Revelation Fulfilled
Unveiling the Mystery of the Book of Revelation

  

Chapter 4

The Seven Seals
(From the Four Riders to the Four Trumpets)

 

After the Lamb took over the scroll and opened the seals on the scroll, the historical events of “what must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1) were revealed. As the four beasts in the vision of Daniel represented the rising of four kingdoms, the coming of the four riders after the Lamb opened the first four seals also prophesied the four historical periods in the world history after the first century. They were not the supernatural phenomena coming from the sky as some people expected for the “tribulation” in the “End Time”. They were just the heavenly events happening in the spiritual realm, like those angels sounded the seven trumpets in the later chapters of the Book of Revelation, which people on the earth could not see. At the earthly level, people could only see the historical events with some prominent historic figures associated with these events.

1. The Four Riders and the First Six of the Seven Seals

The First Seal was opened: A rider on a white horse “held a bow in hand, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” (Revelation 6:2)

The “Bow” and “Crown” represent power and authority. This “First Rider on a White Horse” prophesied the rising of the first Christian Kingdom in world history by converting the Roman Empire to Christianity. In 313 A.D. the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great proclaimed the Edict of Milan allowing Christians to worship freely in the Roman Empire, which relieved Christians from almost three centuries of persecution. In 325 A.D., Constantine summoned the bishops of all provinces to the Council of Nicaea and established the orthodoxy of Christianity, which later became the state religion for the Roman Empire.

According to legend, Constantine saw a vision of the sign of Christ in the sky when he led his troops marching to Rome to fight with another emperor of Roman Empire. Along with the sign, there was a message, “In Hoc Signo Vinces” or “With this sign, you will conquer”. In the next day, Constantine had the sign of Christ, the Labarum of Chi-Rho, painted on all the standards and shields of his soldiers and won the decisive victory against his enemy whose troops was twice as large as Constantine’s troops. In the next few years, Constantine defeated all his enemies, both internal rivals and outsider invaders, and conquered the whole country and became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. This fulfilled the prophecy “He rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” 

Since then, Christianity has gradually taken over the most of Europe, never losing it to other gentiles and religions in Europe. Eventually, Christianity spread throughout the world, converting one nation after another all the way to Africa and American Continent. That’s another way for Christianity to fulfill what prophesied in this vision, “He rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” (Revelation 6:2)

In both Jewish and Christian prophecies, people expected their Messiah to come and rescue them from the oppression of non-believers' government and establish the kingdom of God on the earth. In that sense, Constantine the Great did fulfill that role on the worldly level by liberating Christians from three hundred years of persecution and establishing the first Christian kingdom on the earth.

In the Book of Revelation, there are two visions of the “Rider on a White Horse”. The first rider on a white horse appeared at the beginning of the second set of vision at Revelation 6:2, which prophesied Constantine the Great converting the Roman Empire to Christianity. The second rider on a white horse appeared at the end of the second set of visions at Revelation 19:11, which prophesied the coming of the Christ for the “Second Coming”. The “First Rider on a White Horse” established the first Christian kingdom in the world and brought the Salvation of Christ to all European nations, and the “Second Rider on a White Horse” will establish the “New Millennium Kingdom” on the earth as prophesied in Revelation 20:1-5 and bring the Salvation of Christ to all nations through all religions in the world.

The Prophecies of Two Riders on a White Horse

The Prophecies

The Fulfillment

The First Rider on a White Horse (Revelation 6:2)

Established a Christian Kingdom in Europe and brought the Salvation of Christ to Europeans

The Second Rider on a White Horse (Revelation 19:11)

Starts the New Millennium Kingdom on earth and brings the Salvation of Christ to all nations and all religions

Unlike most Christians in the past two thousand years preaching the Gospel of Christ against other religions, this time the “Second Rider on a White Horse” will acknowledge and confirm the Word of God in other major religions and gives the Salvation of Christ, the most precious gift of Heavenly Father for all His children on the earth, to all nations and all religions in the world. 

