Revelation blog 9 – Riders of the Red, Pale, and Black Horses
In blog number 8, John’s vision moved from heaven to earth as the first rider on a white horse entered his vision scope. I believe with the arrival of the four horsemen, what John witnesses includes scenes on earth. The horseman with the earthly crown (again blog 8) was given power to conquer men on our planet, not in heaven. As I stated earlier, most consider the arrival of the white horse and his rider to be the entrance of the antichrist. In Daniel 9:27, the first three and a half years of what the Bible calls The Great Tribulation, are years of prosperity as a world leader is given power to seduce the nations into believing he has the authority to rule and reign nations. The crowned rider on the white horse could be that guy–the antichrist.
The first three and a half years of The Great Tribulation are a time of false hope in the world. I find it interesting that as our world edges toward hopelessness (famines, pestilence, wars and rumors of wars), as prophecies from Ezekiel 38 and 39 line up globally. Could we see a powerful and hope-inducing leader take the stage soon?
If you’ve read all of these Revelation blogs, you know that I lean toward the idea that the church is raptured before the The Great Tribulation. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul tells us that we see as in a mirror dimly (without a clear view) and so the timing of some prophecies are unclear and will remain so. But because we are called to be ever watchful (Mark 13:33), should the rapture not take place until sometime during these first peaceful, three and a half years, we should take great heed. Time and again, Christ warned that believers can fall prey to deceptive teachers and false Messiahs.
After the Peace
Getting back to what John witnesses in heaven, another seal is broken and another horse appears. This horse is red and it’s rider is granted to take this false peace (under the false Messiah) from the earth. The short time of peace earth’s inhabitants enjoyed will come to an end.
After Christ breaks the third seal, a black horse takes to the earth and his rider holds a pair of scales. As this rider moves into the human atmosphere, a voice comes from among the living creatures and this voice announces economic woes in the form of hyperinflation.
As the fourth seal is broken by the Lamb, a fourth and pale horse take to man’s habitations. This rider of the ashen horse is named Death and Hades follows him. And this rider, like the others, is given authority over a fourth of the earth to kill with the sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beast.
There’s much to chew on here. The riders and their purposes are mind blowing, but when we look with the eyes of faith instead of fear, there are biblical truths to hang onto.
I believe it is important to note that as Christ the slain Lamb (the only one worthy) breaks each of the first four seals, each of the four living creatures (from Revelation blog number 6) calls one of the riders to “come.” The riders, whose purposes are likely fashioned in the pits of hell, cannot affect the things of earth without God’s holy permission. We know from Scripture our Creator uses all things (even the horrific) to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Without doubt, hesitation, or fear, we can find peace in the hell that is about to be unleashed upon mankind because, ultimately, those who love Christ will be redeemed for His glory.
This is what hope is all about.
Most of the imagery here is disturbing and it is easy to focus on the wrath of the horsemen. But there’s insight to be gained—insight purposefully provided by our loving Maker. He’s pulled back the veil, as it were, or lightened the glass darkly so we can see into the mysteries of His work. Considering that the horsemen and their steeds are allowed into humanity one at a time, we’re given an important timing reveal. Whether we’re raptured and watching events from heaven, or still on the ground when the first rider takes center stage, we’ll know that soon after this leader has captivated the world, more war will come, the economy will crash, and death and destruction will soon follow. There will be no guessing. No speculation. From the false peace of the faux world leader, life on earth will fall apart, one catastrophe after another.
And the order of events is written in the Lamb’s book.
I take great comfort in the truth that God reveals His secrets and His future to His children. Even though we will likely suffer hardships prior to this possible antichrist coming to power, we know God has planned the end from the beginning.
When feeling anxious about where our world is headed and what could be around a quick corner, I skip ahead to Revelation 20 where we’re told Satan is bound for a thousand years and believers reign with Christ in a time of perfect peace and beauty. This is what we are headed for—the original picture of man subduing earth from the Garden of Eden. Our god-man Christ will be the One to usher in a perfect government in an unspoiled world.
But to get there … there are spiritual principalities and evil dominions to overcome.
We’ll look into Revelation blog 10 in a few weeks. Until then, I pray you find peace in knowing God’s plans will always be accomplished, and we who overcome shall be forever with Him.
He will not leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
If I perish, I perish,
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