These 7 judgments will more than likely occur during the first three and half years of the Tribulation. Here is a description of each of these judgments and the Scripture verses to back it all up.
1. The First Seal
The first seal judgment is the releasing of the Antichrist upon our earth. The rider on the white horse is the Antichrist. You will notice that he is given a "crown" to wear. He is also riding a white horse. The color white stands for the fact that he will initially rise to power on peace and diplomacy. People will think he will have the answers to all of our problems. He will appear to be a "good guy." However the color of his horse is going to change in the second seal revealing his true nature.
Also notice that this verse says that a crown was "given" to him. This means that God is "allowing" this man to come forth at this time to eventually rule most, if not all of the earth, for a specified period of time.
This man would not be able to come to this kind of power unless God Himself would allow it. Also notice how this verse ends. Even though he is riding on a white horse, his ultimate aim is to conquer and gain control of the entire world. This verse ends with the statement that he goes out to conquer. Once he is allowed to be "released" by God, this man will waste no time in gaining control of his 10 nation confederacy, which he will eventually rule from along with the rest of the nations of the world. Here is the verse:
"Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer." (Revelations 6:1-2)Notice that Jesus is the Lamb at the beginning of the verse. Jesus is the one who opens up the seal which means that God is allowing this event to occur.
2. The Second Seal
The second seal is again with the Antichrist riding on it, but this time the color of his horse changes from white to fiery red! This means that the Antichrist starts to show the rest of the world his true beastlike-warlike nature. Again the word to catch is the word "granted." It says in this verse that it was "granted" for this man to start to wage war and to take peace from the earth. Again, this will all be happening only with God allowing it to.
The last half of this verse tells you that this man will be allowed to take peace from the entire earth - not just from a few countries. When he starts to do this, this verse ends up by saying that people will start killing one another. The last sentence of this verse says that the Antichrist is given a "great sword," which means he now can go out to start wars and the killing of a lot of people and nations in order to get them to come under his rule. Here is the verse:
"When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." And another horse, fiery red went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword." (Revelations 6: 3-4)Again, notice Jesus is the one who opens this seal allowing these events to happen.
3. The Third Seal
Again Jesus is the one who opens this next seal. In this seal, the horse of the Antichrist will now change from fiery red to black. As a result of the wars and the killing that starts to occur when the second seal is opened up, the color black represents the results of what wars start - and that is famine, disease and food shortages. In this verse, it says that people will work all day long in order to get just enough food to get them through for the day. It says a "quart of wheat for a denarious." A denarious was one days wages back in the Bible days. A quart of wheat was just enough food to get by with.
It also says that the oil and wine are not to be "harmed," which means the rich and the affluent will still have their rich lifestyles, while a lot of other people and nations will go under this type of tyranny where they will basically be living under "slave labor" conditions. Imagine this with our wealthy lifestyles in our country.
This verse also says that the rider on the black horse, who is the Antichrist, has a pair of scales in his hand. I believe these scales show that the Antichrist has the power and authority to "tip the scales in his favor." He will have the power to arrange for a lot of countries to be living under these "slave labor conditions" where they will have to work all day long just to be able to buy enough food to barely live on.
Bottom line - living conditions will become horrible and deplorable for a lot of people throughout the world once the Antichrist is able to "adjust the scales" to make this happen. Here is the verse:
"When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and 3 quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." (Revelations 6:5-6)3 quarts of barley are also considered just enough food to get by on.
4. The Fourth Seal
In this next seal judgment, things start going from bad to worse. The color of the horse now changes to a pale color. The pale color stands for death! I still believe that this is the horse of the Antichrist. This verse goes on to state that power is "given" to him to kill a fourth of the earth's population by sword, hunger, death and by the beasts of the earth.
I repeat, one fourth of all the people living at this time are going to be killed by one of the 4 ways mentioned above. The Antichrist will be the one responsible for arranging and setting up these events in order for this many people to be killed.
Again, notice that this power is "given" to him. This means that God is "allowing" these turn of events to occur through this unholy man. This verse also says that Hades follows death. This will be another whole article. However, long story short, Hades (hell) is the place where nonbelievers go when they die.
Nonbelievers do not go to the Lake of Fire and Brimstone until after the 1000 Millennium Kingdom is up. Hades is their "temporary" place of torment until that event happens. With Hades following after Death in this verse, it seems to be implying that the people being killed are nonbelievers, not Christians.
The Christians that get saved after the Rapture are going to be martyred, but God seems to be keeping their deaths separate from the deaths talked about in this seal judgment. So if you put these two together, you will have most of the Christians getting saved after the Rapture getting killed by the Antichrist along with one fourth of the rest of the nonbelievers also getting killed due to the wars and bloodshed caused by this man and some of the kings of the earth. This will be a mass killing of humans on a scale that the world has never seen before. This will be a "world holocaust," not just a Christian-Jewish holocaust. Here is the verse:
"When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was death, and Hades followed him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth." (Revelations 6:7-8)
I believe the "beasts of the earth" are other kings and rulers who will join in with the Antichrist in setting up this mass slaughter of humans.
5. The Fifth Seal
Now this next seal judgment is different than the first four. With Christians now under heavy persecution along with one fourth of the nonbelievers, this seal judgment deals with the cries of the martyrs who are now in heaven with God. They are literally crying out to God asking Him when He is going to stop all this persecution and bloodshed and avenge them for being killed in this manner. God tells them to wait just a little while longer until the number of their fellow servants still on earth are killed and martyred as they were.
From this verse, you can tell that these days are literally numbered by God, which we already know from previous verses. We know that once the 7 year Tribulation starts, that it will run for a full 7 years.
This verse also tells us that even though the martyrs are crying out in heaven for God to take action, God is not going to move until these events run their course by the exact number of days as prophesied in Scripture. For God to allow this event with the martyrs crying out in heaven for Him to do something to act as one of the actual "seal judgments," shows us how bad this persecution is going to be on the earth.
This verse may also be implying that we, who may already be in heaven from the Rapture, may be allowed to watch all these events unfold from heaven. I have always believed that this was a possibility, since I feel the last 7 years on earth will be a "history lesson" that God will never want us to forget.
I believe that He wants to show all of us what will happen to our earth, once He pulls back His restraining hand, and allows Satan and one evil man, the Antichrist, to wreak as much havoc and destruction as they possibly can get away with. With the main body of believers raptured out before all these events start to occur, God is going to show all of us what will happen when He is not a part of our lives and our world.
All the atheists and nonbelievers who are living during this time are going to wish they were never born after they see what will be coming their way once God pulls His Church off of the earth. Atheists and the rest of the unbelieving world are going to find out the hard way that man does not have the answers to solve all the world