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In Chapter 6 begins the process of gaining true insight symbolized as the opening by the Lamb of the Seven Seals. These openings represent the gaining of insight into our own individual nature which comes to us when we let the Christ spirit become the directive power in our search for true inner understanding. Each seal opens a new facet of ourself to our own understanding.
The first four seals open to reveal four horseman who are thus described, “And I saw and behold a white horse and he that sat on him had a bowl and a crown was given unto him and he went forth conquering and to conquer.” In verse four, “And there went out another horse that was red and power was given him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth and that they should kill one another and there was given unto him a great sword.” Then in verse five and six, “And I beheld and lo, a black horse and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand and I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, “A measure of wheat for a penny and three measures of barley for a penny and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Then in verse eight, “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.”
These four horseman are symbols of very strong influences which are currently very active in human beings consciousness. They are white horse and rider, which is your awareness of Christ within. This comes before all else. This conquers all else. This remains after all else has come and gone. Christ within is king of all our world. Inner world, heaven and outer world, earth.
The red horse and rider stand for all our tendencies toward violence. Red in the Bible is the color which symbolizes passions and violence and this is a very active tendency in human nature. Destructiveness is the result of this horseman’s activity within us and in our world. All those among nations are the collective manifestations of this individual tendency.
The black horse and rider symbolize the materialism and greed. This represents the tendency in human nature to worry about and make a fuss about material things all the time. Anxiety about worldly possessions is it’s distinguishing characteristic as illustrated in the words accompanying its appearance. A measure of wheat for a penny and a measure of barley for a penny and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. Anxiety about things, things, things.
The pale horse and rider stand for the belief in the inevitability of death. This is one of the most unattractive features in human nature. To believe that one must accept as inevitable that which one feels most causes a drain of substance and vitality from our nature, death. Death is the most misunderstood experience in all human nature and until the truth behind it is fully understood, this pale horse and rider will continue to play havoc with our human attitude toward the meaning of life.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony for which they held. And they cried with a loud voice saying, ‘How long O Lord, holy and true dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth.’”
Under the altar means the subconscious and this vision under the fifth seal symbolizes something which occupies a large part of the subconsciousness of most persons. Disappointments, unhappy memories. These are under the altar crying, in the subconsciousness making us sad, especially the memories of when we weren’t treated right. When we did not get the good we thought we deserved, when we were hurt, ignored or unappreciated. These disappointments, these memories in our subconsciousness are crying and they want to be avenged. “How long O Lord, how long?”
And then the sixth seal opens to reveal an earthquake followed by many highly symbolic visions concerning the wrath of the lamb, the seal upon the 144,000 children of the tribes of Israel, those that washed their robes in the blood of the lamb. And we shall continue our interpretation of these symbols in our next lesson...
In this ninth lesson we are still dealing with the symbols, the imagery of the vision found under the sixth seal being opened by the Lamb of God within us. Now the imagery of this sixth vision is so complex that it seems to defy point-by-point analysis, but in general we know it symbolically describes the continuation of the process of God’s Law of Divine Justice and Compensation always working for our benefit. Deep within us in all parts of our nature, good bad and indifferent fulfilling itself in our consciousness and in our life for the sake of our own eternal good. We know that many of our greatest compensations and rewards start out as seeming chaos and confusion in our lives and this is the meaning behind the appearance of the earthquake.