Opening of the Seven Seals
Following on our earlier presentation, “Seals opened in context of the judgement”, in which we showed that the Seven Seals are opened after the judgement is convened, and we considered the opening of the first seal, we now consider the opening of the remaining seals. The first seal, when opened, brought to view a white horse which represented the raising up of the Seventh-day Adventist Movement after the passing of time, at the end of 2300 prophetic days, in 1844. This started the restoration of truth that had been trampled under foot during the Dark Ages. The rider, “went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Rev. 6:2).
The opening of the second seal sees a red horse and “and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another” (Rev. 6:4). After the initial period of the raising up of the Advent Movement, the world went into a period when peace was taken from the earth. This is the period of World Wars I and II. There is hardly another period in the history of the world when it would have been true to say that peace was taken from the earth and power was given to people to kill one another. For the first time, in 1914, there was a war that was so extensive as to be described as a World War. Then followed the second World War, beginning on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. This is considered the deadliest conflict in human history, that involved over 30 countries and saw an estimate of 50 to 85 million people being killed.
The opening of the third seal sees a black horse, “and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And 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” (Rev. 6:5, 6). The imagery of trading is inescapable. After the world war era, the world saw an era that was dominated by trade. We are still in that era at the beginning of 2019. That is where we are in the prophetic unfolding of events. There has never been an era before when there were global trade agreements, economic sanctions and a market-driven determination of global affairs as the period after the Second World War, continuing up to today. But things are about to change.
The fourth seal opens with a pale horse being seen, “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.” (Rev. 6:8). At any time now, the world will be plunged into a period of extensive loss of life, to the extent of one-fourth or a quarter of the world’s population. Are you ready for it? Whether or not we like it, it is coming. Jesus also predicted it in Matthew chapter 24.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives a sequence of events that would lead up to the second coming of Christ. He tells us that there would be wars and rumours of wars, but we should not be troubled when we see those things, because “the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6). He went on to say that nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, that there would be famines, pestilences and earthquakes and that such would be the “beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:7, 8). Note what comes next: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” (Matt. 24:9). That is the sequence of events. The last part has not yet taken place. It is the same sequence as depicted in the opening of the seals. There would be wars, as in World wars I and II, but it would not be the end just yet. Afterward they are going to deliver up God’s people to be killed. But others are going to be killed as well.
We have seen increasing pestilences and earthquakes, so do we think that the part to follow, wherein we will be hated by all nations and will be persecuted and killed will not happen, or that it is far away? Think again! It is within that context, that Jesus continues by saying that the gospel will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come (Matt. 24:14). That is the Loud Cry of the angel of Rev. 18 being described there. You’ll get the sequence quite easily if you read in order, verses 4 to 14 of Matthew 24.
The fifth seal opens and “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were 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, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And 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.” (Rev. 6:9-11). This depicts a time when many would have been killed and, as it were, their souls are crying out to God for Him to intervene. It is further confirmed that this takes place during the pre-advent judgement because white robes were given to them at that point, even though they were told to wait a little longer. Others of their brethren would be killed, and the judgement would pass from the dead to the living.
The opening of the sixth seal sees massive natural upheavals, “And 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; And 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. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And 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; And 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: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:12-17).
The events, as described here, are in quick succession. Obviously, these have not happened yet, since every mountain and island have not yet been moved out of their places and the heavens have not yet departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. Even though there have been historical events that reflect partial fulfilment of this prophecy, the full unfolding of the prophecy will take place in its entirety, with all the elements occurring in quick succession. This is a description of the end, and the question is asked, “who shall be able to stand?”
The scene then shifts, in the next verses continuing in Revelation chapter 7, to show those who will be able to stand. “The living saints, 144,000 in number” (Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 14), will be able to stand. They would have gone through the great tribulation and would have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). The context shows that these are faithful end-time survivors who will be alive to see Christ’s second coming.
The seventh seal opens, and “there was silence in heaven” (Rev. 8:1). Christ and His retinue of angels would have left heaven to come to earth to receive His faithful children – those who would have overcome the tribulation of the last days, and those who would have died in faith, whom He would raise from the dead.
The opening of the seven seals marks the events that would transpire from the start of the judgement through to the second coming of Christ. When all the seals are opened, there is nothing left to be seen. It is not at that time that the book is now ready to be opened, as though all the seals must be opened before the book can be read. One scroll at a time is opened and read as its seal is opened and its contents brought to view. We are now in the third seal, the black horse period. Are we ready for what is coming next?
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
For further information, please visit Patience of the Saints at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/
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