Revelation Lesson 12 Day 2 Four Seals

Revelation 6:1-8

3.  a.  Each of the four living creatures said the same thing–

“Come,” “Come and see,” “Come out” or “Be Coming” when the Lamb opened the four seals.

“Come.” is the translation in several versions. The Wuest translation, a more literal translation of the Greek, translates it as, “Be coming.”

b.  The first four seals are opened.

First Seal — John saw a white horse. The one seated on it had a bow [but no arrows]. And there was given to him a victor’s crown. He came forth conquering and in order to conquer.

Second Seal — A flame-colored, blood-red horse came forth. (Wuest) “Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.” NLT

Third Seal — John saw a black horse. Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.

And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t (damage) waste the olive oil and wine.” NLT

Fourth Seal — John saw a pallid horse, greenish-yellow in color. (Wuest)

Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.* NLT

4.  The First Seal — The White Horse and Rider

The rider of the white horse carried a bow.  Wuest says “but no arrows.” He already won(?)

A crown (garland or wreath) of victory was given to Him.

He came out conquering (victorious) and to conquer. — He already conquered but there was more to do. But without arrows?

Who was He?

Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. Revelation 19:11-12 NLT 

In your majesty, ride out to victory, 
    defending truth, humility, and justice.
    Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts.
    The nations fall beneath your feet. Psalm 45:4-5 NLT

The Amplified Bible identifies the rider in Rev. 19 as Jesus Christ.

Matthew Henry thought this horse represented the early days of Christianity. They were zealous and the pure gospel spread in relative peace.

Only when compared to Christian history later in the first century does the early church seem peaceful.

5.  a.  The Second Seal — Withdrawal of peace

The rider of the red horse “was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.” NLT

It’s interesting that we see here, peace is from God. Man’s natural inclination is war.

God didn’t send war and slaughter, He removed peace.

The Roman Empire was plagued with many civil wars, infighting, assassinations, and suicides.

Consider this: The Year of the Four Roman Emperors – which just so happens occurred the year Jerusalem was destroyed.

After a lull in the military operations, owing to civil war and political turmoil in Rome, Vespasian was called to Rome and appointed as Emperor in 69. With Vespasian’s departure, Titus moved to besiege the center of rebel resistance in Jerusalem in early 70. The first two walls of Jerusalem were breached within three weeks, but a stubborn rebel standoff prevented the Roman Army from breaking the third and thickest wall. Following a brutal seven-month siege, during which Zealot infighting resulted in burning of the entire food supplies of the city, the Romans finally succeeded in breaching the defenses of the weakened Jewish forces in the summer of 70. Following the fall of Jerusalem, Titus left for Rome, leaving Legion X Fretensis to defeat the remaining Jewish strongholds, finalizing the Roman campaign in Masada in 73–74.  (emphasis added)

Recent Wars

  • World War I and II
  • The Korean War
  • War in Vietnam
  • Genocide
  • Terrorist attacks

In every century, Christians have tried to put Revelation’s glass slippers on their contemporary events and evil rulers. We first need to look at the Roman Empire, in my opinion.

b.  What is the source of strife, and what is the solution for it?

  • Evil desires at war within us.
  • Greed
  • Jealousy
  • Lack of trust in God as our source
  • Lust
  • Selfishness
  • Pride

Brought to you by Satan.  James 4:1-8

But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Romans 7:23 NLT

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. Galatians 5:17 NLT


Over the years I’ve read Revelation many times, attended Bible studies about Revelation, and read a book with side by side commentary on various dispensational theories and interpretations. All of them left me feeling like they were way too complicated.

The Pharisees had such a wrong interpretation of Messianic prophecy, they had the Messiah amazing them with understanding from the time He was twelve, and they still didn’t have a clue.

Jesus fulfilled most prophesies in a literal way.

The imagery in Revelation is way out there, to be sure. However, I’m trying to look at it in a simpler way.

As always, I appreciate comments and further insight. Thanks for reading!

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Photo Credit 4 horsemen resenkrant Waiting For The Word   CC
My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson
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ESV    Strongs Greek-Hebrew Dictionary  
AWMI   JFB    Adam Clarke   Matthew Henry
EW Bullinger   Barnes   Easton Smith Bible Dictionaries