“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1-2.
The first horseman of the Apocalypse have caused more confusion and consternation among Bible critics than the other three horsemen combined!
The majority of Bible commentators are at least partially correct in determining the meaning of the red, black and pale horses which follow. The context of Revelation 6 interprets itself in regards to the final three horsemen’s identity. But the identity of the first horse is almost universally misunderstood because scholars have neglected the clarifying words of Christ the Revelator in Matt. 24: 4-5.
Many men using human interpretation have looked ahead to the 19th chapter of Revelation, to the description of the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ on a white horse. They have made the error of equating the white horse of Revelation 6 with the true Christ of chapter 19.
This basic misinterpretation appears in many forms. Some say the white horse of Rev. 6 represents the worldwide preaching of the Gospel, to “conquer” men’s minds. Some say it is an angel preparing the way for Christ. Some say it represents Christian governments conquering heathen nations in the name of Christ. Some say it is the church. Some say is represents “Elijah” preparing the way for Christ. Some say is represents the second coming, while others think it is a flashback to Christ’s first coming.
Nearly all commentators label the white horse rider as Jesus Christ, or some form of His Word on earth. But what does Christ Himself have to say about the white horse? Believe it or not, He prophesied that this very deception and misunderstanding would occur!
The very first world development Jesus Christ warns about is the advent of many false preachers, misleading and deceiving the many, not the few. This condition began immediately after Christ’s death and resurrection. The Apostle Paul warned that the spirit of iniquity was already working, even as he wrote.
In the first century true Christians witnessed a counterfeit Christianity creeping in, deceiving many. Such religious deception has now increased in intensity until the whole world has become deceived about the true message of Christ. By the time of the end, your Bible says that Satan the devil “deceived the entire world” (Rev. 12:9). There is no greater sign of the universal ignorance about God than the misunderstanding of who the first horseman of Revelation 6 actually represents.
It is true that the white horse represents Christ, but it is a false Christ. It is true that the first horseman represents a gospel and a church, but it is a false gospel and a false church – all in the name of Jesus Christ-- but in truth a deception and is a counterfeit. Jesus Christ says so Himself in Matthew 24, and the Apostle Paul amplified Christ’s words very plainly in II Cor. 11.
“I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted” they might be deceived. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15).
Your Bible identifies Satan’s minister as being professing Christians! They don’t appear Satanic, of course. They appear as “angels of light.” They look like the white horse of Christ’s return, but they are in truth a cleaver counterfeit of the true Jesus Christ.
Paul isn’t warning us against obviously false religious – such as pagan animism, Eastern occult sects, outright Satan worship, or bizarre semi-Christian cults – but rather against a subtle counterfeit. Counterfeits, like bogus money, attempt to be as close as possible to the original, yet with subtle flaws discernible only to experts. Counterfeit Christianity is the same. It may appear Biblical or Christ like, but subtle flaws exist throughout its beliefs. The horseman aboard the white horse in Rev. 6 is just such a subtle counterfeit.
If you will carefully compare Rev. 6:1-2 with Rev. 19:11-15, you will see that this first horseman is no more than a clever counterfeit Christ, one close enough to fool the majority, but not the “elect.”
Notice first that the returning Christ of Rev. 19 brandishes a sword out of His mouth, not a bow in his hand, as in Rev. 6. The sword is His Word the Bible. The Word of God is called, in symbol, “a two-edge sword” (Heb. 4:12). Christ comes reproving nations with His Word, while the counterfeit horseman of Rev. 6 comes with another source of power. Regardless of the precise meaning of the “bow,” it is clearly not the Word of God – the two-edge sword.
The time setting of Rev. 6 verses 19 also proves they could not be the same Christ. In fact, the two could hardly be further apart in the time flow of the book of Revelation. The white horse is the first seal opened, the very first event in the unfolding drama of the end times. Christ’s Second Coming on the other hand, ushers in the end of the drama. It is the last portion of the last seal, just prior to the 1,000 year reign of the saints of God on earth. The two events are years apart in fulfillment. They could hardly be the same horse and rider, being so widely separated.
The time sequence of Matthew 24 also reveals that counterfeit Christs appear first, while the Second Coming of Christ follows many other signposts, and is the last event to unfold. The general condition of false religion appeared first after Christ’s death (even before war, disease and famine in 70 A.D.), and has increased for over 1900 years. But remember that Christ’s prophetic words refer to both a long-term world condition and to an end-time specific event, at “the end of the age.”
All three of the remaining horsemen, however, have their basis in this world’s false “Christian” religions. So few understand this first horseman – since so few listen to Christ and His interpretation-- but it is the vital key to the understanding of the remainder of the Book of Revelation.
If you are still part of this world’s religious Babylon, this very Book of Revelation warns you to, “come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (the transgression of God’s law-- I John 3:4), and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). To escape the following three horsemen, come out of the first horseman: counterfeit Christianity – the root cause of the war, famine and pestilence prophesied to come on all mankind, during your lifetime.
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