Virtually everyone in the Christian world has heard of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. But should you quiz fifteen or twenty of your church friends, the odds are that none of them would have the faintest idea as to who these horsemen really are.

The four horsemen are part of the seven seals of Revelation, chapters six and eight. These seals are seven symbolic views or word pictures of major conditions and events which face the people of God from the ascension of Jesus until His second coming. They cover the same time period as do the seven churches of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.

These exciting and very significant views have been given us by Jesus, Himself, hence their importance cannot be over-estimated. We must enter this study with much prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as we endeavor to understand Jesus’ special messages for us.



1. What do horses and riders often represent in prophecy? Zechariah 1:8-10, 6:2-5

Ans: a. Zechariah 1:10 “These are   ___________ whom the ________ hath _______ to ________ to and fro in the ____________”.

Ans: b. Zechariah 6:5 “These are the four ________* of the ______ which _________ from _____________ the ______________ of all the _____________”.

NOTE: *These spirits are angels from heaven. Hebrews 1:13-14, states plainly that angels are ministering spirits sent by God to minister to His people upon the earth. In prophecy, these angels are sometimes represented as riders upon horses. The horses and riders of Revelation 6 were by their color, dress, and activities, cartooning or symbolizing, four distinctive and very important eras through which God’s people would pass beginning with apostolic times.

2. Who announced these four horsemen as they galloped upon the prophetic screen? Revelation 6:1, 3,5,7

Ans: “The four _________________________________________”.

NOTE: These four beasts are also called in some translations, “four living creatures”. These living creatures, have special responsibilities in heaven.

3. In the first seal, how is the activity of the rider of the white horse described? Revelation 6:2

Ans: “He went forth ____________ and to _____________________”.

NOTE: what a fitting symbol for the church of the first century! So successful was God’s church that, before Paul died, he said that the gospel had been preached to the entire world, Colossians 1:5,6,23. WHITE symbolizes the purity of the church, Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 1:18, The CROWN signifies victory, James 1:12, 2 Timothy 4:7-8, 1 Corinthians 9:25. The BOW symbolizes success in battle against evil, Psalm 7:11-12, Psalm 45:4-5. The white horse covers the same time period as the Ephesus church – first century, A.D.

4. What did the rider of the red horse of the second seal do? Revelation 6:4

Ans: “Power was given him … to take __________ from the _________, and that they should __________ one _______________

NOTE: The RED color of the second horse fitly represents the bloody destruction and persecution of God’s people by Rome during the second, third and early part of the fourth centuries, Ezekiel 32:6,11, Jeremiah 46:10, Nahum 2:3. By this persecution, the peace of God’s people was destroyed. The SWORD is associated with war and bloodshed, Isaiah 3:25, cf 1 Chronicles 22:8. It is also associated with persecution, Acts 12:1-2. The red horse covers the same time period as the Smyrna Church.

5. As the third seal was opened, a black horse appeared. What does black symbolize? Acts 26:18, John 12:35

Ans: a. Acts 26:18 “To turn them from ______________ to ________________”.

Ans: b. John 12:35 “_________ while ye have the _________ lest _______ come upon you”.

NOTE: Repeatedly, in the Scripture, darkness or blackness symbolizes moral darkness, sin, apostasy and error – the very opposite of the light of the gospel. The symbol is very fitting for the church during the 4th, 5th and half of the 6th centuries (the Pergamos church period) when Christianity became the state religion. Millions of unconverted people crowded into the church. Popularity and compromise brought Pagan errors into the church, which virually crowded out the gospel.

6. What did the rider of the black horse have in his hand? Revelation 6:5-6

Ans: “A pair of_______________________________________
(this equals 216 feet).

NOTE: The picture of verse six is of food being weighed during a terrible famine. A penny, which was a day’s wages, could hardly buy enough food for one person. How could a man feed his family – not to mention the supplying of their other needs? This famine also symbolizes and acute scarcity of the Word of God, Amos 8:11-12. Bibles were not available to the people and the church stopped preaching the Word. The result was a severe famine for hearing God’s Word. The OIL represents the Holy Spirit, Zechariah 4:2-6, and the WINE, Jesus’ blood of atonement, Matthew 26:27-29. These two precious gifts were not to be lost sight of during this intense spiritual famine.


 7. What was the name of the rider of the pale horse of the fourth seal? What followed this horse? Revelation 6:8

Ans:  The rider’s name was “______________”, and “_______________” followed him.

NOTE: The pale horse with the rider DEATH, followed closely by the grave (“Hades” in Greek), is perfect symbolism of the devastating persecution of God’s people and the multiplied millions who were destroyed by sword, starvation, wild beasts and other cruel methods. This is the same period covered by the Thyatira church – from the sixth through the 15th centuries, the period known as the Dark Ages. Jesus said this period of tribulation was the worst ever to be, Matthew 24:21. And even more tragic, it was the CHURCH, now in apostasy, which was persecuting and killing those who differed with her. This terrible period of tribulation is mentioned other times in the Bible, Daniel 7:21,25, 12:7, Revelation 13:5, 12:6,14, 17:6, because it almost destroyed God’s true people from the earth. Jesus plans for these martyrs to be closest to Him in His new kingdom, Revelation 7:13-17. 

8. When the fifth seal was opened, what did John see under the altar? What were they saying? Revelation 6:9-10

Ans: a. “The ________________ of them that were __________________ for the ________________ of __________________”.

Ans: b. “How long, O __________ … dost thou __________ …  avenge our ______”.

