And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth (Revelation 6:7-8).
When I consider this horse and rider, what I see is the totality of the previous three. Let’s recap while considering these ideas:
- The horse is the animal on which the horseman rides. This represents what carries or motivates the horseman.
- The tool in the hand of the horseman ties into the action this horseman takes, and a crown represents authority.
The First Seal: First, there is the white horse with the king rider who carries a bow. The white horse and crown represent a pursuit of power that comes in the name of Jesus falsely, and the bow represents his war-like conquering.
The Second Seal: Next is the red horse and the rider who takes peace from the earth and is given a great sword. The red horse reveals a fiery, unrighteous zeal and the sword is the word of God. The rider is someone under the “king” mindset who uses the word of God to spiritually murder others, most likely under the misguided assumption of good intentions.
The Third Seal: The third is a black horse whose rider carries balances in his hand. The blackness indicates blindness and the balances represent judgment. This rider is blinded (most likely by pride) and therefore makes unjust judgements that result in spiritual famine.
False Christian kings (ideas, leaders, and the like) lead to murderous use of God’s word, unjust judgment, and spiritual famine. Such are motivated by self-serving power, unrighteous indignation, and the blindness of pride.
What do all of these things lead to? Death and Hell.
Hell in this context is a transliteration of the word hades which means the grave. So, think of it this way. These horsemen first lead to spiritual death, which then leads one to their grave.
For information on the different translations of hell in the Bible, visit this article.
A fourth part of the earth is killed with the sword (murderous use of God’s word), hunger (spiritual famine), death (spiritual death), and the beasts of the earth. What do the beasts of the earth represent? If we follow our method of interpreting this spiritually instead of literally, any ungodly person or influence could represent a kind of beast.
It’s important to keep in some things in mind.
Many Christians fall under various horsemen influences. It’s common for us to use the authority of Jesus to promote ideas that are not truly of God. It’s common to be full of unrighteous indignation and to use the word of God unwisely and dangerously. It’s common to become prideful, blinded, and to make unjust judgements that harm others. However, death is not to be our end.
Jesus taught us that many would come in His name and destroy. Jesus taught that many would claim to follow Him but without real sincerity. Jesus also teaches that we should not judge anything before its time.
There are many Christians among us who are children of Satan, not God. However, many of us would seem to be children of Satan too before the Lord works more fully in us. Many of us might identify with some of these horseman actions, and if we do, it’s not too late to seek Jesus and ask for forgiveness and the guidance we need to be free from these harmful mindsets.
Jesus will avenge all who are slain by the horsemen.
If we Christians turn to Jesus and leave the ways of the horsemen behind us, then we are not going to be condemned. However, many will not repent. Many will continue to kill fellow Christians spiritually, and Jesus will avenge their deaths. We see this theme in the fifth and sixth seals. We will look at these two seals in the next article.