HE WHITE HORSE AND THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SEAL
I read so many great commentaries on the Book of Revelation, and find that I agree with many things being said, but one thing that keeps bothering me is how the great majority of Bible scholars see the rider on the white horse of the first seal, as the anti-Christ. I feel that holding this view confuses the context of what is really happening in Rev.5 and 6, and throws off the true timing of when the seals are opened.
WHY THE RIDER ON THE WHITE HORSE IS NOT THE ANTICHRIST!!
First of all, Christ would not have to send the anti-Christ, into the world!!! Why would the anti-Christ have to go about conquering the world to begin with? According to the words of Jesus Christ, Satan is already the prince of this world (John 14:30)! Also 2 Corinthians 4:4 declares Satan to be the god of this world, Ephesians 2:2 declare him to be the prince of the powers of the air. So, the anti-Christ does not need to conquer the world that is already his!! The idea that the anti-Christ would have to conquer is based on the notion that man is basically good; that the nations are basically good. We all know that this is not true, nor ever found in the Word of God!!
The world already belongs to Satan, and it is Satan that Christ is reclaiming the world from, by opening the seals of the deed of earth!! So right off, this seems like the wrong interpretation.
Let’s look at some other misconceptions.
Revelation 6:1 says: 1 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. (6:1-2)
THE WHITE HORSE
White is, and always will be, a symbol of purity and righteousness throughout the Bible. All through the Bible, white has always been associated with the holiness and righteousness of the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. White was associated with the Transfiguration, Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus:At the Transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:2 Mark 9:3 Luke 9:29, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, and His face did shine as the Sun, and His raiment was WHITE as snow.
At the Resurrection of Jesus: Matthew 28:3 Mark 16:5 John 20:12, His countenance was like lightning and His raiment WHITE as snow.At the Ascension of Jesus: Acts 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in WHITE apparel.In the Book of Revelation White is used several times to describe events and clothing.Revelation 1:14 the Son of man’s hair is referred to as white like wool.Revelation 2:17, to him that overcometh will I give a white stone.
Revelation 4:4, four and twenty Elders were clothed in white raiment.Revelation 6:11 White robes were given to the martyrs.Revelation 7:9, White robes were given to those that were sealed.Revelation 7:14; White robes were given to those that come out of great tribulation.Revelation 14:14; Son of man sat upon a white cloud.Revelation 19:8; Bride was arrayed in white linen.Revelation 19:14; Armies of heaven followed on white horses.Revelation 20: 11; the Great White Throne Judgment.
All throughout the Bible the color white is symbolic of purity in relation to righteousness and holiness and is never used in connection with sin, corruption, evil or the devil!! The WORD of God NEVER attempts to deceive us in any way. Satan may portray himself as an angel of light, but the Bible calls him a serpent, a red dragon, and the father of lies. The Scriptures never portray Satan as an angel of light, but tells us he can betray us that way. In this regard, Scripture would never tell us that Satan, or the Anti-Christ would be riding a white horse!!
“and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest”.
The crown the rider wears is not that of an earthly kingdom. The Greek word for crown being used here is stephanos (4735), and denotes “the victor’s crown, the symbol of triumph in the games … a token of public honor for distinguished service” (VED). It is the same word used for the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. This crown is for the victory of Christ described in Rev. 5. The same Greek word appears in Rev. 2:10, where Jesus said, “Be faithful, even to the point of death and I will give you the crown of life.” The ten kings of the ten-horned beast in Rev. 13 do not wear victors’ crowns but diadems, earthly crowns.
The language used to describe the weapon that the Rider had is a bow. Through the wars of the Old Testament the bow was a common instrument that was used. It was not described as any of mankind’s weapons of this day and hour in which we are living. God promised Noah that He would never destroy the world by water anymore and His promise was sealed with the rainbow. In this regard the bow is an instrument of peace, and a spiritual sign, not a weapon of war. Genesis 9:13 “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.14. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.”
CONQUEROR BENT ON CONQUEST
Conquering, by New Testament standards, is defeating the devil by overcoming. Jesus conquered sin on the cross, and Revelations refers more than once to overcoming the beast and the number of his name. The conquering spirit is out to defeat sin and deliver victory to men for Jesus. Remember, there is a war in heaven and it is over the spirits of men.
SO WHO IS THE RIDER ON THE WHITE HORSE AND WHEN IS THIS SEAL OPENED?
I totally believe that the rider on the first horse is the HOLY SPIRIT, and Jesus opened this first seal as soon as He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father.