NOTE: Here is symbolism from Moses’ altar of burnt offerings. The sacrifice was offered and the blood poured out at the base of the altar, Leviticus 4:7. In the 5th seal, the blood of the martyred saints cried out symbolically to God, like the blood of Abel did after he was slain by his brother, Genesis 4:10. The word “soul” also means “life”, Job 12:10, and the “blood” is the “life”, Deuteronomy 12:23, so, soul here refers to the blood or lives of those who had been slain. Dr Adam Clark, the noted Methodist commentator, says, “The altar is upon the earth, not in heaven”. (UNFOLDING THE REVELATION, page 69). And Albert Barnes, the famed Presbyterian commentator, says, “We are not to suppose that this literally occurred … for the whole representation is symbolical; nor are we to suppose that the injured and the wronged … actually pray for vengeance on those who have wronged them”. – NOTES ON THE NEW TESTAMENT, Vol. 9, (Book of Revelation), page 171.

9. How long were the martyrs to rest before being rewarded? Revelation 6:11

Ans: “They should __________________ yet for a ______________ season”.

NOTE: The WHITE ROBES indicate victory for these martyrs, Revelation 19:8, 3:5. Though their victory was already won, they were to rest or sleep in the tomb a little season, till Jesus returns and rewards all His saints together, at the same time, Revelation 22:12, Hebrews 11:39-40. The late George Eldon Ladd, former professor of New Testament theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, says in his Revelation commentary, “The fact that John saw the souls of the martyrs under the altar has nothing to do with the state of the dead or their situation in the intermediate state; it is merely a way of picturing the sad fact that they had been martyred in the name of their God”. AN ENTIRE SEMINAR LESSON WILL DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT OF OUR DEAD LOVED ONES. IT IS ENTITLED, “THE KEYS OF DEATH”. WATCH FOR IT. The 5th seal covers the same era as the fifth church, Sardis – from the 16th to the mid-18th century. The horrible persecution of the fourth seal continued under the fifth. Jesus said this period of persecution or tribulation would be shortened. And, indeed, it was shortened by the dynamic preaching of Huss, Jerome, Knox, Tyndale, Luther and other great men of God of the reformation.


10. What shocking events take place as the sixth seal opens? Revelation 6:12-13

Ans: a. “There was a great _______________________”.

b. “The ____________ became ______________”.

c. “The ____________ became as _____________”.

d. “The ____________ of heaven _____________”.

NOTE: Please see Exhibit 9.2 for historical documentation of these signs.

11. The next momentous event under the sixth seal is the second coming of Jesus. Read the graphic description in Revelation 6:14-17. Why do the unsaved call for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them?

Ans: “For the great ____________ of His ___________ is _____________ and who __________ be _____________ to _____________”?

NOTE: IT IS SOBERING, INDEED, TO REALIZE THAT WE ARE NOW LIVING BETWEEN VERSE 13 and 14 OF THE SIXTH SEAL OF REVELATION 6. IT HAS BEEN 150 YEARS SINCE THE LAST SIGN, THE FALLING OF THE STARS. THE NEXT SIGN IS ABOUT TO APPEAR. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. Matthew 24:30. Please note that the sixth seal covers the time periods of both the sixth and seventh churches, Philadelphia, and Laodicea – from about the middle of the 18th century to the coming of Jesus.


“WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND? Is the question the lost will cry out in terror at Jesus’ second coming?

Jesus interrupts, before opening the 7th seal, and spends the entire 7th chapter to tell us WHO WILL BE READY.

 12. To be ready, what must first be received from the angel? Revelation 7:2-3

Ans: “Hurt not the earth …  till we have _____________ the ______________ of our _________ in their ______________________”.

NOTE: The people who will be ready for Jesus’ coming must first, receive God’s seal or sign in their foreheads. Do you know what this sign is? OUR NEXT SEMINAR LESSON EXPLAINS WHAT THIS IMPERATIVE SIGN IS. WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT?


13. The gospel must go to every person on earth before Jesus comes. Revelation 14:6. What happens as soon as all have heard the gospel? Revelation 14:14

Ans: ______________________________________________

NOTE: The gospel is sweeping across the earth like a prairie grass fire in the wind.

14. I cannot know the day or hour of Jesus’ return, Matthew 24:36, but what can I know as I look at the signs? Matthew 24:33

Ans: “_______________ that it is _______________________, _______________ at the ____________________”.

NOTE: This is no guess work. We can KNOW that it is near.


15. What happened when the seventh seal was opened? Revelation 8:1

Ans: “There was___________ in ___________ about the _________ of _________ an _________ “.

NOTE: This silence takes place at the time of Jesus’ coming. Heaven is silent because it is empty. All the angels come with Jesus, Matthew 25:31.

16. How should we react when we review the signs of Jesus’ return? Luke 21:28

Ans: “Look ___________________ and _____________ up your ___________ for your _____________ draweth __________”.

NOTE: Our most exciting thoughts should be of our Lord’s return.

 17. What is Jesus delighted to do for us if we ask Him? Jude 24:25

Ans: Keep us from _____________ and present us ___________ before the presence of His glory with exceeding __________.

NOTE: Jesus GUARANTEES us a place in His kingdom if we follow where He leads.

18. Jesus wants to take you on that fabulous space journey from earth to heaven. Will you decide, now, to follow where He leads, so He can slate you for that trip?

Ans: ______________________________________________

NOTE: After studying this lesson, please review again Exhibit 9.1 on the seven seals. It will be most helpful.


“Look up, and lift up your heads;
for your redemption draweth nigh”,
Luke 21:28.