Sunday, September 13, 2015
4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse #6 – Part 74 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
Revelation chapters 5 & 6 reveal Jesus Christ, after He returned to Heaven, removing the seals on a scroll handed to Him by His Father, which will reveal the fate of Israel for rejecting Him as their Messiah. The scroll had writing…inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals…Rev. 5:1. This symbolizes that nothing can be added to the prophecy – it will come to pass as written.
In the first 5 blogs of this series we studied the symbolism of the message represented by the four horses, confirmed by the four horses seen by the Prophet Zechariah – the message to Israel was the same – even though the prophecies were nearly 500 years apart.
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse were seen under the first four seals, revealing what would soon come upon Israel. Zechariah saw 4 horses, the last of which was the dapple horse which prophesied Israel’s future – long after they were released from their Babylonian captivity. The dapple horse symbolized famine, just like the pale horse of Revelation. What is the prophecy under the 5th seal?
Seal 5 – 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…Rev. 6:-9-11.
After viewing the destruction of Jerusalem behind the previous seals, John must have felt there was no future for his people. Under this seal he sees his kinsmen savagely murdered because of their steadfast allegiance to Jesus Christ. He knows they are already in Heaven, but their pleas to have their deaths avenged must have tugged at his heart. Could he have remembered what God said to Cain after he murdered his brother Abel…the voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground…Gen. 4:10?
The religious leaders – Pharisees and Sadducees – who plotted the death of Jesus, saw to it that His followers were also murdered during the bloody reign of terror by the Roman Emperor Nero. It is this specific time that was shown to John, so that the followers of Jesus Christ would be prepared for this unexpected vicious onslaught of injustice. They can hold steady victoriously if they understand that God has allowed it in order to fulfill His plans and purposes.
The martyred saints were giving white robes when they arrived in Heaven. White symbolizes purity, holiness and victory. God gave Israel 40 years – a probationary period of time – to repent for rejecting Jesus as their Messiah – after that the judgment would fall upon them. Their blood was avenged in the war of 70 A.D.
Seal 6 – I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as 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…Rev. 6:12-14.
There is a lot of symbolism under this seal. John sees…the stars of heaven fell to the earth. Stars symbolize prominent people – leaders in Jerusalem – religious leaders who deserted God for the praise of men. During the coming judgment, these false religious leaders will be toppled like…a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by the wind.
Earthquake symbolizes intense social upheaval – unrest. There will be much chaos in Israel, as the old religious system clashes with the new one ushered into existence by Jesus Christ. Every prideful religious leader will be blaming the other for the calamity that will befall Jerusalem, because they listened to the false prophets.
What does sackcloth of hair, bloody moon, and sky receded symbolize? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…