We Are the Four Horsemen (Part 7)

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;

 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.

 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

 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;

 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:

 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:12-17)

Interpreting the Sixth Seal

How we interpret this seal depends on what time we are in. At least, that’s how I see it.

I hope I can explain what I am thinking clearly.

As mentioned in the previous articles, as of now we are looking at these seals in a metaphorical or spiritual sense. I believe that in the final days, these seals will take on a more literal meaning – though the spirit of the meaning remains constant.

For this seal, the difference of interpretation for current, future, and final days is much more significant than the previous seals.

If we interpret this seal as the natural result of the interpretations of the seals we’ve looked at so far, then what we see in this sixth seal is not Jesus. It is the antichrist and his great deception. If we interpret this seal as the natural result of a final days interpretation of the previous seals, then the one coming in the sixth seal is Jesus, as stated in the scripture.

Why the distinction?

Consider our current interpretations of the seals in a spiritual sense as it pertains to Christianity today. Specifically, look back to the first seal. The one on the white horse is any man or idea who sets himself up as a leader while claiming authority from Jesus. In the final days, I believe this seal to be the greatest fulfillment of this idea. We have the rule of antichrist and his ideas. He comes exalting himself as God, but he is false.

If we follow through with the spiritual, present-day interpretation, we have to keep something in mind: The Lord, Jesus will not return at just any time. The son of destruction must come and be revealed first.

So, if we continue on the path of interpreting these seals spiritually and for today, then we cannot interpret this sixth seal as the coming of Jesus – but, we can interpret this as the coming of the false christ.

The Literal Interpretation: The Coming of Jesus Christ

The Lord, Jesus is patient and merciful, but His patience will come to an end. Why would there be a limit to the patience of Jesus? Jesus is just, and in His mercy towards those who are faithful, He will return and overthrow all who oppress and murder the children of God. This includes many who call themselves Christian outwardly, but do not truly submit to Jesus.

By the time Jesus returns, there will be a clear distinction between those who are sincere and faithful to Jesus and those who are not. The time in which Jesus says, “rest yet a little season” will be over, and now it is time for the Lord to establish His reign. In so doing, all the high and proud things of this earth are made low. We see this if we take the sixth seal literally.

How is the distinction between the faithful and unbeliever set? This distinction is made when the false Christ appears. When he appears, there will only be two options: Follow the true Jesus and face execution or follow the false christ under false promises of protection and life.

Learning from our History as God’s People

We can gain insight from the history of God’s people. There are patterns that we see in the old testament and they are seen again in in the new testament, particularly in Revelation.

There is a tendency for God’s people to follow the “kings” of the earth instead of God. Christians are not totally immune to this tendency. That’s the basis of the lesson we can learn from the horsemen, for example. When the hearts of Christians are more aligned with these “kings” instead of Jesus, what will happen?

If we are truly the children of God, we will suffer chastisement. As the Jews of the old covenant, God will send oppression, lead us into captivity, and call us back to Him.

This pattern continues. We see the ultimate example and fulfillment of this in the last days. Christians are not faithful to Jesus. Oppression comes by way of the false christ. We are threatened with destruction. Those who are not sincere will be consumed by the deception of antichrist. Those who are faithful are kept from this temptation, though they might have to give their life up.

Can we see shadows of this today? We certainly can. We can see the assault on Christianity in the West. We can see the pressure to join in with society and deny the teachings of Jesus. Why is this happening? Should we fault the world for doing what the world does, or do we have a part to play in this? Maybe we should be looking to what we have done wrong, how we have gone astray in our looking to “kings” and how we might return to the Lord so that we are among the faithful who are spared from the deception of the false christ. We will consider these ideas in greater detail within upcoming articles in this series.

The Spiritual Interpretation: The Coming of the False Christ

Of course, the antichrist (son of destruction) is not revealed yet—though as Paul the apostle wrote—there are many antichrists. The work of present-day “kings” provide some insight into what we can expect when that final deception, that son of destruction, is revealed.

Let’s see if we can take a look at the sixth seal and think about antichrists or “kings” today. What patterns are we repeating from our ancestors? How are we leading up to the coming of the antichrist?

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;

What happens when our light goes out and a Christian loses his way? In Genesis, God made a greater light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the night. Of course, for the Christian, Jesus is our Light. He is as the sun, bright, powerful, and life-giving. As Christians, we are like the moon. Until Jesus returns, the world is in darkness. We are supposed to light the way through our behavior and teaching of the gospel.

What happens when the idea of Jesus is so corrupted that it is not light, but darkness? What happens when Christians are so given over to “kings” that they become murderous instead of light and life bringing? What happens when our sun is darkened and our moon turned to blood?

This is the path we are headed down as a whole, though Jesus will retain His faithful remnant as He always has.

