Please note that the previous post provides essential foundational information to understanding the information presented as this series moves forward. Today, we come to the opening of the seven-sealed scroll. It is this section of scripture from which “the four horsemen of the apocalypse” emerge.
I think it is interesting that this section of scripture falls on New Year’s Eve. As we enter this new year, my prayer is that you will take the time to think about how quickly national alliances are reshuffling, how quickly the world financial structure is leading toward centralization, and how the advance of both scientific knowledge and technology at warp speed is establishing the necessary tools for a world leader to be able to exercise despotic “big brother” control throughout the world. The time is short.
I pray that as we continue to look at God’s word, you will recognize the need to be sure that your heart is right with the Lord so that you will be delivered from the worst that is to come. All you have to do is admit that you are sinner, place your faith in Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “…Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
John 14:21 “He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
The sincerity of your faith will be revealed by the transformation that begins to take place in your life as you seek to live according to His will as revealed in scripture. Your works cannot save you, but they do serve to prove you.
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.”
Jesus is the one opening the seals; He is not the rider on the first horse as I have heard posited by some. I think the rider on the white horse represents Satan going forth to exert his power and influence on the world eventually gaining his greatest influence through the being we call Antichrist. His purpose is to go forth and conquer the world. Note that he is carrying a bow. Research indicates that this word references the arc or crescent shape of the weapon he carries. The scientific names of some organisms were derived from its Greek root “toxon” because of their shape, e.g. toxoplasma. The word is singular and would seem to indicate a bow with no reference to arrows; in other words, he will conquer without using physical force. He will first appear as a man of peace, an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14–15 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The Antichrist will be victorious as indicated by his crown (Greek, stephanos – a wreath, the prize in public games or competition). Significant to note is that the crown he wears represents authority, but it has been delegated to him for a time.
Also important to note as we study the first five seals is how they mirror the “birth pains” signs that were noted by Jesus as He taught His disciples regarding His second coming. Like birth pains, these signs will increase in intensity and frequency as the time for the return of Jesus approaches.
Matthew 24:6-7 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers place
False Christs or Messiahs will eventually culminate in the Antichrist, the ultimate Christ impostor.
The second rider is on a red horse and carries a sword; his purpose is to eliminate any kind of peace on earth by provoking people to kill one another.
Revelation 6:3-4 “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.”
Notice that the power of this rider also is given to him. By whom? The One who gives the power to each rider, the One who possesses the authority to open the seals—Jesus.
History is filled with records of wars among peoples and nations; however, I think the record proves that beginning in the twentieth century, war and rumors of war on a worldwide scale have increased dramatically both in number and intensity.
When the third seal is opened, we see a black horse with a rider that is carrying a pair of balances or scales. He is empowered to destroy the world’s economy and promote worldwide poverty.
Revelation 6:5-6 “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.”
The picture painted is one of famine although there will still be many that will enjoy life with plenty and luxury. Though there has always been a distinction in social levels among the peoples of the world, I think that the last decade in particular has shown a marked change in the world financial picture. The economics of the nations of the world are interdependent upon one another more than ever before, and the gulf between the rich and poor continues to increase at an exponential rate.
The next pair of riders represents the final riders corresponding to the signs identified as birth pains. The lead rider is “Death,” but he has a companion identified as “Hell”—Death for the body; Hell for the soul.
Revelation 6:7-8 “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.”
These riders will be responsible for the deaths of over 25% of the world population during the time they are allotted. Though we can’t be certain regarding that timeframe, it will result in the death of billions of people.
Recognized Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest’s expanded Greek translation for “Come and see” as each rider was addressed at the opening of each seal was actually, “Be coming.” That emphasized to me that the effects resulting from the opening of each seal would occur over an indefinite period of time. It allows room to speculate regarding the timing of the opening of the seals and the actual start of the tribulation or 70th week of Daniel.
All of these riders represent Satan and his followers at work wreaking havoc and destruction yet accomplishing God’s purpose in the process.
(to be continued…)