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End Times Doctrines
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
** Watch at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE9kXRiPR7w&t=16s
“Riders on the Storm”
Whenever I think of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the song, “Rider on the Storm” from the Doors always pops up in my head, because the storm that these four will bring will decimate a quarter of the world’s population.
And we see this scenario coming to a head sometime soon, as we look at what’s being written, and listen to what’s being said, about all the viruses that have occurred and the coronavirus that presently is, along with all the violence that is happing in our streets and around the world, and the economic devastation that is happening as a result of this, people are scared, and everyone sort of has the sense of impending doom. It’s like the world knows that a killer storm is on its way, and fear is beginning to set in as they can sense the destruction that it will bring.
The Apostle John records for us this killer storm in the Book of Revelation in the first eight verses of chapter six.
And it begins with Jesus opening up the first seal and out comes the first rider, The Antichrist (with picture)
“Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:1-2)
Now we looked at the coming Antichrist earlier in our End Times Doctrinal series, and you can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gbDtgHjWN8
Now, as I mentioned in that teaching, there are those who confuse this rider on the white horse with Jesus, which shouldn’t surprise us, because of what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 about Satan and those he sends.
“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
But there exist pronounced differences between the two, that is, between this white rider and Jesus Christ. Let me just quickly point these out.
• Jesus is the one who breaks the seal negating Him being the rider. Further, Jesus comes at the end of the book or Revelation, not at the beginning.
• Following this white rider is war, famine, and death, whereas those that follow Jesus are the host of heaven, the church.
• The white rider is given a victory crown, which in the Greek is the word, “stephanos,” whereas Jesus comes with many kingly or royal crowns, which in the Greek is the word, “diadems.”
• The white rider carries a bow, whereas Jesus’s weapon is His word. Further, the bow contains no arrows, which means that it will be a bloodless victory, that is, He comes bringing peace, through the threat of violence, which will be both political and religious to a part of the world that has known little if any peace, and that is the mid-east, and more specifically, Israel.
And this white rider is going to come looking like Christ, but is anything but, which is why He is called “The Antichrist.” In other words, He will come assuming the guise or the appearance of Christ, but opposes all that Jesus Christ and the Bible stands for. He will bring his own anti-Christ standards while doing away with biblical standards, or we could say the doctrine of demons.
And it shouldn’t be missed that the horse and rider are white, which is interesting because besides mimicking Christ’s return, white is the color of surrender, and the world will surrender itself to him.
And why would the world accept him and his peace accord, it’s because the world at this time will accept anyone or anything that will bring peace to this war torn and violent world. But the peace that the Antichrist brings will not last, just describes any peace that is brought about though threats of violence.
Therefore, at the heels of the Antichrist comes the second rider, War (with picture).
“When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.” (Revelation 6:3-4)
When Jesus opens the second seal, out rides War riding upon a fiery red horse, which so happens to be the color of blood. And it says that power was given to him to take away the peace brought by the first seal rider, the Antichrist. In other words, whatever restraint existed up to this point that has been preserving peace, God has given this rider the power to remove it.
This rider is the seal rider of strife, violence, assault, division, abuse, anger, hate, uprising, murder, insurrection, war, and bloodshed. He divides race against race, class against class, neighbor against neighbor, employee against employer, spouse against spouse, children against parents, religion against religion, and nation against nation.
This rider is war, and he’ll take peace from the earth.
Yet there have always been violence and wars, and there always will be, and they will only get worse, thus softening up a world that’ll accept anybody who’ll bring a little peace, which is what the Antichrist will bring. But with the arrival of this second rider, all hope of a peace is smashed.
The problem is, and why so many will accept the Antichrist’s peace is because humanity believes it can find peace on their own, that they don’t need God, unfortunately their way leads only to everlasting death and separation from God.
And so the Bible says, “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
And so, the very thing the world seeks, that is, peace, will actually lead to destruction as War rides down upon the world removing peace from the earth.
Following close behind war is the third rider, Famine (show picture)
“When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’” (Revelation 6:5-6)
The color of the horse and its rider is black signifying suffering and mourning. It’s the sorrow and mourning that the world will experience through this coming worldwide famine.
