Revelation Chapter 6 [KJVwc]

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First Seal

1 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.
The First Seal

I saw – The John class, the church during the second Presence of our Lord. These are the ones who "saw."

When – It is the saints at the end of the Gospel Age who recognize that the first symbolical seal was opened by Jesus at Pentecost.

The Lamb – Jesus, the Lamb of God is the ONLY one who could open the sacred scroll of divine prophecy. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Rev. 19:10

One of the seals – Presumably the first seal.

Noise of Thunder – Symbol for controversy. Also the voice of the Most High. – Psa. 18:13

These two thoughts are completely compatible. When God speaks the result is so different from what man thinks that it always causes controversy amongst fallen men.

One of the four beasts – Likely the first, Lion = power. See Rev. 4:7. This seems most appropriate in that it is the attribute of Power which seems to be described in verse 2.
2 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. White horse – Pure doctrine.

He that sat on him – Our Lord. We see this symbol again in Rev. 19:11 where our Lord rides as a victor on a white horse.

A bow – An offensive weapon. The Adversary may shoot out his arrows, bitter words but our Lord shoots out arrows of love and mercy as well as judgment.

Compare Psa. 18:14.

And a crown – Which Jesus earned at Calvary and has been wearing since his resurrection and ascension.

Conquering and to conquer – Jesus spread the word of truth out through his appointed messengers, his apostles and disciples. This message did indeed have its appropriate purpose, i.e., to conquer men's hearts and minds and to establish the church.

According to the Tischendorf Notes "to conquer" should read "he conquered."
Second Seal

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
The Second Seal

Second beast – The second beast (from chapter 4) was a calf or young bullock. This pictures Justice.
4 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. Horse – Doctrine, teaching.

Red – With the doctrine being red one immediately thinks of the Ransom. In vs. 3 we are told it is the 2nd attribute (beast) that is here speaking. That attribute is Justice (calf). It therefore becomes easy for us to see the appropriateness of this horse (doctrine) being identified with justice. It was God's justice that condemned man to die and the Ransom shows the satisfaction of justice. While this is also the highest example of love, nevertheless, it is to satisfy the demands of justice that the Ransom became necessary in order for our race to survive.

Earth – Organized society under religious restraint.

This fundamental doctrine of the Ransom would naturally take away the peace of the earth class. Remember that this represents organized society under religious restraint. The only religion based on the understanding of the Ransom is the True Christianity. This runs in direct contrast to the false doctrines that were forming at that time – which doctrines later became the cornerstones of Christendom's false teachings.
Third Seal

5 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.
The Third Seal

Third beast – (From chapter 4) Man – love. Since the attribute of love is the prominent feature here, and what follows is a black horse (i.e., doctrine lacking in light) it seems to follow that the teachings of this era were such as would imply that there was a great danger of completely loosing the love of the Truth and its sanctifying power.

"Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matt. 24:12

As the attribute here seems to be Love we should look for the Lord's Love to be prominent here. This is suggested by the next verse in the amount purchased by the penny. – See Additional Comments for vs. 6.

A pair of balances in his hand – Balances were used to measure weights, as in determining the amount of grain being purchased.

The word here used for "pair of balances" is the same word elsewhere translated as "yoke." – Stong's G2218.
6 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. A measure of wheat for a penny – Wheat is the primary grain for people. A penny was a days wage. Wheat is a picture of the Lord's people, i.e., the church. What this is saying is the same as in the eleventh hour parable. A day's wages (penny) can buy wheat (the expression of the Lord's Love, i.e., membership in the Little Flock).

Three measures of barley for a penny – Barley is not the primary grain for people. It is generally considered to be of lesser value than wheat. Thus the same amount, the penny, the wage for a day, will buy three times as much barley. This suggests that during the period covered by the third seal there may have been three times as many Great Company as there was Little Flock. Both groups are spirit begotten and worked for a day's wage (penny), but some get Barley while others get Wheat.

