Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 6

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-17

  1. Intro:
    1. Jim Davis – a song he wrote called Behold the Lamb. (re: 4&5)
    2. Last Week: Out of the heavenlies(ch.4&5) we now spiral back down now to rebel planet earth.
    3. This Week: The 7 yr. Tribulation begins!
      1. Joel 2:11 “For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?”
      2. Nahum 1:6 “Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.”
      3. Mal.3:2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap.”
      4. Read Zeph. 1:14-18 “because they have sinned”
        1. God once sent a Peace Treaty to earth to be signed my man!
          1. Man tore it up, & sent it back.
          2. That Peace Treaty was the Prince of Peace/Treaties!
  2. 7 SEALS! (1-17)
    1. Show – Overhead of the Interrelationships of the Seals, Trumpets, Bowls. [N.T. Survey]
    2. 1ST SEAL – WHITE HORSE! (1,2)
    3. Why horses? – They represent military power in Biblical times.
      1. Note: the 4 horses in Zech.6.
    4. Who is this white horse? - Some say Christ, others say Anti-Christ!
      1. The only thing similar is the color of the horse!
      2. This riders crown was - στέφανοσ /stephanos or a “victor's wreath”
      3. 2.4.3. Jesus’ in 19:12 has many crowns - διάδημα diadem or “kingly crown”.
      4. Jesus comes at the tail end of Judgment (Rev 19) {i.e. not the beg.}
      5. So, Antichrist arrives on the world stage with the markings of counterfeit!
    5. I believe this is the world ruler coming on the scene, & he begins his conquest of the nations by “peacefully taking control”.
      1. Alexander The Great often conquered whole cities w/out a drop of bloodshed!
      2. He seems to have a bow with no ammo/arrows.
    6. How will he be received? Jn.5:43 “I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.”
    7. Cold War - In that there is still peace till the start of #2!
      1. 1 Thes. 5:2,3 “you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
    8. Satan seems to declare peace before he declares war...so beware of his offers! (Warren Wiersbe pg.851)
    9. 2ND SEAL – RED HORSE! (3,4)
    10. Remember it’s wise when interpreting, to move from the clearer statements to the less clear!
      1. We know that peace is removed from the earth, & people start warring against each other.
    11. A Sword “given” to him, shows.....God is in control!
    12. Why Red Horse? – maybe suggests bloodshed?
    13. Wars normally bring Famine!
    14. 3RD SEAL – BLACK HORSE! (5,6)
    15. “Scales/balances” – used for weighing out the cost of food.
      1. Speaks of rationing of food.
    16. Normally a days wage (Denarius) would buy 10 qrts of wheat, 30 of barley.
      1. During this famine you’d only get 1 qt. of wheat, 3 qt. of barley.
      2. Or, 1/10 the normal supply of food!
      3. So, radical inflation!
    17. “Do not hurt the Oil & Wine” - is an ironic twist in this terrible situation.
      1. The rich will continue to enjoy their luxurious lifestyle.
      2. Luxury food items will not be in short demand...{Russia/Caviar}
      3. This will only taunt the people in there poverty stricken state.
    18. Starvation Stats:
      1. More than 1/2 of the world goes to bed hungry.
      2. Malnutrition stalks the globe. It claims 10,000 lives every day.
      3. In the U.S. we throw into our garbage cans every day enough food to feed a family of 6 in India.
      4. The average American dog has a higher protein diet than most peoples of the world.
      5. 1.5 million people are forever hungry...on what Ghandi called “the eternal compulsory fast”.
      6. While we sit down to dinner, 400 people will starve to death.
      7. As population increases, we’ll never be able to catch up to the hunger in the world.
      8. (i.e.) Each yr. the world consumes about 1.2 billion metric tons of grain alone (enough to build a highway...18 yards wide & 6’ deep.....around the world at the equator!”) (Phillips pg. 102)
    19. Famines normally bring Death!
    20. 4TH SEAL – PALE HORSE! (7,8)
    21. “Pale” - Yellowish/green!
