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Notes on the Book of Revelation

Chapter 6

The Lamb Opens the Six Seals


Remember that the churches, seals and trumpets cover the same time periods, the same story but from different angles or a different perspective. For instance, the first church, the first seal and the first trumpet all occur historically during the apostolic age.1 


The seals repeat and enlarge on what was described in the seven churches.


Churches = Spiritual history of the church.


Seals = Political history of the church.


Trumpets = Military history of the church. 


In the seven churches Jesus stands as Merciful to His churches, saying repent; in the seven seals He stands as Redeemer (everything points to what Christ is doing for His bride).


Four horses = Time periods of the Christian church (first four seals of the seven).


Three things we need to look for consistently through the seals:

1. God’s people. Satan wants to sit over the congregation on the sides of the north. The table of shewbread is on the north side of the tabernacle. 

2. Word of God. The shewbread represents the word of God (two stacks of 6 representing the 66 books of the bible), Leviticus 24:6. Bread also represents the word of life. So, the seals will reveal some sort of controversy over the word of God.

3. Sabbath. Leviticus 24:7-8, Table of shewbread brings our attention to the Sabbath.


Hebrew Poetry (Chiastic Writing):

The portions in the first half of the book of Revelation correspond to a portion in the second half of Revelation. The 7 seals (Revelation 4:1 to 8:1) parallels the events for the Millennium (Revelation 19:11 to 21:8). (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 2:60-61)


7 Seals                                                                                                     Millennium

Heaven opened, 4:1.                                                                             Heaven opened, 19:11.


Rider on white horse followed                                                          Rider on white horse followed 

by riders on colored horses, 6:2-8.                                                   by riders on white horses, 19:11-16.

Souls of martyrs, under alter, ask for judgment, 6:9, 10.              Souls of martyrs, resurrected, are enthroned as

                                                                                                                judges, 20:4-6.

White robes, 6:11, 7:9-14.                                                                     White robes, 19:14.


Kings, generals, etc., ask to be killed, 6:15-16.                                Kings, captains, etc., are killed, 19:17-21.



This scroll “is God’s comprehensive record of the conflict between good and evil, and it reveals how the entire human race played a part in that conflict (Revelation 20:12).” (Mark Finley, Understanding Daniel and Revelation, page 219)


“Jesus is opening the seals of history, the seals of the lives of every person who has ever lived on earth, the seals that reveal how this cosmic drama — this intergalactic battle that began in heaven — played out on earth, and Christ’s complete victory over the forces of evil.” (Mark Finley, Understanding Daniel and Revelation, page 219)


The seven seals secure the scroll identified in chapter 5. 

Sanctuary Symmetry of book of Revelation. 

  1. Seven churches = Jesus walking among the candlesticks (Holy Place).

  2. Seven seals = Jesus moves to the table of shewbread (Holy Place).

  3. Seven trumpets = Jesus ministers at the altar of incense (Holy Place).

  4. Revelation 11:19 = Jesus moves into the Most Holy Place. 

  5. Revelation 15:5-8 = Jesus closes His sanctuary ministration.

  6. Revelation 16-19 = Then the plagues fall. 

  7. Revelation 20 = Scapegoat ceremony and destruction of the wicked.

  8. Revelation 21-22 = New heavens and new earth.


First Seal (White Horse).

The first seal (first horse) aligns with the first church in Ephesus during the apostolic age (31-100 AD).


Ephesus is referred to as the loveless church because they forgot their first love. But initially they were “on fire” for the Lord and the gospel spread quickly because of their zeal and earnestness. In this first seal it points to the fact that the gospel spread quickly during the time of the apostles which aligns with the first church’s description. 


Colossians 1:23, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;”


Acts 5:14, “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)”


Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”


Acts 6:7, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”


Even the household of Caesar, Philippians 4:22, “All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.”


Persecution spread the gospel. 

Acts 8:1, 4, “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles……Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”


“The devil was furious. He had to do something about the rapid spread of Christianity, so he unleashed all his fury on the growing church.” (Mark Finley, Understanding Daniel and Revelation, page 221)


End time application: The same thing will happen in the end times. When the latter rain drops and we go forward with boldness to proclaim the three angel’s messages, the devil will be furious and persecution will increase. We need to remain loyal to God and have faith in Jesus, in His Word, the spirit of prophecy and His grace. 


“The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony.” (Ellen White, Selected Messages 1:48 (1890). LDE 177.5)


“It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of God's people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church 4:211. LDE 178.2)


  • Revelation 6:1, And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.


6V1: The Lamb = Jesus Christ. 


