I would like to show you some good reasons why the rider on the White Horse of Revelation 6, does not match up to being a description of the Antichrist, as quite a number of well-known teachers claim. Below is some important background information (in italics) for you to consider in the lead up to the opening of the first seal of the White Horse. If you wish to skip the background information please scroll down past the section in italics.
We will start from Revelation 4:1 – 5:2 – Paraphrased.
When John was called up through the open door into heaven (In the Spirit) he first saw the Father sitting on the throne, being worshiped by 24 elders. In his right hand he held a scroll. Then a voice from a mighty angel asked, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll“?
I think it is astonishing that Jesus was not in Heaven when John first arrived – in fact it states in Rev: 5:4 that Jesus was no where to be found! He was not on the earth, he was not under the earth and he definitely was not in heaven, because no one was found worthy ‘anywhere’, to open the scroll, and John wept bitterly because of this – which is really strange!
Here are some important facts to consider;
In Acts 7:55 when Steven was being stoned, he saw heaven opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. So how is it that when John first entered heaven that he did not immediately see Jesus standing at the right hand of God as Steven had?
Another important fact to take into account is that in Revelation 3:21, ‘just before’ John was invited up through the open door into heaven, Jesus’ message through John to the church of Laodicea reads, ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to ‘sit down with my on my throne’ as I also overcame and ‘sat down’ with my Father on His Throne.
Now a very pertinent question must be asked here. Just how is it that Jesus was NOT ‘sat down’ with His Father on the throne on John’s arrival in heaven, when only a few verses earlier the text declares that Jesus had already overcome and had ‘sat down’ with His Father?
I would like to ask you now. After considering the information provided above “was John taken ‘backward’ or ‘forward’ in time when transported up to Heaven in the Spirit?
Let’s re-examine the timeline again.
Revelation 5:4 reveals the utter hopelessness for the future of mankind, and this is graphically demonstrated by John’s distress and tears that no one could be found anywhere! Either ‘in heaven’, ‘on the earth’, or ‘under the earth’ to open the scroll, and as noted above; astonishingly EVEN JESUS is not found worthy to open the scroll at that point!
Two questions must be asked now
1) why couldn’t Jesus open the seals of the scroll?
2) and where was he likely to be?
I believe that the the text ‘strongly suggests’ in Revelation 5:4 that Jesus was not able to open the scroll because he was very likely on the cross bearing our sin; as it is ‘sin and death’ that negates ‘anyone’ from opening the seals! As we know sin however had no hold over Jesus because he was righteous and pure and that gave Him the power to break through into heaven and take His place to stand on the Throne of God as the Spotless Lamb because he triumphed over sin and death‘; so then the elders in the very next sentence of Revelation 5:5 could proclaim why He the ‘Lion of Judah’ was now able to open the scroll because He was slain and had risen to life, which brought redemption for people of all nations 2,000 years ago.
So what I take from this is that God starts from the very beginning in John’s Vision, taking him ‘back’ to Jesus’ death and resurrection and victorious ascension to the throne to ‘WHAT IS’ – Jesus is our SACRIFICED LAMB WHO ‘SAVED’ US.
In context now…. if Jesus has just arrived in heaven, what must happen next? What did He promise He would send once he entered Heaven? I will now present to you the arguments put forward by Bible Scholars and Teachers for the White Horse being a representation of the Antichrist and my evidence from Scripture, taking into consideration the timeline involved, which quite clearly describes the White Horse as the ‘Spirit of Christ’.
With that information outlining the sequence of events, let’s examine the attributes of the White Horse.
There are 29/Twenty Nine references altogether of the word ‘white’ in the New Testament (now that is a lot of mentions of white) and ‘all’ of the other 28 references MEAN ‘white’.
There are 19/Nineteen mentions in total of the word ‘white’ in the book of Revelation itself and ALL of the others in this book speak of the righteousness of The Father; The Lord Jesus; and the Saints. So with that evidence you would expect that the “White” Horse of Revelation 6 would also MEAN “White Righteous” as well, when taken at face value.
Teachers often say that the White Horse comes in ‘peace’ (and with diplomacy) ; but they do not present any concrete Scriptural backup for their interpretation of ‘peace’ and I can’t find a suitable Scripture reference myself which would suggest that the symbols associated with this horse, such as, “White, Bow, Crown” would represent peace. Even the dove (which is associated with ‘peace’) is not mentioned in the entire Bible as a ‘White’ Dove’?
