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Revelation of the Apostle John
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  • Four Horses, Horsemen and Winds are the four sore (dreadful) judgments of God. See Revelation 7:1 and Zachariah 6:1-8 to see how the four winds are God's attacks against the disobedient and that these correspond to the four different color horses. The symbol is understood in Ezekiel 14:12-23. By famine, wild beasts, sword and plague, God punishes a perverse nation. In Revelation 6 we see 4 dreadful judgments, the four horses to identify that this is the subject, but we see another horseman going out in front of the others. To keep the number four, then, two plagues are joined in the fourth horseman.

  • Rider on the white horse is Jesus, the Living Word that judges and conquers. See Revelation 19:11-16; John 12:48 and 1:1-4. His crown is an overcomer's crown. The color of his horse symbolizes purity and justice.

  • Rider on the Red horse symbolizes war. Red is the color of blood.

  • Rider on the black horse is famine. Refer to Ezekiel 4:10, 16 to see this symbol. With a scale the food is measured because it is scarce. The money specified is a day's wage so a man must work all day just to buy a little bit of the essentials in food. The nonessentials, wine and oil, aren't lacking because no one can afford to buy them. All their money will be used just for survival.

  • Rider on the pale horse: This judgment completes the figure of the four horsemen. It is God's judgment in all its forms. Pale is the color of death.

  • A fourth part: This judgment is partial and not total. There is still an opportunity to repent and flee from God's wrath.

  • Fifth Seal: After punishing the earth with these judgments, the martyrs cry out for vengeance. God's answer is "not yet … more Christians must die!" This language makes it clear to the brethren who would be persecuted that God was in control. Everything would happen according to the divine plan. They could relax because their reward was secure.

  • Earthquake, blackened sun, bloody moon and falling stars: This is God's wrath poured out on the evildoers. Compare this to Joel 1:15; 2:1-2, 10, 11, 28-32; Zephaniah 1:14, 15 and Isaiah 13:6-11. John used the language of the Old Testament prophets to paint a picture of destruction. It is symbolic language and not literal. If just one star fell to the earth, life here would be over. But in the vision life goes on. The message is that the enemy nation must be punished and would fall. When God pours out His judgment on an enemy, nobody escapes.

  • Jesus begins to reveal the future with respect to the fight between God and His adversaries. We already know the final score in any such conflict. God will punish the church's enemies. He will treat them as he has always treated perverse nations. He will bring partial plagues on them to call them to repentance. If it works - then great! If they refuse, he will increase the intensity until they repent or are destroyed. Even though the martyred Christians ask for vengeance, God is in absolute control and will proceed as planned, even though more Christians will die. After all, what is so bad about being removed from this old world of woe to go and be with Jesus? For a while, the plagues will continue. The important question is asked, "Who will stand in the day of the wrath of God and the Lamb?" The answer is found in chapter 7.

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