The Black Horse

Each piece of the vision represents something. Nothing is there unnecessarily. So we will look at each symbol individually and as a whole. We also want to take symbolic meaning from scripture as much as possible and not from culture.

The Color Black

What does the color black represent from a Biblical context? There are many things that black represents. We can have black hair, or a black heart. Black can even be a good thing like “black gold”. But what we need to see is black used to represent anything specific in scripture. And first we must see if the English word for black is always translated from the same word in Hebrew and Greek. I can say a cloud is dark, or gray or even black and still be talking about the same cloud. We want to know if it is an exact black, or a concept of shade so that we are comparing the right idea when looking for contextual symbolism.

In Revelation 6, each horse is given a color, except for pale, which we will establish is really green. The other colors red, and white, are definite colors. The other cases for the Greek word for black used here also seem to refer to color. It is always very helpful when we are given an object we know the color of and have it described with that color as in the case of green grass. The English word “black” is only used 3 times in the new testament. They are all translated from the same Greek word. One is in the same chapter of Revelations “black as sackcloth”. This helps a lot. Sack cloth was commonly made from black goats hair (unlike flour sacks or burlap sacks that we use today). So that is a really long way to say, black means black. The other place is Jesus telling us that worrying cannot change the color of our hair either white or black.

To look at Old Testament use of the color black, we have to consider all the different words that the English word Black is translated from. This sounds confusing, but again, if I say your eye is black, I mean it is bruised. It might be purple or green. If I say your heart is black, I don’t mean a color at all, but evil. So if we are using contextual symbolism, we want to be very careful to only consider the actual color black and not its euphemisms.

So honestly, at first this sounds like a huge pain, because there are seven different Hebrew words that get translated “black”.  But, we actually have the four horsemen in Zechariah, likely the same four horsemen in Revelation, and those colors are named (red, black, white and grisled). So we need only to look at the Hebrew word here “shachor”.

So something very interesting here:  you expect black to turn up uses like rotten, dead, and soiled. But that is not the case. There are 6 verses, and every one, except for the 2 naming the color of our horses are actually pictures of health. Literally.

Black hairs growing where there was leprosy mean the leprosy is healed.

31 And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it [be] not in sight deeper than the skin, and [that there is] no black[H7838] hair in it; then the priest shall shut up [him that hath] the plague of the scall seven days: …

37 But if the scall be in his sight at a stay, and [that] there is black[H7838] hair grown up therein; the scall is healed, he [is] clean: and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

Black Beauty

5 I [am] black,[H7838] but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
11 His head [is as] the most fine gold, his locks [are] bushy, [and] black[H7838] as a raven.

Black as used in the passage of the 4 horsemen

2 In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black[H7838] horses; …

6 The black[H7838] horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.

Black in all of these has a very positive connotation. It shows health and beauty.  Now, that makes me want to check out the other uses of black, because I find this to be very odd. Is black used to describe the color of bad things elsewhere with another Hebrew word? Could another word have been used that would have had a negative connotation yet the author chose the “healthy” black?

Qadar, the next most often Hebrew word translated “black” is definitely more figuratively used. It is also translated
mourn (6x), black (4x), dark (4x), blackish (1x), darkened (1x), heavily (1x). It is not primarily color related as much as it is a concept of darkness. There are four more different Hebrew words translated to black.  Each is only used one time. Black marble, black skin and burned bones, black as night, black appearance because of working in the sun, and black like an oven. These all have the negative connotations that we would associate with black. The author it seems had his pick of words he could have chosen, but he chose the healthy black. This should absolutely play into our interpretation of the symbolism.

And I find this very exciting, because at first glance you just want to say, black is black. But EVERYTIME you dig, you find pretty revealing things.

The Balance

Next the verses tell us that the rider is holding a balance. For the longest time I thought the balance was holding things in it, but it is not. The angels make a proclamation about wheat, barley and pennies, but it is not said that there is anything actually in the balance. The balance is used to measure an exchange. The horseman is specifically affecting the exchange of food.

The Proclamation of the Angel.

Rev 6: 6 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.

