Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The White Horse of Revelation 6!
What does the white horse of Revelation symbolize? Can it refer to false religion as some churches believe? What about the crown on the rider's head? Does the bow he carries have any significance? How does this enigmatic vision relate to the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11? Read about the fiery witness the white horse of Revelation 6:2 is about to carry out and the persecution that will follow!
John D. Keyser
Over the centuries the enigmatic "four horsemen of the Apocalypse" have excited and puzzled students of the Bible, causing much debate and controversy over their meaning. One horse in particular -- the WHITE HORSE -- has been at the center of this controversy. No one, it seems, has been able to correctly discern the exciting TRUTH about this horse!
Different religious groups have their own interpretation, dependent upon their understanding of scripture; and this has been a continuing phenomenon down through the centuries since the apostle John first wrote the visions down.
For example, the commentator Erbes asserts that the rider of the white horse is the PARTHIAN KING VOLOGASES who, in 62 A.D., forced a Roman army to capitulate.
Gunkel is of the opinion that this first horseman was ORIGINALLY A SUN-GOD: "His horse is white (as in the white horse of the divine slayer of the dragon; the white horse of Mithras in the Avesta...)" (A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John, by R. H. Charles).
The same volume states that "...according to Weiss...the victorious Rider [of the white horse] REPRESENTS THE VICTORIOUS COURSE OF THE GOSPEL, which must be preached to all nations before the woes come."
Another viewpoint is stated by R. H. Charles: "A great number of interpreters -- Victorinus, Primasius, Bede, Bullinger, Paraeus, Grotius, Vitringa, Dusterdieck...have identified the first horseman with the rider on the white horse in 19:11 sqq., i.e. THE MESSIAH." (Ibid).
Henry Barclay Swete, in his book The Apocalypse of St. John, says:
In the first vision the horse is white, the rider carries a bow and receives a conqueror's crown; he goes forth, it is noted, as a conqueror, and with the purpose of winning fresh conquests. It is tempting to identify him with the Rider on the white horse in XIX.11, whose name is 'the Word of God'...But the two riders have nothing in common beyond the white horse...Rather we have here a picture of TRIUMPHANT MILITARISM.
Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia has yet another version:
In the sixth chapter of his apocalyptic vision of God's purpose in the world, Saint John the Divine describes four horses, signifying respectively war (a red horse), CIVIL STRIFE (a white horse), hunger (a black horse), and death (a pale horse). The horses and their riders are frequently depicted in art and have come to be a symbol of the evils of the earthly world.
Last, but certainly not all of the interpretations available, is that claimed by the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert W. Armstrong:
The first [seal] was a white horse. Many men, using human interpretation, have looked over into the 19th chapter of Revelation, where we find the description of the glorious return of Christ pictured as coming on a white horse, and have made the great error of deciding that this first seal, then, since it is a white horse, pictures the second coming of Christ. But Christ's own revealing of the meaning is that THIS WHITE HORSE OF THE FIRST SEAL PICTURES EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE -- THOSE PREACHING A FALSE CHRIST, different from the Christ of the New Testament! It refers to this great deception that has descended like a dark cloud to cover the earth and hide from it the glorious truth of God! -- The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!, p. 22-23.
Instead of stumbling from one interpretation to another in utter confusion, let us look more closely at this horse and rider of Revelation 6:2. Let us determine, then, using the Word of YEHOVAH God as a guide, the TRUTH about this age-old enigma!
The Color White
Revelation 6:2 and 19:11 both state that their respective horses are WHITE in color. What does the color white represent? A Dictionary of the Bible, by James Hastings, makes this very clear:
In the NT white is used of natural objects and of linen, but chiefly as the SYMBOL OF PURITY OR INNOCENCE AND HOLINESS, as if the Transfiguration, or of ANGELS John 20:12, etc., the SAINTS Rev. 6:11, or THE THRONE OF GOD Rev. 20:11, or of victory Rev. 6:2, 19:11, 14.
The Aid to Bible Understanding, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York, makes this comment:
White is the color most often mentioned in the Scriptures. Besides its descriptive use, it also serves as a SYMBOL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SPIRITUAL CLEANNESS. (Rev. 3:4; 7:9, 13, 14). The white horse, as portrayed at Revelation 6:2 and 19:11, SYMBOLIZES CLEAN, RIGHTEOUS WARFARE UNDER JESUS CHRIST'S DIRECTION.
Notes Philip Mauro in Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass --
The color of the horse, white, bears strong testimony to the same effect; for, as we have already pointed out, this color is a in every instance throughout the Book [the Bible] (unless this be an exception) used to designate things peculiarly divine; and there is not the slightest imaginable reason for assuming that we have an exception here, and an exception so great as (according to the futurist view) to reverse the meaning of the symbol (G.A.M. Publications, Sterling, VA. 1990, p. 193).
