RIDERS ON THE HORIZON
Revelation 6:1-8 (NKJV)
First Seal: The Conqueror
6 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard 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 the wine.”
Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
In the last two chapters (Rev 4 and 5), we have been in heaven. We have enjoyed the glory of the exalted Father and Son. Listened in on the songs and witnessed the praise.
Now, it is time for God to begin working out His redemptive plan for the planet Earth. As the Lamb begins to open the seals, thunder is heard in Heaven. Thunder signals impending doom, (Ill. Thunderstorm).
One of the beasts says, “Come and see”! The invitation is given for all men to approach the things of God and look into coming events. It is part of God’s plan and wish to save fallen man. He invites him to look
that he might see what is coming and turn from his evil toward the Lord.
Today, I want you to notice with me that there are RIDERS ON THE HORIZON. Let’s look in as Jesus Christ begins the series of events that will reclaim earth from Satan.
I. v.2 THE SEAL OF DECEPTION (D)
(Horses imply swiftness and rapid succession)
(Ill. Note – This is not Jesus! It is the “anti-Christ”)
A. White Horse – Gives the appearance of good. It is False purity, (false Christ), He will ride onto the scene in the wake of the rapture and deceive many into believing that he is Christ, (I Thes. 2:11; Matt. 23:27), deception is his weapon, (Matt. 24:5; 24) (Ill. Simon – Acts 8:9-10).
B. A Bow – A military man who carries a bow, but no arrows. He conquers by deception rather than bloodshed. (Ill. The world is ready for a man (false Christ) to bring peace to the earth).
(Illustration – World thought patterns have already been programmed to accept his doctrine of deception – Ill. Communism, Dependence on government, Secular Humanism – Evolution, Situation Ethics, Moral Freedom, Self-sufficiency, Sexual permissiveness, Anti-religion bias, Socialism, One World Government, Death Education, Human Destiny.) He (false Christ) will unite the world. Man’s other attempts have failed, his will too.
C. A Given Crown – The world will accept him and will crown him king of the world (He has no right to the throne!)
D. He Comes Conquering – He will take the world, He will be the last natural man to try and bring peace to the world. The world will be fooled by him, but – 1 Thes.5:3. His false peace will last 3 1/2 years!
(Ill. This rider is not Jesus! Note how they compare: Both ride white horses. The first has a victors crown, the second has many diadems, he is King of Kings; The first has a useless weapon, the second an all powerful sword; The first is a man, the second is GOD!)
II. v.3-4 THE SEAL OF DESTRUCTION (D)
A. Red – The color of fire and blood. Fire devours and destroys. Bloodshed will be the natural result of these days. The false peace will be impossible to bring about. This apparently peaceful man now becomes an instrument of war.
B. Many wars will break out as the anti-Christ attempts to consolidate his power. (Ill. The words of Jesus – Mt. 24:6-8).
(Ill. Russia and her allies will invade Israel – Exekiel 38-39.) (WWIII will take place anytime now – the world is ready! Available 60,000 H-bombs, enough to destroy the world 17 times over at a temperature of 130 million degrees.)
(Ill. The world loves war! Ill. Scientific study of wars in the world; Ill. God – Rom. 3:17; Ill. Since WWII – 12 limited wars; 38 political assassinations; 74 rebellions for independence; 162 revolutions. And WWII was supposed to be the war to end all wars!).
C. Imagine a world without any peace! It’s coming! The anti-Christ is coming to bring false peace here on earth!
III. v.5-6 THE SEAL OF DESPAIR (D)
A. Black – Mourning, sorrow, famine – Lam. 4:8-9. The aftermath of war is always famine, and with famine disease – Ill. 27 million died in Europe after WWI.
B. Balances – Rationing of food
C. Measure – 1 Quart; Penny – A Days Wages. A days worked will be one quart, the least a man can survive on, of wheat. Or, 3 quarts of Barley, horse feed. (What about the rest?)
D. Could it happen? Consider this: 1/2 the preschool children in the world are undernourished; Over 1/2 the world goes to bed hungry; 10,000 people starve to death annually. (Ill. Population Stats) (Ill. Our wastefulness!)
E. While the poor starve, the wealthy enjoy excess. All compassion for humanity and others will be gone!
World Population: 203,000 births per day; 74,000,000 increase per year! 1850 = 1 billion; 1930 = 2b; 1961 = 3b; 1976 = 4b; 1989 = 5b; 6.75b by 2,000!
Waste: 1 days waste from average family would feed a family of 6 in India. Our dogs in the United States have a higher protein diet than many people in poor countries. Our waste costs 17.5 Billion US dollars annually. (God will judge the amount of wastage!)
Land (Shortage) : Nearly all the world’s cultivatable land is being used. (Ill. The world eats enough grain each year to build a highway 18 yards wide, 6 ft. deep around the equator of the earth – 1.2 billion metric tons. There isn’t much hope of producing more.
IV. v.7-8 THE SEAL OF DEATH (D)
A. Pale Horse – Pestilence. Green is the color of dying tissue.
B. Death is the rider with Hell following: There will be no restrainer – 2 Thes. 2.
C. 1/4 of the world’s population will be destroyed. (Ill. Eze. 14:21)
1. There will be violence. – The Sword.
2. There will be starvation – Hunger.
3. There will be diseases – Death (Ill. Pestilence – Ill. the bubonic plague; AIDS – 20,000,000 cases, possibly 100 times greater than reported cases; chemical warfare – chemicals, insects, animals, Ill. 1979 explosion in USSR military lab. Ill. DNA research, disease strains and germs developed for war, etc.)
4. The animals will kill – Beasts (Rats, monkeys, fleas, mosquitoes etc). Possibly RATS – Destroy 1 billion dollars of food in USA alone. Produce 5 or more litters of 8-9 each per year. Fleas carry bubonic plague which destroyed 1/3 of Europe in 14th century. Carry Typhus which was responsible for over 200 million deaths in 400 years. Rats can carry as many as 35 different diseases. If 95% of population is destroyed, can replenish in 1 year!
Already in place. Coming now. Will continue through Tribulation. But, the worse part – See Matt. 24:8 below.
Matthew 24:3-8 (NKJV)
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.