Before I jump right into chapter 6, remember what we just saw in chapters 4 and 5, these are ALL connected. As they seals begin to be opened, read it in light of what we’ve just seen — The dazzling beauty of God’s Throne room, where these judgments emanate from and the Wounded One who is in perfect wisdom, justice, and perfect mercy, executing the glory of God’s plan — notice verse 1: the LAMB is the one who opens the seal — HE is doing all of this!
Also remember that the unfolding of events that we are going to see in the next few chapters reveals to us the personality and perfect leadership of Jesus Christ. Be asking the Holy Spirit to reveal these things to you as you read. Lord, give us eyes to see as the living creatures do!
So, chapter 6 begings the releasing of judgments with the opening of the 6 seals (hmm, one left to come . . ). A quick overview of waht the seals are:
Six of THE SEVEN SEALS (Rev. 6:1-17)
First seal (White Horse): Antichrist’s political aggression (Rev. 6:1-2)
Second seal (Red Horse): bloodshed and World War (Rev. 6:3-4)
Third seal (Black Horse): famine and economic crisis (Rev. 6:5-6)
Fourth seal (Pale Horse): disease and death to 1/4 of the earth (Rev. 6:7-8)
Fifth seal (Prayer Movement): prayer movement strengthened by the martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11)
Sixth seal (Cosmic Disturbances): cosmic crisis (Rev. 6:12-17)
Reading these can be quite startling, can’t it? What are these about? Why is JESUS punishing all of the inhabitants of the earth like this?
He’s not! Ok, I said Jesus is the One doing this, and He is — but He’s not haphazardly releasing devastation on the whole human race, as you may think. It’s so important that you get this: These judgments are directed specifically at the Antichrist and his kingdom (all who choose to follow him). Why would the One who bore the marks of wrath destroy those that He came to save? He will not! He’s only completing the salvation that He purchased! He is now going to completely cleanse the earth of all sin and ungodliness — everything that stands in the way of the full expression of His love and all of His perfections.
And remember, WHY did He purchase us? What was the comleteness of our salvation (see 5:10)? We are made not only to be saved from wrath, but to reign WITH Him! We will be WITH HIM releasing these signs and wonders on the earth and destroying the kindgom of the Antichrist, and everything that stands against our beloved Christ (aka doing away with”anti-christ spirit”). We will be part of releasing the seals (as well as the trumpet and bowl judgements) as we partner with Jesus in the place of Intercession before the Father!
So, what is there it fear? We get to go to war against the Antichrist, and WIN!! This is exciting! This is the will be our greatest hour as the Church! We will not be destroyed, we will be protected (as we’ll see in chapter 7).
One thing must be highlighted here, however: the Church that reigns here and overcomes is a praying Church. We don’t see much evidence of any other group. In other words, the Church that will stand with Christ in that day is the one that has given itself to the place of corporate intercessions and learned to join in with the heart of Jesus.
This is a sober call to us today to learn to stand with Him and join with Him as the Great Intercessor. To give ourselves to learning the Word (the two-ednged sword the Jesus will use to judge and destroy His enemies, see 1:16). We have to find the grace to do this now (and not just in a special 504 season :)) in a sustained way. it is our call to rule with Him begins NOW!
verse 17: “The day of Their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Us, if we make the choice today to surrender to Him wholeheartedly and keep ourselves before His Throne in worship and prayer!
What do you think of that?!?