One insight:

  1. We pickup the vision that began in Revelation 5:1 here in chapter 6. The Lamb of God, who is worthy to open the seals begins. Zechariah also had visions that parallel these (Zechariah 1:8-17; 6:1-8), but these clearly point to a future time. We can spend a lot of time discussing the color of horses and their symbolism: white horse (Christ), red horse (Anti-Christ), black horse (famine), pale horse (the dead), but today I read these as words that try to describe the indescribable. Four horsemen cover the entire world, even the entire universe, all in God’s hands and all for God’s purpose. These events mark the end of time, a significant concept all by itself. What is time when there was no sunrise or sunset? Time is an invention for man, not a constraint for God. This is a whole rabbit trail that has fascinated me for many years…we’ll skip that this morning!

    Chapter 7 brings us to the number of those sealed, the elect servants of God, protected from the wrath of the four angels hold back the four winds (all directions). Ah, but the great multitude, too many to count: “there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). What a site for John to witness, a proclamation that Christianity reached the ends of the earth, far beyond the elect few Jews (though they were not forgotten). “These in white robes…these are they who have come out of the great tribulation” (7:13,14) and thus the theologies of pre-Tribulation, mid-Tribulation and post-Tribulation is born. Which are you?

    Pre-tribulation: The rapture happens before the tribulation.
    Mid-tribulation: The tribulation period of 7 years includes 3-1/2 years with the church on earth before they are raptured and 3-1/2 years of judgments
    Post-tribulation: Rapture happens after the great tribulation is over. Christians will be divinely protected like the Hebrews escaping from Egypt under Moses, during the tribulation.

    There is much more to read in Revelation, so I suppose it’s best to leave the discussion here this morning. Through it all, Lord, may we recognize you are the divine creator and you alone hold all the answers. Help us to comprehend what we need to know today to help as many as possible come to faith in Christ. Beyond that, our study is in vain.

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