The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 10 : The Revelation (Commentaries on the Revelation)

[Chapter 6-2] (Revelation 6:1-17) The Eras of the Seven Seals

(Revelation 6:1-17)
 
The theme for each chapter of Revelation can be succinctly summarized as the following:
Chapter 1 – The prologue of the Word of Revelation
Chapters 2-3 – Letters to the seven churches in Asia
Chapter 4 – Jesus who sits on the throne of God
Chapter 5 – Jesus Who Is Enthroned as the Representative of God the Father
Chapter 6 – The seven eras set by God
Chapter 7 – Those who will be saved during the Great Tribulation
Chapter 8 – The trumpets that sound the seven plagues
Chapter 9 – The plagues of the bottomless pit
Chapter 10 – When will the rapture happen?
Chapter 11 – Who are the two olive tress and the two prophets?
Chapter 12 – The Church of God that will face great suffering
Chapter 13 – The emergence of the Antichrist and the martyrdom of the saints
Chapter 14 – The saints’ resurrection and rapture, and their praise of God in the air
Chapter 15-16 – The beginning of the plagues of the seven bowls
Chapter 17 – The judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters
Chapter 18 – The fall of Babylon
Chapter 19 – A Kingdom ruled by the Almighty
Chapter 20 – The Millennial Kingdom
Chapter 21 – The holy city from heaven
Chapter 22 – The New Heaven and Earth, where the water of life flows
 
Beginning from the first chapter, each chapter of the Word of Revelation has a theme, and when unfolded they all connect with each other to the very last chapter. Just as in Romans, where chapter 1 is introduction, chapter 2 is God’s Word to the Jews, and chapter 3 is His Word to the Gentiles, the Book of Revelation also proceeds with a theme for each chapter.
The reason why I am explaining Revelation based on the entire Word is because too many people have discussed Revelation with all kinds of hypotheses, and if you read Revelation through the focus of these assumptions, you will not escape from making serious mistakes.
Because the Bible was written through the people of God inspired by the Holy Spirit, it has absolutely nothing that needs correction. In contrast, secular books have errors and require many corrections, no matter how good and knowledgeable the authors’ writing might be. But the Word of God has not changed at all, even as it has been passed down for thousands of years. Despite the many years of its passing, the Word of God remains faultless, for it was written through the servants of God whose hearts were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Because what God wants to tell us is hidden in the Bible, many of us have remained rather ignorant of the Scripture. But since the very creation, the Bible has never changed, not even once. Yet because many people had a poor understanding of the Word of God and His plan, they started to interpret the Scripture with their own thoughts.
Since God does not reveal its secrets to just anyone, those who do not worship Him and do not believe according to the Word, who only try to fill their own greed by taking God’s name in vain, can never see the truth. People who have sin, in other words, can never understand the Word of Revelation no matter how hard they try. It is because of their inability to understand the Word that all kinds of mistakes are made—some end up believing in worthless illusions about the end times, study them, and even announce the time of the second coming of Jesus, while others interpret the Bible at their own whim, making all kinds of Scriptural mistakes in the process.
Representative of them, among the theologians that we know of, are Abraham Kuyper and Louis Berkhof, who advocated amillennialism, as well as C. I. Scofield, who espoused the theory of pre-tribulation rapture. But the hypotheses advocated by these scholars are all erroneous teachings merely based on their own thoughts.
First of all, the doctrine of amillennialism advocated by the conservatives argues that there is no separate Millennial Kingdom, and that this Kingdom is instead fulfilled in the hearts of the saints living on this earth now. Amillennialism denies the actual establishment of the Millennial Kingdom in the future. This ‘hypothesis’ interprets the Millennial Kingdom in symbolical terms, treating the period during which the saints live until the return of Jesus Christ as the period of the millennial reign. But the interpretation offered by amillennialism, that the Millennial Kingdom is already actualized in the hearts of the saints now without the Great Tribulation, is deeply mistaken.
Even more widespread throughout the world than amillennialism, however, is the theory of pre-tribulation rapture expounded by Scofield. But this “dispensationalism” has ended up altering God’s plan itself. God planned seven eras even before His creation of the universe, and He has fulfilled everything according to His plan as time has gone by. But people who are ignorant of God’s plan revealed in Revelation 6 have produced this faulty theory of pre-tribulation rapture. They argue that the born-again among the Gentiles will be raptured before the onset of the Great Tribulation, and that some of the people of Israel will be saved during the Tribulation’s seven-year period.