See thou hurt not the oil and the wine – The oil pictures the holy spirit and the wine pictures the pure doctrines of Christ. The instruction to those (Church and Great Company, pictured by the wheat and barley) who receive this day's wage, is that they take heed that they do not let slip the most important things, namely, the Spirit (oil) and the Truth (wine).
Fourth Seal

7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
The Fourth Seal

Fourth beast – (From chapter 4) A flying eagle: Wisdom.

It takes great confidence in the Wisdom of God to accept and to trust Him during this period when the Truth of His great Plan is so scarce, so hidden from the common man.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hades 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. Pale horse – Ashen (NASB), Livid (Roth)

This seems best to line up with the Sardis (5th) period of the church. It was said to the Sardis church "strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die."

His name – Papacy, Ant-Christ.

That sat upon him – i.e., that sat on this pale horse.

Was death – The great Anti-Christ system was indeed death to almost all who tried to follow the true Christ.

Hades followed with him – "He shall wear out the saints of the most High." Dan. 7:25

Power – Authority.

Was given unto them – Note: not given unto him, but given unto them. This refers to both "Death" and "Hades." The authority was given (by the symbolic earth) to the Papacy.

The fourth part of the earth – Over the fourth part of Organized Society. The organized society that had been put in place was Rome, the fourth of the great universal empires of Dan. 2 and 7.

Kill with sword – This could refer to the Papacy's mis-use of the word of God. Instead of using it for the expressions of truth and love from God, they used it as a weapon of fear and trembling. Thus they may be said to have "killed with the sword" – with the Bible (or rather with their perverted interpretation of the Bible.)

With hunger – For the True Word of God, it being very scarce during this period.

With death – The New Creation needs to truth of God's word in order to survive. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4

With the beasts of the earth – The beastly governments of the earth (organized society under religious restraint). Since the "fourth part" of the symbolic earth was Rome, we must remember that under Rome there were several lesser "beasts" or governments.

In other words, all these elements of society at this time were in cooperation against the Lord's people. This was the peek of Papacy's power and influence over the people.
Fifth Seal

9 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:
The Fifth Seal

Under the altar –
This seems to primarily refer to the Brazen Altar in the Court, and thus to Justification and belief in the Ransom sacrifice of Jesus.

Slain –
A primary verb; to butcher (especially an animal for food or in sacrifice) or (generally) to slaugther, or (specifically) to maim (violently): - kill, slay, wound.

While this appears to be more violent than 'killed' (see vs. 11), one cannot miss the fact that they are being slain sacrificially. This seems to indicate the difficulty of holding the truth at that (Luther's) time.

To be slain means, among other things, to be ostracized. These faithful ones had to endure the persecutions of the 'church' (for at that time there was only the church of Rome) because they taught and believed in the Brazen Altar – Justification by faith in Christ (and not justification by confession to priest or by purchase of indulgence, etc.)

For the word of God – Persecuted for being faithful to the Truth (the word of God), thus 'slain'. Many were literally killed, but this is not a requirement of this passage. It likely refers to both literal and figurative slaying.

The testimony – The Bible itself, the word of God.

This also refers to their individual testimonies, their lives of faithfulness, which brought upon them the slaying, mentioned above.

Which they held – 'Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.' These faithfully held their crowns.

See Additional comments on Rev. 3:10.

Slain for the word of God – The reference here is to Martin Luther and his followers. They held that justification by faith was necessary and NOT justification by indulgences or confessions to a priest, etc. For this they were (figuratively – and some literally) slain. This figurative 'slaying' was in the year 1521 at the 'Diet of Worms.' There Luther made his famous remarks that he would not recant, "Here I stand (on the word of God), I can do no other." His teachings were banned (i.e., his teachings and all who followed them were 'slain'.) See B337:2 for a description of this persecution. To gain a greater understanding of the significance of this, see the next 2 verses and their comments.

