Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is The White Horseman of Revelation 19 The Church rather than Jesus?

I realize this suggestion is going to be very controversial.  There is a phrase we think of as a Title of Christ mainly because of it's usage in this passage, and yet under that assumption has been the title of two Hollywood films.  "King of Kings and Lord of Lords".  That title is also clearly applied to The Lamb in Revelation 17:14.  But in Revelation 19 the person being described has that name written on their vesture and thigh, making their relation to that name perhaps more complicated.

First of all this does not change that I think The Arnion (Lamb in the KJV) mentioned as getting married just before this is Jesus.
Second of all regardless of if this is Jesus or not, this is not the Parusia, I've already noted the significance of how that word does not appear in this passage and it has nothing in common with the passages that define the Parusia.  The defining traits of the Parusia occurred in chapters 11-14.

In Revelation 19:12 we read "and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."  I can understand why that sounds like it could be a title of Jesus at first.  But in Revelation 2:17 that is a promise Jesus makes to faithful Church believers.  "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

Another promise to the Faithful in the messages to the Seven Churches is also used here.  The promise to rule with a Rod of Iron.  In 2:27 and 19:15.  That is also said of The Man-Child in 12:5.  I've already argued strongly that The Man-Child is The Church citing 2:27 (But the biggest Proof Text of that is Isaiah 65), yet people retort that Revelation 19 makes that clearly of Jesus.  

The only appearance of this phrase outside Revelation is Psalm 2.  Chuck Missler likes to argue Psalm 2 is a dialogue between the Trinity, but an argument can also be made that Psalm 2 is about the same thing as Psalm 8, God's promised Dominion of The Earth to the faithful of mankind.  Also like most Psalms it's probably Davidic and so Yahuah's Anointed here could be David.  David anticipates some promises generally unique to New Testament believers, like being promised The Holy Spirit wouldn't leave him.

But, the term "Faithful and True" is used only three times in all of Scripture, all of them in Revelation.  Revelation 19:11 is the second of them.  The third is at the end not being used of a personage.  And Revelation 3:14 is clearly using it as a Title of Christ.

As I was pondering these conflicting clues, I noticed something in verse 11 of chapter 19.  The Horse itself is described as a "him".  
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
So I started wondering, is it possible that verses 12-16 are describing The Horse rather than The Rider?  And then there is 19:11’s parallel to 6:2, and how that White Horseman is viewed as possibly a False Christ.  Could it be chapter 6 is the Church or Israel being lead astray by a false Messiah, and then 19 is the true Messiah back in control?

Isaiah 63 is a passage often taken as being the main Hebrew Bible counterpart to this part of Revelation 19.  In Isaiah 63:13, Israel is symbolically described as a Horse.  Zechariah 10:3 repeats this analogy in a more positive context, representing Judah as Yahuah's goodly Horse.  And I should note that Rabbinic Jews who accept the Messiah Ben Joseph doctrine would probably view Isaiah 63 as about Messiah Ben-Joseph rather than Ben-David.

Certain things are applicable potentially to both Jesus and Faithful Believers.  Being called “Faithful and True” could work as one of those.  As well as the imagery of a Two Edged Sword coming out of his Mouth, referencing the idea of the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit from Ephesians 6.  And as I’ve considered that I’m maybe leaving the argument that the Rider is Jesus and the Horse the Church.

Many assume it’s the armies following in 19:14 that are Believers.  But Rob Skiba believes those are the Angels and maybe I should now consider him more right on that then I used to (but still not how he ties that into his Flat Earth arguments).  But also this may tie into how Believers will have different classes based on Rewards.

Maybe the Rider is the most Faithful of the Church and the Horse are those who lacked rewards, or Old Testament believers?

I’m not sure entirely what to make of these observations.  

But it has the potential to totally destroy Post-Trib, as even if a version of Post-Trib could be formed that interprets Revelation chronologically, it is dependent on the assumption that Revelation 19 clearly places a Return of Jesus after the Bowls of God’s Wrath.  I believe The Second Coming already happened before the Bowls were poured out.

And again on my Man-Child argument, this removes the only solid counter argument, and seals the deal on The Man-Child being The Church.

Update March 4th 2017:

One more layer I could add here is how The Hebrew Bible uses Messiah meaning Anointed One, translated Christ in Greek, of more then just The Messiah.  It's used of Kings, Priests and Prophets, and sometimes seemingly calls all Believers God's Anointed.

The New Testament is generally assumed to have phased that out (though Believers being called Christians could reflect it).  But Revelation is again often viewed as more Old Testament in style.  Twice the word Christ appears in Revelation 20, in verses 4 and 6, neither uses the Greek definite article before the word.  How the KJV translated verse 6 leaves out the word "his".  It should read "of God and of His Christ".

Remember that David is refereed to as a Messiah.  And that Ezekiel 34 and 37 refers to the resurrected David ruling as a Nasi during The Millennium.  (From that comes debates about if this is the same Nasi refereed to in Ezekiel 40-48.)  Zechariah possibly calls the Horse Judah, David's Tribe.

Maybe I'm reading too much into that.  But it's not a question I feel we can ignore.

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