Cover to Cover
In chapter 6, we read about the first six seals that were broken. Each seal revealed a sorrow that was permitted to happen in the seventieth week, the Jews’ last seven years before the Day of the Lord. We can also see these things happening from Jesus’ prophetic words in Matthew 24.
FIRST SEAL: A white horse for the Antichrist
From Daniel 9, we know the Antichrist will be a man who will be one of many to confirm an agreement with Israel. This is what we know starts the seventieth week. The Antichrist is the rider. He has a bow and a crown, symbolizing his authority, and he begins to conquer. From the Scriptures, we know he will conquer at least three rulers.
SECOND SEAL: A red horse for conflict
The one sitting on this horse removes peace and there is much conflict and bloodshed. It could be nation against nation, people group against people group, person against person. The world will turn much more violent. This tells me that the world be as such now, if not for God holding it back.
THIRD SEAL: A black horse for famine
The rider has a pair of scales in his hand, and he signifies scarcity or famine. We also know there will be some kind of economic system set up during the seventieth week. With the whole world in financial or food emergency, it is easy to imagine a need for a change in the world economy.
FOURTH SEAL: A pale horse for death
This rider brought death to one-fourth of the region, perhaps the world, and death comes four ways: sword (weapons), famine, death (hell), and beasts of the earth. In Ezekiel, there were often a list of three or four ways that death would come, including all listed here, except instead of death is pestilence.
FIFTH SEAL: Martyrs
Many Christians will be killed for their faith in Christ. It happens today in certain countries, but it will increase. Christians will be hated and persecuted in a much greater measure.
SIXTH SEAL: Cosmic disturbances
This shaking of the earth and the atmosphere is throughout prophecy. It seems objects are falling to earth, such as meteors or asteroids. The sky is pulled back or split apart, like a scroll is opened (Isaiah 34:4). Every island and mountain will move, at least in that region, if not the whole world. Everyone will scatter for shelter, from kings and the wealthy to servants and the poor. They know God’s wrath has come.
Much of these troubles will take place in the Middle East, but they could be worldwide. Some have asked me, “Would a good God allow Christians to go through the Tribulation?” I ask them, “Would a good God allow the Jews to go through the Holocaust?” Because He did. Would a good God allow a Christian to go through imprisonment, beatings, burnings, and beheadings? Because they do happen today. Jesus told us they would happen (Matthew 5:10-11; John 15:8; Luke 6:22). Life here is temporary. Pray and believe God for protection, but whatever you may endure, God will always be with you.
These chapters continue with oracles against Israel. In 5:14 the sinning people are told to seek good and not evil. In 5:15 they are told to hate evil and love good.” If they do these things, they will live! God will be near to them and bless them and be gracious to them!
The same is true for us today. God is good, and a life lived according to His Word is good as well. To oppose God is to turn away from what is good in order to live self-sufficiently of Him. To obey God is to be surrendered to Him and look to Him for help to live the life He intended for us to live, a life of holiness, blessing, joy, peace, and abundance!