Revelation 15:3 says, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”


1 Peter 1:19 says, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…”


John 1:29 says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” and verse 36 says something similar, “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” 


So the Lamb represents what Jesus did on the cross as our sacrifice.


Isaiah 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”


1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”


Hebrews 7:25-27, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”


Hebrews 9:28, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”


Hebrews 10:10, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”


The mysteries of the book of Revelation and especially the seals are revealed by the cross and what happened on the cross. We understand the seals by understanding the story of the cross.2 


6V1: Four beasts = Similar to the beasts in Revelation 4:7, the four faces of animals are symbols of the work that they do. Isaiah 6; Ox = Do a lot of the work (in the old days every man had an ox like we have a car, the ox did a lot of the work); Fly like eagles = Flying angels; Face of a man = Angels come in the form of a man to minister to mankind; Lion = Authority from heaven.3



  • Revelation 6:2, And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.


6V2: White horse = Church conquering with the gospel of Christ. The white horse represents the early apostolic church which spread quickly and changed the world. This description of the early church parallels the apostolic church and their zeal and aligns with the first church (Ephesus). Habakkuk uses imagery of a horse in chapter 3:8, 15. 


6V2: Horse = Symbolizes God and His people connected together and represents conquering. 


Those living in the apostolic age understood the symbolism of the white horse. “When a Roman general conquered his foes and defeated an enemy army, he often entered Rome riding a white horse. His armies, with the prisoners of war and wagons loaded with the spoils of conquest, trailed behind him.” (Mark Finley, Understanding Daniel and Revelation, page 220)


Revelation 19:11-16, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”


Zechariah 10:3, “Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.”


Horse = House of Judah (God’s people).


Isaiah 63:13-14, “That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.”


God wants us to give Him the reigns of our hearts so He can lead us like a horse.4


6V2: Bow = Offensive weapon = Which also symbolizes Jesus. Jesus is our weapon to conquer hearts. Original Greek word is used 5 times in Revelation 12 to mean “bringing forth”. The early church bringing forth Jesus and talking about Jesus and spreading the good news about Jesus. That principle doesn’t stop when the apostolic age ends, that principle of talking about Jesus goes on until the end of time (second coming).5 The bow is also mentioned in Habakkuk 3:9.


“The church is like a horseman on a white horse, shooting the sharp, convicting arrows of God’s Word into the hearts of pagans across the empire.” (Mark Finley, Understanding Daniel and revelation, page 220)


6V2: White = Righteousness, pure, holy.


Revelation 19:8, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”


Revelation 3:18, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”


Revelation 19:11, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” 


It represents the purity of faith in the apostolic age. 


6V2: Crown = In Greek is ‘Stephonos’ = Victor’s crown, Jesus gained victory over sin for all humanity.


“When God’s people are totally dedicated to Christ and are faithful to His Word, transformed by His love, and proclaim His message of saving grace, it changes the world.” (Mark Finely, Understanding Daniel and Revelation, page 221)


Second Seal (Red Horse).

The second seal (second horse) aligns with the second church in Smyrna during the time of persecution (100-313 AD).



  • Revelation 6:3, And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 



  • Revelation 6:4, And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.


6V4: Red = Dragon, Revelation 12:3. 


The red also symbolizes the persecution of the early Christians by pagan Rome, so the red horse also represents a persecuting power. Red dragon aligns with church of Smyrna, 100-313 AD. Red also represents the blood of martyrs that died during persecution. The blood of martyrs was the seed for the gospel.6


6V4: Peace = The Messiah’s peace, the way that leads to peace, or salvation = This red horse is persecuting Messiah’s people; Pax romana = Roman peace = Gave citizens leisure time to think about religious matters, ends around 180 AD when persecution really starts to take place (although there was persecution before that).7 


The persecution of the early church and in later times helped to spread the gospel around the world. As Christians had to flee from persecution they would travel to other countries and would spread the gospel as they traveled and when they reached their destination, Acts 8:4. 


Third Seal (Black Horse).

The third seal (third horse) aligns with the third church in Pergamos during the time of compromise (313-538 AD).


Black horse = Church starts to compromise its beliefs, this is where the world or worldly influence begins changing the church instead of the church changing the world.


Black = Darkness/compromise, Acts 26:17-18, darkness of not understanding the gospel; John 3:19-21, people making choices in relation to the gospel of Christ.8



  • Revelation 6:5, And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.


