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!” 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. (Revelation 6:1-2 NIV)
Ever notice how some responses purposely deceive? Evasive answers surface in investigations because the truth incriminates. Since deception is meant to throw us off the trail, the answer will sound believable, but is it truthful? Once untruths happen in our church pulpit, we should question everything we have heard.
The rider in the important Revelation 6:1-2 passage (above) is an example. Many Christian teachers have said this is Jesus on the white horse. The illustration at the top is entitled “Jesus on White Horse with Bow and Arrow.” “Well it could be,” we say. “Western good guys, like the Lone Ranger and Zorro, rode white horses, so it fits a stereotype.”
“Is it Jesus?” This is a serious question with huge implications. Is stating “Jesus rides out” in Revelation 6:1-2 a desperate attempt to veil the rider’s true identity? Believing it is Christ can be only for one reason: Because we want to!
Utilize the “Major Rules of Bible Interpretation” to learn the facts. Is it “Jesus” because of his horse’s similarity with that of Revelation 19:11-16? Examine and compare. What does the rider in Revelation 19 have that the other is missing? Absent in Revelation 6:1-2 are crowns, many in fact, and eyes that blaze like fire. In 19:11-16, we have names signifying he is the glorified Christ. There are different weapons: the sharp, two-edged sword from Jesus’ mouth versus a bow.
“Is rider one Jesus?” The context of Revelation 6 shows four riders, not just one, and woes on the earth with each opened seal. Jesus does not fit the immediate context.
To resolve seeming conflicts, we gather all relevant Scriptures, then let the evidence speak for itself.
Imagine you have reviewed the above. Teaching on our subject is “an expert.” He confidently declares the Revelation 6:1-2 rider is Jesus. You raise your hand.
Teacher: “I’m sorry, I am lecturing. I do not take questions during my lectures.”
Student: “Excuse me, but this is a point of clarification. I want to be sure I understand what you just said.”
Teacher: “I thought I was quite clear. What don’t you get?”
Student: “From Chapter 5, we agreed that Jesus is the Lamb of God. Isn’t that correct?
Teacher: “Yes, but…”
Student: “In Chapter 6 the Lamb opens the first seal, and out rides the one you say is “Jesus.” Correct?”
Teacher: “That’s, uh-er, but…
Student: “Then, in 6:3, it reads, ‘When the Lamb opened the second seal…’ Please help me see how ‘Jesus the Lamb’ can open seven seals and ‘Jesus the rider’ be out conquering at the same time?”
Teacher: “What’s your name? See me after class.”
There is no substitute for common sense. Check the references in Matthew 24:4-5, 10, 22-26, and 2nd Thessalonians 2:9. Ask “who” might be behind the confusion about identities, then we will know the “why”.
Put Scriptures together and we see why those with a false message of “peace and safety” (1st Thessalonian 5:3) would like Christ’s followers misled. Any questions?