The rider on the white horse is?
Rev. 6:1-2 “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer .”
This is not the coming or reign of Jesus. This rider on a white horse is trying to copy the Scripture of Jesus who later comes on a white horse to end of the tribulation. Jesus does not use a bow but with a sword (Rev.19:15). Neither is Jesus a conqueror over people as this rider is, conquerors rode on white horses.
The lamb opens the seals but is not a rider. He in his sovereignty allows them to come forth on the earth.
Gen 10:9 we read of Nimrod He was a mighty hunter before the LORD, understood as a hunter of souls. In the same manner this rider is going out conquering.
This is to be seen as an early stage of Anti-Christ’s coming into his time of power. There is a consistency to the 4 riders, they all are destructive and deceptive. They triumph by war v.3, famine, and strife not by the gospel of peace, but by taking peace away from mankind, Christ instead comes to vanquish the evil ones gathered at Armageddon.
The next horse rider, and the one after and the one after that all are destructive. The white horse is either the false prophet convincing people or the counterfeit of the real messiah (Dan.7:8; 2 Thess.2:1-; Rev. 13:1- 18, 17:10- 16).
Revelation 19:11-21 speaks of Christ who rides a white horse out of heaven after the tribulation runs it course. “In righteousness he doth judge and make war.” “on his head were many crowns…and his name is called The Word of God.” And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
Jesus Christ is seen with many crowns (not singular) he uses a white horse (more likely an angelic creature) as he leaves heaven to come to earth he is followed by the heavenly armies of angels and the glorified saints to solely engage in a quick battle with His enemies gathered in Megiddo valley.
understanding who this first rider is is crucial to further interpretation.
Clearly this rider in Revelation 6 is not Jesus. “ BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Amen.” (Rev. 1:7) clouds having to do with glory.
He is faithful and true to fulfill all God’s promises for the benefit of believers. He is also righteous in His judgments upon the wicked who did not accept God’s love through his offer of salvation to all humanity.
“The whole context and character of these seals absolutely forbid our thinking of this rider being the Lord Jesus, as so many affirm. His reign shall not bring war, famine, and strife in its train.” (Jennings)
The Seals are open in succession first by 4 riders, each bring further destruction on the earth
Rev.6:3- 2nd Seal: warfare breaks out and peace is taken from the world (fiery red horse)
Rev.6:5- 3rd Seal: Worldwide economic troubles (black horse). Cost of food becomes a days wage.
Rev.6:7- 4th Seal: Death released. A drastic decrease in population.1/4 of the world’s population is to die by the sword, hunger, disease, and beasts of the earth (pale horse). John writes: “ power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth ” (Rev. 6:8). Natures natural order is in chaos,
Rev.6:9- 5th Seal: Persecution and mass killing of God's people worldwide spreads.
Rev.6:12- 6th Seal: A massive earthquake occurs. The sun became black, the moon turns red. (Zephaniah 1:14-16)
V.13 And the stars of heaven fall to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. (stars symbolically meaning fallen angels come on the earth)
The seals being open by the first rider sets off a succession of three other riders that bring the world to understand they are under judgment. By the 6th seal being open mankind recognizes how unusual these events are and the people say “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"