Rider of the White Horse

Rider of the White Horse

Rider of the White Horse

WHO IS THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE AND WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS CROWN?                            

 “The similarities between the prophetic events in Matthew 24 and the events associated with the Four Horsemen in Revelation 6 provide insight into the rider’s identity and the meaning of the crown[1] he wears.”

The rider of the white horse in Revelation 6 corresponds with Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:4-5. There we read: “Watch…for many will come in my name…and deceive many…” The Deceiver in Matthew 24 is associated with suffering and the persecution of God’s people—just as the rider of the white horse is in Revelation 6.  That unnamed rider carries a bow (representing conquest) and introduces waves of suffering (war, a ruined economy, plague, and death). The rider is Apollyon, the destroyer.[2]

The “crown” he wears references the conflicts he will initiate and win during the seven-year Tribulation period. In the beginning of his reign, conquest will happen via deception, manipulation, and diplomacy. Dr. Ryrie writes: “His method of conquest at first does not seem to include open warfare, since peace is not removed from the earth until the second seal is opened (v.3). This corresponds to the description of delusion in 1 Thessalonians 5:3.”[3] Later in his reign, conquest is accomplished via brute force. During the Tribulation, years of war will culminate with the Battle of Armageddon.[4]

Many are quick to note the similarities between the unnamed rider in Revelation 6 and Jesus, the rider on the white horse in Revelation 19:11. However, the Greek text notes a distinction in the crowns they wear. The crown in Revelation 19 is a diadēmata, a royal crown—a plural term meaning ultimate.  The rider’s crown in Revelation 6 is a stephanos, which indicates a lesser crown and granted authority—in this case the authority is granted by Jesus (see Rev. 5:4-11). 

Therefore, the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6 is the Antichrist. He is a deceiver who loves to imitate Christ. He may ride a white horse, but his authority and crown are temporal, and his work is associated with misery, not mercy. His reign will end when Jesus, the rider of the white horse in Revelation 19, returns to earth, vanquishes His enemies, then ushers-in the Millennial Kingdom.[5]

 

[1]  Ray, Gary, The Bible Prophecy Book (I Am A Watchman Publications: Union City, CA, 2019) 82-83

[2]  Revelation 9:11

[3]  Ryrie Charles, Ryrie Study Bible (Moody Publishers: Chicago, 1994), 1927

[4]  Revelation 16-19

[5] Revelation 20

 

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