The following doctrine contends that the first seal of the book of Revelation represents economic conquest.
The text for the following doctrine is Revelation 6:1-8 The four horsemen. And I would draw the reader's attention to the last sentence of verse 8 ...And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
This largely explains the metaphor, but the first rider is somewhat of a mystery. I am convinced that Israel's time in Egypt correlates with the events in Revelation. Beginning with Joseph and ending with Moses. It began very well with Pharaoh welcoming the children of Israel, but soon turned into a long slavery, that ended with deliverance through Moses and the mighty hand of God. The comparison is we are in the golden age of Joseph's era. And the first horseman will be compared to Joseph. I would like to use Zechariah's vision as there are multiple important clues regarding these colour coded horses, chapter 6:1-8
Verse 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
Verse 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits* of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
* Strongs H7307 roo'-akh has 378 occurrences on the OT, and it translates into 15 different English words, most commonly it is spirit[s] or winds. The preceding adjective is often the context.
Spirit of God Gen. 1:2 First mention
of wisdom Exo. 28:3
of jealousy, Num. 5:14
alternative spirit Num. 14:24
contrite spirit Psa. 34:18
Holy spirit Psa. 51:11
haughty spirit Pro.16:18
broken spirit Pro. 17:22
perverse spirit Isa.19:14
evil spirit Jdg9:23, 1Sam16:16
lying spirit 1King 23:23
humble spirit Pro. 16:19
spirit of man Jdg. 15:19
breath of life, Gen.6:17
wind Gen. 8:1
whirlwind Ezk. 1:4
air Job 41:16
blast of thy nostrils, Exo. 15:8
mind Gen. 26:35
These 4 spirits / winds have shaped humanity from time immemorial. They are mentioned many times in the scriptures, but only as horses in Zechariah and Revelation, I will be going back to these books repeatedly. These horses/horsemen are not individuals. Birds of a feather flock together, and you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep.
Only one person in the OT is associated with the bow, crown and conquest. That person is Joseph, Gen.49. 22-26. Joseph achieved much for God, among his many achievements was total economic conquest for Pharaoh. There are 4 examples of correlation between Joseph's life and the text in Revelation chapter 6 [i.e. 4 horsemen]
#1 The Bow is mentioned: Gen 49:24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.
#1a That might not sound like much, but when we consider the context it really takes it up a notch. His father Jacob said: Gen. 49:1 Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Jacob says he is prophesying and he is.
#2 The Crown is mentioned: V26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. The crown in this context is the blessing of Abraham. The crown in Revelation is a different crown, it represents successful shooting as in olympic games. 1Cor. 9:25
#3 Total Conquest is mentioned. Gen 45:6 Two years into the famine Joseph tells his brethren to bring their father to Egypt. Because there are five more years. Some time passes and we pick up the story in Gen.47:14-15 [approx. 5-6th year of the famine] By the end of the famine Pharaoh owned:
All the money. Gen.47:14
All the cattle.Gen. 47:17 #3a First mention of horses in the Bible Gen.47:17
All the lands.Gen. 47:20
And all the people. Gen. 47:21 [I should mention the children of Israel didn't get owned by Pharaoh]
Absolute total conquest without any war #3b Joseph's conquest wasn't just in Egypt, Gen 41:57 but other countries as well, this would include Canaan and Ethiopia.
#4 Trading grain during famine is mentioned: Gen 42:3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. H1250 this word appears 14 times in the OT, 5 times it is translated as wheat. Joseph's trading in grain during the famine bears a strong resemblance to the words spoken as the black horse appears... A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny...
Disclaimer: The main Hebrew word for wheat is H2406 and H7668
I submit the colour codes as such:
White horse represents prosperity.
Red horse represents war.
Black horse represents famine.
Pale horse represents death. My reasons to follow:
Question: If the black horse represents famine, what would the white horse represent?
