The First Four Seals

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: promise | Seminary: none

When Jesus breaks the first four seals, there is a pattern of events that occurs: 1) Jesus breaks a seal, 2) a living creature says, "come," 3) a horse comes from somewhere in heaven, and 4) a rider is given the authority to do something to earth. A chart can be used to record the observations of the text:

Seal 1 (Rev 6:1-2) Seal 2 (Rev 6:2-3) Seal 3 (Rev 6:5-6) Seal 4 (Rev 6:7-8)
Third Heaven (location of the Temple of God) First living creature commands Second living creature commands Third living creature commands Fourth living creature commands
White horse Red horse Black horse Ashen horse
Rider with a bow is given a crown Rider is given a great sword and granted to take peace from earth so that men would slay each other Rider with a pair of scales in hand Rider with the name Death, with Hades in tow, is given authority over 25% of the earth to kill by the sword, famine, disease, and wild animals
Fate of the World People and nations go out to conquer each other Killing, murder and death Famine and food inflation 25% of the world’s population dies by murder, starvation, disease and wild animals

The prophet Zechariah saw similarly colored horses in his prophetic visions as a group in which the angelic riders worked in concert with each other as they carried out their task of patrolling the earth (Zech 1:7-11; 6:1-8).

Horsemen of the Apocalypse

For deeper study:

The First Four Seals

Series: The Doctrine on Eschatology
The Lamb of God

Series: The Doctrine on Eschatology
The Fifth Seal

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