Revealing Revelation – The Fourth Seal

23Feb11

With the breaking of the fourth seal we have the unleashing of the fourth and final horseman of the apocalypse. As with the first three we should best understand these introductions as belonging to the soon coming sentence against apostate Israel and it’s divorce from it’s covenantal husband that it rejected and placed upon a cross.

The events in question are simply the sentence, not actual events. They hint as to what the document will reveal once completely unsealed.

We have also seen the direct connection between these descriptions and the early warnings of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse of those things that would best be called ht e”birth pangs” of the Tribulation.

We have also noted the obvious connection between these events and the sevenfold judgments promised in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. These will be made even more clear and expanded upon with this final horse and rider.

Rev. 6:8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

This final horse and rider carry with it the ultimate picture of the death, destruction and devastation that would impact the city of Jerusalem as events that would “soon take place.” These sevenfold judgments are also found in the book of Ezekiel relating to Israel’s breaking of covenant with God. Note how John here borrows directly from Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 14:21 “For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast!

The parallel is unmistakable and the promise of unfaithful results continued until the ultimate breaking of covenant was found in the death of crucifixion of the Messiah. This prompts the final divorce in which Israel is sent away with accusations of unfaithfulness and Harlotry that are so many that both sides of the scroll would be needed to document them.We are then introduced to the new Bride adorned for her husband, Jesus Christ.

These four acts of judgment noted first in Ezekiel regarding the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians and then here in Revelation are the end results of the coming tumult and war. They also are found within the sevenfold promised of judgment in Leviticus and Deuteronomy as noted below.

Lev 26: 14 ” ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,

16 then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.

22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.

25 And I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands.

26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.

36 ” ‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them.

37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies.

38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you.

Deut. 28:15 “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you…

[21] The Lord will make the pestilence stick to you…

[25] “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies.

[26] And your dead body shall be food for all birds of the air

[33] A nation that you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your ground

[36] “The Lord will bring you and your king whom you set over you to a nation

[42] The cricket shall possess all your trees and the fruit of your ground

[49] The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle

Death by the sword, hunger, pestilence and beasts (wild animals). They are all listed here under the promised sevenfold judgment for covenantal unfaithfulness. This should not be missed, though it is so often missed or ignored.

What should not be missed is the connection to the Olivet Discourse. Note the comparisons below:

Luke 19:41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Matt 24:6 and there will be famines

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences.

20″But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near…22for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword

37And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Again we see the direct connection between the events prophesied in the Olivet Discourse and those presented in the book of Revelation. The connection should not be missed.

Josephus’ description of what was seen is repulsive, yet it mirrors perfectly the truth found within these promises. These things included intense famine, parents eating their children and dead bodies littering the streets being devoured by roaming dogs and other animals. In fact on passage from Jospehus describes how the zealots would throw the dead bodies over the wall of the city into the valley below to be left to rot and have their carcasses picked away at by wild animals and birds.. Even the grizzled military general Titus was said to have groaned over the horrific site.

So ends the first for seals and the famous four horsemen of the apocalypse. In the next seal we find the purpose behind these soon coming tribulational judgments against apostate Israel.

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