Study of Revelation 6, Part II
The Seven Seal Judgments of the Tribulation
The Third Seal Judgment
Revelation 6:5-6, “When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
Rejection of the Bread of Life, the flesh of Christ, which provides spiritual sustenance; therefore, the world receives the removal of physical sustenance.
Joel tells us when physical sustenance is removed; happiness is also removed, Joel 1:1-20. Joel also shows us that in restoration, the Bread brings about happiness and contentment. Joel 2:19, 26
Just as the 2nd Seal, Warfare leads to the 3rd Seal Famine and Inflation, so Peace and Happiness go hand in hand; the external with the internal. And it all starts with the rejection of authority.
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (take courage); I have overcome the world.”
Outline for Studying the Third Seal Judgment
I) Numerology helps define this scene.
II) Colors are used in the first Four Seals and have meaning in the Bible.
III) The word “Seal(s)” is mentioned four times in Revelation 5. How are the references in Chapter 5 related to the 1st four references to “Seal” of Chapter 6? In Rev. 5:5, the humanity of Christ is worthy to open the scroll because of His sacrifice.
IV) The events of Rev 6 compared to Christ’s Sermon on the Mountain, speaking about end times in Mat 24:3-28; Mark 13; Luke 21:7-19.
V) Each of the Four Living Creatures are represented in the 1st 4-Seals what is their importance.
VI) The Lead Tribes of Israel represented each Living Creature.
VII) How are the Four-Fold Praises for Rev 5:13 related to the Seals in Chapter 5 and 6?
VIII) There is a Seven-Fold Message to the Seven Churches Rev 2-3.
a) The message about Christ.
b) The encouragement to the Church.
c) The problem with the Church.
d) The promise of blessings.
IX) There was a Seven-Fold Praise by the angels in Rev 5:12.
X) The Seven Days of Creation tell us something about the Seven Seal Judgments.
XI) The Seven Results of the Baptism of the Spirit related to the Seven Seal Judgments.
XII) The Seven Trials of Jesus Christ related to the Seven Seal Judgments.
XIII) The Seven Sayings of Jesus Christ on the Cross, related to the Seven Seal Judgments.
XIV) The Seven Feasts of Israel compared to the Seven Seal Judgments.
John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life. John 6:1-14, 26-58, 63, 68
John 6:63, 68-69, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. …68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69“We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
I) Numerology Helps Define this Scene,
(4 Seals with Living Creatures +3 without = 7 = Spiritual Perfection.)
The number three is prominent in the 3rd Seal, and stands for Divine Completeness / Divine Perfection.
In his book “Number in Scripture,” E.W. Bullinger has noted many fascinating occurrence of the number 3 and its significance to Divine Perfection.
Here we compare some of these findings to the 3rd Seal Judgment to gain a better understanding of why this Judgment is brought on to the world, and what the Judgment tells us about our Lord Jesus Christ.
First, we note that three stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire.
Three is the first of the four perfect numbers:
3 = Divine perfection
7 = Spiritual perfection
10 = Ordinal perfection
12 = Governmental perfection
Three speaks to the Trinity that makes up one God. The angels praise them by crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy” with a three-fold praise of the Divine Godhead. Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8
Rev 4:8, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”
This praise identifies the completeness of God as manifested in Jesus Christ.
Three times in scripture the fullness of God is noted, Eph 3:19; 4:13; Col 2:9. In each usage, the context of scripture indicates what we are to fill ourselves with; His Word, our spiritual sustenance.
“The fullness of God.” Eph 3:19 (14-21)
“The fullness of Christ.” Eph 4:13 (10-13)
“The fullness of the Godhead.” Col 2:9 (6-10)
The fullness of God was manifested visibly in Christ and communicated to us by the power and filling of God the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. Through Jesus Christ, the fullness was seen for all, and is realized by those who believe. John 1:9-18
John 1:16, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”
So, we have in view, God the Holy Spirit who feeds us the spiritual food of the Word, Jesus Christ, as planned and designed by the Father. And based on our faith in Christ’s spiritual sacrifice, we receive the fullness of God, through the forgiveness of our sins, and residency of the Trinity in our soul.
This is also seen when we compare and combine the 2nd and 3rd Seals. Because in the 2nd Seal, we saw the sacrificial Calf being the entrance for Peace that was rejected by the world. In the 2nd Seal Judgment, we noted that the Bull was used in the Peace Offering to the Lord. Lev 3:1-17; Num 15:8-12
Yet, the world rejected the peace found in Christ, and therefore will receive in Judgment, the removal of worldly peace.
What is interesting about this offering is that the accompanying “grain offering” had to be three parts of a measure. This spoke to the perfect divine nature of the offering.
The Peace offering is directly in line with the reason for the 3rd Seal Judgment, and the scarcity of grains, under the perfect Divine punitive Judgment of God during the 3rd Seal of the Tribulation. The world rejected the sacrificial calf and grain offering, which typified Jesus Christ’s perfect spiritual sustenance for our sins, as the Bread of Life; therefore, the world receives in perfect Divine punitive Judgment, physical famine.
Also note that the Offering and Judgment are not just for Israel, but for Jew and Gentile also as noted in Num.15:13-16. The Bread of Life is food for all to accept or reject.
Charles Ryrie notes, regarding Lev 3:1 that, the peace offering was the only offering by which the offerer shared in eating a portion of the offering. Lev 7:15-18
They had to eat the flesh, either on the day of the offering or on the next day, if it was a vow or freewill offering. Yet, they could not eat of it on the third day, because the flesh would begin to rot.
This ties back to one of the reasons for our Lord’s resurrection on the third day, Psa 16:10; Acts 2:7, 31; 13:34-37 ….
Psa 16:10, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”
…. for God would not have His people eat of rotten flesh. The flesh of Jesus Christ was and is perfected for our consumption, (i.e. our salvation and spiritual walk).
Lev 7:19-21 tells us that salvation is found in faith alone in Christ alone, and anytime man adds anything to Christ’s work for salvation, it is not acceptable for salvation, (Because man-made things are tainted with sin, and therefore unclean.).
Three also sets forth the perfection of Christ’s Divine nature for our provision in the following ways. The significance of the number three is why
1) Abraham brought 3 measures of meal for his heavenly guests. Gen 18:1-8
2) Three measures of grain formed the great meal offerings, because it set forth the perfection of Christ’s human and divine nature for our provision.
3) Likewise, there were three great Feasts for Israel:
a) Unleavened Bread,
b) Weeks / Pentecost, and
c) Booths / Tabernacle.
All three signify the perfection of God’s plan for mankind:
a) Christ without sin as the perfect sacrifice.
b) The sending of the Holy Spirit for our divine good production.
c) The beginning of the Millennial reign with the establishment of Christ’s perfect reign over man.
It is also interesting to note that just prior to the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the Feast of Passover, where the celebrants had to kill a lamb, roast it, and eat every piece of it that night, along with unleavened bread. Ex 12:1-11
Noting that Christ was judged for our sins, and we must eat of His flesh in order to gain life. We must eat of the Bread of Life.
