The White Horse of Deception
By: Jim O'Brien
"I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (Revelation 6:1-2)
Even people who aren't familiar with the Bible have heard of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and most are vaguely aware that they represent some terrible calamities that will occur before this age of man comes to an end.
But understanding the symbolism doesn't come from a cursory reading. What is so evil about a White Horse? White is a color of purity so why does it portend such bad things?
Some people believe the White Horse is a reference to Christianity and therefore it is a good horse. But if that is so, why is this horse carrying an armament of war and why is it bent on "military" conquest?
Maybe the White Horse does not represent Christianity at all. Maybe this horse is just as evil-in some ways possibly even worse than those that follow.
C.S. Lewis gave us a clue when he wrote, "Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor." Lewis went on to say, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
The White Horse represents a deceptive force that engulfs the world. By definition deception is causing people to accept as true something that is false. It is exemplified by a person who believes he is right even when he is wrong.
Deception precedes evil because evil begins in the mind. To paraphrase Proverbs 23:7, "As [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he." When a person has a warped worldview, he will act according to those wrong perceptions.
Donna and I were discussing current events recently when I opined that the people expounding these irrational views must know they are wrong. She pulled me up short, "No!" she exclaimed, "they believe these things!" She is right. These people are so deceived they actually believe their lies are true. That's what makes them dangerous.
The most evil people who ever existed were evil because they could not question their own infallibility. Did the Muslim terrorists who flew planes filled with innocent people into the World Trade Centers ever doubt their own ideas? Did Hitler ever doubt the ethics of his politics when he led the world into a war that cost the lives of over 50 million people? Did Stalin doubt his own righteousness when he murdered 20 million of his own citizens? Did Mao ever doubt himself when he murdered as many as 100 million citizens of China?
These men were convinced they were right-but they were deceived and compelled to force their wrong beliefs on the rest of the world. Such evil was started by the White Horse of religious zeal for wrong doctrines, and when deceived men acquired the sword of political power they went forth to conquer by force. When force was insufficient, destruction and death soon followed.
The day came that the Son of God stepped down from the throne of the universe in the 3rd Heaven to bring truth to the earth! It took the Creator of the earth to untangle the web of deception. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life!" (John 14:6). It is Truth that sets us free!" (John 8:31). Truth is the only thing that can save a person from deception.
Until next time,
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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