6V5: Pair of balances = Paganism vs Christianity; Yoke, Acts 15:10, yoke of legalism and ceremonial laws; Galatians 5:1, coming into the church by Judaizers; Forms of legalism that’s eroding Christianity; Persecution can bring compromises into the church.9 During this time period the church began to compromise its beliefs and paganism began to enter the church. This was supported by Emperor Constantine who claimed to be a Christian and in 313 AD he signed the edict of Milan, which claimed religious toleration in the empire. Since the emperor claimed to be a Christian, many joined the church to be in line with the new emperor. This only brought in a lot of pagans into the Christian church who were not really converted and because of that the church began to compromise its beliefs and to incorporate pagan beliefs and teachings into mainstream Christianity. Also during this time period the focus of power in the Christian church shifted from Jerusalem to the bishops of Rome. 



  • Revelation 6:6, And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.


6V6: Wheat/barley = Word of God, Amos 8:11-12 (Word of God becomes scarce, there’s a famine for the Word); Penny was like a days wages; it was costly to maintain connection with the Word of God. In 321 AD, the first Sunday law was enacted by Emperor Constantine. All the seals take place at the table of shewbread that was changed out on every Sabbath (Leviticus 24:7-8. This period was a struggle between paganism and Christianity. Third church, Revelation 2:12-13, Satan’s seat = Enacting Sunday law to sit on the sides of the north over the congregation (table of shewbread). Principle for today: there isn’t a scarcity of the Word of God today, but its been diluted, changed, and altered (compromised); the Bible also has been taken out of life (schools, government). Our country and large parts of the world are becoming more and more secular.10


6V6: Hurt not the oil and the wine = Anointing of the Holy Spirit and blood of Jesus Christ; a way to keep from compromising the Word of God; Oil, 1 John 2:18-20, 27; Wine, Mark 14:23-25 (Matthew & Luke also). Oil as a representation of being filled with the Holy Spirit, 1 Samuel 10:1, 6; 16:13; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38.



  • Revelation 6:7, And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 


Fourth Seal (Pale Horse).

The fourth seal (fourth horse) aligns with the fourth church in Thyatira during the time of corruption (538-1517 AD).


Pale = No blood and more specifically it is a symbol of having no Jesus in this church like a person that loses their blood turns pale; Revelation 12:11 (blood of the Lamb), Revelation 7:14 (blood of the Lamb); 1 John 1:7 (blood of Jesus Christ); Colossians 1:14 (redemption through his blood); an entity that has no life (life is in the blood, Leviticus 17:11); counterfeit of the white horse (looks kind of similar, but different).11 The pale horse symbolized a compromised and corrupt church that claims to be a part of Christianity but its beliefs, teachings and traditions are all paganistic at its core and the real teachings of Jesus are nowhere to be found.  


This aligns with the Roman Catholic Church (the fourth church is the corrupt church - Thyatira). 



  • Revelation 6:8, And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.


6V8: Death and Hell followed him = Misrepresenting God with teachings of death (going directly to heaven or hell at death) and hell (purgatory, immortality); Using false teachings to distort God’s character in the mount of the congregation; These false teachings caused many to turn to atheism (example is the French revolution in the 1790s).12


6V8: To kill with sword = Using the Word of God to persecute the congregation. Two-edged sword = The Old and New Testament (the Bible), Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17. During this time period the Bible was outlawed and only the church priests could read and interpret the Bible for its congregation. The Bible was only written in Latin and was forbidden to be printed in the common languages. 


6V8: And with hunger = A hunger for the Word of God, Bible was outlawed during the dark ages.


6V8: Beasts of the earth = Beasts = Kingdoms, used military might and nations to persecute Christians throughout the dark ages, Daniel 7:17, 23. This represents the union of church and state to persecute God’s people. 


Summary of the first four horses: Two great errors. Sunday law during third seal and teaching of state of the dead in fourth seal are two errors taught by apostate Christianity to deceive the world.


Matthew 13, Parable of the sower and the seed.13 


Four types of ground = Four horses. 


Out of the four types of ground only one was good and similarly only one horse was good (the white horse). 


Three bad grounds are similar to the three bad horses. 


Matthew 13:16 (Blessed are your eyes…) similar to Revelation 1:3 (Blessed is he that readeth). 


Jesus gives this parable to explain the gospel similarly Jesus gives the four horses in Revelation to explain the gospel.


Matthew 13:19, Received seed by the way side = Misunderstanding and misrepresenting God = Pale horse.


Matthew 13:20-21, Received seed into stony places = Tribulation and persecution = Red horse.


Matthew 13:22, Received seed among the thorns = Unfruitful (or unbalanced) = Black horse.


Matthew 13:23, Received seed into the good ground = Beareth fruit = White horse.


Fifth Seal.

The fifth seal aligns with the fifth church in Sardis during the time of the dead church (1517-1798 AD).


