Here are 5 interesting things about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The White Horse
There seems to be a correlation between Jesus’ Olivet Discourse (or the Olivet Prophecy) in Matthew 24 and in Revelation chapter 6. First of all, we notice that the disciples asked Jesus two questions: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (Matt 24:3), so Jesus is answering two questions in Matthew 24. Notice Matthew 24:4-6 where “Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray” so He didn’t want them to be deceived by false teachers, and now, in Revelation 6:1-2 it says, “And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.” Are these possibly false teachers and preachers who mislead many with a soft gospel?
The Red Horse
Once more let’s read what seems to be a parallel prophecy between Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, starting with Matthew 24:6-7a where Jesus says, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” and Revelation 6:3-4 where it says, “When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.” Wars and rumors of wars and the red horseman who takes peace from the earth both relate to a time of wars.
The Black Horse
Next Jesus says in Matthew 24:7b-8 that “there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains” and in Revelation 6:5-6 it says, “When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!” You find famines in Matthew 24:7b-8 and skyrocketing prices for food due to shortages in Revelation 6:5-6. Very interesting parallel.
The Pale Horse
If you’ve ever watched shows like CSI or something similar to them, you have probably seen a corpse. The corpse is very pale because there is no blood flowing through the body. Dead men don’t bleed…they turn pale, and with that in mind, Jesus said in Matthew 24:8-10 that “All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another” and in Revelation 6:7-8 it says, “When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” The pale horse represents the color of a dead human; pale. Jesus warned them of a coming time of martyrdom. By the way, death typically follows famine (Matt 24:7b-8; Rev 6:5-6).
The Book of Revelation chapter 6 and Matthew 24 seem to go together, but Jesus’ conclusion to this prophecy was “you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt 24:44), so Jesus is saying you must be ready at all times. He didn’t say you must understand all prophecy. We can get so wrapped up in prophecies by trying to piece together world events that we can be distracted from doing what Jesus wants the church to be doing (Matt 25:34-40). Jesus is the Head of the church. He expects His body to cooperate.
Hopefully this made some sense of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It’s a very deep subject and the Book of Revelation can be difficult in trying to determine what it means, but thankfully, the main things are the plain things and the gospel is simple enough for a child to be saved but deep enough to make a theologian sweat.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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