Summary: The Bible teaches that the world is headed not toward peace and unity, but toward a final, cataclysmic war, the battle of Armageddon (16). Until that climactic holocaust, things will continue to deteriorate as the world falls deeper and deeper into chao
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Revelation 6: 1-8
The Bible teaches that the world is headed not toward peace and unity, but toward a final, cataclysmic war, the battle of Armageddon (16). Until that climactic holocaust, things will continue to deteriorate as the world falls deeper and deeper into chaos, confusion and sin.
As the end approaches, wars will increase, crime will escalate, there will be economic upheavals, and unprecedented natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, famines, and diseases. All these calamities will mark the outpouring of God’s wrath on this fallen and rebellious world.
This old planet has seen times of cruel famines, catastrophes, dictatorships and many other causes of suffering, but the sixth chapter of Revelation introduces the most awesome period of time the world has ever know.
A seven year period, know as the Tribulation, or the time of Jacob’s Trouble, decreed by God is for shaking humanity loose from a false sense of security. God wants every human being to call on the name of Lord before the end of the age.
Everything in chapters 4 and 5 took place in heaven, the adoration of the Lamb around the heavenly throne. In chapter 6 John is still in heaven, though what he sees in heaven takes place on earth.
The time has come for God to intervene in human affairs, so judgment is given to the Son. The seals on the scroll are now to be opened.
The scroll represents the title deed to the earth. Unlike normal title deed, it does not contain a description of the property. Instead, it details how Jesus will execute His reclaiming of what is rightfully His.
Each of the scroll’s seven seals represent a specific divine judgment that will be poured out sequentially on the earth. The seals cover the entire period of the Tribulation. I think it is best to understand the first four seals as taking place during the first half of the Tribulation, the fifth seal covers the first half as well as going into the second half of the tribulation, and the last two seals take place during the last part of the tribulation.
Conquest – False peace
vs 1-2 Having received from his father the title deed to the earth the lamb, Jesus, opened the first of the seven seals. As each seal is opened in the vision, what is written on the scroll is not read, it is acted out.
Immediately John, heard one of the four living creatures saying with a powerful, shattering voice like thunder, ‘come’.
In response to the summons a white horse comes across John’s field of vision. The rider, rather than the horse, interested John. He held a bow, he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conquerer.
The bow was a long standing weapon of military conquest. The crown is the usual word for a victor’s wreath. Who is the rider?
There are many opinions such as the Antichrist, but the other three riders represent not individual persons but impersonal forces (war, famine and death), so it is best if we define the first rider as world peace or conquest.
So before the terrors of the Tribulation break loose, there will come a period of world peace. But it is a deceptive peace and it will lull the world in to a false sense of security. It will be followed by war, famine and death.
The Bible repeatedly warns of the deadly lure of false peace. While people are saying, Peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
It may seem hard to believe that the world, hovering on the brink of final disaster, could be so totally deceived. Yet that’s exactly what happened on a smaller scale just before the outbreak of WWII.
Adolf Hitler spelled out in detail his plans for conquest in his book Mein Kampf, published more that ten years before WWII began. Yet the western allies, particularly France and Great Britain, persisted in believing that Hitler was a man of peace.
The rest is history, as he annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia and later invaded Poland. Only later did the world leaders pay attention to what Winston Churchill was saying, but by then it was to late to avoid WWII.
This first rider is conquest personified. He is bent on conquering even though he appears to be peaceable. He will conquer through diplomacy, cunning and deceit. Even as the final doom approaches, he will promise a golden age of peace and prosperity.
vs 3-4 The world’s excitement with peace and harmony will be rudely shattered as the second horse and rider appear on the scene. Just as WWII followed the deceptive peace promoted by Hitler, devastating wars will cover the earth.