Chapter 5 of the book of Revelation describes a heaven which is before the Ascension of Christ to the right hand of His Father. God is on the Throne and is holding the book with the seven seals. (Rev.5:1). No one in heaven, or in the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, and this causes John to weep.
At this point, one of the elders tells John that the Lion of the tribe of Judah is worthy, and then Jesus shows up in heaven as a Lamb that has been slain. And the first thing, that Jesus does, is take the book out of the right hand of His Father. (Rev. 5:7) Therefore, the very first thing that Jesus does after He ascends to the Father is take the deed to the earth and start to open the seals.
He has promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, as soon as He arrives in heaven, and that is what He does. He opens the first seal and sends the Holy Spirit, and he descends on the disciples gathered in the upper room on the first Pentecost.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Acts 2:1-4 1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Jesus said, when He returned to His Father, He would send the Holy Spirit, as the Comforter to them. So we have seen Heaven without a savior, then Jesus arrives in heaven after conquering sin on the cross, then the first seal is opened and this sends a pure conqueror to the earth. The only way that man can overcome evil is being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and the only way to the Holy Spirit is through Christ and His sacrifice for us.
The White Horse and its rider, are the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised to send, and is the first thing, (other than taking the book from the hand of God), that He did when He got to heaven.
Revelation chapter 5 does not take place in the future. In the vision that John was being shown, Jesus had not yet arrived at the throne from earth. Rather than a description of the throne room scene after the future resurrection, transformation, and catching-up rapture event, this is a vision of the scene at God’s throne, just after the ascension of Jesus Christ, and just before he took his seat at the right hand of God.
This also helps explain who the saints are in Rev 5:9. As I have stated before in other posts, I believe them to be all the saints that were taken out of Paradise and ascended to heaven with Jesus at his ascension. They are the pre-Church saints and were taken out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation, (all the children of Abraham up to the first coming of Christ) . They are not the Church or the Bride.
All this makes perfect sense to me; I finally understand it all so much better!! It never made sense, nor felt true that the bride was in heaven without Christ being there, and it never made sense that Christ would send the anti-Christ to the earth!! I have also always believed that the seals have been opening all throughout history, and will not begin opening sometime in the future, after the Rapture. I believe the seals are the birth pangs, and not part of the Tribulation. Also, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit as soon as he ascended, and even instructed his disciples to stay in Jerusalem for Pentecost. The first seal and the rider on the White horse describes exactly what Christ promised, and exactly what He sent.
THE WHITE HORSE OF THE FIRST SEAL (Part 2)
The Lord is placing the importance of this issue upon my heart, and I feel compelled to share what I am finding out. This has been a wonderful experience for me because I am learning so much about the HOLY SPIRIT, and how it is the most crucial component needed, to make it into the Kingdom of God!!
You see, I have always, up until recently, accepted the idea of the White Horse rider is the Anti-Christ. The more I studied Rev. 4-7 about the rapture, the more it was put on my heart to look at the scenes in heaven, and what is happening in relation to the seals. Then researching what words were chosen to describe the First Horseman, and what they each meant, led me to understand that this is not the Anti-Christ.
Most believe that the seals line up with what Jesus tells His disciples in Matt. 24:5-8, and this seems very reasonable as it does describe the same events in the same order.
Mat 24:5 -8
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “
Yet, there is a missing link between Matthew and Revelation in regards to the Four Horsemen. Only in Matthew does Christ warn of deception and the spirit of the antichrist, not so in the summation of these horsemen in Rev.6:8:
“They, [the horsemen] were given POWER over a fourth of the earth to KILL BY SWORD, FAMINE AND PLAGUE, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
What happened to the White horse here…there is no mention of deceptions or a false Christ. This makes the first horse stand out as different from the others, and not part of the power given over a fourth of the earth!!
The first horse is not to be linked to the other three because it is not!! If the white horse represents false religion, civil strife or some military leader or action, it would be mentioned here WITH THE OTHER THREE HORSES! But, only SWORD, FAMINE AND PLAGUE, and beasts of the earth, are mentioned.
False religion and deception has certainly had POWER over the earth for centuries, before Christ was even born!! Why would Christ have to send this power to the earth that is already ruled by it??
In my first post, about the First Horse, I talked about the Crown very briefly, and would like to cover a bit more about it, and how it plays in as a major identifying factor of the Holy Spirit.
Now, if the white horse of Revelation 6:2 is part and parcel of the other three horses who were given POWER over a fourth of the earth (Rev. 6:2), then the rider of this horse would be wearing a “diadem” instead of a crown (stepha.nos)! Instead, we find this rider wearing the CROWN (STEPHA.NOS) “OF CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH.” Here are some of the bible passages that define this type of crown:I THESS. 2:19:For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown [stepha.nos] in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
II TIM. 4:8:“Now there is in store for me the crown [stepha.nos] of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
JAMES 1:12:“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown [stepha.nos] of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
REV. 4:4:“Surrounding the throne were 24 other thrones, and seated on them were 24 elders. They were dressed in WHITE and had crowns [stepha.nos] of gold on their heads.” With the same thought in mind, it seems obvious that if the white horse of Rev. 6:2 symbolizes false religion, civil strife or triumphant militarism, then the rider would be wearing the DIADEM (DI.ADEMA) OF POWER AND RULER-SHIP!
Also, the colors associated with the four horsemen — white, red, black, and pale — apply to the horses, not the riders. The colors represent the nature of the objectives to be accomplished, not the moral character of the individual riders. Therefore, the “white horseman” does not symbolize a “counterfeit Christ” — but if for some reason he did, hypothetically-speaking, then the remaining three horsemen would have to be designated as personified entities even more evil and destructive than the Antichrist.
The “bow” represents God’s Holy Word:
The poetic scriptural passage in Habakkuk 3:8-13 vividly portrays the Lord going forth throughout the earth, riding on horses of salvation, accompanied by saints, possessing the bow (“thy word”) for the purpose of salvation during a terrible period of wrath and trouble:
8 “Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? Was thine anger against the rivers? Was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst RIDE UPON THINE HORSES AND THY CHARIOTS OF SALVATION? “
9 “THY BOW was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, EVEN THY WORD. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.”
10 “The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.”
11 “THE SUN AND MOON STOOD STILL in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.”
12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation; thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed. (KJV)
The last phrase in Revelation 6:2, which is translated into English translations as ‘overcoming’, ‘that he might overcome’, and ‘conquering’ and ‘to conquer’ (KJV) is an interpretation of the Greek word ‘nikao’, which can mean to ‘conquer’, ‘overcome’, ‘prevail’, or ‘obtain victory’.
There is no reference in this text that the rider of the White Horse goes forth to make war or cause harm, because the rider is given a stepha.nos, which is laurel wreath to ware on his head, instead of a diadem, which is crown of authority. Therefore, it seems that the word (‘nikao’) has the meaning of a continuance of the thought of victory, as in an athletic event or some other type of situation in which one must win in order to be given the victor’s crown.
The apostle Paul often spoke of the process of overcoming as being analogous to a foot race, wherein there are only winners and losers. In speaking of his ministry of the gospel and how those who were called to partake of it should strive to control their lives in order to obtain an eternal victory, Paul says:”Do you not know that those running in a stadium indeed all run, but only one receives the prize? So run in such a way that you may obtain the prize”(1.Cor.9:24). Also see also Gal.2:2-5; Phil.2:16; 3:14; Heb.12:1.)
There are many scriptures that speak of the elect of God being given a crown of life as a reward for their overcoming the flesh and living a righteous life before the Father. There are also many warnings about losing one’s rewards (one’s crown) through neglect or sin. Therefore, it is likely that the crown of the rider of the white horse has something to do with Jesus Christ, who is the first person to obtain victor over the flesh. This crown is probably also associated with God’s children in their process of overcoming in order to obtain a crown of life.
It is important to point out that Christ is the one whom the Father has authorized to care for his earthly sons and to reward those who overcome the flesh with the crown of life. (Also see Jn.6:33-40; 10:27-30; 17:2.)
God sent us Jesus, and Jesus sent us the HOLY SPIRIT!! There is much more in the Bible to support the White horseman, of the first seal, as being the Holy Spirit, than there is to support him being the Antichrist!!! I used to believe as most do, but upon much Holy Spirit inspired research cannot come to this conclusion any longer.
I will continue with the importance of all this, and how it relates to the scenes in heaven, and what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart, personally, It is all about Pentecost, and the sending of the Holy Spirit, and this makes this issue a timely and important one.
THE CELEBRATION OF PENTECOST IN HEAVEN?
This part of my study is presented as an overview of the scenes in heaven described by John, in Revelation chapters 4 and 5, and how it relates to the opening of the seals in chapter 6.
The conclusion that I have come to has taken years to formulate, and seems like a pearl born out of the tribulation of not understanding these chapters of Revelation, and the truths that the Holy Spirit has been laying on my heart. I have always had trouble seeing the rapture taking place before Christ had ascended to heaven. When you read the verses, you have to wonder why Christ has to be located, and becomes worthy to open the seals.
