What does apocalypse really mean [in the Bible]?
We get the word apocalypse from apokalupsis. It is found in the Bible in Revelations 1:1 for the revelation (apokalupsis or apocalypse) of Jesus.
“The revelation [apokalupsis or apocalypse] of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.” (Revelation 1:1, ESV)
Then it means that it’s the apocalypse of Jesus Christ, which is also the revelation of Jesus Christ. The word apocalypse isn’t supposed to be so much focused on the doomsday of all of the creation but focused on the revelation of who the man Jesus Christ is as God and Savior.
What we need to understand about the root word of Apocalypse is that it comes from the last book in the Bible representing the end of the age. Not necessarily The end of the world as we know it, but entering into the next age, which is eternity.
Revelation also means unveiling like on a wedding day. The bride is veiled, and then you lift up the veil of the bride to see her face. On the day of the wedding, that’s what it’s supposed to be like with Jesus, the bridegroom to the church. It is supposed to be like an unveiling of the day that Jesus comes to encounter creation. Again, which would be the revelation of it, the unveiling of it.
However, at this point in time, Jesus is revealing himself to a generation that does not want him. In fact, what they want is the exact opposite of Jesus. They want their own desires. Their selfish lust. In this case, Jesus finally gives them over to their sin, which is where we see the manifestation of the four horsemen. They are manifestations of the wickedness of mankind in their fulness. Each horseman represents different attributes that mankind is possessing in this final time in history. It is a time of the greatest wickedness and the greatest holiness and power of the disciples of Jesus – His Bride.
What is the meaning of the Four Horsemen?
If you look at Matthew 24, which is a scripture about the end of the End Times. Then it shares that there’s going to be specific things that would take place, which include all of the attributes of the four horsemen. We see here, there’ll be false Christ, there’ll be rumors of wars, there’ll be famine and pestilence and kingdom against kingdom, and all of these aspects here are all of the aspects that are inside of the four horsemen.
“As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:3-7, ESV)
What does that tell us, it means that the four horsemen are a sign of the End Times. That’s the significance of the four horsemen. They are a biblical prophetic picture of what will happen when the end of the world or this age comes into the scene before the rest of the eternal timeline.
Who four horsemen of the apocalypse?
Each of the four horsemen have specific characteristics that embody the wickedness that mankind is walking in. They also have unique colors of the horses they are riding, that also represent symbolic significance as we study them in the Bible
False Peace and the White Horse
The first one is a white horse, which represents a false Christ or a false love and peace that sweeps over the world.
War and the Red Horse
The predominant characteristic of the second horseman, which is a red horse is war. War and violence over the entire planet. This will be the final and worst war history has ever seen and will ever see
Famine the Black Horse
The third horseman represents a great economic downfall and is riding a black horse. The global economy will be devastated. There will be great poverty around the land, which will lead to a great amount of ramifications for every category of the population on earth.
Death and the Green Horse
The final horseman is death, riding a green horse. This specific horseman will bring death to one-fourth of the planet.
Who leads the Four Horsemen?
We see in Revelations 5 that the reason why the horsemen are released is that they’re judgments from God onto Earth during the end times. In this specific frame of time, sin and wickedness and immorality and hatred towards Jesus is at its highest peak.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (Revelation 5:1-2, ESV)
In Matthew 24 it says that if God doesn’t come in and stop the wickedness on Earth, then all mankind will kill each other, and there wouldn’t be mankind anymore even to save or that would love.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. If those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” (Matthew 24:21-22, ESV)
One important thing that we have to remember about the end times is that there’s a great amount of wickedness on the earth, and what God is doing is that he’s really giving people over to their sin, which is they want. The four horsemen are a representation of what human beings want; they want violence. They want greed. They want to do things in their own power. Humankind not being able to lead creation the way that Jesus the Creator God did, can end up with the things that they desire and end up destroying themselves.
Who leads the four horsemen out, Jesus is the initiator. Jesus is the one that’s letting the people receive what they want in their lives, which is that they don’t want God. They want their own sin to be the leader of their own lives, and the four horsemen represent the foundations of these major sins from having them defining their own kind of love, defining their own kind of god. Taking over whoever they want, doing whatever they want with the nations, doing whatever they want with their greed.
Jesus is life. When we say no to Jesus, then we say yes to death. This is the dual paradigm of the apocalypse, Jesus giving people over to their sin, and saving his people from their own destruction they are desiring.
What is the first horse of the apocalypse?
Let’s take a look at Revelations 6:1-2. Who is the first horse of the Apocalypse, and it’s the white horse. It’s being led by someone who comes conquering – able to take over nations.
“Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and behold, a white horse! Its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:1-2, ESV)
There’re a couple of things that we need to take a look at here. The first is the meaning of the white horse.
What does riding the white horse mean?
The first thing with the first horse is that it’s a white horse. What it means is that it represents a false Christ. Jesus returns on the white horse is later in the storyline. From the prophetic points of the Bible, what is coming here and now is a false god on a white horse.
The Conqueror on the White Horse
The conqueror brings political peace to the world on a massive scale. The white horse is also supposedly seen almost as a godlike figure or Jesus-like figure. But it is a false representation of Jesus, the perfect loving ruler. He looks good, but he is not.
What we can take from this is that we need to understand that there is going to be a false peace, a false love, a false god, and a false religion that comes over and sweeps over the entire world and unites everything.
The warning here is that, unless everything is united under Jesus the world would be swept over, and it’s this first white horse, which is somewhat the most deceptive because it looks like it’s God. It looks like it’s good, but it opens the door for all the other horses that are horsemen to come in.
Who is the red horseman?
In Revelations chapter six is peace on earth, and now there is no peace because the second horseman is taking it away. When this horseman takes away the peace on the earth, it brings a great sword, and people would begin to slay one another, this is the final world war.
