Revelation 6

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Read Revelation 6

The Seals

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creaturesay, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord,holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig treewhen shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on usand hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Go Deeper

Before we dig into Revelation 6, let’s remember a few things to frame our study today: 

  1. A blessing is promised to those who read this book. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3. The blessing is in reading it, not understanding all of it. That’s encouraging.
  2. Revelation is a book of prophecy, which means it is pre-history. Revelation means “unveiling” and “the revealing.” John, the beloved disciple and dear friend of Jesus, is instructed to write what he has seen, what is now, and what is to take place later (Rev. 1:19). John is taken into the future and directed to write what he sees. John is revealing that which is hidden using 1st century language to describe 21st century cultural experiences. Words will fail to explain all of the events, creatures, and experiences of the final days before Jesus establishes His Kingdom forever. 
  3. One of the most controversial issues in the church today is the timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation. While different people have different beliefs and interpretations of the scriptures, what we can confidently hold to is the words of Jesus in Revelation 1:17, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living On; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation is about Jesus. He is the central theme. The Powerful Lion of Judah and the Spotless Sacrificial Lamb. 

We ended chapter 5 with all creatures in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea praising and worshiping the Lamb who sits on the throne. Revelation 6 shifts from the previous 5 chapters and begins The Great Day of Wrath, the beginning of the Tribulation period. Chapter 6 starts with the only One worthy of opening the seven seals containing God’s judgment on sin. Only the Lamb is worthy of opening the scrolls. We feel the weight of this chapter because it holds the tension of pain and hope, judgment and mercy, wrath and love while the countdown clock to Jesus’ return ticks loudly in the background. We know Satan’s time is limited. 

As the Lamb opens the seven seals, the judgments build in intensity. A chronological description of events on earth unveiled with each scroll. The first four seals are known as the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. The fifth seal reveals a crowd of martyrs. The sixth seal reveals a global, massive earthquake. We won’t read about the 7th seal until Revelation 8. 

Reading Revelation can sometimes feel like the stuff horror movies are made of; yet, understanding Revelation gives us deeper confidence in Scripture and anchors our hope and focus. What God begins in Genesis, He finishes in Revelation. In Genesis we discover our roots and beginnings. In Revelation we discover our eternal future. 

From the beginning to the end, the enemy works to keep us disinterested, distracted, confused, and fearful so we miss the important truths found in Scripture. Despite the daunting and intimidating reputation, Revelation is a book about Jesus as he is. The Risen Savior and the Reigning Victor. 

So, what can we learn from Revelation 6? God is rich in mercy. In the midst of Tribulation, He delays the end. Perhaps because He’s still wanting and waiting for sinners to turn to Him. God is just. While He is patient beyond compare, there is a day when evil must be punished. 

There is only One worthy to open the scrolls. The sinless Son of God who is both Lion and Lamb. The One who is able to make all things right and worthy to judge the world. We are living in the last phase of church history. In a moment, Jesus will come back. Revelation 6 is motivation for us that while it is still today, let’s share the Good News that Jesus died, conquered death, and made a way for us to live with Him forever. He is a Good Judge and Righteous King.


  1. What do you learn about Jesus in this chapter?
  2. How does learning about the Tribulation period impact you? 
  3. If reading Revelation incites fear and worry in you, ask God to remind you of the victory secured in Jesus and ask Him to help make that fear motivation to share the gospel. Invite someone into that prayer. Who will you ask?

Did You Know?

Here’s a high-level summary of the seals:

The first seal is The White Horse. This rider is representative of the Antichrist. Anti means both “against” and “in place of.” This future ruler is a false messiah, an imitator, a dupe of the Real Thing even down to the white horse. We will see the Real Messiah come on a white horse later in Revelation. The Antichrist will rule with great power. His authority will be easily and willingly given to him. Through peace, he will gain devotion and loyalty from all across the globe, including that of the Jews. He will win the hearts of many, only to deceive them. Make no mistake, while he wears a victor’s crown, and is victor over much of the world, he does not wear the crown of a King. 

The second seal is The Red Horse. This war horse will bring his sword in great power. Throughout Scripture, swords symbolize military power and strength. This evil ruler will have access to the strongest military weaponry available and he will bring division and civil unrest to the world. Peace that was ushered in under the Antichrist will disappear and in its place, war. Nations will turn against nations. Neighbors will turn against neighbors. And there will be severe persecution of any new believer. The Red Horse will take peace from the world. 

In verses 5 and 6 we learn about the third seal, the Black Horse. After the war time of the RedHorse, the logical outcome of world war is famine. The Black Horse will bring hunger and famine. World currencies will crash and inflation will soar. Food will be scarce. When the supply goes down, chaos and anarchy will ensue. 

The fourth seal reveals the Pale Horse. The rider is death with Hades following. Two riders. Death on a massive scale. As they ride around the world, they will take ¼ of the population. Death claims the body and Hades claims the soul. We learn the four things that will bring this massive loss of life: violence/war, famine, plagues, and animal attacks. People will not turn to God, but away from Him and against His people. 

The fifth seal reveals a crowd of martyrs. In these last days, there will be people who turn to the Lord, but many will be hunted and executed. While God brings his just punishment on the wicked, the Antichrist will be unjustly persecuting new believers. 

We learn the sixth seal is a massive earthquake that shakes the world to its core triggering natural disasters like landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, stars/meteors falling from the sky. The sun and moon both affected. The sky black. The moon reddened like blood. Many people will recognize the cause of these catastrophic events is their spiritual sin, but instead of repenting, they will hide. They will choose the darkness of caves instead of the light of Christ.

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4 thoughts on “Revelation 6”

  1. The commentary “did you know” sounds so much like reading Jeremiah and rebellion of people he tried to warn- the consequences were so massive.
    Reading this explanation of how we know the evil will masquerade as The Light is so evil in itself. Once we loved Jesus back and became his children, being indifferent is not part of us any longer. The pursuit of Loving God with all our hearts and truly caring about others to show them The Way is a wake up for me to pursue more of this Fathers fight for your children! Kingdom family stay humble and seek His discernment so this tricky deceiver- so evil -is clear to us as such. With so much comfort here, I wonder what has tricked us already.

  2. One of the many things that I look forward to in Heaven is understanding the book of Revelation!

    15 “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.“

    What strikes me in this verse is that EVERYONE seeks safety during this time.

  3. Idols, we have so many idols. We are creatures of comfort and those are some big idols. We have made stuff more important than God. Sounds to me like serveral books of the Bible in the Old Testament. Repentance from our evil ways or idols then turn to follow God and speak about salvation. Revelation is like Jeremiah’s fervernt call to repentance for us. God is giving us fair warning but the time will come.

    God thank You for Your grace. Thank You for shining a light on my idols that are in the way of You being King in my life. Thank You for Your majesty and grace . Thank You for Your love, HESESD unfailing complete Love for me. Thank You for boldness to speak, eyes to see others as You see them, love to love them like You do and minutes in every day to speak of You in Jesus name amen

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