A penny or denarion is said to be equivalent to a day’s wage. So it really depends on how much a measure is. If a measure is like a month’s worth of bread, then its good, right? I spent a lot of thought time spent on how much food should a day’s worth of work buy. But it wasn’t until I went to look at the way the word “measure” is used in the Bible that I finally understood.

The following verse is an example of how the word is used as a portion.  The verse talks about the size of the curtains in the tabernacle.  And how all the curtains will be the same size.  “of one measure”. 

8 The length of one curtain [shall be] thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains [shall be all] of one measure.

Job refers to the measure of the sea

9 The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

So it is not a specific amount like a pound of butter and a loaf of bread. It might make more sense to think of the word like allotment or portion or serving.  Someone decides how much will be appropriated.

The last point of the proclamation is “hurt not the oil and the wine”. It sounds like we can hurt the wheat and barley and not the oil and the wine. Someone mentioned oil and wine being used as a medicine. They thought that maybe it meant that food will be scarce but food used for medicine will not. Another opinion was that oil and wine were commodities of the rich and the rich would have luxuries of oil and wine and only the poor would be affected. Another opinion was that it was a short term dearth where the grains didn’t get enough water but the deeper rooted plants like olive trees and grapevines were ok. This sounded good to me as well, which I should not have consulted anyone before I went digging. I don’t like to have my ideas pre-formed. So I looked up oil and wine in the Bible word search. I found that EVERYTIME oil and wine were mentioned (including our topic passage) also mentioned is some form of grain, be it corn, dough, bread, wheat, or barley. They are EVERYTIME mentioned together. If one does well, they all are plentiful. If there is drought, they all do poorly. There is no instance where the grains are destroyed but oil and wine are just fine. And I am not saying that those ideas are not viable ideas, but there is no contextual precedent of that being the case in Biblical text anyway.

So in light of our three symbols, the horse, the balance and the proclamation, I believe all three are showing a manmade famine. Our horse is the picture of health, and food is being measured and it is not because of conditions that affect farming.

Putting It All Together

Prophecy is designed to be very shadowed until the fulfillment comes to pass. It is not meant to predict the future, but to be recognized when it happens. And there is that dread or awe that washes over you when you see it and you know that this is “it”.

This is a link to the World Economic Forum “How Life Could Change by 2030”  Their goals are to measure out everything you need to live. It is designed as a picture of society in perfect health. And that sounds great if you get what you want. But it will never be designed to give you what you want, but what someone else deems you SHOULD have. And we need only to look at the track record of government to see that this is going nowhere good. We already are being portioned how much toilet paper packages we can buy. It is a bit of a joke, because some packages have 4 and some have 32, but you can only buy 2 packages. And it doesn’t matter if you are buying for an orphanage or for a single person. The cashier doesn’t care. And what about large families? Will they get a greater portion? Maybe. Or maybe the WEF who is all about population control will set an amount of children a couple is allowed to have and it will be like China where you must abort extra children or hide them and then try to exist on enough food for what you SHOULD have. Everyone will have a base income and a digital currency, so no going out and getting a second job to get something special or build dreams. A person who believes in self-government and free-will recognizes this for the true and horrifying judgment that it is. If the WEF agenda is not the 3rd horseman, it is the perfect picture of it.

Finally, I would be amiss not to mention the historical account where we see the phrase “a measure of flour for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel.” When you see it in it’s historical context, it truly does make your blood run cold.  The story begins in 2 Kings 6:24 when Benhadad, King of Syria besieges Samaria causing a famine.  Here there is plenty of rain, no problems with crops, but a political ploy to make people desperate.  Things become so desperate that “an ass’s head was sold for 80 pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. When the king heard of two woman who had resorted to eating their babies, he cursed God and cursed God’s prophet Elisha. The king sent a messenger to take Elisha’s head and Elisha prophesied, “To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.” The servant of the king didn’t believe it.  He said, there was no way that could ever be possible even if the widows of heaven were opened.  Elisha then said, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.”

The story then reveals that outside the gates, the lepers had decided that their best chance at survival would be to surrender to the Syrians, but when they went out to the Syrian camp, the Syrians had all fled at some non-existent threat. How long the city was besieged without real danger is not stated.

