Revelation 6.3-4 – War and Peace

Last time we began this section on the opening of the seven seals on the scroll taken by Jesus from the right hand of God. Each brings something important, and yesterday’s opening of the first seal brought a rider on a white horse (not Jesus) who came to conquer and to establish himself as a leader through the hunting of others, basically, not a good leader, kind of the opposite of Christ, someone with an antiChrist spirit, we could say.

Today, the second seal is opened and another living creature calls forth another horsemen. This time, he rides a red horse. The first horse brought a demonic dictator, the second brings war.

3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say,

“Come!”

4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Interestingly, we read Its rider was permitted…so, ultimately, God is still in control here. He never takes His hands off the wheel, there is no ‘wind up the clock and watch it wind down’ in the mind of our God; He is active, He is present, we are theists, not deists. So, God has permitted this rider of the red horse to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another

So for war to be the result, what do we need? We don’t need much, in fact, we need only to remove peace.


This is really clear; remove peace and people will start to fight, make war, slay each other.


Peace is God’s gift to us (John 14.27), given to us by Jesus Himself, and when this gift is taken away from us, rejected by us, forgotten about by us, the result is conflict, struggle, war, and turmoil.

Peace, as a concept in the Bible, means that everything is present, everything is working as it should, it describes a complex situation where everything is working together in harmony. We read of peace in Job 5.24 in relation to all his tents and sheep being present.

A lack of peace, then, brings war. Peace is given to us as a gift from Jesus, we need Jesus to experience true peace.


No Jesus, no peace.

No peace, no Jesus.


Today, if we seek Him first, if we seek first the things of God, if we pray ceaselessly throughout the day, if we seek the peace that comes only through the Prince of Peace, then our lives will start to be less hectic, less tumultuous, less conflicting, more harmonious with Him, His will, His ways, and His people. If we seek first the Kingdom of God, He will take care of the rest.

Revelation 6.1-2 – Is it or isn’t it?!

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,

“Come!”

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.

Know Him.

Love Him.

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?