“And there went out another horse that was red: 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.”
The red horse rider has often been recognized and described as representing paganism. In particular the paganism of the Roman Kingdom, for paganism was a formidable foe and enemy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his followers. But paganism had been fighting the truth, even unto the shedding of the blood of the saints back in the first seal (even very soon after the gospel was first preached.) But though paganism brutally resisted early Christianity (and still today), there is a much more deeper spiritual meaning to the red horse rider than just telling on paganism!
The first seal showed a white horse which represents a vehicle of war. In this case spiritual war, and the rider on that horse was King Jesus. And so it showed that horse and the rider in control of it, going forth conquering and to conquer.
In the opening of the second seal we see that the horse has changed color from pure white to now being blood guilty. In addition, the rider on the horse is no longer Jesus! The horse is now under the control of men. And the principal weapon has changed also. It is a “great sword” under the control of the same men that are controlling the horse!
Now remember, the Revelation is a spiritual book, so all these symbols have a spiritual meaning. And so the sword that you see is not a literal one, but rather a spiritual one.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” ~ Hebrews 4:12-13
Truly the Word of God is the greatest sword ever known to man. But it was never intended for man to take it into their own hands!
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ~ Ephesians 6:17
When man is in control of the word, he has a great weapon with which he can take away peace rather than administer peace to the soul. The Prince of peace, by the Spirit, knows how best to apply the Word of God to every need. That is why the scripture specifically states that the Word is the “sword of the Spirit” and not the sword of man. That’s why the true ministry needs to stay in the hand of Jesus’ control!
When the ministry falls out of Jesus’s hand, they backslide and take things into their own hands, and control the Word for their own purposes and self protection. Even today we yet have ministers who are lifting themselves up while putting down other faithful ministers. They fulfill the red horse prophesy in taking the Word of God “that they should kill one another” with it.
“Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.” ~ Jeremiah 8:5-12
Even when a true saint of God should come around and simply want to obey Jesus, they become a target of the red horse rider because he wants control.
“My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” ~ Psalms 120:6-7
And so the man controlling the “great sword” uses that same Word of God to manipulate it for their advantage against the innocent (just as the Scribes and Pharisees did against Jesus).
“A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” ~ Prov 25:18-19
In time of spiritual war you need a true minister to administer grace to your soul in the midst of the battle. But a man controlling the Word will fail to administer the needed grace. Instead he will become your foe, and undermine your pure desires to do right.
“My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.” ~ Psalms 57:4
This is the beginning of spiritual harlotry. Men using the Word for self-willed purposes. They manipulate and seduce with it, rather than administering God’s will and grace.
“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” ~ Proverbs 5:3
But later in Revelation we are shown that by patiently enduring, we can overcome the hypocrisy of a man in control of the great sword. That true saint can stay true to Jesus until the time appointed of God to judge such a fake minister. For even Jesus promised that: “he that lives by the sword, must die by the sword.” At times this truth becomes fulfilled both literally and spiritually.
“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” ~ Revelation 13:10
So what we learn from the scripture of the red horse rider is to not just trust in the preacher/rider only, nor the horse/church. But rather to keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, the one who only is the King, and the Holy Spirit that only should be controlling the administration of the Word.
“Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.” ~ Psalms 20:6-9
We had better learn to trust in the one who needs to be riding on the horse, and the one that is over and above the chariot, rather than the horse or chariot alone!
“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour… …There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” ~ Ecclesiastes 10:1 and 5-7
So we sum up the red horse rider as follows: Instead of prince Jesus riding upon the horse and being in control, the servants have displaced the prince and put themselves in control. And the horse (the vehicle of battle, a visible body of people) is no longer white and spotless, but red and guilty of the blood of Jesus. Hence the sword (the Word of God) is no longer used properly to destroy sin and bring peace, but rather it is being manipulated and used for their advantage, taking away peace from those who once had it.
This deception of man control started to majorly work just a few centuries after the gospel began, and is further exposed in Revelation:
- Being identified by a period of time known as the Smyrna church age.
- By the sounding of the second trumpet, showing us a great spiritual mountain (what claimed to be the church) being cast into the sea.
- And finally by exposing a ministry that is guilty of the blood of Christ through their misuse of both the Word of God and their office – causing the people that follow them to also become “blood guilty.” Consequently in Revelation, as part of God’s final wrath judgment vial poured out on hypocrisy, we are shown that both the work of this ministry and the people (represented by the sea of people and the flowing together of their blood guilty hearts) are exposed as “blood guilty.”
By the fifth century AD, this spiritual corruption has progressed to such a degree of full control, that we see a Roman Catholic beast and harlot spirit completely controlling the administration of the Word. And this is why in the next seal, we see a different horse and rider from the red one.
But this same “red horse rider” spirit is still working today through all kinds of so called “Christian leaders”. Can you tell the difference between a true minister of the Lord, and a “red horse rider” minister? You need to understand yourself what it means to be led of the Holy Spirit. You need to have an experience of salvation that produces true holiness and obedience in you!