Revelation 6-7

Recap what the general meaning of the scroll from Chapter 5. Exegesis exercise: - Gather in groups and answer the questions on the board using the passage from Matthew 24:3-14, 21-22, 29-31. Answer your questions using verses in Matthew 24 to support your position. Questions: - What does the white horse represent? - What does the red horse represent? - What does the black horse represent? - What does the pale horse represent? - When does the persecution of the saints from the fifth seal occur in history? (i.e. before Great Tribulation (see Matt. 24:21), during our age, during the Great Tribulation, or otherwise). - When does the judgement of the sixth seal occur? (Hint: find where apocalyptic language such as “earthquakes, sun/moon darkened” etc. occur). 1st Seal: The Gospel - In Revelation white is always a symbol of Christ of associated (see Rev. 1:14, 4:4, 6:11, 19:11, 14, 20:11) - Bow is often used in Scripture as symbol of divine victories (see Hab. 3:9, Isaiah 41:2, Zech. 9:13, Ps. 45:4-5) - Matt. 24:14 describes Gospel being preached to all nations 2nd Seal: War - Matt. 24:6-7 describes “wars and rumors of wars” as well as “nation against nation” 3rd Seal: Famine - A denarius was a dayʼs wages - Matt. 24:7 mentions famines 4th Seal: Death from famine, pestilence, and disease - Matt. 24:? Perhaps a catchall to the judgements. 5th Seal: Martyrdom - Heaven IS Godʼs temple. The temple is more broadly the place where God dwells (see Psalms 18:6, 29:9, Hab. 2:20, Mic. 1:2). Now God dwells within us (see 1 Cor. 3:16) and in the future among all of us (see Rev. 21:22). - In O.T. blood of sacrifices poured out at the base of the altar, (see Lev. 4:7) - In N.T. we are sacrifices for God. Spiritual sacrifice (Rom. 12:1) and bodily sacrifices (see 2 Tim. 4:6) - “Martyr” means “witness” and John talks about Godʼs witness throughout Revelation - Matt. 24:9 says “they will deliver you to tribulation and will kill you”

Revelation 6-7

6th Seal: Day of wrath - This passage uses what is called “Apocalyptic language”. For example: “The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes” from Joel 2:31, (see also Joel 2:31, Isaiah 34:4, Jer. 4:23-28) - Not meant to be literal, but to describe Godʼs judgement. Example: “the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; and the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light” from Isaiah 13:10 refers to Godʼs judgement over Babylon. Obviously, these things didnʼt literally occur; Babylon was defeated by the Medes and Persians. - “Day of the wrath” is a term referring to the end of our age, specifically, to the coming of Christ. Also called “day of the Lord”, “day of Christ”, “day of redemption”, and so on. (See 2 Thess. 2:2, Phil. 1:10, 1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 1:14, Eph. 4:30) - Jesus uses the language in Matt. 24:29-31 to refer to his triumphant return at the end Our age is described by this vision - An estimated 3.65 million people a year die from starvation and hunger-related illness 1 - 1st World War killed 15 million alone. WW2 killed 55 million. Stalin probably killed around 20 million during his time in power. In total, approximately 203,000,000 people have been killed in our last century from wars, massacres, slaughters, and oppressions.2 - Death from disease has no solid numbers, but we know of epidemics such as HIV/ AIDS, malaria, hepatitis and such-like ravaging populations in undeveloped countries, while cancer and heart disease plague developed countries. - It estimated that 70 million Christians have lost their lives as martyrs since the beginnings of the faith. 45.5 million of those have lost their lives in this century alone.3 Approx. 176,000 Christians die a year in witness to their faith.4 - However, Christianity is growing. There were only approx. 558 million Christians in the world in 1900. In 2000, there were 2 billion professing Christians. About 680 million of them would consider themselves “born again” Christians. They are growing at about 7% a year. There are more Christians alive today than have ever been alive in the history of the world.5 NOTE: 1. John is not a reporter gathering facts. This is a western mentality. 2. There are a number of positions concerning Revelation held by people who love God. Donʼt dwell on the views being different, dwell on what they mean to you spiritually.

1 2 3 4 5

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/overview/famine.pdf http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstats.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatv.htm#Martyrs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_martyrs#cite_note-4 http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

Revelation 6-7

The Two Multitudes - A picture of two times of the Church: - before Godʼs wrath (144,000) - at the consummation of the ages (the great multitude) - The question is asked, “who can stand?” in the day of Godʼs wrath - The interlude answers this question. - Wind is a motif of judgement in O.T. (see Exodus 10:13, Psalms 11:6, 35:5) 144,000 as the church Reasons why itʼs not a literal representation of the tribes of Israel: 1. O.T. Context - The list differs from O.T. lists - Dan and Manasseh are missing - Judah comes first - Joseph is included when one of his sons is already there - The point being, this is like no other list of the tribes in the Bible, fraught with inaccuracies… unless it isnʼt meant to be literal 2. N.T. teaching on Israel and the church - We are taught over and over in the N.T. that the Church is the inheritors of Godʼs promises to Israel - Gal. 3:29 “you are Abrahamʼs offspring, heirs according to the promise” - Rom. 4:11 Abraham is “the father of all who believe” - Rom. 2:28-29 “He is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal” - Phil. 3:3 “We are the true circumcision who worship God in spirit and glory in Jesus Christ - Mark 12:1-9 “the vineyard will be given to others” speaking in parable about - 1 Peter 2:9 “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” - Rev. 2:9 “those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” - We are taught that we are ALL sealed by the Holy Spirit - 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now he who establishes us with in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” - Eph. 1:13-14 “having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to the redemption of Godʼs own possession…” - 2 Timothy 2:19 “the firm foundation of the Lord stands, having this seal, ʻThe Lord knows those who are his.ʼ” 3. Context of Revelation itself - “bond-servants of our God” from v. 3 is term used of the Church in general (see 2 Tim. 2:24, Titus 1:1, James 1:1, Acts 4:29) - 144,000 appear later, in Rev. 14, and described as “purchased from among men” with no mention of Jewish roots

Revelation 6-7

- John hears about the sealing of the 144,000 but sees the multitude, similar to hearing about the Lion but seeing the Lamb in Chapter 4. So who are the 144,000? - They are the full number of Godʼs people. - 12 represents completion (12 tribes, 12 apostles) - 1,000 was a division in the Jewish army - 12 x 12 x 1000 is the full number of Godʼs multitude The culmination of this number is the full multitude in heaven - This is clearly at the consummation of the kingdom - they wave palm branches, a sign of victory - the promises the elder describes to John in vs. 16 are those at the end of time in Rev. 2:1-5 Optional Note: We are promised tribulation. (see John 16:33 “in the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world”, Acts 14:22 “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God”) Discussion: What does it mean to be sealed? What does it mean to be a “witness” in our age/culture? What are the things that you and I cry out “How long, Oh Lord?” about? What are the promises in Rev. 7:15-17? Which sound appealing to you? What do these people hope for? Christian in Sudan - persecution and war Christian in North Korea - famine Christian in South Africa - suffering from AIDS What do you hope for? Read Romans 8:31-39