Let us now turn to YEHOVAH's Word and see how the Bible interprets its own symbols. In Revelation 19:8 we find the following definition: "She is permitted to wear the cleanest and WHITEST and finest of linens. (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)"
The Greek word for LINEN in this verse is translated by the Greek-English Lexicon to the New Testament, by John Dawson, in the following manner: "Made of the finest and WHITEST cotton." The word WHITEST in this verse comes from a Greek word that means "shining, resplendent, bright, dazzling, WHITE." Here we can see that the word "white", in this verse, is doubly stressed in the original Greek.
It is therefore very obvious that the white horse of Revelation 6:2 CANNOT REFER TO FALSE RELIGION OR TO CIVIL STRIFE! Equating this horse with false religion or civil strife is at odds with ALL interpretations of the word "white" in the Bible! Here are some examples:
For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be WHITE, and let your head lack no oil.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolling back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and HIS CLOTHES WERE WHITE AS SNOW.
And as He [Christ] prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and HIS ROBE BECAME WHITE AND GLISTENING.
And she [Mary] saw TWO ANGELS IN WHITE sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them WHITE in the blood of the Lamb.
We find in Matthew 23:27 that Yeshua likened the scribes and Pharisees to WHITEWASHED graves. He drew this illustration from the custom of whitewashing graves in the vicinity of Jerusalem before the Passover to PROTECT VISITORS FROM BECOMING UNCLEAN by touching them during the celebrations.
Concludes Philip Mauro --
Those who make the white horse rider a symbol of the antichrist [or of false religion] of the last days, thereby reversing the meaning of the symbol which the Holy Spirit has here employed, realize of course, that the color of the horse contradicts their interpretation. Hence they must needs resort to some expedient to meet the difficulty; and the expedient they have chosen is surely a curious one. They say (though with no proof at all to support it) that antichrist appears on a white horse in imitation of Christ (Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass, pps. 193-194).
The Two White Horses
At this point in our study we can see no difference between the white horse of Rev. 6:2 and the white horse of Rev. 19:11, so let us examine these horses, and their riders, in more detail. Revelation 19:11 states:
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a WHITE HORSE whose rider is called FAITHFUL AND TRUE. With justice he judges and MAKES WAR. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are MANY CROWNS [diadems]...He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is THE WORD OF GOD...Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
We can see here that the rider on this horse wields a sword out of his mouth, whereas the horseman of Revelation 6 carries a bow in his hand. Also, he is wearing the DIADEM OF A KING, in contrast to Revelation 6 where the rider wears the WREATH OF A WARRIOR. The phrases "the Word of God" and "King of kings and Lord of lords" show that the rider of the horse in Rev. 19 is YEHOVAH God HIMSELF, and taking this passage in context proves that the horse and rider of Rev. 19:11 is YEHOVAH God the Father returning to this earth in splendor. For more information read our article, The Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Returning to the white horse of Rev. 6:2, we see a different picture. Nothing is said about the rider except that he carries a BOW and was given a CROWN.
Since Rev. 19:11 pictures the return of YEHOVAH God the Father, it is obvious this EARLIER scripture cannot symbolize the same event. The Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John, by R.H. Charles, puts it this way: "But the Messiah cannot appear before the Messianic woes [the 7th seal]; nor can he be at once the Lamb who opens the Seals, and the Rider who appears in consequence of such opening...In fact the two Riders have nothing in common but the white horse."
The white horseman in Revelation 6 is the HARBINGER of a series of calamitous events that lead up to the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God!
We now know that this particular white horse -- with its rider (Rev. 6:2) -- CANNOT refer to the Messiah himself, because the Messiah does not return to this earth until several chapters later -- Revelation 10. Were the Messiah to return on this horse he would PRECEDE the troubled time period in world history that leads up to his own return! The Messiah will not return until AFTER this time! Therefore, since the horse is WHITE, it must REPRESENT ONE COMING IN THE NAME OF THE MESSIAH TO DO THE WORK OF THE MESSIAH!
The Missing Link
It is interesting to note that the last part of Rev. 6:8 is a summation of the previous verses about the four horsemen: "They [the horsemen] were given POWER over a fourth of the earth to KILL BY SWORD, FAMINE AND PLAGUE, and by the wild beasts of the earth."
But do you notice something here?
The first horseman is NOT MENTIONED! He is conspicuous by his absence!
This can only mean one thing -- the white horse is not to be lumped in with the other three horses -- he is meant to be DIFFERENT. If the white horse represents false religion, civil strife or some military leader or action, it would be mentioned here WITH THE OTHER THREE HORSES! False religion has certainly has POWER over the earth for centuries -- millennia in fact!
Do you see what I am driving at?
The Wreath of a Warrior
According to the apostle John, the rider of this white horse in Revelation 6:2 was given a CROWN. IN THE ORIGINAL GREEK THE WORD FOR CROWN IN THIS VERSE IS "STEPHA.NOS."
What does this CROWN signify?