See Edict of Worms
10 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? They – The church, those who are 'slain' under the altar for their faithful stand on justification in Christ (and not through indulgences or confessions to priests or through intercession by the Pope).

Cried with a loud voice – This phrase (in the Greek) first occurs in Matt. 27:50 where it is our Lord on the cross. As such it seems to indicate great pain and suffering to the point of death. This is appropriate for these have already been described as 'slain' under the altar.

How long – Here the faithful are asking for some indicator of the time. The answer they receive is most interesting.

O Lord, holy and true – The faithful always recognize the Lord as the true source of their life, their walk, their being.

This is very similar to the language of the saints at the end of the age when they are singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. See Rev. 15:3-4.

Dost thou not judge and avenge – Here the saints are recognizing that it is not their place to take vengeance but instead to leave that with the Lord. 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord' (Rom. 12:19).

On them that dwell on the earth – Those who constitute the 'earth' class, i.e., organized society under religious restraint.

What is the indication of God's vengeance? It is the pouring out of the seven last plagues.
" angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." Rev. 15:1
Once we understand this we are prepared to understand just what it is that the saints are asking for. They are asking for (without themselves necessarily knowing it) the length of time it will be from the 'Diet of Worms' (where they were 'slain for the word of God') until the pouring out of the seven last plagues.

There is another rather obvious indication given here, namely, this is to be 'on them that dwell on the earth.' Note: This is exactly where the seven last plagues are poured out! ".. pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth." Rev. 16:1

Not only do we now have the connection to the seven last plagues but also we have some additional information concerning these plagues and the 'earth' class.

"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth" Rev. 16:2.

What the Lord seems to be indicating here is that it is not all of the plagues that we should be looking for as the answer to the call for vengeance by the saints, but rather the beginning or the first plague. This is indicated by the fact that, while all the plagues are poured out upon the 'earth', the first one is also specifically targeted on the 'earth.' This carries forth a principle that is found throughout the scriptures and especially here in the book of Revelation, i.e., the beginning marks the fulfillment. To understand this, one simply needs to ask "once God has set something in motion, what power in the universe can stop it?" – The answer is, of course, there is no power that can stop it. This principle of recognizing the beginning as the fulfillment is suggested primarily in the following texts: Rom. 4:17; Zech. 4:10 [NLT].

Compare verses 9 and 10 with Rev. 16:5-7 (under the third plague) and notice how perfectly they fit as question and answer.
11 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. White robes – Justification. This is the very thing they were 'slain' for faithfulness to (see vs 9).

The wedding garment.

They should rest – Sleep in death.

A little season – A 'micros chronos'. Chronos is time. This signifies a time or year of 360 prophetic days which = 360 literal years.

Until their fellowservants also – "until the number should be made full of their fellow-servants also" – Rotherham; "until the number of their fellow servants... should be completed" – NASB; "until their fellow-servants .. should be complete in number." (RVIC alternate translation)

To any Bible student this might as well read: "until 1881," when the full number (144,000) was reached.

Note: This period is from 1521 A.D. (the Diet of Worms). 1521 + 360 = 1881.

Note similar application of this principle in R4428.

Killed –
Strong's G615
From G575 and κτείνω kteinō (to slay); to kill outright; figuratively to destroy: - put to death, kill, slay.

"Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaugther." Psa. 44:22.

This is the answer to the question about how long (from the Diet of Worms – see vs 9) until God avenges the blood of the saints, or, until the Seven Last Plagues begin to be poured out. They begin to be poured out when the full number of the 144,000 is reached, i.e., in 1881! Isn't it interesting that this scriptural indication squares exactly with what Pastor Russell said in "The Divine Plan of the Ages" Study XII 'EXPLANATION OF CHART REPRESENTING THE PLAN OF THE AGES' A238:2:

"Now notice on the chart the harvest or end of the Gospel age; notice the two parts into which it is divided-seven years and thirty-three years, the exact parallel of the harvest of the Jewish age. This harvest, like the Jewish one, is to be first [seven years, 1874-1881] a time of trial and sifting upon the Church, and afterward [thirty-three years, 1881-1914] a time of wrath or pouring out of the "seven last plagues" upon the world, including the nominal Church."