Answer: Prosperity. The contrast is the first clue. There are four different coloured horses, but only two are opposites, the black and the white. The black clearly represents famine, so it follows that the white represents abundance. A similar contrast can be seen in the fact that God is a God of Mercy and Judgment. His judgments can be seen in war, famine and death, but often His mercies are seen in prosperity. Consider the following:
Zec 1:17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
So it makes sense that if the horses in Zec 6:8 ... have quieted my spirit in the north country. They don't always represent judgment, sometimes they represent God’s mercies. And who doesn't want peace and prosperity?
Joseph's conquest is the model, it began with prosperity. Jacob was the first to notice Joseph's diligence towards his work, and then so did Potiphah, then the Jailer, and lastly Pharaoh. Seven good years represent the white horse, and seven years of famine represent the black horse. A man of Joseph's caliber with this foreknowledge conquered the known world. Of course Joseph never went to war, and never killed anyone so there is no mention of war [red horse] or death [pale horse] in the Genesis model. Joseph kept everyone alive, not so in the book of Revelation chapter six.
Some would argue that the colour white only represents purity in scripture, however it is also the colour of leprosy. Lev13:3 The word white first appears in the Bible with Jacob working for Laban and determining Jacob's wages [Gen.30:35]. This is a testimony of Jacob's prosperity, so much so even Laban admitted it [v27]. Gen.30:27-35
The first horseman's conquest is done through prosperity not war, and Joseph's conquest is the model. The success of Joseph's conquest was the fact that he knew what the future held, and when it was going to happen. Rev. 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
According to the text this is a two part process, starting with conquering and a final one-off event to conquer, but such a process requires a plan. You cannot go conquering at random or you will achieve nothing. If we consider the words in Rev. 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow... I should mention that the rider on the white horse already had a bow when he first appeared, the crown was given afterwards. This suggests he had a plan before it was apparent to others. His opponents are not aware of what he is up to. They don’t even know he is their enemy, they are easy pickings.
Even Joseph's conquest begun with a plan, and resulted in absolute final conquest that took at least 14 years to complete. I should mention that Joseph's conquest was from the goodness of his heart. Joseph was a mighty servant of God, a type of Christ, but the rider on the white horse is targeting his opponents with a weapon. Quite a contrast. So what is the plan? And what is this final event? I assume the plan [outcome] will be the same as what happened in Egypt. And the bow is a clue as to the means of achieving that outcome. Note that the bow is an assassins weapon, and so he has a target, and an agenda, and what's worse he has a licence to kill:
Rev. 6:8...here was given unto them authority over the fourth part of the earth, to kill...
Opponents be warned he is a killer according to the above text. I assume as he progresses with his conquering he makes more opponents, and more opponents means more dead bodies. I can envision the body count mounting as he completes his conquest. Here we see a big difference between Joseph's peaceful conquest, and the subtle and deceptive methods used by the rider on the white horse.
Joseph knew what would happen, and when it would happen, does the conqueror know the future? I don't believe he does. I believe that only God knows the future, and has revealed the important events in the scripture. But I'm sure the conqueror has a plan for the future, and it is world government with him and his buddies at the centre of it all. Everyone wants to rule the world, but we know from scripture that there will be a brief rule by the devil, followed by the victorious return of Jesus Christ to rule for 1000 years.
He has ambitious plans for world government, and he has the economic means to achieve this goal. Planning a world government would be foolish unless you had this kind of economic power, and so this conquering must be very selective in targeting opponents. He'd rather use puppets than expose himself as the diabolical puppeteer. Consider the surreptitious methods used to gain economic control [Jekyall Island meeting], and what pains of secrecy are used to plan future events Bilderburgers et al. Today the nations are conquered by debt. There is a cartel of bankers that have exploited the transition from a gold backed monetary system to a debt backed monetary system. This process has spanned over a hundred years [the Swiss being the last to leave the gold standard], and there is barely a person alive who remembers a gold backed monetary system. Today's global monetary system is a debt backed system, it works by faith, and is driven by necessity, greed and fear. Like a house of cards, when it collapses under its own weight many will say it was inevitable. What could possibly go wrong? Those that have created the current system understand the potential for systemic collapse, and they have resisted all who have suggested alternative systems. Would they be so evil as to exploit such circumstances? Absolutely yes. All our politicians have learned to never waste a good calamity. Many reading this will quickly dismiss it as conspiracy theory, but if I speak well of the coming world government, those same people would think better of it.