In the New Testament two Greek words are used for the English word "crown." These are "STEPHA.NOS" and "DI.ADEMA." The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, edited by Merill C. Tenney, makes this observation:
In the N.T. (Gr., stepha.nos and di.adema are used). The first refers to a garland or chaplet such as was worn by a victorious athlete. THIS TYPE OF CROWN IS EMPLOYED FIGURATIVELY BY PAUL AND JOHN AS A SYMBOL OF CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH (II Tim. 4:8, Rev. 2:10). The diadem was a SYMBOL OF THE POWER TO RULE.
In the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, by James Hastings, we read the following:
In the NT the victor's crown at the games (stepha.nos) is USED SYMBOLICALLY OF THE REWARD OF A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN COURSE, the incorruptible "stepha.nos" being contrasted with the corruptible (I Cor. 9:25; cf. II Tim. 2:5).
It is a 'CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS' (II Tim. 4:8), the 'IMMORTAL CROWN OF GLORY,' the 'CROWN OF LIFE' (Ja. 1:12, Rev. 2:10; cf 3:11). Hence in visions of heaven the crowns are prominent. The elders in Rev. 4:4 wear crowns (STEPHA.NOS) of gold; in the "Ascension of Isaiah" the prophet sees crowns laid up in the highest heaven for the saints; in "Barlaam and Josaphat," Josaphat sees the people of the heavenly city with crowns in their hands (J.F. Boissonade "Arec. Groeca," Paris, 1829-31, iv. 360)...The wearing of garlands and crowns on earth being obnoxious to the early Christians on account of PAGAN ASSOCIATIONS, stress was therefore laid on the worth of the SYMBOLIC HEAVENLY GARLAND (STEPHA.NOS), and especially the immortal crown of martyrdom ("Mart. of St. Polycarp," 17; Tert. "de Cor." 15, 'Why do you condemn to a little chaplet, or a twined headband [stepha.nos], the brow destined for a DIADEM?'). Lactantius ("de Mort. Pers." 16) describes the martyr's garland of victory as 'AN UNFADING CROWN LAID UP IN THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD.'
This same understanding is found in A Dictionary of the Bible, by James Hastings. He clearly shows the distinction between the two types of crowns:
In NT the AV gives 'crown' for two words ("stepha.nos" and "di.adema") which RV properly distinguishes. "Stepha.nos" was NOT applied by the Greeks to a king's crown...but NEVER, any more than "corona" in Latin, the emblem and sign of royalty...The word for the latter was "di.adema." This distinction is observed in NT though not always in the LXX.
The Eerdman's Bible Dictionary, edited by Allen C. Myers, also comments:
Also in Revelation Gk. "diadema" indicates a royal crown, worn by the dragon (12:3, UNLIKE the crown worn by the woman with child mentioned at V.1), the beast (13:1), and the rider of the white horse (19:12) who has many diadems because of his authority over all kings.
Aid to Bible Understanding talks, in detail, about the DIADEM:
In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word di.adema (meaning "something bound about the head") is rendered "diadem" by modern translations. The "great fiery-colored dragon" (Satan the Devil) has a diadem upon each of its seven heads. (Rev. 12:3, 9) A diadem adorns each of the ten horns of the symbolic seven-headed "wild beast" that ascends out of the "sea". (Rev. 13:1) The one called Faithful and True, namely, Jesus Christ, likewise has upon his head "many diadems," his being from Jehovah, the rightful source of authority and power. (Rev. 19:11-13; 12:5, 10) Also at Revelation 6:2 and 14:14-16 Jesus Christ is pictured as wearing a crown (stepha.nos).
The Commentary on the holy Scriptures, by John Peter Lange, makes a very interesting observation: "Dusterdieck maintains that 'stepha.nos' here [Rev. 6:2] (as I Cor. IX.25) denotes ONLY the 'WREATH' OF A WARRIOR -- NOT the 'crown' of a king."
Now, if the white horse of Revelation 6:2 is part and parcel of the other three horses who were given POWER over a fourth of the earth (Rev. 6:2), then the rider of this horse would be wearing a "diadem" instead of a crown (stepha.nos)! Instead, we find this rider wearing the CROWN (STEPHA.NOS) "OF CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH."
With the same thought in mind, it seems obvious that if the white horse of Rev. 6:2 symbolizes false religion, civil strife or triumphant militarism, then the rider would be wearing the DIADEM (DI.ADEMA) OF POWER AND RULERSHIP!
Here are a few examples from the Bible that CLEARLY define the crown (stepha.nos):
I THESS. 2:19:
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown [stepha.nos] in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
II TIM. 4:8:
Now there is in store for me the crown [stepha.nos] of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day -- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown [stepha.nos] of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Surrounding the throne were 24 other thrones, and seated on them were 24 elders. They were dressed in WHITE and had crowns [stepha.nos] of gold on their heads.
Notice in this last example that the crowns are mentioned along with the WHITE clothes or robes!
The Bow That Wins the Battle
If we look closely at the rider of Revelation 6:2 again, we will see that he is holding a BOW.
What does this BOW represent?
According to Philip Mauro,
...the bow is a symbol of that which discharges the messages of God towards the mark they are intended to reach. In other words, it symbolizes the preaching of the gospel in general, and the individual gospel preacher in particular (Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass, p. 195).