I feel I have found the answer, at least for myself, in the discovery that the rider on the White horse of the first seal is the Holy Spirit. Once I understood that, and researched that possibility, everything else began to fall into place. Once I had been shown, in the Spirit, this possibility, the more it was put on my heart to share this. I have been consumed with studying the Holy Spirit and how all this relates to the Bride and the Seals and what is happening this time of year near Pentecost, and so many signs pointing to our departure. I was able to find one study that spoke about Pentecost in heaven, but, the author did not see the first seal rider as the Holy Spirit.
In truth, I have not found any studies that see it the way that I do; but, there are many good studies out there that see the white horse as other than the Antichrist. At this point, I am relying of the best source I have, the Holy Spirit, to show me the way. Therefore I will quote from only a small part of this study to explain how I see what is happening in heaven in these chapters of Revelation:
Inauguration of Christ’s Ministry in Revelation
Some scholars see the inauguration of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary in the throne scenes of Revelation 4 and 5. The scenes in a sense are a celebration of Pentecost in heaven, which results in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on earth. Christ, the Lamb that “had been slain” (Rev 5:6), is welcomed back to heaven by four living creatures, twenty-four elders, and myriads of angels who praise Him, saying: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:12). The immediate result of the Lamb’s sacrifice is intercession (Rev 5:8) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit represented by the “seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Rev 5:6).
In his book A Rebirth of Images: The Making of St. John’s Apocalypse, Austin Farrer sees in the vision of the throne (Rev 4-5) a description of the feast of Pentecost: “The Christian Pentecost which St. John describes took place in heaven, but had its effect on earth.
The Lamb, by virtue of the sevenfold Spirit which is his seven horns of strength, his seven eyes of knowledge, opened all revelation, and when the day of Pentecost was fully come, he poured it on his servants in prophetic Spirit.
The Pentecostal gift is constantly renewed, as in this ‘apocalypse of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to shew his servants what must quickly be, and which he signified by the message of his angel to his servant John.’ Yet the first Pentecost is not cast into the shade by such renewals, but kept all the more foremost in mind.”
This interpretation of the vision of God’s throne (Rev 4-5) as cast in the setting of the Feast of Pentecost suggests that at the time of John’s writing (about A. D. 90-100), the feast played a significant role in the liturgical life of the church, especially since the book of Revelation was used in the liturgy of the church. Farrer continues noting the connection between the imageries of Passover and Pentecost in the vision of the throne: “It is the Christ of the Passover, the paschal Lamb ‘standing as slaughtered,’ who by his sacrificial merit has attained to take the book and loose the seven seals thereof.
Back to the White Horse and its rider; Christ begins to open the seals of earth’s redemption, as soon as He ascends to the Father. This is not a future event!! He fulfilled the Work of He who sent Him (“ IT IS FINISHED!”) and now He is sending another (the HOLY SPIRIT COMFORTER) to enable His children to run the race and to claim the same victory over Hell and Death.
The LAW was sent at Pentecost, so that Christ could fulfill the Law!! The HOLY SPIRIT was sent at Pentecost; so that His followers could overcome the evil in the world, and share the ultimate victory that Christ made a way for us to share. It was the beginning of the AGE OF GRACE, and it will mark the ending of that AGE. It is the Age that Christ assured us that He would be with us until the end of it. And, the only way for Him to be with us is through the HOLY SPIRIT.
“Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come”. I looked, and saw, 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.” (Revelation 6: 1-2)
After the inauguration of the Lamb as the High Priest and the ascension to the throne, the Holy Spirit is sent at Pentecost to fulfill the covenant. Therefore, under the first seal, a great blessing occurred.
Jesus sent the conquering Archer, Who was decorated with honor and given a bow and a crown, the final piece that would complete the TRINITY. By sending the Holy Spirit He went out to conquer the world despite all the opposition. CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO OBTAIN THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BE BORN AGAIN!! BEING BORN AGAIN IS THE ONLY WAY TO WIN THE RACE!! Jesus already won the Race for us!!!
Jesus Breached the Wall. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, that you may overcome as He has overcome!
“For He Himself, is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,” (Ephesians 2: 13-14).
The northern and the southern kingdoms become one again. The Jews of Judah reunite with the Israelites that have been scattered to the four winds. All celebrations of Pentecost have been the foreshadowing of what Jesus did for us on the Cross. The fulfillment being, when Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to the disciples at the first Pentecost!!
TO HIS NAME IS ALL THE GLORY!!
JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!