“When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.” (Revelation 6:3-4, ESV)
Again, this is a representation of God giving men over to the sin inside of their own hearts and the wickedness. It says here that men should slay one another. It means that men want to kill; they want to live in the way of survival of the fittest. Whoever is the biggest is the strongest and wins everything.
God gives them over to that in a powerful way. They’re allowed to walk in what they so desire to do. What we see is a great world war unlike any of the world wars that had ever taken place, and that’s what this horseman represents – war.
Who is the black horse of revelation?
The third horseman is riding a black horse. The Black Horse comes in, and then it’s holding a pair of scales. The major piece I want to emphasize here is that it has scales in his hand, which represent the economies of the world. We see how much is affected here; a quart of wheat is a day’s wages and three quarts of barley is a day’s wages.
“Then the Lamb broke open the third seal; and I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there was a black horse. Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand. I heard what sounded like a voice coming from among the four living creatures, which said, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages. But do not damage the olive trees and the vineyards!” (Revelation 6:5-6, GNB)
What that means is that everything will be tipped over economically. Everything that the world has sewn into economies and finances will now be tipped over to this false Christ Empire. The leader they thought was good but now is bringing war, now is also changing all of the economies of the entire world.
The thing about this is that all of the economies, because of the greed of mankind, God will give them over to their greed and this will allow them to make their own scales which are totally unjust, then now what ends up happening is that poverty increases. The financial kingdom that they’re building crashes, and it all turns over to the Antichrist kingdom and the demonic army.
What is the meaning of Pale Horse?
There’s a green horse that comes on the scene. The name its rider was Death and Hades and Hades in the play is the resting place for the dead. It had authority over one-fourth of the earth to kill it by a sword, so there’s more war and persecution and death occurring. Also famine and terminal diseases, with wild beasts of the earth that will kill one-fourth of the earth. Generally, nearly every avenue death can come by; it does.
“When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and behold, a pale horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:7-8, ESV)
Who is the horseman of death?
At this point, one-fourth of the world’s population might be around or would probably be like almost 2 billion people that would die.
There’re four categories that are going to be attacking everybody. It’s every system that mankind has created that is now being destroyed. The plagues and viruses that are even like the science field and medical field. This is a time in the book of Daniel, where it says that education and technology have reached a place that it’s never reached before because knowledge is expanding more and more every day. Not only in who God is, but also in how the universe works. In this place, this is where a lot of pride takes place inside of the hearts of men of being able to innovate and create and build things that are very common.
Even in Genesis, the first technological advances were done by Cain’s legacy, which was a demonic legacy. What that’s saying is that just because there’s the progression of technology, economies, businesses, and science, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily from God. If the motivation of it is for the purpose of mankind’s progression and not the purpose of the advancement of God’s glory.
God gives them over to it, but then the idea is that men can’t control the earth, even if they have the greatest innovations, and ultimately there’s a plague that sweeps over the entire planet. Even the beasts of the earth, begin destroying all humankind. There are more wars and then there’s even more famine and so again, this is all just a magnification of God giving men over to their own sin. These are what happens when mankind is allowed to do whatever they want in the earth; it ends up destroying the whole planet. This horseman is a representation of that.
Jesus is the only true eternal life. He’s only king that could rule the planet with perfect love and life. Since mankind doesn’t want Jesus, they also don’t want eternal life. They make themselves god by their own beliefs.
Since the people want to follow death, then this is now your leader, who is the horsemen of death. There’s a great harvest of souls, but there’s also a large amount of the mainstream population consistently rejecting Jesus at this point.
Even though Jesus’ sovereign will, will be fulfilled, he still allows free will. If the people follow Jesus, he could stop everything if they decide to follow what he has said about love and what he said about ruling over the creation that he has made. They instead, still decide to follow their own pride. Mankind is being judged by their own decisions and beliefs near to the fullness.
Surviving the Apocalypse
What’s important to know about the apocalypse is that it’s actually not a physical war as it is a spiritual war. The four horsemen if you notice, are supernatural beings. They’re beyond any type of understanding and they don’t necessarily go by the laws of the universe; they are essentially beyond that. They’re supernatural, they’re from a divine source of power. The idea here is that you can’t battle against it with physical but to go against it with the spiritual.
It’s a spiritual battle. That means that you can’t fight it. It’s a supernatural battle so you can’t necessarily fight it with natural methods. One of the biggest misconceptions of the apocalypse is that we believe that we can prepare for it in a natural way when we’re supposed to be fighting for it in a supernatural way. No amount of natural preparation can help you win a supernatural battle.
We have to understand that the original meaning of the apocalypse is the revelation of Jesus Christ. By understanding who Jesus Christ is, we will be able to survive and overcome the Apocalypse, and the greatest defining point of Jesus is what he defines himself as, which is God is love.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8, ESV)
God is agape. Agape is not a natural love. It’s not an erotic, family, or friend oriented. It’s a supernatural divine love. Jesus is showing us in the Book of Revelations or the book of Apocalypse that love is the overall conquering power. Divine love or agape love gives us the grace to survive the apocalypse. Actually, it gives us more than that.
Agape love allows us to be bold witnesses of who Jesus Christ is. God’s love will let us take part in the greatest harvest of souls. His love allows us to not be spiritually overtaken by the four horsemen, and all of the other judgments in the book of the Bible.
All supernatural battles are victorious in Jesus Christ, and anyone that is not in Jesus Christ won’t be able to win anything supernaturally. During the time of the Apocalypse, it will be the most supernatural time in the history of mankind. It will require us to become bold witnesses and disciples and that supernatural love that God defines himself as for us to be able to not just survive but thrive during the apocalypse, or the revelation of Jesus.