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Bible Commentaries

John Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the Bible

Revelation 6

 

 

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Verse 1-2

John Brown

Revelation 6:1-2

The7 Seals Part1

There is a story told of a man who died after having led a thoroughly selfish, immoral life. Moments later, he found himself in a world of bright sunlight, soft music, and figures all dressed in white. "Boy, I never expected this," he said to himself. "I guess God has a soft spot in His heart for a clever rascal like me." He turned to a figure in a white robe and said, "Buddy, I"ve got something to celebrate. Can I buy you a drink?" The figure answered, "If you mean alcoholic beverages, we don"t have any of that around here." "No booze, huh? Well then, what about a game of cards? Pinochle, draw poker, you name it." "I"m sorry but we don"t gamble here either." "Well, what do you do all day?" the man asked. "We read the psalms a lot. There is a Bible class every morning and a prayer circle in the afternoon." "Psalm! Bible study all day long! Boy, I"ll tell you--heaven isn"t what it"s cracked up to be." At which point the figure in white smiled and said, "I see that you don"t understand. We"re in heaven; you"re in hell."

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Luke 21:25-27 And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;

26 "men"s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (NKJV)

1. Last study we found Jesus Christ to be the only One with the right and the authority to open the scroll and loosen it"s seals.

2. We also determined that this scroll is representative of the title deed to the earth!

a) Here in chapter6 , begins the opening of the seven seals that have kept the scroll bound until it"s righful owner returned.

b) It is here that the judgment of the earth begins!

(1) The judgment does not fully end until chaper19.

(2) The judgment of the earth is executed in three different series.

(a) The seals, the trumpets, and the vials.

(b) This has been illustrated with a telescope made up of three sections, the outer section containing the inner two.

(c) Out of the larger outer section (the seals) comes the second section (the trumpets), and out of the second comes the last section (the vials).

(d) It is important that we understand that the time frame this chapter represents: THESE EVENTS HAVE NOT YET TAKEN PLACE!

(e) They are yet future, though no doubt, many persecuted peoples have experienced similar "hololcosts".

(i) But, all of the world"s tradgedies and injustices combined will not compare with what is about to unfold before us in chapter6.

3. For us to really understand the events of chapter6 we must first take a look at the book of Ezekiel chapters38,39. (TURN AND READ TEXT!)

a) These events are the immediate background of chapter6.

b) At some point in these events the Lord will return and gather His church.

(1) It is impossible to know wheter it will take place before or after the Russian invasion of Israel!

(2) But we do know that here in chapter6 , the saints are already before the throne. Representative of the24 "crowned" elders before the throne worshipping the Lord!

c) The threat of Russia"s global conquest will have been removed!

d) Many other nations will seek to fill the vacumn left by Russia and her allies and a "ten nation" organization will unite to "manage the world! (By the way, scripture tells us the these ten nations will have cultural and legal ties to ancient, and most probably, current Rome!) Revelation 17:12-13 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

13 "These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (NKJV)

(1) In one of these nations, a brilliant charismatic leader will immerge with tremendous solutions to many of the world"s global problems.

(2) He will be adored and gain tremendous power.

(3) He will also enter into a7 year treaty with Israel which he will break after31/2years.

(a) It will be during this first31/2years that the Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt and the sacrifices reinstituted.

(b) At this mid-point, this brilliant, charasmatic, antichrist will exhalt himself as the one to be worshipped.

(i) 2 Thessalonians 2:3-6 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. (NKJV)

(4) But the first2or3years the people of the earth will experience peace and saftey and prosperity like they have never experienced!

(a) You see the threat of war seems over, those "Christians" are out of the way and are not keeping the world from "evolving".

(b) Finaly, "mother earth" is becoming one!

(c) It is from this background, we begin our study!

