This has been a detailed study of Revelation chapter six. This scripture is extremely rich with knowledge.
The first horseman represents the antichrist. The last three represent the spirits of devastation which will be unleashed to do his bidding in the world. Jesus says in Matthew chapter 24 that these things must come to pass before the end. This means that they are ordained by God and inevitable.
In verse 4 we see a red horse unleashed. This represents wars which will be unleashed in the earth realm. War will be satan's major weapon in his takeover of the world system. Red is the color of shed blood.
Daniel chapter seven verse 23 tells the story of this endtime war:
23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Jesus gives his own version of this chapter in Matthew 24 verses 4-8.
4And Jesus answered and said to them, "Take heed that no man deceives you."
The first thing that he addresses is the deception of the antichrist. Remember that deception is his major weapon as we discussed in part I of this writing.
5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Here he addresses the red horse of war which is to be released into the earth. He alludes to the fact that there are many other judgments to follow before God's plan for total redemption is complete. Jesus actually tells us the exact things which John says in this chapter and in the exact order. Verses 7 and 8 read:
7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
The third horse is the spirit of famine and the last horse is pestilence. The earthquakes which he alludes to here are the earthquakes which will accompany his return.
5And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and see a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6And I heard a voice in the middle of the four beasts 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.
The fact that the beast held balances indicates that the world was indeed in a famine and food was being rationed to the masses. The measures of food mentioned here are what were known as slave's wages. They were the equivalent nutrition which would keep a slave alive for one day. The penny, or denari was one day's pay. This indicates that a day's work would only provide enough to live until the next day. Black is the color commonly associated with death.
Verses seven and eight refer to the final horseman to be released into the earth:
7And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8And 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 to 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.
The pale horse is the color of sickness and disease. Power has been given by God for these maladies to destroy a major part of the earth. God won't allow total destruction because of his promise to Noah after the flood in the book of Genesis.
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