Revelation 6: 1
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals.
I’m going to focus on the big picture—not all the details. Because now that we’ve come to the main part of John’s vision, everything (and I mean everything) is symbolic. And every symbol can be interpreted in so many different ways. Which is why people start getting confused at this point.
I’m not saying the symbolism isn’t important but for our purposes, we’re sticking to the big picture. There are three sets of judgments that are described from Chapter 6 through Chapter 16 of Revelation. They are the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, and the seven bowls of wrath.
Some believe that they happen sequentially, and others believe that the seal judgments and the trumpet judgments happen at the same time. Either way, the judgments become more severe with each new judgment, but God is still good. Non-believers have the opportunity to repent through all of it. Unfortunately, most have hardened their heart to God and do not repent and will suffer because of their own choices.
Amid the worship due to Him, the Lamb begins to open the seals. With each broken seal, the scroll is able to be unrolled a little more, revealing bit by bit the judgments God has in store during the tribulation period. The first four of the seven seals release what are known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse because the judgments appear symbolically as a horse and rider bringing devastation in their wake.
The first four seal judgments are known as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Some people believe the white horseman is Jesus returning, but most people believe the rider symbolizes the Antichrist or false religion.
The first horseman rides a white horse, which speaks of peace; at the beginning of the tribulation, meaning he will come under the pretense of bringing peace to the world. He is given a crown, which indicates that the Antichrist will have great authority. He holds a bow, which shows his true intentions is to conquer others.
The second horseman has the power to take peace from the earth. In other words, he brings war to the world. When the Lamb opens the second seal, great warfare breaks out. This is symbolized by a rider with a large sword on a fiery red horse.
There’s little argument that the third horsemen on the black horse symbolizes famine. The breaking of the third of the seven seals causes famine. The rider that John sees is riding a black horse and “holding a pair of scales in his hand.” Then John hears a declaration that people will have to work all day to earn just a little food.
The fourth seal is opened, and John sees a pale horse, some versions say green. “Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind The result of this fourth seal is that one fourth of the earth’s population are killed “by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
The white horse of the Apocalypse represents religious deception, including the Antichrist.
The red horse of the Apocalypse represents wars.
The black horse of the Apocalypse represents famines.
The pale horse of the Apocalypse represents pestilence (disease epidemics and pandemics) and death.