Now we need to look at each of these horses and what they signify. When the Lord Jesus breaks the first of the seals and the four living creatures cry, "Come," a white horse appears in heaven. We read that in verse 2: "I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." Who is this rider?

One of the most disturbing movies that I’ve ever seen is Francis Ford Copula’s epic on the Vietnam War called Apocalypse Now. It describes the journey of an American officer who’s sent up river to find and eventually assassinate a renegade commander who has holed up in an inaccessible region. Deep into the battle area, he arrives at a remote river outpost in the midst of a firestorm. Shells are exploding all around, men are being blown to pieces, and the whole scene is bathed in the red-orange glow of the exploding shells. It’s a scene right out of Dante’s Inferno.

This Lamb, looking weak, standing as it had been slain, a crucified Messiah, is the omnipotent King of kings and Lord of lords. And moreover, secondly, Jesus is omniscient - all-knowing - because that's what the eyes refer to. The background here is Zechariah 4:10. It speaks of the seven lamps of the menorah as the eyes of the Lord. Here John identifies the eyes with the seven spirits of God. We came across it earlier in chapter 1 - seven spirits. In Revelation, strictly speaking, John never refers to the Holy Spirit. He refers, rather, to the seven spirits. So the best way of understanding this reference is to think of the multifaceted or omnipresent nature of the Holy Spirit. That is a bit uncertain, but if that's what it means, it certainly fits here because it's a way of saying that Jesus, by his Spirit, is ranging throughout the entire earth and knows all things.

Then in Exodus comes the Passover. A lamb was killed, the blood was spread upon the doorpost of the house, and God, as he came through to pronounce judgment on the firstborn of all the hosts of Egypt, passed over the houses of those where the blood was spread. It shows that the blood of an innocent substitute is a covering for sin.

The angel asked, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" No creature in heaven or earth came forward, but when John wept, an elder said to him, "Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." In chapter 4 God alone is called worthy to receive the praise of creation. Here in chapter 5 we find that Jesus, the Son of God, is worthy as well.