Scriptures: Revelation 5:1-10, Revelation 6:1, Matthew 24:3, Revelation 6:2, Matthew 24:4-5, Thessalonians 2:8-10
Revelation chapter 5 is the heart of the prophecies in Revelation. We see who is the author of the book of Revelation: the One on the throne. A man must open and read the book, because the prophecies were sealed and unreadable. The book of Revelation is confusion to the unworthy. Things quickly change because the Lamb of God, our Savior Jesus Christ, has prevailed. Jesus overcame sin which has caused us to misinterpret the things of God. He can open the book and loose its seven seals.
The Book is now open and contains the answers to the prayers of God's people. The 24 elders are holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They are prayers for justice, deliverance and for the establishment of the Kingdom of God to rule the earth.
Revelation chapter 6 begins to reveal how God will avenge the enemies of the called, chosen and faithful servants of God. The message is revealed through seven sets of symbols sketched on the book fastened with seven seals. Jesus breaks one of the seals before John's eyes and John begins to describe the symbols of the visions he is seeing. What begins to happen has been foretold by Jesus and recorded in Matthew chapter 24. The question was asked: "what shall be the sign of the end of the world?"
These first afflictions are characterized by Jesus as the beginning of sorrows, the NIV Bible describes them as "labor pains," found in Matthew 24:8. Like labor contractions they escalate in frequency and intensify before the end. Revelation 6 reveals the opening of the six seals, and the events of the seventh seal are recorded in many of the following chapters because they describe the conditions known as "the day of the Lord:" God's time of judgment and wrath on the nations.
The first seal: is false religion. The first four seals reveal the four horseman of the Apocalypse. The first rider is on a white horse with a bow, has a crown and rides as a conqueror bent on conquest. The first adversity to face is counterfeit Christianity. A person's religious beliefs determine their whole moral structure, if their beliefs are controlled their actions can be controlled. Outwardly this first rider appears as Christ, but in reality it is a deceptive evil power masquerading as good. Apostle Paul spoke of a lawless one who will be revealed. His influence over humanity will be according to working of Satan: with power, signs, lying and unrighteous deception. A system that has rejected the true teaching of the Bible: this deception will be so great a major majority will follow this counterfeit faith.
The items of the first rider: the bow represents a religious system that uses force to control and convert. The crown represents a religious system which is also a political force. This system goes forth to conquer; its central belief is ambition, greed and control of population of people. This prophecy speaks of a belief system that promotes the worship of everything other than the True and Only God.
Jesus does not just the see the masses of people He sees the individual: He looks to see if we are willing to be born again, if we love truth, if we are willing to worship Him and if we are willing to offer the same forgiveness to others that we have received from Him. Jesus looks to see what's truly important in our lives! Remember evil is looking at the same things and if something out of balance it becomes an area to cause deception.