Are the four Horsemen more powerful than the Devil?

  • The Four Horsemen are the ones who will bring the apocalypse. Are they under the command of the devil? Are they more powerful than the devil?

  • user686

    user686 Correct answer

    7 years ago

    This depends on your definition of "power."

    The four horsemen have certain powers according to Revelation 6:

    2: I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories.

    4: Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword.

    5: When he broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature cry out, "Come forward." I looked, and there was a black horse, and its rider held a scale in his hand.

    8: I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, famine and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth.

    Note that the passage does not state who or what gave them this power: was it the Devil acting via proxy? Was it the Wrath of God? There are myths about this, but the question is specifically asking about the Christian apocalypse which implies source material would have to be in the book of Revelation.

    What we can infer from this:

    • The Horsemen were destructive in nature: this goes against the nature of God as defined in the new testament as being a kinder, gentler diety compared to the old testament. Clearly their power must derive from evil, but we do not know their origin. This makes it difficult to measure them against the Devil: i.e. if Satan created them we might know they are strictly lesser in power.

    • The Horsemen are able to affect earth directly by killing, starving, and infecting men. In verse 4, we learn that War is able to cause men to fight each other.


    What do we know about the Devil?

    • He is one of God's archangels, fallen from heaven. He clearly must be powerful, and evil.

    • Numerous times throughout the Bible, we see the Devil act. However, he never actually does anything. His power is that of suggestion and temptation. In Genesis he tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, so she will cause the fall of man from grace. In the Gospels he tempts Jesus multiple times, but is unable to sway him or to harm him.

    Genesis 3 shows the snake is "cunning" and tricks Eve:

    1: Now the snake was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, "Did God really say, 'You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden'?"

    . . .

    13: The LORD God then asked the woman: What is this you have done? The woman answered, "The snake tricked me, so I ate it."

    This great deceiver, the serpent, is later identified to be the Devil in Revelation 12:9:

    The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.

    The Devil persuades Eve to commit the original sin without actually doing anything other than talking.

    In Matthew 4, we see the Devil tempt Jesus:

    1: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

    3: The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread."

    5-6: Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down..."

    8-9: Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me."

    10: At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! ..."

    Jesus specifically identifies the tempter as Satan, the Devil. All he can do is suggest to Jesus that he do certain things: he did not make Jesus turn rocks into bread, or jump off a roof safely. His power is clearly that of suggestion and temptation.


    Given what we know, how do they compare?

    • If we measure known quantities about where they came from, the Devil is likely more powerful. He is a fallen archangel, one of God's lieutenants. We know almost nothing (in scripture) about the origin of the Horsemen: this implies they are not major players in the grand scheme of things.

    • If we measure what they are capable of actually doing, the Horsemen are likely more powerful. They can directly impact earth, killing people either directly via sword, famine or disease, or by causing mayhem wherein men kill each other. The Devil can merely suggest that men cause themselves to fall from grace.

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution


Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM