Prophecy – Part 67 – Third Seal – The Rider of The Black Horse, Revelation 6:5-6

Today we are beginning with the third seal of Revelation 6:5-6, the black horse and its rider.  This is one of the challenging problems for people who are living during the Tribulation age.

The third seal has the thundering appearance of a “black horse” and its rider.  This rider also seems to be the antichrist [or his representative] who has the power to control the economy and distribution of food.  Food will be rationed in the end time.

NOTE:  Remember there will be more wars and conflicts and violence raging over the world during the end time than ever before.

No doubt you understand that with war the result is often famine; people will starve to death and the end time will be no different.  The only difference is that the famine will be far more severe and involve far more people.

The end times will be an intensification of ALL the terrible sufferings known to man.

Note a couple of things.

1. This rider on the black horse (the antichrist or his representative) has a set of scales to measure out the WHEAT. Wheat or barley was the basic food for people in John’s day.  It took:

  •  a “penny” (a denarius) to buy a measure of wheat, that is about a quart.
  • a “penny” to buy three measures of barley, that is about a quart.

Imagine, a penny was about a day’s wages.  Can you put yourself in the shoes of a person of that day?  As we look at the future, imagine that every day you are working and earning ONLY enough money to buy the food that was needed for one day.  Further, imagine the challenge of how a person would go about obtaining food, housing, heat, clothing, transportation etc. for his family when he or she is earning only a penny for a day’s work.

NOTE:  This will be the challenge facing the provider of the home right before the great Tribulation is to take place.

It has been estimated that if one bought wheat for a penny, it would be enough for one good meal; if he bought three measures of barley for a penny, it would be enough for three meals, but nothing would be left for buying oil, wine and other needs of a family (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 948).

Famine is the inevitable aftermath of war.  This will be a major cause of death in the Great TribulationThe black color of the horse speaks of famine and death.

2. The rider controls food distribution throughout the world. This is probably one way that Satan gains and holds control over the world.  This Rider is either the antichrist or one of his representatives. THE POINT IS THAT ALL FOOD, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, IS CONTROLLED BY THE ANTICHRIST OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE. 

NOTE:  During this time of food rationing there will be plenty of oil and wine and the rider is told to not hurt the wine or oil.  How could oil and wine which comes from trees and vines be available when wheat and barley are scarce and shriveled up because of a drought?

  • Wine and oil come from stockpiles and because of the fact that trees and vines have roots that go more deeply into the ground than crops.  They can survive and produce more through a drought than crops.

NOTE:  Trees will produce for years without being cared for.  War will keep men from growing crops, but trees will keep on producing without much attention.   Oil and wine were luxury items in the ancient world.  THE POINT IS: THAT IN MOST FAMINES THE WEALTHY will probably have food, but not the poor.

The end time will be marked by famine after famine all over the world.  There will be no markets to run to to buy food.  It will take all a man can do to just survive.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the END IS NOT YET.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and THERE SHALL BE FAMINES and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:6-7 emphasis added, KJV).

“They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field (Lamentations 4:9, emphasis added, KJV). 

Our skin was black like an oven because of the TERRIBLE FAMINE” (Lamentations 5:10, emphasis added, KJV).

FACT:  We that exist on earth today have most of what we need and want, given to us by God However, the description given to us through the Black Horse is God’s accurate Word and it will come to pass …. maybe very soon. 

The good question is, are you ready to stay on earth and go thru the Tribulation or will you leave all this behind you at the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)?????  In other words, have you accepted the Lord Jesus, God’s Son, as your personal Savior???  It is your choice to go to Heaven or go thru the awful Tribulation period.

“For God so loved the world [you] that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, emphasis added, KJV).


Right now we have the gracious promises of God to supply all we need and to help us through the tough times.   Remember, that applies ONLY to Christians, those who have accepted Christ as Savior, because they have the wonderful promises of God.   However, the unsaved cannot claim these wonderful promises.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, WHO HATH BLESSED US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST:” (Ephesians 1:3, emphasis added, KJV).

Did you notice that God’s blessings are SPIRITUAL and HEAVENLY, not material blessings, as so many false preachers would like you to believe!  Also, notice that Paul in the context is writing to saved people; he calls them “saints” and “faithful”– not the unsaved.

FACT:  Throughout history God has used two methods of blessings to deal with man. 

BEFORE CHRIST:  God dealt with man by blessing him with material blessings.  He promised Abraham and Israel land, wealth, fame and blessing (Romans 4:1-25;  Genesis 12:1f; 13:14-17; 15:1-7, 15-19; 22:16-18; 26:2-5, 24; 28:13-15; 31:13; 35:9-12).

FACT:  Israel misused and hoarded the material blessings.  Instead of sharing its blessings with other nations, Israel isolated itself and claimed superiority and God-given rights over other nations of the earth.  However, since Christ, God deals WITH MAN SPIRITUALLY, blessing him with spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3).  Further, God’s people have many other blessings of God for today.

“I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13, emphasis added, KJV).

“Be careful for nothing; but in EVERY THING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth ALL understanding, SHALL keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, emphasis added, KJV).

“But my God SHALL supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, Ephesians added, KJV). 

The Christian of today [this side of the Rapture] can be content in all circumstances no matter how severe they are – through Jesus Christ.  Why?  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.  However, one cannot be content in any circumstance apart from Christ.  For instance, if he or she has not confessed and repented of their sin as I John 1:9 directs, he or she will not have peace.  Why?  Because they have broken fellowship with the Savior and other Christians.

Note exactly what Christ says in Philippians 4:13:

  • I can … through Christ
  • Christ who strengthens me

Christ does not do everything for the believer; neither does the believer do everything for himself.  Both Christ and the believer have a part in conquering circumstances.