4) In Lev 14:1-18 (vs 10) three measures were used for the cleansing of the poor leper.
The leper had a special anointing which was given only to:
- The Prophet
… where the blood and oil were placed on his right:
- Ear lobe
- Big toe
… while the remaining oil was placed on his head.
Blood represents the sacrifice for sins with resultant cleansing of sins for the believer, while the oil represents the infallible Word of God taught to us by the Holy Spirit.
So, we see that the number three stands for Divine fullness and represents the Holy Spirit, as taking of the things of Christ and making them real and solid for our spiritual needs.
5) The first mention of the number three:
a) On the third day, the land rose up out of the waters, (symbolic of resurrection) and plant life came forth, which would provide for sustaining the physical nature of man. Gen 1:9-13.
The vegetation was also symbolic of God’s provision for divine good production through man, based on Christ’s work and the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit. So, we see the picture of Christ’s resurrection from the dead on the third day as the basis for our spiritual sustenance, and the Word of God which provides for our ongoing spiritual sustenance. Christ’s resurrection paved the way for fruit, (i.e. Divine good production).
b) In the first literal mention of the number three, it again stands for Divine perfection and completeness, as Enoch walked with God (eat the bread of life) for 300-years after the birth of Methuselah. Gen 5:22-24
Enoch was the first person ever Raptured, because of his extremely close (love) relationship with God and God’s perfect love.
c) Likewise, we see three related to Noah having three sons, which says that God’s perfect and complete design for populating the earth and the perfect provision of the Savior came from three individuals. Gen 5:32
6) Peter, in a dream, was shown three times that the law was fulfilled in Christ; all things where now lawful for eating, and all races have equal privilege and opportunity for producing Divine good. Act 10:9-19; 11:1-18
7) Another special relationship to the number three is that Christ was crucified on the 3rd hour, had His name written in three languages for all the world to know, was in darkness for three hours having our sins imputed to Him, and was perfected on the third day through resurrection. Mark 15:25-34; John 19:19-20; Luke 24:46
Towards the end of the three hours in darkness He cried, “My God (Father), My God (Holy Spirit) why have You forsaken me?” showing us that nothing of nature or intelligence of this world could save us from our sins. We could never deliver ourselves from our natural condition. Only the Bread of Life has the power to deliver us.
And remember that on Passover the celebrants had to eat every bit of the sacrificial lamb. Likewise, we must eat of the Lamb / Bread in order to have life.
The negative aspect of man’s rejection of the Bread is found in Jude 11, where three speaks to the completeness of Apostasy.
It is interesting to note that these three are directly correlated to the first Three Seal Judgments in reverse order.
Jude 11, “Woe to them! For they have gone:”
1) “The way of Cain” This was a rejection of Christ’s work for spiritual life, as Cain offered human produced grain to God rather than accept the work of Christ. God rejected his offering, because it was tainted with sin, Gen 4. This correlates to the 3rd Seal Judgment, as the rejection of the Bread of Life is in view.
2) “For pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam” This was rejection of Christ’s work and word for sustenance. Balaam sought worldly gain through cursing Israel instead of garnering peace between Israel and Moab. Numb 22-24. Balaam was not content with the sustenance and peace found in Christ. This correlates to the 2nd Seal Judgment as God removes worldly peace from the earth, because of the rejection of the peace found in Christ’s sacrifice.
3) “Perished in the rebellion of Korah” This was rejection of Christ’s authority as appointed to Moses and Aaron in civil and religious leadership. The arrogance of man (Korah) wanted his own authority instead of accepting Christ’s authority, Num 16; just as Satan rejected and rebelled in eternity past, Isa 14:12-14. This correlates to the 1st Seal Judgment, where the authority of Jesus Christ is rejected and in Judgment, God allows the tyrant authority of the Antichrist to rule.
Likewise, three identifies the completeness of man’s temptation, where Satan tempts us in three ways, 1 John 2:16. (Appetite, Beauty & Pride)
Here, (like the Woe to them in Jude 11, which by the way, will tie in with the three Woe Judgments later on in Revelation), the three states of apostasy and temptation align with the 1st Three Seal Judgments in reverse order. The 1st state of apostasy or temptation with the 3rd Seal, the 2nd apostasy / temptation with the 2nd Seal, and the 3rd apostasy / temptation with the 1st Seal.
As before, we see the significance of three in Divine completion. We see the completion of apostasy, the completion of temptation, and the completion of necessary judgment.
Why in reverse order? Two reasons:
- With God, judgment begins with the Authority of Christ, and flows through his Word. With Man, apostasy begins with the rejection of the Word, and culminates in the rejection of the authority of Christ.
- Apostasy is the opposite of the Divine Perfection of God.
1 John 2:16, “Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the eyes, boastful pride of life”
These three temptations are also known as temptations of: Appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride. All three are directs attacks against Christ as the Bread of Life, the Gospel of Peace, and King of kings in ultimate Authority. Again, because of the Apostasy of the world in accepting these lies, God brings these three Seal Judgments forward.
Satan tempted the woman this way in the Garden of Eden. Gen 3:1-6. In the Garden, their sin was not merely eating forbidden fruit; it was disobeying the revealed Word of God, believing the lie of Satan, and placing their own will above God’s.
In Gen 3:6, we see the 1st Temptation – “It was good for food.” This is a direct correlation to the 3rd Seal Judgment, as the world sees everything but the authority of the Word of Christ as good for eating.
The 2nd Temptation – “It was a delight to the eyes.” Instead of using the soul as its eyes and seeing the beauty of the gospel of Christ for salvation, the world sees through its literal eyes, the promise of worldly peace as the most beautiful thing. This directly relates to the 2nd Seal Judgment.
The 3rd Temptation – “Desirable to make wise.” Instead of obeying the authority of Christ by eating His Word for true wisdom, the world looks everywhere else for wisdom and sucks it in, and will accept the authority of the Antichrist, in rejection of The Christ in the 1stt Seal Judgment.
Christ was also tempted in this way in Luke 4:1-13. Unlike the woman, He responded to the temptation three times by saying, “It is written.” In other words, He said, “The Bread of Life, which is the Word of God,and the mind of Jesus Christ, has all authority and is sufficient for all my needs.”
He also said in essence, “I will not omit, I will not add, and I will not alter anything found in the word,” (as warned in Deut 4:2 and Rev 22:18-19), because it is divinely perfect and complete for our sustenance in all aspects of life, physical and spiritual.
So, we note that we should have the same attitude. If we do any of the three noted above, whatever fruit we produce will be tainted with sin and unacceptable to God. 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10 Therefore, we must apply the Word of God accurately and concisely without omission, addition, or alteration.
Let us now compare:
The Three Temptations of Christ to the Seal Judgments.
This account is record in Mat 4 and Luke 4.
