An Introduction to Revelation Chapter 6
September 6, 2015 | Speaker: Bro Jurem Ramos
An Introduction to Revelation Chapter 6 Revelation 6:1-8 Last night, during the Saturday evening service, I intended to teach on the four seals that are found in Revelation chapter 6. For my title, I used The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But before going into the details of the four seals or the four horses and their riders, I gave an introduction first to Revelation 6, thinking that after doing so, I would still have much time to finish my topic. Well, it took me about an hour for the introduction and so obviously, I was not able to go into the details of four seals. So I decided to stop and inform the group last night that I would continue next week, the Lord willing. And so today, I have decided to change my title, and do as I did last night, which is focus only on the introduction. This is going to be very technical to some of you but I hope that you will continue to bear with me because I believe that it is important that you understand what I am about to say so that you will know where I will be coming from when I start to explain the predictive portions of this book. I also believe this introduction will greatly benefit you and make your understanding of the Book of Revelation which is full of symbols, numbers, etc., easier. So let me begin with three important questions that must be answered before the events of chapter 6 can be understood:
- The first question: What would be the best approach in interpreting chapter 6?
- The preterist approach. The name preterist is a combination of the two Latin words praeter (past) and ire (to go) meaning that which belongs to the According to this view, everything recorded in the Book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century at the time John wrote this book. Preterists essentially teach that all the end-times prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in AD 70 when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem.
- The historicist approach. This approach views the book of Revelation, especially the visions in 4:1-20:6, as a panorama of successive historical events from apostolic times to the return of Christ. Proponents of this view often find correspondence between Revelation and events in their own day. Here are some examples:
- Joachim of Fiore, who died in 1202, considered the beast coming up out of the sea (13:1) to be Islam, which had been wounded by the Crusades. For him, Babylon was worldly Rome, and he identified some of the seven heads of the beast (17:3, 9–10) with rulers of his day.
- The Reformers of the sixteenth century, like Martin Luther and John Calvin, identified the pope and papacy as the Antichrist.
- Still others regard the Apocalypse as a calendar of events that begins with the time of John on the island of Patmos in 96. They assign the seven seals and six trumpets to the early church and the Middle Ages, understand Revelation 10 and 11 as the time of the Reformation, and apply the message of the seventh trumpet to the true church. The two beasts in chapter 13 are the pope and papal power, the seven plagues are fulfilled in the French Revolution and modern upheavals, and the destruction of Babylon is the fall of the papacy.
- The idealist approach. Idealists view the book of Revelation as symbolic pictures of timeless truths concerning the battle between good and evil that continues throughout the church age. In this view, the book contains no actual historical events or predictive prophecy.
- The futurist The futurists hold that everything in the Revelation from chapter 4 to 22 will be fulfilled just before, during, and after Jesus’ return to this earth, and that those chapters literally and symbolically depict actual people and events yet to appear on the world scene.
- The church at Ephesus refers to church that has lost its first love at the end of the apostolic age.
- The church at Smyrna refers to the suffering church during the great persecutions in the second and third centuries.
- The church at Pergamum refers to the compromising church during the reign of Emperor Constantine when Christianity was favored.
- The church at Thyatira refers to the heretical church during the Middle Ages or Dark Ages.
- The church at Sardis refers to the revived church during the Reformation period of the 16th
- The church at Philadelphia refers to the true church in the professing church.
- The church at Laodicea refers to the apostate church before the return of Christ.
- I agree with John MacArthur who wrote, “Only this view does justice to Revelation’s claim to be prophecy and interprets the entire book by the consistent grammatical-historical method used for the rest of Scripture.”
- I also think that the futurist view supports the main divisions of the book, which is stated in Rev 1:19, “Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.”
- The second question: What is the relationship of the Seven Seals to the Rapture of the church?
- Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaches that the Rapture of the church takes place before the events beginning in chapter 4 and thus precedes the Tribulation. One of their basis is Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.
- Mid-Tribulation Rapture teaches that the Rapture of the church takes place between 6:11 and 6:12. This is the between the beginning of the birth pangs and the Great Tribulation of 6:12. For the first 3 and ½ years there will be peace but when the anti-Christ sets himself up as god in the temple then the Great Tribulation begins. Before this time the saints will be raptured.
- Post-Tribulation Rapture teaches that the Rapture of the church takes place after the Tribulation.
- The third question: What is the relationship of the events of Revelation to Christ's sermon on the end times?
|Revelation 6:1-8||Matthew 24:4-8||Mark 13:6-8||Luke 21:8-11|
|The first four seals (“The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”)||(24:8) All these are but the beginning of the birth pains||(13:8) These are but the beginning of the birth pains.||(21:9) “…these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”|
|(6:1-2) The first seal introduces a white horse with its rider which represent false peace.||(24:5) For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.||(13:6) Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he! ’ and they will lead many astray.||(21:8) For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he! ’ and, ‘The time is at hand! ’ Do not go after them|
|(6:3-4) The second seal introduces a red horse and its rider which represent worldwide war.||(24:6-7a) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…||(13:7-8a) And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.||(21:9-10a) And when you hear of wars and tumults… 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…|
|(6:5-6) The third seal introduces the black horse and its rider which signifies famine.||(24:7b) and there will be famines||(13:8c) …there will be famines.||(21:11b) …and in various places famines…|
|(6:7-8) The fourth seal introduces the pale horse and its rider Death followed by Hades. A fourth of the earth’s population die by war, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts.||(24:7c) “…and earthquakes in various places.”||(13:8b) There will be earthquakes in various places;||(21:11a,c) There will be great earthquakes, … and pestilences|