Revelation - The Seven Seals
A great book that explains the seven seals is "Escape the Coming Night" by Dr. David Jeremiah. I will give a summary, but I highly recommend you read this book to learn more about the book of Revelation. One important note to mention is that the Church will not be on the Earth during the Great Tribulation! God calls His children home before the Great Tribulation starts. "and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
First Seal: The Conqueror
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 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 outconquering and to conquer. - Revelation 6:1-2
In Revelation, there are two riders on white horses. The first is mentioned here is the false christ, a counterfeit. The other rider on a white horse is Jesus Christ, mentioned in Revelation 19.
"Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." - Revelation 19:11-16
The counterfeit has a bow which is a weaker weapon than the double-edged sword Jesus Christ has when He comes on His white horse. Another noticeable difference is that the counterfeit rider has a crown, while Jesus Christ has many crowns. This first rider on the white horse is the antichrist who will come to deceive many. (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 110-111).
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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. - Revelation 6:3-4
"The red horseman represents not only nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, but man fighting against individual man. He ushers in a time of murder, assassination, bloodshed, and revolution." (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 115).
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
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. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius (about 1 day’s wage for a worker), and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” - Revelation 6:5-6
What happens when war breaks out? Famine ensues. "The black horse of famine rides behind the red horse of war during the Tribulation, bringing world-wide starvation to the citizens of planet Earth." (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 116).
Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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. - Revelation 6:7-8
"As a country is engulfed in war, the able-bodied men take up arms. Farmers leave their fields, and food supplies become scarce. Soon there is malnutrition, followed by disease. Ultimately, the wild beasts prey upon the weakened people. Historians tell us that more people died of the epidemics of influenza and typhoid after World War I than died in the war itself." (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 118).
Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs
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. 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?” 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. - Revelation 6:9-11
"The first four seals reveal the four horsemen and the beginning of judgments upon an unbelieving world. As the Antichrist enters the scene, conquering more and more of the earth's people, he is accompanied by wars and death and plagues. Many people will not fall for his flatteries and promises, and those rebels are eventually doomed. These are the martyrs whom John described." (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 123). It is important to note that although the Church will be in heaven during this time, there will be people who will receive Jesus as their Savior during the Great Tribulation. "Remember, the church has been raptured and the dead in Christ have been resurrected, so these are not martyrs from the church age. When the church is gone, God is going to deal with Israel once more. Many Jews will turn to God in that day." (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 124)
Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances
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. 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. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 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, 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! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” - Revelation 6:12-17
"It's hard to imagine a scene more frightening than this cataclysmic earthquake midway in the Tribulation: the sun becoming black, the moon appearing as blood, the stars falling out of the sky, the mountains and islands of the sea being moved. But there is worse to come!" (Escape the Coming Night, Dr. David Jeremiah, page 129).
Seventh Seal: Prelude to the Seven Trumpets
Before the seventh seal is opened, two events take place 1) The Sealed of Israel; and 2) A Multitude from the Great Tribulation, which we will discuss in April. The Seventh Seal is when seven angels are given seven trumpets. We will go into detail about these seven trumpets in another post, so stay tuned.
Again, we need to share the Gospel with all we know and to everyone we meet because Jesus is coming back! No one knows when He will come, so we better be ready every moment for our Savior's arrival! It is important to be ready but also to study and read Revelation to understand and learn the importance of this prophetic book.
Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” - Revelation 22:6-7
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. - Revelation 22:20-21