Sunday, August 30, 2015
4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse #4 – Part 72 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
When we were last together we described the horse that John saw under the 4th seal. The pale horse presented a pallid ghostly appearance. What John was seeing was further confirmation to the people of Israel that God was doing everything possible to warn them that judgment was coming, so they would have time to repent before they were destroyed. Vengeance would be exacted against Jerusalem for rejecting Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and the work He accomplished on the Cross of Calvary – shedding of His blood for their sins.
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 them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by beasts of the earth…Rev. 6:8.
The pale horse symbolizes famine and death – death by hunger, sword and beasts of the field. The rider of this ghostly-appearing horse was named Death, while Hades followed. When Death spreads his constraining web of famine over the rebels of Israel confined behind the walls of Jerusalem, Hades will swallow up those who die in this incredibly savage and merciless war. Hades is the greater cruelty because it is a place of torment and permanent exile, far away from Heaven where peace and justice reign.
The number 4 in this verse – power over a 4th of the earth – symbolizes one or more of the following:
1. a portion
2. four corners of the earth
3. change in the heavens or the earth.
The 4 Horsemen symbolize that a change is coming to a portion of the earth – Israel. The change that is coming to Israel during the war of 70 A.D. is the fact that they will be annihilated – losing their status as a nation – no longer a blip on the radar.
In order to prove the symbolism of the 4 Horsemen we must turn to the Old Testament – scripture proves scripture. The 4 horses that John was shown by Jesus Christ were also seen in a vision by the Prophet Zechariah. The same color of horses used to pronounce judgment on Israel in the New Testament, were used to describe judgment of Israel – past and future – after they had served 70 years of punishment as captives in Babylon.
Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze…with the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses…with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses–strong steeds…Zech. 6:1-3.
The Prophet Zechariah was called by God to minister to Israel about the time they were to be released from 70 years captivity in the idolatrous nation of Babylon. Zechariah was shown in a night vision 4 horses with chariots, which symbolized judgment on Israel in the Old Testament. The chariots symbolize war to Zechariah. The 4 horses that Zechariah saw, and the 4 horses that John saw, are the same colors with the same meaning.
There are three differences in the horses of Zechariah and John…
2. number of horses
3. color order of the horses
Zechariah saw 4 chariots with horses of 4 different colors ride between two mountains of bronze. The Septuagint translation of this verse describes the mountains as brazen mountains – mountains of brass. Mountain is a metaphor describing a proud people. Brass symbolizes judgment. War chariots riding between two mountains of brass symbolize division in this nation – Israel. A house divided against itself cannot stand…Mark 3:25.
During this night vision, the Prophet Zechariah overheard a conversation between God and His angel. They were discussing the culmination of God’s anger toward His people Israel…let’s listen in. The angel asked God…O Lord of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?…Zech. 1:12.
The subject of the conversation between God and the angel was how long will He be angry with Israel, now that 70 years of punishment has been fulfilled. How does the color order of the horses answer the angels’ question? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…