II. THE SEVEN SEALS
A. The First Four Seals—
Four Horses with Their Riders,
Running in a Four-horse Race
The first four seals are four horses with their riders, running in a four-horse race (Rev. 6:1-8). All four riders are not real persons but personified things.
1. The First Seal—
a White Horse and Its Rider,
Signifying the Spreading of the Gospel
The first seal is a white horse and its rider, signifying the spreading of the gospel (Rev. 6:1-2). Revelation 6:2 says, "And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he who sits on it having a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went forth conquering and that he might conquer."
a. A Bow Signifying That Christ’s Fighting
for the Constitution of the Gospel of Peace
Is Finished and the Victory Is Won
A bow is for fighting with an arrow. But here there is only a bow without an arrow. This indicates that the arrow has already been shot to destroy the enemy and that Christ’s fighting for the constitution of the gospel of peace is finished and the victory is won.
b. A Crown Signifying That the Gospel
Has Been Crowned with the Glory of Christ
A crown signifies that the gospel has been crowned with the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). The gospel which we preach today has a crown, and this crown is the glory of Christ. We should not feel shameful when we preach the gospel. Rather, we should feel glorious. To preach the gospel is a glorious thing. Those who preach the gospel become the riders of the white horse.
c. "Went Forth Conquering"
Signifying That the Gospel
Has Been Going Forth with Christ to Conquer
All Kinds of Opposition and Attack
"Went forth conquering" in Revelation 6:2 signifies that the gospel has been going forth with Christ to conquer all kinds of opposition and attack. When I left mainland China in 1949, there were less than four million Christians there. When the Communists took over, they did their best to oppose, to restrict, and to persecute anyone who wanted to practice being a Christian. Despite such opposition, today there are at least over fifty million Christians in mainland China. This shows the victory which the gospel has gained there over the past forty years. Throughout all the generations, the gospel has been going on with Christ as the Victor.
According to the Bible, we have to preach the gospel to get sinners saved. We all have to bear fruit. Although we may admit that this is scriptural, we may not be bearing any fruit. This means that we are not on the white horse. If we are preaching the gospel, our interest is in God’s kingdom. What is our interest today on this earth? We should be those who are laboring to get people saved to build up the Body of Christ for the kingdom of God. Most of us have to work to make a living. But all of us can separate a certain amount of time to the Lord for His interest. The unbelievers can always spare time for their amusement and entertainment. But we believers have God as our amusement and entertainment. We have no excuse for not preaching the gospel. We must be on the white horse for the spreading of the gospel.
(The Prophecy of the Four 'Sevens' in the Bible, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)