Revelation 6 by Pastor Don
On a recent Thursday Bible Study someone asked Pastor Don why they had a vision of horses. Pastor Don told us horses have a relationship to what is happening today in our world. As I type these notes from 9/18/08 I am seeing the news and what Pastor Don spoke about is coming to pass as I type.
He told us that spiritual things with prophecy do not happen all at once. God gives glimpses. Jesus told us that the signs of the times would be like the birth pangs of pregnant women. The birth pangs increase as time goes by. Right now we are in the midst of birth pangs. Jesus will be opening up the seals on the scroll, and there are waves of those seals.
Revelation 6:1-2 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
This man is not Jesus, but rather satan who is going out to conquer. Notice he is given a bow and a crown – no arrows though.
The world is filled with conflicts now, and these conflicts are not isolated, they are all connected.
Revelation 6:3-4 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
The kind of sword mentioned in this passage is a MACHAIRA, a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh. It is a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword. The Romans used it to conquer the world – it is about 16 inches to 2 feet long. It has been used to kill a sacrifice, and also martyrs. The larger sword took two hands to manipulate, and when the soldier lifted the sword, when his arm was in the air, the enemy had a chance to strike a blow to the soldier’s side. The machaira was the best weapon for that for the soldier could reach around his shield and strike a swift blow with this sword. Often the point was curved and able to do major damage to interior organs. The Romans had more mobility by using this short, lethal sword. Today we are seeing far more warfare on earth, wars and rumors of wars.
Revelation 6:5-6 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
This speaks of famine. A denarius was a whole day’s wage, and it would take that to make one meal, not a whole family’s meal, but one person’s meal. This speaks of runaway inflation for two reasons. 1. The scales of supply and demand economies are out of line. 2. The scales begin to devalue labor, and the same amount of work will not produce the same amount of return.
In the last days you can work a whole day ad not earn enough to support yourself. The plague in economics is runaway inflation. Economies are no longer based on labor and products but on things bought on paper, like stocks. There is a manipulation of paper for supply and demand. Credit cards took us away from a cash economy. We are using them to purchase products we want, but not necessarily need, a promissory note, promising to pay but with runaway inflation we will not have the means to pay. (Heather’s note, look at the bank crisis that emerged after this Bible study.)
Many of the jobs in our country do not produce goods, they are invisible labor. We are having an exchange of money based on someone putting a value on the service offered, not on the goods produced. Prices are out of kilter relative to supply and demand. The new world order will determine the value of people and products. The middle class in this economy has to be destroyed. America is being brought low and the 3rd world countries are being brought up.
All that we purchase has become inflated, and the prices we pay have gone up. We can lose our vision of what’s really happening if we don’t study the Scriptures. The world economy gets us to the position that we will have to work for a full day for food. Only when we get to that position can they control the population globally.
We reduce our values and increase the world’s job value. Jobs overseas, labor overseas.
Someone mentioned that earthquakes are occurring with greater frequency and Pastor Don asked us which is heavier, oil or water? The answer was water is heavier than oil, and oil would rise to the top. With the increase in drilling for oil right now, the oil is rising to the top and the vacuum in the earth where the oil is removed is being filled with something – water. The heavier weight of water could be affecting the geology of the area. Regarding the creation of oil, the oxygen rich atmosphere at the time of Adam caused lush vegetation. When the floods came that piled dirt on top of the rotting vegetation and that became oil. It would not be surprising if the earthquakes and tsunamis had something to do with the water replacing the oil in the deep strata of the earth.
God had given us an endless supply of energy with the sources of the sun, the wind and the rain. When verse six talks about the oil and the wine – the olive tree and grapes are two plants that do not rely on bees to be pollinated. In the United States over 20% of the bees are disappearing, they are not sure why this is happening, it could be stress, cell phone towers, pesticides. But without the bees to pollinate the plants, there will be fewer plants growing and that will also raise the cost of goods.
Oil and wine are materials that are often associated with the wealthier people in society, and this is showing that there will be, for a time, products available to the well to do class. They will still have their fancy cars and choice items, but the middle and lower class will be struggling to survive – working a day for a meager amount of food.
