Second Horseman of the Apocalypse :: By Charles Gray Adams Jr

“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” (Rev 6:4, KJV). [1]

The identification of the second rider is unknown. He is simply the one who sits on the red horse. He is arriving onto a world stage that has been prepared by the conquering first rider. The power of this rider is to remove peace from the earth and cause people to kill one another. Like the first rider and his crown, this rider is given a device with which to accomplish his mission, a great sword. While this study will cover each of these points, it will deal primarily with the power of this rider and the resultant carnage created by it. After all, understanding how this rider with a great sword wields power that removes peace from the earth, which in turn causes people to kill one another, is very important.

The World Stage is Set

Just like the first rider, the second will come onto the scene at the perfect moment. He will arrive like one who harvests fruit at just the right time, inasmuch as the remaining populace of the earth will be living in a day that finds the restrainer removed and lawlessness flourishing (2 Thess 2:6). Paul speaks of the mystery of lawlessness already at work in his day, nearly two thousand years ago. Additionally, this lawlessness is already escalating on this side of the rapture. One can only imagine how wicked society will become when the one who restrains is taken out of the way.

Anger is also building, and when this rider arrives, he will apply the necessary impetus to incite violence on a grand scale. The difference between this moment and any before is the scope of this rider’s influence. His ride will impact the entire populace of the world, as noted by the fact that he will “take peace from the earth.” Notice this statement does not limit his influence to a portion. Instead, by implication, his ride will inflame the entire population of the planet. The question is, how does he accomplish this? A brief explanation of each of the four riders may help with this question.

Each rider is given a distinct power:

The first rider may come in the name of a movement that is currently sweeping the world into the insanity of adopting the LGBTQ-championed denial of the distinct genders created by God, in an attempt to bring confusion from which he will conquer.

The second rider will have the ability to take peace from the world. Perhaps he will capitalize upon another bizarre movement that is already spreading like a cancer throughout the entire world, Critical Race Theory.

The third rider will bring famine that might arise from another movement afoot that is attempting to shift power from individual farmers to government entities who desire to be the ‘end all’ to all. This shift is currently being accomplished by establishing artificial shortages, which will ultimately run the small farmer, distributor, and even the local stores out of business.

The final rider is the culmination of the first three. He will act out his namesake—death, and hell will follow as one-fourth of the earth suffers carnage by sword, hunger, plague, and wild beasts. This ‘fourth part of the earth’ is explained in the article “Back to Babylon.” [2]

Jesus spoke of this time in his Olivet discourse when explaining the coming Tribulation (Matt 24). He informed his disciples that deception would plague men in the last days. He then began to lay out this same format of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Beginning in verse five, he explains that many would come in His name, by way of deception, claiming to be Christ (1st rider). In verses six and seven, he warns of wars and rumors of wars followed by nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom (2nd rider). In the second half of verse seven, he speaks of famines (3rd rider), followed by pestilences (4th rider). Jesus goes on to speak of the Tribulation up until his return and the need to remain faithful while waiting. The first rider has been addressed in the article First Horseman of the Apocalypse. [3] Now on to the second rider.

The Red Horse

Like the first horseman, the second rides a horse which is the color of the nature of the rider. Albeit it, the first horseman only imitated the purity intended by his white horse. The second rider, however, is described as one who is in perfect sync with the nature intended by the color of the horse, red.

Throughout history, red has often indicated anger, fury, and even war. There is even an old phrase used for someone who is cross which confirms this, “They are so mad, they are seeing red.” This rider is subsequent to the first who went forth conquering and to conquer (Rev 6:2). That rider, which was noted to be the Antichrist, set the stage for this rider by dividing those who remain on the earth after the rapture (Rev 4:1) into differing camps based on ideology. Therefore, the actions of the first horseman prime the inhabitants of the earth for the second rider.

This horse that depicts war will rapidly traverse the earth carrying its rider who brings conflict by removing peace. Remember, the Antichrist (the first rider) will come as one who brings false peace (Dan 8:25); perhaps, he will come as a champion of those who were once thought of as the minority. He may even co-opt another movement calling for “equity”; this could explain how he even beguiles the Jewish nation into thinking he is their answer. Remember, he will affirm the very peace agreement which initiates the countdown of the tribulation period (Dan 9:27), the timeframe known as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7; Matt 24).

Following false peace, the second rider will bring unprecedented discord. This is evident by the fact that the effect of this rider is upon all peoples of the earth, even down to individuals. Just like the first rider, the second is ‘given’ something to accomplish his task, power and a sword.

The Second Rider is Given Power to Take Peace Away

As noted, the second rider is given the unique power to take away the peace of men. Perhaps the best way to do so is to enhance division. Close examination of the text indicates this is exactly what this rider will do. Remember, he has the power to take peace away and cause men to kill one another.

People only kill one another if they have come to a place of insufferable differences. In other words, these people will be so divided that they can see no way to coexist. This will be the state of mind of the people of the earth because of the influence of the first rider; he will, by championing lies, cause the earth’s populace to begin to separate along ideological lines. The second rider will capitalize upon this division and enlarge the breach into an insurmountable obstacle. This will cause men to turn on one another, and neighbor will begin to kill neighbor. Worse yet, family members will be turning on one another as well.

