What the Four Horses Represent (Seals 3)

The theme of Revelation 4-5 is the heavenly throne and the threat to that throne. The theme of Revelation 6 is the curses of the covenant. The word “curse” here does not mean profanity, it is a legal term that expresses the consequences of disobedience, of breaking the laws or norms of society or the kingdom of God. These curses were express in Old Testament texts like Leviticus 26:21-26, Deuteronomy 32:23-25, and 41-43, and Ezekiel 14:12-21. In the Old Testament these curses were described in terms of sword, famine, pestilence (contagious disease) and wild animals. The consequences of disobedience to the covenant were sometimes expressed as seven-fold curses (Lev. 26:21, 24). These curses of the covenant were sometimes executed in the Old Testament by four horses of different colors (Zech. 1:8-17; 6:1-8). So the four horses of the Apocalypse have a rich background in the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament the covenant was between God and Israel as a nation. The blessings and curses of the covenant occurred in a literal and national fashion, in other words, prosperity or adversity was visited on the nation of Israel as a whole. If the nation as a whole was faithful to God, the nation as a whole prospered in some very material ways (Deut. 28:1-14). If the nation as a whole was not faithful to God, the nation as a whole suffered war, famine, pestilence and poverty (Deut. 28:15-68). The covenant was between God and the nation of Israel. The curses of the covenant were the consequences of disobedience, and involved very material things.

In the New Testament, on the other hand, faithfulness to Israel’s covenant is determined in relation to Christ. As such they are more individual than collective, more spiritual than material, and more worldwide in implications than on any particular earthly nation. Those who are faithful to Christ, who are in relationship with Christ, are blessed in a spiritual sense (John 12:32; Acts 13:32-33; 2 Cor. 1:20). Those who reject Him, and are out of relationship with Him, are under the curse. They suffer the spiritual consequences of that condition; strife, division, ignorance of God and His Word, and spiritual sickness and rebellion. This appears to be the central theme of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

One thought on “What the Four Horses Represent (Seals 3)

  1. George Fountas

    The fifth seal refers to a long period of time when Christians would be prosecuted and killed for being Christians

    9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

    10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

    11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

    If the Four Horseman refer to the period of the Mongols, Turks, famines from the Little ice Age, and the Black Plague spread by rats, then following that would be a period where Christians would be killed for their beliefs.

    “slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” Those that were killed stayed faithful to the word of God” aka they would not give up Christ for another religion and were killed for it.

    Islam, which controlled ALL of the Middle East till recent times was not shy about converting people by force – including mass slaughter. Koran 9:29 explicitly states “Kill them and terrorize them till they convert”

    So the time of the Fifth Seal would be when the Christians of the Middle East are practically wiped out by Islam for a failure to give up Christ- aka convert to Islam – and which is currently in its final phase.

    One of the following Sixth Seal passages reads – 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

    My guess is that is still in the future and refers to the time of Armageddon, a great war against those that prosecute Christians – aka Muslims with their dogma of ‘Kill them and terrorize them till they convert”

    Don’t drink the Muslim cool-aid – Mohammad was a murderer, a rapist, a slaver, a child molester, an extortionist and a liar. The Arab traditions of the time was that you could not have sex with a enslaved married woman. Mohammad would kill their husbands so that thy wee no longer married but were widows.

    Mohammad simply cannot be a Man of God and I believe he is the false prophet mentioned in Revelations.


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