When the first seal is broken, the Antichrist will be revealed to the world as he sets up his government, and in his attempts to gain worldwide power, he uses cold war. The one who sits on the white horse is a demon who will help make that happen...
The second seal is broken. The one who sits on the red horse is a demon who will help cause war across the entire earth...
The third seal is broken. The one who sits on the black horse is a demon who helps cause worldwide famine...
The fourth seal is broken. The one who sits upon the ashen horse is joined by many other demons. They will be given permission to cause death to a fourth of the earth by using violence, famine, wild animals and pestilence...
The fifth seal is broken. It is martyrdom, as the Antichrist will be trying to rid the earth of God's children...
The sixth seal is broken. Terror is released upon the earth via physical disturbances...
From this we see:
- the first living creature, with a voice like thunder, announces the first judgment on the earth (6:1)
- the one who sits on the white horse is a demon who will help create a cold war in order to help the Antichrist set up his government with aspirations of ruling the world (6:2)
- the second living creature, announces the second judgment on the earth (6:3)
- the one who sits on the red horse is a demon who will help cause war across the entire earth (6:4)
- the third living creature, announces the third judgment on the earth (6:5)
- the one who sits on the black horse is a demon who will help cause worldwide famine (6:5)
- a voice in the center of the four living creatures makes a prophetic announcement, which either is another angel, or it is maybe a combination of the living creatures' voices (6:6)
- the fourth living creature, announces the fourth judgment on the earth (6:7)
- the one who sits upon the ashen horse is joined by many other demons. They will be given permission to cause death to a fourth of the earth by using violence, famine, wild animals and pestilence (6:8)
Personal experience: we are not told how much time is in between each seal being broken. It could be that all these things are all happening pretty much at the same time.
What we do know from scripture is that the above events definitely have to all happen within the first half of the Tribulation. Either way, there will be a lot of demonic activity happening during the first half of the seven years, and then, it will be even more so in the second half.
And even so, there will still be people becoming believers during the Tribulation! I mean, these will be the people who have to learn the hard way. But still, in those circumstances, their choice will be very decisive. There won't be many people pretending to be Christians just to "fit in" - because being a Christian in the Tribulation will mean persecution and death.
Even today, it's interesting how fast and big the hidden churches grow in the countries where evangelism is illegal! Meanwhile over here, where we have religious freedom, I hear so many people ask the question, "Well, if there is a loving God, why is there so much evil?"
People who want an excuse not to believe in God, will find or create an excuse. And because God IS loving, He never forces anyone to believe in Him, even though He died for everyone's sins anyway.
Today's takeaway: just as God is loving and patient with people, we need to be loving and patient...