The heavenly sanctuary is open for Jesus’ ministry. He begins to open the seals on the scroll and horses begin to run through time. Who are the horses and who is the rider? The first three horses are the church (Zech. 10:3; Isa. 63:11-13) and the rider is Jesus. Death and Hell are riding on the fourth horse. Even in the darkest hour, Jesus holds the keys of Death and the Grave. Nothing happens to His church that He does not see and control.
The seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 describe the spiritual needs of the church throughout every age, and the grace of Jesus helps to fix their problems. The seven seals describe the church in its political and religious apostasy over the Christian era. The seven trumpets describe judgments on the church that occur as a result of apostasy.
God’s church, is represented by the white horse, and rides through the first two centuries, taking the pure gospel to the entire Roman world by God’s word and martyrdom. Christianity conquers paganism; Constantine the Roman Emperor, accepts the Christian Religion and introduces paganism into the church, bringing church and state together. Satan achieves through stealth what he could not do by persecution. As the church is united with the state, represented by the red horse, it begins persecution of believers who reject this new arrangement. A division caused by God’s word comes into the church.
Apostasy becomes more complete during the Dark Ages, represented by the black horse as Jesus begins to judge the apostate church by the scales of truth. The Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the true Gospel become scarce. The near-total spiritual decline of the church occurs during the Dark Ages, represented by the pale horse. Death and Hell ride the horse and millions of faithful Christians die for their faith. But the church is still under the control of Him who the keys of death and the grave. The fifth seal describes those souls under the golden altar who perished for the Word of God. Their blood cries out for judgment. They were told to rest a little while, for the judgment will come.
The sixth seal opens and the signs of Christ’s return begin to occur. The Lisbon earthquake on Nov. 1, 1755, the Dark Day of May 19, 1780, and the Meteor Shower on Nov. 13, 1833 were all signs of Christ’s soon coming. We now live in the sixth seal. The heavens have not yet parted, the rocks have not yet fallen. The sixth seal ends with question: “Who shall be able to stand?” Only with Jesus’ help!
Kenneth Mathews, Jr. M.D.
Physician, Occupational Medicine
Greeneville, TN. U.S.A.