7 Seals, 4 Horsemen and the Wrath of the Lamb

Revelation 6

Jerry A Collins




·        What is the identity of the four horsemen?

·        What is the nature of the four seals?

·        What is the identity of the wrath to come?


I remember vividly when a young boy our family threatened with a tornado in our area. While the clouds were darkening, the wind increasing, the rain pounding, my dad herded all of us into the living room--we tipped the couch over and all hunkered underneath it while my dad vigilantly watched the storm pass through the window. At any time we were anticipating something disastrous to happen. It was frightening—terrifying for me at the time. Here in revelation 6 the tribulation is about to begin. A time of dark forboding for everyone on the earth then. God is about to unleash the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and they will wreak havoc with the world and mankind. People will want to hide and hunker down as it passes but many will not escape the wrath of God upon an unbelieving & belligerent and unrepentant mankind. God’s mercy is over and only judgment is left. Gabriel revealed this time to Daniel in 9:24-27. He revealed that there would be 70 periods of 7 decreed to Israel and Jerusalem before the end would come 24. This 70 periods of 7 equals 490 years. 6 purposes given for this time period: (1) Israel’s disobedience brot to end (2) End of sin when they are grafted back Rom 11 (3) To make atonement for iniquity covered with blood (4) Establish everlasting covt promised to Abe, David in a new age 12:13 (5) Seal up visions & prophecy 12:4, 9 will then be unsealed—John’s vision in Rev is a record of this sealed vision (6) To anoint Christ and Jerusalem. 9:25 says these 490 years begin with a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem—that will take 7 of these periods meaning 49 yrs. The decree is in Nehemiah 2 when Artexerxes authorized the rebuilding of the city and walls during times of distress (Nehemiah). Then continue for another 62 periods of 7—that’s another 434 yrs. vs 26 until the Messiah, the Prince is cut off—most likely Jesus crucifixion.

Now, this is only 483 years or 69 periods of 7. That leaves one period of 7 left. Gabriel says that after Jesus cut off, people of a prince, the Romans, will destroy Jerusalem and the Temple which was done 70AD vs 26—the same people used by this prince in the future (Holy revived Roman Empire). Masada still has rampart of final siege against Jews. This period will usher in further wars and desolations for Jews all the way to the end. Then vs 27 says another period of 7 comes into play. This is the 70th period of 7. This period will be characterized by a firm covenant with many, Israel, world empires, Arab kingdom, Northern kingdom in the future. In the middle of it the covt broken—putting a stop to sacrifices and offerings and sweeping in with desolations a complete destruction taking no prisoners vs 27. Sounds like the abominations Jesus talks about in Matthew 24-25. It is this period of 7—the last 7 years that equal the 490 Gabriel talked about that Revelation 6-19 unfolds. A gap between the 69 period of 7 and the 70th. A gap that has lasted over 2000 yrs. That gap between these periods ends here in Rev 6 with the 4 horseman. How is this 70th period of 7 years of judgment and abomination upon the earth going to begin?


When Lamb broke 1st 4 seals on scroll taken from God one of the four living creatures invited someone to “Come”. This was invitation to each horseman 1, 3, 5, 7 and each time horseman appears.

(1) White Horse vs 2 and its rider. He had a crown given to him—authority to make decisions and a bow but he does not shoot it at anyone. So he is conquering, threatening but without war or the necessity to use arrows. So seems to be a bloodless victory. Accomplishes victory a peace of some kind with his imperial crown, authority and threatening power. He is also bent on future conquests after this initial one (says to conquer). Similar to Daniel 9:27 where antichrist makes firm covenant with the many for period of 7 even tho it does not last that long. The imperial crown given by God thru agency of revived Roman empiremost likely some essence of ECC today.

(2) Red horse vs 3-4 and its rider. He comes forth like the others when summoned. This rider removes peace from the earth and begins war. The large sword given indicates the ability to slay people and warring factions will be unleashed to make that happen. So war on the earth will follow the manifestation of this antichrist. This may also be what Ezekiel refers to in 38-39 as the battle between Gog and Magog. (3) Black horse vs 5-6 and its rider. He carries a pair of balance scales--symbol of commerce. A voice cries out  about  the  price  of  a  quart of wheat most likely one meal costing a days wages and price of 3 quarts of barley costing the same. Do not harm or  tamper  with the  prices  of

commodities like oil and wine. This rider will control prices and markets in this regime. Most likely because of famine across the earth necessitating this.

(4) Ashen horse 7-8. This rider is the cause of death with hades, the place where unbelieving dead are, followed on its heels. Again this authority was given (by God) to take ¼ of population with war, famine, disease, attacks by wild animals. That means if 5 billion on earth then 1 ½ billion die. God is in charge of everything. It is His plan to bring judgment upon mankind.

2. MANY WILL BE PERSECUTED AND MARTYRED 9-11  Scene shifts from earth to heaven and introduced to souls of martyrs crying out for revenge who had died during the period just describing the tribulation so far vs 10. These must have died after the rapture since all xians living at rapture are delivered from this period of wrath (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; 4:16-17). The church is not going to go thru this wrath of God Rev 6:16-17. So this is different than these believers during the 5th seal—they are going thru it and must be believers who come to faith during 1st part of tribulation and suffer for it. John only sees their souls and not their bodies since thy not resurrected yet until end of trib 20:4. God tells these martyrs to wait until the number of martyrs completed vs 11. So Gods plan includes persecution and death of His saints so they could be overcomers and be rewarded! There is an exact number in God’s plan. 

3. GOD’S JUDGMENT INCLUDES NATURAL DISASTERS  A tremendous earthquake that shakes foundations of mountains and islands and displaces them vs 13 will set off a series of natural disasters, a darkened sun, reddening moon, stars disappearing from view, powerful wind (same language Jesus used in Matt 24-25). This will be capped off with the sky splitting and pealing back. The universe will seem to be coming apart. Apparently this opening will give people a glimpse into the throneroom in heaven vs 16. The reaction of every category of man all over the world will find this glimpse so terrifying—far more than the physical consequences of the natural calamities—they will hide themselves in the rocks crying for the rocks and trembling mountains to hide them from God’s presence as well as from the display of His warth all around them! A contrast between their cry and that of the martyrs in heaven—one is “Avenge us” and the other “Hide us”! Differing cries—differing destinies. “The great day of their wrath” vs 17 is the period of tribulation being unleashed by God thru the agency of the horsemen—Daniel’s 70 week—a day like never before (Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matt 24:21)! Instead of turning to God in repentance they will turn away from Him in terror refusing to repent (Rev  16:9, 20-21). By end of these seal judgments they will know that this is pouring out of His wrath—they even say so! (1) The future of earth is judgment not prosperity. Until the prosperity of ungodly may continue—so will their immorality. From 1800 until today the prosperity of the world Has increased. At same time, morality of society has decreased. (2) The peace of God is brot about by war and judgment not negotiation. This is only way righteousness can reign in 1000 yr.  (3) We do not have to avenge God. Don’t try to protect Him. He does not need your protection. You can tell the truth about Him such as His sovereignty over world events but God can protect Himself.

(4) Even at beginning of trib we see the wrath of God and Paul said we are not appointed to that. Church raptured!