This theory remains as a doctrine that has thrown many people into great confusion. Were the rapture of the saints to occur before the Great Tribulation, as claimed by the theory of pre-tribulation rapture, there would be neither the persecution of the saints nor their martyrdom as recorded in Revelation 13. Believers in Jesus must therefore get out of this doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture and prepare their faith by believing in the fact that their rapture will come in the midst of the Great Tribulation.
The Word of Revelation reveals to us how God will lead the world according to the dispensation of His seven eras. We must see through the focus of the plan of the seven eras set by God as discussed throughout Revelation 6. People are confused and their faith is shaky because they do not know the truth of these seven eras of the Scripture. We must, therefore, believe in what is written in Revelation 6 as it appears. To do so, we must believe in the secret Word of the seven eras testified by the whole Bible, rather than thinking of it in partial terms by looking at only small, disjointed parts of the Scripture.
Just as the gospel of the water and the Spirit had been hidden from the people, so have the seven eras of God. Although biblical scholars have tried to understand the Word of Revelation and proposed many theories by focusing on their own thoughts, the Word of Revelation still remains very difficult to comprehend. This is akin to the fact that the gospel of the water and the Spirit had been hidden until now. But the theories that the scholars have so far come up with on Christ’s return, the saint’s rapture, or the Millennial Kingdom have brought no benefit to those who believe in Jesus.
For us to understand the Word of Revelation, it is absolutely critical that we understand chapter 6. This chapter is the key to solve and understand all of the Word of Revelation. But before we try to comprehend the whole Word of Revelation, there is one thing that we must remind ourselves: it is impossible to understand Revelation without having realized and believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You must realize that the truth of God can be comprehended only when you first know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is “when He opened the seventh seal,” as recorded in Revelation 8, that the plagues of the seven trumpets will descend upon the world. This explains the events that will unfold during the fourth era recorded in Revelation 6, the era of the pale horse. Without first understanding the seven eras set by God, therefore, you cannot understand the plagues of the seven trumpets, either. To understand the Word of Revelation in its entirety, we must first understand and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given us.
The Word of God in Revelation 6 provides an outline of the overall design that God drew when He created the mankind. God has divided the beginning and the end of the mankind into seven different eras.
These are: first, the era of the white horse; second, the era of the red horse; third the era of the black horse; fourth, the era of the pale horse; fifth, the era of the saints’ martyrdom and rapture; sixth, the era of the destruction of the world; and seventh, the era of the Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth. We believe and obey that God has thus divided his plan for the mankind into these seven eras. At present, the world is in the era of the black horse, having passed through the eras of the white and red horses.
The Scripture tells us that the era in which we are now living is the era of famine. But the era of the pale horse is near us also. With the arrival of the era of the pale horse will begin the era of the saints’ martyrdom, entering the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation. This era of the tribulations and martyrdom is the era of the pale horse.
“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” The passage here, “power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill… by the beasts of the earth,” indicates that the Antichrist will emerge during the era of the pale horse and make martyrs out of the saints.
The events that will unfold during the era of the pale horse are recorded in Revelation 8:1-7. As it is written: “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”
The above discussion of the plagues of the seven trumpets in Revelation 8 provides a detailed reiteration of the truth of the era of the pale horse recorded in Revelation 6. This Word records in detail the emergence of the Antichrist and the plagues of the seven trumpets and the seven bowls that will unfold during the era of the pale horse.
Chapters 4 and 5, on the other hand, tell us that Jesus Christ will reign over the world and all that are to come as God, and that the Father’s entire plan will be fulfilled by Jesus Christ as God. We thus discover, through Revelation 4 and 5, just how powerful and what an Almighty God Jesus Christ really is.
Revelation 8 tells us: “So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” When the era of the pale horse comes, one-third of the world’s forests will be burnt down, and this disaster will be followed by even more plagues.
The plague of the first trumpet is a disaster that will burn down a third of the trees and all grass. When this disaster strikes the world, the remaining forests will also be devastated by the smog effects of the huge fire raging through a third of the world, with its smoke blocking the sun from the earth. Crops will fail, and the whole world will be thrown into great famine and starvation.
