“When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” Then another horse appeared a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.” Revelation 6:3-4
As with the first seal, we see that Jesus related what is going to happen at the end. “And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.” (Matthew 24:6-7) The red horse represents the judgment of war. The rider removes peace from the world. With peace removed, men proceed to do all the damage and wage war against each other. Thus is the nature of men. In over 3000 years of recorded history, less than ten percent have been peaceful. The rider of the fiery red horse holds a sword but does not have to kill. Men will kill one another. Red has to do with bloodshed or war. The world’s attitude of peace and harmony will be shattered as the second horse and rider appear on the scene. As the Lamb broke the second seal, John heard the second living creature summoning the second horseman, saying, “Come.” Immediately “a red horse went out.” Red, the color of fire and blood, depicts war. God’s judgment descends and the false peace led by Antichrist dissolves into war
Contrary to the teaching of some, the judgments of the tribulation do not reflect the wrath of humanity or the wrath of Satan. They express God’s wrath poured out on the world. Men will kill one another on an unprecedented scale. While Scripture does not give the details, the advances in modern weapons suggest a terrible destruction. John also noted that “a great sword was given” to the rider. The Greek word for “sword” here refers to the short, stabbing sword a Roman soldier carried into battle. It was also a weapon used by assassins. The vision depicts a great sword to describe the extent of the war.