Beginning early in the year in 2020, the world began experiencing a global phenomenon, ostensibly triggered by a global pandemic, but one which made the whole world sit back and take notice. In light of the global nature of the experience, I think its worth considering if those events have any possible connection to the events that are foretold with the first seal of the book of Revelation and the rider on a white horse…
Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.Revelation 6:1-2, NASB — The First Seal—A Rider on White Horse
Let’s take a close look at the rider on the white horse. He is holding a bow and wears a crown. He also makes moves to conquer and subdue, but somehow without war. In today’s context, that could be understood to be political, legislative, through treaties, or even with technology. The rider holds a bow. It is unclear whether or not he has arrows. The Greek term is not explicit in this regard, but arrows are not specifically mentioned. A bow does represent a threat, however, and it is a long-distance weapon that travels through the air. The last item that the rider mentions is a crown. The Latin Vulgate translates this word as “corona.”
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 virus, commonly called the Coronavirus, had become a global pandemic and the world suddenly began to change. Unlike pandemics of the past, this virus seemed to have a power behind it that moved all of the countries of the world to respond the same way. This “crown-virus” began to affect people around the globe. Markets crashed more spectacularly than at any time since 1929 in the U.S. and similarly around the world. Global travel ground to halt. Businesses have laid off more people than ever before in the U.S. Non-essential businesses have been ordered to close and mass shelter-in-place quarantines have been implemented in almost every country in the world. And many people believe that this is just the beginning. Like watching the tide go out before a massive tsunami strikes a coastline, we instinctively know that this will cause much greater and longer lasting impacts. In other words, it is not hard to imagine that the tremendous upheavals that we are currently experiencing will lead to even greater disruptions in the future. Possibly even war or famine. It’s also not hard to imagine that this virus could further mutate and infect and kill a greater number of people, or that there could be complications caused by a rushed vaccine. The world has never seen a response like this. So while we can’t be sure what the ramifications will be, the worst could definitely be yet to come.
I also have a hard time believing that COVID-19 being called the Coronavirus (crown-virus) is a coincidence. And, if you consider that it is an airborne virus that has traveled the globe in its impact, the metaphor of a bow is also fitting. Finally, there is a lot of legislation being passed during this crisis that is threatening people’s freedoms, much of which may not be fully felt or understood until after this whole event passes. You might even say that this is the first time ever that nations from Communist to Democratic to Islamic Republic have all responded the same and in a somewhat coordinated fashion. That is truly amazing! There is also talk of mandatory global vaccinations and permanent implantable ID chips being used for everyone on the planet. Hence, there is good reason to believe that there are changes going on behind the scenes that are going to affect individual liberties in profound ways.
I have also heard many good Bible teachers say that this can’t be the first seal of Revelation for two reasons. First, we aren’t seeing the global catastrophic death rates that are foretold in Revelation. To this I would respond, that those things are not expected until the fourth seal. So, for an opener, I think this still fits very well. Second, many say that this can’t be the first seal because the Rapture hasn’t happened yet. To this I can only respond that the precise timing of the Rapture is not explicit in scripture. So, rather than assuming it can’t be the first seal, it might be a better idea to consider the option that the pre-tribulation rapture view may not be correct and then get started on re-calibrating our expectations.
Other objections may be raised on the fact that we don’t have proof that Daniel’s 70th Week has begun, which seems to be a necessary precondition for the First Seal. On this point, I also agree that the seals should begin to open only in the final seven years. I also don’t think we can dogmatically assert that it has begun, because for one, there is still no temple on the Temple Mount and if it has begun there are only a few years left to build it. So I don’t it is possibly yet to know for sure, but there are reasons to believe that we could be in the final week. For example, we currently have Trump’s peace plan in play, which was published January 28, 2020. This date coincides well with the start of the current pandemic. Furthermore, Israel has begun to follow the peace plan, so even though it was passed unilaterally, with some Gulf State abstentions, if they continue enacting the plan then I would argue it is the de facto plan and that it is already being put into action.
In conclusion, does the current global Coronavirus pandemic represent the White Horse of Revelation? I don’t know that for sure, yet, but you can bet that I’ll be watching developments very closely. I think we all should be…
 Jamie Gumbrecht and Jacqueline Howard. “WHO declares novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic,” CNN, March 11, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/11/health/coronavirus-pandemic-world-health-organization/index.html
 Tamara Lush. “Coronavirus claims an unexpected victim: Florida vegetables,” Associated Press, Apr 08, 2020, https://www.blackhillsfox.com/content/news/Coronavirus-claims-an-unexpected-victim-Florida-vegetables–569472951.html
 James Hitchings-Hales and Pia Gralki. “Bill Gates on Coronavirus: 5 Things World Leaders Must Do Right Away,” globalcitizen.org, March 2, 2020, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/bill-gates-coronavirus-COVID-19-pandemic-plan/