In this era of famine, the wage of a day’s work will buy only a quart of wheat or three quarts of barley. The world is now facing the imminent arrival of this extraordinary famine and starvation. This world’s famine will come in both physical and spiritual ways. Spiritual famine already exists in today’s world.
Today’s churches are filled with only nominal Christians, incapable of sharing the spiritual bread and the life of the gospel of the water and the Spirit with the world. People all around the world, from Europe to Asia to the American continent, are now all living in the era of their destruction. Few in today’s Christianity provide the spiritual bread to feed the hungry souls.
We describe the era of the pale horse as the era of the Antichrist’s emergence. During this period, natural disasters will turn bread and water into scarce commodities, where everyone will barely manage to survive through the great famine. Although the world will continue with its scientific progress, the standard of living will nevertheless fall to extreme poverty, the kind of which it had never seen before. Would people living in such a world have any desire left in them to continue on with their lives?
In this time of the Tribulation, we must all embrace our martyrdom and glorify God by believing in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The saints who thus believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will give all glory to God with their martyrdom. God, in turn, will then lift up to heaven those who were martyred to defend their faith and invite them to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The Apostle Paul said that he became His servant for the Kingdom of God. The apostles preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that many may enter the Millennial Kingdom.
During the time of the Great Tribulation, there will be people among the Israelites who will also be martyred and raptured for believing in Jesus. The saints will thus belong to the period of the Great Tribulation during the era of the pale horse. When the Great Tribulation comes, everyone in this world will be looking for someone who can bring order to the disaster-stricken world. They will yearn for someone who can solve the problems bought by the catastrophic natural disasters, and who can resolve the numerous political, economic, and religious problems that they face. This is when the Antichrist will emerge.
Recently a Japanese author wrote a series of books entitled The Story of the Romans, which had nothing but praise for the Roman emperors. The author’s main argument was that the world would soon need a leader who can yield absolute power. Many people also agreed with her. During the Great Tribulation, people will want a powerful ruler who can rule over the world with an iron fist—not the many rulers, each with his/her own domain, but a single, powerful ruler of the whole world.
At present, the world is divided into many nation-states, and each has its own leader. But in the end times, people will want a charismatic world leader who can completely resolve all their problems. The world now awaits this leader, the Antichrist who will reign over the entire world.
The Bible tells us that when the era of the pale horse arrives, the Antichrist will emerge with great power and subjugate everyone in the world under his rule. The Bible also tells us that when this era of the pale horse comes, fire will rain on the earth and burn down a third of the world’s forests. And when this era comes, the Antichrist will rule over the world, and no one will be able to buy or sell anything without his mark. At this time, the saints will be martyred for refusing to receive the mark and worship the idol, and then be resurrected and raptured. When the era of the pale horse thus ends, the era of the Millennial Kingdom will open.
The Lord told us that the destruction of this world and the Great Tribulation would come as a thief. We must now, therefore, prepare the faith that can overcome all the trials of the Great Tribulation and destruction. This preparation is possible only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But for those who do not thus prepare, all the plagues and destruction will fall on those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As such, we must clearly understand and believe that today’s era is the era of the black horse. Before that final day arrives, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and prepare for the future.
Those who now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will be raptured with their martyrdom. Those who are rich will not continue to live in comfort, nor will those who are poor continue to live in their poverty. Therefore, we must be neither sad nor boastful over the things that are happening to us now, for we believe that the era of the pale horse is imminent, and that all the saints will then be possibly martyred.
From time to time, we see some people around us who cause great confusion by analyzing the timing of Christ’s return on their own, declaring their own day and hour for the second coming of the Lord, and misleading many others with such claims. But Christ’s return, according to the Bible, will not happen until the seventh trumpet sounds. Therefore, we must never make the mistake of calculating the Word of Bible and coming up with our own date for the Lord’s return.
We must also be wary of those who claim to have seen the date of Christ’s return in their dreams or visions. Their dreams are no more than just dreams. But because God tells us when exactly the timing of rapture is through His Word, we must instead believe in the Word.
When the era of the pale horse, the fourth era in Revelation 6, arrives, martyrs will arise with the plagues of the seven trumpets, and the resurrection and rapture of the saints will come.
