the rich who at this point will still get whatever they want.

"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." When in human history have we ever seen such carnage? The vast number of dead bodies will not allow for many to be buried and pestilence from decomposing bodies will spread and kill even more people. Evidently the wild beasts will attack the maimed and helpless and kill them.  Death speaks of physical death and Hades speaks of spiritual death for unbelievers.                                                                                                
"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, (this refers to unbelievers who look upon the earth as their home) and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed." Some commentators say that though this is not a judgment itself, it is a prayer for God's judgment and is answered by Him as seen in the next seal. The white robes represent the imputed righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) and the imprecatory prayers are not for personal vindication but for God's vindication. But the Lord has more to save (who also are martyred) so He waits to avenge these in heaven and glorify Himself (through His judgments) until His saving work is completed. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) In chapter seven we see millions, both Jews and Gentiles, repent. (Rev. 7:9, 14)                                                                

"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 late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling 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 every slave and every free man 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 stand?" It helps here to step back and get the big picture of what has taken place since the Tribulation began. The Antichrist is at the zenith of power and has been allowed by God to be an instrument of His wrath on unrepentant people. (Even as God used Babylon to punish the Jewish nation for disobedience – See Habakkuk) So far God has not directly judged people. But now God unleashes His power and shows Antichrist and all the unrepentant (the rich and the mighty, etc.) Who is the Boss.  Again, nothing like this has ever occurred in human history. A worldwide earthquake affects every fault line on earth and stars (meteors?) fall from the sky. No natural phenomenon can explain these supernatural events, even nuclear bombs. But notice that no one repented and they preferred to be crushed by falling mountains and rocks than to endure the judgment of God and the wrath of the Lamb.


What did the Lord say to you through this message?

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." (2 Peter 3:10-13) How can we "speed" the return of Christ and the joy of being with Him and our (saved) loved ones in heaven?

How do these words from Jesus Christ "hit you"? "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."(Rev. 22:12)

The following are questions from Steve Griffith's commentary: The expression "a quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius" (v.6) means that it will cost a days wage for a quart of wheat and three quarts of barley.   This in turn implies that famine will strike certain parts of the world-and that some people will be willing to give up an entire days wage just to get food to eat.  Is this famine caused by natural causes or by man? 

How does the expression "but do not harm the oil and the wine" perhaps influence you answer?

According to v.8, what is the (sobering) magnitude of the death toll brought on by the second through fourth seal judgments? 

What are the four causes of death listed in v.8? 

Read Rev. 6:9-17 [Note: the fifth Seal takes place in heaven rather than on earth] When were "the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and because of the testimony which they had maintained" (v.9) killed (given the context of the Seal Judgments)?

What does the expression "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging, and avenging our blood on, those who dwell upon the earth?" tell you about the long-suffering nature of God?  (See  1 Peter 3:9)

What does the same expression tell you about the murderous nature of those responsible for the death toll?

Why were each of these martyred souls given a white robe (v.11)?

V.13 indicates that a "great" earthquake takes place during the sixth Seal judgment.  Given the fact that v.14 states that "every mountain and island moved out of its place," how widespread is this "great" earthquake?

List the four (staggering) celestial changes mentioned in vv.12-14.

According to v.15, what is the response of mankind throughout the world to this earthquake and the four signs in the sky?

What does the fact that "the kings of the earth" and the "great men" and the "commanders" and the "rich" and the "strong" are included in those who hide in caves and in the mountains say about the foolishness of seeking the temporal instead of seeking God?

What expressions in vv.16-17 seem to indicate that many of those hiding in mountains understand these celestial phenomena to be judgments from God?

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