Summary: An explanation of the 4 horses in Revelation 6, and a verse-by-verse study on Revelation 7. Your congregation will be able to easily follow and fully understand this study.
I remember when I was in the seventh grade; I was the new kid in school and had the great misfortune of standing up against the school bully. To make a long story short, and because I actually had the audacity of arguing with him in front of his friends, he began to hit me. I saw the fist coming, and then I saw it retreat, just to come at me again. This happened several times in quick succession.
Each time it withdrew, gave me reason to be thankful for, even though it was brief, it was the pause before the storm. Today, I want to talk about such pauses, and how they give us a time to either change our course, or hunker down for another barrage of attacks.
In REVELATION 6, we saw the breaking of the six seals. Each seal released suffering upon a rebellious world. This is a quick recap of what each seal brought forth.
WHITE HORSE – (1st Seal of the Scroll)
This brought forth the antichrist, or the “little horn” mentioned in Daniel 7:8 – also known as “The Man of Lawlessness” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The bow represents an attempt of making peace – such as in diplomacy. At any rate, this is a temporary and false peace.
RED HORSE – (2nd Seal of the Scroll)
This was a horse that took peace from the earth. The red color represents war and bloodshed.
BLACK HORSE – (3rd Seal of the Scroll)
This horse spreads famine and hunger throughout the world.
PALE/GREEN HORSE – (4th Seal of the Scroll)
This sickly colored one will spread death as a result of the war and famine. 25% of the world’s population will die as a result of this horse.
THE SOULS OF THOSE MARTYRS – (5th Seal of the Scroll)
At the opening of this seal, the souls of those martyred on earth are shown in the Temple in Heaven. They lost their lives due to their FAITH , showing they were willing to offer themselves as a sacrifice to the LORD. They were praying for judgment against their killers, and asked God how long they would have to wait. They were told to wait until the final number of martyrs has died.
THE FINAL REALIZATION OF JESUS CHRIST – (6th Seal of the Scroll)
The vengeance they requested is now beginning to be poured out.
STUDY OF REVELATION 7 - THE PAUSE BEFORE THE STORM
VERSE 1 –
“After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree.”
The four angels have been empowered to cause great HARM to the earth, but they are told to temporarily restrain from doing these things. The terminology “four corners” has always been used as a metaphor for “everywhere” or “from every direction.”
The word “wind” here is from the Greek word “anemos”, which is used to describe a judgment of God upon the earth. And just as there are a few moments before a thunderstorm that are still and quiet, God will quiet the winds for a short while before His judgment is delivered to an unrepentant world.
VERSES 2,3 –
“Then I saw another angel rise up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were empowered to harm the earth and the sea: ‘Don’t harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads.’”
The angel mentioned in verse 2 commands restraint on the part of the original four angels mentioned in verse 1, and there is a reason for doing so: “Until the slaves of God were sealed on their foreheads.”
This imagery is drawn from Ezekiel’s vision in EZEKIEL 9:3-6 where a "man clothed in linen" was told to go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and weep over all the sinful things that are done in that city by other people. And those who are marked will be spared the coming destruction.
VERSES 4-8 tell us who these slaves of God are going to be that receive the seal.
They will come out of each of the 12 tribes of Israel; 12,000 from each tribe. They will be Jewish men who become evangelists.
Even among Christian scholars, there is some debate regarding who these men will be. One explanation suggests they come from the super orthodox Jews, who have dedicated their lives to the study of God’s word. These men will be virgins, singers, students, and evangelists. And there are approximately 150,000 of these young men now.