Continuing, Mauro further reveals the meaning of the bow the horseman of Revelation 6:2 carries --
But again in respect to the symbol of the bow, as in the case of the white horse, we have something more definite than general principles to guide us to the right conclusion. For in Habakkuk's prophecy is a highly figurative passage in which the prophet sees a vision, and in describing it he speaks of the Lord as riding upon horses and chariots of salvation. In that connection he says: "Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even Thy Word....The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear....Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed. Thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked" etc. (Hab. 3:8-13; cf. Ps. 110:6). From this Scripture we have ample warrant for regarding the bow as a symbol of God's Word in the day when He goes forth into all the world for the "salvation" of men (Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass, pps. 195-196).
According to most commentators the bow implies victory, signifying JUDGMENTS laid up in store against offenders. If we go to the Book of Zechariah we will find the bow defined as follows:
For the LORD of Hosts has arrived to help His flock of Judah. I will make them strong and glorious like a proud steed in battle. From them will come the Cornerstone, the Peg on which all hope hangs, the BOW THAT WINS THE BATTLE, the Ruler over all the earth. -- 10:3-4.
Here we find that Yeshua the Messiah is called THE BOW THAT WINS THE BATTLE!
If we go to Zechariah 9:13 we will discover another interesting definition: "JUDAH YOU ARE MY BOW! EPHRAIM YOU ARE MY ARROW! Both of you will be My sword, like the sword of a mighty soldier brandished against the sons of Greece." This definition is quite fascinating in light of one of the responsibilities that the white horseman of Revelation 6:2 is charged with. This we will discuss later.
The fact that the rider of the white horse is armed with a BOW suggests that he will play the role performed by KING CYRUS THE GREAT of the ancient Persian Empire, who CAPTURED THE CITY OF BABYLON in 539 B.C. History shows that the Persian kings rode WHITE HORSES and were EXPERT WITH THE BOW. It was largely by use of the bow that the Persians overcame Babylon and established themselves as a world power. Isaiah 44 and 45 indicate that Cyrus was CHOSEN BY YEHOVAH GOD TO BRING DOWN BABYLON, and, according to Ezra, he was used by YEHOVAH God to REBUILD THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM! Here we see that King Cyrus on his white horse is a TYPE OF THE HORSEMAN OF REVELATION 6:2!
It is now becoming clearer and clearer that this horseman symbolizes the TRUTH OF YEHOVAH GOD going out with POWER to the modern descendants of Israel!
A Polished Shaft
We have just discussed the bow this warrior carries -- now we will consider the ARROWS that this weapon delivers. A Dictionary of the Bible, by James Hastings, has this to say:
Owing to the suddenness with which the arrow inflicted wounds, and to the fact that such wounds often came from an unseen hand, the arrow was used as a SYMBOL OF THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD...Arrows are also a SYMBOL OF THAT WHICH IS CAREFULLY GUARDED AND HIGHLY VALUED; thus, Israel itself is God's polished arrow, 'he hath made me a polished arrow, in his quiver hath he kept me close.' (Isaiah 49:2 RV)
M'Clintoch and Strong, in their Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, bring out this amazing definition of the ARROW: "The arrow is also used in a good sense TO DENOTE THE EFFICIENCY AND IRRESISTIBLE ENERGY OF THE WORD OF GOD IN THE HANDS OF THE MESSIAH (Psa. XLV, 5; Isa. XLIV, 5; comp. Lowth's note thereon)."
Isn't that incredible?
For a Biblical definition of the arrow we find, in 2 Kings 13:17, the following:
Then he [Elisha] said: "Open the window to the east." So he [the king of Israel] opened it. Finally Elisha said: "Shoot!" So he shot. He now said: "JEHOVAH'S ARROW OF SALVATION, even the ARROW OF SALVATION against Syria! And you will certainly strike down Syria at Aphek to the finishing point."
Writes Philip Mauro --
Thus the Scriptures do (figuratively speaking) put a bow and ARROWS into the hands of Christ and send him forth on a white horse, in the "day of salvation." Whereas the Scriptures say not a word of any antichrist's going forth on a white horse (or any other), or of his carrying a bow. And inasmuch as we can interpret Scripture only by Scripture, we have in this case no choice but either to be guided by Scripture, and take this passage as referring to Christ in the gospel, or else to abandon Scripture entirely, in which case we are free to assign it to any character we please, whether real or imaginary (Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass, p. 197).
So, once again, we see that the white horseman of Revelation 6:2 represents the TRUTH OF YEHOVAH GOD GOING OUT just prior to the return of the Messiah. Whatever part of the horse and rider we examine, we come right back to the SAME conclusion!
I think you realize by now that this horse and rider can ONLY symbolize a MAN COMING IN THE NAME OF THE MESSIAH TO DO THE WORK OF THE MESSIAH! HE WILL PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE RETURN OF YEHOVAH GOD! The parallel is inescapable -- the horse and rider of Revelation 6:2 are PREPARING THE WAY for the horse and Rider of Revelation 19 -- YEHOVAH GOD THE FATHER!
