Revelation 6 offers us an outline for the Tribulation—six seals are opened.
The first seal reveals a white horse. The rider has a crown and a bow and rides out to conquer. I believe this is the start of the end-times revival that will occur during the Tribulation, possibly until a few years later when the mark and lethal persecution of the saints will cause many to fall away.
I believe the rider on the white horse is Jesus for several reasons. Later in Revelation we read about Jesus on a white horse. When I noticed the rider carries a bow without mention of arrows, I looked up the Greek used there. It’s a word that is only used in this one place. The root of the word means “to produce (as from a seed), to bring forth”. I wonder if this isn’t someone out to kill, but to bring life. This isn’t war since peace hasn’t yet been taken from the earth. That happens, as we’ll see in a moment, when the second seal is opened. If this isn’t war, then this conqueror is conquering in a different way.
When Jesus comes in His people, it will mean major revival. He wants the church restored. It’s out of the buildings and into homes and into the streets. His people won’t be going to church but being the church. Major miracles will be the norm. And the leaders of this revival will be under great persecution from the religious establishment, just like Jesus and the apostles found their greatest enemies at first to be the best of the best religious folk.
Next, the second seal is opened. A red horse comes out. He has a sword and is given the task of taking peace from the earth. Peace is taken from “the earth.” That’s a big place. Everyone will be touched. This could be war, but it could be violence, people turning on each other. Our trust must be in the Lord for our protection.
The third seal is opened and a black horse is revealed. The rider has scales in his hands and is calling out how expensive grains are—basically, you’ll work all day for a loaf of bread. This will be a major economic depression.
The rider also calls out that the wine and oil will not be touched. Does this mean that those filled with the Spirit (the oil and wine—Spirit and the blood) will not be touched?
The Lord has taught our family to trust Him to provide our needs, for everything. We have no regular salary. We live off the Lord. (When I wrote this in 2009, we had no job, no income, and had stopped receiving missionary support. God has continued to ask us to let Him provide for us and now, in 2020, while we have income, it’s not from a regular job. Our income is provided by donations from a homeschool curriculum that we give access to for free.)
He figures out a way to provide us what we need each month. God is creative! We’ve learned to live without worrying when the money in the house dwindles down to nothing. We know we will never lack a thing. (Here are some of our miracle stories.)
We are a large family and our children don’t really experience a difference between when we have and when we don’t. We live simply when we have, and when we don’t have, we always have all we need. He does provide.
I know that if the money slips away, it will be okay in our family. I know we will have all we need and probably be able to live just as we do now since the Lord’s already taught us to live simply. His promises are true.
The fourth seal is opened to reveal a pale horse. The rider’s name is Death, and he has the power over a quarter of the earth to kill with “the sword”, famine, plague and wild beasts. Wild beasts? I don’t know. The others are pretty self-explanatory. This seems like it could be a quarter of the land, as in a geographical location.
Those four seals might all be opened basically at the same time or in quick succession. It doesn’t mean one happens and finishes and then the next starts. They can all be happening at the same time.
Now’s the time to memorize Psalm 91. The believer has nothing to fear. The Psalm says:
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge-10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
Trust Him. Have faith and make Him your “dwelling” so that you will be safe from plague, from war, from famine. Don’t fear. Trust and He will keep you safe. John 15 is a description of making the Lord your “dwelling.” It talks about Jesus being the vine and we being the branches. It says that if we want to remain in Him, we need to obey His commands. Then we will have His life in us. We need to put to death our flesh and let His life live through us. His life can’t be destroyed by disasters, natural or man-made. Our goal isn’t to not experience anything bad happening to us, but to live out the life of Christ in us.
Now, the fifth seal. This is the last three and a half years of The Tribulation. There will be many martyrs. Many, many martyrs. Not every Christian will be killed. But Christians, in general, don’t have a promise that we will not be martyred.
How can we be prepared to be martyred? Know Him, know the Truth. He will do the rest. His peace which surpasses understanding will come upon you if you have made up your mind to not be moved by what is happening to you. He will never leave nor forsake you. That phrase, not be moved, or not be shaken, those are what abiding is. Plant your feet on the Rock and refuse to budge.
We will be singled out for martyrdom because of our refusal to take the mark. Revelation 14:11 says that those who take the mark of the beast will be tormented forever and ever. You cannot be saved and have the mark of the beast. The Bible is untrue if you are able to be saved and have the mark of the beast. Decide now you will never take it.
You don’t need to worry about taking it by accident or by force. He will make it clear to us what the mark is. We are promised that no one can snatch us out of God’s hands, no one can take away our salvation, which is why I believe it will be impossible for a true believer to be forced to take the mark–because the mark means damnation. The true mark every believer has is the seal of the Holy Spirit. The true mark of the beast is one of worshiping the beast. Do you worship God or the world? Who do you serve? Who do you trust? Decide these things today and mark yourself as set apart for God. That’s how you live in safety.
Finally, the sixth seal is opened. There is a great earthquake. The people of the earth show their fear of God’s wrath. This is the Day of the Lord. Compare Revelation 6:12-14 to the description of the rapture in Matthew 24. The believers will be raptured to begin their wedding feast and the unbelievers will suffer the wrath of God, though I do believe there will be a sealing of a remnant after this point, those who have been looking for Messiah to come and living righteously and are finally seeing Messiah in Jesus when He appears in the clouds. I believe this event happens on the Feast of Trumpets (the feast where no one knows what hour or day it begins) when trumpets are announcing the new king as they did in the Old Testament. And it will wake up those who had been seeking Messiah, seeking God for salvation, but missing Jesus. They will repent as is Jewish tradition for this holiday and the ten days that follow. And I believe the sealing of this remnant will happen on Yom Kippur, the date when fates are sealed.
Now is the time to prepare. Hide God’s word in your heart, believe it and act on it. Be prepared to leave the religious system you’ve been taught and trained in and to truly walk in the footsteps of Jesus according to His Word alone.
1I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.
5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages,[c] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.
12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
 2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
 Psalm 112:6-8 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
 John 15:10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
 Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
 Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.
 John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
 Obadiah 1:15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”
 Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
 Matthew 25:1-15 This is the parable of the ten virgins. Please realize that the bridegroom only marries one bride. These ten virgins aren’t the bride. The bride is already at the wedding feast. I believe the bride is the raptured church.