A Tale of Two Cities
Once upon a time there were two cities. Now as it was in those days, these cities were lawless. Each man did as he pleased and according to how each one himself wished without regard for his neighbor. So the call went out and it was decided upon that each of these two cities should receive a governor.
Into the first city there came a governor, arriving in his sleek white limousine, and he assumed the office and began his work. He had a seal of authority and a policing act with which he would enforce his policy.
Following him were his ministers. Arriving in a red limousine was his minister of armaments who assumed his position and began to make war on the citizens and would randomly kill as many as he chose so that many died. Following him also was his minister of finance, arriving in a black limousine, and he also began his work. He caused inflation to increase such that the citizenry could not afford food and shelter, and many more died for want. And still another minister arrived, his minister of health and welfare. He arrived in his sickly pale limousine and went straight about the task. He spread disease of all sorts, and even the animal kind he turned to devouring of man's flesh, and many more died in sicknesses of all sorts. And closely following him came the grave digger who set about collecting the dead.
The second of the two cities also received into it a governor. He arrived also in a white limousine but bearing the insignia of the highest office, as he was sent directly from the capital. He came duly appointed with all credentials and wearing the cloak of a governor, covered in medals earned with his own blood. This governor was proven as good, fair and just. He also made war, but only upon those who would harm their fellowman. He did so by means of his multitude of soldiers, each one in their own white limousine. Out they stepped, each one dressed in a white suit, clean and bright. This governor spoke with power and great authority and he brought justice to the city.
This story is true and these two cities are but one.
Are you still wondering as to the meaning? The answer is quite plain. Happy is he who reads it out loud. This is the greatest war story ever told and it takes place tomorrow, yesterday and today. The city is the world and the second governor defeats the first.
The apocalypse of John tells the tale as the Lord himself reveals the answer. In the Revelation to John numbered by man as chapter 6 we read that Jesus "the Lamb opened one of the seven seals" and the rider on the white horse is told to "Come!"
This would-be governor sits atop a white horse. Is he righteous? He is allowed his measure of authority as we are told he has "a crown". He enforces his authority by means of a "bow" allowed him, a carnal weapon of a man, and his way is made open to go "forth conquering" to "complete his conquest". Yet this governor does not ride alone.
The white horse of the four is closely followed by a red horse, minister of arms, and its rider wields "a great sword". This great sword is the manifestation of the power symbolized by the "bow" possessed by the rider on the white horse. The test begins. Does the conqueror justly ride a white horse? Are his ministers who follow righteous?
The rider on the red horse takes "peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another...". History is replete with men who would climb on top of their white horse and attempt their version of 'righteous conquest'. Their rides are always the same, marked by bloody warfare and indiscriminate killing as the red horse always follows closely behind the white. But wait, John describes further the results of the "conquest" of the rider of this “white horse". Yet another facet of his ride is revealed.
Welcome the rider on the black horse, minister of finance. With the "pair of scales in his hand" he causes economic distress, the inevitable outcome of war and attempts to 'complete a conquest'. The result of his work is "a quart of wheat for a de·nar´i·us" or a day's pay for a day's bread, bare subsistence.
Finally comes the Minster of health and welfare who rides a pale horse.
His name is given to us, "Death". He kills as many as he can with the remaining tools of "deadly plague" and "wild beasts", common friends of war.
And Ha´des, an open grave, was closely following him to collect the fallen.
For the bulk of man's history, the Four Horsemen can be found galloping "over the fourth part of the earth" according to their "authority".
John tells of the horses that follow closely behind the ride of the white...
And authority was given them over the fourth part (a quarter) of the earth, to (the Red Horse) kill with a long sword and (the Black Horse) with food shortage and (the Pale Horse) with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Another White horse comes hither, the second. In the Revelation to John numbered by man as chapter 19 we read of a white horse that does not issue from iniquity, but rather is approved by God. John relates that "the heaven opened, and, look! a white horse" . This second White horse differs from the first as it issues from heaven itself. Unlike the first white horse, the rider of this White horse is "called Faithful and True" and in contrast with the first, this rider "judges and carries on war in righteousness." He does not use corporal means to carry on battle as if possessing a bow in the likeness of the first, for"His eyes are a fiery flame". His power is granted to be within him and issues from God. His authority is superlative.
In contrast to the lowly "crown" on the rider of the first, the Lord has on his head "many diadems" of splendor. Like a well decorated general with a uniform full of medals, "he is arrayed with an outer garment sprinkled with blood", his own blood poured out on behalf of mankind. Unlike the counterfeit on the first white horse, Jesus has earned the right to sit on a White horse. He is the "Word of God".
Who follows this righteous warrior on the second White horse? John writes that "the armies that were in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen". What a stark contrast with the riders who followed the counterfeit first white horse! Whereas the first rider came forth and left in his wake war, suffering and death for a quarter of the Earth, the contrasting ride of the "Word of God", who "upon his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords." will, by means of the "sharp long sword" that "protrudes" ..."out of his mouth",..."strike the nations" and "shepherd them with a rod of iron".
The White horse out of heaven goes on to destroy the white horse of four, casting him "into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur".
The Lord showed to John with these two horses the difference between rule by man, and rule by Christ. Mankind has not the authority nor power to ride a white horse. Only the one He chooses, who has earned the right may ride righteously.
John began his words with the phrase "Happy is he who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and who observe the things written in it; for the appointed time is near." And why not be happy, for John here describes the difference between the man rule we suffer under and the God rule soon to replace it.
No better time than now is there to have such a superlative example of the white horse of four, with his accompanying ministers, as in the example of the leaders of the West who sally forth on their white horse in the middle East to complete their conquest.
But wo is he who would tinker with these words, for John finished his prophecy with the warning. "If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll."
Who is it that has added and taken away, but the one who it is that says 'it is the Lord himself who rides the counterfeit first white horse of four'. Death will come to this one, who goes to the houses saying Jesus rides the white horse of the four. This is the one who has added to God's revelation and taken away the glory due the King of kings and Lord of lords by seating Him on the white horse of four in the minds of men. Cursed may he be. This one will be cut down in the broad way as if cattle under the butcher's blade.
He comes swiftly ...
A Tale Of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities