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The Future of False Religion
(I John 4:1). Christ referred to
his true followers as the "little
flock," and went on to say:
"Broad is the way, that leadeth
to destruction, and
many there
be
which go in thereat" (Matt.
7:13, KJV).
On top of this, the New Tes–
tament writers prophesied that
this religious confusion would
eventually get worse before get–
ting better. Paul warned Tim–
othy that "evil men and
impostors will go on from bad
to worse, deceivers and de–
ceived" (II Tim. 3:13). In the
Olivet prophecy, Christ de–
scribed a future time when reli–
gious deception would finally be
so bad that "if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very
elect" (Matt. 24:24, KJV).
Christ's end-time prophecies
were corroborated by John,
writing in the book of Revela–
tion. In the sixth chapter, he
describes a mysterious ' 'white
horse" that comes riding onto
the world scene: "And I saw,
and behold, a white horse, and
its rider had a bow; and a crown
was given to him, and he went
out conquering and to conquer"
(Rev. 6:2). Like the real thing it
represents, even this symbolic
horseman has tended to cause
confusion. Some have at–
tempted to equate its ride with
the events surrounding the re–
turn of Christ on the white
53
horse of Revelation 19:11-15.
However, there are a number of
differences between the two.
The Two White Horses
The returning Christ of Reve–
lation 19 wields a
sword
out of
his
mouth,
while the horseman
of Revelation 6 carries a
bow
in
his
hand.
Were Christ to return on the
white horse of Revelation 6, He
would precede the darkest,
most troubled time period of
the earth's history, known as
the Great Tribulation. A quick
comparison of Joel 2:31, Mat–
thew 24:29-30 and Revelation
6:12-17 will show that Christ
doesn't return until after this
Great Tribulation. Christ's sec–
ond coming ushers in the peace–
ful period known as the
millennium. The white horse–
man in Revelation 6, on the
other hand, is the harbinger of a
series of calamitous events that
culminate in the prophesied
Great Tribulation.
A comparison of some of the
basic events in Matthew 24 and
Luke 21 with those in Revela–
tion 6 also sheds further light
on this enigmatic white horse
and its rider. The first subject
of prophetic significance that
Christ mentioned in His Olivet
discourse was religious decep–
tion. It was in turn followed by
wars and famines (Matt. 24:7).