II. TEXT

A. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, (NKJV)

B. Revelation 13:13-14 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. (NKJV)

C. Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men"s bones and all uncleanness. (NKJV)

D. Revelation 17:17 "For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. (NKJV)

In a cartoon by Charles Schultz Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "You reap what you sow! You get out of life exactly what you put into it. No more and no less!!" Snoopy, overhearing this statement, reflects, "I"d like to see a little more margin for error!" (Christians have it, unbelievers don"t!)

On a crowded street in one of our large cities, a young man was snatched from the path of a speeding truck, his life saved by a stately looking man. Still breathless from fright, the youth thanked the man for saving his life, and soon the man was lost in the crowd.

Two weeks later in a crowded courtroom, an anxious young man stood before the bench to be sentenced for murder. The Judge asked, "Young Prayer of Manasseh , have you anything to say before the sentence of death is passed upon you?"

"Why, Yes! Yes, Judges ," the youth responded, "You know me!"

A silence moved like a shock wave over the court room.

"I"m sorry, I cannot place you," said the Judge.

But the boy persisted, "You remember two weeks ago. At7th Ave. and Camelback, you saved my life. Surely, Judges , you can do something to save me now."

The Judge said, "Young Prayer of Manasseh , I do now remember you. But that day I was your savior. Today I am your judge."


Verses 3-6

John Brown

Revelation 6:3-6

The7 Seals Part2

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Matthew 24:3-7 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

4And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

5 "For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many.

6 "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (NKJV)

1. Last week we took a little time to overview a portion of Ezekiel in order to get some background for this section of Revelation.

a) We found that war and famine and pestilence will definitely be a part of these judgments found in chapter6.

(1) In which Russia, and Israel will play very important roles!

b) We took a look at the first "horseman" on a white horse who "went out conquering and to conquer."

c) Zechariah give us a little more information on these "horsemen"

(1) Zechariah 1:7-10 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:

8 I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white.

9 Then I said, "My lord, what are these?" So the angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what they are."

10 And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, "These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth." (NKJV)

(2) Zechariah 6:1-6 Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze.

2With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses,

3with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses-- strong steeds.

4Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"

5 And the angel answered and said to me, "These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth.

6 "The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country." (NKJV)

(a) These supernatural horsemen, whoever they are, are instruments of judgment in the hands of the Lord!

(i) Each has a seperate task and the authority to carry out that task.

(ii) Notice that they receive their instructions at the foot of the throne!!!

(3) This morning we will turn our attention to the second seal and third seals and their respective "horsemen!

II. TEXT

A. Revelation 6:3-4 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see."

4Another 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. (NKJV)

1. As red is color of blood, so will the result of this messenger be much bloodshed!

2. Notice that He doesn"t do it himself. He just removes "peace from the earth".

a) The world has know only brief times of peace in all of it"s history!

I don"t know whether war is an interlude during peace, or peace is an interlude during war.

b) Now it will taken from the earth entirely.

(1) Peace treaties will be meaningless!

(a) 2 Timothy 3:3 tells us in the King James that they will be "truce breakers".

(2) The phrase "people should kill one another" implies that there will class wars, religious wars, and race wars as will as national wars!

(a) At the end of WWI,the League of Nations was formed in an effort to have peace in the world.

(b) Out of WWII, came the United Nations Organization, which also has failed to bring peace, and is financially bankrupt!

(i) Some of you may be familiar with the NUREMBERG TRIAL which uncovered that fact that Germany violated some69 treaties from1933-1941

(3) Ezekiel 38:21 . . . ."Every man"s sword will be against his brother. (NKJV) (Illustration from headlines)

(a) Even in America we can see that safety and security is slowly disappearing.

(b) Many people carry guns on their person or in their car for protection. Never knowing when they might be society"s next victom.

(c) Home and personal security equipment is quickly becoming the "hotest" resale items in the market. EVERYONE IS SCARED!

(d) When the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth ALL security will disappear!

(e) A couple of other insights: Satan is called the Great Red Dragon in Revelation 12:3 and I don"t think it is any coincidence that red is the color of communism!

(4) THERE IS NO PEACE WITHOUT JESUS!

