“As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.” Revelation 6:1-2
The first four seal judgments line up with the events Jesus described to his disciples in Matthew 24 (Mark 13:1-37, Luke 21:5-33). Can you take a moment and read the section in Matthew? The visions describing the first four seals are often referred to as the “four horsemen of the apocalypse.” The events do not seem to represent the horse and riders as much as they represent world conditions. The events in Matthew 24 fall into three periods: (1) the period of false Christs and false prophets, wars, famines, earthquakes, and death, called “the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:8); (2) the period of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21); and, (3) the period “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” when the sun, moon, and stars will be affected and Christ will return (Matthew 24:29-30). The seals correspond to the “beginning of birth pains.”
The first four seals describe four horses of different colors with four riders who are given different powers over the earth (see Zechariah 1:8, 6:1-8 for a fascinating similarity).
So, who is the rider seated on the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2? Most believe it is not Jesus but Satan because it fits with the theme of the other three horses, which are used as instruments of judgment. The Lamb is the one opening the seals. The emphatic “Come!” should not be viewed as addressed either to John or to Christ but to the horseman (it would not be proper to have an angelic being call forth Christ!). Further, the rider has been given a crown, but not the type a king would wear. This crown is a temporary one, like the winner of a race might be given ages ago. The crown indicates the sovereign permission to carry out the acts specified.
Whenever Jesus is described as crowned, His crowns are diadems, those worn specifically by kings. Further, at Jesus’ return it will be with drama and accompanied by a huge host of angels not like the description from Revelation 6. As you know, false christs will appear who will attempt to imitate Christ. This rider from verse 6 “appears” like him on a white horse and will represent a false peace or victory, and holding a bow without arrows. Some think the lack of arrows represents the Antichrist using political or satanic power. The Antichrist will come forward and act as peacemaker, offering protection to Israel on the basis of a signed covenant or peace treaty between them. Keep in mind the Antichrist is only a temporary king (emphasized by his temporary crown) but nevertheless will operate effectively for that limited time by using deceit and illusion to conquer others.
This first seal brings on a shifting of world power. The conquests taking place will most likely be through political negotiations focusing on uniting individual nations by appealing to their own sense of greed and need. This is always the sign of Satan’s work – he tempts people to first please themselves, thereby becoming his salves. Christ calls men to first deny themselves, and to serve Him.
Looking at Daniel 8:25, “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
Some commentaries agree that each of the first four seals represents conflict directed at Christians to test them and to sift false disciples. Each of these events separate false beliefs from true. If this is correct, will you be prepared? Thank you Lord that you have allowed us a season to prepare our hearts for future choices. Let’s choose to stand in the name of Christ no matter how hard the worldly winds may blow. Let’s choose now to not bow under the pressure but to stand firmer than we have ever stood in our life.
I am writing this now as we are traveling in the direction of the area hit by the latest storms. A caravan just past by called Matthew 25 Ministries. I presume they are on their way to the area with full hearts ready to offer whatever assistance they can to those in desperate need. So what is Matthew 25? Well, verse 40 says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” In these times of heartache and hardship let’s purpose our hearts to reach those in need of an outstretched hand and represent Jesus to a world in need…one precious brother/sister at a time. Are you in?
In His grace,