Prophecy – Part 65 – The Rider On The White Horse, Revelation 6:1-2
Again, I would like to say thanks to all those around the world that have been praying for Peg and myself. We are still recovering from the effects of surgery, her spinal surgery and my cancer surgery. It was an interesting time as Peg was in one hospital in Cookeville, TN and I in another at Crossville, TN. Let me just assure you that we are safe in the hands of God and recovering (John 10:25-30, Romans 8:28). We are looking forward to continuing our service for Christ.
Today we start further investigation of the book of Revelation, with Revelation 6:1-2, the study of the white horse. This is a challenging study, but also a growing time, an exciting time as God explains some very interesting things to His people. Remember, this book was written by God, sent to you as a personal blessing as you study the book of Revelation.
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and Keep those things which are written therein: FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND” (Revelation 1:3, emphasis added, KJV). Four things God points out – READ, HEAR, KEEP, for the TIME IS AT HAND.
As we have seen before in our study, there is a total of 66 books in our Bible, but there is only one Book that promises some kind of a special blessing for those who will attempt to read it (study) and keep the words, revelation, and knowledge contained in it.
Good question: “Why would God single out the very last book of His Bible, the book of Revelation, as the ONLY Book that He actually says, “BLESSED” is he who “READS” AND “HEARS” THE WORDS OF THIS “Book”.
THINGS TO NOTE:
- God made this statement at the very beginning of the Book of Revelation 1:1-3.
- It would appear that He is trying to tell us something very, very important.
- Would you not agree that He is telling us something that He wants all of us to read and assimilate what is in the Book?
FACT: Many Christians, including some pastors, teachers and Christian leaders, are afraid to get into the Book of Revelation. It would appear that they do not wish to fully understand its contents. Consequently, they deny that they should be under the direction and teaching and ministry of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:6-16). The Holy Spirit is the Christian’s teacher.
Why do some fear the Book of Revelation?
Many Christians feel that Revelation is too hard to try and fully understand. For others, it is just too frightening and scary to try and read due to the extreme events that will be taking place in the end times. They would rather just stick their heads in the sand and ignore anything dealing with the future. This is especially true for anything dealing with such things as God releasing His wrath and fury on this world in a way that the world has never seen before and will never see again.
People are scared to think about the last seven years before Christ returns and sets up His kingdom. Not even science fiction, with all of its special effects and capabilities, could even come close to what is going to happen to this world, once we enter into the Great Tribulation. Remember, after Jesus has dealt with the world’s problems and the eradication of sin, He will set up His Millennium Kingdom from the city of (new) Jerusalem. Now that is “good” news!
Would you not agree that it is important to God that, as Christians, we should know exactly what our final ending is going to be, to know how everything will eventually play out for our blessing and eternal future? But more about this later in our study of Revelation.
Like I have said, today many people are afraid of the future and no wonder when one considers:
- the economic situation throughout the world
- the world problems of overpopulation
- the problem of famine in many countries
- the problem of energy shortage in many countries
- the natural disasters that are occurring today:
*hurricanes *earthquakes *tornadoes *fires *floods
- the threat of nuclear war casting a heavy cloud upon the days ahead
Those who know the Bible are well aware that there are some very dark days to come. In fact, they will be the worst days that have ever been. The problem is that Christians have avoided studying the Book of Revelation and time may be a whole lot shorter than most people believe. Listen to the Apostle Paul in Romans:
“And that, knowing the time, that NOW it is high time to AWAKE OUT OF SLEEP: for NOW is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day IS AT HAND: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the ARMOUR OF LIGHT. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:11-14, emphasis added, KJV).
“AWAKE to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I SPEAK THIS TO YOUR SHAME” ( I Corinthians 15:34; Matthew 28:18; Acts 1:8, emphasis added, KJV).
Now it is time to understand the White Horse and its rider of Revelation 6:1-2.
Some have said that Revelation six is one of the most provocative and interesting sections of the New Testament. They go on to say that there are few places in the Word of God to find a better description of the terrible tide of modern times, along with the possibility of a better understanding of what is taking place in this present world.
The first two verses of Revelation six describe the first important horseman. When the Lord Jesus opens the first seal, John sees a rider upon a WHITE HORSE. The rider has a bow in his hand and he receives a crown and goes forth to conquer.
Before we consider what the four horsemen represent, it can help us if we review some of the things Bible students already know about the Book of Revelation.
*Christ has introduced Himself in Revelation one. In fact, this is the only description of the physical appearance of Jesus Christ in the entire Bible.
*The Bible description talks about this One whose “hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire… and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:14,16).
*Can you visualize the majestic Christ as He is seen coming to a place where He presides over the destiny of the end Times.
*Revelation two and three then give the message of Jesus Christ to the seven churches – Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. The messages to the seven churches should be viewed or considered in several ways.
*Of course, the first thing we should recognize is that these seven churches were real churches in Asia Minor.
*The messages to these seven churches describe the Lord Jesus’ concerns for the Church in the early days of the preaching of the gospel. So, they are very important to the current church and forward until the church is received into God’s presence in the future (The Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
*These messages are very important for churches of today, like the message to Ephesus. There are churches today who have left their first love, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is evidenced by their lack of demonstrating love for Jesus through obedience to His commands (John 14:15).
