Revelation the First Seal

Rev 6:1 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!  It’s rider held a bow, and was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

Rider on the white horse in Revelation

To start with, Let’s see if we can get anything from the meaning of these words.
White Horse – Spiritual advancement and warfare is coming.
Bow – respect or acknowledgment of a greater power
Crown – Giving birth to a baby or new idea, being awarded for things accomplished in life, overcoming sin to gain salvation

It looks a little too general to get a good grasp on it, but it looks like the kingdom of god will be advancing forcefully.

For most of my Christian life I looked at these words, “he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest” and basically thought to myself, I will probably never understand what this means. I said to the Lord, this could mean anything, it’s only one sentence. Any chance could you give me a hint. It’s so short and there aren’t any details. I found out that the understanding of this verse doesn’t come until you fully understand the book of Daniel, the Little Horn, the Judgment seat of god, and the time period in which all these things were fulfilled. We have articles on all these topics already so we’ll start this article with the time period beginning in the mid 1700’s running through the 1800’s.

The first seal sets the mark for when God Judgment begins. We believe this was 1798 when the time period given to the Little Horn to reign, came to an end. All this information is in Daniel and was covered in detail in the Article called, “God’s Judgment begins”.

All of the seals are world-wide movements so you have to ask yourself, What’s happening in culture on the face of the earth in the 1800’s. The first thing that comes to mind is the colonization of the new world. Spain, France, Britain, Portugal and a number of other countries were all going out and establishing new colonies, bringing their form of government to an uncivilized world. Yes, it could be said, they rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. Yes, this does fit, it was a world-wide movement. It was during this time period, England became a world power with colonies spread all over the face of the earth. It was said that, “The sun never sets on the British Empire”.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) reigned as the English Monarch for 65 years; this time period, often called the Victorian era, is known for its sense of decency, justice, and godly values. With the opening of colonies, missionary activities flourished allowing the gospel to be taken to the heathen nations.

Gradually the heathen nations became civilized with schools, hospitals, churches, and businesses. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Christian impact on the world was so dominate that some theologians began to teach that the church would eventually Christianize all the nations of the world to such an extent that it would usher in the return of Christ.

Setting the Stage

To get a better understanding of what was happening in this world-wide movement, let’s go back to the 1700’s. The flames of Revival were hitting America and Britain. The Pietists and Moravians were stirring the revival flames.  Preachers like George Muller, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley, David Brainerd, Charles Finney, and Dwight L Moody were turning the cultures of America and Britain upside down.

Back in Europe, there was a young man named Count Zinzendolf (1700-1760) who lived in Germany. In 1720, he was visiting an art museum in Dusseldorf, Germany and beheld a painting that shaped the rest of his life. Standing before a portrait of the Thorn crowned Christ, he read the inscription, “I have done this for you, what have you done for me?” Immediately the count responded in his heart: “I have loved him for a long time now, but have never actually done anything for him. From now on, I will do whatever He leads me to do”. The count went on to become one of the most influential Christian leaders in Europe and the pre-catalyst of the modern missionary movement.

They started a 24 hour prayer meeting that continued and went on for over 100 years (The Moravians). The people in this movement actually sold themselves into slavery in order to bring the gospel to the entire earth. So you had governmental leaders and missionaries working together to change the culture of the world. Now it’s starting to sound a little more like God now.

What people don’t understand is that God is for us, not against us. They think God’s judgment has to be bad, but actually the word judgment means, to make a decision. He knows we’re living in darkness and wants to enlighten people with the truth. God has a plan, and that would be to bring all nations into the light and shown them what He’s really like. He always does this in a way that will not violate our ability to choose between good and evil and right and wrong out of an act of our own free will. So there will always be a natural practical expression on the earth so people can accept or deny a move of god.

Whole communities where coming into salvation, but the church had no concept of missions. It wasn’t until 1793 that an English shoe cobbler by the name of William Carey stood up against the apathy of the Church and sailed to India as a missionary. For this bold act of faith, he is remembered as the Father of the Modern Missionary movement.

William Carey

William Carey ran a shoe repair shop and when his mouth wasn’t filled with shoe pegs, he was studying Greek and Latin. You might say, what was this shoemaker doing studying Greek and Latin? Most people couldn’t understand him as he talked to anyone who would listen and showed them his leather globe in which he outlined all the nations of the world. Although God wants all the nations of the world to know him, he’s given that task to us so we can co-labor with him. Remember, He’s given the Earth to man and he never moves unless he’s been invited to do so.

On Sundays he would preach in his local congregation and by 1786 he became an ordained minister. When Carey joined the preachers meetings in North Hamptonshire he confronted them on whether the command given to the apostles, “to teach all nations”, was not obligatory to all succeeding ministers. After a moment of silence as shock waves hit the room, he was sternly told to sit down… When the Lord wants to convert the heathen He will do it without your help or mine. It seemed like everyone William ran into told him that if God wanted to save the nations, He would come down from heaven and do so. They had no understanding that God has commissioned us to go to all the nations.

He now knew he had a battle and turned to all who would hear and donate a penny a week toward the cause. He turned to use the help of the press, writing tracts and pamphlets. Some months later he organized the first organization dedicated to bring the gospel to all the nations of the world. It was called, The Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen.

Months later he was united with an indebted doctor named, John Thomas. John was the one that actually sought him out. A short time later they were on their way to India.

Upon arriving in India Carey was greeted with the Hindu customs of Suttee where they burned widows alive. Suttee was a religious duty. Girl brides and old widows were bound to the bodies of their dead husbands and held down with long poles in the fire. Or a widow might be burned alive, sitting at the bottom of a pit with the corpse of her mate in her arms. Her own children threw in the dirt to bury her.

It was 7 years before Carey saw his first native convert, but he never gave up. To make a long story really short William Carey organized an end to Suttee, wrote 4 different translations of the bible in the native tongue, fathered schools and built a college. He formed the Agriculture and Horticultural Society of India, and transformed the agriculture by providing models for what would grow best and where to grow it. He did away with Infant sacrifice and opened a hospital for lepers.

We recommend picking up the book, Church History and the things to come, by A Beka book for a complete copy of William Carey’s life and many others like him.

Many other missionaries followed William Carey example.
Adoniram Judson to Burma
David Livingston to Africa
Henry Nott to Tahiti, South Pacific
Hudson Taylor to China
George Grenfell to African Congo
Jonathan Goforth to China

Missionary Map in the 1800s

It could be said that the first Seal lasted about 100 years, starting in the 1800’s and continuing until around 1900. It was a time period known for establishing colonies and providing new forms of government. It was combined with the start of Christian missions which brought about a change, as Christian values were brought into society to change lives and bring salvation. It was truly a world-wide movement.

Last Updated: Apr 3, 2017 Contact Us