Jesus made it very clear that his followers should be meek and humble. One of the names He has (and uses in Revelation 6) is the epitome of meekness and humility.
Revelation 6:1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see."
We just get done seeing in Revelation 5 that there has mourning and weeping because nobody was found worthy to open the scroll; even the “strong angel” could not. Jesus takes the scroll and opens it…yet He is still referred to as the Lamb. Talk about a lesson in humility for us! He is also called the Lion of Judah…wouldn’t you think that after conquering sin and death He would lose the Lamb title and just go with Lion?...not Jesus. Our King is still meek and humble, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Revelation 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
For the rest of chapter 6 I can’t be certain what it all means. I could include what some commentaries say, but I am only going to post what I am getting at this point.
We know that Jesus tells John, come and see what must take place, so the “visions” John is given is of what is to come. What can be concluded from these various horses is not perfectly clear to me, but it seems that they represent different periods of time during the end times.
First horse, the white horse went out to conquer; however, this horse has a bow with no arrows. Does that mean he is able to conquer without force?
Revelation 6:2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
The second horse, the fiery red horse was granted to take peace from the earth. Does that mean that the “stage” of the white horse brought peace to the earth. Of course we know that no lasting peace will happen until Jesus returns, but it seems that the white horse brought about a false peace that was quickly destroyed by the “fiery red horse”. This destruction of peace results in people killing one another. In contrast with the white horse that had a bow with no arrows, this horse had a “great sword”.
Revelation 6:4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
The third horse, the black horse had a pair of scales. Verse 6 goes on to talk about how much to purchase certain product; which we know from historians that this amount is either not enough, or it is barely enough, for one person to survive. The fact that the verse also says to leave the oil and wine seems to indicate that there will be no luxury items or rejoicing? It seems that the false peace that made way for total chaos has led to complete poverty.
Revelation 6:5-6 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
The fourth horse, the pale horse was given the power to make things much worse. Death and Hades are coming with the power “given to them”…this is not power they could attain on there own….it was given them to destroy one-fourth of the population through sword, hunger and wild beasts.
Revelation 6:8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
When the fifth seal is broken we see that those killed for their faith in Jesus are calling out for Him to avenge their blood. You can almost see the comforting tone of our King, when He says they should rest a while longer. Why should they rest a while longer? Jesus said it, there are still more left to die for the faith. At this point you must ask a logical question, “if the pre-trib rapture doctrine was Biblical, why would there continually be more dying for the faith?" Yes, some are coming to the faith during the tribulation period, but where is this leap that the first wave of Christians are gone and now there is a second wave with a different plan? There is not 2 plans, there is one plan and it is a difficult and narrow Way that includes persecution and tribulation for ALL the saints.
Revelation 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
After all this the “great day of His wrath” comes and EVERONE is trying to hide their face from Jesus, but there is no place remote enough for the non-believers to go and escape the wrath of Almighty God, King Jesus.
Revelation 6:12-17 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and 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 His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"