Revelation Chapter 6
Verse 1.. 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 living creatures saying, Come and see. Verse 2.. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
When the first seal is opened, it begins... The White Horse of Revelation is revealed and events are set into motion. Chapters 4 and 5 revealed the throne room scene. In Revelation 5:9 we see those gathered before the throne of God singing a new song. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals of it: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and language, and people, and nation; This is the song of the Church. This could very well be the raptured church of 1Th 4:16.. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 1Th 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
This "new song" is sung by those redeemed to God by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ). This singing and rejoicing pictures a pre-tribulation rapture because it starts before the first seal is opened. The opening of the first seal sets in motion the missing 70th week of Daniel's 70 week prophecy.
The stage is set. The Church has been lifted off of the earth along with the Holy Spirit. Now the Antichrist is revealed. 2Th 2:3.. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2Th 2:7.. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. Once the Holy Spirit and the Church are "taken out of the way", the "man of sin" will be revealed.
Now in Revelation 6:2, he appears. Riding a white horse, the cheap imitator or counterfeit. Going forth to conquer. It is his time. The Great Tribulation has begun!
Wherein the white horse is a person, the following red, black, and pale horses are conditions that come upon the earth and will follow the appearance of the white horse.
The Bible has a lot to say about Antichrist. In Revelation 6 we see him riding a white horse. He's the imitator, or counterfeit of the Lord Himself who also comes riding a white horse in chapter 19. We see Antichrist in chapter 13. He is one of the heads of the beast which comes out of the sea. "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." The beast is a world system of government empowered by the people or "the sea" We learn about Antichrist in 1st John. "And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, of which you have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world." 2nd Thessalonians this "man of sin" will be revealed in his time.
He is a liar and a deceiver. 1 John 2:22 "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." 2 John 1:7 "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
So we have a picture of Antichrist. Antichrist is a spirit that is upon the earth. Antichrist is also an individual who appears during the end days. He is the head of a world governmental system. He is a deceiver and a liar. He promises one thing but delivers another. We see him going forth gloriously to conquer and dominate. He will be hard to resist. Even the religious community will endorse his personage. Rev 13:11-16. So, as he goes forth, so does unparalleled war, famine, and death which are pictured in the red, black and pale horses.
Verse 3.. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, Come and see. Verse 4.. 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.
Verse 5.. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on it had a pair of balances in his hand. Verse 6.. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, 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. A measure of wheat is about a quart of wheat and a penny is a day's wage for a laboring man. And what are laborers getting today? About 100 dollars? So 100 dollars for a quart of wheat. Oil and wine will have much value. More so than money.
Verse 7.. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, Come and see. Verse 8.. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on it was Death, and Hades 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 by the beasts of the earth.
Daniel 2 and Ezekiel 38 refer to the final Beast Empire. . The total land mass of this empire is equal to about a fourth part of the earth. Just exactly how these countries will align to form the final beast empire is hard to tell. The middle east and Russia would certainly cover a fourth part of the earth. Beasts of the earth in verse 8 are better translated "beast."
To better understand Antichrist's method and plan, we need to compare with Christ's method and plan.
Antichrist's method is compulsion... Christ's is voluntary conversion.
Antichrist practices force... Jesus preached faith.
Antichrist says to the masses "Convert of die!... Jesus said "Believe and live!"
Antichrist is swift to shed blood... Jesus shed His own blood for the salvation of many.
Antichrist is the taker of life... Jesus is the giver of life.
Antichrist's goal is to conquer the world... Christ's goal was to conquer sin's penalty and power by substitutionary atonement!
By mid-tribulation, the Beast will make war with the saints and overcome them. His authority during that time will encompass the entire earth. Revelation 13:7.
These four horses give us a pre-mid picture of conditions on the earth as the Antichrist strives for dominance and control.
Verse 9.. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: Verse 10.. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Verse 11.. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled. These are tribulation saints martyred for their faith.
These could also picture the thousands of Christians being slaughtered even at this hour. 2015 was the worst year for Christian persecution on record. A new horrifying report details the unimaginable extent of Christian persecution. It confirms that at least 7,000 Christians were slaughtered in 2015 alone.
Even worse, in the last several years between 1 and 1.8 million Christians have been forced to flee or die in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, less than 20% of its Christian population remains.
ISIS - the Islamic State - is waging a genocide against our brothers and sisters in Christ like the world has never seen.
The persecuted ones are petitioning the Lord. How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Those that are currently dwelling on the earth are the ones who perpetrated the evil. This group of martyrs could be created during the tribulation period or just before the tribulation period.
Verse 12.. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; Verse 13.. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts its unripe figs, when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Verse 14.. And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places Verse 15.. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the generals, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; Verse 16.. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: Verse 17.. For the great day of his wrath has come; and who shall be able to stand?
With the opening of the sixth seal, Rev. 6:12, cataclysmic events come into view. There is an earthquake so great and worldwide that mountains and islands are moved out of their places. This event is possibly the same as described in Ezekiel 38:19 & 20. We know that it is possible for an earthquake to shake the whole world because the 2004 Indian ocean earth quake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed. It caused the entire planet to vibrate and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.
The sun is darkened and as a result, the moon also fails to give it's light. The stars fall to the earth (vs. 13) and the heavens depart as a scroll when it is rolled together. (vs 14) It's almost as if some gigantic object passes between the earth and the sun creating unprecedented cosmic disturbances. Pieces of debris would rain down on the earth giving the illusion of the entire heaven of stars falling.
In verses 15-16 all those that are upon the earth attempt to flee and hide from the wrath of God and the Lamb. They know that the great day of His wrath has come (vs 17). Perhaps the very throne of God becomes visible from the earth and their is no mistaking who is in charge.
We find out in the next chapter that the earth is not hurt until Israel is sealed and the tribulation saints appear before the throne.