It is important for us to realize that we are now living in the third era of the seven eras set by God. We must realize that today’s era is the era of the black horse. When we do so, we can sow the seeds of the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, and by planting the seeds now we will be able to harvest when the era of the pale horse comes.
In the world of nature created by God, there are some plants that can sprout, flower, and bear fruits in just a week. Like these plants of desert, when the era of the pale horse arrives, those who are saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are preach now will also be martyred, joining us in our resurrection and rapture that the Lord has permitted to us. In the era of the Tribulation, there will be more people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit than now. There will be more people, in other words, who will be martyred for their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Word of Revelation does not limit its discussion to the salvation of the people of Israel. If anyone believes that the age of Revelation is reserved only for the Israelites, he/she is making a serious mistake. Why? Because when the times of Revelation come, so many Gentiles will be saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and be martyred to defend their faith. Whether your knowledge of the Word of Revelation is correct or not, as such, can make a huge difference in your faith.
You must realize, therefore, that it is simply wrong for today’s Christians to believe in the doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture. The Bible tells us that the martyrdom of the saints will come at slightly past the midpoint of the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation, and that their rapture will happen shortly after this. We must solve the Word of Revelation as it is written, chapter by chapter and verse by verse, and within the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By doing so, we can have the correct knowledge of the Word of Revelation.
Revelation 7 tells us that countless people among the Gentiles will also receive salvation by their faith and be martyred for their faith. We must believe the Bible as it is written—not in the theory of pre-tribulation rapture, nor in post-tribulation rapture, nor in amillennialism, but in the seven eras set by God.
Chapter 1 of the Word of Revelation is the introduction, chapters 2 and 3 discuss the martyrdom of the saints, and chapter 4 tells us that Jesus Christ is God and that He sits on the throne of God. Chapter 5 shows us how Jesus will fulfill all of God the Father’s plan, and chapter 6 provides the overall blueprint of the seven eras planned by God. All these plans are solved within the Word of Revelation.
As the Word of Revelation tells us, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on,” from now on, the saints live in the hope of resurrection and the Millennial Kingdom.
Revelation 8:10-11 describes another plague: “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.” It says here that this time a great star burning like a torch fell on the rivers and the springs. This great star burning like a torch refers to a comet. As heaven is shaken, in other words, stars would collide with one another and their broken pieces would fall on the earth.
Revelation 8:12-13 continues with another plague: “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’” This tells us that a third of the world will be darkened as days turn into nights.
When the plagues of the seven trumpets thus begin, you and I will most certainly be living in them. But the living saints will soon be martyred, and they will overcome Satan with their faith.
If you clearly know the seven eras revealed in Revelation 6, you will also have a clear knowledge of what you must do and what kind of faith you need in today’s era. Because those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are to be martyred in the era of Revelation, they must meet this era with their hope for the Kingdom of God. While living in this world, the saints must prepare for their martyrdom in the end times with their faith, and they must labor hard to expand the Kingdom of God by spreading this faith.
Do you know and believe in the seven eras set by God? Can you discern that we are now living in the era of the black horse? If you neither know nor believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, you will not be able to escape from the tribulations that will descend on the earth. You must therefore prepare right now. To have the faith that can overcome the tribulations, you must first of all be atoned of all your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and prepare to enter and live in the Millennial Kingdom by receiving the Holy Spirit as your gift.
Prepare now. If you intend to postpone and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit only when the plagues of the seven trumpets arrive, you will face many tribulations. It is my hope and prayer that you would believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit at this very moment, to be born again and to prepare your future as the people of God.
 The seven eras set by God:
1. White horse: The era of the beginning and continuation of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
2. Red horse: The shattering of peace with the advent of Satan’s era.
3. Black horse: The era of physical and spiritual famine. The present era.
4. Pale horse: The era of the saints’ martyrdom with the emergence of the Antichrist.
5. The era of the saints’ resurrection and rapture, and of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
6. The era of the destruction of the first world.
7. The era of the Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth reigned by the Lord and His saints.
These are the seven eras set by God. Those who know these eras clearly and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones who have prepared their faith to live in the end times. I hope and pray that you, too, will be able to discern these eras of the true faith set by God.