The Glorious Work That Follows the Ride of the Horsemen
1. How is it evident that the Gentile Times for trampling upon what the city of Jerusalem represented ended in 1914?
THE “King of kings and Lord of lords,” Jesus Christ, is present. (Revelation 19:11, 16) We have “the sign” for this. He has been present in his God-given Kingdom since the end of “the times of the Gentiles” in the year 1914, 69 years ago. (Luke 21:24, Authorized Version) Then the trampling down of the Kingdom of Jehovah God as once represented by the kingdom of Israel in Jerusalem in the royal line of King David ended. Over in the Middle East the city of Jerusalem has no king of the family line of David but is the capital city of the Republic of Israel, with a Jewish prime minister. But what about the “heavenly Jerusalem”? (Hebrews 12:22) It is up there in the superhuman, super-Gentile realm that “the Son of David,” Jesus Christ, reigns as “King of kings and Lord of lords” since the running out of the Gentile Times in 1914. The Gentile nations here on earth may oppose the Kingdom and its proclaimers, but they cannot touch it. They cannot dominate it, as once did the last five world powers of world history, namely Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the Anglo-American world power of Britain and the United States.—Revelation 21:1, 2.
2. In answer to the question as to what would be the sign of his presence and the conclusion of the system of things, what did Jesus say that finds correspondency in the vision of Revelation 6:1-8?
2 The vision given to the apostle John, as set out at Revelation 6:1-8, prophetically shows what was to accompany the start of the ride of the “King of kings and Lord of lords” on the symbolic white horse toward the all-determining conflict at the battlefield of Har–Magedon. What that vision showed corresponds with what Jesus Christ himself told his disciples in answer to their question: “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence [parousía, Greek] and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) With regard to the “pangs of distress” that would mark “the sign” of his presence, or parousía, and of “the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus said: “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom [in war], there will be earthquakes in one place after another, there will be food shortages. These are a beginning of pangs of distress [marking the birth of a new system of things].” (Mark 13:8) “Then he went on to say to them: ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.’”—Luke 21:10, 11; Matthew 24:7, 8.
THE FIERY-COLORED HORSE
3. How was the beginning of Christ’s presence to be marked, and so what does the vision at the opening of the second seal show?
3 So the start of Christ’s “presence,” or parousía, from the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 was not to be marked by peace either in heaven or on earth. The vision given to John at Revelation chapter 6 confirms this fact. What, then, would the opening of the second seal unveil to us? Along with the apostle John, we watch: “And when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say: ‘Come!’ And another came forth, a fiery-colored horse; and to the one seated upon it there was granted to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another; and a great sword was given him.”—Revelation 6:3, 4.
4. What did that tableau show, and why?
4 What did that tableau signify? What else but the outbreak of war, and that on an earth-wide scale, forasmuch as the rider on the fiery-colored horse was “to take peace away from the earth.”
5. Does this signify that the rider on the white horse was responsible for the outbreak of world war, and what does Revelation 12 show would follow the beginning of his reign?
5 Since the fiery-colored horse and its war-minded rider followed the rider on the white horse, does this mean that the first horseman started World War I after his coronation in 1914 and thus started using his “bow”? Not at all! Revelation chapter 12 pictures what would follow the birth of the Kingdom of the first horseman in 1914: an invisible, superhuman war. “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! . . . On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.’”—Re 12 Verses 7-12.
6. Consequently, what do the several features with regard to the second horseman symbolize?
6 That account places the blame for the first world war that claimed more than 8 million human lives from July 28, 1914, squarely upon the Devil and his demons. The rider on the second symbolic horse pictured the military hosts of the world, of which Satan the Devil is “the god”; and the fiery-colored horse matched the fiery fury and nature of that war and of its aftermath, World War II. The “great sword” of a cavalryman was given to this militaristic rider, to slash away with it at his victims. The greatness of this weapon of war would also indicate the greatness of the type of war that was now instituted earth wide, total warfare, warfare on a world scale. Nothing like it before! The history books are there in the libraries to give us the details about World Wars I and II! Indeed, war of world proportions erupted at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914.—Luke 21:24.
7. To correspond with Revelation 6:1-8, what did begin to occur in 1914 to show correspondency with what Jesus told his disciples about the sign of his presence?
