The Rider on the White Horse ~ Revelation 6

Here we are in the sixth chapter of The Revelation. THIS is the point where the action really ramps up. This is also the point at which we will slow our journey to a snail’s pace. I’ll go ahead and warn you….we will be in the sixth chapter for about six weeks. There is simply too much material that I feel we need to cover well to rush through. I hope you will stay with me, stay engaged, and stay in prayer for wisdom and understanding. There are many opinions on the meanings of the events of chapters 6-22. Let’s be sure to give grace to those whose opinions differ from ours as we study the opening of the seals and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.


We will begin by downloading and printing Lisa’s drawing of Revelation 6. Just a reminder…the downloads are free, even though you may get an error message asking you to create a payment method. Simply click through the error message and sign up for the download.


1 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!”

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.



Revelation 6 Rider on White Horse


Jesus, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, has been found worthy to open the scroll, and open it He does. He takes the scroll from the hand of God, the Father, and cracks the first seal. Immediately John hears a voice that belongs to one of the four living creatures we met in chapter four. The creature shouts, “Come!”

Whooo—eeeee! There is no turning back now. The cracking open of the first seal has set in motion the events of the end times. One has to wonder if the living creatures had been banned from saying the word ‘come’ for all of history until now. When the first living creature shouts ‘Come’, John immediately sees a white horse. The opening of each of the first four seals will bring forth a horse, so let’s consider this first one today.

John saw a white horse with a rider. The rider had a bow and a crown. This rider had one purpose…to conquer.

Now would be a good time to ask a few questions like:

  • Who is the rider of the horse?
  • Why is the horse white?
  • What is the significance of the bow and the crown?
  • What or whom will be conquered by this rider?
  • Have the events of verses 1 and 2 already taken place, or are they yet to take place?


There are differing schools of thought regarding the identity of the rider of the white horse. Some believe him to be Jesus. This line of thought does not make sense to me for a few reasons:

  • Jesus has just opened the scroll in heaven.
  • The bow that the rider carries has no arrows to accompany it, therefore it is useless. Jesus does not come to fight with a bow. When He comes He will fight with the Sword of his mouth.
  • The crown the rider wears is the stephanos (Greek), the victor’s crown. Whenever the Scripture mentions Jesus’ crowns, it always speaks of the diadema (Greek), the kingly, or royal crown.


Another commentator believes that this rider on the white horse is not a specific person, but rather a force, or ideology. He asserts this rider to be false peace.

I tend to line up with the thinking that the rider on the white horse is ANTICHRIST. He gives the shadowy appearance of being like Christ, (Jesus rides a white horse in Revelation 19) yet he is definitely not Jesus because of the reasons I mentioned above. Additionally, God allows antichrist the latitude to conquer earth for a time through lies and deceit, but some day God will yank the leash of antichrist and he will be done.


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


As we go through our study of the seals, trumpets, and bowls, we will see that the opening/sounding/breaking of one often precipitates the next one. I believe that the opening of the first seal that releases the antichrist to conquer then leads to the events and happenings of seals two through four (peace is taken, famine, and death).

Has the first seal been broken yet?

It is certainly a question that begs an answer, and one could argue that it has. I would question the sanity of anyone who argued that Satan is not alive and well on planet earth. The Bible, yes, even the same apostle John who writes Revelation, makes it clear in 1 John 4:1-3 that the spirit of antichrist is already in the world. John also tells us that not only is antichrist coming, but many antichrists have already come in 1 John 2:18-19. The atrocities and moral declines that we have seen take place in our generation certainly point to a furthering of antichrist’s agenda.

I believe that God has had an antichrist waiting in every generation…waiting for the moment when God decrees that enough is enough and He looks at His Son and says, “Go, get my children!” When that happens God will loose antichrist to accomplish his evil purposes in the latter half of the seven years of tribulation.

Hold on tightly, people. The ride is going to get bumpy from here on out in Revelation until Jesus reigns, but God has given us this marvelous book so we can know and be prepared for whatever comes. Now, let’s engage.

  • Is there anything from today’s study that challenged your faith?
  • Do you have thoughts to offer about the identity of the rider on the white horse?
  • What do you think…has the first seal already been broken?


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



(Visited 1,732 times, 2 visits today)
  • Linda B

    Leah, from chapter 6 onwards, I have more questions than answers! I do know this – that we are living in the last days(however long this period may be), and we need to cling closely to our Lord, trusting in Him alone. We can be sure He is faithful and true,

    • I completely agree! The more I study, the more I am convinced of it. Praying this study brings the benefits of assurance and trust to many hearts.

