Rev. 6:7 and 8: “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
As the Old Testament time closes with the third seal, the New begins with the opening of the fourth seal. Consequently, the pale horse and the non-descript beast of Daniel 7:7, 8, occupy the same period. Evidently one beast must resemble the other or the symbol would not be perfect. Rome was symbolized by a non-descript beast because its government was a mixture of civil and religious laws, with Pagan and Christian doctrines. Therefore, it was beyond description as previously explained. The pale horse has the same meaning, for his complexion is faint, wanting, not having a specific or definite color. Pale — non-descript.
The rider represents the ruling heads of government. His name is Death. “Death and Hell [hades or grave as in the revised version] followed with him.” This is a perfect description of the unjust, persecuting Roman power, corresponding to the beast as Daniel saw it: “It devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.” In the opening of the fourth seal, Rome, under the symbol of the non-descript beast in both his stages (imperial and papal) persecuted its subjects for their religious belief, and millions lost their lives. Therefore, “Death and Hell [grave] followed with him.”
“And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth: to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Here is given the exact time in which imperial and papal Rome would hold sway over the earth, to kill the followers of Christ by means of these various forms of cruelty. Again, note the perfection of the Scriptures using the pronoun “them,” meaning both imperial and papal Rome, also civil and religious authority. Note the first part of the sentence. “And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth.” This present world, from creation to its end or the beginning of the millennium, shall number 6,000 years. The pale horse rider was to have power over a fourth part of the earth. We divide 6,000 into four equal parts, and we have 1500 years. Therefore, the cruel and unjust persecution by Rome was to lose its power at the end of the 1500 years or the fourth part. That is exactly what happened. At that time Martin Luther arose against the papacy and inflicted the deadly wound, by the instrument of truth — “The just shall live by faith.” And the result was that Protestantism came on the stage of action in opposition to the papacy. Up to the beginning of the fifteenth century the papacy reigned supreme as a king of kings, by the iron arm of the state in the garb of so-called spiritual authority; but at that time her power was broken.
From the crucifixion of Christ to the “Augsburg Confession,” a document compiled by Luther, constituted a period of 1500 years. This document was signed by the protestant states and adopted as their creed, and was a protest against the pope. So at the time appointed, their power Pagan and Papal, was broken. Thus perfectly fulfilling the symbolical prophecy that “power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth.” Here is a truth that overthrows the idea that the earth has been in existence for longer than 6,000 years. It also proves the application of the seals to be absolutely correct.
Only four horses are introduced instead of seven, or, a horse to a seal. Four is another Biblical number to denote that the representation by the horses is world wide (four points of the compass). . While the number of horses represent the universal effect of the curse of sin the number of seals denote the completeness of the gospel and the sealing of the saints.
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