For our comparison, we will use the Gospel of Luke, because its emphasis is on Christ as the Son of Man, written especially for the pagan / unbelieving Gentiles.
Matthew emphasizes His Kingship, and was written especially for the Jews.
- In Luke 4:3-4, we have the 1st Christ was physically hungry and Satan offered Christ what? He offered Him the opportunity to use His own Divine power to satisfy His physical hunger, and turn stones into bread. He tempted His appetite. Here Christ shows the world that our only sustenance to satisfy our appetite is found in His word. His word is the Bread of Life. John 1:1 with 6:35, 48. Because the world rejects His Word for spiritual sustenance, the world receives the 3rd Seal Judgment, “famine of grain products / bread.”
- In Luke 4:5-8, we have the 2nd Satan offered Jesus the keys to the world. Jesus came to reconcile the world back to God by breaking the sin barrier between God and man; thereby, establishing peace between God and man. The Gospel of peace brings peace to man. Satan offered a shortcut to peace. What is more beautiful than peace between God and any of His creations? Worshiping and serving God are examples of your acceptance of His peace. This correlates to the 2nd Seal where, “man rejects the peace of God found in Christ.”
- In Luke 4:9-12, we have the 3rd In this Temptation, we see Satan using, or in fact, misusing the Word of God. Satan challenges the authority of the Word in the Temptation of Christ. When Satan uses the phrase of Psa 91:11-12, “He will give charge,” he tempts Jesus to challenge the authority of God to save Him. Jesus’ reply is, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” In Other words, who are we to challenge His authority? If His Word says so, it is. We are not to challenge Him to see if He will come through. This correlates to the 1st Seal where, the Authority of Christ is challenge by the world in rejection, and the Antichrist, backed by Satan, comes in to epitomize that challenge.
So, we see that in order to overcome Temptations, we must eat of the Divinely perfect sustenance, the Word of God, and apply it to each situation. This will lead to peace in our souls as we honor the authority found in Christ.
As you can see, in both examples of temptations by Satan to man, as demonstrated in the Woman and Christ, all three aspects of God’s Divinely perfect Word and Plan are blended together.
It starts with the authority in Christ that leads to peace, as we eat from the bread of life. If we don’t eat, there is no peace, which culminates in the rejection of His authority. In God’s grace plan He established Authority in Christ to bring about Peace, if we eat the Bread of Life.
Regrettably, the world did not and does not eat of the Bread of Life, and therefore is reminded of that in Judgment during the 3rd Seal of the Tribulation.
These 1st Three Judgments are sufficient from God’s viewpoint for man to wake up and realize that Jesus Christ is the Only True Savior.
So, with the completion of the 3rd Seal and the beginning of the 4th, it tells us that the world still rejects the authority of Christ as their Savior, and therefore the apostasy of the world is complete.
As the 4th Seal Judgment comes into play, we see a culmination of the 1st Three Judgments, resulting in the death of one fourth of the world’s population.
Even though the apostasy is complete, in love, God provides further grace for repentance, as we see the rest of the Seals opened along with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments.
II) Colors Used in the First Four Seals have Meaning in the Bible Related to the Seal Judgments.
Rev 6:5, “When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse.”
The Greek word for “Black” in Rev 6:5 is: μέλας – melas (mel’-as)
It is a primary word and is found in the New Testament only three times. Mat 5:36, Rev 6:5, 12
When reference is made to a particular color or colors, it is likely made for one of two basic reasons.
a) Used in a descriptive sense to help identify an object or clarify some aspect about that object.
b) Used in a symbolic sense to convey theological truth about the subject.
“Black” is used at times to symbolize Judgment or Decay, and is representative of Famine or Pestilence, as we have here in Rev 6:5.
There are not many colors mentioned in Scripture, and these can be arranged in two classes: those applied to natural objects, and artificial mixtures used in dyeing or painting.
Of the natural colors, there are five: white, red, black, yellow, and green. All of these are applied in the 1st Four Seal Judgments and have meaning regarding the Judgment.
“Black” is used to denote the color of physical objects:
1) Hair (Lev. 13:31, 37; Song of Sol. 5:11).
2) Skin (Job 30:30; Song of Sol. 1:5-6; Lam. 4:8).
3) The sky as a sign of rain (1 Kings 18:45).
4) Animals (Gen. 30:32-43; Zech. 6:2, 6; Rev. 6:5).
“Black” is used figuratively to describe:
1) Mourning, affliction, calamity, and death (Job 3:5; 30:28-31; Jer. 4:28; 8:21; 14:2; Lam 4:8; 5:10).
2) A visionless day (Micah 3:6).
3) The abode of the dead (Job 3:5; Jude 13).
4) The treachery of Job’s friends (Job 6:16).
Black and white are extreme contrasts in Scripture, the former being where light and its colors have vanished.
But the term is also used relatively and includes the dark hues that approach black.
The shades of this color are expressed in the Hebrew terms:
1) shachor – שָׁחֹר, “dusky,” applied to:
a) The hair (Leviticus 13:31; Song of Solomon 5:11).
b) The complexion (Song of Solomon 1:5; NIV, “dark”), particularly when affected with disease (Job 30:30).
c) Horses (Zechariah 6:2, 6).
2) chum – חוּם, literally means, “scorched,” is applied to:
a) Sheep (Genesis 30:32), and expresses the color produced by influence of the sun’s rays.
3) qadar– קָדַר, means, “to be dirty,” is applied to:
a) A complexion blackened by sorrow or disease (Job 30:30).
b) A clouded sky (1 Kings 18:45).
c) Night (Micah 3:6; Jeremiah 4:28; Joel 2:10; 3:15)
d) A turbid brook (where possibly Kidron is from), particularly when rendered so by melted snow (Job 6:16).
In many of these passages, the Bible uses “dark” or “darkened” for “black.”
It was also the sign of humiliation (Mal 3:14, “in black”), and the omen of evil (Zech 6:2; Rev 6:5).
The black color of the horse speaks of “Famine and Death.” “Famine and War” often go together. Mat. 24:7
Mat 24:7, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.”
As we saw a link based on the color red between the 2nd and 3rd Seals, where we see warfare and famine linked; this is also culminated in the link between the 3rd and 4th Seals of “famine and death with the color black.” The color black makes one think of fear, famine, and death. (KJV) Jer. 14:1-2; Lam. 5:10 (“hot” NASB).
Lam. 5:10 (KJV) “Our skin was black (hot) like an oven, because of the terrible famine.”
Jer. 14:2, “Because of the drought Judah mourns, and the gates thereof languish; they are in deep mourning (black) for the land.”
Joel 2:6, “All faces shall gather blackness.”
Nahum 2:10, “The knees smite together, and there is great pain in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.”
