Summary: Revelation is a brilliant book. We have already seen how the letters to the seven churches affect both them in the first century, and the church throughout history to the end of the church age. The same is true with the entire book, and that is why we hav
Revelation is a brilliant book. We have already seen how the letters to the seven churches affect both them in the first century, and the church throughout history to the end of the church age. The same is true with the entire book, and that is why we have such differences in interpretation. The truth is that the differing views on Revelation do not have to be exclusive.
I think we’ll see that these prophecies can apply both to 1st century Jerusalem and the Roman Empire, and to the future of the church and Israel yet to come. It doesn’t have to be either or, but can be both. So as I present the prophecy parts of the book now, I’m going to present the views of the future, and for time’s sake I will not go into detail about the past fulfillment of some of these judgments.
However I do want you to know that I believe many of these things have already happened in the first century especially when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD and the Roman Empire collapsed later as the Old Testament prophets foretold. But that these are also a demonstration or example of what is to come for God’s people in terms of judgment and redemption. The first happened only to Jerusalem and Israel, the last time will be global and universal, and permanent.
Come! Very simple, very clear, very authoritative. The creature with one word, under the authority of the Lamb starts the beginning of the Lamb’s judgment and coming of His kingdom. It’s a call to the horsemen and also to John to watch. So here come,
I. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The first rider comes on a white horse and of course our first impulse is to think this is Christ, and that is the intention. But upon closer inspection we see that this is not true. This rider had a bow but no arrows. He also had a crown of victory, not royalty. He is some kind of leader coming to conquer but apparently not with lethal force? I agree with many commentators that this rider is the final Antichrist. There have been types of antichrist throughout the ages but this is the final culmination of this deception.
Notice he rides a white horse as Christ does later, but this rider has no weapons, he must rely on deception. Christ rides with a sword. This rider is a world dictator who rises up at the beginning of the tribulation and resembles Christ and initially comes as a peacemaker making a covenant with Israel, but as we will see breaks this covenant later. This rider is very likely the rider Daniel describes in Daniel 9:26, the “prince to come” who will lead the revived Roman Empire which is clearly already forming in Europe.
It says that this rider has been given a crown. The word here for crown is stephanos, which means the victor’s crown, much like the flower crowns that the winner of a race would get in ancient Greece. The crown Christ wears in Revelation 19 is the diadema or “kingly crown”. This crown belongs only to the Son of God.
This doesn’t mean that the Antichrist is the ultimate victor, but that he will only be winning for a while, and that his crown is much less significant and lasting than Christ’s.
The whole point here is that this rider will fool many into believing he is the messiah, even some in the church. The other people like Hitler, who have also been termed antichrists were never mistaken for Christ himself, but this last one will be.
The second rider comes on a red horse. He had a sword but didn’t slay people himself. He took away peace so people would slay each other. Clearly this rider represents war and bloodshed between people. Some will say that this rider takes emotional peace from the earth but this doesn’t make sense since he is given a sword, and he makes people slay one another.
Some prophecy students have claimed that this red horse also represents Russia with her Arab allies attacking Israel in the future. I saw a very interesting article the other day about birth rates and the survival of western cultures. Scientifically it has been demonstrated that through low birth rates in North America and Europe, and higher birthrates amoung Muslims, that Europe will be a Muslim continent by the year 2025. It also showed that half of the soldiers in the Russian army by that time will be Muslim.
Now I don’t believe all Muslims are bad, but I do know that many years ago the evil dictator Idi Amin said that Islam will take over Europe without using force. It appears he was right, they are doing it through immigration and having more children than the resident Europeans. So far Germany is the only country that has publicly said that at the rate its going their culture will be gone in this century.