      1. LKGNT - “It refers to the color of a corpse, or the blanched appearance of a person struck w/terror!”
    22. This is the only rider named...“Death”.
    23. Some think each of the 4 horsemen, are not persons but personifications!
      1. Here is death personified.
    24. Death claims the physical part of the person!
    25. Hades follows & claims the immaterial part of the person!
      1. Here is more evidence death doesn’t end all! {after death is…Hades}
      2. After Hades is…the Lake-o-Fire!
        1. That 3rd step will be in Rev.20:14 where the Lake-o-Fire claims that soul for eternity!
    26. 1/4th of earth is wiped out! {in 9:18 an additional 1/3rd are killed}
    27. There are 4 means of extermination:
      1. [1] Sword (war)
      2. [2] Hunger (Famine, that normally follows war)
      3. [3] Death (perhaps by plagues /diseases that accompany wars also)
      4. [4] Wild Beasts (apparently unrestrained)
        1. In our area in the last 2 weeks I saw a possum, a raccoon, & a coyote. (what if they had rabies?)
        2. The most destructive is not the lion, tiger, or bear, but the Rat!
        3. The Rat is “clever, adaptable & destructive!”
    28. Rat Stats!
      1. If 95% of a Rat population is exterminated in a given area...it will replace itself in 1 yr.!
      2. Rats have killed more people than all the wars of history....& it makes it home wherever man is found!
      3. The carry as many as 35 diseases. Their fleas carry Bubonic plague (which killed 1/3rd of the population in Europe in the 14th cent.)
      4. Their fleas also carry Typhus which in 4 centuries has killed 200 million people.
      5. Rats are also linked w/Famine...They are a threat to food supplies & contaminate it.
    29. Today – Who ever thought we’d be attacked by “chickens”? Yep, Bird Flu(Avian Influenza). [And by Mosquitoes w/the West Nile]
    30. 5TH SEAL – CRY OF THE MARTYRS! (9-11)
    31. Now we shift to heaven for a glimpse of what is going on up there.
    32. Who were these martyrs? Probably martyrs from during the 1st 4 plagues.
    33. Why were they martyred? “for the word of God & their testimony”
      1. Lit. “For the witness which they were having.”
    34. Why under the altar? The blood was always poured out at the foot of the altar.
      1. Lev.4:7 “And the priest...shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.”
    35. The martyrs are aware of what is transpiring on earth! (They are conscious, at rest, & aware)
    36. God’s answer...Wait! - Still more to be martyred!
      1. Here we glimpse at the long standing problem w/evil & why it is allowed to reign.
      2. We know it is for His perfect plan & purposes, which are best from His vantage point, of His total plan - though different from our limited viewpoint!
      3. This is difficult from the Martyrs standpoint, “why would God let these murderers live?” - TRUST HIM! {Let Him, do His will, in His time!}
      4. Death for Jesus sake is not a waste - but is sacrifice & worship!
    37. Re: Martyrdom, “Love makes the whole difference between an execution & a martyrdom.” (Evelyn Underhill)
    39. Great earthquake - {3 more to come}
      1. We saw how devastating the one was off the coast that killed so many in Asia. (Tsunami)
    40. Sun as Black sackcloth! - {Note: “as” & “like”}
    41. Moon like blood!
    42. Stars falling/meteorite shower –
      1. A meteor shower on the earth w/great devastation.
    43. Sky Rolled Up/Heavens opened!
      1. Is this Heaven opening up for a brief moment? & they see the throne? cuz 16
    44. Every Mountain & Island moved! –
      1. Note: no “Like or as”.
    45. What is more dreadful than death? – The terror of the Lord.
      1. It wasn’t the physical devastation, but a glimpse of God, that makes them cry, hide me from Him on the throne & from the Lambs wrath!
      2. The wrath of the Lamb - Ever see a Lamb in a rage?
        1. You’ve heard his other name? Lambo!
      3. The result of all this mess....is to strike the terror upon the hearts of the people on earth!
        1. Did it help? See 9:20,21
    46. These 6 seals are only the beginning...“if a woman had 3 hours of hard labor....this is only the 1st of the 3 hours!”
    47. 7TH SEAL – SILENCE! (8:1)
    48. Silence!
      1. Masada - anticipation of the Romans finally reaching the top and...silence!
      2. Silence is something Heaven is normally...NOT!
      3. Silence is golden? No...Silence is eerie!
      4. Heaven is where Praise, Joy, & Singing are given up day & night forever & ever!...That’s why this is so strange!
      5. Imagine the 4 living creatures who rest not day & night saying, Holy,Holy,Holy,etc. all of a sudden find a rest in their sheet music?
      6. The silence is the lull before the storm!
      7. Hab.2:20 “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
      8. Zeph.2:20 “Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.”
    49. End:
      1. Read - Joel 2:11,12.
      2. The Tribulation is to cleanse the creation for its Creator & to draw to Him as many as will come. [Purification precedes Worship!]
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Revelation 6". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/revelation-6.html. 2017.
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