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A Walk Through Revelation - Part 13


The Scroll and the Lamb
Revelation 5
The Opening of the First Four Seals

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

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I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:1-8
 Oh boy - I think I'm in way over my head!  I have no idea how to explain the imagery here, except to say that the opening of the seals and the dispatch of the four horsemen (often referred to as the four horsemen of The Apocalypse) signals teh beginning of terror and chaos on Earth

What does the word apocalypse mean?  One modern definition is: an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale, such as the utter collapse of the stock market - a stock market apocalypse.  Well, that's scarey, but we've seen and lived through a stock market crash, so we've come to believe we can survive that catastrophe.  However, we're not referring to just any old apocalypse here, we're talking about THE apocalypse: the complete final destruction of the world, described in the book of Revelation.

God created the world, he sustains the world and a day is coming when he will destroy the world and create a new heaven and a new earth. (Revelation 21:1)

The four horsemen are agents of destruction, sent to earth to carry out God's plan.

Does this fly in the face of your concept of God? Do you have a hard time reconciling a loving God with a fierce God who would destroy earth and its inhabitants?

We must remember two things...
  1. God is Holy and as such, he can not tolerate sin. Romans 6:23 says that "the wages of sin is death."  All who are alive at the time of this event will face this judgement, for they have chosen to reject Christ and live a sinful life.
  2. We (Christians who have received Christ as their Savior and surrendered their lives to Him) don't have to fear the apocalypse, because we will have already been taken up in what we call The Rapture ( 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
So, let's take a look at those four horses and their riders.

  1. A White Horse -  Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
  2.  A Fiery Red horse - Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
  3.  A Black Horse - Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
  4.  A Pale Horse - Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
I know I'm not a learned bible scholar. I have no doctorate in theology, so I'll just tell you what I see here.
  • Rulers on earth, bent on conquest
  • The complete absence of peace on earth and people bent on killing others (the mass slaughter of people groups - Hitler style)
  • Total economic collapse, people starving to death because they can not afford food..
  • The annihilation of at least 1/4 of the people on earth by murder, famine, plagues and even the wild beasts of the earth are unleashed to get in on the slaughter
What a terrifying picture of the future! All I know is that I don't want to be here when this happens and I don't want anyone else to be here either. Not friend, not family...not foe!

Jesus came that we might not have to face this terrible judgement - please accept him if you haven't already. Here's more information on Salvation through Jesus Christ.

As I said, I'm no expert in explaining these all these things. In fact, no one can explain the book of Revelation entirely, but there are learned Bible scholars out there that have studies and written great commentaries on this portion of scripture. I've been reading a really good one at Biblegateway.com that was put out by InterVarsity Press. Check it out if you want more information of understanding the four horsemen.  Revelation 6 Commentary.


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2 comments:

Kathleen said...

You just about summed it up here: "All I know is that I don't want to be here when this happens and I don't want anyone else to be here either. Not friend, not family...not foe!

"Jesus came that we might not have to face this terrible judgement - please accept him if you haven't already." Thanks for posting!

Jan Christiansen said...

That really is the bottom line, isn't it, Kathleen? As believers, we should be praying for those who don't know Him and sharing the Good News of salvation with everyone we can.

Thanks for dropping by and reading the post and for taking a moment to comment. I love when I can connect with visitors to the blog.

God bless~Jan