This article continues our study of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In Part 1, we examined the rider on the white horse. We will now study his successor, the rider on the red horse.
This second horse appears in Revelation 6:3-4:
“When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, ‘Come!’ And another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to remove peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere” (Revelation 6:3-4, NLT).
What does the symbolic language of this verse tell us about this rider? We can identify several points:
1) He rides a red horse. In the Bible, the color red symbolizes blood and war, meaning the appearance of this rider and his horse will usher in a deadly war.
2) He is given authority to remove peace from the earth. As a direct result of his actions, the rider sparks a global conflict.
3) There was war and slaughter everywhere. This last part of verse 4 clearly states that the rider on the red horse brings global war and slaughter.
4) He was given a mighty sword. The rider wields a mighty sword, a weapon far more powerful than the weapons of his enemies.
The most intriguing characteristic of the rider on the red horse is the “mighty sword” he possesses. What is this mighty sword? Although we don’t know for sure, we do know that it is a unique and powerful weapon. No other “mighty swords” are mentioned in these verses, and it would seem unnecessary to mention the rider’s “mighty sword” if it was just one of many.
I believe the four horsemen in Revelation 6 represent the various phases of the career of the Antichrist. In Part 1 of this series, I speculated that the Antichrist (the rider on the white horse) might use molecular manufacturing (MM) to conquer many nations without using deadly force. Since the rider on the red horse immediately follows the rider on the white horse, it would stand to reason that the second horseman’s actions are an immediate consequence of the first horseman’s actions. If this is so, do the events described in verses 3 and 4 support the theory of molecular manufacturing? Yes, they do.
In Revelation 6:2, the rider on the white horse “goes out to conquer many nations.” He does not go out to conquer “all nations.” But if this were the ultimate goal, he could conquer non-MM-enabled nations with relative ease. MM-enabled nations, however, will pose a greater challenge. Although the leading nation will likely develop an insurmountable lead, the defeat of these better-defended nations will probably result in an unprecedented amount of destruction.
If a nation is attempting to capitalize on its first-mover molecular manufacturing advantage by disabling its competitors and establishing a global empire, competing nations would likely do everything within their means to prevent this from happening. As The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) suggests, “A declared global empire will be resented, hated, and feared, no matter who is emperor. Preparation for it is likely to tempt preemptive strikes.”
A non-MM-enabled power will be utterly defenseless against an MM-enabled power. However, it seems likely the nation that first develops MM will do so in near parallel with competing nations. This means it’s highly likely that other MM-enabled powers could emerge in a similar time frame. These powers might be able to mount some sort of token resistance, but even an advantage of a few days could provide the leading power with an insurmountable advantage.
CRN makes this point as part of its “30 Essential Studies of Nanotechnology.” In Essential Study #20, the question is posed: “How hard will it be to recover from a nanotech gap?” The answer:
“At the point where a nanofactory or equivalent system is developed, even a few months difference could be unrecoverable. The more advanced side would have access to vastly better computers, and the technology would advance as rapidly as their creativity allowed. There is no obvious plateau in capability that would allow a laggard to catch up. Also, the advanced side would be in a much better position to thwart development in its opponents, with or without all-out war.”
If parallel powers do emerge, the likelihood of a massive and devastating war increases dramatically. I previously stated that the leading developer of MM will most likely use its advantage to disable its competitors, an undertaking required to prevent the unprecedented destruction of an MM-based arms race. But a preemptive strike by the initial power might itself result in a limited MM-based arms race. Even if its competitors are at a decided disadvantage, the death toll could rival that of all twentieth-century conflicts combined.
In fact, CRN views the idea of a massive war as a “highly plausible” event:
“A nano arms race appears almost inevitable, and would probably be unstable as discussed in the military capabilities study (#20). A nano-enabled war would probably be lethal to many civilians. As pointed out by Tom McCarthy, ‘Military planners will seek a target that is large enough to find and hit, and that cannot be easily replaced. The natural choice, given the circumstances, will be civilian populations.’ Both full-scale war and unconventional/terroristic war will target civilians, who will be nearly impossible to defend without major lifestyle changes. It would be easy to deploy enough antipersonnel weapons to make the earth unsurvivable by unprotected humans.”
Because of the nature of molecular manufacturing, the direct targeting of civilian populations will probably become the number-one aim of the world’s military leadership. MM will enable the decentralization of a nation’s military hardware, making it very difficult to track and destroy on a large scale. It will also enable the quick replacement of the hardware that is destroyed. One thing it will not enable is the replacement of human lives. Massive loss of brain power and creativity will devastate a nation. This is why we fear terrorists with a single nuclear weapon more than we do a major hurricane. A hurricane might cause more widespread property damage, but people generally survive. A nuclear explosion, however, could very easily kill hundreds of thousands, bringing a nation’s capacity to function to a screeching halt.
Given the circumvention of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and the negative impact on international trade that will result from the development of molecular manufacturing, the idea that it might result in “war and slaughter everywhere” is more than probable. When taken in context with the white horse of Revelation 6:2, as well as other evidence we will explore in future articles, it seems quite possible that the four horsemen of Revelation 6 foreshadow the development of molecular manufacturing, a technology that may well be developed within the next three to five years, and almost certainly will be developed by the year 2020. In Part 3 of this series, we’ll examine the rider on the black horse as well as the economic impact that will result from the emergence of general-purpose exponential molecular manufacturing.