"I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power (from God) to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword." (Rev. 6:1-3) "He (the Antichrist) will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (Dan. 9:27) The counterfeit peace promised by the Antichrist ends after 3 ½ years (the middle of the seven) when he breaks the peace treaty by setting himself up as God. "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matt. 24:15-16)  "He (Antichrist) will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." (2 Thess. 2:4)

"When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!" When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." (Rev. 6:4-8) The red horse (war), the black horse (famine) and the pale (ashen) horse (pestilence/death) are the same judgments that God used to bring the nation of Israel to repentance (see 1 Kings. 8:33-39; 1 Chr. 21:12) and the judgments Jesus predicts in Matt. 24:3-8. But note here in Revelation: "They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done." (Rev. 16:9-11) Yet many do come to salvation in the Tribulation, both Jews and Gentiles. (Rom. 11:36; Rev. 7:9)

Let's focus on the second seal (the red horse/war) and see the other significant events that are taking place at this time. Steve Griffith and other commentators say that to understand the book of Revelation we must see the parenthetical events that are going on in the flow of the chronological events.

First of all we see that God places His two witnesses in Jerusalem to prophesy during the last half of the tribulation. (Rev. 11:3)

Also at this time the Antichrist moves armed forces into Israel to eradicate all Jews. (Dan. 11:36-45; Rev. 12:13-16; Joel 2:1-8)

It is at this time that the Antichrist will require all people to worship him and show their allegiance to him by receiving the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell. (Rev. 13:16-17) This will lead to famine and death for those who refuse to take the mark. In addition to death by starvation the Antichrist will seek to kill all who refuse to worship him and refuse the mark including the "harlot," the one world religion (the apostate church, Muslims, unbelieving Jews and all false religions. Rev. 17:16) but mainly post-rapture Christians (Rev. 20:4).

Daniel 11:36-45 refers to the Antichrist taking over the Middle East and Africa and not to Antiochus Epiphanes. {"His actions go beyond those of Antiochus Epiphanes; and he meets death in Palestine (vs. 45), rather than in Persia as Antiochus Epiphanes did. Many conservative scholars believe the career of the Antichrist of the Tribulation Period is foretold in this section."  KJV Bible Commentary. Nashville :Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994, S.1657} This includes many Islamic countries. Some commentators disagree with this believing that it will be the Islamic nations that will gather against Israel in these times as an instrument of Antichrist (Ezek. 38-39). Yet it is hard to imagine Muslims worshipping any god but their false god, Allah.   Others believe that Ezekiel 38-39 does refer to the Islamic nations that are now in place who come against Israel but are supernaturally defeated by God. Their defeat will allow the Antichrist to overtake the Middle Eastern areas where they were in power.


Give a one-word description of what you think the meaning of each of the four words might be:
    white =
    red =
    black =
    ashen =

[Note:  Christ is in heaven during the entire Tribulation scene portrayed in chapters 6 through 18 of Revelation; therefore, Christ is not the rider of the white horse (or the other three horses) as a few commentators suggest.]

If Christ is not the rider of the horses, then who do think is-given the magnitude of the death toll portrayed in v.8?

The rider on the white horse (v.2) is said to have a "bow" and a "crown."  What does this suggest? 

The rider on the white horse, then goes to "conquering, and to conquer."  Given the fact that he rides a "white" horse at this time rather than a "red" one, what does this suggest about this phase of his conquest?

The rider of the red horse is given "authority to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him" (v.4).  What change or contrast do you now see in the method of conquest between that employed by the rider of the white horse and the rider of the red horse?

Now please read the two passages from Peter below and discuss these questions. 1) How does Peter explain how an all-powerful and loving God can allow such evil and suffering in the world, especially the suffering that comes from His wrath seen in Revelation? 2) Why does God wait so long to execute His judgment on sinful and unrepentant people? 3) What if Christ had returned 50 years ago? 4) How then shall we live in light of His return (and maybe His soon return)?


"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)- 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment." (2 Peter 2:4-9)


"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless,
blameless and at peace with him." (2 Peter 3:3-14)


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