Some few years back I had written on Identifying the third horsemen in the book of Revelation as a response to a question asked by someone. You can read it here. I thought of covering the full scope of the prophecy by writing on the other horsemen.
So I am starting with the first horsemen in the blog post.
“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” – Revelation 6
Revelation 6, Jesus will showing John the vision of things to happen soon in the first century opened the seven seals of judgment. This was to begin a period of Tribulation period upon the land. When is the period of tribulation? Will it be the year 2019 or something still in the future?
For us to accept a present time or future period will be not see the bible through in complete narration.
Look at what Jesus told his disciple earlier before his ascension.
15 “So when YOU SEE standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—16 then let THOSE WHO ARE IN JUDEA FLEE TO THE MOUNTAINS. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the SABBATH. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I HAVE TOLD YOU ahead of time.
Note the capitalized words. It is very who the audience of the prophecy is for and hence the need for them to be equipped with the information that will be beneficial when those turbulent moments arose.
If it were our time, how would a Nigerian flee to the mountains? How would an American hope that it didn’t occur during Sabbath when he doesn’t observe it?
Mark the last word quoted “See, I HAVE TOLD YOU ahead of time”
Something was to unleashed upon the land of Israel as a form of judgment for rejecting their covenant partner and holding on to an obsolete system of worship was doomed to thrown away.
The book of Revelation is more like an expanded form of the prophecy found in Matthew 24 but in more prophetic language. Chapter gives you a rundown of how the judgment would take place.
The first four seals the lamb opens are the four horsemen, and each is released from heaven to usher in various judgments on the land translated as earth. Strong’s defines the Greek word the (ge) means contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application):–country, earth(-ly), ground, land, world.
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon also defines it “a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region”
In Matthew 27:45 you will see the word used in local application “over all the land unto the ninth hour.” This was when Jesus hung on the cross. The darkness was not all over the earth but that local region.
The White Horse
“And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Adam Maarschalk in his blog on Revelation 6 notes;
“The command “Come!” appears three more times, at the end of verses 3, 5, and 7. This command was not given to John four times, but to each of the characters mentioned in verses 2, 4, 5, and 8. We will notice, as each of the first four seals are opened, that Jesus is the One who opens them, but each of the four living creatures in turn calls forth some individual to execute judgment.”
The first of the four horsemen was given a crown and riding off in conquest. This horseman riding the white horse into battle is, also brought forth in Revelation 19:11-16. In Revelation 19:16 He is called the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” In both place this rider on the white horse is the Jesus Christ, time he appears in judgment theme and motif.
The fact that Jesus is depicted riding a horse while carrying a bow calls mirrors Habakkuk 3.
O LORD, were You displeased with the rivers,
Was Your anger against the rivers,
Was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
Your chariots of salvation?
9 Your bow was made quite ready;
Oaths were sworn over Your arrows. Selah
In Habakkuk 3 the Lord is represented coming on the clouds in judgment riding horses (v. 8) and carrying a bow (v. 9). This sight appeals to the Jewish mind as the presence of God when He rides on the clouds of heaven in the midst of the Glory Cloud (Psalm 18:14).
This horseman is said to be a “conqueror bent on conquest.” The Greek word translated conquest in v. 2 is the same word used in the letters to the seven churches translated overcoming and conquering (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Revelation 3:21 reads, “He who conquers, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My Throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on His Throne.”
Jesus is again revealed as a conqueror in Revelation 5:5: “The Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so as to open the Book.”
The saints were likewise expected to be on this conquest in the overthrow of that dark old age and system that enslaved people from true worship. Hence the promise of the saints sitting with him in his reign in the full manifestation of His kingdom.
This first seal judgment was fulfilled in early February 67 AD when Rome officially declared war on Israel, and Nero formally commissioned Vespasian as his general to lead the war to crush the Jewish rebellion. This took place 3.5 years before Jerusalem’s downfall in August 70 AD.
This was the essence; the declaration of the end of the age and that old world where darkness reigned. The Lord’s judgment began with the events that saw the countdown.
The following horsemen all show forth the results of this declaration which was the beginning of the tribulation period.
We are definitely not expecting this to happen in our time. This is rather a look back at how prophecy was fulfilled in proving the contents of the Bible and Jesus to be true and faithful.
See you in the next installment as we will examine further fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation 6.
Revelation Chapter 6 (Part 1) – Adam Maarschalk: September 3, 2009