This is a series of posts on Revelation 6, featuring the infamous four horsemen of the apocalypse. I have written already a series of posts on the first horseman and the link to these posts is down below.
We have explored the second horseman who creates warfare as a smokescreen to establish his nefarious empire. However, this dark verse could also be describing religious persecution.
Revelation 6:4 ‘Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. It’s rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.’
Sorry, this is going to sound a bit nerdy so please bear with!
Hendriksen and other commentators propose that we are speaking here of religious persecution rather than wars between nations. 1
He points out that the expression ‘slay each other’ (Gk. ‘sphazo’) is used almost exclusively in the writings of the apostle John as describing the death of Christ or the execution of Christians.
Three examples given are Revelation 6:9 where John sees ‘the souls of those who had been slain; Revelation 13:8 where John describes ‘the Lamb that was slain’ and Revelation 18:24 where John describes the prophets and saints who had been ‘killed on the earth’. In all three examples the Greek word ‘sphazo’ is used.
Others point out that the Greek word ‘machaira’ is used to describe the ‘large sword’ that is given to the second rider. It is fundamentally a sword used for sacrifice.
Therefore the tragic outcome of this wave of intense persecution brought by the second rider on the fiery red horse culminates in Revelation 6:9 where John sees ‘the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.’
The end-time beast will use traditional warfare as a smokescreen for his empire ambitions and persecution as an expression of his religious hatred.
My prayer this morning is for all those who suffer persecution, even to the point of martyrdom, that they might know the peace of God, even in the midst of the dreadfulness of their circumstances.
Tomorrow, we explore the rider of black horse who brings hunger and starvation. To get there now please click HERE.
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My previous posts on this subject can be found here:
Thank you for reading this.