Revelation 6

Context: What is going on in the text?
Who was writing the book? Where is John? What is he doing there? What is the story about? What is the goal of the book?

This is reminiscent of Habakkuk’s description of the coming destruction of unfaithful Israel by the Chaldeans which God is going to bring about (Hab. 3:3-12).

Vss. 1-2
v. 1—What is John watching?
Who was the lamb?
What was he opening?
What is a seal?
What happened when the Lamb opened the seal?
Who was speaking?
What was his voice like?
What did he say?
Who did he say it to? 1 Cor. 16:22

v. 2—What did John do in response to the Angel’s command?
Why if the angel said come, did John look? The angel was talking to the horse and rider.
What did John see?
What kind of horse was it?
What was on the horse? Zech. 1:8; 6:1-7
What was riding on the horse?
What did he have?
What is the significance of the bow and crown? Rev. 14:14; 19:11-13
What was he doing on the horse?
What does it mean that came out conquering and to conquer? Revelation 3:21; 5:5; 19:11; Psalm 45:1-5
Who is this rider?

Vss. 3-4
v. 3—What did he do next?
Who was he?
Which living creature spoke next?
What did the living creature say when the second seal was opened?

v. 4—What came out next?
Came out of what?
What color was this horse?
What did its rider do?
What does it mean to take peace from the earth? God removes his hand of peace.
What happened when peace came from the earth?
What was this rider given?
What was he given the sword to do? The fiery red horse is the symbol of war and bloodshed. Those who refuse to submit to the sword of the Spirit are forced to submit to the sword of warfare. God often warned that if His people rebelled against His rule, He would give them over to war (Leviticus 26:25,33; Isaiah 1:19-20). Apart from God’s active restraint upon the sinful natures of men, there would be constant warfare. When God removes the restraints on man’s degeneracy war is inevitable.

Vss. 5-6
v. 5—What happened when the third seal was opened?
Which living creature spoke now?
What did he say?
What did John do?
What came out of that seal?
What color was the horse? the color of mourning and sorrow
What did that rider have in his hands?
What did what he had in his hands signify? Ez. 4:10 scales to weigh out their food when trading, buying and selling.
What explanation did John hear with regards to this rider?
Whose voice was it that spoke?
What is in the midst of the four creatures? The throne.
What did he say?
What does it mean? signifies economic hardships and scarcity which would befall the enemies of God (Ezekiel 4:16-17). God had promised this would be the case if the people rebelled (Leviticus 26:23-26). Grain will sell at 10 times its normal price and consume an entire day’s wages to pay for it. Scarcity is among the chastisements God sends (Deuteronomy 28:17-18,23-24,48).
How can you harm oil and wine? Oil and wine are used in celebration and healing Psa. 104:15; James 5:14-15; 1 Cor. 11:25.

Vss. 7-8
v. 7—What happened when the fourth seal was broken?
Which creature spoke this time?
What did he say?

v. 8—What did John see after the fourth seal was broken?
What color was this horse? Rev. 8:7; 9:4; Mk. 6:39 Green is the color of a corpse
What was the rider’s name?
Why don’t we know what the other riders’ names were?
What followed this rider?
What is Hades?
What does it mean that Hades followed him?
Where did they come from? Rev. 1:18
What were they given?
How were they able to kill?
How were they to kill? Lev. 26: Deut. 28; Ez. 14:21; Ez. 5:17
How might this come about?

Psalm 46:8-11—calamity and disaster also serve to glorify God; Psalm 90:3-12—unbelievers have nothing to rejoice in; Matthew 12:20, 21—Christians have nothing to despair of.

Vss. 9-11
v. 9—What happened after the fifth seal was opened?
Did an angel say anything?
Where did John look to see his next sight?
What was under the altar?
Why under there? They have been “slain.” The imagery here is taken from the O.T. sacrificial system. There were two altars in the temple and tabernacle: Inside the holy place there was the “golden altar” or the “altar of incense” which represented the prayers of God’s people ascending up to God. In the outer court of the temple and the tabernacle, there was the altar of burnt offering. When sacrifices were made, the blood of the animal was sprinkled or poured around the base of the altar (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 1:5; 4:7).
Who were these people?
How had they died?
Was that a good way to die? The Christian is one who willingly gives up his life in the service of Christ (2 Timothy 4:6-7; Philippians 2:17). Mt. 10:38; 16:24; Lu. 9:23—Take up cross and follow Christ 1 Pet. 4:12-17
How could someone be slain for the word of God?
What witness had they borne? Notice translations.

