Revelation 6:1–4 (NKJV)
After speaking to the seven churches of Asia Minor, and describing the scene in the level of heaven where the throne of God sits, and then describing the Lamb of God taking the scrolls to open the seals, the revelation moves to a discussion of the individual seals being broken and the resulting actions accompanying their opening.
1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 2 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.Revelation 6:1-2
“Many see the rider on the white horse as the symbol of international power politics in the form of military conquest. Some others see the white horse rider as Christ continuing to move in triumph through His church during the throes of the following events, conquering through tribulation and to conquer ultimately over all (19:11—see 19:1–16).Jack W. Hayford et al., eds., New Spirit-Filled Life Bible: Notes (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002), 1825.
DISPENSATIONAL INTERPRETATION: Dispensationalists view v. 1 as the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the white horse rider (v. 2) as a counterfeit christ riding to win the world’s adulation and submission (see Dan. 7:7).”
As I said before, there are many expressed interpretations to all of the images and visions within the book of Revelation. In this case, the white horse and its rider are identified as everyone from Jesus Christ himself to the antichrist. While it is possible that the rider of the white horse is an image of Christ, it is unlikely, because Jesus is the One opening the seals. It would not seem logical that He would be seen in two different places within the scroll sequence. The idea of the false christ, or antichrist, seems logical with the military and political imagery, and the false goodness embodied in the antichrist. If we assume this to be the case, this could make the beginning of the tribulation period of seven years, signalling the beginning of the reign of the antichrist. The conquering king with a crown could be the antichrist taking control over the world economy and the government of a world-wide conglomerate of nations.
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.Revelation 6:3-4
The opening of the second seal revealed another horse, fiery red in color. The rider was authorized to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another. In this era, civil wars and rebellion leading to strife were seen. The seals do not necessarily go in chronological order, but this seems to be a sign that conflict will still take place, even after the world leader brings nations together, promising peace.It is possible that the sword this rider possessed was a symbol of imperial power, or the weapon of execution. Those who refuse to submit to the political and economic system of the antichrist would be executed. This could be a forewarning of such actions and danger coming to the world. These two seals produce the warning and prophecy of two of the many players in the tribulation period, the antichrist and the arbiter of execution. These foreboding figures make for a powerful image of what is to come at the beginning of the period.
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