Part 014 – Taking the scroll and breaking the seals

The Book of REVELATION

 

A Study

Part 014

Taking the scroll and breaking the seals – Revelation Chapter 6

Overall picture

In Revelation chapters one through four we see the complete Church appearing before the Judgment Seat of Christ and the overcomers – those found worthy to rule the nations with Christ – are identified, called out and shown forth. Consequently, as seen in Revelation chapter five, Christ must redeem the forfeited inheritance (the earth) before exercising His regal rights together with His joint heirs. All that is seen within the seven-sealed scroll has to do not only with God’s redemptive terms surrounding the earth but also with God’s end-time dealings with Israel, lasting seven years, fulfilling the seventieth and final week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan.9:24-27). Chapters six through the first part of chapter nineteen relate events having to do with the breaking of the seven seals, along with related events occurring on the earth during this time. Judgments during this period, called Tribulation, not only would result in the redemption of the forfeited inheritance but also would bring Israel to the place of repentance. Concurrently, behind the scenes, the marriage would take place and the bride seen in chapter four would be seen as the wife in chapter nineteen.

The Times of the Gentiles

The Book of Daniel deals with the people of Israel in relation to the Times of the Gentiles, with a particular emphasis on the final seven years of this time. The Times of the Gentiles began with the Babylonian captivity about 605BC when the southern two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) were uprooted from their land and carried away captive to Babylon (2Kings 25:8-11; 2Chron.36:17-21). The northern ten tribes had previously been carried away captive by the Assyrians in about 722BC (2Kings 17:6, 20-23). The Times of the Gentiles will end following the Jewish people being brought to the place of repentance and this will occur when they are brought to the end of themselves through judgments during the coming Tribulation, during Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week.

Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks

In Daniel’s prophecy, seventy weeks are determined to ultimately restore the people of Israel back to the original purpose for which God brought this nation into existence (Dan.9:24). Out of these seventy weeks (490 years), sixty nine have been fulfilled and one remains to be fulfilled. This last week (7 years) forms the time during which events in Rev.6-19a will occur. This prophecy of Seventy Weeks begins with “the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem” (Dan.9:25a). And that command, according to Nehemiah chapters one and two was issued by the Persian king, Artaxerxes, in the twentieth year of his reign, which was 445 or 444BC. Though there were other decrees which had to do with the Temple, this was the only decree which had to do with the city itself. From the issuing of this decree until the time Israel’s “Messiah shall be cut off” would be sixty-nine weeks (483 years). The time from Artaxerxes’ decree to Christ’s crucifixion is 444 + 33 = 477 years. But these are years of 365.25 days per year whereas Scripture uses a 360-day year. And so, this amounts to 477 X 365.25 ÷ 360 = 483.96 years. As we have to consider only parts of the first and last years, this will be exactly 483 years.

A break in time between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth weeks

Then, according to Daniel’s prophecy, the Messianic Era would be ushered in seven years following Messiah’s death (Dan.9:24-26). But, this didn’t happen. Instead God stopped the clock, so to speak, at the time Israel crucified her Messiah; and the last seven years await a future fulfillment. The break in time occurs in the middle of verse twenty-six, between Messiah’s death and “the people of the prince that shall come,” who will destroy “the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the rebuilt Temple). “The people of the prince” is a Hebrew idiom referring to the prince himself. (Please note that this same expression is used in Dan.7:18 & 27 also.) This break in time between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth weeks is not seen in prophecy. But, it is the 2,000-year dispensation in which God deals with the Church. After God completes His dealings with the Church and removes it from the earth into the heavens (Rev.1:10-13; 4:1, 2), the clock will restart, time in the prophecy will be resumed, fulfilling the final seven years.

The beginning of the seventieth week

The destroying prince is the man who will have made the seven-year covenant “with many” in Israel, marking the beginning of the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan.9:27). This is the man seen riding forth on a white horse in the Book of Revelation when the first seal is broken, “conquering and to conquer” (Rev.6:1, 2). And, as the ratifying of this covenant will mark the beginning of the seventieth week in the Book of Daniel, the breaking of the first seal of the scroll will mark the beginning of the same period in the Book of Revelation.