Times of Tribulation (Revelation 6-11) >Seven Seals >2nd seal >The Red Horse
We now look at the second horse and its rider among “the four horses of the apocalypse”. This is the red horse whose rider has a sword.
The second creature was like a calf (Revelation 4:7). This, like the lamb, is a symbol of sacrifice and represents the fact that Jesus, our great high priest, made the perfect sacrifice when he let himself be slain, and let his blood be shed, for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-12, 1John 2:1-2).
The rider with the sword represents slaughter and bloodshed, people killing people. This too is a tribulation common throughout human history, and shall be so for the entire gospel age until Jesus comes.
The following scripture chain will show how Christians should consider the problem of people murdering and slaying their fellow man, especially killing people because of their faith...
Genesis 4:6-10, Romans 1:28-32, Revelation 21:8, James 4:2, Revelation 6:9, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 24:9, Luke 9:22-24.
It didn't take long for the killing to start. Adam’s son Cain, in a fit of jealousy, slew his brother Abel. Throughout history the hearts of many have been filled with envy, murder and strife.
These attitudes and emotions are not from God and there is no place in God’s heavenly kingdom for murderers. They belong in the lake of fire. James says that wars and fights come from lusts that war within us. Those who side with lust become murderers driven by uncontained covetousness.
At various times people who uphold the word of Christ are slain for their testimony. Believing and preaching the gospel of Jesus is made a crime punishable by death. However, we are not to fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, we fear God who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.
We may be hated on account of the name of Christ, and be delived up to tribulation and be killed. That may be the cross we have to bear. If we lose our life for the sake of Christ, we will save our life for eternity.
So we seek strength to endure the red horse and its rider —wars and people killing people, even God’s people being made martyrs for their faith. The red horse is the colour of "the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6).