Summary: In Revelation Chapters 6-7, we see the seven seals opened, with Jesus Christ, the powerful rider on the white horse, going forth conquering and to conquer.
SESSION #5 – REVELATION CHAPTER 6 – THE SEVEN SEALS:
“Now we are to launch into the deep, and our business is not so much to fathom it as to let down our net and take a draught. We shall only hint at what seems most obvious.” (Matthew Henry).
“Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” (Rev. 6:1-2).
What do horses symbolize in the Bible?
• Strength, terror, warfare or conquest. (William Hendriksen).
Where does the imagery of the four horsemen come from? The OT prophet, Zechariah:
• See Zechariah 1:8-17 and 6:1-8 for other descriptions of four horsemen
Who is the rider of the white horse? Two different interpretations:
• The Antichrist, or a false Christ, and the forces of evil (the ‘PDF*’ interpretation).
- PDF = Premillennial, Dispensational, Futurist.
• Jesus Christ, and the victory of the Gospel
Reasons why it is Jesus, and not the Antichrist:
1. White in Revelation is always used as a symbol of Jesus or His followers. Ten examples:
- Rev. 1:4 - Jesus is described as having WHITE hair.
- Rev. 3:4 - Jesus said the conquerors will walk with Him in WHITE
- Rev. 3:5 - Jesus said the conquerors would be clothed in WHITE
- Rev. 4:4 - the 24 elders were clothed in WHITE
- Rev. 6:2 - there is a rider on a WHITE horse
- Rev. 6:11 - the martyred conquerors were given WHITE robes
- Rev. 7:14 - the great multitude of conquerors in Heaven were given WHITE robes
- Rev. 14:14 - Jesus is seen pictured on a WHITE cloud
- Rev. 19:14 - the armies of Heaven are seen wearing WHITE
- Rev. 10:10 - God is seated on a WHITE throne
2. Jesus is described elsewhere in Revelation as a rider on a white horse.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” (Rev. 19:11)
3. Jesus is described elsewhere in Revelation as one who has conquered.
“Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has conquered. He is worthy to open the scroll and break its seven seals.” (Rev. 5:5).
4. Jesus is described elsewhere in Revelation as one wearing a crown.
“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown.” (Rev. 14:14).
QUOTE: “As long as the church continues militant Christ will be conquering. He conquers his enemies in his people; their sins are their enemies and his enemies, when Christ comes with power into their soul he begins to conquer these enemies, and he goes on conquering, in the progressive work of sanctification.” (Matthew Henry).
SECOND SEAL – RIDER ON A RED HORSE: WAR
“When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.” (Rev. 6:3-4).
• Parallel in Matthew 24: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.” (v.6).
THIRD SEAL – RIDER ON A BLACK HORSE: FAMINE
“When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Rev. 6:5-6).
• Parallel in Matthew 24: “And there will be famines… in various places.” (v. 7b).
FOURTH SEAL – RIDER ON A PALE HORSE: DEATH
“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” (Rev. 6:7-8).
• Where does this imagery come from? The OT prophet Ezekiel:
“For thus says the Lord God: "How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem--the sword, famine, wild beasts and pestilence?” (Ezekiel 14:21).