In Chapters 4 and 5, we are dealing with some of the things that happen between Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 and the catching away of the believers, and Yom Kippur and the beginning of the seven year Chevlai Shell Mashiach, or Birth-pains of the Messiah. In particular, we saw the Natzal/Rapture and the coronation of the Messiah. Chapter 6 begins with Yom Kippur and gives an overview of this period. What Yeshua told the talmidim in Matt 24 and these six seals will have a parallel. One thing you need to know about Revelation, it doesn’t necessarily give things in chronological order. This is consistent with Hebrew writing and poetry. Genesis 1 tells us about God creating the universe, then chapter 2 gives more detail for instance. In Revelation, many focus on the terrible disasters but there is another way to look at it. The Shekinah of God and those who “cling” to her” are considered the bride. God is going forth to conquer the enemies that have come against them for so long, bringing unity into the world again. This will not come without a fight as “evil” will fight against it. However, even the “evil” entities exist to serve the purposes of God. These seal judgments may also be referred to in Matt 24 and Deut 28.
Remember that there will be numerous metaphors used in these chapters to describe the Messiah, other characters and concepts. We will explain these as we go through the text.
1) And I saw when the Lamb (Yeshua) broke (revealed the events of) one of the seven seals (at least the first six seals deal with people living in the pagan world of the false messiah), and I heard one of the four living creatures (the chai’ot with the face of the lion, the first one, on the east side of the throne) saying with a loud voice of thunder (symbolizing a great disaster and controversy) “Come” (meaning literally “Let’s go”).
2) And I looked and behold, a white horse and he who sat on it had a bow (with no arrows because he will appear to come in peace) and a crown was given to him and he went out conquering and to conquer (This is the false messiah as seen in Matt 24.4-5. We know from the Scriptures that a great spiritual deception will go out into all the world and he will have authority from God to do it. The “bow” is an allusion to Nimrod, the first type of the false messiah in the Scripture. He is associated with Babylon, so this would also allude to Mystery Babylon which will overcome many by deception-Rev 17.13. It is believed that the false messiah will be Jewish and come out of Europe-Lev 24.10-14; Isa 19.4; Dan 9.26; Ezek 21.25-29; Isa 20.1-6).
3) And when he broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature (with the face of an ox on the west side of the throne) saying “Come” (meaning “let’s go”),
4) And another, a red horse (bloody war-Matt 24.6-7) went out; and to him who sat on it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should (from now on) slay one another; and a great sword was given to him (war comes to the world like it has never seen, beginning with the destruction of the USA by Russia, followed by many wars over the next seven years).
5) And when he broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature (with the face of a man on the south side of the throne) saying, “Come” (which means “Let’s go”). And I looked and behold a black horse (physical famine, Matt 24.7, always follows war and it is linked to “spiritual famine” which is the root of what is really going on, lack of true Torah teaching-Amos 8.11-12. When Torah returns the people are said to “eat and drink” again. Yeshua referred to following the Torah in John 6.53-57 using metaphoric language) and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand (food given out by weight=spiritual food with truth is going to be very scarce during the Tribulation, but it will be represented and brought forth by the 144,000. They will bring the gospel as defined by the Torah to the world, and then the end will come-Matt 24.14).
6) And I heard as it were a voice (Yeshua-Rev 5.6) in the center 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 (these are idioms for “true teaching” of the Scriptures and Torah, and God’s provision. The idea that this famine is metaphorically referring to a spiritual famine cannot be overlooked in the book).
7) And when he broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature (with the face of an eagle on the north side of the throne) saying, “Come” (meaning “Let’s go”).
8) And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse (devoid of life, the color of a corpse-Matt 24.7) and he who sat on it had the name “Death” (speaking of the body) and “Hades” (Hebrew “sheol” speaking of the spirit) was following with him. And authority (death was seen as a “king”-Rom 5.14) was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword (war) and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth-God’s four judgments in Ezek 14.21).
9) And when he broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar (this is an idiom for “buried in Israel.” This idiom carries the idea that when a righteous one dies, he is “gathered” in a place called the “treasury” under the altar or throne to await the resurrection of the righteous. The ones referred to here have been killed during the Birth-pains. These are those who died “in Messiah” or “under the altar”-Matt 24.9) the souls of those who had been slain (when a priest poured out the blood of an offering at the base, or under, the altar, it was a picture of this concept because “life” is in the blood) because of the Word of God (they followed the Torah) and because of the testimony which they had maintained (this was a spiritual persecution. Chapter 7 deals with these believers in more detail in true apocalyptic style, God giving the “big picture” in chapter 6 and then goes back for more detail in various areas in chapter 7);
10) and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will you refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
11) And there was given to each of them a white robe (similar to when a priest was ruled qualified to serve in the Temple. This an idiom for a “glorified body”); and they were told that they should rest (cease the inquiry, rest contented) for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants (the number is fixed) and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.
12) And I looked and when he broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake (this can be natural or in the idiomatic language of Revelation it can be a revolution, upheaval and death); and the sun (Messiah, the groom-Psa 19) became black as sackcloth (His word, the Torah and truth became obscured because the earth has “turned away” from him and can no longer “see” its light) made of hair and the whole moon became like blood (Gen 37.9; Rev 12.1-Israel turns to the color of judgment, “red”, as the false messiah comes between the true Messiah and the bride. Compare with Matt 24.29; Isa 2.9-22; Isa 24.17-23 and Isa 13.13 and the Day of Lord)
13) and the stars (speaks of individuals-Gen 37.9; Rev 12.1) fell to the earth (they believed worldly philosophy, false man-made religion and politics) as a fig tree (Israel) casts its unripe (unrighteous) figs when shaken by a great wind (Luke 21.25-31-this happened in 70 A.D. and the picture is given again for the last days-Heb 12.26; Isa 13.9-13).
14) And the sky was rolled together like a scroll when it is rolled up (God is redeeming and changing the creation to what it was before the flood-Isa 34.4; Heb 1.10-12) and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15) And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains (these are idioms for those things that are in opposition to God and his redemption. These are the evil kingdoms, idolatrous worship, the principalities and powers, alliances and treaties that the people will call upon rather than turn to God)
16) and they said to the mountains (the kingdoms, principalities and powers, alliances, treaties of man) and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us (protect us) from the presence of him who sits on the throne (the Father) and from the wrath of the Lamb (Messiah)”
17) for the great day of their wrath (another idiom for the Birth-pains) has come; and who is able to stand (who is justified to make a stand and oppose the redemption that the Lord is bringing on the world).