v. 10—What were these folks doing?
How loudly were they crying out?
What were they saying? How long– Zechariah 1:12;
What are they asking God to do? This may be an allusion of the blood of the innocent “crying out” from the ground for vindication (Genesis 4:10; Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 21:9; Hebrews 12:24). Blood has a voice and cries out for vengeance.
What titles are they using of God? Sovereign Lord here is not the normal word used for God it is despotes the normal word for an owner who owns slaves. Acts 4:24; 29-30
What do they mean? God vindicates is people by destroying his enemies
Who were “those who dwell on the earth”? Where have we seen this title before? Rev. 3:10
Who dwell on the earth? 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14, 14:6; 17:2, 8
Idolatrous Israel to be driven from the land Jer. 1:14; 10:18; Ezek. 7:7; 36:17; Hos. 4:1, 3; Joel 1:2, 14; 2:1; Zeph. 1:18
Idolatrous nations being driven out of the land Num. 32:17; 33:52, 55; Josh. 7:9; 9:24; Judg. 1:32; 2 Sam. 5:6; 1 Chron. 11:4; 22:18; Neh. 9:24
Israel has joined the nations of pagans and will be driven from the land in the same way those pagan nations were way back when. Remember that God told Abraham that the pagans’ sin hadn’t reached its point of no return (Gen. 15:16), but when it did they would be driven from the land. Israel went over the Jordan and began driving those nations out. Now God is chasing 1st century Israel out for the same reasons.
What does it mean to avenge blood?
Whose blood were they asking him to avenge?
Who were they asking God to kill? Psalm 79:5-6,9-10; 9:8-10,16,19-20
What do you think about men asking God to kill other men? Deut. 32:43; Ps. 47:3, 8-9; Lk. 18:7-8
What about judging men? Matthew 23:34-38; Acts 7:51-52; Luke 21:22; John 15:18-25
If the Bible models it, what should your attitude be?
Was what they prayed in or out of the Will of God? Mat. 23:34-38; Acts 7:51-52; Lu. 21:22; Jn. 15:18-25
What was their desire in this prayer? For personal revenge? God’s glory? Psa. 79:5-10; 9:8-20

v. 11—What were they given?
Why were they given these robes?
Where have we seen this white robe thing before?
What were they told to do?
For how long?
What does complete or fulfilled mean? The Jews had not yet filled up their cup of wrath Matt. 23:32; 1 Thess. 2:14-16.

Vss. 12-17
v.12-14—What happened when he opened the sixth seal?
Where in the Bible is this imagery used?
Earthquake—Ez. 38:19; Joel 3:16; Hag. 2:6-7; Heb. 12:26-29
Sun became black—Ecc. 12:1-2
Moon becomes like blood—Joel 2:31
Stars fell from the sky—Dan. 8:10; Eze. 32:7
Like a Fig tree—
Sky rolled up—Is. 13:10; 14:12; 34:4
Mountain and Island will be moved—Jeremiah 4:20-24; Isaiah 49:1; Daniel 2:35
What did it mean there? de-creation
What does it mean here? Mt 24:29-31
How can we say that?
Judgment prophesied against a rebellious nation is couched in the terms of de-creation. Just as the salvation of the Lord is described in terms of creation (2 Cor. 5:17) so the covenant judgments of God are described in terms of the destruction of all things (Joel 2:10,28-32; Acts 2:16-21)
1. The destruction of Israel stands as a warning to all nations (Prov. 14:34).
2. What is true of nations is also true of individuals. If you reject the Savior, you too shall perish.

v. 15—What happened when the sixth seal was broken?
Where did all the leaders go?
Where did all the normal people go? Isaiah 13:7-8
Where did all the slaves go? Seven classes of men are mentioned. The whole land is being excommunicated. Everyone who opposes the kingdom of Christ, will be utterly confounded when His day and the judgment arrives (Isa. 2:10-21). As they had forced God’s people to hide in caves from their wrath (Heb. 11:38), so now God causes them to hide in caves from His wrath (Wilkins).
What hills and caves and mountains did they hide themselves in?

v. 16—What were they saying to the rocks as they hid in them?
Why did they want the mountains to fall on them?
What didn’t they want to see?
What did they not want to experience?
What other way could they have avoided this fate?

v. 17—What did they think was happening?
What do they mean by the great day of his wrath? Isaiah 13:9-13; 34:2-4; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Amos 8:7-9; Ezekiel 30:3-4; Joel 2:1-2; Zephaniah 1:12-15; Matthew 24:21
Where would they have heard about this day?
Who can stand? Luke 21:34-36; Isaiah 54:10; 63:4

The four horsemen should not be taken individually; rather as a group. They are God’s agents for controlling the kingdoms of the earth. They raise up nations and they bring down nations. They represent the same four sorrows that Jesus mentions in Mt. 24:6-7; Lk. 21:10-11, 20. The point is to impress on the reader how terrible and awful the day of the Lord is and how important God’s people are to God (Mt. 23:35-37; 24:21). They are like the events in Joel 1:4; Zech. 1:8, 18; 6:1-8; and Mt. 23:33, 36.

Notice the similarity between the events in this chapter as those in Matthew 24:
International strife (vv. 3-4; Matthew 24:7).
Famine and pestilence (vv. 5-8; Matthew 24:7).
Persecution (vv. 9-11; Matthew 24:9-14).
Earthquakes and de-creation (vv. 12-17; Matthew 24:7,15-31).
This is reminiscent of Habakkuk’s description of the coming destruction of unfaithful Israel by the Chaldeans which God is going to bring about (Hab. 3:3-12).


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