In Rev 6:5 the color of the horse: “behold, a black horse” would properly denote “distress and calamity,” based on its symbolism. From the color of the horse here introduced, we should naturally look for some dire calamity, though the nature of the calamity would not be designated by the mere use of the word “black.” What the calamity will be is determined by what follows in the symbol. “Famine, pestilence, oppression, heavy taxation, tyranny, invasion.” Any of these might be denoted by the color of the horse.
Barnes says about the color black: Rev 6:12 “And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair.”
“Sackcloth was a coarse black cloth, commonly, though not always, made of hair.
It was used for sacks, for strainers, and for mourning garments; and as so worn, it was a proper emblem of sadness and distress.
The image is that of calamity; as if the very sun should put on the robes of mourning.
We are by no means to suppose that this was literally to occur, but that some great calamity would happen, of which this would be an appropriate emblem.”
Compare with Isa 13:10; 24:23; 34:4; 1, 3; 60:19-20; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:10; 3:15-16; Amos 8:9; Mat 24:29.
IVP Bible Commentary notes on Rev 6:12:
“Darkness was also an Old Testament judgment (Ex 10:21-23; Isaiah 50:3), especially the judgment of the end (Isaiah 13:9-10; 24:23; Ezek 32:7-8; Amos 5:18; 8:9; Ezra all).”
The first mention of the word “black” in the Bible is in: Gen 30:32 NASB (“brown” in KJV) and Lev 13:31 KJV (also “black” in the NASB)
The Hebrew word שָׁחֹר – shachor [shaw-khore] means, “black” and is used in Lev 13:31, 37; Song of Sol 1:5; 5:11; Zech 6:2, 6. The Greek word “melas” is akin to Shachor and is used in the LXX.
The Hebrew word חוּם – chum (khoom); chum means, “darkened, dark brown or black.” Gen 30:32-33, 35, 40
Gen 30:32-35, “Let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33“So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34Laban said, “Good, let it be according to your word.” 35So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons.”
Notice the parallels in these verses to the 3rd Seal Judgment.
- The color black is only associated with the lamb, giving us the image of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one who received the Judgment for our sins and who ultimately brings about the Seal Judgments onto the unbelieving world.
- The removal of the black lambs is associated to Jacob’s wages. Because the world rejected the sacrifice of the lamb (Bread of life), the average man’s wages will not be sufficient to purchase bread (their freedom).
- “When you come concerning my wages,” When the Lord returns, He will separate the sheep from the goats (Mat 25:31-46), and though the goat nations tried to purchase their own salvation, the fact will be that Satan stole their salvation away through deception. He does so by deceiving the world into thinking they do not need to receive the redemption for the wages of their sins, which is found in Christ.
- “According to your word,” Jacob gained his release from slavery based on the honesty found in his words. Our freedom is based on the immutability and veracity of the Word of God (the bread of life).
Now, turning to the other First Mention of the word “black” using the Hebrew word Shachor, we see additional principles.
Lev 13:31 & 37, “But if the priest looks at the infection of the scale, and indeed, it appears to be no deeper than the skin and there is no black hair in it, then the priest shall isolate the person with the scaly infection for seven days.” 37“If in his sight the scale has remained, however, and black hair has grown in it, the scale has healed, he is clean; and the priest shall pronounce him clean.”
- These passages have to do with healing from leprosy. Leprosy is a real disease, but was used as typology for sin.
- “The Priest looks at the infections,” Jesus Christ, the High Priest, is the one qualified to open, look upon, read, and enact these Judgments.
- “No deeper than the skin,” the sin nature is found in our flesh. Rom 8:1-13.
- If there was “no black hair in” the infected area, healing was not complete and the individual was separated for seven more days. Seven is the number for spiritual perfection in the Bible. So, if no black, there was no spiritual healing from sin. This is the typology based on the literal, physical process of cleansing used in that day. So, we can say, if there is no Black Horse Rider, there would be no spiritual healing. Also, recall that there are Seven Seal Judgments in all.
- “If black hair has grown in it,” This signified recovery from sin. God uses the Black Horse Rider for the potential of spiritual recovery for the Tribulation unbelievers.
Next, we turn to the First Usage of “black” in the New Testament found in Mat 5:36.
Matt 5:36 “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.”
- The comparison here is to the Creator. Jesus Christ is the creator and man is not.
- The Lord is reminding man of his limited nature. Man is limited in his ability, and there are some things that only our Creator can accomplish for us. Salvation is one of those things.
Wiersbe says of this passage:
“The context of this statement is in regards to making oaths or vows.
The Jewish legal experts had many ways to get around the law and break oaths, so that a person’s promises might mean nothing.
Jesus does not forbid us to take a legal oath, but He warns us to speak the truth and not embellish our conversation with oaths that are supposed to strengthen our words.
Have such integrity that people will believe what you say. Jesus says not to make them according to heaven, earth, or Jerusalem, because God owns them all.”
- Since the Garden of Eden, man has been trying to get around the one and only legal way of salvation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 16:31; 1 John 3:23; 5:13
- Many say, “Christ, Christ,” but Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” Mat 7:22-23
Mat 7:23, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.”
“… Because thou canst not make one hair white or black.”
“You have no control or right over your own life. You cannot even change one single hair. God has all that control; and it is therefore improper and profane to pledge what is God’s gift and God’s property; and it is the same as swearing by God Himself.”
IVP Bible Commentary says:
“Jewish Palestine had black or dark hair, unless they were older, in which case their hair was turning white; verse 36 would have been heard as referring to God’s control over aging.”
- We cannot purchase our spiritual life only God can, and through the scarcity of bread brought on through, the Black Horse Rider, God is trying to show man that principle. We have no control over the color of our hair. Do we think we have control over our eternal life. Only God does.
Mat 5:37, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
- So, we see through these texts that God is in ultimate authority over our body, soul, and spirit, and we should not be arrogant enough to think we have any control over them without God. The color black then is used to emphasize the fact of God’s Sovereign Authority.
Another word for Black in the Greek text is:
ζόφος – zophos (dzof’-os); which means, “deep gloom, black, darkness, gloom.”
When ZOPHOS is used by itself, it is translated “darkness,” yet could be translated “black or blackness.” When ZOPHOS is accompanied by the word SKOTOS, which means, “darkness, darkened sight, shadiness, etc.,” it is translated “black as a double emphasis to the impending doom to come.”
Zophos is found this way in 2 Pet 2:4, 17; Jude 1:6, 13. (These are the only verses that use Zophos.)
In these scriptures, it is referring to the “dark gloom of Tartarus,” sometimes translated “hell,” which was created for fallen angels who, after their fall, did not comply with the Divine rule of God and cohabited with women during Noah’s day. See also Gen 6:1-4
The usage of color in these passages, specifically the color black, once again identifies God’s sovereignty, along with His justice and righteous in Judgment. These fallen angels disobeyed God’s sovereign mandates towards angels and man, and as a result, in righteous Judgment, were sentenced to Tartarus awaiting their final Judgment of the Lake of Fire.
Note also in these scriptures, the references to the “way of Balaam.” Those references tie these passages together with the references made to the 3rd Church at Pergamum in Rev 2:12-17.
