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 Sermon on Revelation 6

The Seven Seals

By Brian Pepper

True to its name the last book of the Bible contains a wonderful “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” He is revealed as the lamb slain from the foundation of this world; as the lion of the tribe of Judah, the mighty overcomer. Yes, it is a wonderful revelation of Jesus in all the fullness of His redemptive work.

He is pictured as:

"…the faithful witness.”
"... the first begotten of the dead.”
"... the prince of the kings of the earth.”
"... the Alpha and Omega.”    
" .. the Son of man.”
“…the Lion of the tribe of Judah.”
"... finally as the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.”

Once again St John looks beyond the curtains of time and space, and he takes us through the turbulent history of the Christian church right down to the very end of time.

Seven Seals

The vision opens with the Father seated upon his throne, while in His hand there is a book that is closed and sealed with seven seals.

John the Revelator is deeply concerned over that book. He is the last of the apostles, all the others are dead and now he himself is in exile unable to carry on the work of building up the church. The church was threatened by false teachers from within and bitter persecutions from without. Who will shepherd the flock? Who will settle its problems?

Then he hears an assuring voice saying, “Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals." Revelation 5:5

Yes, the crucified and ascended Christ, touched with the appeal of the beloved discipline, would reveal to him and the struggling church “…the things which must shortly come to pass."

1st Seal

And now He opens the first seal, and what does he see in that opened seal?

Revelation 6:1,2 says; "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. 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.”

A White Horse

A White Horse; now what does that mean?

That prophet Zechariah was told that horses symbolized the ".....spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the LORD of all the earth." Zechariah 6:5.

God’s Spirit is seeking for those who will give it full control in their lives. The white horse which symbolized the apostolic church, was blessed with the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. This was the Pentecostal Church; the church of the apostles.

It was a white horse and white stands for purity which was truly a fitting description of the Church that was led by the apostles themselves. It held to the pure teachings of Jesus it upheld the word of God.

The crown stood for victory. A crown was given to him that sat on the horse and he went forth "....conquering and to conquer."

Victory was written upon every move of the disciples. In prison with their backs lacerated; their songs of praise and thanksgiving brought victory and resulted in the conversion of souls. Peter was sentenced to death, shut up in prison, but that last night in prison was a victory, for the angel of the Lord brought deliverance.

It was a militant church striking right at the very heart of paganism and false worship. The church waged war against the powers of evil. Within 30 years the gospel had gone to every creature.

As the great historian Edward Gibbon writes in his ‘History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' Chapter 15, par. 54; "The progress of Christianity was not confined to the Roman Empire, but the new religion, within a century after the death of its divine author, had already visited every part of the globe." Truly it went forth, "conquering and to conquer."

2nd Seal

And now the second seal, Revelation 6:3,4 says; "And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, come and see. 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."

A Red Horse

A Red Horse; red represents sin, and so we see a change take place from the purity of white to the red of sin. The church which had sacrificed its life for the sake of the gospel began to compromise the truth of God. The church turned its eyes from Christ and became greedy for power and for rich rewards. Just like the Balaam parable of the 7 churches.

Satan had failed to accomplish his purpose by persecution but now he succeeds by flattery. You see a great change took place, the persecuted became popular.

Emperor Constantine, professing Christianity, showered favours upon the priests and bishops and in doing so he placed a great sword in their hands.

The church compromised with paganism and adopted many of its errors and superstition. Then it used the ‘sword’ of Imperial Rome to enforce its authority and to crush all opposition.

The ‘falling away’ from the snow-white purity of the gospel foretold by the apostle Paul was now taking place, and the ‘grievous wolves’ of apostasy were leading the church farther and farther from the fold of the Good Shepherd.

3rd Seal

And now the Third Seal. Revelation 6:5,6 says; "And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."

A Black Horse

A Black Horse this time. The colour black is in striking contrast to the white of the first horse.

Constantine decided at this time to become a Christian. In order to get the people in with him he offered 12 pieces of silver as an inducement to become Christians. The people just swarmed in, it is very easy to imagine the result. It was in this period that many pagan ceremonies and customs came into the church and sad to say they are still in many Churches of today.