B. Revelation 6:5-6 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.

6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." (NKJV)

1. This time the horseman carries no weapons. This time it"s a pair of scales!

a) At the onset of war there is always the promise of a "better world" and a better economy but famine always follows war!!!

(1) It has been the case in China, North Korea, East Germany, Cuba, and Viet Nam.

(2) The scales as well as the black horse speaks of a time great darth upon the earth!

(a) Lamentations 5:10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. (KJV)

(b) Beating the plowshares into swords doesn"t leave much time for farming!

(c) There are already, in many countries, long lines for simple things like bread and butter and milk.

(d) Men, women and children are starving to death all over the world and it has become "common" and accepted!

2. The severity of the famine is suggested in the phrase "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius. . "

a) The word "measure" (translated as quart) is here used to denote the amount required to feed a man for one day. (Strauss)

b) The "denarius" was equivalent to a penny and that was at the time a days wages!

c) Barley will be a little cheaper than the wheat. You will be able to purchase3quarts of that for a days wages!

(1) Imagine, a person must work all day long just for enough food for himself, not including food for the rest of the family.

(2) And that is if he can find work at all!!

(3) Many will simply starve to death or commit suicide to keep form starving.

3. The "oil and the wine" have traditionally been the luxuries of the rich.

a) The poor will starving for lack of the "necessities" while those in powerful control will be enjoying "luxuries"!

b) It is also possible that the "oil" and "wine" refer to other things as well.

(1) Oil (petroleum) will increase in value and will very probably be critical in the antichrist"s vast empire and control of the world.

(2) And where the un-saved world be with out their beer and mixed drinks?

(3) These may be allowed to be a part of the deception and destruction!


Verses 7-17

John Brown

Revelation 6:7-12

The7 Seals Part3

To stop sinning suddenly--Elbert Hubbard

Quotes from Eddie Marquez, a young man that I watched die of AIDS on Tuesday morning, July20 , AM (1993) . He was a hemafhiliac and contracted the virus through bad blood.

"The dying collect moments, the living collect things."

"It is the dying that teach the living how to live."

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Genesis 19:12-14 Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Song of Solomon -in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city-- take them out of this place!

13 "For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it."

14So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. (NKJV)

1. Last week we studied the2nd and3seals of God"s judgment upon the earth.

a) We have determined that these supernatural horsemen, whoever they are, are instruments of judgment in the hands of the Lord!

(1) Each has a separate task and the authority to carry out that task.

(2) It should be kept in mind that they receive their instructions at the foot of the throne!!!

(a) God is in charge! He is the Lamb that is worthy to open the seals! It is at His hand that these judgments come as He reclaims the earth!

2. This morning we will turn our attention to the4th and5th seals and their respective "horsemen!

a) Both of these seals deal with death!

(1) All men must face physical death. It is the final curtain that no one will escape. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, (NKJV)

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives--A. Sachs

(a) For those that have rejected Jesus, there will be a resurrection of torment. Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,

21 "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man"s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham"s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 "Then he cried and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."

25 "But Abraham said, " Song of Solomon , remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

26 "And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us."

27 "Then he said, "I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father"s house,

28 "for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment."

29 "Abraham said to him, "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."

30 "And he said, "No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent."

31 "But he said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead." " (NKJV)

(b) And for those who have believed and trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior there will be a resurrection into eternal life! John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. (NKJV)

(c) 1 John 5:11-12 Puts it yet another way:

11And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (NKJV)

b) You will notice in the story of Lot, the Lord was there to rescue him from the judgment that was about to come upon Sodom and Gomorrah!

(1) He was even given the privilege of warning his relatives of the impending judgment, but some of them considered it a "joke"!

(a) So it is today, as believing Mom"s and Dad"s plead with their children and friends of the impending judgment; many consider it a joke!!

(b) I have often heard people say, "If I could just see a miracle, I would believe!"

