Several people have asked me to share my insight on where we are in the Book of Revelation. This is a question on the minds of many people these days, so it is a good question to address.
In this article, I will discuss where we are today in the Book of Revelation by addressing whether we have seen the opening of the first seal yet.
The Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation mostly depicts events that will impact the world in the future, including:
- The opening of the 7 seals
- The sounding of the 7 trumpets
- The pouring of the 7 vials (7 bowls)
The reason these events will take place in the future is that the events relating to the seals, trumpets, and vials have yet to occur. For instance:
- Every mountain and island has not been moved out of place at the same time (Revelation 6:14).
- We have not yet seen famine conditions as extreme the third seal famine (Revelation 6:5-6). In fact, food prices are not even close to where they will be when the third seal famine arrives.
The Opening of the First Seal
I stated that the opening of the 7 seals would transpire in the future. Let’s look at the first seal to verify that its opening will occur in the future.
The Rider of the First Seal
Revelation 6:1-2 describes a rider on a white horse going forth to conquer after the opening of the first seal:
“(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. (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.” (Revelation 6:1-2)
Some argue that Christ is the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2. Many who believe the horseman is Christ point to Revelation 19’s depiction of Christ on a white horse as “proof” that He is the rider of the first seal:
“(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. (12) 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.” (Revelation 19:11-12)
Although Christ and the first seal horseman ride a white horse, Christ is not the rider of the white horse in the first seal.
- It does not make much contextual sense for Christ to be the horseman of the first seal. To see why, first consider that the events of Revelation chapter 4 and chapter 5 transpire in Heaven:
“(1) After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” (Revelation 4:1-2)
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1)
Christ is in Heaven during this heavenly scene because He moves to take the book (scroll) from God:
“(6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (7) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” (Revelation 5:6-7)
Revelation 5:7-9 tells us that Christ is the One who is worthy to open the 7 seals on the scroll:
“(7) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. (8) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. (9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” (Revelation 5:7-9)
Unsurprisingly, Christ will open the seals. Notice the lack of a transition between the end of chapter 5 and the start of chapter 6 when Christ starts to open the seals:
“(10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:10-14)
“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.” (Revelation 6:1)
The lack of a transition suggests that the events of Revelation 6 follow after the events of Revelation 5 chronologically.
- This also suggests that Christ does not change location: He is still in Heaven when He begins to open the seals.
Revelation 6:1-2 tells us that the horseman goes “forth conquering, and to conquer” after Christ opens the first seal:
Similarly, Revelation 6:3 tells us that Christ opens the second seal:
“(3) And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. (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.” (Revelation 6:3-4)
Again, it does not make much sense for Christ to be the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:2 when you consider the context.
- If Christ is in Heaven opening the seals how could He also be the rider of the white horse in the first seal? It’s unlikely that He is both.
- Also, there’s no biblical evidence that suggests Christ will conquer at the start of the tribulation.
Instead, the rider of the white horse is a counterfeit Christ: the Antichrist.
- Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:15 indicate that the Antichrist will likely broker a covenant with many signees, including Israel, at the start of the tribulation. This covenant is likely to be a Mideast peace deal that will bring peace for Israel.
- Given the inability for world leaders to reach a Mideast peace deal over the past several decades, many will likely heard Antichrist as a man who figuratively came to the rescue on a white horse to bring peace to the Mideast.
The First Seal Is Not Open Yet
Despite the wild speculation you see online, we have not seen the arrival of the Antichrist as a major political force on the world stage. We have also not seen the covenant with many yet. Therefore,
- We have not seen the opening of the first seal yet.
- We have not seen the events described in Revelation 6 occur yet.
We still await the opening of 7 seals, the sounding of the 7 trumpets, and the pouring of the 7 vials.
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