The worship of saints and of relics and of images found its way into the Christian Church. The worship of the Virgin Mary was introduced. Sunday keeping was substituted for the Bible Sabbath and such beliefs as that the soul never dies, purgatory, penances, celibacy of the clergy, monkish virtue, and many other pagan traditions became widespread.

Scales and Balances

But what did the scales and balances mean? Well we usually associate scales with commerce; the Church had become commercial. The sale of relics began. Historians tell us that there are enough pieces of the cross to build a ship the size of Queen Mary.

The good things of religion were sold at a price:

- at (the birth) of a child,
- when he was (sprinkled),
- when he was (confirmed),
- when he was (married),
- when he went to (confession),
- and when he (died). The price must be paid.
- even after his death there was other payment to the clergy; to pray him out of purgatory.

And all these things came with the Black Horse. Things are getting progressively worse. I wonder what we will find in the next seal, the fourth seal.

4th Seal

Revelation 6:7,8 says; "And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

A Pale Horse

It has been well said that "death of the spirituality of the church and of the martyrs gave this horse its ghastly hue.”

With the establishment of the Papacy, the creed of the church was regarded as the law of the land and to profess or to practice true Bible religion became a crime. Severe laws were enacted against dissenters. The inquisition was set up, and armies were marshalled, and crusades were made against the so called heretics. Entire nations who refused to bow to the papacy were either subjugated or exterminated. It was during this reign of apostasy and death that millions of martyrs were slain.

Whenever the church is clothed with civil power, force is brought into operation in order to subdue those who stand out against error.

Some people, when they have read of these terrible things have wondered why that God did not step in and prevent such terrible cruelty during those Dark Ages. But the view given to St John shows that Christ suffered in the person of His Saints.

At the time of the crucifixion, angels were restrained from rescuing the Saviour from His agony. It was suffered to be so for the time that the greater glory might be seen later.

So in the martyrdom of the middle ages and in any form of persecution, Christ identifies Himself with the sufferer, and all heaven stands ready to succour him.

5th Seal

And now the fifth seal. Revelation 6:9-11 says; "And when He had opened the fifth seal. I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held and they cried with a loud voice, saying how long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."

Yes, when he opened the fifth seal, John saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God and for the testimony which they held.

God does not forget those who have suffered for his name; their names are written in the Book of Life.

The Lamb in the tabernacle service was slain on the earth. Christ left the courts of Heaven, and the Earth became the alter where His blood was shed. And so the Earth has drunk the blood of the martyrs and their bodies lie buried in its bosom. Men such as Huss, Jerome, Ridley, Cranmer and Latimer suffered for the Word of God.

Just as the blood of Abel cried out to God for vengeance, so the blood of the vast host of Christian martyrs (have) sent up its mighty pathetic appeal for deliverance and triumph.

When the history of the nations was revealed to Daniel, the angels of heaven cried, "How long O Lord, how long till the end of these things.” The whole creation suffers because of the curse which sin has brought.

White Robes of the Saints

When he asked why there is such longsuffering on the part of God, John saw the White Robes of Christ’s Righteousness that clothed these saints of God.

They had been despised, they had been rejected, they had been killed by men, but on the record books of Heaven, every sin is covered by the character of their Lord. And their numbers will be increased by those who are called to suffer a similar death in the period of time preceding the Second Coming of Christ.

What was done under the cover of darkness in the middle ages will be repeated when the sun is at its Zenith. All who are slain for conscience sake, sleep together in their graves until called forth by the trumpet tones of Him who is the Resurrection and the Life. Then will the white robes be given to them together with palms of victory.

6th Seal

And now the Sixth Seal, Revelation 6:12-17 says, "And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal; and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun become black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand."

A Great Earthquake

By the middle of the 18th Century the bitterness of religious persecution had ceased in most of the European countries. And just at that time, as foretold by the prophet, there occurred on November 1, 1755, a great earthquake in the city of Lisbon, Portugal, in which 60,000 persons are said to have perished. Half the world felt that convulsion, and it is declared to be ‘the most notable earthquake in history.’

