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.