Let’s read Revelation 6:1-2, “Now 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. 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.” Verse 2 has been interpreted in many ways, with some even suggesting that the rider on the White Horse is the Lord Jesus Christ. They point to Revelation 19:11 to support this view, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a WHITE HORSE; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” This verse is undoubtedly referring to Christ Who will, at the end of the Tribulation Period, return to earth in power and glory as the “Warrior King” to subdue His enemies, to save His chosen people, and to establish His kingdom on earth (see Matthew 24:29-31; 25:31-46 and 2nd Thessalonians 1:5-10). Though this SEEMS plausible on the surface, we shall see that the only thing this verse has in common with 6:2 is the “white horse” and that in both cases these words picture “a victorious warrior.” Christ’s return to earth will initially involve warfare and the subduing of His enemies (see Revelation 19:12-21), but then He will bring in peace, prosperity and righteousness, not the terrible judgments outlined in Revelation chapters 6-18.

The view that the rider illustrates “righteousness or the gospel” is also wrong, for clearly the RIDER on the white horse is a PERSON (the pronoun “he” is used making the rider a “man”). Besides that, what follows the “white horse” are three other horses (and riders) that speak of unspeakable judgments that will fall upon this ungodly and Christ-rejecting world. These could not be the result of “righteousness or the gospel.” Again, it is only when Christ returns that righteousness shall be established on the earth.

I believe the “rider on the white horse” is a great political leader who will seek to rule over the world during the Tribulation Period. The Tribulation Period is a seven-year period that is spoken of in Daniel’s great “prophecy of 70 weeks (with each week picturing 7 years)” in Daniel 9:24-27. I would encourage you to read this passage. It teaches us that after Christ was “cut off” (crucified”) the prophetic time clock stopped ticking and Jerusalem was to be destroyed by the Roman Empire (verse 26). Between verses 26 and 27 we have the present Church Age running its course. After the Church is raptured to heaven the clock will begin ticking again and the Tribulation Period (the LAST WEEK of the 70 weeks) will begin. How does it begin? We see that in verse 27a, “Then he (the Roman Prince alluded to in verse 26) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.” The Tribulation Period begins with the signing of the PEACE TREATY! We believe that the Roman Prince is mediating a peace treaty between the Jews in Israel and their Arab enemies who surround them and who want to destroy them. In this treaty he will be guaranteeing the Jews protection from their enemies and for a while there will be peace.

We saw that the rider on the white horse “had a bow and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” The Roman Prince (the Head of the Revived Roman Empire in the last days) will initially CONQUER THE WORLD THROUGH PEACE!  You may be thinking, “How does the thought of PEACE line up with Revelation 6:2?” We saw that the rider “had a bow” but nothing is said of “an arrow,” so it is very possible that he will “threaten war with those who oppose Israel,” but he won’t have to “fire a shot.” His ability to finally bring peace to the Middle East will be such an achievement that the world will “crown him as their world leader.”

But this “peace” will be short-lived, as we see in 1st Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Peace will suddenly turn to war and destruction! As we read on in Revelation 6:4 we see a “horse that was red” (which speaks of “bloodshed”) and we are specifically told that “power was given to him that sat thereon to TAKE PEACE FROM THE EARTH, AND THAT THEY SHOULD KILL ONE ANOTHER.” Again, the Tribulation Period is now underway and what started out by the signing of a peace treaty will soon turn into war, followed by FAMINE (the “black horse” of verses 5-6) and DEATH (the “pale horse” of verses 7-8). These in turn will be followed by all the devastating judgments pictured by the remaining seals, the 7 trumpets, and the 7 vials of God’s wrath (Revelation 6:9-16:21).  (361.3)  (DO)