Monday, October 19, 2020

First Three Seals of Revelation and the Antichrist


If we look at Daniel and Revelation, then we will know when the seven year tribulation will begin as certain key events occur. Much of the world may be unaffected at first, so knowing what to look for is vital!

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15 AMPC)

We were told by our Lord that we should look for and recognize this event as being close to persecution and His return to rule and reign. This also means Christians will be around when it happens. What is the “abomination of desolation?” Discussing the events surrounding the return of our Lord should show us what to look for and help us pinpoint this event.

Studying the events around the second coming should invigorate the body of Christ. After all, we are all expectantly waiting for this time. Unfortunately, instead of uniting us as a body working for the Kingdom of Heaven, it often creates division and strife. As we continue looking into the Book of Revelation, please remember that what we choose to believe concerning the return of the Lord doesn’t affect our salvation.

We are all brothers and sisters, adopted into the family of God. If what you believe doesn’t line up with what I believe, that is okay. We can agree to disagree and celebrate the fact that one day, we will all know  the truth!

Daniel’s Week

Previously we established a timeline of defined events that will happen in the final week before God’s wrath is poured out, just before Jesus returns. In this chapter of the Bible, past events are described in “weeks” which actually happened in that many “years.”

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate… (Daniel 9:27 AKJV)

We know that when this final week comes, the return of our Lord is at hand, even right at the door. When will this week begin? Are the seals connected to it?

1st Seals

...the Lamb opened one of the seals… And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2 AKJV)

Most scholars agree that the person on the white horse is the Antichrist. The defining characteristics are: 

    • riding a horse - a symbol of power
    • white - symbolic of self-righteousness
    • bow - used with arrows which are words so his words will be weapons
    • crown - symbolic of royal power and authority.

The Antichrist will come in power, seeming righteous, but will really be focused on his own self interest. He will be cunning with words and he is not a member of royalty but is “given a crown” so he is given the power and authority of a king even though he wasn’t born into it. 

Timing

We must closely examine the scripture to see when this occurs. After Daniel’s week is described in chapter 9, some time later  he is given a prophecy of the rulers to come which will affect Israel, the final accounts centering around the rulers of Syria. All have been fulfilled except the final ruler:

And in his place or office [in Syria] shall arise a contemptuous and contemptible person, to whom royal majesty and honor of the kingdom have not been given. (Daniel 11:21 AMPC)

“In his place or office” is referring to the royal leadership role of Syria. A person assumes that place of authority but isn’t royal by birth. The American King James Version states it this way: “obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” It is not a godly person, but vile, who is manipulating behind the scenes. This perfectly aligns with the first seal. If we continue reading, we see there is more to happen before the seven year peace agreement is made:

Before him the overwhelming forces of invading armies shall be broken and utterly swept away...yes, and a prince of the covenant [with those who were at peace with him] also [shall be broken and swept away]. (Daniel 11:22 AMPC)

This scripture has two parts: invading armies being swept away and a peace covenant. Syria has been in a constant state of turmoil from invaders, since Israel was established as a nation.  The Antichrist will assume power, then the armies invading Syria will be “utterly swept away.” The Hebrew words for this mean the invading great armies are overcome or destroyed with great strength. AFTER this happens or possibly as it happens, a peace agreement is made.

We know Daniel’s week begins with the signing of a peace treaty with many. The first seal is about the Antichrist coming in power, which may well happen before the peace treaty. This means that the first seal may be broken before the peace treaty is signed, for the Antichrist must be in power in Syria in order to sign that agreement.

I am not intimately aware of Syrian politics. I cannot tell you if there is a new player rising to power by manipulation behind the scene. I’m not sure if anyone could. But one thing we do know, the first seal isn’t necessarily the signing of the treaty, but the Antichrist coming into power, and gaining influence before that time. The verses that follow aptly describe not only what we know the enemy will do from prior studies but they give additional information as well.