There will be two world governments, the first will be very short lived, it will be the government described by Daniel and John as a beast with seven heads, and ten horns. But the main event will be after that when King Jesus returns and rules for 1000 years! That is the only government that matters.
Q) Previously I said these horsemen are not individuals, then I said there is a cartel of bankers that are conquering economically, so what it is?
A) Imagine a cartel of bankers riding the gravy train of prosperity created through excessive debt. The debt comes from thin air, but the resulting prosperity is real. The cartel have mastered this process, now our monetary system is backed by empty promises. Voila! Gresham's Law played out on a global scale over 100 years.
Back to the text Zec.6:1. This horse and rider represents war. When Zechariah described these horses they were pulling a chariot from between mountains of brass. King Darius should have listened to Zechariah and not wasted his time with the wars in the Aegean coasts.
Rev. 6:4...and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword...
Nothing new or special about war but again the contrast is the clue. If the second horseman represents war, that strongly implies the previous conquest was done without war. And this reconciles with Joseph’s conquest. This is the second contrasting clue. Also this rider appears empty-handed, and is given power and a great sword, this suggests to me that his actions are more spontaneous than the previous rider. See the sub heading ‘Cause and Effect’ further down the page.
Note that the earth was conquered without much war on the part of the conqueror. In fact the conqueror financed both sides! Profiteering from the battles. Now the big war begins when the conquest is finished. Typical of human behaviour, close the barn door after the horse has bolted.
Rev. 6:4 cont. ...And they should slay one another. Interesting that the killing almost sounds like a grassroots movement. Are religious wars included in this fighting? Perhaps with the break down of government and pent up resentments are released? We won't have long to find out.
#1 There are 12 verses in Ezekiel chapter 21 that describe the sword of the Lord, and it has the same effect as the horses described in Zak.6:8
Ezek. 21:15-17 V17 I will cause my fury to rest.
Zak. 6:8 Same Hebrew word ...Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit. Same Hebrew word, same effect.
#2 Ezek. 21: 9-12 V11 ...to give it into the hand of the slayer. Compare the words of Rev.6:4 ...and there was given unto him a great sword. The comparison is compelling. This sword is described as Great [Strongs# G3173 Megas] think mega.
This horse and rider represents famine, severe famine: Lam.5:10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. The pair of balances show that a days wages only buys a measure of wheat or triple amount of barley. A day's wages would normally buy eight measures of wheat in ancient times. This is rationing unto death. As the famine in Egypt [and known world] escalated so did the control of the ruling power[s]. Food prices have skyrocketed, and someone is making a killing here. Please note this rider already had the balances in his hand when he first appeared, just like the first rider he comes prepared for the event.
See thou hurt not the oil and the wine. Commodities or Symbolic? Typically oil and wine would be symbolic, but the context strongly implies commodities. The rider is trading grain and other foodstuffs during famine.
The only rider who is named. Is death an individual? No. And we know who his friends are. There is very little said about this rider. Death is often portrayed as having a scythe in his hand, but there is no mention of anything in his hand in the text. This rider is the second empty handed horseman, although he does have an entourage. What he lacks in purpose, he makes up for in sheer numbers.
Traditionally these winds / spirits tend to go in cycles:
Zek. 6:6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them...
This can be observed though out history, these cycles of prosperity, war, famine and death are much repeated in the Bible and history. They don't always follow the same order, but they always go in cycles, exactly as shown in the scripture.
Ecc.3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven [H8064 same word in Zak.6:8]
Ecc.3:2 ...a time to die [pale horse]
Ecc.3:3 ...a time to build up Ecc.3:6 A time to get [white horse]
Ecc. 3:8 A time of war [red horse] and time of peace. They don't always follow the same order, but they always eventually go in cycles. Solomon never mentioned famine, most likely because he never saw any.
