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And behold, I saw a green[a] horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Death’s Domain[b] followed him. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword,[c] famine,[d] death,[e] and by the wild beasts.

When the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw gathered under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God and because they had the testimony of the Lamb.[f] 10 They cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Sovereign Lord, holy and dependable, how long before you judge those who live on the earth and vindicate[g] our blood on them?”[h]

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  1. Revelation 6:8 The Greek word kloros always means “green,” not “pale green.” It is used four times in the New Testament and always refers to grass (green grass) or green living things. The color of the horse speaks of life, but the rider’s name is Death. Death rides on life (life comes through death—Gal. 2:10). The death is his death.
  2. Revelation 6:8 Or “Hades.”
  3. Revelation 6:8 This is the sword from his mouth, the word of God that kills and makes alive.
  4. Revelation 6:8 To kill with hunger is the Lord’s method of starving to death our old ways, desires, and lusts. His resurrection life emerging in us overcomes (starves to death) what we cannot overcome. To hunger and thirst for righteousness is the key to being filled (Matt. 5:6; Col. 3:1-10).
  5. Revelation 6:8 This is not pestilence, but death. To kill with death is not trying to die to flesh, for that is a form of suicide, but to see that the death of Christ is our death too (Gal. 2:20). We cannot kill ourselves or by self-effort bring our flesh to death; it must be wholly the work of Christ. To kill by death is a death by death. Jesus rides into our lives on the green horse to put to death all of Adam through the life poured out by his (Jesus’) death.
  6. Revelation 6:9 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “because of their testimony.” These souls gathered under the altar (an emblem of sacrifice unto death), died to every soulish way, and were offered as love sacrifices to God.
  7. Revelation 6:10 Although the Greek word ekdikeo can mean “avenge” or “render a fair verdict,” its primary meaning is to “validate” or “vindicate.”
  8. Revelation 6:10 This was a vision and is full of symbolism. We are like the souls “under the altar,” for we are under the shelter of the altar where Christ has been sacrificed on our behalf. We are those who cry out for a powerful move of God that will deal with the nature of man and bring the glory of God. This is not simply a cry for revenge but a cry for revival among the nations to break loose.

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