We then went over to Revelation 13 which describes the unholy trinity (satan imitates God’s Holy trinity)- the beast, the mouth, and the antichrist. They will ultimately take over most of the planet. The antichrist is not God, so he will not be able to control the whole planet.
Revelation 13:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
The Church will not be on the earth at that time, for the Bible tells us that Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The gates of hell will not prevail against the church on earth. So who are these saints? These are individual saints, after the rapture that will face intense persecution, for the antichrist will not want them to survive.
Now that the end times are coming closer we need to begin doing what Jesus wants us to do.
We, the Body of Christ, gather together for worship and activities within the church, contributing to missions, healing, teaching children, and other activities. But we need to be going outside the church walls. We are the hands, feet, eyes, ears, part of the Body of Christ. Jesus went to a lot of parties that were secular. He used them as opportunities to minister the gospel. We need to be finding someone who needs Jesus’ love, and begin to share the Gospel with them. Pastor Don often tells us that we need to be a blessing to someone in the faith and be that person in someone’s life that they know will keep sharing about God to them.
The saints will be in the rapture, these are the ones who are ready for His coming. Who are like the five virgins with oil in their lamps. Not everyone who thinks they will go up in the rapture will be going. If the people are not prepared and waiting with expectation, they will miss it. Today in the Church, many do not think the rapture will come, some have denied the possibility of the rapture. Some have gotten to the point where they go to church, but it is an outward action, with God not touching their minds or hearts, they are going by rote. Remember Jesus told people that many will say that they did things in His Name, but He did not know them. Jesus not only wants bodies, but He wants relationship.
Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Some of us will not be dwelling on the earth, we were told to look up, for our redemption draws nigh.
Pastor Don then went on to share that Russia had shut down their stock market for a day. (Heather’s note, right now the stock market here is very volatile and banks are in crisis.) What we are seeing is how much the world markets are tied together. And at some point we are going to find out that the United States is being reduced to a beggar nation. Our economy is based on debt that can’t be paid, and in 1938 we were taken off of the gold standard. The Federal reserve is connected with the new world order.
Adolph Hitler declared that what was needed was a new world order, and the way Adolph Hitler gained power was due to an economic disaster.
If things get too bad we could find ourselves under martial law. Many are going to suffer financially.
When the time comes to invest, we need to invest all into the Kingdom. We need the Word of the Lord. God will tell us what to do at the right time. If we do get the economy stabilized, who will pay the bills? The tax payers will be stuck with the bills. We can’t cut taxes and prop up banks and lenders, that would be a disaster. If our hope is in the Lord we will be fine. We will take care of each other. We also need to be reaching people for the Kingdom.
John 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
We are like the disciples, we do not fully understand everything that Jesus shared with us. So many do not believe that there will be a rapture, some think that miracles died out with the Apostles. Some justify every miracle with their rational mind, talking themselves out of the fact that they received a miracle. The question is, what are we willing to believe? The day of God’s wrath is designed to bring us to repentance.
Notice that this passage says AT FIRST, they did not get it, but later they did get it. As true followers of Jesus Christ, we will understand everything. Even if we don’t understand it at the time. Pastor Don sang a few lines from the old hymn that we will understand it in the sweet by and by.
Everyone who was in our group that night has had personal words of prophecy at some point in their life, and we put them away, not thinking about them until the event occurs, then we go, “Oh, that’s what was prophesied”. We do need to act upon those words of prophecy. The Spirit of God causes us to remember and we must not kill the words of the prophets by inaction. We need to pray, that if it is the will of the Lord, we must yield to it.
John 12:17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
Willingness to believe.
Pastor Don shared that at times he teaches something, and God reminded him that once he teaches something once it is not enough. He has to go back to the subject and tweak it so that the teaching is received by the congregation. To be an effective teacher you have to tweak. First you tell the people, then you tell them what you told them, bring someone else in to speak the same message that you told them. Repetition helps people to learn.
Jonah did not want to participate in tweaking the people of Nineveh. He did not want to keep giving God’s message. A prophet is to put out God’s word, and then go back later to see that it has been received. To teach and make adjustments so that people hear God’s Word again. But Jonah did not want them to be saved, for they had been a terrible enemy for Israel. Jonah should have done God’s will wholeheartedly and because he didn’t he is not heard of again.