As we have noted previously, the church message to Pergamum is also associated with the 3rd Seal Judgment. This tells us that God is and remains consistent in all that He says and does.
God mandates that mankind not get involved in the false teachings of the world (i.e. false bread). Those teachings lead to sin and can keep people in the state of unbelief towards the work of Christ on the Cross and man’s need for that work.
As a result of Satan’s propaganda cosmic system (i.e. false bread), man many times chooses not to believe, and as a result chooses to receive the Judgment towards unbelief, (i.e. non-compliance to the Salvation Plan of God), which is the Judgment of the Eternal Lake of Fire.
Today, God is holding the criminal angels in Tartarus, until the final judgment and sentencing to the Lake of Fire for them.
In His consistent, immutable nature, He holds unbelieving mankind in the “black darkness” of Judgment during the Seal Judgments, specifically the 3rd Seal Judgment, until His 2nd Advent and subsequent final sentencing.
However, unlike the criminal fallen angels, man can always escape the sentencing, while they are alive here on earth, by accepting the payment of their sin, which is found in our Lord’s work upon the cross.
So, the world will once again see the consistency of God, as displayed by the Black Horse Rider. Due to the world’s rejection of The Lord Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life, the Black Horse Rider brings on the 3rd Seal Judgment.
As we have previously noted, there is a significant link to the color black with hair. We saw this in the 1st mention of “Black” in the Bible, in Lev 13:31 & 37, where the healing of leprosy (recovery from sin) was noted by black hairs being in the sore.
Then in the 1st mention of the color “Black” in the New Testament (Mat 5:36), we saw black hair used in the analogy of making an oath. This passage emphasized the Sovereign Authority of the Creator Jesus Christ.
The next time “Black” is used in the New Testament is in Rev 6, where it describes the 3rd Seal Horse, and in Verse 12 to describe the appearance of the sun, “black as sackcloth made of hair.”
So, in these three instances of the color “Black,” which is used infrequently in the Bible (6 times in the OT with the Hebrew word SHACHOR, and 3 times in the NT with the Greek word MELAS), we see hair is linked to it. So there must be significance to hair in relation to the Third Seal Judgment.
Samson’s (Jdg. 16:13, 19) and Absalom’s (2 Sam 14:26) long luxuriant hair is specially mentioned, and the Shulammite sings of the locks of her beloved, which are “bushy (the Revised Version margin, “curling”) and black as a raven” (Song 5:11).
It is well known that among the surrounding heathen nations, the hair of childhood or youth was often shaved and consecrated at idolatrous shrines (compare Herod. ii.65 for Egypt). Frequently, this custom marked an initiatory rite into the service of a divinity (e.g. that of Orotal (Bacchus) in Arabia, Herod. iii.8). It was therefore an abomination of the Gentiles in the eyes of the Jew, which is referred to in Lev 19:27; Jer 9:26; 25:23; 49:32.
Goat’s hair, as other animal hair, was the material of a cloth used for wearing apparel and for a more or less waterproof covering of tents and bundles, as hair was used to make the tents of the Tabernacle. It is the black tent-cloth of Kedar’ (Ishmael’s 2nd son – to be black – beauty) (Song 1:5; Ex 26:7; 36:14).
In New Testament times, it was the special product of Paul’s native province, Cilicia, whence its name cilicium and its manufacture formed the apostle’s own trade, Acts 18:3.
It is also mentioned as a material for stuffing pillows, 1 Sam 19:13.
So, hair has the symbol of “covering.”
In the New Testament, the Greek word for Hair is thrix – θρίξ (threeks); Mat. 5:36.
In Rev 6:12, it is trichinos – τρίχινος (trikh’-ee-nos), which means, “made of hair.”
In 1 Cor 11:6, we have the word keiro – κείρω (ki’-ro), which means, “to shear or cut off the hair.”
In times of affliction, the hair was cut off. Isa 3:17, 24; 15:2; 22:12; Jer 7:29; Amos 8:10.
“Cutting off the hair” is a figure of the entire destruction of a people. Isa 7:20.
In 1 Cor 11:14-15, we have the word κομάω – komaó (kom-ah’-o), which means, “long hair.”
The Hebrews anointed the hair profusely with fragrant ointments Ruth 3:3; 2 Samuel 14:2; Psalm 23:5; Psalm 45:7, etc., especially in seasons of rejoicing. Mat 6:17; Luke 7:46.
A Symbol of Submission to Authority
The significant meaning of Hair in the New Testament has to do with acceptance or rejection of authority. This is shown to us in 1 Cor 11:6-15, where hair is used as a covering for the woman, which is a symbol of submission to authority, the authority of her husband.
This is emphasized in 1 Cor 11:10, where the symbol of submission to authority by the woman is a teaching aid to both mankind and angels.
1 Cor 11:10, “Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”
The demonstration of submission to authority, in any realm, teaches the angels of the power and grace of God. When someone demonstrated inner peace and contentment while under authority, they are displaying the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit who are given to us in grace by God.
When we place ourselves under the authority of God, it should bring about inexpressible love, joy, peace, happiness, and thanksgiving, as Mary (the sister of Martha) witnessed to angels and us.
Luke 7:38, “And standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.”
A Symbol of Divine Good Production
In addition, hair symbolizes how women are to display their divine good production (fruit of the spirit). They are to do so by submitting to the authority of God (His Word and Spirit) and not through their outward appearance, as signified by “braided hair.” This also shows their submissiveness to Divinely established Authority (Divine Institution #2, Right Man / Right Women). 1 Tim 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3
Oh by the way, this also applies to men too, except the part about the hair.
A Symbol of Divine Protection
We also see hair as a symbol of God’s protection for the believer during the Tribulation, Luke 21:10-24. For God to provide protection, man must first submit to the Authority of the Cross for the forgiveness of their sins.
God has numbered the very hairs of the head. Mt 10:30; Lk 12:7, which to man conveys the idea of the innumerableness. Ps 40:12; 69:4
What God can number, He can also protect, so that not even a hair of the head might “fall to the earth” or “perish.”
These phrases express complete safety. 1 Sam 14:45; 2 Sam 14:11; 1 Ki 1:52; Lk 21:18; Acts 27:34
A Symbol of Submission to the Word of God
In the Old Testament those who took a Nazirite vow were forbidden from cutting their hair during the course of their vow, but afterward, their entire head was to be shaved. Num. 6:1-21 vs 18; Acts 18:18; 21:24.
The cutting of hair was associated with the fulfillment of the vow, the Nazirite vow. The man who made a vow to God was responsible to Him with his whole body and being. Not even a hair was to be injured, willfully, during the whole period of the vow, for all belonged to God. The conclusion of the Nazirite vow was marked by sacrifices and the shaving of the head at the door of the sanctuary, Num 6:1-21, indicative of a new beginning of life. The long untouched hair was therefore considered as the emblem of personal devotion (or devotedness) to the God of all strength.
