The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse

By AL J. Vermette

  On a cool day on the date of December 21st 2012, our big yellow sun rises
for the last time over our small green world.  God has given the order as The
Rapture begins.  As millions devoted to God vanish and said to be brought
to his kingdom of Heaven, those who are left behind will face a far more evil
then the world has ever known.  From out of this mayhem they come, four of
the darkest creatures God could set loose upon his children.  Like thunder
across the land, they ride one by one, mounted atop their mighty stallions
they come.  They are Conquest, War, Famine and Death...and before it is all
over, nothing left alive will walk the Earth.

  They have been called the harbingers of Judgment Day and are the living
symbols of all that is evil in this world.  It is said that when God himself calls
for the end of our world, it is they that will ride out over the land and bring
forth the end.  They are thought of as the four evils of The Bible's
Revelations and maybe rightfully so.  They are The Four Horsemen of The
Apocalypse and when they do take to their steeds, the world as we know it
will come to an end.

  They are as old as time itself, aside from Satan himself, The Horsemen are
the bad boys of the Bible.  In Revelations, after God brings only the good
(yeah good luck on that) to Heaven, those left behind will face hell on Earth
and leading the way are The Four Horsemen.  But just who are these
creatures from the Bible that God himself sets forth upon his children and
what do they mean?  Each of the riders is said to mount a colored steed.
One black, one red, one pale and the other white as they ride the land
bringing terror to all.

  The first rider mounts the white horse and is known as Conquest.  In his
hand he holds a bow.  He also known as Plague for he brings death to where
he rides.  As with most things written in the Bible, much about the riders is up
to the readers own views or matter of faith in which one belongs.  The rider
of the white horse is also sometimes even viewed as being Christ himself
who rides with the others in a sort of counter balance to their more evil
nature.  The white rider is also thought of as the Holy Spirit as well.  The
thought here is that it was The Holy Spirit who came to the 12 Apostles after
Jesus made his departure from Earth and made his assent into Heaven.  
This very act words as a triumph over evil and so the white rider is
sometimes thought of as this entity.  Of the four riders it is the White
Horsemen that is less known and most unclear to his mission.

  War is the rider is the red horse as for his name tells it all.  In Revelation 6:
3-4, the rider of the red horse War is the master of battle, he who seeks
mass destruction who rides a fiery red beast.  War carries with him a great
red sword dipped in blood as he wields it like a weapon from Hell itself.  It is
The Horsemen War who bring with him all of mans conflicts, hate and
battles.  He has been part of our human nature for as far back as we were
human and will lead the last battle in bring on the end of the world.  There
has always been symbols for war.  Even the red planet Mars was named so
as the meaning of war from the Greek God of the same name.

  He who rides the black horse is called Famine and carries a pair of
balances weigh scales.  It is this rider who will starve the world of food
bringing hunger and death to all as he rides out into the land.  This is along
the four, other than Death is seen as one of the creeper of The Horsemen.  
Sometimes viewed as a thin sickly looking man atop his steed with sunken
eyes pale skin and tattered hair.  Artworks of all four riders have changed
from artist to artist but the same holds true that the rider of the black horse is
a creature of fear.  His very color horse shows his intentions, black the color
of death and unknown as even the very beast he mounts his depicted as
being thin and sickly looking as it brings forth its evil rider.

  The most known of all the riders is the most demonic of all The Horsemen.  
Death rides a pale beast sometimes viewed as a skeletal creature from which
he rides.  Death also known as the iconic Grim Reaper is the fourth and last
Horsemen to come forth at the end of the world.  He is most often depicted
as the creature we most know hidden under a hooded cloak and skeletal
form.  He is always shown in art as carrying a scythe.  Death is the last of the
Horsemen to come forth for after the others cause mayhem, war and
starvation, it is that of Death’s job to clean the Earth of all who remain.  
Sometimes Deaths face in artwork is hidden under his hood but most often is
shown as that of the face of a skull leering out from under his covering.  The
mythical creature known as Death or The Grim Reaper is also called too The
Angel of Death as well.  It is he who seemingly has his own life (or death if
you will) outside of riding with the other Horsemen.  He is known for taking
those who just died to the Afterlife and leading their way to Heaven or Hell.  
This reaper of souls is also very big at Halloween and has become just as
big an icon for the holiday as the pumpkin and witch.

(See BMR Issue #36 for my Grim Reaper Creature Feature)

  TV shows and movies have used theses four creatures in endless ways
from the series "Highlander" where The Four Horsemen were members of an
immortal race who are depicted on the series.  Here now in our modern age,
they rode motorcycles replacing their colored stallions In the series
"Supernatural" brothers Sam and Dean meet and battle The Horsemen as
Dean makes Death an almost unlikely friend who helps them....well almost.  
Here too in our new world, the great colored horses are replaces with cars.  
War driving a red 66 Mustang.  A more traditional Horsemen were used for
the series "Xena Warrior Princess" with all four creatures doing battle with
the female hero.  Here the four were mounted atop their steeds as shown in
artwork with Death being shown in full black robes and holding his bladed
staff.

  Aside from many, many paintings throughout the centuries depicting these
frightful and yet wonderful characters they have also been shown to inhabit
comic books, novels and films.  The Image of The Grim Reaper being used
the most in anything from the series "Monsters" to a "A Christmas Carol" to
the Michael J. Fox movie "The Frighteners"  They may or may not be ready
to ride on the day that God gives the orders to bring forth the end of days
but what cool and great characters they make anyhow.  They are viewed in
many ways in different aspects of the Bible itself.  And yet they are
everlasting.....even if our world is not.
Creature Feature
The Four Horsemen of
the Apocalypse