Summary: A study of Revelation Step by Step
The dramatic moment has now come. The seals that bind God’s book are now to be broken. One by one they shall be broken. Amazingly, as the seals are broken, the most astounding thing happens. What is written under the seals of the book leaps off its pages and acts out the events of the future for John and the heavenly host. They actually see what appears to be a picture or a movie of the end time. This is important to note, for John and the heavenly host are not reading the book. They are witnessing the events of the end time.
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). In the next outline and passage, 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 forth the command: "come forth." And when
He thunders His command, the terrible scene of some end time event thunders across the scene of world history.
1. The first seal: a white horse and rider (v. 1-2).
2. The second seal: a red horse and rider (v.3-4).
3. The third seal: a black horse and rider (v.5-6).
4. The fourth seal: a pale horse and rider (v.7-8).
(6:1-2} Antichrist-Four Horsemen: the first seal is the thundering appearance of a white horse and its rider. Who is this rider?
His identity is widely disputed, but the conclusion of most commentators is that he is one of two persons.
1.He symbolizes the victorious Christ Himself or either the victorious 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. Hence, the horseman must be the conquest of the Word of God as prophesied by Christ (Mk.13: 10).
2. The second major view is that the rider is conquest in general, the antichrist in particular.
ð He is the deceiver; therefore, he appears in white (Mt.24:5; 2 Th.2: 11).
ð The crown he wears is different from the crown worn by Christ in Rev .19. It is the crown of the conqueror not the royal crown of a king.
ð The bow symbolizes conquest. In the Old Testament it is always the symbol of military power (Ps.46:9; Jer.51:51; Hos.l:5).
ð 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 extremely 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 a 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 specific point of time at which Christ set 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. But 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 to conquer.
"The strongest arguments seem to point toward the white rider being the antichrist. How is the antichrist going to conquer the world?