Prophecy – Part 66 – Riders on The White and Red Horses, Revelation 6:1-4
Today we continue our study of the rider on the White Horse and, if time permits, we will begin our study of the rider on the red horse. We will continue to develop this study by appealing to general information found in the Practical Christian Theology, Floyd H. Barackman, and the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible, as well as other resources.
THE DIVINE JUDGMENTS OF THE TRIBULATION AGE. As we have already seen, the Lord will send upon wicked earth dwellers a series of unprecedented judgments during the tribulation age. This will be for:
- their gross sins,
- their defiance of God, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and
- their persecution of His people, both Israel and saved Gentiles (Isaiah 13:11; 26:20-21). God says I will punish the world for their evil.
With all of these judgments being expressions of divine wrath (Revelation 15:1), they will bring unprecedented suffering to wicked mankind (Matthew 24:21-22).
NOTE: The first two series, except the seventh Trumpet Judgment, occur during the first half of the Tribulation Age; the seventh Trumpet Judgment and the Bowls of Wrath take place during the second half of this Tribulation period. (More about this later.)
NOTE: How long these judgments continue is not always clear. The record of these judgments is introduced by the apostle John upon seeing God’s judgment throne set up (Revelation 4:2) and the Lord Jesus installed as judge (Revelation 5:2-7).
THE FIRST SERIES, RELEASED BY AN UNROLLING OF A SCROLL AND THE BREAKING OF ITS SEALS (REVELATION 6:1-17; 8:1).
Seal One (Revelation 6:1-2): The rider on a white horse.
This takes place at the start of the Tribulation Age. Further, this judgment seems to refer to the beginning of the Beast’s prophetic political career, when he will gain control of a Middle East ten-nation federation (Daniel 7:7-8, 24; 8:9; 11:21-35). This will upset the political-military equilibrium of the Middle East.
Now let’s pick up from part one of our study of the Rider on the White horse. As we have seen the strongest argument seems to point toward the white horse rider being the antichrist.
Good Question: How is the antichrist going to conquer the world? Scripture tells us that it is going to be through deception (II Corinthians 11:13-15):
- because of un-repented sins,
- because of evil people,
- because people have chosen to go the way of sin,
- because the people have chosen evil vs holy lives (I Peter 1:15-16. They have chosen the way of the world in violation of I John 2:15-16 – love not the world, nor the things of the world,
- because the people have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and chosen the wide gate vs the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), and
- because the people have chosen the world’s way, their own strength vs God’s path to heaven, (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13).
Because of all this, and much more, the antichrist is going to be able to deceive men (nations, governments). Why? Because men have rejected the truth about Jesus Christ; they could care less about Him, and about God’s way of salvation.
God is going to judge the world. The beginning of His judgment is going to be His ALLOWING the antichrist to come upon the world scene. God is going to ALLOW men to be deceived because they have rejected His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, God is going to send a strong deception upon the earth, the very deception for which men long–a strong world ruler who seemingly can solve the world’s problems and bring utopia to earth. Men are going to GIVE their kingdoms to him (Revelation 17:17); that is, they are going to sign treaties and agreements that will allow him [the antichrist] to rule over their nations and lives.
Jesus Himself in Matthew told us why men would be willing to turn control over to the antichrist.
- They are living in a world that is full of false messiahs claiming that they have the answers to life; they will prepare the way for the antichrist. But the false messiahs ways are false; therefore, they leave the humans’ hearts empty and hopeless. When the heart is empty and hopeless, man will turn to a person (the antichrist) who promises utopia, that is heaven upon earth.
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall DECEIVE MANY” (Matthew 24:5, emphasis added, KJV).
- At that time the world will be full of violence, wars, and rumors of wars and will prepare the way for the antichrist. Millions of lives, homes, families and all else will be destroyed. A devastated people will turn to any leader who can bring peace and restoration.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, BUT THE END IS NOT YET. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” (Matthew 24:6-7, emphasis added, KJV).
