Four Horsemen – Apocalypse

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The Four Horsemen – Apocalypse

 

Cal Poulsen

Scripture Insights

01-21-15

What is described by the seals in Revelation is similar to the signs of the end of the age as described by Jesus in Matthew 24. There will be wars, famines and earthquakes (Matthew 24:6-8), persecution (Matthew 24:9-14), the heavenly bodies are shaken (Matthew 24:29) and at that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn (Matthew 24:30).

The antichrist is the false imitator of the true Christ, who will also return on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16).

The Four Horsemen:

Christ has taken the scroll (Revelation 6:1) from God the Father and has opened it. Christ is the only one found worthy. As we have noted the first seal is the appearance of a white horse. There are many who feel that, because it is a white horse, it has to be Christ. But I'm convinced it is the false Christ, because from Genesis Chapter 3, just as soon as man entered the scene, Satan came in as the master counterfeiter.

A master counterfeiter is so like the original, you have to be an expert to tell the difference. Well, Satan has done it. And he has been the counterfeiter from day one. The white horse here is a counterfeit. Let's take a look at the real one in Revelation Chapter 19. The white horse in Revelation Chapter 6 verse 2 is the very first seal that will open the Tribulation of seven years. In Chapter 19, the seven years have run their course, and now we have the appearance of Christ.

Revelation 19:11-12

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called (watch these as they are all capitalized) Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Revelation 19:13

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood (this is the blood of His victims as He comes in wrath and vexation): and his name is called The Word of God.

And where else is He called the Word? In John's Gospel.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In Revelation 19, Christ is on the white horse for His Second Coming. Verse 14.

Revelation 19:14

And the armies (and we are included in this army, the Body of Christ) which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Throughout Scripture, Saints wear white linen not angels. Go back with me to the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25. I've always said that all prophecy is directed to the Nation of Israel. No prophecy indicates the Church, as such. Not a word is breathed throughout the Old Testament about this Church Age of Grace comprised of Gentile believers.

Even in the four Gospels there's never a single hint that God is going to turn to the Gentiles and call out a people for His Name. Jesus was so meticulously careful not to betray that. Christ never revealed anything that was kept hidden in the mind of God (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Matthew 25:31

When the Son of man shall come in his glory (what did Revelation say? He's coming on that white horse, in righteousness; His name will be Faithful and True. King of kings and Lord of lords. Now when that happens), and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.

According to Matthew, who will be coming with Him? Angels will be. Does it mention anything about saints wearing linen white and clean? Christ doesn't betray that here. It's not time to unveil that secret about the Body of Christ. And so He doesn't include the Church here. Only the angels. Now, had He said, "and all the holy angels and the saints clothed in fine white linen," then He would have betrayed the secret that was to have been kept in the mind of God (Deuteronomy 29:29) until revealed to the Apostle Paul some time later.

Satan is the counterfeit of God the Father. The counterfeit of the Son will be the Anti-christ. And the counterfeit of the Holy Spirit and His works will be what we refer to in the Book of Revelation as the false prophet. I think Revelation Chapter 19 is the only place where he is named. This is at the end of the Tribulation, and all the horrible judgments have already happened. And it's time for the King and the Kingdom to come on the scene.

Revelation 19:20

And the beast (Anti-christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet (here he is named. The rest of the time he's referred to as a personality. Revelation 13 refers to him as the lamb with two horns) that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

They go into the lake of fire without benefit of the Great White Throne Judgment. They are the very first ones to inhabit the eternal doom of the wicked, the lake of fire. All the other lost are going to stand before the Great White Throne and at least have their moment of time.

Satan is going to go there as well, but he will join them sometime later. As we come through the Book of Revelation, be aware that Satan and the Anti-christ and the false prophet are working in unison, much like the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit today in the Age of Grace points people to God, the Son. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, to point lost people to the Son.

Now the false prophet is going to do the same thing during the Tribulation. He is going to cause people to worship the Anti-christ. Consequently, he fulfills a counterfeit role of the Holy Spirit. Both of these will be under the power of Satan. Let’s go back to Revelation 6.

Revelation 6:2

“and he that sat on him had a bow;”

This is the Anti-christ. He is not coming to conquer using the power of military might or by fighting wars. He will come in peaceably and with flattery. He is going to be a political maneuverer. A charismatic type individual.

Revelation 6:2

“and a crown was given unto him:”

The world is going to recognize him as their leader. Remember, we believe that he will come up out of the Common Market of Europe. The European Community (EC). There will be a minimum of 10 original nations and he will come up and usurp their power. Look at Matthew 24. It's the perfect parallel of Revelation Chapter 6. So always compare the two. Matthew 24 is all prophecy about the Tribulation. There is no Church Age doctrine in here whatsoever. This is strictly Tribulation ground.

