Revelation Prophecy – Chapter 6

I. Video Data. 1

What happens during the Seal Judgments?

II. Overview.

A. Worship is the theme of Revelation 4 and 5, but wrath is the subject of Revelation 6-19. The God who has been worshipped, now pours out His judgment. 2

B. The source of the seven-sealed scroll is now fully described. The scene is set and the time has arrived to begin breaking the seals, “one by one.” Re: 6:16-17: Man in his rebellion correctly analyzes the cosmic and terrestrial disturbances as a part of the great end-time day of wrath from the one sitting on the throne, and from the Lamb. The verb elthen (“has come”) is aorist indicative, referring to a previous arrival of the wrath, not something that is about to take place. 3

C. The seals are broken “one by one,” and restraint is increasingly removed from the earth. Vile human passions are given free rein, and the earth reaps the full harvest of man’s sin. 4

D. In Chapter 6 of the Seal Judgments: The first seal is that of Conquest (6:1-2). The second seal is that of War (6:3-4). The third seal is that of Inflation and Famine (6:5-6). The fourth seal is that of Death (6:7-8). The fifth seal is that of Martyrdom (6:9-11). The sixth seal is that of Cosmic Upheaval (6:12-17). The entire tribulation is a period of God’s wrath, not simply the latter portions of it as required by the mid-tribulation, pre-wrath, and post-tribulation approaches. While John often emphasized love in his writings, he did not hesitate to mention the severity of God toward the rebellious. 5

E. As each seal is removed, we are introduced to a series of preliminary judgments representing forces operative throughout history by means of which the redemptive and judicial forces of God are being carried out prior to the end. The prophet Joel described the day of the Lord as “great and very terrible” (Joel 2:11; cf. vs. 31). It is a day of wrath and retribution (Zeph. 1:14-18). According to those attempting to escape the presence of God and the Lamb, this day of wrath has come. Their rhetorical question (6:17) “who is able to stand?” echoes Nahum 1:6 (“Who can stand before his indignation?” Who can endure the heat of His anger?” –cf. Mal 3:2). The announcement of the end need not be understood as the mistaken opinion of terrified mankind. The beginning of the end has arrived, and the plagues of 8:7-9:21 and 16:2-21 follow the actual opening of the seven-sealed scroll. The wrath of God is neither personal vindictiveness, nor an impersonal process of retribution which works itself out in the course of history. It is the response of [God’s] holiness to persistent and impenitent wickedness. 6

F. The opening of chapter 6 of the book of Revelation marks an important milestone in the progressive revelation of the end of the age. In chapter 5 John is introduced to the seven-sealed book in the hand of Christ. In chapter 6 the first six seals are opened with the resultant tremendous events occurring in the earth. The interpretation of these events depends upon the understanding of other portions of the prophetic Word. If the events portrayed are taken in any literal sense, it should be clear that they describe an event yet future, in the words of Christ, “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). Van Ryn expresses the common pretribulation position: The opening of the seals ushers in the terrible judgments to fall upon this earth after the Church has been caught up to glory, as we saw in chap. 4:1. 7

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter. 8

IV. Verse Examination 9

A. 6:2. “he who sat on it.” Evidently a reference to Antihrist. His method of conquest at first does not seem to include open warfare, since peace is not removed from the earth until the second seal is opened (v. 3). This corresponds to the description of delusion in 1 Thes. 5:3.

B. 6:3-4. Everything about the second seal judgment indicates bloodshed (e.g., “red horse, take peace from, sword”).

C. 6:6. “a denarius.” A Roman silver coin that had a normal purchasing power of 10 qt (9.5 lit) of wheat, or 30 qt (28.5 lit) of barley. One qt (.95 lit) of wheat was the daily ration for a soldier. Thus, a daily wage will buy food for only one person, who will have to share with his family.

D. 6:8. “ashen”= a sickly, yellowish green. Probably representing the inevitable result of disease that accompanies war and famine. “Death” claims the bodies, and “Hades” the souls and spirits, of one-fourth of the world’s population in this single judgment (cf. 9:18).

E. 6:9. “the souls of those who had been slain.” Evidently the martyrs of the first months of the tribulation period.

F. 6:10. Notice that these martyrs are alive and conversing with the Lord in His presence.

G. 6:11. “rest for a little while longer.” I.e., wait a little while. It is difficult for these martyrs to understand why God would allow their murderers to live; yet, God asks these saints to trust Him. 

H. 6:12. These cosmic disturbances are predicted elsewhere in Scripture (Isa. 34:4; Joel 2:30-31; Matt 24:29). 

I. 6:16. When the Tribulation comes, men will act as if they believe the end of the world is at hand, not simply talk as if it were.

V. Summary. 10

In this sixth chapter of Revelation we considered, by verse: 1 What the apostle saw when the Lamb opened the first seal; 3 the second seal, 5 the third seal, 7 the fourth seal, 9 the fifth seal, 12 and the sixth seal.

VI. Additional Thoughts.

Notice that it is Christ (the Lamb) who broke open these seals which brought judgment on all who reside on the earth. The seal judgments are not a source of Satan, the Antichrist, mankind, or anyone other than Christ. Those who are left on the earth after the Rapture takes place, are left because they have not been born again, having the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirits, making their spirits as righteous as the Spirit of God (2 Cor 5:17, 21). Those who are left behind are known as “earth dwellers,” or “those who dwell upon the earth” (Rev 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 14; 17:8). Even as judgments on earth dwellers become increasingly more severe, many earth dwellers continue to defy God. Earth dwellers chose earth over citizenship in Heaven (Phil. 3:20). We who are believers in Christ have been told, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes 5:9). Per J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th. D., “Things To Come,” p 195: “Wrath for others, but salvation for us at the Rapture, whether we wake or sleep.” Re: Rev 6:16-17: pp 183-184: “According to the observation of John, that the program there being unfolded is related to the ‘wrath of the Lamb.’ ” The aorist tense in verse 17, elthen (has come) signifies, not something that is about to happen, but that which has taken place. Thus, in unfolding the program of the seals, John announces that these represent “the wrath” that has already come.

VII. Footnotes.

1. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021). 

2.  Dr. David Jeremiah, (Th. M., D.D.) Jeremiah Study Bible

3.   Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017). Revelation Commentary.

4.   Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) Revelation Commentary. 

5. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary.

6. Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament.

7. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary.

8. Link pasted from Bible Gateway.

9. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

10. Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor)

VIII. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles. 

IX. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Website Israel Website Israel, History And Prophecy


Author: Equipping

The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible.

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