 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.

When I read this, my mind goes to future events. I have a hard time thinking of a present-day application. This passage hearkens to other passages in Revelation like the 5th trumpet events and the image of the dragon casting a third part of the stars of heaven to the earth in Revelation 12. I believe these events to be the coming of the antichrist and his army and false prophets.

I suppose we could stretch this into an interpretation for today. Stars are seen as a symbol for angels or messengers in Revelation 1-3. These stars could be any messenger (pastor, prophet, teacher, and the like) of Satan that presently deceives people.

In any case, when the sun is darkened and the moon is turned to blood we are prone to deception from false ministers of Satan. This applies now and in the last days. One naturally follows the other.

 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

 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;

 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:

 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:12-17)

When Christians are blind and under the rule of antichrist figures, can we find the kingdom of heaven? No. It is departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. What about when the false christ appears? Will the heavens appear to open as he makes his grand entrance?

When the antichrist and his army appear there will be a great show made of it that will cause many to fear. The mountains (a symbol for kingdoms) and their kings, great men, rich men, and all men, will hide themselves, thinking that some God or Jesus Himself returned.

Keep in mind, we are looking at this as the natural result of our present-day interpretation of these seals. Jesus will fulfill this ultimately. When He returns, all of the oppressive “kings” and earthly authority of the false christ will be thrown down.

However, as mentioned earlier, the false christ must come first. He is that final fulfillment of the enemies of God as foreshadowed by old testament events and prophecies concerning the Assyrians and Babylonians. In-fact, in Revelation, we see the church described as the great whore of mystery Babylon.

As with the Assyrians and the Babylonians, the rule of this false christ has a purpose. The purpose is to chastise the people of God and to eradicate many who are not sincerely following Jesus. Those who are Christian in name only but do not take the teachings of Jesus to heart are as the foolish virgins with no oil in their lamp and those who are taken by surprise when the thief comes.

This will happen as Jesus taught in His parables. The sheep are separated from the goats, the wheat from the tares, and so on. Many professing Christians will be caught up in the false Christ deception because they lived their lives as one who is already blinded by the world and its “kings.”

Meanwhile, Jesus will do as God has always done. He will send prophets (the two witnesses aka the two candlesticks or churches in Revelation 2-3 not removed) to help us through this time. We will work together collectively and move towards perfection spiritually during this time. Many will return to the Lord also.

Ultimately, it is the “seal” of God that keeps us. We will not be deceived. We will hold on to the true testimony of Jesus Christ, even giving our lives for it if required.

Jesus will return at the seventh trumpet and we see that final application of the sixth seal. Once the people of God are sufficiently divided from the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon as they “come out of her my people,” Jesus will return and avenge the blood of His faithful remnant.

In Conclusion

Christians are supposed to follow Jesus, not the things of this world. Christians are also supposed to be diligent in their judgment of teachers, prophets, and pastors that come to us in the name of Jesus. There are many ministers of Satan, “kings” and “horsemen” out there. Western Christianity as a majority follows them in some capacity.

However, Jesus is merciful to those who belong to Him. If our hearts are sincere and want to follow Him, He will show us how and many misunderstandings we have are overlooked.

If we are not sincere but instead use Christianity self-servingly, then we will continue under the rule of earthly kings and false christs. The Jesus we follow is darkness and we ourselves are as blood.

As chastisement and ultimate deliverance from the kings of this earth and false christs, God sends deception. The blind continue in darkness and murder, and the faithful are given knowledge and strength that turns us towards the Lord, Jesus more fully.

We see shadows of this now. Being a Christian without giving into the world leads to problems socially and economically. Our Christian culture is being threatened. However, we need to understand something important. This is because we have fallen short. Instead of blaming the world for its evil, we need to search Christianity as a whole—and most importantly—search ourselves to see what has gone wrong. Many of us have, and many are taking the faith more seriously than ever.

If we don’t return to the Lord (and for the vast majority, we won’t), then the chastisement will continue in the form of the false christ.

Do you see the pattern? Why do we keep doing what our ancestors have done?

It is human nature, and the scriptures will be fulfilled. Jesus said these things would happen, and what we have today is nothing new. Christianity has faced corruption time and time again throughout our entire history. Yet, as individuals, we can turn to the Lord, Jesus more fully. We can escape the rule of “kings.”

If going back and forth between differing interpretations of this seal is confusing, please leave a comment or send an email. In the next article, we are going to look at some passages from Revelation 7 and 8 concerning the seventh seal and the seal of God that is given to the faithful before the trumpets begin to sound.

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Posted in Bible Studies, Christian Support, Last Days / Prophesy

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These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things I hate, saith the Lord.  — Zechariah 8:16-17