Revelation 6 - God's Character

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Revelation 6 - God's Character
Rider on the White Horse
“I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one
who sits on the throne; it was covered
with writing on both sides and was sealed
with seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1)
“Then I saw the Lamb break open the first of the
seven seals, and I heard one of the four living
creatures say in a voice that sounded like
thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there was a white
horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a
crown. He rode out as a conqueror to conquer.”
(Revelation 6:1-2)
 Who is the rider?
 Good or bad?
 A person or a time period?
God in all his glory
Surrounded by four living creatures that have
the faces of a human, lion, bull and eagle.
Blazing torches, colors of the rainbow, and
flashes of lightening.
A “middle” or “center” of the throne – “the
dazzling light which shows the presence of the
LORD.” (Ezekiel 1:28)
“…covered with writing on both sides…”
(Revelation 5:1).
“I saw that there was writing on both sides”
(Ezekiel 2:10)
“I began to weep bitterly…” (Revelation 5:4)
“Cries of grief were written there, and wails
and groans.” (Ezekiel 2:10)
“Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider
was given the power to take peace away from
the earth and to make people slaughter one
another. So he was given a large sword.”
(Revelation 6:4)
Red: War
“Then the Lamb broke open the third seal; and
I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come!’ I
looked, and there was a black horse. Its rider
held a pair of scales in his hand. I heard what
sounded like a voice coming from among the
four living creatures, which said, ‘A quart of
wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of
barley for a day’s wages.” (Revelation 6:5-6)
Black: Hunger
“I looked, and there was a pale colored horse.
Its rider was named Death, and Hades
followed close behind. They were given
authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill by
means of war, famine, disease, and wild
animals.” (Revelation 6:8)
Pale: Death
“Then I saw the Lamb break open the first of the
seven seals, and I heard one of the four living
creatures say in a voice that sounded like
thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there was a white
horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a
crown. He rode out as a conqueror to conquer.”
(Revelation 6:1-2)
 Who is the rider?
 Jesus, the early Christian church
Good or bad?
 A White rider must be good?
A person or a time period?
“The first four verses of chapter 5 imply that
the heavenly council is faced with a serious
“In the context of the Apocalypse as a whole it
is clear that the problem facing the heavenly
council is the rebellion of Satan which is
paralleled by rebellion on earth. Chapter five
presupposes the old story of Satan’s rebellion
against God which leads to the fall of creation.”
Adela Yarbo Collins, The Apocalypse, pg. 39
1/3 of the angels sided with Satan, as did
Adam and Eve
“Well, no wonder! Even Satan can disguise
himself to look like an angel of light!” (2
Corinthians 11:14)
God: “holding back the winds”
Satan: “was allowed to wage war against God’s
holy people and to conquer them. It was also
given authority over every tribe, people,
language, and nation. Everyone living on earth
will worship it…” (Revelation 13:7).
“The rider on the white horse appears as a part
of a group that acts as demonic agents of
Mathias Rissi, “The Rider on the White Horse”, Int
18 [1964], 414-416
“Allen Kereslager takes the white horse to
signify deceptive and counterfeit activity on
the part of its rider.”
Sigve Tonstad, “Saving God’s Reputation”
7 Seals
7 Bowls
“So the Sovereign LORD sent me to tell Gog what he was saying
to him: ‘Now while my people Israel live in security, you will set
out to come from your place in the far north, leading a large,
powerful army of soldiers from many nations, all of them on
horseback. You will attack my people Israel like a storm moving
across the land. When the time comes, I will send you to invade
my land in order to show the nations who I am, to show my
holiness by what I do through you.’” (Ezekiel 38:14-16)
“The Sovereign LORD said, ‘Mortal man, denounce Gog, the chief
ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and tell him that I am
his enemy. I will turn him in a new direction and lead him out of
the far north until he comes to the mountains of Israel. Then I will
knock his bow out of his left hand and his arrows out of his right
hand.” (Ezekiel 39:1-3)
“If the deceiver is partly to be unmasked by the
evidence of his own actions, it means that he
will be granted the opportunity to bring his
design to fruition. Satan must be allowed to
commit evil for his evil character to be
Sigve Tonstad, “Saving God’s Reputation”
The four horses reveal and expose Satan’s
kingdom to be a fraud and one that leads to
destruction and death.
Revelation 6
 Goes out with a bow to conquer
 The end result is the bloodshed and death
Revelation 19
 Goes out with a sword in his mouth
 The rider is named “Faithful and True.”
