I just discovered something today that I never picked up on before! It's nothing Earth-shattering, but in all my excitement I wanted to share it with the rest of you.
The "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"- - this latter term being the Greek name for the Book of Revelation - - have intrigued Bible readers for centuries. What do they represent? The implications for mankind are staggering.
In Revelation 6, Jesus Christ uses Four Horsemen to represent the first Four of Seven Seals He opens from the scroll in His hand. These Four Horsemen of the first Four Seals represent His righteous judgment upon a world that has rejected Him. These images have intrigued generations of Bible scholars and students. Thundering across the prophetic landscape, these dramatic images cast a pall of terror on the world.
More importantly, they signal the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week (or the final 7 years) and the start of the Tribulation (the first 3.5 years of the final 7 years). Yesterday, I boldly suggested that we are sitting on the very edge of the Tribulation, which could begin as early as mid-April.
To understand the Seals in Revelation 6, we first need to examine chapter 5. John is experiencing a vision of the throne of God when he sees "in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals" (Revelation 5:1).
No one in Heaven or on Earth is able or worthy to open the scroll and reveal its contents. John bemoans the absence of anyone capable of opening the scrolls, but a voice from one of the elders around the throne says: "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals" (verse 5).
What John saw next was the sight of the glorified Jesus Christ in the commanding position to receive and dispense the full power of God. "And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne...stood a Lamb as though it had been slain...Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne" (verses 6-7).
Such is the scene that stands as a prelude to the opening of the Seals. The fate of mankind rests in God's hands, and His patience is at an end. Christ alone is pronounced worthy to open the Seals that announce God's judgments on the nations. The destiny of humanity is not a matter of chance or whim, but has been spelled out in the Seals that He opens.
When the Seals open before John, he sees the first Four uniquely pictured. Four ominous Horsemen arise in an eerie sequence. To better understand what these Horsemen represent, let's look at another key prophecy Jesus Christ gave during His ministry.
Jesus' disciples were visiting Jerusalem with Him. After admiring the temple's buildings, they crossed the Kidron Valley, climbed the Mount of Olives, and paused to ask Christ for signs of His coming and the end of the age (Matthew 24:1-3).
Jesus gave 4 signs that correspond with the first Four Seals of Revelation 6: "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" Matthew 24:4-8 (emphasis added).
Here Jesus reveals an overview of trends and conditions from the first century until the end of the age. Take note of the four significant developments He foretold: Religious deception, war, famine, and disease.
I never realized it until just now, but the order he gives DIRECTLY CORRESPONDS to the order of the release of the Four Horsemen during the opening of the first Four Seals!
First Horseman - White Horse - First Seal = False Peace/False Religion
Second Horseman - Red Horse - Second Seal = War! War! War!
Third Horseman - Black Horse - Third Seal = Famine
Fourth Horseman - Pale Horse - Fourth Seal = Disease
What an amazing God!
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