The End of the World?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

From the moment that disease and war have come to dominate the daily news, voices have been heard calling that these are signs. Signs described in the Bible book of Revelation, with the visions of John, that the end of the world is near. However, the surreal images of destruction and death portrayed in Revelation are not of our planet’s final convulsions, but of a spiritual awakening, where the “old world” of man perishes and gives way to the “New Jerusalem” of God.

The natural disasters, diseases, wars and horrific monsters in Revelation represent the inner turbulence and strife that precedes the ultimate mystical experience: the reunion with our Creator. The famed Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who in the visions herald the end of times, show that all aspects of our being are involved in this inner transformation.

The White Horse

About the first horseman John writes:

“And I looked, and behold a white horse, and He that sat on it had a bow. And a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

This is the image of the purified soul of man who has conquered (the crown) his animal nature (the horse). This symbolic meaning is also echoed in our well-known expression the “prince on a white horse”: the ideal man is pure (white) of heart and has his primitive urges (the horse) under control. The bow was the weapon used to hunt and kill animals in the time of Christ.

The Red Horse

The second rider sits on a red horse:

“…and to him that sat upon it was given power to take away peace from the earth, and to cause men to slaughter one another. And he was given a great sword.”

This rider represents our emotional life. Red is the color of passion, but also of anger. Strong emotions take away our inner peace and are responsible for bloody conflicts all over the world.

The Black Horse

Then a black horse appears:

“…and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice say in the midst of the four living creatures, A measure of wheat for a denarius + and three measures of barley for a denarius. And do not harm the oil and the wine.”

This rider represents our thoughts. In our head everything that the senses experience is ”weighed” and judged. In spiritual terminology: the mind moves between the opposites of duality (the scales). And is focused on making money. Oil and wine are metaphors for the Divine in the Bible. Every mystic is (painfully) aware that his thoughts, which are directly related to his emotions, can be a great obstacle to experiencing the Divine.

The Pale Horse

The fourth horse is pale in color:

“…and he that sat on it, his name was death, and the realm of death followed him. And power was given them over the fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

This is a description of our body, the fourth aspect of man. The body is ravaged by hunger, death, destruction, and primitive urges (the wild animals). Pale is the color of a corpse. The body has nothing to offer us spiritually, the vision says.

Follow your soul

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the world will be destroyed by God. This will at most be a result of our own materialistic, self-indulgent way of life and territorial instinct. Rather, the book of Revelation warns not to crown the horsemen responsible for war, suffering, and death, but to let the first horseman, our soul, take the lead, and let the other three follow.

This article was published in Paravisie magazine (September ’22)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2022

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Anne-Marie Wegh writes books on the symbolism in the Bible

By |2023-10-29T09:58:13+00:00August 27th, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The End of the World?
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