Most Christians do not understand that Revelations is a summary of prophecy of the Old and New Testament. However, to understand Revelations a little better one must spend time pouring over the scriptures to make sense of it. For most Christians, Revelation is the most difficult book of the New Testament to comprehend. The comprehension of Hebrew and Greek may be the reason that there is so much confusion involved in the end times. God asked John to write Revelation for many reasons, one of which is found in verse three.
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3
Briefly the book of Revelation is a summary of the entire Bible and draws on a number of prophecies written in the Old and New Testaments. The purpose of Revelation is revealed in the first verse, which was to make known Jesus Christ and the events that are about to take place soon and are happening now. This same theme is confirmed in:
"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. Revelation 1:19
John is commanded to write to the seven churches about what is taking place in the church at the present time and what will happen in the near future. Unlike current prophetic teachers of our time John is commanded to write about specific events that will occur to the church on earth. The sermons I have heard tell us what is wrong about the behavior of those in the church and what Jesus requires to be done to correct the problem. Few are the sermons ever deal with the end times in our future.
I know that when I read bible prophecy about the end times I see Jesus Christ and the gospel message, but my comments are no better or accurate than prophetic teachers. However I know this, God is innovative and will come in the time of his choosing.
A number of commentaries written on chapter six link it to Satan but without an explanation as to why. I come to believe the bulk of scripture in Revelation Six and Daniel 9:24-27 is talking about the plans of God that have been sealed. The common term linking the two passages together is the process of sealing. Danielís dream was sealed up until the end times and the seals are being broken in Revelation Six revealing the plan of God.
The unnamed rider of the white horse in Chapter six has been named by some as the anti-Christ. Some say that the person riding the white horse depends on deceit and cunning, identifies this person as the antichrist. This is a theory that is not consistent with the bibleís symbolic use of colors. In the entire Bible the only rider of a white horse was named Faithful and True and written on his thigh was KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11,16.) Traditionally it depicts the General who has been victorious in battle that rides a white horse in victory parades down the main streets of the capital city. Revelation 19 portrays a conquering general riding out with his army following close behind. In addition, the bible portrays white as the color in which radiates cleanliness and purity that is consistent with a spotless and unblemished life God desires for his children.
The idea that the rider is bent on making war makes sense with him having a bow and the determination of being victorious. Still there is controversy over what the bow of Revelation 6:2 is made of. For example, Strongís exhaustive concordance relates the bow made of simple fabric. Thayerís exhaustive concordance relates the bow as an instrument to propel arrows. The question is to determine which definition is correct, as both were knowledgeable in the Greek language. What is unique is that a gospel message can be made from both interpretations.
The majority of word expositors reflect the idea that the bow is a bronze bow requiring great strength to pull and release the arrow. Bronze is used symbolically to bring out the idea of judgment. Strongís exhaustive concordance defines the bow being made of a simple fabric and says the word for bow is derived from a word dealing with seed. Some have elaborated that bow is a diaper and relates the rebirth of the human spirit. Letís remember that Christ came into the world to reconcile man to God and God accepts man into his family through the born again experience.
The comments on the rider of the red horse having a sword almost always refer to a warrior who is fighting a kind of war that men understand. Ironically the bible speaks of two red horses with riders, one in Zechariah 1:8 where Zechariah saw a man riding a red horse in a dream. The rider of the red horse was the angel of the Lord within a group of four horses and riders that were unnamed and similar in color to those in Revelation. Then these riders rode out into the world and reported back saying they found the world at rest and in peace. The rider of the red horse in Revelation was given a large sword to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. Jesus said.
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.Ē Matthew 10:34
This sword not only divides families but the whole world into two sides that war among themselves and God. Even the church is divided because there are Christians that wonít cross the threshold of another denominational church. The belief structure of another denomination places a barrier between you and other men that believe in the same God that you do.
Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. Revelation 6:4
This rider was given a large sword and typically a double edge sword was long for thrusting. The bible says that a double edge sword came out of Christís mouth. The Bible tells us that we live by the words that come out of the mouth of God and then Jesus said the words I speak are spirit and they are life. The word of God builds man into the image of God and also convicts man of sin. The sword of God has multiple uses and is used in multi-tasking the Christian life.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Many of us have had to suffer injustice during our lifetime, but when Jesus comes God will see that the saints get justice, and quickly. The rider of the black holds a pair of scales in his hand denoting that he is bringing justice with him. Letís consider that scales are used to weigh things to determine the true value of the unknown compared to a known value. Throughout the bible God has told everyone that he will reward each man according to his deeds. Everything you have done will be placed on Godís scales and your deeds will tip the scale one way or another. However letís remember, God has told everyone how to tip the scales in your favor.
The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death and the rider on the pale horse is the only rider who is called death. He represents the final method of bringing in a state of righteousness to the kingdom of God.
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42
Again there are some who would not have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them- bring them here and kill them in front of me.'" Luke 19:27
In review, the white horse rider brings salvation, the rider on the red horse brings the sword of division exposing the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. The black horse brought a system of justice fair to everyone and the rider of the pale horse is the enforcement of the law. These four riders bring the gospel and the plan of God into focus. Through these riders God has revealed his plan that he does not want anyone to perish due to their sin.
The fifth seal speaks of those slain while they placed their trust in God and sought refuge in him. These souls are asking the same question that Christians have asked in the past. Every Christian wants to know the answers about the Second Coming as if they were asking how much longer must I suffer.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Psalms 13:1-2
The sixth seal is opened and the plan of God prophetic events unfolds. The day we have been waiting for has arrived perhaps not the way we expected it to unfold.
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, Revelation 6:12
The LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. Isaiah 29:6
"Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' Matthew 24:29
See, the day of the LORD is coming - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. Isaiah 13:9-13
These verses are linked to the signs of Christís coming. When comparing these scriptures side by side, your eyes will see the greatness of God and his plan. All of these verses describe the day of the Lord and they may not happen the way we expect them to take place. On this day God will send his angels to harvest the earth of its fruit. The fruit of the earth will be sorted for its quality and the good fruit will be kept and the bad will thrown away.
For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause. Isaiah 34:8
More is written about the sixth seal than all the others are as it begins in Revelation 6:12 and ends at Revelation 7:17. In the interval something earthshaking happens. Please take note that in Revelation 6:16 -17 reveals that the wicked are in the presence of an Almighty God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" Revelation 6:16-17
Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Isaiah 2:19
God has come bringing Jesus Christ with him. The scene when we enter chapter seven reveals that Jesus Christ has already separated the elect from the wicked. The saints are standing around the throne of God and wicked are seeking refuge from Godís wrath. Without exception, no one will be thrown in the lake of fire before they stand before Godís throne.
In speaking about the end times Jesus said watch out that you are not deceived. God has given us enough information about his plans that we can ensure that we are not deceived. God gave us the ability to make decisions and to make plans for the destiny of our choice. The outcome of mans life is in our hands, therefore do not allow yourself to be deceived. Check things out and letís remember that God reveals his plan to his children.
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7