When people didn’t know what God had revealed to the other children of God, they often caused religious conflicts among people of different faiths. That hampered the effort to bring the salvation of Christ to all children of God in the world. Therefore, it is important for people to see the big picture of the Word of God for both the East and the West and share this greatest gift of our Heavenly Father with each other. Then people of all nations and all religions will accept the Salvation of Christ and make this world better for the next thousand years of Golden Era of Peace & Wisdom.

In both cases, these two “Riders on the White Horses” would bring the Salvation of Christ to the people of the world. This "First Rider on a White Horse" in Revelation 6:2 was not a false Christ or Anti-Christ as some people mistakenly interpreted in the past. He is the first Christian King established the Kingdom of Christ on the earth, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

The Second Seal was opened: A rider on a fiery red horse with a large sword. “This rider was given the power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other.” (Revelation 6:4)

The sword represents military forces and war. This vision prophesied the rising of the Islamic Kingdom led by Prophet Muhammad starting in the seventh century (610 A.D.), which was promoted through military expansion in the early time, or so called “Preaching Faith with Swords”.

Before Prophet Muhammad started Islam, most Arabic nations were living in uncivilized tribes and worshipped all sorts of idols. Prophet Muhammad was an un-educated man, but through the revelation of God, he united all Arabic tribes through the new religion of Islam to abolish the old religion of idol worshipping and start to worship Allah, the same God of Abraham, as most Arabs were the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham (named Abram at early time) through Hagar.

In the Bible’s Book of Genesis 16, Sarah (named Sarai at early time) was Abram’s wife who could not bear him a child at first, so she let her maidservant named Hagar sleep with Abram to build a family. When Hagar learned she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress Sarai. So Sarai asked Abram to judge the situation and Abram was supportive to her request. Then Sarai began to mistreat Hagar and Hagar fled from her. When Hagar fled from the house of Sarai, an angel of God came to ask her to go back home and submit to Sarai because the angel knew God would also gave Sarai a son. The angel also gave her the blessing to “increase her descendants that they will be too numerous to count” and gave the name of her unburned son as Ishmael. (Genesis 16:10-11)

After Hagar went back to the home of Abram, God also blessed Sarai to be pregnant with a son, who would be named Isaac. God also changed the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah and made a covenant with Abraham to make him the father of many nations. After Isaac grew up, Sarah could not tolerate Hagar and her son Ishmael. So she requested Abraham to drive off Hagar and her son. When they wandered in the desert of Beersheba and were out of water, the angel of God also came to help and promise Hagar that he would make Ishmael “into a great nation.” (Genesis 21:18) Thus Isaac became the forefather of Israelis and Ishmael became the forefather of the Arabs. 

When Prophet Muhammad was chosen to start Islam for Arabs, who were the descendants of Ishmael, that angel of God, Gabriel (Jibril), also came back to guide him and brought the message of God to him. Because Prophet Muhammad was illiterate and could not write down the message of God, Angel Gabriel (Jibril) taught him to recite the message of God to his people, which fulfilled the prophecy, “I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18) Therefore, the rising of Islam was the fulfillment of God’s promise to "make Ishmael into a great nation" (Genesis 17:20 and 21:18) and angel Gabriel also fulfilled his personal promises to Hagar by bringing the message of God to her descendants directly.

As both Isaac and Ishmael were the sons of Abraham and they both received the blessing of God, God revealed the Word of God to Israelis, the descendants of Isaac, through Judaism and revealed the Word of God to Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, the Word of God through Islam. Just like God gave Israelis the military power to take over the Promised Land after they exodus from Egypt, God also gave Arabs the sword to establish an Islamic Empire in the Middle East.