(i) Based upon Luke 16:31. . ."If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead."

II. TEXT

A. Revelation 6:7-8 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see."

8 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. (NKJV)

1. Pale horse = chloros {khlo-ros"} = (Chloroform)

a) This is the same word used in Mark 6:39 to describe the color of the grass that the Lord had the people sit on when He fed the5 ,000 with the loaves and fishes.

(1) It actually has2meanings:

(a) The first is simply green indicating good healthy life!

(b) The second is yellowish pale. When my grass does not get the proper nourishment it needs it turns this dying color!

b) It is a term that usually indicates life but here it represents death!

(1) It is ironic that the world is seeking life outside of Jesus Christ.

(2) They are seeking life through pleasures and selfishness, but, they are not being fed! They are going to DIE!

(a) They are "yellowing up" and don"t even know it!

(3) Ultimately, there is no life outside of Jesus Christ!

(4) Notice in our text this morning, that "hell followed! after death not "partying with your friends"!

(a) Most people today have themselves convinced that "you party "till you drop cause this life is all there is."

(b) Some actually believe that they are on some "evolutionary journey" that will continue to give them "second chances".

(c) That is not what God says. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, (NKJV)

2. The name of the rider of this "pale" horse is NOT party, it is DEATH! and he wipes out1/4th of the earth"s population. (in excess of1billion people)!!!

a) And this will all happen in31/2years!!

b) The first3scrolls have already been opened. Peace will have been removed, brother will rise up against brother, famine and drought will be prevalent, and the anti-Christ"s kingdom will be gaining strength while people starve and kill each other as well as themselves!

c) "Beasts of the earth" will also play an important part in the deaths of many.

(1) The Greek word theerion used here for "beast" is also used in Acts 28:4 in reference to a poisonous snake!

(2) It is also used in Revelation 11:7 in reference to the beast that rises out of the bottomless pit to kill the two witness of Lord during the tribulation!

(a) Therefore, it could be some sort of evil, venemous wild beast used to take1/4th of the world"s population or more that likely it will be evil politcal dictators empowered by the beast himself to kill off1billion people who won"t submit!

(b) Perhaps it is a disease more deadly that anything we could ever imagine.

(c) Perhaps it is among us today!!!

B. Revelation 6:9-11 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.

10 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?"

11Then 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. (NKJV)

1. These saints at the altar all had one thing in common; THEY HAD BEEN KILLED FOR THEIR BELIEFE IN JESUS CHRIST!

a) The sceen of the altar and the innocent blood of the saint is taken from Leviticus 4:17-18 where the Priest would pour out the blood at the bottom of the altar as an offering to the Lord for the sins of the people!

b) These saints proclaimed "innocent" by the Lord had their blood shed by those they sought to led to Christ! Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name"s sake. (NKJV)

c) During the tribulation there will be a tremendous hatred for the Bible and the things of the Lord!

(1) The Christians will have been removed from the earth by the Lord but their testimony remains as well as the testimony of the two witnesses placed here by the Lord! Revelation 11:3-6 "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.

5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.

6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (NKJV)

d) In spite of the tremendous persecution, there will be a great revival, thousands (or as Revelation 7:9 puts it, a "great multitude") will be saved!

(1) Perhaps for the first time those Bibles and teatimonies left behind by the raptured saints will become precious and very valuable!

e) The Lord dresses them in the white robes of purity and tels them to wait until their number is complete!! Then he will take care of their executioners!

III. CONCLUSION

A. Revelation 6:12-17 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.

13And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

14Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free Prayer of Manasseh , hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,

16 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!

17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (NKJV)

1. Too bad some thought it was a "joke".

2. The Lord is ever reaching out, sending messengers as He did with Lot.

a) For the Christian the provision has been made, he will be rescued!

b) But how about their friends and relatives? Will they believe while there is time, or will their reply be the same as Lot"s Song of Solomon -in-laws to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

c) The time is now for us to witness

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". John Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jbs/revelation-6.html.

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