 His “robe…covered with blood”
(Revelation 19:13)
"Where are you God? Why do you seem to be
“How can an all-powerful and all-loving God
allow this to happen to me?”
“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“How come my prayers for help seem to go
“Where was God….?”
“If there is a God he has a lot of explaining to do
for allowing innocent children to starve to death or
to be sexually abused.”
“When the lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw
under the altar the souls of those who had been
slaughtered because of God’s word and the
testimony they had given about him. They
cried out in a loud voice, ‘Holy and true
Master, how long before you judge and take
revenge on those living on earth who shed our
blood?’” (Revelation 6:9-10)
“Each of the souls was given a white robe.
They were told to rest a little longer until all
their coworkers, the other Christians, would be
killed as they had been killed.” (Revelation
Violent Earthquake
Sun Blackened
Moon blood
Stars fell
Sky disappeared
Kings, rulers, military chiefs, rich, powerful, “and
all other people, slave and fee, hid themselves in
caves…They called out, “Fall on us and hide us
from the eyes of the one who sits on the throne and
from the wrath of the Lamb.” (Revelation 6:16)
“After this I looked, and there was an
enormous crowd---no one could count all the
people! They were from every race, tribe,
nation, and language, and they stood in front
of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white
robes and holding palm branches in their
hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
“One of the elders asked me, ‘Who are these
people dressed in white robes, and where do
they come from?’” (Revelation 7:13)
“They have washed their robes and made them
white with the blood of the Lamb….the Lamb,
who is in the center of the throne, will be their
shepherd…And God will wipe away every tear
from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:14,17)
“He will wipe away all tears from their
eyes...they will see his face.” (Revelation 21:4,
One group:
Worships the lamb-like beast (the dragon) and
receives the mark of the beast (13:2-4)
 “All peoples on earth will mourn over him.” (1:7)
 “Hide us from the face of the Lamb” (6:16)
“The Lamb will be their Shepherd” (7:9) and receive
the seal of God
“He will wipe away all tears” (7:17, 21:4)
“They will see his face” (22:4)
“When the Lamb broke open the seventh seal,
there was silence in heaven for about half an
hour.” (Revelation 8:1)
“Just watch my servant blossom! Exalted, tall, head
and shoulders above the crowd! But he didn’t
begin that way. At first everyone was appalled. He
didn’t even look human-- a ruined face, disfigured
past recognition. Nations all over the world will be
in awe, taken aback, kings shocked into silence
when they see him. For what was unheard of
they’ll see with their own eyes, what was
unthinkable they’ll have right before them.” (Isaiah
“Kings will be speechless with amazement. They
will see and understand something they had never
“Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who
would have thought that God’s saving power
would look like this? The servant grew up before
God--a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a
parched field. There was nothing attractive about
him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over, a man
who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One
look at him and people turned away. We looked
down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact
is, it was our pains he carried-- our
disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We
thought he brought it on himself, that God was
punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him, that
ripped and tore and crushed him--our sins! He
took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like
sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own
way. And GOD has piled all our sins, everything
we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was
beaten, he was tortured, but he didn't say a
word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and
like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in
Justice miscarried, and he was led off-and did anyone really know what was
happening? He died without a thought
for his own welfare, beaten bloody for
the sins of my people. They buried him
with the wicked, threw him in a grave
with a rich man, Even though he’d never
hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t
true.” (Isaiah 53:1-9)
“The scroll confronts the council with a seemingly
insoluble predicament, a veritable crisis in the
divine government, highlighted by the tears of
the Seer (5:4) and by the silence of everyone else
(5:3). The breaking of the seals signifies that this
predicament has been fully worked out, and with
the breaking of the seventh seal comes a sense of
closure to the heavenly council…Only when the
Lamb in its slaughtered state is allowed to exert a
commanding influence on the entire scene will
the representative biblical imagery for the silence
in heaven receive its due
…[The text in Isaiah] is about silence – the silence of
shock and awe in the face of an entirely unexpected
manifestation. Revelation presents an analogous
situation when the heavenly council confronts a
disclosure that defies expectations, but the
relationship between these texts consists of more than
an analogy. The startling nature of what is disclosed,
causing kings to ‘shut their mouths because of him’
according to Isaiah (52:15), belongs organically to the
vision of the ‘lamb that is led to the slaughter’ in the
original Old Testament context (Isaiah 53:7).
Moreover, both texts describe the fate of the Lamb,
one anticipating it, the other one after the fact…”
Sigve Tonstad, “Saving God’s Reputation”
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