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He Opens The Seals


It is well for us to see principles in Scripture rather than merely dates and places. This is illustrated in the Revelation. Here, the principles of God are opened for His people to recognize. We can look and discover the underlying principles involved in history with key thoughts to plug us in to the broad picture.

"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (Rev. 6:1-2)

A white horse is here pictured with a crowned rider upon the horse. White is the picture of purity. As the people of God receive the life of Christ, and the message of harvest goes to the world, it is portrayed as the Lord going to conquer and conquering. This is also illustrated in Revelation 19 verses 11-16. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords."

The White Horse

The Word of God rides upon a white horse. He is bringing the harvest message to the nations. The armies of heaven follow Him. "When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field." (7BC 983)

Notice how we have earlier shown that those who overcome will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Here is also pictured that this rider rules the nations with a rod of iron. This rod is the judgment that the truth brings to mankind. "He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." The truth is a balm and healer, but when it is rejected, it becomes a winepress of the wrath of God. If we humbly submit to the life of Christ, we find that the law of God is light and peace. If one is in rebellion against God and refuses the light, the law becomes a stone that crushes. We either stand on the rock or we lie under it. Not one can just stand aside and observe the display.

The Scriptures further describe the scene. "Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them." (Zach. 10:3-6)

God Is Harvesting His People

This is the picture of the harvest. God is harvesting His people. He will make His people as mighty men and women who tread down their enemies in the battle. The way in which enemies are trodden down is not with rudeness. It is with truth. When men speak lies, the army of God speaks the word of God and this truth treads down the enemies of truth. It is the truth of the word of God itself that wins the battle rather than the muscles of men.

So, the white horse, which the Word rides upon, represents the people of God. There is a bow in the Word's hand and the crown of authority is upon His head. We bear this crown of authority when we bear the Word. The rider is the Lord Our Righteousness. He is our authority and our power. This is the first seal.

"And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." (Rev. 6:3,4) When the word of God comes to the nations, war is the result. The truth is a sword. Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matt. 10:34-36) When the mighty General rides onto the stage of action during the time of harvest, there is soon a red horse which follows. There is no peace but war in the families. Blood runs in the streets as many choose death rather than give their hearts to Christ who bought them with His own blood. Because they would not be covered with His blood, they will now be covered with their own.

"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Rev. 6:5-6)

The symbols are quite easily understood. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12) The voice said, Hurt not the oil and the wine." That is to say they have spiritual famine and they are not to touch the Holy Spirit (oil) or the wine (life of Jesus). This is precisely what is transpiring in the earth. Many are starving spiritually in their houses of religion, but they are not permitted to understand the oil and the wine.

Famine In The Land

Famine has come to the land. When truth comes, the white horse goes out to battle. As it is resisted and battled against, the red horse is on the scene. But when the people are left alone and the truth goes on to other fields, there only remains famine. The rejecters cannot be filled. They are weighed in the balances and found wanting. (See Daniel 5:27).

This is the black horse: spiritual famine and want. But their cases are decided. There now is only the prospect of death. "And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." (Rev. 6:7-8)

Death naturally follows those who find themselves in spiritual famine. There is a famine in the land and people go from sea to sea in search of something to help their empty souls, but it is in vain. These have made themselves ready for the last horse. "...All they that hate me love death." (Pr. 8:36)

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were 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, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev. 6:9-11)

This is a most interesting verse. It reveals the workings of cause and effect. We can remember reading from the earliest times of Scripture how the blood of the dead cry out to the Lord. "And he [the Lord] said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." (Gen. 4:10)

Yes, the Lord records the cries of humanity. Every drop of blood spilled cries up to the Lord for fairness. This is true also of people who have been unfairly treated. They cry out. The Lord hears their cry. "...Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Rom. 12:19) This He does.

I Will Repay

We see what happens after the message of the white horse goes out. It is followed by persecution and resistance. After that, we find famine and death. Next, those who have been killed for their faith call for vengeance, but the Lord holds the four winds of strife a little longer till the process has been completed with all men.

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens 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 that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:12-17)

Here we have a perfect picture of judgment. The judgment of the living now proceeds. The condemnation of man is shown to be of his own making. There is a great earthquake. This is the great shaking of the earth. Everyone is brought face to face with himself. He is made to see the enormity of his guilt. The ministers in the churches [the sun, moon and stars], who were once admired for their brightness, are now seen as black. There is no light in them. The heavens depart as a scroll. Men are made to see the truth opened up to them. The heavens roll back as a scroll so that men no more have their vision blocked to heavenly realities. All the mountains are moved out of their places. The truth brings down the high places of earth. All of the great pontification is ended. Pride is brought down and the valleys are brought up.

The men of earth seek for places to hide as their guilt drives them to run away from the light now shining on their guilty hearts. They know that the great day of the wrath of God has come. They know their judgment is fixed. It is too late to bring their guilty hearts to repentance. They hide from the face of Him that sits on the throne in judgment in the person of His saints. Their very presence to them is as a fire that burns into their conscience.

The saints are not rude. They are not unkind. They are just true and the evidence of the end of the world is clearly seen by all. Too late have they seen the truth. Too late have they wept in bitterness of soul for safety. Too late have they desired safety from the destruction to come. This is the sixth seal.

Chapter seven of the Revelation also shows the opposing factor. These are the 144,000. These have prepared themselves for this last hour of destruction. They shall live in the presence of a holy God without an intercessor, for the work of intercession is ended.

First, John hears the number of them. "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand." After this, he sees them. "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."

What Are These In White Robes?

The question was then raised, "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? ...These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." When the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth, when there is no intercession to hold back the winds of strife, the earth is plunged into its final self-destructive act. Evil is permitted totally to have its day. In all this the 144,000 hold their place and stand true to the God of heaven.

Under the seventh seal are the clear descriptions of the seven trumpets. Here is laid out in detail the process of how the final acts are consummated. The terrible realities of judgment are upon us. Are you prepared to stand in this awful time soon to open upon us? Indeed, it is already at the door.

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