Much of Revelation seems to parallel Revelation 20 and 21. Some Millennial views believe that the Lamb opening up the seals that start in chapter 6 is the beginning of the great tribulation while others view it as going along with chapters 20 and 21. This chapter is one of the more popular chapters of Revelation, especially with non-Christians, because of the descriptions of the four horsemen.
And no, I’m not talking about these four horsemen. “Whooooooo”
But these four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Many Christians who take a futurist interpretation of Revelation believe that these are all events or judgments that will take place in the great 7 year tribulation in the following sequential events:
- False peace led by the anti-Christ
- Global war
- War-induced famine
- One-fourth of the earth dies
- Martyrs pray for vengeance, and the Lord hears their prayers
- Cosmological collisions rock the earth.
Jesse Johnson noticed that most who hold to this view see it as a clearer end times picture from Daniel and other passages in that short time period:
“They all saw the first seal described in detail in Daniel 11:36-ff. They all took the unrolling of the seals as the continuation of the scene in Daniel 12, and they all understood this as the fulfillment of Daniel 12:9. They all saw the first four seals described in Luke 21:20-25, Matthew 24, and Mark 13. They took Revelation 6 as what was prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. They understood Revelation 6 to be the Day of the Lord foretold in the Old Testament.”
However some who aren’t sure about a literal 7 year tribulation and believe that the end times described really started right after Christ’s death and ascension believe that each seal are the following:
- Wars– Mt. 24:6/ Rev. 6:2 (1st seal)
- International strife– Mt. 24:7a/ Rev. 6:3-4 (2nd seal)
- Famines– Mt. 24:7/ Rev. 6:5-6 (3rd seal)
- Pestilence–Lk. 21:11/ Rev. 6:7-8 (4th seal)
- Persecution and martyrdom– Mt. 24:9/ Rev. 6:9-11 (5th seal)
- Celestial phenomena– Mt. 24:29/ Rev. 6:12-17 (6th seal)
Because as G.K. Beale says:
“The operation of the destructive forces that were unleashed immediately on the world as a result of Christ’s victorious suffering at the cross, his resurrection, and his ascent to a position of rule of His Father’s right hand… The terrifying events of the first four Seals, which those who have to live through them might imagine to be signs of Christ’s return and of the close of the age . . ., are in fact the commonplaces of history. The four horsemen have been riding out over the earth from that day to this, and will continue to do so.”
No matter whether you believe these events are happening right now or that they will happen even more extremely in a 7 year end times tribulation period, we can all agree that they are a judgment on the earth because it is not what it should be and God needs to make wrongs right. Yes, we either are, or will, experience some of that judgment, but it’s nothing Jesus Himself didn’t experience.
What stuck out to you in this chapter?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor