Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Would the four horsemen of the apocalypse as explained biblically in the Book of Revelations have been actual angels of God or fallen angels?

You can find the four horsemen of the apocalypse in Revelation 6:1-8. They are also the first four seals Jesus opens. As such, these are the first four judgments of God against the world for its wickedness and rejection of Jesus.

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!” 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.” (Revelation 6:1–2, ESV)

Jesus is the only one who can open the seals. Each one of the four living creatures calls the rider of the horse to come forth. The first horse and rider come, a white horse and rider wearing a crown and a bow. He came to conquer.

Some suggest this may have represented Jesus, the white horse being piece. He is a king with a crown on his head. Others suggest this is the antichrist. Conquering refers to the rider’s ability to conquer the nations, to take them by force and rule them. We will see Jesus at the end of the book in Revelation 19.

This is the horse that brings the antichrist and his new world order to the world. Since it represents the antichrist, there is a person writing the white horse. It is a human being. It is not an angel of any kind.

When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 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.” (Revelation 6:3–4, ESV)

When Jesus opens the second seal we see a second living creature summoned the second horseman of the apocalypse. The horse is bright red, symbolizing the blood that will be spilt in war.

Instead of saying that the rider brings war to the world, he says that it takes peace from the world. This rider causes people to kill one another, symbolized by the sword he carries with him. Notice he is permitted to take peace from the earth and is given a sword. None of his violence happens, except what God permits.

This could also be a person, although it is better understood as the force or idea of war. The person may make war, but it’s almost as if war is personified in the rider of the bright red horse.

When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!” (Revelation 6:5–6, ESV)

Jesus opens the third seal and the next horse is black. The pair of scales probably represents commerce and the economy. The scales were used to weigh the goods being purchased. Just like we use a scale today to measure how heavy our fruits and vegetables are to determine the price.

The third rider may bring chaos to the economic system of the world. It is part of the destruction that comes as the antichrist comes on the scene. The economy, religious system, and political systems create a vacuum, the perfect storm, for the antichrist to rise to power.

This third rider could also be a person, but is best represented as the economic systems of the world. So the rider of the black horse represents the idea in the system of economics rather than is a person.

When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:7–8, ESV)

Jesus opens the fourth seal and the fourth living creature calls the fourth rider fourth. This one is a pale horse, representing death and the afterlife. For the first time, this horseman is named Death. Hades, or Hell, follows the rider.

As God’s wrath and judgment is poured out on the earth, death comes to collect. Everything from the war that is already happening on the earth to famines and pestilences kill humanity. Even the wild beasts attack humans.

As with the second rider who is given permission by God, so also death is given authority to kill humanity. Once again, God is sovereign and he allows these things to happen as part of his judgment on the earth. A fourth of humanity dies from all of these causes.

This rider is given the name Death, and those who die go to Hades. This is most likely not a person. Like some of the other riders, it is a personification of death. It brings people to their eternal destiny in Hell.

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