The scriptural evidence seems to support this thought of a special 40 year period and that AFTER the first seven years (1874 – 1881 A.D.) it is time for the pouring out of the seven last plagues.

It is also worthy of notice how our Lord, knowing our desire to understand these mysteries, has doubly confirmed this interpretation. First by giving us the time period (chronos – 360 literal days symbolic of 360 years) lasting from 1521 to 1881, but additionally by the inclusion of the expression that these saints would wait until the full number of the body of Christ should be reached, i.e., until the date 1881! If this is not the correct understanding, why this double confirmation from the Lord?
Sixth Seal

12 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;
The Sixth Seal

A great earthquake – The temptation of some is to insist that this applies to the French Revolution. Their primary reasoning seems to be that there are 7 churches, 7 trumpets, 7 seals and that these all align up perfectly time wise, i.e. 1st church, 1st trumpet, 1st seal. This is an easy mistake to fall into.

The proof that this is not the French Revolution is found in vs. 14 where it refers to "every mountain .." not just the one mountain (kingdom) of France.

The great earthquake here referred to is the same as the great earthquake of Rev. 16:18.

One of the ways we know this is the 'great earthquake' of Rev. 16:18 is the events which are directly associated with it, especially vs 13-17.

Sun – The Gospel light.
13 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. Stars of heaven – Leaders of ecclesiastism.

Fell unto the earth – Fell to the level of worldliness, the same as organized society. These were supposed to remain above this level and be beacons of light to lead men to God. Instead they have let men lead them down to the level of fallen men.

Fig tree casteth her untimely figs – A clear reference to Isa. 34:4 where the context puts it in the Day of the Lord, the day of His Anger.

We should notice that it is as a fig tree casts her untimely figs. Natural Israel (the fig tree) should have been ripe for harvest at the time of the first advent. But instead of supplying the full number of the body of Christ, they proved unworthy and their untimely (unripe) figs (fruitage) were cast out. – Just so in the harvest of the Gospel Age for nominal spiritual Israel.

A mighty wind – The result of having loosed the 4 winds (Rev. 7:1-3).
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Heaven departed – The ecclesiastical portion of Christendom. Isa. 34:4

As a scroll when it is rolled together – The two ends of the scroll, Catholic and Protestant attempting to come together for strength. This is done because they recognize they cannot stand alone.

This too is a direct reference to Isa. 34:4.

When this takes place it indicates their final fall is at hand. What is indicated by a scroll rolling together? – It means the one using that scroll is done with it. The modern equivalent to closing the book.

See Nahum 1:10 and note its context.

Every mountain – Every Kingdom (not just the Kingdom of France – thus proving that verse 12 does not refer to the French Revolution) especially the kingdoms that comprised Christendom.

And island – Republics. This symbol is easy to understand when a little analysis is done. See islands in Symbols.

Compare this with Rev. 16:20.

Were moved out of their places – The word 'moved' here is Strong's 2795 and is found only one other place in Revelation. In chapter 2:5 where it is translated remove: ".. else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place .."

The thought here is clearly indicating the removal of the kingdoms and of the republics. Again, compare Rev. 16:20.
15 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; Of the mountains – This is a key phrase. At the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy, the kingdoms (mountains) still exist. This differs from that which eventually takes place during the seventh plague (Rev. 16:20) where we are told "the mountains were not found."
16 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: Mountains – Kingdoms.

Rocks – "Fortresses of society (Free Masonry, Odd Fellowship, and Trades Unions, Guilds, Trusts, and all societies secular and ecclesiastical)" B139:1

Compare Isa. 2:2,12,19 – note vs 2 for time setting, as well as remainder of context.
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Day of his wrath – "The seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." Rev. 15:1
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