  • Pingback: The Rider on the Red Horse()

  • Pingback: The Rider on the Black Horse()

  • Pingback: Rider on the Pale Horse ~ Revelation 6()

  • Pingback: The 5th Seal ~ Martyrs Beneath the Altar()

  • Pingback: Silence, Fire, and the 7th Seal of Revelation()

  • D A Cleland

    Something you may have not considered re: the Four Horsemen of Revelation 6. I present to you the

    Regarding the White Horse of Rev 6. People often come out with the anti-christ theory, with no real backup for their interpretation.There is absolutely nothing that would suggest that the White Horse of Rev.6 is sinister
    in any way and here is why. White is white!!!!, there are 27 references to white in the NT; I will say it again TWENTY SEVEN REFERENCES TO “WHITE” in the NT and they all MEAN white! 17 references are in
    Revelation alone and all speak of the righteousness of Christ and the Saints. Just in case you don’t believe me here is a list of references to ‘white’ from the Book of Revelation and you can view the other 10 from the NT on the previous page

    The Bow that the rider on the White Horse carries is not the Bow of a warrior. This bow is only mentioned once in all of Scripture and has the root meaning “TO BRING FORTH”. Other interpretations from the Greek of this word are of a covenant such as the rainbow of Noah (also not sinister) and the bringing forth of new birth and new fruit.

    The Stéphanos/Victory crown that the rider is GIVEN consistently also speaks of the victory of Christ and the Saints.

    Here are some examples for you.

    1 Thess. 2:19 Crown of Rejoicing – (Garland of Rejoicing)
    1 James 1:12 Crown of Life (Garland of Life)
    1 Peter 5:4 Crown of Glory – (Garland of Glory)
    Revelation 2:10 Crown of Life – (Garland of Life)
    Revelation 3:11 No man may take your Crown (Garland)
    Revelation 14:14 JESUS harvests the earth with a GOLDEN CROWN/STEPHANOS (Garland).

    So the symbolism of the White horse in its basic form without ADDING OR TAKING AWAY from Scripture is this:

    You have a White Horse that goes out in ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PURITY'(consistent to all the other mentions of white) to ‘BRING FORTH’ through the Bow, (which is the root word for the word Bow) ‘VICTORY’ through the Crown. (Victory garland).

    I believe the White Horse is the promised COVENANT of the Holy Spirit who was sent out to earth for believers so that they can OVERCOME in RIGHTEOUSNESS and to bring forth new birth and new fruit.

    The clue now is that the white horse was “GIVEN” the VICTORY CROWN. This crown could NOT BE “GIVEN” UNTIL JESUS HAD “WON THAT VICTORY A FEW VERSES EARLIER in Chapter 5″!

    The word CONQUERING (which is Niki in the Greek) is also translated as TO OVERCOME, CONQUER and VICTORY.

    In the chapters leading up to chapter 6 of Revelation the Churches were all told to OVERCOME/CONQUER win the victory. (Seven times we are given the message of VICTORY AND CONQUERING to the Churches). Then Jesus wins the victory CONQUERS, OVERCOMES death in the 5th chapter and as soon as He wins that victory AFTER ENTERING heaven, He then IMMEDIATELY begins to open the first seal (THERE IS NO MENTION OF A 2000 YEAR GAP) and sends out a White Horse to bring forth righteousness and victory.

    Red Horse
    As soon as believers go out proclaiming the gospel of God, then comes persecution (for ANY BELIEVER) it is the rising up against the goodness of the gospel of God. (This encompasses the ANTICHRIST – or those who
    are against Christ). Jesus said he DID NOT COME to SEND PEACE ON THE EARTH but a SWORD in Matt 10:34 (‘short sword’ the same word used in Revelation 6, this word for sword is used for fights, quarrels and attacks). He also said he came to bring FIRE ON EARTH and how he wished it were already kindled/BURNING in Luke 12:49. Hence a FIERY RED Horse whose rider carries A SWORD that is SENT TO EARTH TO TAKE
    PEACE FROM THE EARTH. This is exactly what Jesus said he would do. This is how the gospel is spread. Believers always multiply in times of persecution.

    The Black Horse of Revelation. What EVERYONE HAS MISSED! The Black Horse of Revelation 6 is not a scary Horse at all that brings famine but rather RESCUES us FROM FAMINE.

    I found out that it is HORSE OF THE ATONEMENT THE HORSE OF THE HARVEST and this is why.

    There are two grain amounts on each side of the scales/Yoke that the Horse rider carries ‘ that of 1 measure of Wheat and 3 measures of Barley’. Did you know that whenever the word “Barley” is mentioned in Scripture
    FROM THE ‘LAW OF FIRST MENTION’ and the ‘Law of Repetition’ (which the law of first mention establishes an unchanging pattern in scripture) that the end result invariably for the Israelites was either deliverance FROM death and famine or an ABUNDANCE of food?