7 The one that gave to his apostle John the signs of Revelation chapter 6 was the same one that gave the information in answer to his apostles, including John, away back in 33 C.E. in answer to their question: “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” Since the order of events that he set out back there shortly before his death lines up with the order of events that he depicts at Revelation chapter 6, it indicates that what that 6th chapter envisions shows that the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 and the outbreak of war on a world scale marked the start of his “presence” in his heavenly Kingdom and the beginning of “the conclusion of the system of things.” As foretold by Jesus at Matthew 24:7, 8 and Luke 21:11, nation did rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom to mark the start of his invisible “presence” or his giving attention to the affairs of earth now that it had become the territory of his newly established Kingdom. But what about “food shortages” and “in one place after another pestilences”? These were also forevisioned by the ride of the four horsemen depicted at Revelation 6:1-8.
THE BLACK HORSE
8. What were the features of the vision that followed the opening of the third seal?
8 After the ride of the horseman on the fiery-colored horse, what does the vision present to us? “And when he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say: ‘Come!’ And I saw, and, look! a black horse; and the one seated upon it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice as if in the midst of the four living creatures say: ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine.’”—Revelation 6:5, 6.
9. What do the features of that vision plainly denote, and why was the color of the horse appropriately black?
9 Plainly, that denotes food shortages, scarcity of eatables. And did not these come along with World War I “in one place after another”? With the taking away of farmers from their farms and gardens in order to draft them into the fighting forces of millions of men, would not hunger prevail over wide areas, with little or nothing to satisfy it? Logically so! No wonder that millions of humans died of hunger. Prices of foodstuffs soared to beyond the financial reach of many countless famished ones, with such inflation! Think of it, a day’s wage, “a denarius,” for but a quart of wheat! A day’s wage for but three quarts of the inferior food barley, the staple diet of the financially poor! Those who were made rich through war occupations and munitions making could afford to get what oil and wine were on the market. And so for them “the olive oil and the wine” were not harmed. High wages could meet high prices! All of this draws a dark picture in connection with global war that drew so many men away from productive occupations, such as farming, into destructive activities. There is therefore no room for surprise that the horse that bore the rider with the symbol of measuring out food at exorbitant prices and of rationing out food was a black horse! A cheerless, gloomy sight, that conveyer of death-dealing food shortage!
THE PALE HORSE
10. How was a third witness provided in the vision of John to prove the beginning of the presence of the rider on the white horse?
10 The riders of the fiery-colored horse and the black horse were two witnesses to the fact that King Jesus Christ had been crowned and had begun his victorious ride clear through “the conclusion of the system of things” to its end at Har–Magedon. However, there is a third witness to this effect put on the witness stand for us. More than 60 years before the vision to John, the crowned rider on the white horse had said, “At the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.” (Matthew 18:16) What, then, about this third witness? No, he is no rider symbolizing something occurring within the earth, earthquakes; it is something that swept over the surface of the earth to the death of 20 million victims in 1918-1919 at the close of World War I. So, enter now witness No. 3: “And when he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say: ‘Come!’ And I saw, and, look! a pale horse; and the one seated upon it had the name Death. And Hades was closely following him. And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.”—Revelation 6:7, 8.
11. Why was the color of this fourth horse appropriately pale, and what kind of death does its rider symbolize in advance of providing victims for Hades?
11 A pale horse would be a sickly looking animal, and Death would be a fitting name for its rider. Here the death meant would be a hastened death, not a death occurring to humans at an old age. It is a death that puts one in Hades, the grave, prematurely. How so? Because it is a death that is unwelcomely thrust upon one by the “long sword” of a tremendous war, by food shortage to the point of famine or by “pestilence,” a contagious disease that spreads over a wide inhabited area, spelling a rapid stoppage of life to its many victims. And did not “the flu,” the Spanish influenza, that struck the world at the close of World War I measure up to such a description? Indeed, yes! And Hades opened its hungry mouth to devour an estimated 20 million. It was not God-sent, but God permitted it. Not extravagantly it could be said concerning Death and Hades that “authority [authorization] was given them over the fourth part of the earth.” God did not interfere but let those foretold death-dealing factors work havoc on the war-ridden earth, even though these things claimed some of his faithful ones as victims. Death by “wild beasts” preying upon helpless humans is not reported on.