This period was when the reformation movement officially began with Martin Luther nailing his 95 thesis on the door of the church on October 31, 1517. There were reformers before Luther but this is when it really took hold and became a formidable movement with a large following.



  • Revelation 6:9, And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 


6V9: Altar = The altar in the courtyard of the sanctuary, although there is an altar in the Holy and in the courtyard, verse 10 mentions the earth and the only altar on earth that dealt with people was the altar of sacrifice in the courtyard. Also, the altar in the Most Holy was the golden altar and this was not described that way. Hebrews 13:10-12, the altar of sacrifice was where the Lamb was sacrificed for our sins, representing the cross on Calvary where Jesus was sacrificed for our sins.14 


6V9: Slain for the word of God = Symbolic depiction of martyrs crying out (those that died during the 1260 year reign of the papacy and those that die during the end time right before the close of probation). They are not in heaven, the altar of sacrifice was in the earthly sanctuary. This is symbolic just like the blood of Able crying out in Genesis 4:10 (Abel’s blood cries out symbolically). Cain relied on his works and is killing (persecuting) the one that was relying on Jesus. Cain was a worshipper (supposedly a Christian). The church is given time to repent and to change just like Cain was not slain and was given time to repent. The fifth seal aligns with the fifth church (Sardis), so these martyrs are representing those that were persecuted during the reformation. The majority of the reformers were from within the Catholic church. They didn’t want to start a new church, they wanted to reform the existing church.15 Martin Luther’s goal was not to break away from the Catholic church but to reform it from the inside. 

First group of martyrs (during 1260 year of papal rule):

“In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy—the Inquisition. The prince of darkness wrought with the leaders of the papal hierarchy. In their secret councils Satan and his angels controlled the minds of evil men, while unseen in the midst stood an angel of God, taking the fearful record of their iniquitous decrees and writing the history of deeds too horrible to appear to human eyes. “Babylon the great” was “drunken with the blood of the saints.” The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power.” (The Great Controversy, page 59.3)


Second group of martyrs (right before the close of probation):

“When the defiance of God's law is almost universal, when his people are pressed in affliction by their fellow men, God will interpose. Then will the voice be heard from the graves of martyrs, represented by the souls that John saw slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ, which they held,—then the prayer will ascend from every true child of God: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” The fervent prayers of his people will be answered; for God loves to have his people seek him with all the heart, and depend upon him as their deliverer. He will be sought unto to do these things for his people, and he will arise as their protector and avenger. “Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him?” (Review and Herald, December 21, 1897, paragraph 16)


6V9: Word of God = Events happening around the table of shewbread (all of the seals). The word of God = Bread on the table of shewbread. The bread was placed in two piles of six pieces of flat bread each, representing the 66 books of the Bible which is the word of God, Leviticus 24:6. 



  • Revelation 6:10, And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?


6V10: Those crying out = All the dead since Abel, not just the reformers.


6V10: Loud voice = All the dead around the world from the beginning of time (see Revelation 14:7, 9, the three angel’s messages are a loud voice because they are a world-wide message).



  • Revelation 6:11, And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.


6V11: White robes = Righteousness of Christ, purification. Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Why weren’t white robes given to them immediately, why did they have to wait a little season?, Zechariah 3:1-4, changing of raiments signifies the taking away of iniquity. A judgment process begins for the dead where they are given white robes = The investigative judgment (see notes in Revelation 14:7). 


6V11: A little season = Waiting for the investigative judgment to begin, Revelation 14:12-13.




Sixth Seal.

The sixth seal aligns with the sixth church in Philadelphia during the time of the faithful (1798-1844 AD).


The fifth seal pointed to a future investigative judgment. In the sixth seal the signs given point to the investigative judgment.



The sixth item in each series deals with the beginning of the investigative judgment in 1844. 

  1. The sixth church = The door to the Most Holy Place opens before Philadelphia.

  2. The sixth seal = Signs in the heavens announce the beginning of the investigative judgment.

  3. The sixth trumpet = The little book episode and the measuring of the temple.  



  • Revelation 6:12, 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;


6V12: Great earthquake = 1 November 1755.


6V12: Sun became black = 19 May 1780.


6V12: Moon became as blood = Night of 19 May 1780.


6V12: These signs were given to announce that the investigative judgement was about to begin in 1844. 



  • Revelation 6:13, 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.


6V13: Stars of heaven fell = 13 November 1833.


