Have you ever waved at someone in the street or in the supermarket or mall before realising, oh, wait, it’s not them? Then you either just go with it and pretend you know them or do some weird back-of-the-head rub as you put down your previously extended waving hand…I did it a while back with one of the friendly and helpful staff where we meet as a church on Fridays. I was driving and saw the car this guy usually drives (forgetting he was on holiday), beeped, waved, remembered, continued waving until his car had gone, and hoped I didn’t look too stupid (my hopes are not high).
Revelation 6 brings an interesting crossroads for us now. You can often tell how much people really know about the Bible, specifically Revelation, by who they see the first rider being (now you’re wondering if you have the right person in mind, aren’t you?!).
Remember the scroll contains (possibly) God’s will and plan of redemption for humanity, the big picture, and only Jesus is worthy to open it and look inside. Before that takes place, the seven seals must be opened, each bringing something for us to read and think about. The first four seals bring horsemen, each a different colour, each representative of something different.
So, the first horsemen…rides a white horse. Given a crown. Came conquering, and to conquer.
Is this Jesus? Or is this not?
1 Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder,
2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
If we are swayed by Hollywood and we have not really read much of Revelation before, we may be tempted to think this is Jesus. White horse, that’s Jesus, right? Jesus does come riding a white horse in chapter 19, have a look how He is described…
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
So here in chapter six, no, this is not Jesus. This one has a bow, not a sword. He is a hunter, picking people off, establishing his own authority through the hunting of others. The best fitting solution in terms of the overall picture of the chapter and the book, and God’s Word, is that this is a satanic dictator. He comes to conquer, comes to hunt people, comes to establish his own ‘rule’ for the time God allows him to do so. He will lead people in an organised rebellion against the way of God, and this goes all the way back to Genesis 10.8-14, wherein Nimrod ruled as a mighty hunter of Babel, offensive to the Lord.
So this is not Jesus, not at all. People might think it’s Jesus, and that’s the point. We need to know, really know, how Jesus will come again; what He will look like, how He will come, what He will come to do, so that when other false Messiahs come, antichrists, we are truly aware of what the real deal looks like.
To train a bank teller to spot fake bills, do you know what they do? They don’t study all the fakes (forgers are forever changing their methods), they intently study the genuine article. For us, that means keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.
Study His life and ways.
Read the whole counsel of God’s Word to see that, sadly, others will come in His name and claim to be Him, but they are not Him.
There is only One, and we would do well to know as much about Him as we possibly can.
What are you going to know about Him today?