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Revelation 6:1-6
The opening of the first three seals
By Brother Mike (11-1-19; 45 minutes)
   

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see .
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see .
4
And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand .
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine .


INTRODUCTION   

In this study of Revelation 6:1-6, The opening of the first three seals, the Lamb, Jesus Christ, opens the first three seals to the book of God's salvation plan for the world. When He opens the first seal, we will see a rider on a white horse that had a bow; and a crown was given unto Him, and He went forth conquering, and to conquer. And, when He opens the second seal, we will see a rider on a red horse, and it was given to him to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given to him a great sword. And, finally, when Christ opens the third seal, we will see a rider on a black horse who has in his hand a pair of balances. And, a voice was heard in the midst of the four beasts saying, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine. What do these three riders represent? The answer to this question, and more, we will find in this study.  

Now, may the Lamb that was slain, and who opens the three seals in this study reveal to us what the three riders represent, amen.  


Revelation 6:1
:   

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see .   

In this verse, the apostle John first says, And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals. The Lamb, of course, is Christ, and that Christ opened one of the seals means that He brought about an aspect to God's salvation plan. And, in that this seal which Christ opened was the first of the seven seals to be opened, we should expect to see Christ bring about the first aspect to God's salvation plan. 

Now, when John in his vision saw Christ open the first seal, [he] heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. Since we've already learned that the four beasts (better translated as four living creatures) symbolize God Himself, when we are told that John heard one of the four beasts saying, Come and see, we know that it was God Himself who John heard saying, Come and see. And, in that God's voice was as it were the noise of thunder, we are being taught that God's voice can be symbolized as thunder, which is taught elsewhere in scripture as well. For instance, in Job 40:9, we read,  

Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him

And, in Psalm 77:18, we read,  

Ps 77:18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook

And, again, we read, 

Ps 81:7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I [God] answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah .   

Thus, we see how that thunder can symbolize or represent the very voice of God, and, here, that voice of God is saying to the apostle John in his vision, Come and see.  


Revelation 6:2
:  

2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer .   

Here, the apostle John continues by saying, And I saw, and behold a white horse. The color white in the Bible symbolizes holiness or purity, so, right away, we know that this horse represents that which is holy and pure, and, as such, we would expect that the one who sits on the horse would be holy or pure as well. In fact, we already have a sense that the one riding on this white horse is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself because, remember, we have here the opening of the first seal of the book of God's salvation plan, and certainly first and foremost to God's salvation plan would be the Lamb, Jesus Christ who suffered and sacrificed His life to pay for the sins of His people, the elect. 

Now, we read, and He that sat on him [on the horse] had a bow. That the one who sat on the horse had a bow means that He is riding out to battle, but He is not riding out to battle with a literal bow and arrow, but He is riding out to battle with a spiritual bow, which is His tongue that shoots out the arrows called the Word of God, or the gospel. We can see that a bow symbolizes the tongue from which words are shot out in Jeremiah 9:3, which reads,  

Jer 9:3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD

Here, their tongues are the bow from which their lying words proceed. And, in Psalm 64, we read,

Ps 64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words . . .  

Here, the bitter words are the arrows shot out from their bows, which are their tongues. Furthermore, we read in Proverbs 25,    

Pr 25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow .  

And, we read in Jeremiah 9, 

Jer 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait .  

So, in the light of such verses, we can conclude that the bow represents the tongue from which the words come, and the arrows that the bow shoots are the actual words themselves so that when we see a picture of Christ with a bow riding out to battle, He is riding out to shut arrows (the Word of God) from His bow (His tongue). 

So, returning to our verse in Revelation 6, the rider of the white horse who had a bow is a picture of the Holy Christ going out to battle with a bow, namely His tongue, to shoot out the words of the gospel, or the Word of God, to the world, which began in 33 AD at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon Christ's disciples, and they began to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. Thus, when our verse says , and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow, we are seeing the first and foremost aspect of God's salvation plan, which was the holy or pure Christ going out to battle with a bow, namely His tongue, which shot out the Word of God, the gospel, to the world through His disciples.  

