The first seal: Conqueror on a white horse
As the first seal opens, John writes the following: “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.” (Revelation 6:1-2).
White is a symbol of purity and peace. Here is a rider who appears to come in the name of and bearing a message of peace.
But he is a conqueror, one who imposes his version of peace on the world.
Possibly this rider will even bring about a pseudo peace, a condition described by the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:3: “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them … And they shall not escape.”
Some confuse this rider with Jesus Christ, whom Revelation 19 shows riding a white horse at His second coming. Jesus is opening the seal & how can He be the Rider too! But a careful examination reveals important distinctions. Christ is wearing “many crowns” at His return, not just a single crown as worn by this first horseman. And instead of wielding a bow, Christ is brandishing a sword with which He strikes the nations.
To be consistent with Christ’s statements in Matthew 24, we must conclude that this rider represents not Jesus, but instead false teachers who appropriate His name while corrupting His plain teaching and leading many into destructive heresy.
Remember His warning: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name … and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).
A different gospel takes root
It didn’t take long after Christ’s death for a “different gospel” (Galatians 1:6) to invade the Church, causing division and confusion. The apostles were forced to deal with this problem, as evidenced by their writings to the Church.
Paul warned the elders of the congregation at Ephesus to beware of false teachers: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28-30).
As the apostle Peter neared the end of his life, God compelled him to give a stern warning about the apostasy that he saw looming on the horizon.
The second chapter of his second epistle is a powerful rebuke of those who would bring false teaching into the Church: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).
He went on to say, “Many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (verse 2). Peter calls the Church’s doctrine the “way of truth.” It is like a trail of truth along which the faithful have always walked. Christ called it a narrow and difficult way that few find (Matthew 7:13-14).
The Church corrupted by deception
Near the end of the first century the apostle John, last of the original 12 apostles, saw a rapid escalation in the heresy and persecution that was plaguing the Church. During the reign of Roman Emperor Domitian a virulent strain of antagonism was unleashed on Christians. For a time, the government even exiled the aged apostle to the Aegean island of Patmos. It was there that he received the book of Revelation in vision.
The three epistles bearing his name reveal the mounting tension in the churches and John’s desire to warn the members of the devastating impact of false teaching. He wrote of their individual and collective responsibility to examine those teachers who presented themselves as spiritual guides and experts.
He knew it was easy to claim divine authority and thereby deceive people into following ideas that were spiritually destructive. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
We see the apostles warning of the corruption of the true faith brought by Jesus Christ. Jude summed it up perfectly when he wrote of the need to “ contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).
Within decades, the truth of God was gravely corrupted by false teachers. The result was teachings that no longer resembled the gospel brought by Christ. In Galatians 1:6, Paul had to reprimand the Galatians for “turning away … to a different gospel. “
From the teachings of these corrupters evolved a church bearing Jesus’ name, but vastly different in doctrines and practices from the Church we see in the New Testament. In fact, two vastly different “Christian” faiths were now locked in a struggle—the true followers of Jesus’ teachings and the tarnished followers of a spiritually corrupt, counterfeit Christianity!
Over the centuries, persecution from the Roman authorities took its toll. This counterfeit church further compromised the faith under threat of death from the state.
Roman Emperor Constantine combined the power of the state with the ecclesiastical structure and authority of the false church. This created a union of church and state with the ability to create order by squelching dissent. Thus, Constantine and succeeding Roman emperors allied themselves with a deceptive religious system represented by the symbolic white horse of peace.
Their mission was to conquer, in the name of Christ, all those who opposed them.
A final great deception to come
Christ’s prophecy of false teachers coming in His name, claiming He is the Christ but deceiving many, indeed came to pass. Church history is largely a story of teachings and practices of the counterfeit Christianity, with its system of beliefs and practices fundamentally different from what the early New Testament Church believed and taught. The story of those who held to or at times recaptured the essence of true Christianity is not easy to follow through history.
Today those who strive to practice the teachings that Christ put into His Church are few in comparison to the thousands of churches that call themselves Christian but are in fact descendants of the counterfeit movement begun in the first century. Christ said that “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it … Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Yet even for these few, there is danger from a coming deception—Satan’s end-time effort to defeat and enslave humankind.
Christ’s Olivet prophecy progresses, in concert with the book of Revelation, toward the final events before His return. He said, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Even the elect, the people of God who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17), will be susceptible to this great deception.
The apostle Paul spoke of this time of deception in 2 Thessalonians 2. This prophecy of a “man of sin” to arise before Christ’s return stands out within Paul’s writings.
This end-time deception is led by a figure “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped” and who will even sit “in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” In Paul’s day, this opposition to the law and doctrine of God was already at work. But before the coming of Christ it will expand “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (verses 3-9).
This “son of perdition” matches the description of the figure described in Revelation 13 as a “beast,” one of two beasts in this section, this one with two horns like a lamb and speaking like a dragon (verse 11).
This person acts in tandem with the first beast (verse 1), actually causing people to worship the first beast with great adulation (verse 12). “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived” (verses 13-14).
What is this talking about? Here we find the description of Satan’s final attempt to engineer a system based on his lying words of deceit and confusion. That it involves false religion is obvious from all the markers we have seen in the New Testament Scriptures.
A man claiming to be God, in the temple of God, performs signs with the intent of persuading men to worship a system that appears to be doing good for the world. This is the final resurgence of a system God calls “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH ” (Revelation 17:5).
His allure will likely lie in bringing about a peaceful solution to a world crisis where no one else has succeeded. The world will wonder in amazement at the ability of this system to impose a “peace” that will seemingly bring security in which the world can prosper economically. It will be a global system unlike any previous system, and it will seem to work.