Ironically, the beginnings of what may culminate in this great divide may already be manifesting in the form of what Jesus foretold in the aforementioned Olivet discourse; nation is rising against nation. Nation is translated from the Greek word ‘ethnos,’ which stands for race. Therefore, Critical Race Theory and other movements calling for equity seem to be priming the pump of racial hatred, especially in the countries mentioned as the possible proverbial hot seat of the coming carnage to visit one-quarter of the earth. This is discussed in great detail in the article “Back to Babylon.” [4] Indeed, the teaching of this racially charged curriculum is preparing the people of the world to fulfill a prophecy spoken by Christ almost two thousand years ago:

Matthew 10:21

“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”

The second rider will capitalize on the division created by the first rider and further the divide by convincing each group that their position is the correct position. Remember, only one group is actually correct, Christians. This blood-bought group, in believing that Jesus paid the price for their sins by dying for them; resurrected on the third day; and ascended to the Father, will be taken from the earth in the rapture, before the ride of the red horse. Therefore, the dominant beliefs left on the earth will all be worldly views crafted by men. These worldviews will undoubtedly clash and lead to utter chaos. With this in mind, it is clear to see this rider’s power is most effective by way of division, which is another aspect of what a ‘great sword’ is.

The Great Sword

Swords are made primarily for warfare. The sword given to the second rider is “great.” This implies that the sword is either large or very effective, or both. Perhaps the best way to view this particular sword is to see it as not just a sword but as an implement used by the second rider of the Apocalypse to ‘cleave’ the already divided populace into fearsome factions bent on the destruction of the others. Agreed, the overall image portrayed by a sword is one of warfare. However, the result of a strong blow from a ‘great sword’ is the dividing asunder of two parts of whatever the target may be. No doubt, this rider will fulfill the words of Christ and divide kingdoms and nations. However, the text indicates the intended recipient is ultimately all of the earth. In other words, this division will impact all people down to the individual level.

This is Not an Ordinary War

Yes, the sword indicates war; however, this war will be like none before it. For the first time, people of every stripe will strive to kill one another. In former world wars, nations did rise against nations, and peoples rose against peoples. However, in the midst of the great carnage was a cry for peace. This will, presumably, not be the case during the ride of the second horseman. Remember, his power is to ‘remove’ peace from the earth. Currently, it is hard to imagine a time when everyone desires to kill one another. However, by looking ahead to the culminating ride of the fourth horseman, one could see that peace is even removed from the wild beasts, who will kill people during this awful time (Rev 6:8). No, this will not be an ordinary war.

Due to the current world-shaping pandemic, people are already clamoring for things to return to normal or “ordinary.” Unfortunately, the first rider is set to ride, and he will be followed by a rapid succession of riders, which will culminate with those who survive concealing themselves in caves and rocks while calling for the very rocks and mountains to fall upon them in order to hide them from the “face of God and His great day of wrath” (Rev 6:15-17). Too late, they will realize they have entered into the foretold period of God’s judgment known as the “great day of His wrath.”

One can already sense that things will never return to normal. The ordinary is a thing of the past. Indeed, the world is being prepared, by the powers that be, to accept the deluded one who rides a white horse to commence the period warned of for so long, the Tribulation. The second rider will ride shortly thereafter. Knowing what to do in order to survive such a period is paramount. After all, the second rider is just one of four, and the rider only makes up a fraction of the pending judgment. In total, the world will experience judgments in the form of seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls. The earth will be forever changed as a result of God’s judgment and simultaneous remodeling for the millennial reign (Rev 20:1-3).

How to Overcome

Surviving this time of great peril will be extremely difficult. However, God has made a way for those who miss the rapture to overcome. If you find this article after the rapture, another article, ‘Open Letter to Those Who Miss the Rapture,’ was written to you.[5] Ultimately, just like the raptured Christians, anyone who finds themselves in the Tribulation must rely solely on Jesus Christ. He is the only way to overcome, as illustrated by the words of the apostle John about this time of woes:

Revelation 12:11

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

The Son of God has already shed His blood. Now, during the most difficult time to do so, the one who comes to faith after the rapture must testify of Jesus openly. This will only be possible if one understands and lives by the third announcement of Revelation 12:11, “and they loved not their lives unto the death.” One of the primary foes for the new believer during the Tribulation will be the desire by many to kill anyone who ‘testifies’ of Jesus. However, this testimony is the only way to actually overcome. The words of Jesus describe this circumstance very well; “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt 10:32-33).

Clearly, trusting in and testifying of Jesus, who died for all and rose again on the third day, is the only way to overcome (Rom 10:9). Ultimately, all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:13). Think of it this way: if life hangs in the balance, the name upon which one calls will determine their eternal future.


The second of four riders will bring a time of unprecedented hatred. One only has to look around at their own community to see the beginnings of this. The pandemic has provided a great snapshot of the division already afoot. Injections and masks could be leading to the division, which the first rider will seemingly address in his call for equity while championing the message of the oppressed. However, this synthetic unity will collapse because it is rooted in selfishness. Each group – worse yet – each person will desire to be their own champion (2 Tim 3:1-5). This will lead to the second rider who awaits the perfect moment to burst onto a scene that only seems peaceful. He will elucidate the differences of those involved, and like a yo-yo, the populace will change direction from faux peace toward carnage at the local level.

Website: In His Commission

[1] “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”

[2] For greater understanding, read the article “Back to Babylon.”

[3] For greater understanding, read the article “First Horseman of the Apocalypse.

[4] For greater understanding, read the article “Back to Babylon.

[5] For greater understanding, read the article “Open Letter to Those Who Miss the Rapture.”