Next, we are told, and a crown was given unto him. This, obviously, refers to the crown of kingship given to Christ after He rose from the dead, and then ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God. We read of this in Ephesians 1 where we read,  

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power ,
20
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places ,  
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come . . . 

And, then, having been seated at the right hand of God after He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, Christ came back to earth through the promise of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost in 33 AD to begin His evangelizing of the world through His disciples. 

But, now, returning to our verse, we are told that the one who sat on the white horse, and who had a bow and was given a crown, namely Christ, went forth conquering, and to conquer. That is, as Christ through His disciples brought the gospel to the world beginning on Pentecost in 33 AD, He went forth conquering, and to conquer as thousands upon thousands of people were wrenched from the kingdom of Satan, and born into the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ by the hearing of the Word of God, which came by Christ shouting His arrows (the Word of God or gospel) into the crowds. Indeed, for the 1955 years of the Church Age from Pentecost in 33 AD to May 21, 1988, Christ went forth conquering, and to conquer, with His gospel word, and bringing in many to the kingdom of heaven.   


Revelation 6:3
:  

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see

In this verse, the He who had opened the second seal is, once again, the Lamb who is Jesus Christ, and, in that He opened the second seal means that He, Christ, brought about the second aspect of His salvation plan. He had opened the first seal, which we just previously learned meant that He went forth with His gospel into the entire world conquering, and to conquer by wrenching many people out of the kingdom of Satan, and bringing them into the kingdom of God. And, now, we are told that He opened the second seal, which means that He brought about the second aspect of God's salvation plan that we are about to see, for the apostle John heard the second beast say, Come and see. And, the second beast (better translated as the second living creature), of course, is a picture of God Himself so that what John heard was God say to him, Come and see


Revelation 6:4
:  

4 And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword .  

Here, the apostle John lets us know what He saw after he was invited by God to come and see. He says, And there went out another horse that was red. In the Bible, the color red has to do with Satan. For instance, we read in Revelation 12,  

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads .  

And, then, we read more about this great red dragon in verse 9 of the same chapter where we read,  

9 And the great dragon [the great red dragon] was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him .  

Thus, we learn that the color red is associated with the red dragon which is a picture of Satan himself. 

Now, if the color red is associated with Satan, which we just learned that it is, then we must conclude that the red horse that went forth in John's vision is also associated with Satan, and we can reasonably conclude that the rider of this red horse is Satan Himself. Anyway, we are next told that [power] was given to him [to Satan] that sat thereon [that sat on the red horse] to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. So, we saw that the first aspect of God's salvation plan for the world was that the holy Christ went forth with His gospel conquering, and to conquer, but the second aspect of God's salvation plan was that Satan went forth to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another.  

But, how did Satan take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another? Remember, Adam and Eve were at peace with God and one another in the beginning, but then Satan deceived Eve by getting her to eat the forbidden fruit, and she gave some to Adam, and he ate as well. The result was that both Adam and Eve lost their peace with God through sin, and the entire human race that would descend from them was born into a fallen state of sin and corruption in which they no longer had peace with God and one another, but they began to kill one another. Cain killed Abel, brothers and sisters killed one another, and eventually wars broke out with one people against another even to this day to the killing of millions upon millions. What's more, they even began to kill one another yet in the womb. Many claimed the right to kill their babies before they were born so that according to the latest statistics from World Health Organization, there are now 40 to 50 million abortions each year, or about 125,000 abortions a day worldwide. Yes, Satan took peace from the earth, and it has resulted in many killing one another by war and abortions. 

Furthermore, Satan has taken peace from the earth in other ways as well: for instance, he has killed many of those who have brought peace to the earth, namely the elect of God. Yes, the elect had been commissioned by Christ to bring the gospel of peace to the world, but Satan has worked hard to kill the elect to keep them from bringing that peace. In fact, Satan has used many to kill Christians throughout history. Even though the elect had worked overtime to bring in peace between God and human beings, and between human beings themselves, throughout history and through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Satan has killed thousands upon thousands of the elect to keep peace from the earth. Indeed, Satan has been quite successful in taking much peace from the earth, and that humans should kill one another.   