The Dark Day

The second event in this prophecy was the sun to become ‘black as sackcloth of hair’ and the moon was to appear as ‘blood’. The fulfilment came in the remarkable dark day and night of May 19, 1780. One writer says of that day, "The darkness of the following evening was probably as deep and dense as ever had been observed since the Almighty first gave birth to light." During the day “... A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes, was equally invisible with the blackest velvet.”

The prophet Isaiah gives a very important point. He says, "The sun shall be darkened in his going forth," that is in the morning. Isaiah 13:10 And the dark day came just as prophesied.

The Falling Stars

Next there came the falling stars. The great shower of stars took place on November 13, 1833. It has been recognized as the most marvellous display of celestial fireworks ever seen by man. In the American Journal of Science and Arts I read, "The extent of the shower of 1833 was such as to cover no inconsiderable part of the earth’s surface; from the middle of the Atlantic on the east to the Pacific on the west, and from the northern coast of South America to undefined regions among the British possessions of the north, the exhibition was visible, and everywhere presented nearly the same appearance."

It has been estimated that 200,000 stars fell per hour at the maximum fall. God was hanging out His sign in the skies to show that the days were moving towards the end.

The Heavens Departed as a Scroll

The heavens departed as a scroll. We stand between verses 13 and 14.

And now it speaks of the kings of the Earth, the great men, the military men, the mighty men, and every bondman and every freeman. They run to the mountains. They know what it means; that it is the coming of Christ. For they say to the rocks and the mountains, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the Lamb."

And now we read of the wrath of the Lamb. Unless you are covered by the blood of the Lamb then you will receive the wrath of the Lamb.

The question that comes to each one tonight is, are you covered by the blood of the Lamb? Are you at peace with your maker?

People say, "What about royalty, the Kings?” Why, it is the kings that run to the rocks. If you are looking to Royalty then you had better be careful.

What about the great men? Why, it is the great men who will rush to the mountains and give that terrible cry.

Prayers on the Day

There is going to be two prayers on that day; a mass prayer to the rocks and to the mountains. What a picture it is, a prayer from destruction (the Second Coming).

There will be another prayer on that day, a prayer from God’s people, "This is our God, we have waited for Him and He will save us.”

Yes two prayer bands. Which will you be in? It will be wonderful to be in the company that pray to God.

7th Seal

And now we come to the Seventh Seal, Revelation 8:1 says; “And when He had opened the seventh, seal, there was silence in Heaven for about the space of half an hour."

Silence in Heaven

Silence in Heaven? Why? After all the other great events; the great earthquake, the dark day, the falling stars, the heavens torn apart, why silence?

Matthew 25:31 says; "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory."

All heaven will be emptied! All the angel hosts will accompany the Saviour. All the Inhabitants of the other worlds will attend His Coming. It will be the greatest event of all the ages. The Father will remain alone.

Seven Days Travel

But did you notice that the silence is half-an-hour.

1 day = 1 year.
½ hour = 1/48 day.

1 Bible year = 360 days.
1/48 of 360 days = 7 ½ days.
½ hour is 7 ½ days.               

Yes, one day soon we are going to travel through space. I am not interested in going to the moon; there is nothing to see there. But I am interested in that journey through the universe, through the Milky Way, and through Orion. Seven days travel.

Yes, one day soon Jesus is going to usher us in to the great city, the New Jerusalem. We will see the wonderful Father. He will recognize you and He will recognize me. Then all the heartaches of the past will be gone and joy and peace will be ours forevermore. God help us to be there on that day. That is my sincere and earnest prayer.


The Bible in Song Sermons category is expected to be enlarged over time as hard copy sermon notes are scanned, typed and edited in webpage format. Visit Sermons Page for the complete list of sermons and Bible Commentaries

  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.


  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.


  SDA Prophecy Chart
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.


Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert (USA) ... more testimonials.



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