This is a continuation of the “Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse.” We left off at the end of the fourth seal that was broken and the release of the fourth horsemen. Please read that article, since it will paint a background for this article today, adding to our understanding of the three remaining seals of God’s judgment.
If you recall, the scripture in Revelation is detailing each and every break of the seven seals that have closed up the scroll of God’s judgment. This is future to us, but it will take place, as God’s word is always fulfilled.
The seven-sealed scroll has been given to someone who was found worthy to open it. Only one person was found worthy; He is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
The four horsemen of the apocalypse were the first four seals that were broken one by one by Jesus Himself. Let’s have a quick review here:
The first horsemen and the breaking of seal number one: the Antichrist.
The second horsemen and the breaking of seal number two: War, violence and killing.
The third horsemen and the breaking of seal number three: Famine and want.
The fourth horsemen and the breaking of seal number four: Death and Hades.
We continue today, with the remaining three seals.
Breaking of seal number five: the supplication of the martyrs
“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. 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?’ Then 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”(Revelation 6:9-11).
This group of believers gave their lives willingly for the testimony of the gospel; thus, the altar of sacrifice. They all were martyred for it. Their souls are before the Lord in this scene, crying out for justice from God to judge and avenge the occupants of the earth.
They are wearing white garments symbolic of being cleansed with the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. They are all believers and saints of God.
There are more to join them in the days ahead from this moment, as a specific number is to be reached. They are told to wait a little longer until this number is complete.
No judgment is announced at this time for them specifically, but God tells them to be patient as it will come when the number of the fulfillment is reached.
Breaking of seal number six: the shaking of the heavens and earth as the wrath of God is revealed
“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. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves 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 who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:12-17).
It will be clear to the earth dwellers at this point in time that there is a judgment, and it is coming directly to them from God.
The sky rolls back like a scroll to give every person a view of God upon His throne and the Lamb of God, Jesus. Everything in His created universe, the heavens and the earth, are declaring this to every single person.
Your money, status, royalty or title will not be of any help to you now.
Before the last of the seven seals is broken, a special group of men, 144,000 of them, get the seal of the living God on their forehead.
“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’
“And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed” (Revelation 7:1-4).
Twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They are: Judah; Ruben; Gad; Asher; Naphtali; Manasseh; Simeon; Levi; Issachar; Zebulon; Joseph and Benjamin.
This is a highly debated group of people. Many false religions claim that these men belong to them.
It is as clear as spring water who these men are, how many there are, and from what tribe of Israel they hail from. They are not to be confused with any other group or cult.
Two things we know about their role during this time:
–The wrath of God poured out upon the earth will not harm them because they have the seal of the living God on their forehead.
–They are all Jewish and will be leading their people as servants of God. I truly believe they will help their people recognize Jesus as the Messiah they missed.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son” (Zechariah 12:10).
After this, John sees a multitude of people from every tribe and language, dressed in white and worshipping God with palm branches. One of the elders identifies this group for John:
“Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from from?’ I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:13-14).
This is good news indeed, that so many come out of this time repentant, now belonging to God through Christ. Perhaps many come to faith in Christ through the ministry of the 144,000!
The breaking of the seventh seal: preparing for the seven trumpet judgments
“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Revelation 8:1-5).
This obviously is a worshipful time here at the breaking of the seventh seal. This silence is reverence for God and His judgments—which are holy.
This is encouraging to me to see my prayers and your prayers, dear readers, offered up to God here at this time. I have always personally felt that prayers were eternal, and by the offering of the prayers of the saints here, it looks like they really are! Makes you want to pray more, doesn’t it?
This seventh seal judgment is felt upon the earth in the form of thunder, lightning, and earthquakes.
So now, we have three more seal judgments added to the four, totaling seven in all. We see the number seven throughout much of the book of Revelation. Seven is the number of perfection and completion.
God is perfect, even in His balance of judgment and mercy. A multitude does repent and turn to receive the offering of God’s only begotten Son for the forgiveness of sin.
The seven trumpet judgments follow this scene in heaven as well as in my next article.
Please stay tuned as we continue together through the book of Revelation.
May Christ lift up your head to His coming!