Today the watchman was led to read the following verses (both recorded in 6:1-8) on the visions seen by the Prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 6:1-8 and visions seen by the Apostle John in Revelation 6:1-8. The name Zechariah is derived from the Hebrew זְכַרְיָה, meaning “The Lord has remembered.” The meaning of the name John in Hebrew is: “Jehovah has been gracious; has shown favor.”
Summarized watchman’s notes on the similarities and differences between the two authors (Zechariah and John):
1. Both passages are about specific prophetic visions of the spiritual realms.
2. The same Spirit of the Lord has shown a prophet and an apostle visions which have some similarities and some differences.
For example: The colors of the horses: red, white, black are similar in both visions.; the riders (on horses or chariots) are spirits (angels) who are carrying out their assigned works throughout the whole earth.The works may differ in the timing and /or scale, but similar in their theme: judgement and punishment of evil.
3. The experiences of these two men of God are illustrations of how God (through His Spirit) reveals His plans and their executions (big and small) to individuals according to the concerns in their hearts at the time:
For example: God has revealed to a prophet-priest who was concerned with Israel (his country)’s immediate future in relation with the Gentile nations surrounding it. The two horses (black and white) were sent to deal with the two hostile northern kingdoms (Babylon and Persia). On the other hand, God has also revealed plans and their executions regarding the destiny of the whole mankind to an apostle who has concern for man’s future on earth and in heavens.
4. God calls different individuals in different stages of their lives for His different specific plans and assignments.
For example: Zechariah was a young priest called and sent by God to return to Jerusalem to give the remnants of Israel the messages from God and assured them of God’s good long ranged plan for their nation, so that they are encouraged to rebuild the temple. He faithfully received and passed on the prophecies concerning their religious, social and political predicaments at that time. The record of his visions showed a time span of about five months.
John was one of the twelve apostles Jesus chose. John had been Jesus the risen Savior and Lord, discipled and sent out by Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, carried out his assigned work to faithfully testify for Jesus, and endured the related persecutions. When Jesus chose him to see the visions which he later recorded in the book of Revelation, John had matured into an elderly and well seasoned apostle. His spiritual perspective and worldview were ready for the big revelation from the Lord.
5. In both cases, the two individuals have made themselves available to God. The key word I have noted from their testimonies is: “Faithful”. How did these two men’s lives demonstrate this virtue? Zechariah was martyred between the sanctuary and the altar. (Luke 11:51; Matthew 23:35). John too, went through perilous time under Romans’ persecution and wrote the book of Revelation during his exile on the island Patmos. He was known to have lived till grand old age ( circa AD 6 – c. 108) When John was aged, he trained Polycarp who later became Bishop of Smyrna. This was important because Polycarp was able to carry John’s message to future generations.
Zechariah 6:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness added)
Vision of the Four Chariots
6 Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze. 2 With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses—strong steeds. 4 Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
5 And the angel answered and said to me, “These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country.” 7 Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, “Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth.” So they walked to and fro throughout the earth. 8 And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, “See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country.”
Revelation 6:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness added)
First Seal: The Conqueror
6 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.