*There are churches of today like Laodicea, which are neither hot nor cold. Further, there are churches today that fulfill many of the descriptions of these seven churches.
*The seven churches should be thought of as being representative of church history. Therefore, the messages to the churches at Philadelphia and Laodicea should be looked at as appropriate for our time.
Following chapters two and three we have a brief opportunity to look into heaven. As he arrives, John looked upon the stupendous scene of the worship of the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures before the throne of the eternal God.
Revelation four and five are centered around the thought of who is worthy, qualified and able to open the sealed book; who therefore is able to bring about the final resolving of the man’s sinfulness and who is able to oversee the problems and destiny of man in the end times.
The wonderful answer is of course found in the Book of Revelation:
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast CREATED ALL THINGS, and for THY PLEASURE they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11, emphasis added, KJV).
The One worthy, of course, is the Lamb of God, who was slain. He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing (Rev. 5:12).
The dramatic moment has now arrived. The seals that bind God’s book are now to be broken. One by one they shall be broken. As the seals are broken, the most astounding thing happens.
What is written under the seals of the book just leaps off the pages. We see the events acted out; these events now revealed are actual future events for John and the heavenly host. They actually see what appears to be a picture, or video of the end time.
NOTE: John and the heavenly host are not reading some book. They are witnessing the events of the end time. Are you excited about the future and what God is going to reveal to you? Only you can answer that question for yourself.
*The first four seal judgments seem to be a description of the antichrist gaining control over the nations of the earth.
- He will do it by waging war (the red horse),
- by gaining control over the economy (the black horse), and
- by having his opponents put to death (the pale horse).
* When we look at the fifth seal, we will see that it reveals what will happen to the souls of Christian martyrs who are slain by the antichrist.
*The sixth seal will show God’s wrath being stirred and being prepared to move in judgment against the antichrist.
*The seventh seal is the seal that brings forth the “great tribulation,” the terrible period of God’s judgment.
In the Scripture before us the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, breaks the first four seals. When He does, one of the four living creatures who surrounds the throne of God thunders the command: “Come forth!”
NOTE: When He thunders His command, the terrible scene of some end-time event thunders across the scene of world history.
- the first seal: a white horse and rider (v. 1-2)
- the second seal: a red horse and rider (v. 3-4)
- the third seal: a black horse and rider (v. 5-6)
- the fourth seal: a pale horse and rider (v. 7-8)
Revelation (6:1-2). The first seal is the thundering appearance of a white horse and its rider. Good question: “Who is this rider?” His identity is widely disputed, but the conclusion of most commentators is that he is one of two persons.
- He symbolizes the victorious Christ and the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.
- It is argued that the color WHITE IS ALWAYS associated with Christ throughout Revelation. In addition, the rider is said to be crowned. Therefore, this rider must be Christ Himself.
- Others argue, however, that Christ cannot be commanded by heavenly creatures; therefore, it cannot be Christ Himself.
- Therefore, the horseman must be the conquest of the Word of God as is prophesied by Christ (Mark 13:10).
- The second major view is that the rider is conquest in general, the antichrist in particular, or his representative.
- He is the DECEIVER; therefore, he appears in white (Matthew 24:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:11).
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” ( II Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV).
- The crown he wears is different from the crown worn by Christ in Revelation 19. It is the crown of the conqueror (stephenos) not the royal crown of a king (diadema).
- The bow symbolizes conquest. In the Old Testament it is always the symbol of military power (Psalm 46:9; Jeremiah 51:51; Hosea 1:5).
- It is further argued that to be consistent, one must relate this horseman to the other three. The four present a picture of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse that are to descend upon the earth in the latter days with terrifying destruction.
In one’s interpretation it is important to note this: when the rider appears upon the scene, he already possesses a bow. But THE CROWN is given to him. After it is given, then he goes forth to conquer. This points strongly to a counterfeit Christ. Note three facts:
First, this rider has a bow. Christ possesses no bow; a weapon of war is not part of his being.
Second, this rider is given a crown. Christ is not given a crown. One has to say that Christ has been crowned throughout all of eternity or else at His ascension.
Third, this rider sets out to conquer. There is no point in time at which Christ sets forth to conquer the hearts of men. He has always been about the mission of salvation. Conquering men’s hearts will continue to be His mission until the day of judgment appears. Thus, there is no point from which he has to move to conquer; He is conquering souls even as He has always been conquering souls.
This is not true with this rider. This horseman who sets out to conquer is one who already possesses a bow and is given a crown at some point in time. From that point he goes forth conquer. He is the Little horn of Dan seven; the Man of Sin and the Beast and the Ruler of the Restored Roman Empire (Revelation 2:13; the Abomination of Desolation Matthew 24:15). My opinion is that the rider on the white horse is the antichrist or his representative.
Because of space, we will have to continue the study of the Man on the White Horse in our next study.
Please review this study and select those portions which you found challenging. Write out the portions which challenged you and take them to God for clarification. If you have difficulty please send us a note and we will supply needed help. Thanks for joining us in this study.