And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. (Daniel 11:23 AKJV) 

He shall enter peaceably even on the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yes, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds, even for a time. (Daniel 11:24 AKJV)

After the “league” or the signing of the seven year agreement, he will first become popular with regular people, then the rich and powerful will align with him to gain more wealth. Finally after waging war and winning for a while, he loses when others come against him. Enraged at the loss he shows his true colors: 

And armed forces of his shall appear [in the holy land] and they shall pollute the sanctuary, the [spiritual] stronghold, and shall take away the continual [daily burnt offering]; and they shall set up [in the sanctuary] the abomination that astonishes and makes desolate. (Daniel 11:31 AMPC)

This description fits with what we know the Antichrist will do in the middle of the seven year peace agreement. He causes the daily sacrifices to cease and rails at Heaven, God, and everyone there while declaring himself to be god. The person discussed in these verses are definitely the Antichrist. 

With confidence, we can now place the first seal before Daniel’s Week. We can continue looking at these events, knowing that they will all happen during Daniel’s week.


Second Seal

And when he had opened the second seal... 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 to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4 AKJV)

The next seal releases a horse of a different color with a different purpose: 

    • red: anger, war and destruction
    • horse: power
    • sword: words will be used to cut deeply

War will come with great destruction. If we refer back to Daniel 11 we see that this could occur before or after the week begins because the Antichrist subdues the enemies of Syria before the covenant and then goes to war shortly after it is signed. 


Where will this war occur?

And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. (Daniel 11:25 AKJV)

The countries directly south of Syria are Jordan and Iran with Saudi Arabia just sound of Iran . There is great wealth there that many desire: oil. He promises the wealthy more riches. What better place to find them in the day and age.




Antichrist Exploits

At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. (Daniel 11:29 AKJV)

    •  After victory and riches gained, he begins turning against Israel
    •  He goes out to attack again

For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. (Daniel 11:30 AKJV)

    • Chittim = ships of the Mediterranean Sea (Westerners)
    • Sacrifices and offerings are taken away and Holy Place is polluted

When the Antichrist goes to war a second time, some of the Antichrist allies will not stand by him as he begins to attack God's people. However, some will be fooled and the next few verses are why:

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32 AKJV)

 

And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. (Daniel 11:33 AKJV) 

If you do not know God’s ways and are not walking in them, you may be corrupted by the nice things the Antichrist is saying. Those who really know God’s ways will hold strong and will be persecuted; many will die. The leader of the enemies forces becomes bolder:

And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (Daniel 11:36 AKJV) 

Christians are overcome and killed while those who don't know God's ways flock to the Antichrist, then he declares himself to be God. We know from other studies that:

    • Antichrist will declare himself to be god
    • Happens at Mid-trib (Daniel 12:11-12)
These final actions of the Antichrist will happen as the last seal is broken, but we will get to that in due time.

Third Seal

And when he had opened the third seal… a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the middle of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see you hurt not the oil and the wine. (Revelation 6:5-6 AKJV)

Following the war is famine. A severe shortage of food leads to astronomical prices for food. At the time this was written, it is estimated this meant that one day’s wage would pay for a loaf of bread.

The oil and wine are two ingredients used in healing at the time this was written. Oil is also symbolic of the anointing and wine represents the blood of Jesus. Perhaps God will still be miraculously providing for His people during this time?

During Daniel’s week there is an event that could explain when the seal is broken: 

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. (Revelation 11:6 AKJV) 

When the two witnesses are prophesying and giving testimony, God gives them the power to: 

    •  cause a drought during the 3.5 years they are prophesying.
    • turn water to blood
    • smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will

Two anointed people will be prophesying and giving testimony as God instructs them to. With no water, a drought could limit the amount of food. If the water is turned into blood, how will crops grow?

This seal could easily occur 1 year or more into Daniel’s week.

As the two witnesses appear, prophesying and giving testimony, what will your response be? God hasn’t changed; His ways are stated in the Bible. Much of it isn’t popular in this world today. If we are going to be ready for what is coming, now is the time to begin:

  • Be learning more about God and His ways
  • Learn to hear from Him to strengthen your relationship with Him

He will make sure you are in the right place, at the right time, well equipped for what is coming.



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