I should mention that the order listed in Revelation is different from Zek, and different again from the order in Genesis. In Gen. we see seven good years [white horse] followed by seven bad years [black horse] Notice there was no war [Red horse] and no death [pale horse] because Joseph kept everyone alive. In Zek chapter 6 the order is Red [war], Black [black], white [prosperity], grisled [death]. Same horses, different order, but always cycling.
In Zek 1:8 we see a rider on a Red horse [war], then more red [war] horses and speckled [death] and white [prosperity]. Interesting cycle effect shown in Zek 1:16-17 The back story verse 8 sets the context. Previously the Lord had sent war and famine and death to Jerusalem [red, black and pale horses] and now it will be rebuilt with prosperity [white horse]. The cycles repeat throughout scripture. But our understanding is helped if we can recognise what goes with what. War and famine usually go together, not always but often.
Zek. 1:17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
I mentioned previously, it was said of these spirits / winds that: Zak. 6:8 ...Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted* my spirit in the north country. The effects of these horses can be seen in the above verse. It says they [black and white horses] have quieted* my spirit in the north country. H5117 noo'-akh has 144 occurrences on the OT. Mostly it is translated as rest or rested, the same word is in the verse below:
Ezek. 21:17 I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it. The overall effects of these horses [horsemen] serve the purposes of God, although that is not always pleasant with humanity, only God's purposes matter, and only God's purposes will stand in the long run. As God reveals His anger on the nations it is said that the nations were angry. Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come... I dare say there is some pent up anger to be vented. God always wins.
As these events unfold those affected agree on what is happening, but not everybody agrees on why it's happening. Believers see this as the work of God, the Lamb of God opens the seals, but unbelievers see this as the natural cause and effect, nothing to see here, move along... war always causes famine, famine always causes death.
This is also reflected in the fact that two riders appear empty handed, and the other two riders appear with something already in their hands. Both the riders on the white and black horses appear with important objects in their hands. But the riders on the other two horses [red and pale] appear empty handed. I would draw the reader’s attention to the alternating pattern in the text. The first and third riders appear with objects in their hands. The second and forth riders are empty handed.
It is my understand that the riders who appear with something in their hands have an agenda, they are the cause. But the empty handed riders are the natural reaction, they are the effect. This cause and effect plays out throughout the first five seals, it all changes when the 6th seal is opened. But if we work backwards through the first five seals, it begs the question:
Did the conqueror [first seal] cause the massive war [second seal]?
The answer to this question depends on how you view the events.
Dangers of Centralised Government
There is a subtle difference between Zek's vision and John's vision. Zek described the horses as being both localised and global, Zek. 6:6-7. But John described them as only being globalised. Revelation 6:8 And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth. Is this worth mentioning? Yes, because of the dangers of centralised government. A successful conquest similar to Joseph's puts all the power into the hands of a very few people. Compare Joe's conquest to a current global conquest: At the end of the famine in Egypt, Pharaoh owned all the money, all the cattle, all the land and all the people. Never waste a good crisis. In today's political climate we see politicians exploiting every crisis, and even engineering crisis for political gain. After 9/11 America got the Patriot Act. Imagine what horrors will be implemented in the aftermath of these horsemen.
Dan 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. These four winds are the same four horsemen as previously discussed. In this metaphor humanity is the sea, and the effects of the winds [horsemen] always produce beastly governments arising from the tossed sea of humanity.
Finally, I would like to remind the reader that I have speculated in some of these points regarding this doctrine. And there is a large volume of information out there documenting the developments in economics and politics of the last hundred years, and in particular central banking. In my opinion it is largely a waste of time if you concentrate on these topics.
Ignore the politics and ignore the banking and focus on what the Lord Jesus said. His reign will be eternal, whatever can be achieved by human governments will be flawed, evil and short lived. Jesus taught us to pray:
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth, as it is in Heaven...
His Kingdom is the Big Event. The devil will have his five minutes of fame, but it's nothing compared to the plan God has for His Son and His Church on His earth, and in eternity.