Many Martyrs – Revelation 6:1-11

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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John and Betty Stam were missionaries to China who proclaimed eternal life by God’s grace and faith in Christ Jesus. In 1934, they were arrested by the Communists and initially held for $20,000.00 ransom. They were marched 12 miles toward Miaoshou. While stopping for the night, Betty hid their baby, Helen, who was later rescued. The next day, John and Betty were both forced to kneel, and then they were beheaded. Their witness for Christ cost them their lives.

As the worthy Lamb of God opens the book with seven seals, from which John desired to learn, a scene from the coming first half of the Tribulation is revealed. As each seal is opened, a horseman is released into the world. The first is on a white horse, but this is NOT Christ, though He too will return to the earth on a white horse (Revelation 19:11). The rider in Revelation 6:2 is the Anti-Christ, who is an imitator of the Messiah, and will actually claim to be the Christ. He will go forth methodically conquering with promises of peace until the world choses him as their leader, indicated by “a crown” (vs. 2). The riders of the other horses are his agents, demonic angels, likely indwelling human hosts. The red horse symbolizes activity causing bloodshed and death (vs. 4). Humans will be convinced to “kill one another” (vs. 4), implying authority to carry out murders while under demonic influence. The black horse (vs. 5-6) represents death for multitudes, this time through famine. The “pair of balances” indicates that evil men will control the food supply for great sums of money and deny food to those who proclaim Christ as Savior. He that rides the pale horse is called “Death, and Hell followed with him” (vs. 8). This agent of Anti-Christ will wreak havoc over a quarter of the world through the sword, hunger, and beasts. His actions will be savage, particularly as there will be growing persecution of Christians. Verse nine describes “the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held” (vs. 10). Note, the truth of God’s Word, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, will be more important than anything, including their lives.

While not in the Tribulation, it is possible we in the Dispensation of Grace may one day face persecution, even unto death. If so, may we likewise hold Christ and His Word more important than our lives.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."