At the very least, I feel that the use of the statement of a measure of wheat and two measures of barley for a shekel is a purposeful reference and only strengthens the idea of a manmade famine.  It also should give us, as God’s children under his protection, hope and wisdom.  Wisdom to know that scarcity is coming and to store up, and hope not to get scared and desperate and do stupid things like eat your baby hours before relief comes. Elisha, though experiencing the same conditions, did not appear to be in a cannibalistic panic. I think it is appropriate also to note here that the goal of the Syrians was to put their prey in such a state of fear that they would eat their young, and the recent promotion of lab grown human steaks in the news should not fail in it’s parallels.

The Heavens Depart like a scroll

At the opening of the sixth seal, there is
1. an earthquake
2. The sun becomes black
3. The moon becomes red
4. The stars fall like unripe figs
5. The heaven rolls back like a scroll
6. The mountains and islands are moved

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 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. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 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; 16 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: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The reference to the heavens rolling up like a scroll is a quote from Isaiah

4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.

Interestingly enough, the English word scroll is only used twice in the English Bible. But the word from which scroll is translated is used 184 times. In other places it is translated book (138x), letter (29x), evidence (8x), bill (4x), learning (2x), register (1x), learned (with H3045) (1x),scroll (1x).

A study of the things that are written in heaven is an extensive study that I will not get into now. Records that are kept in Biblical accounts were done for various reasons: to keep history or accounts, to keep laws and judgments, or for legal decrees. In the heavens, God keeps two types of books, the Book of Life, and the Book of the accounts of our works. I use the words scrolls and books interchangeably.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

The seals being opened in revelation are for the scroll containing the judgments upon the world. There is no one worthy to open the scrolls except Jesus Christ who not only fulfilled all its laws but also suffered it’s judgment.

[Rev 5:1-5 KJV]

1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

The books of the law are kept as “a witness against” whose who break it. It is evidence, as you would submit evidence in court. (The word for ‘scroll’ is actually translated ‘evidence’ in some scriptures)

[Deu 31:24, 26 KJV]

24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book,[H5612] until they were finished, … 26 Take this book[H5612] of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

It is my opinion that the opening of the 6th seal reveals a literal opening (or closing perhaps) of the sky, which is itself a testament of God’s law and judgment. The sky itself will be submitted as evidence of God’s broken law and it will witness against mankind.

I also looked up the word for rolled up. Because this is a quote from Isaiah, we get a lot more contextual evidence from the word translated ‘rolled up’ because the word is used many times in the O.T.  I was a bit confused wondering if the scroll was being rolled up to close it or being opened, because in Revelation, the sealed scroll is opened. But rolled is actually in all the other passages non specific. Some verses are rolling something closed like rolling a stone in front of a cave, and others are rolling it away to open it. But the word was used a lot in referring to judgments, which is interesting. A more complete understanding would be the way we use rolled like “roll out a new product” so there is actual rolling and figurative rolling in the Hebrew as there is in the English.

As to the sky being a testament, we use the phrase written in the sky, or written in the stars for good reason. David wrote an entire psalm to the sky being used as a written testament of God’s precepts. In fact, the psalm is prophetical psalm about Revelations. He refers to lightning (as the coming of Christ will be as lightning) and the whole earth witnessing it, and the salvation of Israel which is to be sealed right after the heaven is rolled back like a scroll.

[Psa 97:1-12 KJV]

1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad [thereof]. 2 Clouds and darkness [are] round about him: righteousness and judgment [are] the habitation of his throne. 3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. 4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. 5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. 7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all [ye] gods. 8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD. 9 For thou, LORD, [art] high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. 10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

The fact that the sun and moon and stars are to testify against man is ironic, since the idol worshippers used them to blaspheme God and worshipped them in His place.

The Pale Horse

The fourth horseman in Revelation is riding a “pale” horse. Not being sure what color “pale” is, I looked up the word. The Greek word from which pale is translated is chlōros (χλωρός).

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: 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, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Here are the other places where the word chloros is used.