- A world that is rocked with natural disaster after natural disaster (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and floods) will prepare the way for the antichrist. Disaster after disaster will cause people to quake in fear.
FEAR will drive people to a world leader who can promise and provide economic and medical help and aid.
“…and THERE SHALL BE FAMINES, AND PESTILENCES, AND EARTHQUAKES, in divers places” (Matthew 24:7, emphasis added, KJV).
- A world that is torn apart religiously will prepare the way for the antichrist. Severe religious persecution and terrible apostasy [departure from God’s Word II Thessalonians 2:3] and betrayal will sweep the earth. There will be division within the ranks of religion and families and between neighbors sweeping the earth in the end time. This will cause people to turn for help to anyone who can bring peace between religions.
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 2:11 emphasis added, KJV).
“Then shall they DELIVER YOU UP TO BE AFFLICTED, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matthew 24:9-10, emphasis added, KJV).
- A world that is full of false religion and false preachers will prepare the way for the antichrist. False religion will leave the heart hungry for something more real; therefore, they will be ripe for the promises of the antichrist.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11, emphasis added, NKJ).
- A world that falls more and more away from God is one that experiences increasing sin (sin that just grows and grows); is a love that grows cold for God and will prepare the way for the antichrist. People will be begging for help in dealing with lawlessness, drunkenness, drugs, the occult, crime and on and on.
FACT: They will look toward anyone who can bring true care, affection and love back into society.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12, emphasis added, KJV)
“For God hath PUT IN THEIR HEARTS to fulfill his will, and to AGREE, and give their kingdom unto the BEAST [ANTICHRIST], until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (Revelation 17:17, emphasis added, KJV).
LET’S NOW TURN TO THE NEXT RIDER OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN–THE RED HORSE (REVELATION 6:3-4)
The second seal is the thundering appearance of a RED HORSE AND ITS RIDER. Who is this rider? He is the rider who has POWER to take peace from the earth so that men will kill each other. He is the rider who is given a GREAT SWORD. He is the rider…
*of strife *of abuse *of murder
*of violence *of anger *of insurrection *assault *of hate
*of war *of division *of uprising *of bloodshed
He is the rider who divides race against race, class against class, neighbor against neighbor, employee against employer, husband against wife, religion against religion and nation against nation.
He is the rider who takes peace from the earth and causes all kinds of division he can. He is the rider who destroys every human relationship that he can.
Who is this so very effective rider? John does not say, but note these facts:
- The last days will bring terrible days of evil and truce-breaking.
“This know also, that in the last days PERILOUS times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, TRUCEBREAKERS, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good” (2 Timothy 3:1-3, emphasis added, KJV).
- The last days will bring terrible days of wars and rumors of wars.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” (Matthew 24:6-7, emphasis added, KJV).
- The devil himself is called “the great red dragon.”
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads“ (Revelation 12:3, emphasis added, KJV).
- The devil is a murder and a great liar and deceiver and has been from the beginning.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44 emphasis added, KJV ).
The antichrist, who will be the supreme representative of the devil upon the earth, will become a mass murderer and use the sword against both God’s people and those who oppose him. This is one way that he brings the world into subjection under his government. (Revelation 13:7-8; 17:15-18;
I Thessalonians 5:3). Now, who is the rider upon the red horse?
- can’t say for sure,
- but we can say that he either represents the lack of peace which the antichrist and his government brings to the world,
- or else he is the antichrist himself.
To say one is to say the other.
- When the antichrist and his government appear upon the world scene of human history, he will bring peace and safety for a while.
- But then there will be a break in his peaceful behavior: At the mid-point of the Tribulation period he and his government will explosively destroy the peace of the world.
- This will happen right before the GREAT TRIBULATION TAKES PLACE. It is the increased world violence that Christ predicted for the end of time, right before the GREAT TRIBULATION.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things MUST COME TO PASS, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” (Matthew 24:6-7, emphasis added, KJV).
Next, we will look at the Black Horse and its Rider.
APPLICATION AND CHALLENGE. Please review this study and explain the challenges that you might have received for your own life.