(6.3-4) And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 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.

1.   “And when he had opened the second seal”

Who is the person who opens the second seal? It is the same one who opened the first seal, the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, He is the only one who is worthy to take the book and to open the seals, according to Revelation 5.9.

2.   “I heard the second beast say, Come and see.”

John is again invited to observe the events that unfold.

3.   “And there went out another horse that was red”

a.   What do you think the red stands for, in the Bible? We basically have a choice of either sin or bloodshed being represented by the red horse. What has happened here is this, as I understand Scripture: For three and one-half years, as we shall learn later, the antichrist will preside over a false peace on the earth. However, when this second seal is broken the attempts to have peace without the presence and the rule of the Prince of peace fail miserably.

b.   “The White Horse symbolizes bloodless victories, the Red Horse speaks of slaughter and bloodshed.”[1]

4.   “and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another”

a.   Peace on earth will end and violent war and bloodshed takes its place. There will be a tremendous amount of bloodshed and an unbelievable loss of human life, but the war that occurs will not be war between countries, primarily. At least that is not what is referred to here, even though the Lord did say that nation shall rise up against nation.

b.   “…God gave him power to bring sorrow and distress upon man because of his sin. The wickedness of men has been so great that God allows a leader among them to carry out his judgment upon them.”[2]

5.   “and there was given unto him a great sword”

a.   The “great sword” mentioned here is the kind of sword that a Roman soldier would take into battle, a macaira.[3] What John is describing for us is wholesale carnage.

b.   If you think carnage on a large scale does not really happen, remember that things very similar to this have already happened. Examine the carnage that took place following the French Revolution. Investigate the mass murders that took place when India gained her independence.

6.   Just think of how evil men will be, and how reckless will be their actions, when the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn, which is one of the consequences of the Rapture, according to Second Thessalonians 2.6: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

7.   “If the first seal is a period of peace, as some have held, though this seems to be contradicted by the fact that the rider of the first horse conquers, in any case when the second seal is broken, military warfare breaks out and peace is taken from the world. The constant tension among nations and the ambitions of men have their climax in this period before Christ comes. Though ‘wars and rumours of wars’ (Matt. 24:6) are characteristic of the age, it is evident that warfare occupies a large place in the consummation of the age with a resultant great loss of life. There apparently is a series of wars, the greatest of which is under way at the time of the second coming. The hope of permanent peace by means of the United Nations and other human efforts is doomed to failure.”[4]

[1] L. Sale-Harrison, The Remarkable Revelation, (New York: Sale-Harrison Publications, 1930), page 79.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Walvoord, pages 128-129.

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