TEXT: Revelation 6:1-8
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 beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
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.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And 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 unto 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.
— PRAYER —
The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 4) — the War of the Antichrist, Continued
In order to provide further context and background on this passage, allow me to share with you “five important questions which must be answered before the events of chapter 6 can be understood” from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:
1. Are the events which begin with the breaking of the first seal past or future? Though many have tried to find fulfillment in the past, there are solid reasons for believing that the revelation concerns events yet future. The vision in Revelation chapters 4 & 5 is described as “after this,” that is, after the revelation to the seven churches which is described in Revelation 1:19 as “what is now,” in contrast to “what will take place later.” Since the scroll in Revelation 5:1 is “sealed,” the clear implication is that the seals are broken at a time after chapter 5. All attempts to find fulfillment of the seals in history have failed to yield any uniform interpretation with no two commentators agreeing. Actually there is no sequence in history that clearly corresponds to these events. So it may be concluded that they are yet future.
2. What is the relationship of the seals to the Rapture of the church? In the letter to Thyatira the Rapture is pictured as yet future and the Rapture is in view in the letter to the church in Philadelphia. Beginning in chapter 6, however, there is no reference whatsoever to the churches or to the Rapture that is described in familiar passages. Since neither the Rapture nor the church are the subject of Revelation 6-18, many conclude that the Rapture of the church takes place before the events beginning in chapter 4 and thus precedes the Tribulation.
3. What is the relationship of the seals to Daniel 9:27? Daniel 9:27 reads, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Israel’s program, concluding in the 70th week of Daniel, is best understood as related to the scenes here described in Revelation. Though some have tried to find historic fulfillment of Daniel 9:27, nothing in history really corresponds to it; so it is better to consider the last seven years as the final period leading up to the Second Coming and therefore still future.
4. Does Revelation deal with the entire seven years anticipated in Daniel 9:27 or only with the last three and one- half years, often referred to as “the Great Tribulation” or “a time of great distress”? Because the Great Tribulation is specifically mentioned in Revelation 7:14 and the same period is called “the great day of their wrath”, there seems to be clear identification of Daniel 9:27 with the events of Revelation. Most expositors assume that the events beginning in Revelation 6 cover the whole seven-year period. The Book of Revelation, however, never uses a seven-year figure but frequently refers to three and one-half years or 42 months. Because the events of chapter 6 and afterward seem to coincide with the Great Tribulation rather than with the time of peace in the first half of the seven years, there are good reasons for concluding that these great events are compacted in the last three and one-half years before Christ’s return to the earth. Certainly at least by the fourth seal, the events described anticipate a time of unprecedented trouble.
5. What is the relationship of the events of Revelation to Christ’s sermon on the end times as contained in Matthew 24-25? (In this sermon, Jesus responds to His disciples questions about the end times: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” As J. Dwight Pentecost points out, the order of events in Revelation and the order of events in Matthew are strikingly similar: (a) war, (b) famine, (c) death, (d) martyrdom, (e) the sun and the moon darkened with stars falling, (f) divine judgment. It should be obvious that the events of Revelation have their background in previous prophecies, which aids in interpreting John’s symbolic revelation. The evidence points to the conclusion that it describes the final period (probably the final three and one-half years) climaxed by the second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom.
The Bible warns us of those who will declare “peace and safety” in the end times even amidst the wars and rumors of wars that will abound. Many have charged our current president with such an outlook in his response to the military and terror threat known as ISIS. Critics say that he is not taking the threat as seriously as he should. After World War I, many people believed that the world would move on into an era of peace. Little did they know, that the “war to end all wars” had simply set the stage for the even greater tragedy of World War II.
Today, we are going to continue looking at the war of the antichrist in the end times. We have already established that the white horse and his rider, an arrow-less bowman, represent the peaceful rise to power with which the antichrist will come on the world scene. That he is “given a crown” indicates that the world will willingly accept and even call for his rule. The world is now, and will be, in such a bad state of affairs, that people will willingly accept the rule of anyone who seems like they can fix the problems this world faces or provide some hope and light in the darkness. As former secretary-general of NATO Paul Henry Spaak said, “What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.”
Well, the world will get its devil in the form of the antichrist. And, just as Satan often hides his true form and intention behind an attractive mask, the antichrist will do the same. He will ride forth on a white horse of peace, but in his wake comes the red horse of war. John says, “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 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.” Dr. Tim LaHaye and the editors of the Prophecy Study Bible, state, “Like all man-made, false promises of peace, the promised peace of the Antichrist fails.”
The war brought about by the antichrist’s actions may be spurred on by those who will be wary of one man gaining authority over the whole world. This will not be a minor conflict. The red horse has the power to take peace from the entire world. It is likely that the war will take the form of a global civil war with those who support the antichrist on one side and those who oppose him on the other.
The large sword in the hand of the red horse’s rider is significant because, elsewhere in the New Testament, the Greek word used for “sword” indicates the classic Roman short sword. However, John specifies that this rider has a “large” sword indicating the great slaughter that will occur in the war of the antichrist. According to Dr. R.C.H. Lenski, this sword symbolizes “constant and terrific slaughter.” He goes on to say, “The New Testament era is not different from that of the Old Testament as regards wars, famine, and death. The wild passions of the wicked and the sin abroad in all nations constantly precipitate wars. In the midst of them and despite them, the Lamb brings his kingdom to its triumphant consummation. Wars themselves, as signs of the ripening unto final judgment, are a continuous sign of the end. They are like great placard advertisements that are strung along the highway of the world’s history. Scripture records this regarding the New Testament era, not merely as a prophetic fact but as a fact of judgment. As were all the riders, this one is also commanded, ‘Go!’ to execute the Lamb’s will.”
Many people today question the continuous state of war which the planet seems to be caught up in. They don’t see how God can be in control if so much conflict and death is going on. However, the broken state of our world which is caused by sin helps us to realize that we need a Savior. We need the true Prince of Peace who will one day truly end all wars and cause people to live at peace with each other. The people who live during the Tribulation will, unfortunately, place their faith and trust in a man who promises peace but cannot and will not deliver it. During his reign on earth, the world will have to consistently deal with the effects of war. Hopefully, many in that day will have their eyes opened and will begin to look forward to the great peaceful reign of Jesus Christ.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.