Matthew 24:1-2

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Jesus was looking toward the siege of the Roman armies under Titus and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. And that is just what the armies did. Once they got inside the city wall they devastated the city. Josephus recorded (and it's not Scripture), that the Roman soldiers had heard it rumored that between the very building stones of Herod's Temple, there was a lot of gold and other kinds of wealth. And soldiers being soldiers, tore it down stone by stone looking for that supposedly hidden wealth. But whatever the reason, we know that the Temple was destroyed just as Jesus said it would be. It was all destroyed except that little segment of the wall that is now known as the Wailing Wall.

Matthew 24:3

And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately (just the Twelve), saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming (remember in I Corinthians 1:22, the Jew require a sign. They wanted to know when His Kingdom would be set up), and of the end of the world (age)?”

Jesus now begins to lay out the events of the seven years. It begins from the appearance of the white horse in Revelation 6. The Man of Sin, the counterfeit Christ.

Matthew 24:4-5

And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying,” “I am Christ;”

That's the white horse. He will come on the scene and practically convince the world that he is Christ. He's what the world is looking for. And we are already seeing people like that. Sigma Moon from Korea, about 25 years ago, tried to tell the world that he was the Christ. We will have still more. But it's going to be culminated by the real counterfeiter, the real Anti-christ, and he's going to convince the world that he is the Christ and he shall deceive many.

Now let's go back to Revelation Chapter 6. So we see this Man of Sin comes on the scene and he begins to conquer and overtake nations. He is setting up his power base.

Revelation 6:2-3

“and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal,”

He signs the seven-year treaty with the Nation of Israel as you have seen in Daniel. The next event which may be within the first month or so after the seven years have begun, is another horse. This one is red.

Revelation 6:4

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon (the red horse) to take peace from the earth.

When you have the absence of peace, what do you have? War. I mean a real one. So this power entity, this rider of the red horse is going to bring war on the earth), and that they should kill one another.

Here we have the rider of the red horse, and his battle ground is going to be epitomized by not killing the enemy, but they are going to kill each other.

Turn to Ezekiel. What great power on earth is associated with the color red? Russia. I believe the rider of the red horse will be the Russian invasion of Israel. Just as in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Ezekiel 38:1-2

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,”

Most Bible scholars are convinced that Gog and Magog, Meshech and Tubal are Russia and her satellite nations. Do not believe for a minute that the Russian bear is dead. Even as you read this Russia is flexing its’ military muscle. The Russian bear is alive and well. They may be hurting a little economically, and be a little cold and hungry, but the Russian army is setting there east of the Ural Mountains just as intact as it has ever been.

Let's go back to the horsemen of the Apocalypse in Revelation Chapter 6 for a quick review. First we have the appearance of the Anti-christ. He signs the seven-year treaty with Israel which gives them relative peace and safety and the right to rebuild their temple. Then you will have that great invasion of the red horde from the north, which in turn will precipitate a great demise in the food supply. That will trigger the famine (or the black horse in verses 5 and 6), as well as the pestilences. And remember that we showed you in Matthew 24 that Jesus foretold that these things were just the beginning of sorrow or travail. These are the beginning days of the Tribulation. It's going to be the most awful seven-year period in human history. We will be seeing that, as Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 24. But now, turn to Revelation Chapter 6. Remember, these horsemen were also seals. Now he opens the fifth seal.

Revelation 6:9

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.

I have to feel John was making reference to the Tribulation martyrs. Later we're going to show that, yes indeed, there will be multitudes of non-Jews who will have a salvation experience during this turmoil. But they will not live very long to tell about it, because it's going to be a period of time where they are going to be martyred immediately. These are the ones I feel that John sees in a prophetic light, and these who have been martyred for their faith will cry out.

Revelation 6:10

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Revelation 6:11

And white robes were given unto every one of them (that is, these that had been martyred for their faith); and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

That's all part of the fifth seal. Now we come to the sixth seal. Remember there's only seven that are holding this scroll together, and Christ is the One that is opening it.

Revelation 6:12

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake;”

In Matthew 24, that was one of the things that Jesus had mentioned, that there would be famine and pestilence and earthquakes in divers (various) places.  

In verse 12 we're approaching the mid-point of this seven years. We're about at the end of 3 1/2 years as we get to the sixth seal.