Paul demonstrated this in Acts, although we don’t know what his vow was.
Nevertheless, it represented submission to authority, the authority of a spoken word, just as we need to submit to the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.
A Symbol of the Holiness of God (The revealed Righteousness & Justice of God
In Rev. 1:14, we have a description of Jesus Christ. His hair is said to be white. The symbol represents the Holiness of God, which is the revealed righteousness and justice of God. He has the power and authority to judge.
A Symbol of Judgment and Protection.
Interestingly enough, the last mention of “hair” in the Bible is in Rev 9:1-12, specifically Verse 8. In this prophecy, “hair, black or darkness, and horses” are all in view.
Hair is used here to describe the released fallen angels who will bring torture and torment onto unbelieving man during the 7th Seal Judgment, (5th Trumpet, 1st Woe).
The description of “hair like women” on the fallen angels signifies their rejection of Christ’s authority, as does long hair on men today.
Notice in Verse 4 that these long-haired angels will not be able to harm anyone who has the Seal of God on their forehead. So we see the tie in, between hair and the protection of God once again.
Rejection of the authority of God leads to rejection of the Word of God.
Rejection of the Word of God leads to rejection of the authority of God.
Old Testament Reference.
In Ezek 4:9-5:17, we see striking similarities between the judgments of Israel in the past and the prophecy of the Seal Judgments. Here we see, “bread scarcity, hair, a scale,” the rejection of the Word of God and His Judgments.
Because of the rejection of the Word of God, Judgments are brought on to those who have rejected it, and “bread, hair and scales” are all symbols of these Judgments.
For a final comment on the “color black,” in Zech. 6:2-6, we have a description of the Patrolling Angels sent into the earth to bring about the Judgments of the Tribulation.
The “Black Horses” represent the man-like Living Creatures (Seraphim angels) going to the North (Russia) to begin an earthly war against the Antichrist.
This will result in a war of evil attacking evil. The unbelieving nation of Russia will attack the revived Roman Empire (EEU) headed by the Antichrist. As a result, the 2nd Seal will be fulfilled, where man will slaughter man like never before.
S,o we see the tie in between the 2nd and 3rd Seals, where the warfare of the 2nd Seal will result in the grain famine of the 3rd Seal Judgment.
Summary of the Color Black.
In summarizing the “color black,” we see that “Black” represents Judgment that can lead to either healing or removal. Lev 13:29-37
“Black” is also associated with hair. “Hair” represents a covering and symbol of respect or rejection of Authority. “Hair” also represents the covering clothes of the one who mourns the death of another.
So, because the world rejected the authority of the Word of God/Bread of Life and did not respect the death of Jesus Christ as a covering for their souls (as represented in mourning), the world receives this Judgment. This judgment will either bring about spiritual healing for eternal life or spiritual mourning, through further rejection leading to eternal mourning in the Lake of Fire.
Now we turn to our 7th Scriptural Comparison to the Third Seal Judgment:
III) The Word “Seal(s)” is Mentioned Four Times in Revelation 5.
How are the References in Chapter 5 Related to the First Four References to “seal” of Chapter 6?
The 3rd mention of “Seals” in Rev. 5 is found in Verse 5.
The 1st mention is in Verse 1, which was related to the Authority of Jesus Christ as the holder of scroll and maintainer of the “Seals.” That correlates to the 1st Seal Judgment, where the Authority of Jesus Christ is rejected, and therefore the Authority of the Antichrist is allowed to enter the world and dominate it.
The 2nd mention is in Verse 2, where the strong angel proclaims, “who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals.” This correlates to the 2nd Seal Judgment, where the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which makes Him worthy to open the scroll is rejected by the world. As a result, slaughter of man killing man breaks out in the world. The world rejected the peace found in the sacrifice of Christ; therefore, the Judgment of the removal of earthly peace occurs.
Now we turn to: The Usage of Seals in Rev. 5
And to no surprise, we see the theme of the 3rd Seal continued.
Rev 5:5, “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.’”
The first point of interest in this verse related to the 3rd Seal is the phrase, “stop weeping.”
As we just saw in the “color black” and its association with hair, the world will one way or another weep over the death of Jesus Christ. They will either weep with tears of joy or tears of agony.
John started weeping in agony, because in His mind, the fate of the world was lost, because no one was found worthy to open the seals that would redeem the world. However, the elder tells him to stop weeping in agony, behold Jesus Christ.
Every member of the human race should mourn the death of Jesus Christ. This type of mourning is not one of grief and fear, but of respect and love for our Savior and His work.
In Gen 23, we have the:
1st Principles of Mourning the Death of a Loved One in the Bible.
It tells us of several interesting Principles related to the 3rd Seal.
- In Verse 4, a stranger/foreigner is looking for a burial site. Jesus, a heavenly citizen was buried amongst strangers. Eph 2:12, 19 (We were strangers to Christ.); Mat 27:7 (Potters field for burying strangers.)
- In Verse 6, no one would refuse the burial. That is the desire of God and why He brings about this seal Judgment, so that no one refuses His Son’s death as told in the Word of God. 2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16
- In Verse 16, the price for burial was paid in full. Jesus Christ paid the price in full for our sins upon His burial. Isa 44:22; Gal 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19
- The price of the field was very costly, a rich man’s wealth for a burial site. A rich man owned the burial site. Jesus was buried among the rich. Mat 27:57-59; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53
In the burial place, not only was Sarah buried, but Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob too, Gen 25:9; 49:31; 50:13. The family is buried together. Rom 6:4-5 (We, who were once strangers are now family and buried with Him at salvation.)
Back in Rev 5:5 we see “John weeping.”
“Weeping” is an expression of grief, sorrow, frustration, lamentation, emotional stimulation, happiness, pain, and any overpowering emotion. Therefore, weeping can express weakness or strength.
Eccl 3:4 tells us, “There is a time to weep and a time to dance.” There is good and bad weeping.
Good weeping is related to legitimate expressions of emotion, which are not related to the sins of arrogance or the emotional complex of sins.
Bad weeping is related to both the emotional and arrogance complex of sins. Bad weeping is related to the Law of Volitional Responsibility; once “we sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind,” we weep. Bad weeping is related to dissociation, disorientation to the grace of God, frustration, and scar tissue of the soul.
Examples of Bad Weeping:
- When a nation complains against it leaders. Num 14:1 4, where the nation of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron. They reject the provisions of God for life and salvation.
- The bitterness of an unbeliever towards God. Heb 12:16-17, where Esau cried because he constantly rejected the gospel, and when he wanted to believe, he could not.
Heb 12:16-17, “That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he did not find a place for a change of mind [about Christ], even though he sought for it with tears.”
Esau’s weeping expresses the frustration of making bad decisions inside the cosmic system.
If people say “no” to the gospel of the Bread of Life long enough, they build scar tissue of the soul and accumulate garbage in the subconscious.