    I found that it didn’t matter if it is a sheaf of barley, 2 measures, 3 measures, a barley cake, some barley loaves or a whole field of barley, the same theme of deliverance or abundance’ carries on right throughout Scripture?

    Here are just a couple of examples which there are MANY MORE…, hopefully the lightbulb will go on for You!

    Exodus Chapter 9:12 – The Exodus of the Israelites in the BARLEY Harvest:
    God delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians and kept their grain safe, giving them food for their exodus out of Egypt. Judges

    Chapter 7:13 – The Story of Gideon and the Dream of the BARLEY Cake:
    God delivered Gideon from the Midianites and the Israelites were kept safe.

    Ruth Chapter 1 – Ruth and Naomi and the BARLEY Harvest:
    Ruth and Naomi were redeemed through God’s Power – and given an abundance of food.

    And here is one from the NT; Remember the story of the little boy with his lunch of two fish and 5 BARLEY loaves? The followers of Christ were given an abundance of food and delivered from hunger.

    If you study a Measure and 3 measures from the ‘Law of first mention’ the VERY SAME MESSAGE comes through; that of Deliverance and Abundance.

    There are a few things that stand out with the balances/YOKE in Revelation 6:5. Everyone looks at the uneven amounts of grain on the balances and they pronounce that the scales are uneven and come to the conclusion that it must be famine and the weighing of food. There is something that has been overlooked by many however……., you see the balances are actually EVEN, made even by the SILVER Denarius, and an EVEN balance is always A GOOD THING IN SCRIPTURE. (Here is a similar story with the same monetary value
    and two different grain amounts; this time 1 measure of flour and 2 measures of Barley for a SILVER Shekel – “remember it doesn’t matter what the amount of Barley is the results are the same – Deliverance or Abundance – 2 Kings verse 7)

    When you do a study of the denarius in the NT there are three references with this word in. Apart from the Black Horse reference, the other two either PAY THE WAGES OR THE DEBT (which gives us a clue). The denarius pictures the payment. Jesus took on the ‘sin of man’ to set us free. (That is the message in the BLACK Horse, He went through 3 hours of darkness/blackness for us to set us free and bring us home in the harvest.)

    In the first reference to the denarius Matt 17:27 the disciples didn’t have to earn the money to pay the debt/taxes that was owing to Caesar. Jesus paid the debt for them in a miraculous way through provision of the fish with the denarius in its mouth, “the debt of MAN for them”.

    The other story in Matt 20 verses 1-6 is likened to the “KINGDOM OF GOD”. The men that the owner of the vineyard hired were doing NOTHING ‘as good as DEAD’ (dead in their sins) and the owner came along and
    hired the men and paid each man the same amount of money whether they worked a full day or a half a day of just a small portion of the day in HIS VINEYARD –”KINGDOM OF GOD”.

    This parable reflects that no matter what time of our lives we come to know the Lord and work in his kingdom that the PAYMENT is always the same. “Everlasting life” HIS PAYMENT not our works, but our work THROUGH HIM that counts.

    The Black Horse reflects the same payment. It really IS the REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST and what He has done and what He is doing over and over again in people’s lives as he brings in the harvest.

    The Black and White Horses of Zechariah 6:5 (which also stand before the Lord like the horses in Revelation 6) go into Babylon to RESCUE and CALL – GOD’S PEOPLE OUT of Babylon AND THIS BRINGS “”PEACE”” TO GOD’S SPIRIT. Zechariah 6:5. These people are then built up into God’s temple through the Branch in Zechariah 6:12.

    As far as any judgement goes, this can’t happen until the 6th seal as the saints cry out in the fifth seal
    “””””WHEN”””” ARE YOU GOING TO “””””JUDGE””””””?

    There is so much more I can’t share here due to space but if you take a look at the link provided you will see why I believe the seals began to be opened AS SOON AS JESUS ENTERED HEAVEN
    God Bless. D A Cleland

  • Charles Owen

    I believe the white horse represents the triumph of Christ and the Gospel from the time of His death and resurrection to the current age. Despite every attempt to stifle the Gospel, it has spread all over the world to the remotest parts of the earth. And there is a compelling bow symbol in the Old Testament without arrows that points to Christ. Zechariah 10:4 says:
    “From Judah will come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,
    from him the battle bow,
    from him every ruler.”
    In addition, the Greek word used for the rider of the white horse is “Nikon”, which means to overcome or prevail in battle. In the preceding chapters of Revelations, this word is used 9 times to refer to 1) Christians who will win the final victory by overcoming the world and 2) Christ himself who overcame evil and death.

    • Charles, thank you for stopping and sharing your thoughts. This is series where I welcome other thoughts and ideas.