Monday, January 10, 2011

The White Horseman of the Apocalypse

Four of the more mysterious figures in the Bible are the horsemen of the Apocalypse—Conquest, War, Famine and Death. I recently came across the white horseman, Conquest, yet again interpreted as the Antichrist, and decided to give it a long leisurely ponder.  As I was so doing I came across an act of David that settled my mind that the white horseman is in fact Jesus Christ, the son of David.

Among many notable 'Christians' who interpret the white horseman as THE Antichrist are Billy Graham and David Jeremiah. First of all, there is no specific mention anywhere in Scripture of a character 'The Antichrist.'  The word antichrist appears in the Bible five times and describes a spirit that infects a multitude of people, not a specific individual.

In recent years, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the apocalyptic Left Behind series, offer the same interpretation.  I forced my way through the first 100 pages of the first novel in their series and found it unreadable. The writing was atrocious, and there was not a single scriptural reference. I also slogged through the three film crapfest to see what was the hullabaloo. It was rubbish. That’s only my opinion, but I'm very honest and if I thought it was good I’d be the first and loudest voice singing its praises.

In Left Behind a character offers such a speculation, and in their nonfiction book ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES? LaHaye and Jenkins write: “The first seal introduces the initial member of the famous ‘four horsemen of the Apocalypse.’ The rider is said to have a bow but no arrows, indicating that although he is militarily strong, in the beginning he does his conquering by diplomacy. Since he wears a crown, we know he is successful in his efforts. And who is this rider on a white horse? There can be no doubt that it is the Antichrist, who through deceit and clever maneuvering will bring a false peace to the world. But that peace will not last.”

That is just plain sloppy prophetic interpretation; they twisted it to suit their story. Here is the verse, Revelation 6:2: 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.

The scripture clearly states that the crown was given to him, not that he obtained it by force of a military victory; and that after receiving it where crowns are received, on the head, he went forth conquering.

Yet the white horseman as the Antichrist remains a common belief among many contemporary Christians. Go online and watch some end times/antichrist documentaries, and read in a few books, and you will see over and over the white horseman interpreted to be the Antichrist despite the fact that Jesus Christ later appears in Revelation, in heaven, upon a white horse: Revelation 19:11-12 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns.

Their flawed thinking goes that because the first horseman has a single crown and a bow, while Jesus Christ has many crowns upon his head, they are two different entities. But to this student of scripture it seems otherwise, that the white horseman is Jesus Christ. First of all, since white is used throughout the Bible to symbolize purity, holiness, righteousness and good, why would a prince of Satan be portrayed riding a white horse? And if God sent forth a horseman upon the earth to conquer, who would he conquer but the kings of the earth? And when you defeat a king what is the ultimate gesture of subjugation? you seize his crown.

And that is where that single act of David inspired my understanding.  After conquering Rabbah of the Ammonites, he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set upon David's head. 2 Samuel 12:30

 And so it seems to me the explanation is that Christ was given one crown when coronated the king of kings and sent forth upon the earth, and after conquering all the kings of this world he appears in heaven bearing their crowns.

Further, in between the sending forth of the first horseman in Revelation 6 and the appearance of Christ on a white horse in heaven in Revelation 19 there is this scripture, which fits the interpretation of Christ on the white horse conquering: And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.  Revelation 11:15.

But decide for yourself: you know what I think.

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