Behold, A Red Horse!
by: Darrell G. Young
The opening of the first of the seven seals of judgement witnessed the emergence on the world stage of the white horse with its rider symbolizing a human false peace crafter. In rapid succession, there follows immediately thereafter a red horse with another rider, a rider wielding a great sword.
Eschatological writers and theologians that adopt the position of postulating that the identity of the rider of the white horse is Jesus Christ must logically continue through that position to the opening of the second seal and propose that the red horse rider also is somehow connected with Jesus. The position of this theological theorem regarding the red horse is that the rider of the red horse, shown being given a sword depicts Jesus going forth to conquer the world, as previously indicated with the white horse rider. The sword that the red horse rider carries is suggested to be simply a symbol of the Holy Word of God, and the power that it carries throughout the Church Age. But in reality there are three major problems with this eschatological perspective.
a.) It is inconsistent with the complete record of the prophetic word in both the Old and New Testaments, and the providential design for the climax of this present age.
b.) Christ’s own words about this era instructed us to anticipate the dramatic appearance of a False Christ in the Last Days, and to avoid being deceived by him.
(Matthew 24:4-5 Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.) (Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.)
c.) It is also inconsistent with the message of the Gospel to suggest that Jesus came to take peace from the earth, and to compel men to kill one another.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this verse is structured to emphatically imply that the intended symbolism represented by the depiction of the sword-bearing rider is that the purpose of the horseman is to foment war and destruction. The sword that is shown in the red horse rider’s hand has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Gospel of Christ. This sword is a symbol of the constant plague of war that is produced through the false peace efforts of mankind. Power was “given” unto this horseman for the express purpose of taking peace away from the earth and to cause the nations to become engaged in warfare. The word “take” as utilized in this verse is the word lambano, which means to “seize or remove.” The phrasing, “power was given” translates from the Greek word “didomi,” which simply means to bestow, deliver, or grant. Thus the verse indicates that the Red Horse rider was granted direct permission and empowered with the capacity to take away the pretense of peace in the world that was manufactured by the white horse-rider. The tandem of the four horses as presented in this Apocalyptic scenario for the Last Days is that the didomi capability was conveyed unto the red horse rider through the authority and powers held by the white horse rider, or the Antichrist himself. Revelation chapter thirteen and verse four would seem to indicate that the Antichrist will be able to solicit absolute world wide worship for himself because of his strategic geo-political capabilities in waging successful wars against all perceived enemies.
Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Two White Horse Riders Are Converging
The future Antichrist of the Tribulation era will be strategically empowered by the ten kings of the same era, (Revelation 17:12) and although they in fact precede him, they will actually help to solidify his universal power-base, and enable him to utilize his skills of statecraft/diplomacy coupled with military might to coerce the entire world into submission. He will initially be raised up to a lofty world stature by being perceived as a statesman for peace, but in actuality will have benefited mightily by the swords of the ten kings. Thus the reason that we find the question posed in Revelation 17:12; Who is able to make war with him? A similar but more poignant question is posed of the real Christ in Revelation 6:17: (For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?) These two white horse riders are slated to meet one day, and their Red Horse/war capabilities will be matched against one another! Who can make war with the Antichrist? Only Jesus Christ can defeat this Satanically empowered evil monster! (he receives his power from the great Red dragon) Who can stand the wrath of the Lamb? Nobody, and certainly not the armies of the Antichrist.
The White-Red Horse Riders of the Apocalypse
This duo of riders are working to bring the whole world into a universal system of geo-political and inter-religious union that will catapult the Antichrist, although for only a brief moment in time, to a world throne in the city of Jerusalem. This has been Satan’s scheme from time immemorial. The Four Horses and four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are prophetic paradigms for the drama of mankind’s long history of inclusion in the great Luciferic conspiracy, a drama that will play out its final cycle during the Day of the Lord. Daniel referred to this historic event as the “abomination of desolation.” Jesus himself alluded to this event (Matthew 24:15) and warned the Jews to flee the city when they saw this take place, for it would mark the beginning of Great Tribulation. Through the skill of peace-craft and the might of the sword, the Antichrist will have staked out his hour of presentation. But the Bible indicates that even though the Antichrist will subdue most of the world that his scheme will only result in the onslaughts of the black and pale horses which bring forth famine, pestilence and death. The Empire of the Antichrist as prophesied by Daniel will not “cleave” together, and thus the armies of the world will march to Israel for a climactic clash with the armies of the returning King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The White-Red Horse Riders at Armageddon
The white and red horse rider’s prophetic paradigm can be also applied to portrayal of the coming of the Jesus Christ. It isn’t generally acknowledged in many circles, but the truth is that Jesus Christ is coming to “make war,” (polemeo) against all the forces on earth, (Antichrist) and in the air, (Satan, fallen angels, demons, etc) that are positioned against his right to reign in Jerusalem. The big difference between the white horse rider in Revelation 19 and the one in Revelation 6 is that the white horseman (Jesus) in chapter nineteen comes to bring everlasting peace and righteousness while the Apocalyptic horsemen bring death and destruction.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Jesus informed the Disciples that the world historically would continue to reel from the scourge of war and its festering loathsome aftermath of problems and that many mini-apocalyptic type cycles of peace-war-famine-death would prevail right up to the very end. Wars have plagued mankind throughout history, but in the Last Days, mans natural propensity to seek a structure of universal peace apart from the peace of God will cause the nations to become entangled in a supernatural web of conflict. That supernatural war is presently ongoing in the invisible world and it will soon explode into its final context on the visible landscape of the earth with an unimaginable ferocity when Satan is cast out of Heaven. Satan is the architect and inventor of war, and he has fostered an environment for war and conspiracy for warfare ever since he masterminded the first rebellion in Heaven sometime soon after the week of Creation.
Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
In the Bible, the horse represents the symbol of power and war. Even secular history portrays the horse as an emblem of warfare. (‘The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. Proverbs 21:31). In Zechariah 10:3, the prophet says that God has providentially made the house of Judah ‘as his goodly horse in the battle’; that is, he has made them a victorious war-horse among the nations of this world. The events displayed panoramically by the apocalyptic horsemen appear to follow a historic pattern of events, each one being the results brought on by the previous horseman. Famine follows war and death then follows both famine and war. The red color of the war-horse may also imply that the inspiration for all of this wickedness lies in the Great Red Dragon, himself. Also, red has come to personify the imperial powers of Emperors, dictatorships, and monarchies. Secondly, and ironically the sword has long been the symbol of Islam, the ideal radical instrument for fomenting political unrest in the Middle East and throughout the modern world. But in the end analysis, God has foreordained and used his prophets to announce that it will be through the horse (lion) of Judah, that the white horse rider of Revelation 19 will come to make war on the armies of the Great RED Dragon! The prophet Jeremiah conveys that historic event in the following manner.
The 20th century was the bloodiest in history. In World War I, over 63,000,000 men were mobilized and at least 8,500,000 killed. In World War II, the total mobilized was about 107,000,000. (The 21st century sees mankind at the zenith of his military capabilities and equipped with enough technology for total world destruction. Furthermore, today an intercontinental ballistic missile can reach anywhere in the world in less time than it takes to read this news journal; from a satellite orbit, it is only a matter of a few minutes. (Such an exchange seems to be hinted at in Ezekiel 38:22 and 39:6.) Thus our world stands on the threshold of seeing the Red Horse Rider come riding forth. In view of that very disturbing fact, the world is searching diligently for a White Horse Rider who can bring about a semblance of peace, and ironically a process of peace that can construct a New Middle East.
Our present geopolitical-military horizon is a virtual red-horse caldron waiting to boil over. Virtually every nation in the Middle East and every superpower around the world continue to arm themselves for yet another deadly round of confrontations centering on Israel. And it will come one day, sooner or later. The Armageddon Red horse is biting at the bit. But beyond that impending confrontation there looms the reality of the man Zechariah saw riding upon another Red Horse. This red horse rider dismounted for a respite, and took up a temporary position beneath some myrtle trees.
Zechariah 1:8-14 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Who is this mysterious man who dismounted from his Red Horse and stood among the myrtle trees? It is the Son of man, Jesus Christ himself and Israel's long awaited Messiah. He dismounted to symbolize the fact that he was cut-off for that short time while Israel was dispersed to the valley, or bottom. The man among the myrtle trees suddenly appears back atop a red horse in the midst of the time of the nations, during the middle of the night on the Great Day of the Lord! Behind the man among the myrtle trees we are shown the mighty heavenly hosts of God. The angels are in view mounted on the red, speckled and white horses and convey to us that over the visible armies of this world is an invisible host of God, which is much mightier than the armies of Satan and his Antichrist: (And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (II Kings 6:16, Revelation 12:7-9).
Yes, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that is depicted in Revelation 19 was also shown to Zechariah. He is preparing to wage war against the armies of the Great Red Dragon. Jesus was shown standing among the myrtle trees because he is awaiting the appointed time for Israel to be re-gathered out of the low places and for the time when the city of Jerusalem would become the object of his great indignation! The lord is extremely jealous over Jerusalem.
We are today literally standing on the very threshold of the prophesied events that were depicted by The Revelator concerning the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
Darrell G. Young