First and foremost, I just have to say that the word “apocalypse” is overused in the mainstream media. It can define anything from the government of the United States of America having to shut down because of funding approval, or having to close your favorite big box store-or worse, your morning coffee shop! (No judgment here; I drink about 5 cups of coffee a day, decaf of course.)
This word has become an emotional expression to use when something happens; and we feel it will alter life as we know it. Other terms such as Armageddon, the Antichrist, and even today’s article title is used in oh so many colourful ways!
I wonder as I am writing this if the average person really understands this word in the biblical sense. Let’s see what this word actually means.
Apocalypse – an uncovering, a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse
A bigger concern is the Christian. I call myself a Christian, and I have believed and received the gift of salvation in the sacrificial gift of Jesus Christ and His grace, imparted to me when I first put my faith in Him.
My favorite book in the Bible as a new Christian was John. It did not take me long to venture into the other books of John, and finally the book of Revelation. I was sixteen years old. I was told by friends, neighbors and other Christians that no one understands or ever will understand the book of Revelation. Someone also told me it should not have been included in the Bible at all. Pity that!
I am so glad I did not believe any of those bad reports on the book of Revelation. This book is one of the most important books in the Bible to me and to the entire world today. We are quickly approaching the events described therein, written down long ago. I feel they are at our doorstep!
Do you know what the book of Revelation is really all about?
The answer is very simplistic. It’s astounding to me that some of the most educated people in the world stumble over it. But I am a simple person; and if I can understand it, anyone can that really wants to.
Of course, I’m going to make you wait a bit for the answer.
Let’s start today with an opening scene in Heaven, in the book that uncovers these things and reveals them to us: Revelation.
The apostle John was on the island of Patmos in the year AD 95 as a prisoner before he receives the revelation.
”After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately, I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald” (Revelation 4:1-3).
John is now in heaven. He was called to:
A) come up here, to the throne of God;
B) behold with his own eyes the things that must take place in the future.
Now, he sees the expanse of the heavenly realm – things and creatures he has never seen before. He identifies God the Father in the verses above as the one who sits on the throne. He also sees Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who was slain. As a scroll is handed from God with seals upon it, a search is started with great lamenting to find someone worthy to take the scroll and open the seals. Finally, only one is found, the only one who is worthy to do this.
”And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
”Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
”You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open the seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation’” (Revelation 5:6-9).
God’s judgment is in the scroll, and it is sealed up-sealed up tight. These are no ordinary seals; each one when broken has irreversible actions that will be set in motion associated with them. John observes that the scroll has seven seals.
Jesus opens the seals, beginning with the first one; thus, God’s judgment begins with the four horses and their riders.
Breaking of seal number one and release of the first horseman: The Antichrist
”Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (Revelation 6:1-2).
I’ve heard people ask if this was Jesus on the white horse. This is not Jesus; this is the Antichrist. But he will fool many into thinking that he is Jesus Christ. (Notice that Jesus, the Lamb, is the one who is opening the seals of the scroll.) He (the Antichrist) is given a crown, symbolic of his newly acquired ruler-ship or authority; and now he is going out to conquer. God gives him this authority.
Also, notice he has a bow, but no quiver with arrows loaded inside. This symbolizes his limitations and the constraints that are placed upon him by God. He only gets this crown for seven years. When the time is up, that will be the end of him and his kingdom.
This seven-year period was prophesied long ago in the book of Daniel, sometimes referred to as the seventy weeks of years, or seventy sevens of Daniel. I believe when the four horses of the apocalypse leave heaven and head for earth, this will commence the final week, also interpreted as the final seven years. See Daniel 9:24.
After three-and-a-half years, the Antichrist has complete control over the new Jewish temple in Jerusalem and continues with his blasphemy against God. He persecutes and overcomes those who have believed in Jesus Christ and have not taken his mark on their right hand or forehead.
”He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25).
Breaking of seal number 2 and release of the second horseman: War, Violence and Killing
”When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword” (Revelation 6:3-4).
Peace will be removed by this horseman; and with it comes war, violence and killing. This horse is red – symbolic of worldwide bloodshed – and his sword is great, which means many will die.
Breaking of seal number 3 and the release of the third horseman: Famine and Want
”When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine’” (Revelation 6:5-6).
This horse follows the war horse-and running rampant with war is shortage of food and supplies. There will be such great famine and want that a loaf or two of wheat bread will cost a full day’s wage. Hyperinflation will be felt worldwide. I think the oil and wine warning is there, as it is a mainstay for living in just about every country and diet, even amongst the poorest populations. In this judgement, it could be that mercy is extended so that oil and wine are spared.
Breaking of seal number 4 and release of the fourth horseman: Death and Hades
”When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:7-8).
This is massive worldwide destruction. I site this horseman in my article, “The End Times Landscape.” Approximately 1.875 billion people die at the release of this horse if it were to happen right now. This seems to me to be the most devastating of all the horsemen.
God begins His Judgment of the earth starting with these four horsemen. But why is God judging the earth at this point in the future?
God has one Son, only one. He sent Him, the perfect God-man to be the substitute for our sins and to take the sin of the world upon himself. He arose from the grave in victory to give us eternal life with himself and God; restoring our broken fellowship with God that sin had once separated.
A response to what Jesus did for us is required, to believe or refuse Him.
What is the book of Revelation really all about?
It’s about one last chance to believe in Jesus Christ.
One last chance to believe for the Jewish nation that missed their Messiah the first time.
One last chance for the person who maybe even warmed a church pew or two in their lifetime, but was never really motivated to need a Savior. But now here they are, living in hell on earth during the tribulation. This person knew a few real Christians, and they have all of a sudden gone missing-millions of them at the same time! This is your last chance; you need the Savior now!
Last chance for the one who loves their life of sin and now sees what the consequences will be for all eternity. The Antichrist wants you to take his mark! Say no! Time to repent and turn to Jesus Christ!
One last chance for the person who finds themselves living during this time – and they are not going to miss Jesus Christ again – no matter what. They read the left-behind letter! They are reading the Bible and meeting with other tribulation saints trying to survive without having taken the mark of the beast. They are so thankful we left extra food in the pantry. I hope you like black beans and brown rice if you’re at my house. My husband and I have prayed for you!
The book of Revelation is a kindness. It lets you know what is coming if you choose to reject God’s only begotten Son as Savior and Lord. It is foretelling of a time when God will carry out His divine judgement and display these things in full living color-giving the earth a woodshed experience, as if He were to ask them “are you sure you want to reject my only begotten Son?”
”And they 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 6:16).
God is giving the Jew and the Gentile unbelievers one more chance to change their final answer.
”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18)