In John 12:17, the people saw something happen – Lazarus was raised from the dead, and they understood what happened in a different light, and were willing to believe.
John 16:14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
Jesus did the will of the Father, and glorified God, sharing God’s revelation with people.
John 16:15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
As we work in the Earth as the Church, it brings glory to the Father. Any time the children look like our elder brother, Jesus Christ, it brings glory to God as we become more like Christ. The Spirit of God helps us to do this, telling us not to do something, that something isn’t right, that doesn’t look like what Jesus would do. The Holy Spirit reminds us what we did and how it does or doesn’t bring glory to God. If what we choose to do, see, hear, say, etc, is not glorifying God, the Holy Spirit will correct us. Any habit we have that God can’t gain glory from we have to let it go.
John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
Can we say that? Are we in the process of doing this? Are we putting ourselves in the position of Christ, and can we say that we have done all the work God has given us to do?
When we are born again, we have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. We have the Holy Spirit’s seal on us, and we were Jesus’ reason for living, dying, and rising again – He was the perfect sacrifice. Our sustenance is from Him. We need to be on the job of bringing glory to God.
Pastor Don shared how he used to be a master of ceremony at a hotel and he wanted out of that job. He did not put his whole heart into it, and at some point the Holy Spirit told him that he was living on yesterday’s manna. He had to come at this job with a renewed spirit of energy. The Holy Spirit asked him are you a good example? Are you glorifying the Lord? Do they see excellence in You? The answer at first was “no.” He realized that the Lord would not let him out of that job until he did it with excellence. This job was good preparation for Pastor Don’s current role of pastor. For example, he can comfortably speak to large groups of people.
God wants us to bring excellence to what we do. He gives us the grace to do it. Grace gives us the power to do what He wills us to do.
John 17:5-8 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
Jesus is talking about US. We are His glory in the earth. When we shine, we shine like no one else on earth. We want to witness and reach those who need Him.
John 17:9-10 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
Pastor Don told us that he looks in the mirror and reminds himself, as we also should, that we are beautiful. Jesus loves us, we are glorified in Him. God changes us from the inside out.
John 17:22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
We are that “Them”
John 17:23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
We need to pray for that unity.
Pastor Don then gave us an illustration. He had six volunteers come forward, each person was given a paper cup with water in it, three of the cups had a piece of paper in the cup (that often blended in with the cup interior).
He then told the six to look into the cup and if there was any reason not to drink the water, to stand up on the altar. Five people drank the water, one did not. When questioned why she did not drink the water, she talked about the paper floating in it. The others looked in their cups, three had no paper, the other two on closer examination had a piece of paper in their cup. They were then able to join the person on the altar, but only after they gained discernment.
From the congregation point of view, all six people were in unity -they all had cups of water, and many drank, but they were not really in agreement – only three had the piece of paper in their cups. Not all were discerning of the difference.
As the Church, we can all be in agreement with certain things, but not all are in unity in the deeper things of faith. Some might not be willing to be persecuted for the sake of Christ, but they might be willing to support ministries that are willing. To whomever much is given, much is required. The churches need to shine whatever light they have for Christ.
We do have the responsibility of discerning. We are to bring in the harvest and make disciples. Some who come to church do not want to be disciples, they want to spend time with God on Sunday, but then go about their lives. But to those who want to be disciples and seek the deeper things of God, we need to remember that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Remember Zacchaeus climbed a tree to be able to see Jesus. Andrew and John traveled with John the Baptist, they were already disciples of John the Baptist, disciples trained, and then they went to seek after Jesus. All the disciples were successful business men in their fields, and they had the means to do things for the Kingdom of God. God finds individuals and puts them to work. God is looking for the best of the best.
Remember Ruth, who chose to stay with Naomi, instead of going back to her Moabite family. If we are willing. God will use us to the fullest. We want to get to the point where we can say, more of Him, less of me.
I pray that one day I can be one that fully lives out, more of Him, less of me. With His help I am working toward that, but there is room for improvement.
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