The First Seal The White Horse The Rise of Antichrist and Conquest
The First Seal – The White Horse
The Rise of Antichrist and Conquest
“1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 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.”
In the First Seal John sees 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.” First of all, we know this is not Jesus. Jesus may arrive riding on a white horse but He fights with the sword of his mouth which is the Word of God. The timing is all wrong as well. Jesus rides in on the white horse in judgment at the battle of Armageddon to conclude bowls of wrath and the end of the age, while the first seal rider shows up before all of this. Additionally the rider on the white horse carries a bow. So we can rule this out as a reference to Christ.
Some of the simplest imagery and symbolism in scripture can give us amazing revelation. In Ephesians 6 when we are told to put on the armor, one of the pieces of armor is a shield which is used to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. This is a spiritual reference to Satan’s attacks on believers.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
It seems apparent from this imagery that Satan “the evil one” (the rider on the white horse) holds a bow. We all know that a bow shoots arrows. So the reference is certainly to a satanic type of figure and the bow is an offensive weapon with which to engage in war and conquest.
He is also given a crown which shows that this rider will have leadership as a king. The verb here is “given”, which implies that someone else gave the crown to him. Who gives him the crown? It does not say here, but it must be God who allows it. God is the one who appoints the rulers and powers of the land and uses them according to His purpose and will.
The rider on the white horse goes out conquering and to conquer. Who is he to conquer? The antichrist known as the beast is also “given” authority for only forty-two months or three and a half years to make war against the saints and to conquer them. Let’s keep reading and put these scriptures together about who the rider on the white horse conquers and his appointed times of authority.
“5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.”
Daniel 7:25 puts this authority another way; speaking of the king that will come out of the beast and the ten kings.
“25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be ‘handed over’ to him for a time, times and half a time.”
The key words here are “a time, times and half a time.” This is another way of saying three and a half years or forty-two months. Antichrist is also given authority, which would be the same as being “handed over”.
The classic interpretation of the first seal is that this is the antichrist, a literal physical human empowered or possessed by the spirit of Satan, but not literally riding in on a horse with a bow. He is the king, or small horn, that comes out of the ten kings or ten horns of the beast in Daniel 7.
We can understand that the antichrist king will conquer because he is “given” authority for forty-two months. Given that antichrist’s authority only lasts forty two months and he is revealed at the mid-point of the seven years, we have a basis for considering that the seven seals may not even begin until antichrist officially begins his short reign of 1260 days (or a time, times, and half a time).
It is possible that antichrist’s conquering could begin when he first rises to power by the confirmation of the covenant for seven years and as he begins to subdue three of the ten kings (ten horns of the beast), However, we cannot be dogmatic on this point.
The question we must ask to relate all these scriptures to one another is; who does antichrist conquer? The First Seal does not tell us who the rider intends to conquer, but having connected that the white horse rider and antichrist are one in the same and that he is “given authority”, we learn who he conquers in Revelation 13:7-8.
“7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”
Antichrist will conquer not only the saints but all the inhabitants of the earth. Whether by force or by choice the people of earth will be ruled by the antichrist king for forty-two months. This period of forty-two months of authority “given” to antichrist will prove to be very important to a detailed understanding of the last days.
Nowhere in scripture do we find that antichrist reigns the entire seven years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. The beginning of his God-given authority will start with the second half of this seven year period. He will be going forth to conquer for forty two months beginning when his short duration of authority is appointed by God at the midpoint of the Seventieth Week of Daniel.
In addition to “conquering” authority in the first seal, the lawless one is given authority and power in the second, third and fourth seals, to kill by means of sword, famine and pestilence.
These seals and a large portion of the book of Revelation are simply parenthetical details about what transpires during this 42 month period of affliction.