12. The devastating ride of those three latter horsemen, in occurring at the time that it did, proves what fact?
12 The devastating ride of those three witnesses, namely, the rider on the fiery-colored horse, the rider on the black horse and the rider on the pale horse with Hades at his heels, cannot be overlooked or be erased from the history of modern times. Since they occurred as they did at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, they must signify something of world importance. What? The Kingdom, for which his disciples were taught to pray to God in the Lord’s Prayer, was established in the heavens, now that the Gentile Times, “the appointed times of the nations,” for trampling upon God’s Kingdom by his Messiah (Christ) had ended. (Luke 21:10, 11, 24) So now the Kingdom is here. Its King has been anointed as God’s enthroned Ruler and has been crowned. His “presence” in the Kingdom has started. “The conclusion of the system of things” has begun. The royal rod of his strength Jehovah has sent out of the heavenly Zion, saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.” (Psalm 110:1, 2) Hence, the time had come for the Ruler to begin his ride on his white royal steed, dashing on to final and complete victory over his enemies on earth as well as in heaven.
An Honorable Privilege
13. How should the disciples of the rider on the white horse react to this information, and what foretold privilege of service should they consider it an honor to undertake?
13 In the face of those four horsemen as depicted at Revelation 6:1-8, what should the disciples of the rider on the white horse do here on earth during this “conclusion of the system of things”? They should serve unitedly as his mouthpieces in fulfilling an outstanding feature of “the sign” of his presence in the Kingdom, namely, “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.” (Matthew 24:14) This earth-wide witness must be delivered by his ‘preachers’ and completed before the terminal “end” of this doomed “system of things” is reached. It now being 69 years since the crowned rider on the white horse began his ride to complete conquest over the opposers of his Kingdom, and since the world conditions meanwhile have worsened to the stage that they have, that terminal “end” must be close at hand. The “short period of time” that has been allowed for Satan the Devil here at the earth is about up, apparently. (Revelation 12:12) Who, then, will accept the honorable privilege of giving the final part of the earth-wide witness concerning the established Kingdom of God by his Christ? The united witnesses of Jehovah all around the globe answer, “We shall!” May Jehovah aid them in doing so, to the vindication of him as the Universal Sovereign!
14. Why must the rider on the white horse still keep riding?
14 The ride of the crowned rider on the white horse has not gone to the triumphant point of ‘completing his conquest,’ and he will not stop short of attaining this goal. So yet onward he must ride. Two world wars are already past history, but war preparations on a prodigious scale still shake the peace of mankind.
15. (a) Has the ride of the black horse and the pale horse come to an end? (b) Why is what has been happening since 1914 thrilling and glorious?
15 Millions of underfed people have to tighten their belts to offset the pangs of hunger, waiting in vain for food shortages to be overcome and inflated prices to plunge to moderate levels on which the poor can provide for their basic needs. Medical science finds itself baffled with new types of disease and the malignant diseases are fastening themselves on more and more victims, so that the rider Death has not brought his pale horse to a halt, so that the Hades of gravedom must follow at his heels. But what all of this, as happening since the close of the Gentile Times in 1914, has signified is thrilling, aye, glorious! At this late date what we are approaching is the end of “the conclusion of the system of things” that has come into existence since the Flood of Noah’s days, 2370 B.C.E., or 4,352 years ago. This is, for a fact, good news.
A Glorious Work Follows
16. Does this signify the end of our inhabited earth or not?
16 The end of this “conclusion of the system of things” does not signify the end of this earthly home of humankind. Not at all! It signifies the opening up of a new system of things, yes, for this same old earth that fallen mankind threatens to reduce to a desolate wasteland. Says the enthroned Creator: “Look! I am making all things new.”—Revelation 21:5.
17. What privilege of work is it now an honor for us to carry out even into the new system of things?
17 What a glorious work lies ahead of those who survive the end of this “conclusion of the system of things” and who enter into that new system where the fiery-colored horse, the black horse and the pale horse followed by Hades will no more streak through the inhabited earth—especially so with the resurrection of all redeemed mankind in the offing! Yet even now, before the ride of the four horsemen is over, glorious is the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses in proclaiming the best of news. It is the news of Jehovah’s royal government in the hands of Christ that will beautify the new system of things with a Paradise that will encircle the whole earth and fill it with peace-keeping redeemed mankind, blessed with everlasting life in human perfection that reflects the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-28) Ours is now the honorable God-given privilege to share in that glorious work!
What related parts of a composite “sign” are described at
What privilege do Jehovah’s Witnesses now enjoy, with what work prospect ahead?