• Written to encourage suffering Christians, To call us to radical holiness, and to give us hope to endure to the end!
• Written to them and for us
• Cannot mean for us what it did not mean for them (they understood)
• Largely symbolic – over 400 allusions to the Old Testament
Understanding where we are headed in Revelation: Series of Judgments which are in a cyclical fashion, not linear or chronological. SEVEN SEALS, SEVEN TRUMPETS, SEVEN BOWL Judgements.
While not chronological we will see an intensification of God’s judgment, they intensify as we move from SEALS to TRUMPETS, to BOWLS as well as seeing each individual judgment intensify as we get to the end of each.
Explanation of the judgments to help us understand. Viewing from different perspectives.
In Revelation 6, John will begin to describe the course of this present age through the lens of a series of ongoing judgments, which culminate with the return of Jesus Christ in the end.
Go back and read Matthew 24:3
Jesus describes this cycle of wars and rumors of wars and famines and earthquakes and so on, that we are experiencing even now and before Christ’s return and He refers to them as “Birth Pains”.
These cycles of judgment begin as the scroll is opened by Jesus Christ and will climax when He returns to judge the world, raise the Dead, and make All Things New!
Now there is a tendency by some of our good brothers and sisters to try to interpret everything we are going to read about and tie them to some present event. (Reminder: Can’t mean for us what it didn’t mean for them) I believe what we read about is not a specific famine or war or earthquake, or special event in Israel, but a depiction of all future wars and famines and plagues and all the upheavals of the earth as judgments of God pointing to a final judgment yet to come.
As Christ-followers, we view these matters through the eyes of faith, we should not be alarmed when these things occur, we should expect them.
It reminds us that this world is corrupted by sin and creation longs for redemption. The only answer is Jesus. One day Christ Jesus will return and remove the curse and renew heaven and earth.
Four Horsemen: read in light of Zechariah 6 and Matthew 24 (Revelation doesn’t say anything that hasn’t already been said in the Bible)
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. (Anti-christ: Imitates Jesus but isn’t Jesus – sounds similar to Jesus description in Rev 19. He is a liar, says “this way to life” – practically “many ways to salvation” – anything that adds to or takes away from the gospel.
Read Matthew 23:4-5
Read Revelation 6:3-4
Read Matthew 24:6 “Wars and rumors of Wars”
We are born bent toward war – rage and anger are increasingly left unchecked. Wars between nations and wars between groups and individuals (social media) We have given ourselves over to anger and rage! (108 million people died in wars in 20th century – not counting ancillary deaths)
Read Revelation 6:5-6
Famine – Matthew 24:7 “Famines” (200 million died in 20th century – War/government upheaval) Rationing of food, results of war and fighting (inflation on steroids!) Symbolizes taking from the world what is really needed and leaving it with luxuries it doesn’t need “wheat barley – oil and wine” (ultimately famine of the soul – have everything but empty and lonely)
Read Revelation 6:7-8
Yellowish Green – Color of sickness and death – represents disease and pestilence (plague alone killed up to 200 million people)
Read Revelation 6:9-14
Who can deliver us? Not the rich or the powerful, not the celebrities that people tend to look to for advice – not even the military.
WHO CAN STAND? The Children of God! (Revelation 7:1-4)
144,000 – Completeness and countlessness of those who are in Christ
Read Revelation 7:9-12
Read Revelation 7:13-17
What does this mean for us?
• God is Sovereign and In Control (the seals are part of His plan)
• God is Holy and Will Judge Sin (judgment for sin not temporary but eternal)
• There Will Be Persecution and Suffering For Believers
• In The End, Those Who Are In Christ Jesus Stand!
Pastor Matt Surber studies The Throne Room in Revelation 4 and 5 as we look at God’s sovereignty.Read More /
Pastor Matt Surber discusses Revelation 2 & 3 and reminds us that God promises eternal celebration for those who endure until the end.Read More /
Pastor Matt Surber talks about the hope that we have in Jesus as he kicks off a new series, Revelation: Our Hope Is On His Throne.Read More /