1 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!” 2 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. ~ Revelation 6:1-2
We come to Revelation 6 which begins to give us the details about the future events of this book. The wrath of God will now be made center stage. The framework for the remainder of the book of the Revelation is given in Daniel 9 where we are given a prophecy covering a period of 70 "sevens" or 490 years. Of this 490 year prophecy, 483 years have been fulfilled.
Jeremiah 30:7 informs us that this last seven is a time of Jacob's trouble. Jacob was Israel's name before he came into a right relationship with God. Jacob is Israel in unbelief, whereas Israel is Jacob in belief. The design of this last seven year period time of Daniel's vision is that Jacob or unbelieving Israel would come to believe in the Lord Jesus as their Messiah.
These seven years are referred to by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24 as "the end of the age" which is about Daniel's prophecy that will run its course when Israel will be brought face to face with the Lord Jesus at His Second Coming. This seven year period of time is described in Revelation 6-19.
In Revelation 4-5 we are given a scene that took place in heaven. In Revelation 4 God was seated on His throne in heaven. In Revelation 5 God has in His hands a little scroll sealed with seven seals. Those seven seals basically were for the purpose of hiding what was in the scroll. It could not be broken without the discovery of someone who had the right and the power to open it. And, it could not be read unless it was broken. It couldn’t be broken legally except by the one who had the right to open it.
That little scroll was the title deed to the universe, and the only one who was worthy and able to open it was the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David as He is described in Revelation 5:5.
The scene now shifts, and God is about to unleash His judgment upon unbelieving man who is on the earth. Around His throne is lightning and thunder. In the midst of this there is worship of God by the redeemed, raptured church, and by the angels. And in the midst of all of this worship God gets ready to act in judgment.
In v.1 we read, "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!"
This scroll was sealed seven times, as often ancient documents were, to keep it hidden until the rightful heir opens it. And, with the opening of each seal, we will see the coming judgment as the wrath of God, as He takes back His universe.
Before the first seal will be opened, the Antichrist will be revealed. The unbelieving world will not recognize the Antichrist for who he truly is. In fact, the world will think the he is the answer to all of their problems. When he comes on the scene, world peace will accompany him. At that time, the people of earth will greet his peace with ecstasy. For a certain period of time, a certain degree of prosperity will be enjoyed by everyone on the earth.
In v.2 we read, "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."
This is the description of the first event, the first feature of the end when the Lord takes back His world. This rider on the white horse bears some resemblance to the appearance of the Lord Jesus who comes on a great white horse in Revelation 19. They both ride a white horse; they both wear crowns; and both are bent on conquest. This rider is someone who is like Christ, but is not Christ. This is doubtless the long predicted Antichrist who is yet to appear in the last days.
This is the "Man of Sin" mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. He is also referred to as "the Lawless One" in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. This rider comes like Christ, but in his own name. He is given a bow, but no mention is made of arrows. This appears to be a bloodless conquest that he launches. Suggested here is some kind of overpowering of the minds and wills of people, without physical destruction. This will be done by deceit, by misleading and deceiving the people of the world, and thus he will overcome them without the shedding of blood.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, we are told, "9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
In Daniel 9:27 we read, "He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
The "he" here in Daniel 9:27 is the prince who is to come of v.26, which reads, "After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed."
The ruler who will come is the Antichrist who will confirm a covenant with the many for one week. But in the middle of the week he will put an end to the sacrifices which will begin after the covenant is made. The Antichrist will orchestrate peace in the world.
In Revelation 6:2 we read, “he was given a crown.” He will be given power to rule over the people. He will not take his crown, it will be given to him, like he’s been honored by the world and elevated and given prominence. The peace that he will offer, will make him king of the world by the world. His agenda will initially be that everything is subservient to the idea of peace. And, since the architect of peace is the Antichrist, everything will be subservient to him.
The world will fall into false peace, and they will bow down to this great world ruler who epitomizes it. But, what he offers will be a trap in which the world will be thrust into a snare. The Lord will allow this in order to reveal to the world that the Antichrist is an imposter. Through these events, the Lord will yet again, provide another opportunity for the world to turn to Him. His grace is inexhaustible, but only to those who are willing to believe in the gracious Son of His love.