Mean Times of Testing - the Four Horsemen of Revelation
Rev. 6. The Lamb opens the Seals. The deafening sound of millions of angels! Jesus is worth it! However much you give Him! It could never be too much! HE is LORD!
He takes the Scroll (the Script Book of the Plan) and begins opening the Seals.
First Seal: flash image of a tyrant riding on a white horse (but the real Conqueror is Christ!). Kings and kingdoms rise and fall. But God has already decided in heaven. Things must take place in real time. History is marching steadily toward the Climax God has put into place.
Second Seal: war images up on the screen. From the beginning, small kings have warred against each other. War is a fact of life. The human race is convulsed in continual struggle. Paul spoke of the "present distress" (1 Cor. 7:26-31).
Third Seal: raging famine. A quart of wheat for a whole day's wages. Starvation! People running for their lives cannot raise crops. And economic collapse creates calamity.
Fourth Seal: death for a quarter of earth's population. What is God allowing to happen?
Times of Testing for the whole earth! Note Rev. 3:10. Lacey understands this: "Since you've gone with My instructions to hang in there, I'll be your Minder come the Global Crunch Time. It's soon, and it'll push everyone way past their limits." [British. Minder: to attend to closely. Note Daniel 4:13; Psalm 103:19-21.]
Fifth Seal: picture of martyrs crying out to God for justice. White robes signify victory. They will not lose their reward. But first many more will become martyrs to the Cause of Christ. Even though Christ has already won the Victory, each of us much march through our allotted time here on earth as a good soldier of our King Jesus.
Sixth Seal: mass evacuations from the cities to the country bunkers. God's on the loose and The Lamb is seething mad! Compare Rev. 16:21. "And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great."
Rev. 11:13. "In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven."
But to build suspense, four angels hold back God's hurricanes while another sprays the foreheads (Seals them) of 144,000 Jews (symbolic of those faithful) who stay loyal to God through the Mean Time (tribulation). Rev. 7:1-4. Note all the Saved who are too many to count.
The Rest of the Story.
God hates sin - but He loves the sinner. From Adam & Eve to the End of Time, God holds out His offer to forgive and redeem everyone who will come to Him.
Read John 3:16-17. "Because God's so passionately in love with the planet, that He donated His one & only begotten Son. Whoever invests their life in His Son doesn't die, but gets this limitless eternal life. Do you think God sent His Son to slam people down? No! He sent His Son to liberate people." (Lacey)
Compare Jesus in Luke 4:16-21. "God's Spirit is on Me; He's chosen Me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent Me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, 'This is God's year to act!'" (Peterson MsgB)
And to Paul in Acts 26: 18. " 'I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present My offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the Family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in Me." (Peterson MsgB)
Jesus said: "Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:31-33
Lump of clay mud, comb of honey.
Put them on a rock in the hot sun.
The very same sun hardens one
but the sun's heat melts the other.
And just so these tribulations of life
will cause some to curse God,
and yet cause others to praise Him!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Job said: "Though He slay me,
yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15)
Locating the Power of the Church.
a) 1 Cor. 1:22-26 "But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."
b) 1 Cor. 6:2-3 "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?"
Compare Daniel 7:27. "Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'"
c) The influence of the church has varied through the centuries. Compare Rev. 2:9-10 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
d) The Power always remains. 1 Thess 1:5-7 "For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe."
e). The law of Christian love is greater than the law of the anointing" See 1 Cor. 13:12-13. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Compare Romans 15:30. "Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me . ."
Col. 1:8. "who also declared to us your love in the Spirit." (also Col. 3:12-14)
Jude 1:20-25. "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."