6V13: The earthquake and the dark day occurred during the fifth seal (1517 to 1798 AD). The stars falling occurred during the sixth seal (1798 to 1844 AD) as the final sign that judgment was about to begin. These signs are also in Matthew 24:29-30; Amos 3:7; Isaiah 13:10; and Joel 2:31. Matthew 24:29, Immediately after the tribulation of those days = The persecution during the reformation (fifth seal). Why were the signs given 200 years ago? Those signs were for the Millerite movement (aligns with the church of Philadelphia). Amos 3:7, Each generation have been given signs to point the way. Revelation 3:7-8, Door in church of Philadelphia; door of the judgment in sixth seal. Revelation 3:9, Synagogue of Satan = Assembly or congregation; they called themselves Christians but were not; during the sixth seal the Millerite movement was mocked by other Christians who denied the message of judgment and the soon advent of Jesus Christ. Romans 2:28-29, Call themselves Jews, not literal Jews.16 The signs of the earthquake and the dark day were given to the Millerite movement (as mentioned above), but they were given to alert man that the time of the end was about to begin. Daniel 11:33-35 and Daniel 12:4-7.17



  • Revelation 6:14, And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  


6V14: Immediately after the sixth seal is opened the very next event described is the second coming of Jesus Christ. Note: The opening of the seventh seal in Revelation 8:1 is the second coming of Jesus Christ. This verse is similar to the account given in Revelation 16:20, where immediately following the seventh plague it describes the second coming of Jesus Christ in a similar way, “…every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” After probation closes for the human race, the seven last plagues will fall and immediately following those plagues Jesus will return to reclaim His people. 



  • Revelation 6:15, 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;


6V15: Represents everyone on earth, but specifically the wicked. Those that are God’s people that are still alive at the second coming of Jesus will not hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks. 



  • Revelation 6:16, 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:


6V16: The wrath of the Lamb = Verses 15 to 17 describe the second coming of Jesus Christ. The wicked that are alive at this time will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming which is part of the judgment process, 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2:8. The first part of judgment will be the last seven plagues at the close of probation prior to the second coming of Jesus, Revelation 16; Revelation 15:1. There will be the judgment of the plagues, the judgment at the second coming of Christ when the wicked that are alive are destroyed and then the final judgment when the wicked throughout all the ages are resurrected in the second resurrection and burned by fire and brimstone (commonly referred to as hell). These three judgments are phases in the final judgment. The final judgment is a process and not a single event. See the studies called, The Millennium, The Wrath of God and The Truth About Hell for a better understanding of these concepts.


Not included here are specific judgments or individual judgments throughout time. We are referring to the final judgment at the end of time. Other judgments that are specific or individual are such things as the flood which was a judgment on the wickedness that was on all the earth, Genesis 6:5; or the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:24; or the judgment on Miriam, Numbers 12:1, 10. There are many more throughout the Bible, but here in Revelation we are focused on the end time judgment. 



  • Revelation 6:17, For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?


6V17: Great day of his wrath = This is referring to the second coming of Jesus Christ. See the study called, The Wrath of God. But in the bigger context, the wrath of God comes in three manifestations (also His cup of indignation, Revelation 14:10); it was first given to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39, 42), the second are the seven last plagues (Revelation 15:1 and 16:1), and the third and last is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:9-10). But here it is the great day of wrath which is the second coming of Jesus Christ when the wicked that are alive will be burned up by the brightness of His coming. 


6V17: Who shall be able to stand? = This question is answered in Revelation chapter 7 and it is the 144,000 and those that receive the seal of God (the great multitude in verse 9). It is those who are able to make it through the judgment. Psalm 1:5 says, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” The righteous will be able to stand in the judgment. 

That same question, or a similar version of it, is asked throughout the Bible and the answer given is usually about the character of those that are able to stand (and not fall). 


The question: 

Isaiah 33:14, “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”


The answer:

Isaiah 33:15-16, “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.”


The question: 

Psalm 15:1, “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”


The answer:

Psalm 15:2-5, “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”


The question:

Psalm 24:3, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?”


The answer:

Psalm 24:4-6, “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.”


The question: 

Nahum 1:6, “Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.”


The answer: 

Nahum 1:7, “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

The question: 

Malachi 3:1-2, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:”


The answer:

Malachi 3:3, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”



Chapter 6 Resources and Notes

1.  Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here:


2.  Ibid.


3.  Ibid.


4.  Ibid.


5.  Ibid.


6.  Ibid.


7.  Ibid.


8.  Ibid.


9.  Ibid.


10.  Ibid.


11.  Ibid.


12.  Ibid.


13.  Ibid.


14.  Ibid.


15.  Ibid.


16.  Ibid.


17.  Pastor James L. Hayward, Sr., The Time of the End, A Study for the Last Days, American Christian Ministries, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ISBN: 978-0-911833-10-2, Revised 2013, page 18. 



Ellen White references can be found here:

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