The most popular and widely accepted interpretation of the first and second horses of the apocalypse are well-established in institutes of theological studies. Hence they have become the standard interpretation held by most clergy. The four horsemen bear mention in the Book of Revelation, chapter 6. The first horse, the white horse, is believed to represent the anti-Christ. He comes onto the world scene wielding his bow and wearing a crown. The second red horse, who rides next, is believed to represent war, mostly because it is red and is a killer. Therefore, under this theological interpretation, before the red horse rides, the white horse must logically be present and identifiable. It also makes part of the basis for the pre-tribulation rapture – or the coming of Christ before the tribulation period is unleashed upon the world. For when the first horseman is on the scene, tribulation follows.
Over a quarter of a century ago, I became determined to wrap my mind around how the standard became the standard. Therefore, I embarked on a quest to understand what so many learned theologians understood that I didn’t. My quest led me in a different and unexpected direction, which current world affairs has compelled me to share.
The white horse: a dictator, or Divine judgment?
Regarding the white horse, whom it is believed represents the anti-Christ. Rev. 6:2 says:
And I (John the Revelator) looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Symbolism of a bow in Scripture usually represents either hunting or the first weapon used in warfare – except when referring to the bow of God. Psalm 7:11-12, speaks about a just God who is angry with the wicked “every day”, and if they do not turn back, He will sharpen His sword and bend His bow to strike against them. Deuteronomy 32:41-42 is similar. It talks about an angry God who exercises His judgment against His enemies and those who hate Him using a sword and arrows (which infers He has a bow).
When people fall away…
Therefore, I believe it is not a stretch to believe that the white horse represents an era when God’s judgment is being released upon the unrighteous. It is logical to conclude that if the four horsemen represent the repercussions of God’s wrath upon an apostate world, that these eras could symbolically open with the unleashing of God’s judgment, represented by his bow.
This is also supported in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 that is commonly referred to as the “Great Apostasy,” which means that people turn away from God. According to the passage in Thessalonians, the apostasy precedes the appearance of the anti-Christ. And let me say with great sincerity that I firmly believe the “Great Apostasy” is upon us.
If this were the end of the story, who and what the white horse represents would still be up to interpretation. However, there is the second horse.
The red horse: violence
Revelation 6:4 says:
And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it
to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was
given to him a great sword.
Before abortion, Oklahoma City, Columbine, 9/11, Ft. Hood, San Bernardino, Paris, Orlando, etc., etc., etc., it would have been easy to interpret this verse as meaning an increase in wars. It does in part. But that’s not all it means. At a time when mothers are killing their own children in their wombs and terror attacks are happening nearly every day, it would be hard to deny that it has been granted to people to kill one another in the streets, in doctor’s offices, in public areas, and even in churches, as well as on the battlefield.
So, while the identity of the white horse can be argued, it is inarguable that the red horse is here. And if the second horse is here, then the first horse simply cannot represent the anti-Christ. For we may guess about who this malevolent creature is, but since we do not know, the pre-tribulation interpretation of the last days must be in error.
Let the people know the truth
Knowing the controversy regarding the standard beliefs in eschatology, I have previously contended that it wasn’t worth arguing, since the time was coming when the truth would be evident. That time is now.
Matthew 24:32 says:
From the fig tree learn its lesson; as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-9 says:
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. (Emphases added)
Which seal will you bear?
These verses tell us to sound the trump – to be prepared. But be of good cheer. All is not doom and gloom. Ezekiel also prophesied about these times. In chapter 9, verse 4-6, Ezekiel tells us about an angel of the Lord being told to mark with a seal the foreheads of those who lament over lawlessness, as distinguished from those who have provoked God’s judgment. These are protected from the calamity that is about to unfold. One way or another, my friend, you will bear a seal – either the mark of the beast or the seal of God. Be sure you bear the right seal.
A reprint from The Daily Rant, copyright 2016 Mychal Massie. By permission.
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