- There is weeping of lost opportunity. Mat 8:12; Luke 13:28
Mt 8:12, “But the sons of the kingdom [Jewish unbelievers] shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Luke 13:28, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out.”
John’s “weeping” in Rev 5:5 is a temporary failure, due to emotional revolt of his soul by giving over to sin temptation.
- Good weeping can be an expression of sorrow:
2 Sam 18:33, “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, `o my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O’ Absalom, my son, my son!'”
2 Sam 19:1, “Then it was told Joab, “behold, the king is weeping and mourns for Absalom.”
1 Thes 4:15, “But we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest [unbelievers] who have no hope.”
Jn 11:33-35, No one ever died naturally in the presence of Jesus Christ.
When a loved one dies, weeping shows great capacity for love. When you weep at the death of a loved one and have no regret, that is a sign of nobility in the soul. Capacity for love also weeps from knowing that the person who has died is face to face with the Lord.
- Weeping can occur as an expression of sadness regarding those who are negative toward bible doctrine.
Phil 3:18-19, “For many keep walking, concerning whom I told you many times, and even now weeping I tell you again, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose destiny is destruction, whose god is their emotion, and whose glory is in their shame, who concentrate on earthly things.”
This was Paul’s frustration because these believers did not listen to doctrine.
- There is the weeping of appreciation for restored fellowship.
Ps 30:5, “For his anger is but for a moment resulting in a lifetime of grace benefit; weeping may endure for a night, but happiness comes in the morning; the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Ps 30:11, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have torn off my sackcloth and clothed me with happiness.”
- There is weeping related to the restoration of the client nation.
Ps 126:3, 5-6, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad… 5those who sow in tears will reap with joyful shouting. 6He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed [faith-rest confidence of restoration at the Second Advent], shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
There will be great blessing to the nation of Israel during the Millennium.
- There is also the weeping of patriots in a national disaster, Isa 22:3 4; Jer 9:1. They weep for the untrained army and the people in captivity.
- Tears are also a memorial to God.
Ps 56:8, “You have taken account of my [David] wanderings; you have put my tears in your bottle; and they are now in your book.”
All the tears related to our fellowship with the Lord, all of the tears that represent the good part of weeping, all of the things related to those tears, God puts them, as it were, into a bottle as a memory. In that memory, He provides comfort in time, and a far greater comfort in the eternal state.
- The weeping of the humanity of Christ is unique.
- Our Lord wept at the tomb of Lazarus, John 11:35. This was weeping of bereavement, indicating our Lord’s great capacity for love.
- Our Lord wept out of patriotism in Luke 19:41, because of the coming destruction of Jerusalem.
- Our Lord wept at the cross, Heb 5:7; Ps 22. This expressed the manliness and maturity of Christ. He could cry and scream, under the horribleness of spiritual death, and still orient to the grace of God and pray.
- The cessation of weeping. Isa 30:18 20; Rev 21:4
Rev 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes. And there shall no more be any death, neither shall there be any sorrow, no longer will there be any crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things have passed away.”
All weeping ends for the believer at the point of death. He is forever face-to-face with the Lord, where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more death.
Now back in Rev 5:5 and the Third Mention of “Seal” in Chapter 5, after the weeping of John, due to emotional revolt of the soul, instead of doctrinal rationale thinking, an elder straightens him out and identifies who is worthy to open the book.
In the identification of Jesus Christ, the elder does not give a description of the Throne and Majesty of Jesus Christ and identify the Deity of Christ, no. Instead, the elder describes the Humanity of Jesus Christ, as the “Lion that is from the Tribe of Judah” and “Root of David.” Both of these descriptions clearly point to the Humanity of Jesus Christ. It was the Humanity of Christ that died for our sins, not the Deity of Christ. Deity can have nothing to do with sin. Deity cannot die. Therefore, it was the humanity of Jesus Christ that won the victory at the Cross and overcame sin.
It is the humanity of Christ that is worthy to open the Seven-Sealed Book.
So, we see the correlation to the 3rd Seal Judgment. The 3rd mention of Seals in Rev 5 points to the humanity of Jesus Christ just as the 3rd Seal Judgment is brought on, because of the world’s rejection of the Bread of Life. The Bread of Life is found in the humanity of Jesus Christ. John 6
The world does not eat the flesh of Jesus Christ; therefore, the world will receive the “Judgment of famine of worldly bread.”
So, why is the Humanity of Jesus Christ so emphasized? Why was Humanity needed in the first place? Why couldn’t God just come down and take care of sin?
The Necessity for the Humanity of Christ.
- Jesus Christ became true humanity to do the will of the Father.
Heb 10:5-10, “Therefore, when He entered the world [at virgin birth], He said [Ps 40:6-8], `You [God the Father] do not desire sacrifice and offering [soteriology (the study of salvation) of the ritual plan of God for the dispensation of Israel], but You have prepared for Me a human body; 6You have not been propitiated by whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin [sin offering]. 7At that time [virgin birth] I said [from His Deity], ‘Behold, I have arrived; (in the scroll of a book it stands written about Me [Old Testament prophecies]) to accomplish Your will, O God.’ 8After saying the above, `Sacrifices and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You been propitiated by them’ (which sacrifices are offered according to the law), 9then He said, `Behold, I have arrived to execute Your will.’ He has abrogated [taken away] the first [the Mosaic Law] that He might establish the second [Predesigned Protocol Plan of God for the Church]. 10By which will [purpose, plan] we [new spiritual species, royal family of God] have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.”
a) The ritual soteriology of the dispensation of Israel utilized animal sacrifices, which portrayed the Salvation Work of Christ on the Cross. But these animal sacrifices were shadows, not capable of propitiating God the Father. Only the humanity of Jesus Christ is capable of propitiating the Father. Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1John 2:2; 4:10
b) In 9, where it says; “I have arrived to accomplish Your will, O God,” was spoken from the Deity of Christ in hypostatic union. It refers to the election of Jesus Christ, related to the salvation or incarnation plan of God.
c) The Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God for the Church Age supersedes the ritual plan of God for Israel. The new spiritual species of the Church Age replaces the new racial species of Israel, i.e., until the 2nd Advent, when Israel will again become a client nation to God.
d) The substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross and resultant efficacious unlimited atonement fulfills and abrogates (annuls and abolishes) the ritual authorization of the Mosaic Law.
- Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be the Savior of the world, Phil 2:7-8; Heb 2:14-15.
Phil 2:7-8, “But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Heb 2:14-15, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
a) As God, Jesus Christ could not have anything to do with sin except judge and reject sin. Sovereignty is not subject to death. Eternal life cannot die, and physical death was necessary for our Lord’s resurrection.
b) Only humanity could bear our sins. So, Jesus Christ had to become true humanity and perfect humanity, in order to receive the imputation and judgment of our sins on the cross, 1 Pet 2:24.
