There are Not Four Horsemen in the Apocalypse
Although there is a 5th seal there is not a 5th horseman. Why is that? Could it be that the 4 horses together include 4 types of people to be judged? There are 4 groups of people mentioned in Revelation 22:11 that corresponds to the 4 horses (which represents groups of people).
Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Let’s compare these 4 groups with the 4 horses:
|Rev 22:11||Horse||Group of People||Rider|
|Holy||White||God’s army of 144,000||Christ||Judgment begins at the house of God|
|Filthy||Red||Professed Christians||Satan||Self-righteous, filthy rags|
|righteous||Black||God’s people in Babylon||Christ||Come out of her (Babylon) my people|
|Unjust||Pale||Never professed Christ||Satan||Were never justified|
Is this a setting of judgment? Let’s observe what the passage says:
- The lamb is opening the seals in chapter 5
- The riders carry judgment items with them:
- Christ (the judge) carries a pair of balances
- Satan (the destroyer) carries a sword
- “Come and see” – suggests to examine the evidence
Peter gave us a clue about an order of judgment. So it makes sense to see some kind of chronological order.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
There is also noted a first resurrection in Revelation 20:5 This resurrection happens just before the thousand year reign. When Jesus arrives at his second coming he has his rewards with him for the faithful.
Revelation 22:12 And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Although it may seem there are 4 different riders on the horses it cannot be proven biblically. There are 4 horses but it does not say there are 4 different riders. The groups of people represented by these horses can be divided in to two groups. The lost and saved. More evidence also shows that the red and pale horses are given permission or power to do something. They were restrained before but now are released to proceed.
Revelation 6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth.
Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed him. And power was given unto them …to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
God has always protected and wants to keep his children protected. When people reach a certain point of rejection to God he lets them go on the path and the god they have chosen. Unfortunately, they receive from the choices they have made or will make since this is a prophetic vision.
*The Fifth Seal*
Revelation 6:9 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.
We know that a soul is a human life. These were people who were killed for being a testimony to the Word of God. There is no sacrifice in heaven but these were slain. The apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5 that when we are absent from the body we are present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Revelation 6:10 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?
These people who were slain are asking when will God avenge their death. Their response followed.
Revelation 6:11 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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
We can understand that “rest” refers to a person who is dead in the grave. They must wait for a “little season” – a short time before others are killed as they were.
*The Sixth Seal*
Revelation 6:12-14 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; (13) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Although there are a number of events that have happened in the world already we must always remember that the bible is prophetic and timeless. It will have events that happened centuries ago, it will have events occurring at the present time and it will also have similar events occur in the future. For instance:
- A great earthquake – Nov 1, 1755 Lisbon
- Sun becomes black – May 19, 1780
- Moon becomes as blood – May 19, 1780
- Stars of heaven fall (meteor shower) – Nov 13, 1833
- Heaven departed as a scroll – not yet
- Mountains and islands moved – not yet
Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
This scripture is making reference that every person no matter what rank you are will hide from the Lord of Lords, Jesus.
Revelation 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitters on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
It seems they would prefer death than to meet face to face with him.
Revelation 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
This is the day when the Lord manifests his judgment of anger upon those who oppose him. This concludes the study of Revelation Chapter 6 but we hope this has given you a little more insight and understanding of God’s Word for chapter 6.