In the next few hundred years, Muslim armies took control of a vast area, from the Middle East to North Africa and from Spain to India, for their Islamic Empire. However, as most Arabs had not received the Word of God before the revelation of Islam, the newly converted Muslims often resorted to the sword to spread their faith and even to settle their internal disputes or competition for power. This resulted in many killings among themselves as the three leaders who succeeded Prophet Muhammad, Umar, Uthman and Ali, were all assassinated by their rival Muslims, and eventually Muslims were divided into different sectors of Sunni and Shia. Their fight and conflict never stopped and their disagreement often ended in assassination. This old habit of fighting and killing each others has lasted over a thousand years and is still happening today as prophesied in Revelation, “This rider was given the power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other.” (Revelation 6:4)

The Third Seal was opened: A rider on a black horse with a pair of scales in his hand. I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wage, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wage, and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The scales and those quotes of prices are typically used in trading activities in the market. This vision prophesied the rising of the second Islamic Dynasty between the eighth and thirteenth century, the Abbasid Dynasty(750-1258), which built a huge trading network reaching as far as China in the East and as North as Scandinavia in Europe. The voice of “a quart of wheat for a day’s wage, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wage, and do not damage the oil and the wine” along with the scales on hand represents the trading character of this Arabic Empire.


The Trade Route of Arabic Empire during the Abbasid Dynasty

Most Christians may not realize the significance of this period of time, but most Muslims remember this period as the Islamic Golden Age in Islamic history with great achievement in culture, science and economic prosperity. They built the city of Baghdad as their new capital for the Abbasid Dynasty, which eventually became the center of culture and science of the Islamic Empire in the Middle East. They emphasized the hadith such as “the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of martyr” to stress the value of knowledge.

During this period of time, Muslims had great passion for intellectual and scientific pursuits. They developed great knowledge on mathematics, chemistry, medical anatomy, and geography. Without the Arabic numbering system, which included decimals and zero, modern science and business would be impossible. They also brought the papermaking technique from China and made it available through their far-reaching trading network all over the world. From the eighth to the tenth centuries, Baghdad became the center of scientific research and education of the world that attracted many scholars and students from all over the world. The stories of Arabian Night also happened during this period of time, which made Aladdin and Alibaba the international icons even in the western world. This was truly a “Golden Age” for the Islamic world compared to the “Dark Age” in the western Christian World in Europe.

The Abbasid Dynasty used black as its official color. They all dressed in black robes and their armies carried black flags. They were famously known as the “Black Riders” in Islamic history and the Abbasid Dynasty (750-1258) was also called the “Black Dynasty”, while the previous Umayyad Dynasty (661-750) was known as the “White Dynasty”.

The Fourth Seal was opened: The rider on a pale horse “was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)

This prophesied the Dark Ages between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries, when people were suffering and killed “by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)

The “sword” represents the wars during this period of time, including the Wars of Crusades (1096-1291), the Hundred Years’ War between England and France (1336-1453) and eventually the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the siege of Constantinople by the Turks (1453).

The “famine and plague” refers to the Great Famine (1315-1317) and the Black Death (1346-1351) in Europe, which caused over a million deaths in each disaster.

The “wild beasts of the earth” refers to the Mongol invasion of Europe in the thirteenth century. They reached as far as Russia, Hungary and Poland in the west and caused severe destruction and the deadliest casualties in human history up through that period. After Germany and Austria were crushingly defeated by Mongol forces in 1241, the Western Europe faced the great danger of falling into the hands of Mongols. By the mercy of God, miracle happened. The Khan of Mongolian Empire, Ogedei Khan - the second son of Genghis Khan, died at the end of the year 1241 and all the “Princes of the Blood” of Genghis Khan went back to Mongolia to elect the new Khan. In the next year, the Mongol army retreated and left Western Europe unscathed. Another Mongol army went south through India and invaded Baghdad, which ended the five hundred year Islamic Empire of Abbasid Dynasty by killing the last Abbasid Caliphate in Bagdad in 1258.

This fourth rider on the pale horse represents the disastrous period of the Dark Age in Europe.

These four riders in the Book of Revelation prophesied four significant historical periods, just like the four beasts in the Book of Daniel which prophesied the rising of four significant kingdoms. After the four riders in the first four seals, the rest of the seven seals were also opened.

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