But, now, returning to our verse, we read, and there was given unto him a great sword. That is, the rider on the red horse who is Satan was given a great sword. Spiritually, this great sword can be none other than the very Word of God as, spiritually, a sword in the Bible symbolizes the Word of God. For instance, we see that the word of God is comparable to a two-edged sword in Hebrews 4 where we read,  

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart

And, in Ephesians 6, we see that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It reads, 

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God . . .  

Thus, spiritually, the great sword that Satan was given is the Word of God. Yet, Satan does not use the Word of God to lead people into the peace of eternal salvation, but he leads people into a false understanding of the Holy Scriptures to make them think that they are on the path to salvation when they are not. Indeed, Satan comes as the counterfeit Christ, and he misuses the Bible to deceive the masses into false gospels and teachings that lead people away from true peace with God, and into false belief systems that lead people to death. And, these people then lead others into their false belief systems to spiritually ensure their deaths, and so on, so that what Satan has accomplished is to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another


Revelation 6:5

5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand .  

In this verse, we are first told that when he [the Lamb] had opened the third seal; that is, when Christ brought about the third aspect of God's salvation plan, the apostle John heard the third beast, and like the first and second beasts, the third beast is a picture of God. So, the apostle John heard God say, Come and see. And, as John came to see, John says, And I beheld, and lo a black horse. The color black in the Bible can be symbolic of darkness or judgment. For example, God speaks of the heavens as being black when He brought judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem. We read in Jeremiah 4, 

28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it .
29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein

And, when Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011, it is described in Revelation 6:12 as the time when the sun became black as sackcloth. There we read,  

Re 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood . . .  

Thus, we see that the color black has to do with judgment, and so we should expect that the rider on the black horse is coming in judgment.   

But, now, John says, and he that sat on him [he that sat on the black horse] had a pair of balances in his hand. Balances, of course, are used to weigh things out, and, in this case, we will discover what the balances are being used to measure out in the next verse, but, before moving on to the next verse, we should at least comment on that these balances were in the hand of the rider on the black horse. The hand in the Bible is often symbolic of the will, so in that these balances are in the rider's hand means that it is the rider on the black horse's will to measure out what we will find in the next verse.  


Revelation 6:6
:  

6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine .   

Here, the apostle John first states, And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts. In that this voice was heard in the midst of the four beasts means that it was the voice of God since we have long since learned that the four beasts (better translated as four living creatures) are a picture of God Himself. Thus, when John says that he heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, he means that he heard the voice of the God.  

Now, we read that the apostle John heard this voice of God say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny. Here, we learn what the rider on the black horse's balances were measuring out: it was a measuring or weighing out wheat and barley. And, since wheat and barley were commonly used to make bread, we could say that it was a measuring or weighing out of bread. 

But, what does it mean in the Bible that the bread was being measured or weighed out? Let's look at a couple passages. First, we read in Leviticus 26,  

Leviticus 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me ;
24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins
25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy .
26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied .  

Here, in Leviticus 26, God is describing what will happen to His people if they do not obey His law, and what He tells them is that He will break their staff of bread, and their bread will be delivered by weight. In other words, their will be famine in the land, and the bread will be measured out by weight to try and give everyone some bread to eat, and they shall eat, and not be satisfied because there is not enough bread. Thus, the measuring or weighing out of bread has to do with famine. God's people are being told that if they will not obey Yahweh, then He will bring famine to them so that there is virtually nothing to eat, and the bread must be measured out. 

We see God bring famine upon His very own people because of their sins in Ezekiel 4 where we read,  

Ezekiel 4:16 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment :
17 That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity .  

Thus, we can conclude that the rider on the black horse with balances in his hand is a picture of God bringing judgment by famine upon His own people or churches because of their sins. In the Old Testament, God brought literal famine upon Jerusalem because of their sins, and Jerusalem was a picture or type of the spiritual famine that God would bring upon the Christian churches during the New Testament period. From our vantage point of knowing the Biblical Timeline of History , we know that spiritual famine especially came upon the churches during the Great Spiritual Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when the spiritual bread of life, Jesus Christ, could no longer be found in the churches, and the churches were given over to false gospels and many false teachings through false prophets as judgment against them (see The Final Tribulation ).  

Now, our verse concludes by saying, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. Literally, it says, the oil and wine, you should not hurt. The oil in the Bible symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and the wine symbolizes the blood of Christ shed for the sins of His people. And, it was the Holy Spirit that spiritually applied the blood of Christ to each one of God's elect to heal or save them from their sin-sick souls. Thus, we can conclude that the oil and wine represent the salvation of the elect. And, so, when our verse says, the oil and wine, you should not hurt, it is telling us that even as God brings judgment against the churches and there is little or no bread of salvation, and it looks as though there is no hope in the churches, it does not effect the elect's salvation in any way. They will all still be saved, and they cannot lose their salvation once they have it. So, as the elect became surrounded by judgment on all sides as they did beginning on May 21, 1988 when the Great Tribulation began (see the Biblical Timeline ), and eternal salvation became no longer possible in all the churches, that judgment could not harm the elect's salvation in any way, for they were certain to be saved if they were not already, and once saved, they could not lose that salvation. As the scripture says to us, the elect,  

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION  

In this study, we looked at the opening of the first three seals of the book of God's salvation plan for the world. When Christ opened the first seal, we saw Christ riding on a white horse and going forth with a bow conquering, and to conquer, which was a picture of the Holy and pure Christ going forth in the Holy Spirit through His disciples during the Church Age from Pentecost of 33 AD to May 21, 1988 to shut His arrows of the Word of God, or gospel, from His bow (His tongue) into the entire world to conquer the kingdom of Satan by wrenching many out of it, and bringing them into the kingdom of God.  

Then, when the Lamb, Christ, opened the second seal of the book of God's salvation plan, we saw the rider of a red horse, who was given a great sword, going forth to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. In this case, we found that the rider of the red horse was Satan, and the great sword that he was given was the very word of God, which he misused and twisted to lead people into false gospels and teachings, which led to death. Satan also deceived Eve in the garden of Eden to eat the forbidden fruit, which she also gave to Adam to eat, and which resulted in their falling away from the state of peace with God into a state of sin and corruption that all their descendants were naturally born into. And being in this fallen state, people began to kill each other, and wars broke out to the killing of millions upon millions. In addition, being in a fallen state, many even began to abort their babies to the killing of millions upon millions more, and Satan even killed many of the peacemakers, God's elect, to rid peace from the earth. Indeed, Satan went forth and took much peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another.  

Finally, when Christ opened the third seal of the book of God's salvation plan, we saw a black horse whose rider we found to be God that went forth to bring judgment against His own people for their sins, which is what the black horse symbolized. On this back horse, God had a pair of balances in His hand to symbolize the measuring out of wheat and barley. And, since wheat and barley were commonly used to make bread, it was a measuring or weighing out of bread, which we found to represent a judgment of famine against God's own people or churches. Thus, the rider on the black horse was a picture of God bringing judgment against His own churches due to their sins, which we know He accomplished throughout the Church Age to individual apostate churches, but especially during the Great Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when judgment came upon all churches. During this Great Tribulation, God removed the bread of life, Jesus Christ, from the midst of all the churches to bring in a spiritual famine wherein none could any longer be eternally saved in the churches. 

Thus, we have now seen the opening of the first three of seven seals of the book of God's salvation plan and what they represent. In our next study, we will begin with the opening of the fourth seal. 


Now, with that, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .

4:1-5
4:6-11 
5:1-7
5:8-14
6:1-6

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