39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

I am not sure why they deviated from translating the word to green here, but I think that we should use the contextual definition of the word, since there is greater evidence that it is referring to a definite vegetative green. I also looked up where the word green is used elsewhere in the Bible. These verses are the only place where the greek word is used, but the Hebrew word for green is used in the old testament. There are several words in the hebrew that are translated “green”. They are not usually referring to color. Some of them are adjectives for young plants using the term green like we do. We might say a cowboy who is just learning to ride is “green”. But every time except for one, a verse about the temple hangings describing the colors, the word translated green is referring to vegetation of some kind. So I think it is safe to assume that our pale horse’s color symbolizes vegetation.

He is given a fourth part of the earth. Earth is also translated lands. It is not necessarily a death sentence on a fourth part of humans, but on a fourth part of the countries. That would be like the entire continent of Africa. He kills with sword, famine and with beasts. Beasts can refer to large or small animals, from wolves to snakes and bees and wasps. This is in agreement with the four horsemen in Ezekiel that each one goes in a different direction through out the earth as if they are given jurisdiction. That explains why the pale horseman is given power over a fourth of the earth. I would surmise that each horseman as his own quarter. But there may be significance that it is specified here and not with the other horsemen. Everything means something. Perhaps the three horses will go throughout the whole earth and the fourth will only have power over a fourth of the lands.

Another supposition I have is that the first three horsemen brought domination, famine and war, but death from those things do not begin until later. The pale horseman brings death using the judgments of the first three with exception of the wild beasts.

Therion, the greek word for beast, is the title Alister Crowley gave himself, is the name of a genus of wasps, and is a god in Thelema, consort of Babalon

Ceasing of the Sacrifice

Daniel’s prophecy tells about a time when the sacrifice will be stopped, and Jesus quotes Daniel’s prophecy in relation to the end times.  Both set the event of the ceasing of the sacrifice as a marker on the time line in order to measure where we are in the time line.  Dan 12 puts the ceasing at the beginning of the 7 years. 

10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12 Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

13 But go thou thy way till the end [be]: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

From the daily sacrifice we are able to count down to the abomination of desolation and to a “blessed event”.  Jesus references this scripture in Mat 24:15 and following KJV

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand🙂 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains…

The Ceasing of the Sacrifice is a Marker on the Apocalyptic Time Line

The sacrifice as the first sign to begin the countdown.  Dan says 1290 days from the ceasing of the sacrifice until the abomination of desolation.  So what is the ceasing of the sacrifice and what can that look like?  Well, the first foreshadow type where we see “ceasing of the sacrifice” was Antiochus taking over the temple and forbidding them to come in and worship. But, like all foreshadow events, it will not look EXACTLY like that event, but will only hold similarities, like a caterpillar and a butterfly.

Hebrews 10:1 tells us “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things…”

The Sacrifice that will be stopped is the Passover.

So I began investigating the ceasing of the sacrifice because it strikes me, as it does all Christians, that we do not offer sacrifices.  How can they cease if they are not happening.  Some Christians gladly write this off as the end times cannot come unless the temple and sacrifices are restored.  But this flies in the face of scriptures, because we are told point blank that we no longer need sacrifices because Christ fulfilled them.

Hebrews 10 tells us that these sacrifices are no longer needed

1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year. 4 For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and [offering] for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure [therein]; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 [Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

So then why would we restore the sacrifices just to take them away to fulfill a prophecy?  Especially when the restoration of those sacrifices literally represents the insufficiency of Christ and the denial of his messianic title? Of course we wouldn’t.  But we DO continue observing the Lord’s Supper because it represents the Lord’s death.

So which sacrifice exactly will be stopped? What is Daniel talking about?  There are many different sacrifices observed by the Jews.  A closer examination of  the word translated “daily”  shows that the word is usually translated “perpetual”.  The most well known and recognized sacrifice is the Passover. The Passover is indeed a perpetual sacrifice, literally to be observed forever,  even in the New Earth and New Heaven.  Not only that, but of all the ordinances, Jesus, establishes the Passover as a symbolic representation of his death, as opposed to its former symbolism, the escaping of the death angel and exodus from Egypt, making the ordinance a ‘new testament’ observance. The disciples were observing the Passover with the Lord and during the meal, and during the meal Jews would talk about the exodus and the first Passover.  But Jesus, as the Lord of the Passover and the Instituter of it, broke with tradition in an unforgettable way and said, “this do in remembrance of ME”. The Passover is commanded to be a perpetual sacrifice, to be observed for ever

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.