  • The believer declares “I can,” and he gets up and faces the circumstances head on.  It is then, that Jesus Christ steps in and strengthens the believer.  Christ infuses strength into the believer WHILE THE BELIEVER IS TACKLING THE PROBLEM. 

FACE THE REALITY:  Because the believer is obediently, daily, wearing the armor of God and is filled with the Spirit, he can defeat most circumstances he faces with the help of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18; Galatians 5:16)

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye SHALL NOT FULFILL the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, emphasis added, KJV).

“Finally, MY BRETHREN, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  Put on the WHOLE armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the WHOLE ARMOUR of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the PREPARATION of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be   able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication IN THE SPIRIT, and watching thereunto with ALL PERSEVERANCE and supplication FOR ALL SAINTS” (Ephesians 6:10-18, emphasis added)

Notice several things that we have considered:

  1. Spiritual blessings are of the LORD. It is the Spirit that controls man and the circumstances that surround him.

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24, KJV).

  • A man may feel bad; he may be down, depressed and oppressed; but if his spirit is strong, he arises and conquers his feelings.
  • If his spirit is strong, by being under the control of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), he controls and overcomes the oppressing circumstances, and he lives a victorious day.
  • But if his spirit is weak (not under the control of the Holy Spirit), whether at work or at play, he often wallows around in self-pity, grumbling and griping and living a defeated life.
  • Too often the days stretch into weeks and months until that person’s life is down more than it is up — all because his life is not under the Holy Spirit’s control (Ephesians 5:18).

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; BUT BE FILLED [CONTROLLED] with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18, emphasis added, KJV).

(Revelation 6:7-8 – Antichrist – The fourth horseman)   We are now ready to deal with the fourth horseman and his thundering appearance.  We will be dealing with the pale horse and its rider, which could be the antichrist or his representative, in our next study.  However, let’s review some FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  Wrestle with the following.

Many Biblical scholars point to great similarities between what Christ says about the end time and sections of Revelation (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21.

1. There seems to be a similarity between the structure of what Christ says and the book of Revelation in dealing with the end time.

  • The beginning of sorrows: these are preliminary sorrows, trouble and evils of society and nature; yet world evangelism continues (Matthew 24:5-14).

This corresponds to: Revelation 6:1-17).

  • The “Great Tribulation”: unparalleled…trials (Matthew 24:15-28).

This corresponds to: The Seven Trumpets, the bowls, and the beast (Revelation 8:1-18,24).

  • The Great Tribulation: unparalleled…trials (Matthew 24:15-28).
  • The Son of Man coming.

This corresponds to the Final Triumph of Christ (Revelation 19:1-22:21).

2. There seems to be similarity between “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:5-14) and the seals of Revelation 6:1-17. The end of the world will not come all at once. The future will be filled with wars, natural disasters, persecutions, and the claims of false deliverers (messiahs).  And at the very end there will be an increase and intensification of the signs.

But this is not all.  There is to be the terrible appearance of the rider on the white horse (Revelation 6:2); the abomination of desolation” (AV);  “the desolating sacrilege (RSV); “THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS” (2 Th. 2:3); the “little horn” (Daniel 7); the Antichrist.  This person will afflict the people of God beyond imagination (Revelation 11:7).

3. There seems to be a similarity between “the great tribulation” spoken of by Christ and the seven trumpets, the seven bowl judgments and the beast covered by Revelation.

4. Others point to a great similarity between “the beast” (Antichrist) pictured time and again in Revelation and “the abomination of desolation” spoken of by Christ (Matthew 24:1-31; Revelation 11:7).

Short review:  The scroll in God’s hand.  It could not be read because it was rolled up and sealed (like a Roman will) with seven seals.  John would see writing on both sides of the scroll, which meant that nothing more could be added.  What was written was completed and final.


  • The scrolls represents Christ’s “title deed” to all that the Father has promised him because of His sacrifice on the cross.

“Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen (nations) for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession”  (Psalm 2:8). 

  • Jesus Christ is the “Heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2).
  • He is our beloved “Kinsman-Redeemer” who was willing to give His life to set us free from bondage and to restore our lost inheritance (see Lev. 25:23-46); the Book of Ruth; Jeremiah 32:6-15).

As Christ removed the seals, various dramatic events took place that we are now studying.  The seventh seal introduces the seven trumpet judgments (Revelation 8:1-2), which we shall soon see in our study.

NOTE:  When the seventh trumpet had blown, the great day of God’s wrath was announced, ushering in the “vial” [bowl] judgments that brought to a climax the wrath of God (Revelation 11:15; 15:1).  It is possible that the trumpet judgments were written on one side of the scroll and the bowl judgments on the other.


If you have not acknowledged yourself as a sinner, please note the following sinner’s prayer.

There is a point at which no amount of scrubbing and cleaning will restore a home to its original luster.  God deals with our sins because they are beyond our ability to be cleansed by our efforts.

Our spiritual misdeeds are like dirt ground into our hearts.  They leave scars upon our souls and ruin the true beauty that was originally ours as God’s creatures.  No matter how hard we try to polish ourselves up, our lives remain tainted and dirty before God.

When all human efforts fail, we need to turn to God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He came to earth to accomplish what we cannot do on our own, to give us God’s free gift of eternal life.

“For God so loved the world [you], that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should NOT PERISH, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, emphasis added, KJV).  

It may be that you have never accepted Christ and do not know how.  Let us assist a little with help from Hebrews 11:6.

  1. You must exercise faith in Christ.
  2. You must believe that God exists, that He is real.
  3. You must believe that God will reward you, give you His “free” gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), if you truly want it.
  4. You must diligently seek Him [in prayer} by following the path to heaven found in Romans 10:9-13.
  • Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Believe in your heart that God raised Him {Jesus} from the dead and that thou shalt be saved.
  • For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

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