Doesn't this excite you?
The "Rapid Writer"!
What do we know about this man who is preparing the way for the Messiah?
In Psalm 45 there is an inspired and fascinating poem about a WARRIOR. Verses 1 through 5, in a prophetic address to this rider, say:
My heart is stirred by a good theme; I say, "My work concerns kings; my tongue is THE PEN OF A RAPID WRITER." You are the most fair of the SONS OF MEN; grace is poured out through your lips, therefore God has blessed you evermore. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O warrior; success to your praise and your majesty! RIDE ON FOR THE CAUSE OF TRUTH and to hear the right; and may your right hand show you wonders! May your SHARP ARROWS be in the midst of the king's foes! May peoples fall under you!
The fact that these verses refer to a MAN and NOT the Messiah can be proved by examining some of the words in the passage. The word WARRIOR comes from the Hebrew "gibbor," meaning "powerful, warrior, champion, strong man, valiant man." The word gibbor is in turn derived from "geber" which is translated "a valiant man or warrior, GENERALLY A PERSON." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). The SWORD ON THE THIGH shows him to be a warrior, a soldier -- see Song of Solomon 3:8. The word glory comes from the Hebrew word "howd," which comes from an unused root meaning "grandeur (an inspiring form and appearance), glory, beauty, excellency, honor." This word is very rarely used in the Old Testament and HARDLY EVER REFERS TO YEHOVAH GOD.
Notice what the verses in this poem say: "My tongue is the PEN OF A RAPID WRITER." This indicates the horseman will go out to war WITH THE WRITTEN WORD, and since his work "concerns a king" he will be PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE COMING MESSIAH! "Grace is poured out" through his written word. "May your SHARP ARROWS be in the midst of the king's foes!" This means that this rider will be shooting arrows of SALVATION as he rides -- the TRUTH OF YEHOVAH GOD will go out with "IRRESISTIBLE ENERGY" to hit the foes of the Messiah. Some will respond as the arrows of salvation prick their hearts -- "may peoples fall under you!"
What a fantastic picture this paints!
We can learn yet more about this SERVANT OF YEHOVAH GOD in Isaiah 42, verse 1 through 4:
This is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom I delight [am pleased]. I have put My spirit upon him, he shall teach the TRUE WAY to the nations. He shall NOT CRY OUT OR SHOUT ALOUD, OR MAKE HIS VOICE HEARD IN THE STREETS. He shall not break even a bruised reed [oppressed person], or snuff out even a dim wick. He shall bring forth the TRUE WAY. He shall not GROW DIM [FAIL] OR BE BRUISED [DISMAYED] till he has established the TRUE WAY on earth; and the coastlands shall await his teaching.
Here is a MAN teaching YEHOVAH'S TRUTH to the nations, and, interestingly, he will NOT "cry out or shout aloud, or make his voice heard in the streets" in the process. This could indicate that this man's ministry will be MAINLY OF THE WRITTEN WORD, or that this verse is PROPHETIC in nature -- pointing to a time when the spoken word can go out by RADIO, TV or the INTERNET. This could be why this servant of YEHOVAH God does not have to "make his voice heard in the streets," the standard way of preaching in ages past.
The phrase "he shall not grow dim (faint, fail) or be bruised (discouraged, crushed) TILL he has established the true way on earth" clearly signifies a man who will effectively preach the truth to this world BEFORE HE GROWS FAINT OR DISCOURAGED. (See also Daniel 11:35 and Romans 11:2-5). The Hebrew word ratsats for "bruised" could allude to Revelation 11 where the TWO WITNESSES are killed and allowed to remain in the street for 3 1/2 days. Ratsats can mean "to crack to pieces, crush, oppress."
This is not all -- the "rapid writer" is mentioned again in Isaiah 49, verses 1 through 7:
Listen to me, you islands [coastlands], and pay attention: after a long time one will arise, says the Lord. THE LORD CALLED ME FROM MY BIRTH, from the body of my mother He has caused my name to be remembered. He made my mouth LIKE A SHARP SWORD and in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a POLISHED ARROW, and in His quiver He concealed me. He said to me, You are my servant, Israel in whom I will be glorified. But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing; nevertheless surely my right is at the Lord's disposal and my recompense rests with God."
But now the Lord, who forced me from my birth to be His servant, TO BRING JACOB BACK TO HIM AND THAT ISRAEL MIGHT BE GATHERED FOR HIM -- for I am honorable in the Lord's eyes and my God is my strength -- He says: It is too light a thing that you should be MY servant, TO RAISE UP THE TRIBES OF JACOB AND TO RESTORE THE PRESERVED OF ISRAEL; I will make you a light to the nations that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, to the one despised by men, abhorred by the nation and the servant of rulers, Kings shall see and stand up; princes also shall PAY HOMAGE because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, WHO HAS CHOSEN YOU.