1 Peter 2:24, “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
- Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be the Mediator between God and man, Job 9:2, 32-33 (Job rebuking his friends as arbitrators and discussing the need to an arbiter between God and man) 1 Tim 2:5-6 (Jesus fulfills the need). He had to be equal with both God and mankind to be a mediator between both parties. Therefore, Jesus Christ had to be both undiminished Deity and true humanity in one person forever.
- Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be a Priest. A priest must be a man in order to represent man before God. Jesus Christ became true humanity to be our High Priest, after the order (or pattern) of Melchizedek, Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Heb 7:4-5, 14, 28; 10:5, 10-14, who was both a King and Priest without beginning and without end.
- Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be a King and rule forever. He had to be the son of David to fulfill the Davidic covenant to Israel. 2 Sam 7:8-16; Ps 89:20-37. Solomon’s line goes down to Joseph (Matt 1) and Nathan’s line goes down to Mary (Luke 1).
The False Interpretation of the Hypostatic Union: Gnosticism.
Gnosticism implies that the Deity of Christ is possessed by the Humanity of Christ or indwelt the Humanity of Christ, saying that the union is only harmony or sympathy.
In truth the union is personal.
The two natures have been combined into one essence, which is personal and eternal. Yet there is neither loss nor mixture of natures. John 1:1-2, 14; Rom 1:3-5; 9:5; Phil 2:5-11; Heb 2:14; 1 Jn 1:1-3
Rom 1:3-5, “Concerning His Son [Deity] who was born from the seed of David according to the flesh [Humanity], 4who has been demonstrated the Son of God by means of power according to the Holy Spirit because of the resurrection from the dead,… 5Jesus Christ our Lord [Deity].
Rom 9:5, And from whom is the Christ in so far as the flesh is concerned, who is God sovereign over all.
So, we see the God Man Jesus Christ in Rev 5. He is upon the Throne, as the holder of the Book, Verse 1, and He is the One worthy to receive and open the book.
In the 3rd Mention of Seal in Rev 5, John begins by weeping, not remembering that Jesus Christ is the One worthy.
To remind John of Jesus’ worthiness, the elder reminds him of Jesus’ human bloodline followed by a picture of His sacrifice in Verse 6. A man, the Son of man, the Son of God was sacrificed for our sins. As a result, Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone is worthy to receive and open the Seven-Sealed Book.
But as usual, throughout human history, Satan has and continues to counterfeit the things of God. Why? To conceal the things of God from man, and deceive man into thinking they are acting “godly.” This was evident during the time frame of the ritual plan of salvation for mankind.
Satan deceives man into thinking that if man sacrifices his own son(s), then God would be pleased. Well the god of this world, Satan, was pleased, but the one true and only God of heaven and earth was not. That is why God forbade the sacrifice of children. Lev 18:21; 20:1-5: 2 Kings 17:17 (Northern Kingdom Judged for); Jer 7:29 34, 19:1 15; Ezek 16:20 27, 23:37 39
Lev 20:3 I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name.
The reason God forbids child sacrifice is because it is a grievous insult against the Plan of God for salvation and the work of the Son of God upon the cross. Only Jesus Christ in impeccable form was, and is, a satisfactory sacrifice for the sins of mankind. All other sacrifices are tainted with sin and not acceptable to God.
Yet Satan worked diligently to institute false child sacrifices to deceive man and insult God. Because the world receives the things of Satan and rejects the things of God, the Seven Seal Judgments are brought on during the Tribulation.
Specifically, in the 3rd Seal, the world rejected the Bread of Life found in the flesh of Jesus Christ which was sacrificed for our sins; therefore, in Divine punitive Judgment, God allows the scarcity of grain products in the hopes to wake up the lost in this dying world.
IV) The Events of Rev. 6 Compared to Christ’s Sermon on Mountain Speaking about the End Times, Mat 24:3-28, Mark 13, and Luke 21:7-19.
Mat 24:7, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, (2nd Seal) and in various places there will be famines (3rd and 4th Seals) and earthquakes (6th Seal). w/ Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11
“Famines” is the Nominative plural of λιμός – limos [lee-mos’), which means, “scarcity of harvest or food, famine, or hunger.”
Webster’s Dictionary says about famine: An extreme scarcity of food, starvation, a ravenous appetite, and a great shortage.
So, we see our Lord Prophesizing about great shortages of food in the end times.
As we compare this to the Seal Judgments, certainly the scarcity of wheat and barley grains, as noted by their high cost, a day’s wage constitutes a “famine” as the means for the punitive Judgment under the 3rd Seal.
The Greek word limos is also, used in the 4th Seal Judgment, as the 4th Seal, although a separate Divine punitive Judgment with individual actions, is a culmination of the 1st three Seal Judgments.
Rev 6:7-8, “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine (Limos) and with pestilence (Thanatos = death) and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
So why a “famine” and what is its significance in scripture?
Let’s begin with our first mention principle.
Gen 12:10, “Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.”
In this scripture, we see the Lord blessing Abram, as a result of the famine in his own land. As Abram left Egypt, Pharaoh gave him much wealth, Gen 12:16-20. God used the famine and Pharaoh to provide blessings to Abram, in order to begin and sustain the new racial species – the Jewish race.
Likewise God uses the Antichrist and the Famine of the Third Seal Judgment in the hopes of blessing those without salvation. As a result of the Third Seal famine, many will be entered into the spiritual species – the family of God.
So the principle here is that God sometimes uses famines and/or disasters under His divine punitive Judgment to bless people. We see this later on in the book of Genesis, where the entire nation of Israel was again blessed, as a result of famine.
Acts 7:11-12 “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. 12“But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. See Gen 41ff.
Here again the principle applies that famine brings about blessing. In times of famine, the believer is to be refreshment to his fellow believer in need.
Acts 11:27-29, “Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius (~ 46 A.D.). 29And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.
A reason for famine is the collective sin and rejection of God by the people in a land.
When Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah to His own towns’ people, reading Isa 6, He used famine as an analogy for the judgment brought against those who lack faith. He is saying that it is just as it was in the days of Elijah and Elisha.
Luke 4:25-26, “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.” 1 Kings 17:8-24
As Solomon said in, 2 Chron 6:26, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You.”
Yet, God is faithful to His people, as Elijah and Elisha are sent to the righteous.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, a famine comes upon him and the land as a wakeup call to the righteousness of God.
Luke 15:14 “Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.” Read through to vs. 17 (hunger)
Towards the end of the Tribulation, Satan’s world economic center will be destroyed in Judgment and God’s people are told to “come out from that land” in Rev 18:4, which means not to participate in Satan’s cosmic system.
Rev 18:8, “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.”
For the believer, our confidence should always be in the Lord and never in the World. Regardless of world events, we will always be in the loving care of the Lord.
Rom 8:35-29, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul lived this principle, and we should too.
2 Cor 11:27, “I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger (Limos) and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”
Because when we go through difficulties, with Christ we gain greater love and appreciation for His love and power towards us.
2 Cor 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.