THE TWO RIDERS OF REVELATION
By Rev. Adauto Rezende
Concerning the meaning of biblical prophecies, many theological misunderstandings and abuses on the subject have caused skepticism to many believers and mockery of unbelievers. However, no matter what people's opinion, the word of God will be fulfilled. His foresight of future events was written by holy men and, by divine inspiration.
Many prophetic events have already happened during human history; some are happening now, and still others will occur at some point in the future.
In Daniel's eschatological writings, in the Old Testament and in Revelation, in the New Testament, both books provide substantial details about humanity in the days before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Studying it is a fascinating adventure. We will discover that God has not abandoned us uninformed. He provided a great deal of data in His Word; therefore, we can understand the beginning and the end of civilization.
It is undeniable that thousands of volumes and literature had been published and commented on the writings of Daniel and Revelation. Some of them were done with excellence and, faithful to biblical exegesis, while many others had distorted the Scriptures, full of self-deception and theological absurdities. Even in these pluralities of commentators, some true and, unfortunately, others false, I believe that it is essential for Christians to understand Bible prophecy. And why am I saying this?
1. We can discern false teachers and false doctrines
2. We are not discouraged; on the contrary, we build our faith
3. We can trust the inerrancy of Scripture
4. We can have peace by understanding God's promises to his people
In this study, my goal is to look at John's disclosures of end-time prophetic events, focusing on John’s visions of two white horses and their horsemen, which beginning in chapter six of Revelation and, ending on chapter twenty. These two persons will unfold the last chapters of human history that will lead up to the sabbatical millennium on this planet. I am going to connect the related Scriptures and place them in a chronological format, and, hoping to give some explanations about the questions you may have on the subject. Wishing to contribute in some way, to add to the knowledge that you may already have on the subject.
Revelation has many sevens1:
John saw in his vision of sevens, a scroll sealed with seven seals. It seemed that the scroll was a mysterious door that needed someone to unlock it and to disclose the missing revelations to finish the last chapter of God’s book. The prophet Amos said: “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3: 7. The last prophet, in this case, was John, the apostle. The message is sealed, a voice is heard saying: “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.” Revelation 5: 2-3.
History could not be unfolded, because there was no man capable to do it. I know my past (the most important events) and my present; however, my future on this planet I know nothing about it. There was a voice in heaven shouting and calling anyone to unveil God’s plans. Enoch, a man who was translated to heaven, Noah, Abraham, David, Peter, Mary, and neither John was able to open it. The apostle immediately reaction was: “I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.” Rev. 5: 4. Why did John weep? I think it is a reasonable question to ask, and the Scriptures had not told us. I could imagine that John recognized the important implications undisclosed about humanity inside of it. Suddenly, his deep pain and anguish were relieved after he had heard a voice speaking: “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne,” Revelation 5: 5-6
What an amazing moment. The same John, whom decades before, saw Jesus crucified on Calvary, and heard from the cross the Lord’s voice saying “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19: 27. He also described the last words of Jesus on the cross: “It is finished.” John 19: 20 The Messiah’s mission was over. The Lamb of God who removed the sins of the world paid the penalty for sinners. This same Christ, perfect and undefiled, the second Adam who came down from heaven should be the one who would “reveal” the end of all things. He had said to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” Matthew 28: 18 He said: “ I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1: 20
“These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Revelation 3: 7. He has all authority in heaven and on earth, He has different keys to open and to close doors, including the key to open and to unfold the closing events on earth and our new beginning in eternity.
As Jesus holds the scroll, heaven’s tribunal acknowledged the reasons the Son of Man could unlock the scroll: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 5: 9-10
The next scene was millions of heavenly beings worshipping Jesus Christ and shouting like a thundering: “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5: 11-12
The old apostle, after witnessing the visions, will watch the unknown scroll being disclosed: “I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals.”
“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.”6: 1-2
The first two verses present a horseman on a white horse. It is very significant the horse’s color, for in chapter nineteen, Christ will come on a white horse. It is also mentioned that he will come to conquer; Christ will come to conquer and to reign on earth (Daniel chapter 2). This character is a counterfeit Christ. He looks like Christ, however, with him will come: wars, famine, pestilences and destruction. When the true Christ, the Prince of Peace comes to reign on earth justice and peace will abound on it. There is another very important fact in the passage; it is a divine call for this horseman to start his mission: “COME.”
To whom is the summons “Come” addressed? Who is bidden to come? If it was addressed to John, we can understand why some copyist should add the words “and see.” But, are they addressed to the apostle? It seems difficult to see the purpose of such a command. He had been near already. He had seen the Lamb opening the seal. I rather think that it is the God’s time to unfold His purpose to this world. He is God! He is the one who controls time and events. The Bible is full of examples of God’s sovereignty. Satan can’t act as he pleases. He must wait for God’s consent. Only when the Lord says: “Come”, he would be free to deceive the ones who delight in evil and hate justice, those who made their own gods, despising the Creator, the Lord God Almighty. Let’s read some Scriptures to clarify the point:
The first illustration is of the Babylonian king, whom, after healed of insanity ─ which was part of a divine disciplinary action to humble him, the Monarch finally understood God’s universal sovereignty. Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan king proclaimed one of the great confessions of the Scriptures:
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” Daniel 4: 34-35
The second example is when Jesus stated before his executioners, that all events were happening with the total divine decree. Satan was working to the murder of our Lord by God’s permission:
Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour when darkness reigns." Luke 22: 53
The third, I took from the book of Revelation. It shows the release of four fallen angels, at a precisely predetermined time and, by the Lord's consent, these creatures will wipe out millions on earth during the Great Tribulation:
“The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.” Revelation 9: 13-15
In the following chapters, we will search in the Scriptures to find answers to the next questions on this person in John’s vision concerning the last days:
Who is he?
What are his goals?
How will he carry it out?
How long will his kingdom last?
What will be his ending?
To God be all the glory!
1 - The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 7
Seven is one of the greatest power numbers in Judaism, representing Creation, good fortune, and blessing. A Hebrew word for luck, gad, equals seven in Gematria Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God's creation of all things.