Famine always follows war. Further, withholding food is often a technique of war, making food a weapon. Food is withheld, fields are burned, and those needed to till and harvest the crops are either dead or have been away at war. So after any war there’s always some sort of famine.
To understand the seriousness of this famine is to understand the meaning of the words.
A denarius at that time represented a day’s wage. So for a day’s wage a person could buy only enough for themselves or their family. And so if someone is lucky enough to find work, the money they earn will only be enough to pay for their food, which begs the question, “How will they provide for the other necessities of life, like a roof over their head, and utilities?”
The voice goes on to say, “Don’t harm the oil or the wine.” Oil and wine are often associated with the rich. They were luxury items in the ancient world.
What this is saying is that while the famine is worldwide, it’s not universal, that is, it will mainly affect the poor and middle class. Imagine walking into a grocery store and having only enough for a loaf of bread and some milk only to find them in short supply while there’s plenty of butter, jam, and liquor.
This became evident during the coronavirus shutdown and panic buying set in. Gone was toilet paper and paper towels, soap, meats, milk, eggs, bread, cereal, fruits and vegetables, or the necessities. But in great supply were ice crème, candies, liquor, energy drinks, and the other non-essentials.
To put this into perspective, one famine observer said, “As famine unfolds, antisocial behavior – hording, crime, etc. – increased, social arrangements erode, people see or abandon their assets, and out migration accelerates. In the midst of all this malnutrition rates soar, infectious diseases spread, and people die in unusual numbers.”
Therefore, as we look at this scale in his hands, it would seem that while it is meant to weigh out the money for the food, it would also seem that it is unfairly balanced favoring the rich over the poor.
The last rider to come onto the scene after the Antichrist, War, and Famine, is Death (show picture).
“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see. So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:7-8)
The imagery is startling beyond imagination. The color of the horse is a pale green. It’s the color of decay and looks like a corpse in the advanced stage of corruption. And if that wasn’t enough, following this rider, in its wake, is hell itself.
But what is even more telling is that this last word for death is the Greek word for “pestilence,” which back then meant death. And this fits into what we know about the aftermath of warfare. First comes famine, which is followed closely by pestilence and disease.
The question isn’t when infectious diseases are going to be wiped out, but rather it’s where the next new plague will appear.
Many of the bacteria that caused infectious diseases, and that were once thought by doctors and scientist as being eradicated or under control, are making dangerous and fatal comebacks because they’ve made themselves resistant to the drugs and antibodies developed to combat them.
These are diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis, meningitis, dysentery, typhus, staff infections, and venereal diseases. And there are also new ones to fight, such as the Ebola virus, which hasn’t been stopped, but rather it’s still increasing, along with the still fatal HIV/AIDS virus.
Consider for a moment past plagues
• The Black Plague killed up to 50 percent of Europe’s population and is regarded as the greatest biological/environmental disaster in human history
• In the 6th century there was Justinian’s plague that wiped out 25 percent of Europe’s population.
• And in 1918 there was The Spanish flu pandemic, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.
Further, what’s interesting is that beasts are included in this destruction. It’s been said that the most destructive creature on the earth is the rat. It’s a menace to human health and food supplies. It’s been estimated that 1 billion dollars of food is lost each year in the United States alone to the rat. But also they carry fleas that sometimes carry the bubonic plague, which is over 95 percent fatal, and has destroyed 1/2 of Europe’s population in the 14th century.
The aftermath of these four riders, these riders on the storm will be the greatest destruction of human life so far ever recorded. One fourth of the human population will die with these last three horsemen. Notice the wording, “to kill with sword, with hunger, with death.”
And so, are we ready? The writer of Hebrews said, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3a)
For myself I know Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord, and I also know God’s promise that those who believe will not experience His wrath. This gives me peace, especially as I see what’s about to come in the Book of Revelation, and as I look at what is going on in the world around me.
But I mourn for those who will be left behind and who’ll suffer and die as God’s wrath descends upon this earth. Frankly, if I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord, and knowing what’s coming, I’d probably hit the floor running to the altar.
So we need to ask if we’ve neglected this great offer of salvation? And if we have, how will we ever escape?
Wednesday Evening Bible Study