“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him (Jesus), to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified (revealed) it by his angel unto his servant John.”
The last surviving apostle of Jesus Christ, John, was imprisoned (“…for the testimony of Jesus”) on the Greek island of Patmos in approximately 95 A.D. when very specific, end time prophecies were given to him directly by Jesus. From that “revelation” came the very last book of the Holy Bible, the Book of Revelation. Jesus told John to write down ALL that he saw, which was to be those things happening at the end of human history. This was not intended to frighten John and the believers but rather to reassure them that even though they might go through many trials, there was a glorious time waiting for them. Interestingly, the last book of the Bible outlines the last period of mankind and the Book of Revelation is universally acclaimed as the LAST inspired writings to be included in the Word of God.
There are many fascinating prophecies in in the Book of Revelation, including the most clear description of the worst time in the history of the world, the Tribulation period, the last 7 years of human history. In just twelve chapters there are over 50 descriptions describing the Tribulation period and the various Judgements waiting for the unbelieving world. By most scholarly estimates the Book of Revelation is approximately 95% prophetic, the most of any book in the Bible. Thankfully, the Book of Revelation also describes the Rapture, the return of Jesus and the long-awaited, 1,000 year Millennium rule of Jesus.
Today, I want to discuss the importance of perhaps the most severe punishments given to John in Revelation, those coming with the unleashing of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. To be very clear, there are different interpretations of which each of these horsemen bring to the world but one thing is certain. They are sequential, meaning the first horseman is riding a White horse; then, the second horseman rides a Red horse; the third horseman next rides a Black horse; and, finally the fourth horseman is riding a “pale” horse (more on that interpretation below). Of key importance is that it is NOT the color of the horse but rather the unleashed demonic horseman that rides the horse that brings death and destruction to this world.
So, let’s get started:
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying come and see. And I saw, and behold a WHITE HORSE (#1 – capitals mine): and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
As the first of the Seven seals is opened by the only one deemed worthy enough to do so, Jesus, a rider on a White horse is allowed to come to earth to conquer. It is not Jesus on THIS white horse! Rather, it is the first of four demons and he will be given a crown and will try to conquer the world PEACEFULLY (notice he has a bow, but no arrows). It is almost universally believed by Biblical scholars that this individual is none other than the anti-christ who will attempt to “conquer” the world with his Satan-inspired view of a one world government, one-world economy and one-world religion. He will also be the one to sign a peace treaty with the Jews in Israel allowing them to finally build their third Temple. This action starts the 7 year Tribulation period. For these actions he will be widely acclaimed! To be fair, there is also a belief by some that since this individual will not bring war it may also be a reference to the False Prophet but that view is held only by a minority of prophetic scholars.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was RED (#2 – capitals mine): 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.”
As I mentioned earlier, the appearance of the four horsemen is sequential which means each builds on the other and cannot happen until the preceding horseman has done his thing. So, after the anti-christ has attempted to conquer the world with his Satanic goal, the Red horseman is released. Apparently, since the anti-christ was not successful in subduing the world peacefully, the Red horseman (still the anti-christ) now brings warfare and much bloodshed in an attempt to subjugate all peoples to his line of thinking. As opposed to the rider on the White horse that had only a bow, the rider on the Red horse has a sword! How many times have we seen someone come into power claiming he will bring peace, only to see it later become the reason for an all out war?
“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a BLACK HORSE (#3 – capitals mine); and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”
One of the terrible results of war is famine. The horseman on the Black horse AFTER the war that is being waged will be unleashed to not only bring famine to the peoples of the earth but also inflation making it nearly impossible to buy much needed food for themselves and their families. This is especially true for the poor as the rich seem to be able to still enjoy their “oil and wine”.This will cause even more people to die through starvation. Remember too that around this time the Mark of the Beast will be required if you want to be able to buy or sell (Revelation 13:16-18 – check out my post entitled “The Mark of the Beast” for more info). I don’t believe it is difficult to understand that there is probably no better time for the anti-christ to REQUIRE all to take the mark than when they are starving and will do anything in order to get food. Please remember, however, we are warned to NOT take the mark of the beast because, “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, AND (capitals mine) whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” – Revelation 14:11)
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a PALE HORSE (#4 – capitals mine): and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword (#1), and with hunger (#2), and with death (#3), and with the beast of the earth (#4).”
Now, I don’t know about you but a White, Red and Black horse are fairly easy to understand. When I first read about the “Pale” horse, I assumed it was a lighter horse of one of the more standard colors. For example, Instead of a horse being black, maybe it was grey. Then, a few weeks ago I was watching Irvin Baxter’s TV show End of the Age which inspired me to write this particular blog. He had the same issues I had with what exactly is a pale horse? In researching it he discovered the Pale horse of the Book of Revelation was originally translated from the Greek word “chloros” as being pale. It is interesting, according to his research, every other single place in the Bible the word “chloros” is translated as green, not pale. While most would question the existence of a green horse, I do believe that God in His infinite wisdom gives us knowledge AS WE NEED IT. In much the same way that the things Daniel saw had little relevance in his lifetime and he was told to seal up those things until the end, as the world get closer to the End Times, we all become much more aware of prophecies that resonate with us today.
So, what is the significance of a Green horseman you might ask? A quick check on Wikipedia shows that the color green is the official color of Islam! Based on this interpretation and the fact that within a few short years Islam will be the largest religion in the world, surpassing Christianity, it does make sense that there will be a war between Islam and the Jews and Christians that came to know Christ AFTER the Rapture. This is not to besmirch Muslims as they are flocking to Christ in record numbers but there seems to be a lot of credibility to a war that will kill one fourth of mankind in an effort to finally eradicate religions opposed to their beliefs.
Scary? Before the four horsemen are released by the only One authorized to do so who died for all of our sins said this to the church of Philadelphia (not PA!), “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon ALL (capitals mine) the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” – Revelation 3:10. Christ will remove those that believe from the earth PRIOR to His judgements!
Furthermore, as John was receiving this message directly from Christ, we have one of the best examples of the proof of the Rapture which will take true believers out of the world PRIOR to the horrible judgements of the 7 year Tribulation period. “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; and which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be HEREAFTER (capitals mine). And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold a throne was set in heaven. and one sat on the throne.” – Revelation 4:1-2.
As stated many times before, my intent with this blog is not to frighten but to enlighten all with what the Bible says will happen to those who believe in Christ and those who do not. Maybe we will watch the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from our sitting spot in Heaven after the Rapture but if we believe in Christ and have asked Him to forgive our sins, we can take comfort in knowing we will NOT have to go through the pain and suffering predicted for an unbelieving world on this earth. In that knowledge we can take comfort and, hopefully “…comfort one another with these words.”
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