Remember I quoted Zechariah who said, "Judah you are my bow! Ephraim you are my arrow! Both of you will be my sword..."? Here in Isaiah 49 we see the horseman of Revelation 6:2 being used by YEHOVAH God to start the process of gathering Israel to the Eternal-- to restore the preserved of Israel!
In verse 7, the phrase "to the one despised by men, abhorred by the nation," is of uncertain Hebrew meaning. Tanakh: A New Translation of the Holy Scriptures, by the Jewish Publication Society, states that a critical correction of this phrase would render: "Whose being is despised, whose body is detested." This could be another allusion to the death of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11.
Another interesting point is that "princes [stewards] also shall pay homage" to the servant of YEHOVAH God. Is this a possible reference to the leader of the Philadelphia Church of God? (See Revelation 3:9).
This servant of YEHOVAH God; this "rapid writer"; this horseman of Revelation 6:2; REPRESENTS THE ONE PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE ETERNAL -- the horseman of Revelation 19:11! As such, he will come in the spirit of an Old Testament prophet and make war against false religion!
Who is this prophet of yore who waged war against the false worship of his day?
Why -- Elijah of course!
The Elijah to Come
During the traditional Seder or Passover service, the Jews have long set aside a cup of wine for the returning Elijah to drink. They believe that he will appear at Passover time to begin his work of preparing the way for the coming Messiah. Elijah's return is to mark the advent of an age of harmony, peace and understanding among all peoples and all nations -- in other words, the MILLENNIUM!
Elijah was a prophet sent to the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab. Elijah's ministry was one of showing to Israel that the Eternal was the true God and that they were following a FALSE RELIGION. It was Elijah's purpose to show the people of Israel who YEHOVAH God really was, and he attempted to turn their hearts back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Malachi 4:4-6 we read:
REMEMBER THE LAW OF MOSES, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. BEHOLD, I WILL SEND YOU ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
YEHOVAH God, in His infinite mercy, is going to send a PROPHET to WARN OUR PEOPLES and turn them back to the Eternal before He sends His judgments upon the earth. This is why the WHITE HORSEMAN of Revelation 6:2 rides out before the other three!
This man whom YEHOVAH is sending will have the SPIRIT OF ELIJAH. John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy for Judah, and prepared a people to receive the Messiah at His first coming. The prophet yet to come in the spirit of Elijah will witness to ALL ISRAEL-- the United Kingdom, U.S., and the democracies of Northwestern Europe -- before the Messiah and YEHOVAH God return. A GREAT MANY PEOPLE will come into the truth during the end-time tribulation (Rev. 7:9), and will be victorious over the beast and the false prophet.
The prophet who is coming in the spirit of Elijah before the Day of the LORD, will attempt to turn the people of our nations back to the true God -- just as Elijah and John the Baptist did. The TRUE GOSPEL of Yeshua the Messiah will be preached to the people of Israel through this man's ministry. Many will perceive the truth about the Messiah and REPENT before YEHOVAH God their Father. The TRUE Yeshua the Messiah will be preached at that time and not the FALSE, IMITATION CHRIST preached today! This is pictured in Revelation 6:1-2 by the WHITE HORSE AND ITS RIDER:
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.
As we have seen, this servant of YEHOVAH God will ride out with the word of YEHOVAH God; and with his BOW that wins the battle and his ARROWS of salvation, will MAKE WAR against false religion and start the process of gathering Israel to the Eternal.
What a wonderful blessing it is to have a part in this vibrant work of the LIVING GOD!
I have alluded several times to the TWO WITNESSES of Revelation 11. Let us discuss these two men and see how they fit into the overall picture.
The Two Witnesses
In Revelation 11 we read about two witnesses who prophesy with the power of the Eternal for 3 1/2 years. Who are these two witnesses? Could they somehow be connected with the Elijah to come -- the white horseman of Revelation 6:2?
In the first part of Revelation 11:6 we learn the following: "They [the two witnesses] have power to shut up the skies so that NO RAIN WILL FALL DURING THE THREE AND A HALF YEARS THEY PROPHESY..." Is it possible that we can find a similar occurrence in the life of Elijah? Let us turn to James 5:17:
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and IT DID NOT RAIN ON THE LAND FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Is this mere coincidence?
Revelation 11:5 states: "Anyone trying to harm them [the two witnesses] WILL BE KILLED BY BURSTS OF FIRE SHOOTING FROM THEIR MOUTHS." Did Elijah perform similar miracles in the Old Testament? The answer is YES!
So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty: "If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." AND FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND CONSUMED HIM AND HIS FIFTY. -- II Kings 1:10.
It is becoming quite CLEAR that one of the two witnesses is none other than the Elijah to come -- THE HORSEMAN OF REVELATION 6:2!!
Revelation 11:13 further corroborates this: "And I will give power to My two witnesses to prophecy 1260 days [3 1/2 years] CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH." Elijah appeared to the messengers of Ahaziah as "A HAIRY MAN [DRESSED IN SACKCLOTH], AND [WEARING] A LEATHER BELT around his waist." (II Kings 1:7-8). It is no coincidence that John the Baptist was also dressed the same way!
