The Book of Revelation goes into various end-time events. One chapter specifically has to do with what are commonly referred to as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Here is what the Bible specifically mentions about them in Revelation:
2 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.
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard 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 the wine.”
7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And 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 (Revelation 6:2-8).
Here are a couple of passages that LCG evangelist Richard Ames wrote, essentially summarizing the roles the four horsemen:
In Revelation 5, we read about a scroll sealed with seven seals. Jesus, the Revelator, opens the seals to the book. We read the description of those seals in Revelation 6. The first four seals are known as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first horse—the white horse—and its rider represent false religions, false Christs. Jesus Himself points out the sequence of these end-time events in Matthew 24, also known as the Olivet prophecy because Jesus spoke it on the Mount of Olives.
The second seal reveals a horseman riding a red horse, with the power to take peace from the earth. The third seal presents a rider on a black horse, representing the scarcity of food and the resulting famine. The fourth seal shows a rider on a pale horse, with the power over one-fourth of the earth to kill major portions of earth’s population.
Cynics say there have always been wars, famines and pestilences. But, as time goes on, we will see the four horsemen of the apocalypse intensify their ride, with increasing global consequences. These four horsemen comprise the first four seals (Ames R. What Is The Day of The Lord? Tomorrow’s World magazine, March-April 2007).
Jesus’ disciples had asked him about the sign of His coming and the end of the world, or the end of the age. He spoke about religious deception, wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. These trends reveal, in sequence, the meaning of the four horsemen of Revelation 6, who, toward the end of this age, intensify their dangerous ride (Ames R. The Middle East in Prophecy. Living Church of God, 2006, p. 24).
In 1973, the old Worldwide Church of God went into a lot of detail about the first horseman:
A Counterfeit Creeps In
The very first world development Jesus Christ warns about is the advent of many false preachers, misleading and deceiving the many, not the few. This condition began immediately after Christ’s death and resurrection. The Apostle Paul warned that the spirit of iniquity was already working, even as he wrote.
Jude, the younger brother of Jesus Christ, exhorted early Christians to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness” (Jude 3, 4).
In the first century true Christians witnessed a counterfeit Christianity creeping in, deceiving many. Such religious deception has now increased in intensity until the whole world has become deceived about the true message of Christ. By the time of the end, your Bible says that Satan the devil “deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9).
There is no greater sign of this universal ignorance about God than the misunderstanding of who the first horseman of Revelation 6 actually represents.
It is true that the white horse represents a Christ, but it is a false Christ. It is true that the first horseman represents a gospel and a church, but it is a false gospel and a false church—all in the name of Jesus Christ, but in truth a deception and a counterfeit. Jesus Christ says so Himself in Matthew 24, and the Apostle Paul amplified Christ’s words very plainly in II Corinthians 11.
“I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted” they might be deceived. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15).
Your Bible identifies Satan’s ministers as being professing Christians! They don’t appear Satanic, of course. They appear as “angels of light.” They look like the white horse of Christ’s return, but they are in truth a clever counterfeit of the true Christ.
Paul isn’t warning us against obviously false religions—such as pagan animism. Eastern occult sects, outright Satan worship, or bizarre semi-Christian cults—but rather against a subtle Counterfeits, like bogus money, attempt to be as close as possible to the original, yet with subtle flaws discernible only to experts. Counterfeit Christianity is the same. It may appear Biblical or Christ-like, but subtle flaws exist throughout its beliefs. counterfeit.
The horseman aboard the white horse in Revelation 6 is just such a subtle counterfeit…
All three of the remaining horsemen, however, have their basis in this world’s false Christian religions…
If you are still part of this world’s religious Babylon, this very book of Revelation warns you to, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). To escape the following three horsemen, come out of the first horseman: counterfeit Christianity—the root cause of war, famine and pestilence prophesied to come on all mankind during your lifetime! (Alexander G. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ambassador College Press, Pasadena (CA), 1973, pp. 14-16,17,19)
As regular readers of the COGwriter page are aware, a false religion calling itself “Christian” has been perceived by many as the true Christian religion. Thus, at least an antetype the first horseman apparently began his ride early on, but this will intensify with a final false religious prophet (Antichrist)—and he will have military support (666).
We in the Church of God believe that since humankind, since Adam (Genesis 3:6), has by and large rejected living the way of give as God’s commandments and statutes teach, that humankind has been deceived by false religions which result in curses such as war, famine, and pestilences. But that at the end of this age, it will mainly be a false Greco-Roman form of Christianity which will bring the world to the point of utter destruction—but a destruction that God will prevent from being complete. As Jesus taught:
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:22).
And those who recognize how successful this religious deception has been, may be able to escape falling for this final fulfillment, as well as the other three horsemen whose biggest disasters in terms of war (#2), famine (#3), and pestilence/death (#4) lie ahead. Notice what else Jesus taught:
36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.
Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship).