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Re 6:2
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Now I am stuck as to the meaning of this text I am of the opinion that the rider of the white horse is Jesus and that the white horse symbolises purity so I am summing it up to the purity of the early church Ephesus. 

But something is not settled in my mind so I am studying it over again.

Can anyone explain using the bible this text what does the white horse symbolise, who is the rider and what does the bow symbolise.

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The more I look at this the more I am seeing that the white horse is likened to the early church.

come on bible scholars shed some light.

the apostolic church-the first church

Now we are prepared to see the unfolding and unveiling of the contents of this important book, or scroll, beginning in Chapter 6, verse 1: "And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer." Now, notice that the first representation is a white horse, revealing and symbolizing the purity of that first period of the Church's history. The apostolic church, of course, did go forth with great victory to conquer the world for Christ. The crown represents Kingship. There was a bold, fresh, fearlessness about those who went forth fresh from Pentecost to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the text says, "They went forth conquering, and to conquer."

Paul was an example of the tremendous courage manifested by those early preachers of the Way. Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is a power of God unto salvation."Romans 1:16. Of course, he had not seen, as the other disciples had, the actual healing, preaching ministry of Jesus. But nevertheless, he had been an eye witness of that power on the road to Damascus, as Christ was revealed to him. No wonder, then, that there was such boldness in the preaching of the gospel in those days. The disciples knew what they were talking about because they had been with Jesus and they had actually seen with their own eyes the mighty power of His ministry. The gospel actually reached out to cover the entire world in the days of the apostle Paul, according to Colossians 1:23. Thus we have a view of the first period of the history of the Christian church as it began to grow up into its worldwide scope. This period would probably cover, in general, the times of the apostles and their ministry.

Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles Acts 8:1

These subjects are explained very well in the Sabbath school quarterly. you should become part of a local congregation in the SDA church. 

James White comments:

"We have now traced the churches, the seals, and the beasts, or living beings, as far as they will compare as covering the same periods of time.  The seals are seven in number, the beasts but four.  And it may be well here to notice, that at the opening of the first, second, third and fourth seals the first, second, third and fourth beasts are heard to say "Come and see;" but when the fifth, sixth and seventh seals are opened, there is no such voice heard.  Neither do the last three churches, and the last three seals, compare, as covering the same periods of time, as the first four churches, and the first four seals do.  But, as we have shown, the churches, seals and beasts do agree, as covering the same periods of time for the space of nearly 1800 years, till we come down to a little more than half a century of the present time." Review & Herald, February 12, 1857

7 Churches ------------------------------ 7 Seals

Ephesus:          Spiritual power.       White Horse                                     31-100 AD

Smyrna:           Persecution.            Red Horse                                       100-321 AD

Pergamos:        Compromise.          Black Horse                                    321-538 AD

Thyatira:          Apostasy.                Pale Horse                                    538-1798 AD

Sardis:              Formalism.             Souls Cry for Justice                1550-1798 AD

Philadelphia:    Endurance.             End-time Signs                          1798-1844 AD

Laodicea:        Lukewarm apathy.      Silence in Heaven                      1844-Jesus comes.


The last three Seals differ from the first four as the last three Trumpets differ from the first fou

Jason now this is how I was thought of what it meant but now that I am in the process of studying it in church again other things are coming up. 

Now what you are saying is that the white horse represents the church but according to the bible the church is represented by a woman. 

read what i posted again Leslie the church is represented by a woman but we are speaking about the church is different eras or times 

humm not much to go on

Hi Leslie,

As you probably know, the principle in bible prophecy is expand and expound.The woman is one of the symbols God uses for the church. You find the woman/true church used in Rev 12:1, rev 19:7 and the false church/woman found in Rev 17:3.

In other places in scripture, we have the 7 churches in rev 2, 3 which both Adventist and many non-Adventist scholars conclude represents the true churches of God through out the Christian dispensation, starting with the apostolic church in the first century--represented by the the church of Ephesus Rev 2:1.  Therefore, since we are in the time of the7th church, we conclude the 7th church, Laodicea, represents Gods remnant church.     

From here, the concept of expand and expound is brought into action when we touch upon the 7 seals.  Like the 7 churches, it touches on other elements of the Christian dispensation.  I will try to get you a good sermon that touches on the meaning of these text in incredible detail.  Will post back later.  I hope this makes sense. God bless!

A thought on the bow.

There is no sword mentioned, no arrows mentioned, only “a bow”.

Why is this?

I suggest that this illustration points to the same lesson given to Ellen White regarding the “green cord”.

The “bow” and the “green cord” point to the work of faith. Faith needs to be stretched, otherwise it will begin to dry up.

“And He also handed  me a green cord, coiled up, and he bid me wear it next my heart, and when I wished to see Jesus, to stretch this cord. I must not let it lie still any length of time; for if I should, it would become knotted and difficult to straighten.”  (2SG 19)

In the early church, the work of the ministry was the work of faith.

All their victory came through active faith, and the word preached by them was truly “the word of faith” (Romans 10:8). They were constantly, stretching, drawing, the bow of faith.

stewart I do not think this is what the bow signifies in this text. The bow can signify victory and it can also signify falsehood.

Fair enough, Leslie Ann.

And yet, have you seen places in the Spirit of Prophecy where it talks about the "arrows of conviction"? (DA 104, COL 158, etc.)

I would suggest that sending those "arrows of conviction" is the role of the Holy Spirit. Stretching the powers of faith is ours. (TDG p.9)

ok Jason tomorrow when I am well rested I will go through what you wrote and send my reply.


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