Woe to those who dwell upon the earth in the days of the great Tribulation, when the wrath of God is poured forth for the final cleansing of the earth. “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” There will be terrible wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, disturbances in the heavens, and fear among men. (See Matthew 24:1-31.)
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
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, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 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.
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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
12 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.
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;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 6 Intro 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6 Intro 2 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6 Intro 3 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:3-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:5-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:7-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:9-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:12-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:15-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 6:1-8 – The Riders on the Four Horses
The seals signify those events which prepare the way for the coming of the Kingdom. The breaking of the first seals is accompanied by the summons of one of the living creatures to the glorified Lord to hasten His advent. Come, glorious Redeemer, and bring about the wondrous consummation for which thy bride is waiting. The white horse signifies the victorious progress of the gospel; the red, war with its bloodshed; the black, scarcity and want; the pale, or livid, pestilence and death. Compare with Ezekiel 14:21 and Matthew 24:6-14. “Thus good and bad their several warnings give of his approach, whom none can see and live. Faith’s ear, with awful, still delight, counts them as minute bells at night.”
Three lines of interpretation have been adopted for these and the following mysterious utterances of this book. We shall not go into these questions, but present the main spiritual lessons which are generally accepted. That treasure is buried here none can deny; and the perpetual turning over of these sods to discover it, has greatly enriched the Church. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Revelation 6:1 – Come.
The word “Come” rings through the corridors of this book like a clarion. Come, Son of God! Come, according to thy plighted word! Come, for creation travails in pain together until now! Come restore thine ancient people, and bring in the golden age! Come! Take to Thyself thy great power, and reign! The time is rife! Midnight has faded into dawn, and dawn is lightening fast to day!
The ages which are characterised by the bloodless victories of civilisation and peace are incomplete without Thee; and as the white horse issues forth, men are not satisfied with the abundance of this world’s goods, there is still an unsatisfied yearning which says, Come.
The ages most saturated with blood—the blood of men, shed by the hands of men, where harvests grow rank because the soil has been so richly fertilised by blood and tears—need Thee sorely; and as the red horse comes forth, sad Mother Earth, who has received so many mangled bodies to her bosom, bids Thee come.
The ages, filled with plague, pestilence, and famine, wherein beasts multiply about the homes of men, because there is no hand to keep them back, since men have perished from the earth, as the livid horses go forth, cry, Come.
And listen to the cry of thy martyrs, from beneath the altar. Is it not time to arrest the heavy hand of the persecutor, and avenge their blood? Then come, and add to all thy other crowns, the crown of all the earth! —Our Daily Homily
Revelation 6:9-17 – “The Wrath of the Lamb”
This imagery is very majestic; but we cannot really think that the holy martyrs desire to be revenged, except in love and grace. That their persecutors should be forgiven in Pentecosts of revival must be the highest conception of vengeance that they permit themselves to have. The striking command that they should rest, each enclothed in a white robe of acceptance and purity, until the full roll of martyrs is complete, suggests that every age must yield its tale of those who love not their lives unto the death, because they love the Master so much more. We, too, have our daily martyrdoms, for it may be harder to live for Jesus always against continued opposition and scorn than to die once for Him.
Revelation 9-10 answer to Matthew 24:6-7. Revelation 12, 17 to Matthew 24:29-30. Probably the words here refer, not to the final judgment, but to those revolutionary changes which always accompany the closing of one era and the opening of another; Hebrews 12:26-27. —Through the Bible Day by Day