Revelation 6:12

“and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;”

All you have to do is know the circumstances. When there's tremendous earthquakes, there's more than likely volcanic eruptions as well. As we know from the past, volcanoes can spew out so much dust that the sun can almost be blocked out. That's what we have here. But as a result of all these activities on the planet, the sun will almost become like we've seen it at times, like a little red glow. And the moon became as blood, again because of all the pollution that has been blown into the atmosphere. Then verse 13. This is God dealing primarily with the Nation of Israel. Jeremiah said it was the time of Jacob's trouble. In verse 13, we even have cosmic disturbances.

Revelation 6:13-14

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

In other words, tremendous earthquake activity. And this is only in the first half. The second half is going to be far worse.

Revelation 6:15-16

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains (and they actually plead for death): And said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:”

For almost 2,000 years, mankind has not seen the wrath of God. Now we know there has been a lot of calamity. We know that there has already been a lot of earthquake activity, and wars and famine and so forth. But that has not been the wrath of God. I've always maintained that the things that come upon the human race that plague us, are not acts of God's wrath. They are God permitting Satan to bring suffering and turmoil to God's creation. God is not in the business tonight of pouring out His wrath. He's a God of Grace.

Paul says in Romans Chapter 5, that where sin abounded, what's always greater? His grace abounds even more. But here grace has ended with the out-calling of the Body of Christ. We are seeing the wrath of the Lamb being poured out.

Revelation 6:17

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

After mankind, both Jew and Gentile, have rejected the King (Christ), they're going to go into a period of perplexity and derision – and that's where the world is tonight. They don't know where to turn.

Psalms 2:5

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

All these events take us up to the mid-point of this seven years. We've had the appearance of the Anti-christ. We've had Israel go back into Temple worship. She's going to go back under the Law. Israel is getting closer to that all the time.

Matthew 24:8

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

It's not the wrath of God yet.

Matthew 24:9

Then (that is in this first half) shall they deliver you up to be afflicted. (Right now God is primarily dealing with the Nation of Israel, although the affliction will be world-wide), and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

We see that this is already coming on the scene, where the hatred of the Jew is bubbling to the surface, and will keep on increasing. Today Jews are returning to their homeland (Israel) by the thousands.   

Matthew 24:10-12

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound,”

Remember that the Church, the Body of Christ is gone from the earth. This took place at the beginning of the tribulation. Today the Church is really the only thing from allowing wickedness to spread across the world. It's the Christian influence that still holds things in check. But at this time in history it will be gone. It will be like lifting a great dam out of a river; that reservoir will suddenly just wash down that river bed taking everything in its way. I think that will be the picture of iniquity and wickedness that will break loose as soon as the true Church, the Body of Christ, is removed. Now verse 13. This verse has been twisted and lifted out of context and miss-taught too often.

Matthew 24:13

"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

This verse is not talking about salvation. We're talking about physically surviving. Let's go for a moment to the Book of Isaiah Chapter 24. This is exactly why Jesus said what He said. Those who are fortunate enough to have come through this whole seven years will see the end is in sight.

Isaiah 24:6

Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate (because of the awful events that have taken place): therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left.

In other words, there will be survivors. Some are going to make it all the way through this awful seven years.

Matthew 24:14

“And (what the next word?) This gospel of the kingdom,”

Now a lot of people twist that and try to make it the Gospel of Grace as given to us from the apostle Paul. We must remember that there are two gospels. They didn't know the Gospel of Grace at this time. Christ hadn't died yet, He hadn't been raised from the dead yet (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There could be no Gospel as we know it. It hadn't been accomplished. But what Gospel did they know? The King is coming. The King is here. And it was called that by Jesus and the twelve over and over through the Gospels, the Gospel of the Kingdom. Good news, the King is ready to set up His Kingdom as it was being offered to Israel. Now then Jesus is using that back drop. The Kingdom Gospel that He and the Twelve had been preaching for almost 3 years now and Christ says:

Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom shall (at a future time.) be preached in all the world for a witness unto (how many?) all nations; and then shall the end come.

Now, you see how simple that is when you put it in the right prospective. I've had good friends of mine lift this verse out of context, and say we have to get the Gospel into every nation before the Lord can come. That's not what Jesus was talking about.

The Gospel of Grace is a calling out a people for Gods name. But it's going to end, and the Tribulation is going to come in and then Jesus said, “The same Gospel of the Kingdom that He preached in His three years of ministry will be proclaimed again during the latter part of the Tribulation.” Notice Jesus did not mention the Church Age and the Gospel of Grace. He skips over it from His ministry to the Tribulation. And that will be the message that the 144,000 young Jewish men will preach to the world. The King is coming, and indeed He will be!

 

 

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Scripture Insights

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