The First Four Seals of Revelation
In the book of Revelation there is a sequence of seven seals.
The first four seals identify major world events that will take place before the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation is the last 3 ½ years of this age. Seals five and six will take place during the Great Tribulation. The seventh seal marks the opening of the Book of Life (the Scroll) in preparation for Christ's return and gathering of His Elect, the Church.
The first four seals correspond to “the beginning of birth pains” which will start the final generation leading to His Second Coming and His Kingdom on earth. Christ said,
Ethnic group will rise against ethnic group, and government against government. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:7-8).
The first four (Seals 1, 2, 3, and 4), aka “the beginning of birth pains,” will lead into the last three Seals (5, 6 and 7) which will span the Great Tribulation.
The first seals are early warning signs. They reveal to God's people that the "Time of the End" has come and alerts them to what will soon take place so they know when and where these crises will strike.
Before we examine the first four seals, let’s understand what Scripture reveals about the "horse and rider" and the "four colored horses." Remember that God has given this information to His people so they will be able to understand what is taking place.
First, what does "horse and rider" symbolize?
Scripture says this about "horse and rider."
Moses and the Israelites sang this song: 'I will sing to YAHWEH, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. ... Pharaoh and his army he has hurled into the sea.' (Exodus 15:1-4)
In Scripture the Horse represents an Army. Horse = Army
The Rider represents a Leader of an army. Rider = Leader
Second, what do the "four colored horses" of Revelation symbolize?
1. White horse 2. Red horse 3. Black horse 4. Pale horse
There's only one other place in Scripture which describes four colored horses and they appear similar to the four in Revelation. We should also note that there are significant similarities between the prophesies of Zechariah and Revelation.
Scripture says this about the "four colored horses."
The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled--all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these, my lord?" The angel answered me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south." 7 When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, "Go throughout the earth!" So they went throughout the earth. (Zechariah 6:2-7)
The four colored horses have been assigned to go throughout the earth. Since all prophecy is written from the perspective of Jerusalem, the horses where assigned in relation to Jerusalem.
1. White - the West
2. Red - the East
3. Black - the North
4. Pale - the South
Now, let’s look at the Four Horses and their Riders. After each prophecy my interpretation is presented for your consideration.
First Seal of Revelation - Completely Fulfilled Prophecy
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 (Revelation 6:2).
When the first seal was opened on 911 in 2001, George W. Bush was the President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army (he held a bow). The "bow" may be a reference to the "bow" in Habakkuk 3:8-9 which also mentions that God rode out with His "horses" another connection to the Time of the End.
In 2004 he was reelected President, (he was given a crown).
After 911 he declared war on terror and invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, (he rode out as a conqueror.)
For the Remainder of his Presidency he was committed to the War on Terror, (he was bent on conquest.)
The White Horse of Revelation 6 symbolizes the USA and her Military.
The Rider on the White Hose symbolizes the US leader, George W. Bush.
Second Seal of Revelation - Red Horse - next to be fulfilled - 2010 0r 2011?
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 to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword (Revelation 6:3-4).
When the second seal is opened (red horse) Iran will initiate a conflict with the United States which will lead to World War 3. The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be given a Great Battle.
I believe that Iran is the country in question because of a prophecy in Jeremiah.
Sharpen the arrows, take up the shields (prepare for war)! YAHWEH has stirred up the kings of the Medes (leaders of IRAN), because his purpose is to destroy Babylon (USA). YAHWEH will take vengeance, vengeance for his temple. Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen, prepare an ambush! YAHWEH will carry out his purpose, his decree against the people of Babylon. You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off. (Jeremiah 51:11-13)
Third Seal of Revelation - Black Horse - Future
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!" (Revelation 6:5-6)
When the third seal is opened, (black horse), Russia will attack the US (with an alliance of nations, see Jeremiah 50-51) and damage grain production (US and Canada) to the extent that it will take a day’s wages to buy a day’s wheat or barley. But certain areas of the world, that produce wine and oil, will not be damaged.
Fourth Seal of Revelation - Pale Horse - Future
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 (Revelation 6:7-8).
When the fourth seal is opened (pale horse), Egypt will engage the Antichrist in battle which will plunge the region into catastrophic levels of death from war, famine, pandemics and wild beasts of the earth.
Daniel 11 mentions both the defeat of the mightiest fortresses and then Egypt engaging the antichrist as we see here.
He (Antichrist) will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price. "At the time of the end the king of the South (Egypt) will engage him in battle, and the king of the North (Antichrist) will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. He will also invade the Beautiful Land (Israel). Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon (Jordon) will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians (Sudan) in submission. (Daniel 11:39-43)
Egypt, Libya and Sudan in submission corresponds to the 3 horns which the Antichrist subdues mentioned in Daniel 7.
He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. (Daniel 7:23-24)
* Note that after the death toll resulting from the previous seals, Africa which is currently about 13% of the world population may then make up a fourth (25%) of the earth’s population.
The First Seal is open, we must now be watching for the events leading to the Second Seal.
Therefore, keep watch! World Watch
Richard H Perry