An unparalleled religious movement
The ride of the first horseman, false religion, will greatly impact the nations in the last days. It will mark the expansion of a religious movement without parallel in history.
Religion continues to be a powerful force among the nations. A great wave of religious change is moving continually throughout the world. Not only are the large world religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, growing and changing, but countless other new faiths are springing up, almost on a daily basis.
Scholars who keep track of the world religious scene identify more than 9,900 distinctive religions. Despite predictions at one time that religion would become extinct, it continues to grow, reinventing itself after the personal interests and whims of people.
False religion marches on at the same time that the world’s citizens are desperately in need of hope and solutions for survival. Their desperation provides fertile ground for religious extremism.
The rise of fundamentalist Islam has precipitated a cultural clash that could lead to dramatic changes in the world geopolitical structure. Religious-based terrorism has implicated this major religion in a radical movement that will drag others, including Christian-professing nations, into a clash of civilizations—one that could possibly trigger the age-ending crisis foretold by Jesus Christ.
Christ spoke of false religion as the precursor to “wars and rumors of wars.” The second seal of Revelation 6 is a rider on a red horse described as taking peace from the earth. Religious strife has often been the cause of war. We will see the connection between the two in the next issue as we look at the ride of this next horseman.
Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj: “The present Pope Francis is the false prophet.”
The following provides a transcript of the video:
“Two years ago, during a conference in Sydney Australia, one afternoon while I was in prayer, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared before me and He spoke to me about the false prophet mentioned in Revelation chapter 13. And He said, ‘The present pope Francis is the false prophet.’
I was very shocked. I’m seeing the Lord Jesus standing right before me and He explained to me all the signs and the characteristics of the false prophet that fit him.
And then when this sign in the heavens in 2014 appeared, it confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt that the prophesied beast of Revelation 13 is none other than the religious leader in the Vatican.
A few weeks ago, the Pope put out a message and that is another very shocking thing because that again is a fulfillment in Revelation chapter 13 concerning with the false prophet will do. The Pope issued a message inviting all religious leaders to gather to form one new world religion. The Pope himself spoke in the Latin and it was put out in the media. When I saw that, fear came inside me because that is a fulfillment of what we read in Revelation chapter 13.
This invitation, a call for world religions to come together as one and then the proposal to form a new world religion. Now who’s going to be the God of that new religion? If the pope says it is Jesus, then the Muslims and Hindus will get very upset. So, who is going to be that God? This is where the false prophet will point his finger at the antichrist and say he is the new God.
And Daniel chapter 11 tells us that this antichrist will announce himself as God. And just like John the Baptist pointed his finger at the Lord Jesus and said, ‘Behold The Lamb of God.’
John the Baptist is a prophet. In the same manner, the same event will be duplicated again. The false prophet will point the finger at the antichrist and say, ‘This is the God.’
My dearly beloved sons and daughters and brothers and sisters, all these events they were prophesied in the book of Revelation are now taking place right by our doorstep. Time will delay no longer! The Lord Jesus is coming again in our days! This event is not a great future in time! And all of heaven and the angels in heaven are ready with the trumpets to blow to announce the coming of the Lord Jesus.”
Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj – Pope Will Join Hands with The Man of Sin (One World Religion)
The following provides a transcript of the video:
“On October 4, 2016, being the second day of Rosh Hashanah, as I was waiting on God, my spirit was caught up into the heavenly realm before the Council of Elders.
I saw many ancient prophets from biblical days seated around the table. When I came, they asked me to sit with them as a witness to hear their discussion (2 Chronicles 18:18; Amos 3:7). I heard them discussing the things that are shortly coming to pass.
The Pope will join hands with a political world leader to establish a One World Religion. People from all over the world will be required to worship his One World Religion of peace. This new religion will remove all the barriers of race, caste, and creed. As a result, it will be accepted by all the world’s political leaders as it will promote and guarantee peace. When this is enforced a large percentage of Christians will embrace it (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).
The One World Leader will come to establish a One World Religion. The Bible calls the One World Political Leader the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Though a large percentage of the church believers will fall away, yet the true remnant church of God will remain strong, steadfast and faithful. Like a ship that is on rough sea waves, it will sail safely through the shaking. Even though the waves—demonic waves taller than the sails of the ship will come to crash on it, but the ship will remain steady. How is that possible? Because the Hand of the Spirit of the Lord will hold it strong. Many will die trying to keep the boat afloat. Those who die—martyrs, angels will come to bear them up safely to the Father’s presence. A huge company of martyrs will rise in the last days (Revelation 6:11).
The One World Government will arise under the leadership of this political leader. Most of us have been hearing this for many years. Now the time has come closer.”
The second beast has the appearance of a lamb, which represents religion, but will speak like a dragon, which represents Satan (Revelation 13:11). In other words, the new One World Religion will be filled with the spirit of Satan.
The second beast has the same authority as the first beast and uses his authority to force everyone on earth to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He will deceive the world by performing great signs, including making fire come down from heaven. Those who refuse to worship the beast will be put to death. The second beast acts as the law enforcement agent for the first beast, requiring everyone to take his mark on their right hand or on their forehead (Revelation 13).
This post is sure to offend many Catholics, but that is not the intent. Prophet Terry Bennett saw hundreds of thousands of Catholics rejecting the One World Religion, but it cost many of them their lives.
This word from Sundar also confirms what many in the Church today do not believe, the time for the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies is now drawing close.