There is another link connecting Elijah and the two witnesses in Revelation 11:13: "The same hour there will be a terrible earthquake that levels a tenth of the city leaving 7,000 dead. Then everyone left will, in their terror, give glory to the God of heaven."
Is it mere coincidence that this 7,000 is the SAME number that YEHOVAH God reserved for Himself during Elijah's ministry?
...You know what the scripture says in the passage where Elijah pleads with God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me." What answer did God give him? "I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT WORSHIPPED THE FALSE GOD BAAL." -- Romans 11:2-4.
And now the final "clincher"!
In Revelation 11:12 we read: "Then a loud voice will shout from heaven, 'Come up!' And they [the two witnesses] will RISE TO HEAVEN IN A CLOUD as their enemies watch." The same thing happened to Elijah -- see II Kings 2:11: "Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them, and ELIJAH WENT UP BY A WHIRLWIND INTO HEAVEN."
It is therefore quite evident that one of the two witnesses is the SAME MAN WHO IS COMING IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH! This is pictured by the white horseman of Revelation 6:2!
Of course, the question that now comes to mind is this: "What about the OTHER witness in Revelation 11? The Aid to Bible Understanding, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York, makes this observation:
Since the work that Elijah did was prophetic of things to come in Jesus' day, with also a YET LATER FULFILLMENT, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THE SAME THING REGARDING ELISHA'S WORK, since he actually completed the work Elijah began, carrying out his unfinished commission. -- Article "Elisha," p. 512.
The same volume further states:
For perhaps six years ELISHA SERVED AS ELIJAH'S ATTENDANT. ELIJAH SERVED AS HEAD PROPHET AND ELISHA WORKED CLOSELY WITH HIM, being known as the one who "poured out water upon the hands of Elijah when Elijah washed his hands. -- Ibid, p. 509.
Can this incredible statement be verified in Revelation 11? What do you think? "They [the two witnesses] have power to shut the skies so that no rain will fall during the three and a half years they prophesy, AND TO TURN RIVERS AND OCEANS TO BLOOD, AND TO SEND EVERY KIND OF PLAGUE UPON THE EARTH AS OFTEN AS THEY WISH." (Revelation 11:6).
Turning to II Kings 3:21-23 we learn that Elisha made the water look like BLOOD:
And when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to bear arms and older were gathered; and they stood at the border. When they rose up early in the morning, and the sun was shining on the water; AND THE MOABITES SAW THE WATER ON THE OTHER SIDE AS RED AS BLOOD. AND THEY SAID, "THIS IS BLOOD; and the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!"
This is not all!
II Kings 6:18 says: "So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, 'Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.' AND HE STRUCK THEM WITH BLINDNESS ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF ELISHA."
Here is a man TURNING WATER TO BLOOD and sending PLAGUES upon the earth! The OTHER WITNESS in Revelation 11 is, therefore, none other than one coming IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELISHA!
THE TWO WITNESSES ARE TWO PROPHETS COMING IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH AND ELISHA -- PICTURED BY THE HORSEMAN OF REVELATION 6:2!!!
WHAT COULD BE PLAINER?
When the White Horse Rides!
Both the Old and New Testaments are liberally sprinkled with prophecies foretelling the time when the white horse and rider gallops forth on its preordained mission of WARNING AND WITNESS.
On the Mount of Olives, outside of Jerusalem, the disciples approached the Messiah and asked him what the SIGN of his coming and the end of the age would be. His answer pinpointed the time:
...be on your guard against men; they will HAND YOU OVER TO THE LOCAL COUNCILS AND FLOG YOU IN THEIR SYNAGOGUES. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles...Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will HATE YOU because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. WHEN YOU ARE PERSECUTED in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, YOU WILL NOT FINISH GOING THROUGH THE CITIES OF ISRAEL BEFORE THE SON OF MAN COMES. -- Matthew 10:16-23.
The Son of Man (the Messiah) did not return during the lifetime of the early disciples, so these verses refer to a FUTURE FULFILLMENT.
The SECOND thing the Messiah mentioned on the Mount of Olives was a great "falling away." This is recorded by Paul in I Timothy 4: "The spirit clearly says that in LATER TIMES some will ABANDON THE FAITH AND FOLLOW DECEIVING SPIRITS AND THINGS TAUGHT BY DEMONS." (Verse 1).
In the first part of chapter 65, the prophet Isaiah bemoans the fact that our peoples today think they know MORE than their very own Creator, and therefore have no need of His presence in their lives. Notice!
I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, "HERE I AM, HERE I AM," to a nation that was not called by My name. I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS ALL DAY LONG to a rebellious people...who say "KEEP TO YOURSELF, DO NOT COME NEAR ME, for I am HOLIER than you!
Doesn't this sound like our peoples today -- all puffed up with "knowledge" and denying the very existence of YEHOVAH God? We have concocted theories such as evolution, and put our faith in "science" to deliver us from our problems, instead of relying on the Eternal God! We have become "HOLIER" than YEHOVAH God!
The ride of the white horse is noted by Daniel in a prophecy for the end times:
But the people who know their God shall be strong and do great things. Those with spiritual understanding WILL HAVE A WIDE MINISTRY OF TEACHING IN THOSE DAYS. But they will be in CONSTANT DANGER, many of them dying by fire and sword, or being jailed and robbed. Eventually these pressures will subside, and some ungodly men will come, pretending to offer a helping hand, only to take advantage of them. And some who are most gifted in the things of God WILL STUMBLE IN THOSE DAYS AND FALL, but this will only REFINE AND CLEANSE THEM AND MAKE THEM PURE until the final end of all their trials, at God's appointed time. -- Daniel 11:32-35.
The riding of the white horse and the resulting persecution occurs during the time of a "man of lawlessness." II Thessalonians 2 shows that this "evil man" is CONTEMPORARY with the work of the white horse just prior to the return of the Messiah:
CONCERNING THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND OUR BEING GATHERED TO HIM, we ask you, brothers, not to be easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, FOR THAT DAY WILL NOT COME UNTIL THE REBELLION OCCURS AND THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS IS REVEALED, the man doomed to destruction. He opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, AND EVEN SETS HIMSELF UP IN GOD'S TEMPLE, proclaiming himself to be God. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed AT THE PROPER TIME. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. AND THEN THE LAWLESS [EVIL] ONE WILL BE REVEALED, WHOM THE LORD JESUS WILL OVERTHROW WITH THE BREATH OF HIS MOUTH AND DESTROY BY THE SPLENDOR OF HIS COMING. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the WORK OF SATAN DISPLAYED IN ALL KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. THEY PERISH BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH AND SO BE SAVED. For this reason God sends them a POWERFUL DELUSION so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have NOT BELIEVED THE TRUTH but have delighted in wickedness. -- Verses 1-12.
To refuse to love the truth our people MUST HAVE RECEIVED THE TRUTH IN THE FIRST PLACE!! Therefore, these words of Paul show that the white horse WILL REACH the modern nations of Israel as a witness. The white horse of Revelation 6:2 will PREPARE THE WAY for the rider of the white horse of Revelation 19:11 -- YEHOVAH GOD HIMSELF!! The WHITE HORSE will ride, but the message, in the most part, will be ignored or rejected.
However, the TRUTH of YEHOVAH God will not be waylayed or prevented from accomplishing its purpose. Writes Philip Mauro --
"He went forth conquering." These words bring up before our minds the early triumphs of the gospel, from the day it was first preached "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven," to the end of the Book of Acts; and all the way from Jerusalem to Rome [and even as far as the British Isles!]. Then the last three words, "and to conquer," carry our thoughts onward to "the end," referred to by the apostle Paul in that great passage in which he unfolds the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ, where he says: "Then cometh the end;...when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15:24, 25). It is to this last victory over death and the grave that the words "and to conquer" specially refer; for Chapter 20:14 of Revelation records the final triumph, saying, "And death and hell (Gr. hades) were cast into the lake of fire." And, referring to the same event, the apostle Paul in the passage just quoted, says: "Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Gr. hades), where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:54, 55).
Therefore we find in the words, "conquering, and to conquer," strong, indeed conclusive proof, that the passage refers to Christ, NOT to any antichrist; and further that it particularly symbolizes the going forth of the gospel of Christ into the world, and the career thereof from beginning to end (Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass, pps. 198-199).
What Should We Do About It?
The rider of the WHITE HORSE OF REVELATION 6:2, who is coming in the SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH, will accomplish the task of turning many in the modern nations of Israel back to OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS YEHOVAH God gave Moses. This coming horseman WILL HAVE THE SAME MISSION, AND DO THE SAME TYPE OF WORK AS THE FIRST ELIJAH! He will demonstrate to the people of our nations that they ARE FOLLOWING A SUN-GOD WORSHIP, and are not worshipping the Eternal -- the God of their fathers!
This will be our last chance to REPENT before YEHOVAH God's curses (as outlined in Deuteronomy 32 and Leviticus 26) come to pass. Many will repent, but as a whole our nations will remain STIFF-NECKED AND DISOBEDIENT. As a result, the curses of the law will descend upon us!
Now that we have uncovered the TRUE IDENTITY of the white horse of Revelation 6:2, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? This NEW UNDERSTANDING should excite you and fill you full of ZEAL to do this end-time work of the LIVING GOD! The time is short! The return of our Lord and Savior IS AT HAND!
The white horse and rider symbolize a work going out with POWER AND STRENGTH! The bowstring is drawn, the ARROWS OF SALVATION are ready to fly into the hearts of our peoples. Are you going to help prepare the way for the RETURN OF YEHOVAH GOD AND HIS MESSIAH, or are you going to be pulled off your horse and fall into the grips of the Laodicean church or attitude? THE CHOICE IS UP TO YOU!!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 2186
Temple City, CA 91780, U.S.A.