Bible Teacher’s declare that the rider on the White Horse carries a warrior’s bow, however I discovered that it is ‘not the bow of a warrior’; this particular bow is only mentioned ‘once’ in all of scripture and the simple root word (from the Greek language) means ‘to bring forth’!
The word Bow is Strong’s G5115 (τίκτω), which is a verb meaning; to bring forth, bear, produce (fruit from the seed) as of a woman giving birth.
Isn’t it the Holy Spirit who brings new birth and who produces fruit in our lives?
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
Some other reasoning used for the White Horse being interpreted as the Antichrist is the fact that the Rider does not carry any arrows for his bow. This particular bow that the rider carries as mentioned above is not the bow of a warrior so it would be impossible for the rider to shoot any physical arrows with this bow.
Hebrew Scholars interpret the “bow” of Revelation 6:2 as representing a ‘New Covenant’ – ‘New Promise’ such as the Rain’bow’ of Genesis – which also fits perfectly with the promise of the Holy Spirit being sent directly after Jesus ascended the throne of God. (There is no hint of a 2,000 year gap between Jesus receiving honour and worship as the risen lamb and the opening of the seals)
Still others line up Matthew Chapter 24 with Revelation 6 and state outright that this White Horse is the Antichrist who comes to deceive people. I have trouble seeing ‘any symbol’ connected with this horse that would represent deception in any way? I believe that the Red Horse describes the actions of the Antichrist more precisely in that it presents a picture of the rising up against, and the persecution of the saints.
If you put the Red and Pale horses of Revelation 6 together you get persecution, the sword, famine and pestilence, which fits quite well with Matt 24.
The Stéphanos Crown (which is a victory crown or garland) that the rider is given is predominantly worn by Christ and the Saints! Here are a few examples for you.
1 Thessalonians 2:19 Crown of Rejoicing – (Garland of Rejoicing)
James 1:12 Crown of Life – (Garland of Life)
1 Peter 5:4 Crown of Glory – (Garland of Glory)
Revelation 2:10 Crown of Life – (Garland of Life)
Revelation 3:11 No man may take your Crown (Garland)
Numerous teachers often state emphatically that rider on the White Horse cannot be Christ because He wears ‘many diadēma (Strong’s G1238) golden kingly crowns’ in Revelation 19. They say that Jesus does not ever wear a stéphanos crown – but that he carries a sword instead. Jesus however is described as looking like the ‘Son of Man’ who sits on a white cloud with a Golden Stephanos Crown (Victory Crown) on His head to harvest the earth in Revelation 14:14. Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man another 85 times in the New Testament, determining that this verse is speaking of Jesus.
If you examine the previous chapters leading up to Revelation 6, you will see that each of the 7 churches are told to (nikaō) overcome, conquer, win the victory, (for these three words are used in the English language for the word nikaō in the Greek) just a few verses before the White Horse is sent out with its rider into all the earth; you find that Jesus “the Lion of Judah” had just overcame, conquered, won the victory over sin death and the grave; then He immediately begins to open the first seal to send out a White Horse to ‘overcome/conquer, and to continue to overcome/conquer – in righteousness on earth for that is where the horse is sent. There is a continuum of victory which is threaded right through from Revelation Chapter’s 1- 6 which most people have overlooked.
Bible Teachers often put a lot of emphasis on the fact that the rider is ‘given’ the crown. I would just like to say that the victory crown could not be ‘given – or passed on’ until Jesus had ‘won the victory’ over sin and death, so that the White Horse could be sent out into all the earth to bring victory in righteousness. It is logical to conclude that Jesus would send the one he promised He would send next, the one who is ‘like Him’, His Spirit who is “Victorious in Righteousness” through His people- (Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness).
If you put all the symbolism of the White Horse together at face value without adding or taking away from Scripture, accepting that White is White……..
You have a White Horse representing ‘Purity and Righteousness’ (which lines up with the other 18 references in the book of Revelation of the word ‘white’) whose rider ‘Brings Forth through the Bow’ – ‘Victory through the Crown’.
Had the words of Revelation 6:2 been “And he went out to “Overcome and Win the Victory” (nikaō), rather than conquer and to conquer, would people have jumped to the conclusion of a more sinister interpretation?
And what about the Black Horse?
Many say that it represents economic hardship and famine but is this correct?…
From Scripture I have learned that it is “The Horse of the Atonement, The Horse of the Harvest”.
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© D A Cleland