What Does the Book of Revelation Tell Us About the Second Coming of Christ?

By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©2005
In Revelation 6 we have the record of the Lord Jesus beginning to break seals from a sealed scroll. And when you compare the first four seals with what Jesus called the beginning of birth pangs in Matthew 24, you will find that they are referring to the same thing.

What Does the Book of Revelation Tell Us About the Second Coming of Christ?

When we go to Revelation 6, we have the record of the Lord Jesus beginning to break seals from a sealed scroll. And as He breaks each seal, some incredible things transpire upon the face of the earth. What I want to point out at this point before we begin actually examining the seals and what happens is that when you compare the first four seals with what Jesus called the beginning of birth pangs in Matthew 24, you will find that by comparison they are referring to identically the same thing. For example, in Matthew 24 Jesus talked about—as part of the begin­ning of birth pangs—false messiahs coming upon the world scene. Parallel to that in Revelation 6:1-2: “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.”

Some have said that the rider on the white horse is the Lord Jesus and that this is giving a preview again of His glorious Second Coming after the Tribulation Period. When you go to Revelation 19, where we clearly are given a preview of His Second Coming, Christ comes riding out of Heaven on the back of a white horse. But it must be noted that there are several things different about the rider on this white horse than the Lord Jesus in Revelation 19, although both are riding on a white horse.

This Rider has a bow. Jesus, by contrast, had a sword. This Rider has one crown on his head. Jesus, by contrast, had many crowns on His head in Revela­tion 19. The rider on the white horse here in Revelation 6, the name that’s used for the crown is an altogether different name than that for the crowns that Jesus has on His head, indicating this is not the Lord Jesus.

But the very fact that he’s riding a white horse as Jesus will at His Second Coming may be the idea that this is a false messiah, one who is coming in place of the true Messiah who will come out of Heaven to rule the world in His glorious Second Coming. You notice as well that this rider goes forth to conquer and to conquer. Jesus is going to conquer Satan and all his forces at His glorious Sec­ond Coming. So this seems to be an imposter, a false messiah. That parallels what Jesus said for part of the beginning of birth pangs: the false messiahs.

Now, we’re going to come back to this later on and give a more specific identi­fication of this rider. But we go on to the second seal in Revelation 6:3: “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.”

Here we have the sword, which is the idea of warfare taking place when Christ breaks the second seal and people killing one another. When you go over to the beginning of birth pangs that Christ describes in Matthew 24, He talks about war, rumors of wars; nation rising against nation. The idea is of warfare and people being killed.

We go on to the third seal here in Revelation 6:5. John said, “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 saying, ‘A measure of wheat for a penny and three measures of barley for a penny and see you hurt not the oil and the wine.’”

The third seal brings famine to the face of the earth and food is scarce, not totally gone. People are able to buy food, but it’s so expensive because of scar­city, and so this implies famine. When you look at the beginning of birth pangs Jesus described in Matthew 24, He indicated that part of the birth pangs will be famine. That’s parallel.

Then we come to the fourth seal, Revelation 6:7, “And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast saying, ‘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.”

When you go over to Matthew 24, Jesus talks about famine and pestilence taking place again, a parallel to the fourth seal.

So when you compare the beginning of birth pangs in Matthew 24 with the first four seals of Revelation 6, it’s apparent we are dealing with the same thing.

Now here’s the significance of that. We noted previously that Jesus refers in Matthew 24 to the beginning of birth pangs before He refers to the abomination of desolation in the middle of the seven-year period of the Tribulation. The impli­cation is that the beginning of birth pangs will take place during the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period before that mid-week abomination of desola­tion. Since the beginning of birth pangs of Matthew 24 are in the first half of the 70th week, and since they are the same thing as the first four seals of Revelation 6, then we can conclude rightly that the first four seals are also in the first half of that seven-year, 70th week period of time.

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