 Christ re-established Passover as an honor to his death, and Paul encouraged the churches in their observance “as often as ye do it”.  All festivals and sacrifices were abandoned after the temple was destroyed in 70 AD.  But Christians and Jews all over the world still celebrate Passover.  Until 2020, when the lockdown closed down churches and stores WORLDWIDE, which should be a key point in all of our signs if we are talking about the end of the world. So, this lead me to examine Dan 12 a little more closely.  What offering specifically was going to be halted? 

We do not need a Third Temple for this to be fulfilled.

A lot of Christians are insisting on a third temple to be built for those literal sacrifices. But as I said before, the sacrifices, literal blood of animals, are outdated because of Christ’s sacrifice. The temple is also outdated.  The temple always represented God’s dwelling with His people.  The Holy of Holies inaccessible to everyone except the high priest.  This is the Physical representation of Heaven.  It was physically and supernaturally rent at the death of Christ. Hebrews 10 says the veil represented His flesh. Now we can boldly go into the Holy of Holies. God allowed the temple to be destroyed in 70 AD because it was obsolete. The new temple is our body. We do not need a physical temple for the Revelation or Daniel prophecy to be fulfilled.

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Has the First Horseman already come?

I believe the first horseman has already begun his circuit. The horse signifies a peaceful or righteous element because it is white, and the rider has possession of authority (the crown) and a weapon (the bow), and we are told straight forward he has an intent to conquer. At the onset of Covid, people all over the world were locked down and oppressed in ways that previously had only been isolated. But now, there is a world wide implement of, in their own words, “draconian measures”. These measures harshly drawn in the name of keeping people safe and for the greater good (your white horse) Most of these measures were passed by politicians who did not hold the authority by law to pass or enforce them, but were bestowed special powers by emergency edicts that over rode normal rule of law. This is not just the case in the United States, but in countries all over the world.

The fact that these characteristics are consistent in countries all over the world are a sign that this is no ordinary judgment. The horsemen usually are sent to an isolated people. But in Revelation, all four are sent all over the world. Any judgment going out over the entire world is certainly worth analyzing with end time prophecies to see if there is anything that fits the bill.

It is the onset of covid that caused the Passover / Lord’s Supper / Communion to be cancelled (a significant match for Daniel’s “ceasing of the sacrifices”)

Because the fourth horseman is Death, I don’t think that the first three horsemen will be specifically characterized by death, but that death will be brought on as a result of the first three horsemen a little later. That is why we do not see a lot of death and sickness, but PERCEIVED by falsified numbers and exaggerated statistics.  That could be why there is mention of a bow, but no quiver or arrows, and why the horseman is not one coming with pestilence, but to conquer only.

The White Horse

The first of the four horsemen a rider with a crown and a bow riding upon a white horse.

2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

I think it is significant that the phrase “a crown was given to him”.  Not like it was HIS crown, but like Haman in the story of Ester who works on behalf of the king was given the kings signet.  I think it indicates that the one conquering is not doing it by his own power, but by the authority of another.  In Daniel’s revelation, the sanctuary is polluted by the “arms” of the ruler.  By order of the ruler’s proxies.

[Dan 11:31 KJV] 31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

I agree with the author of the following interpretation.

The white horse and the crowned bowman on its back, embodying the first seal of Revelation 6:1-2, are all about religious communication. Like his fellows, this horseman has nothing benign about him—he goes out “conquering and to conquer.” He is the one who commences—some would say ultimately causes—”the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8) that results in the death of a quarter of earth’s population (Revelation 6:8)!

Biblically, white is an interesting color. In our day, it is immediately associated with cleanliness and purity, as all advertisers know: Marketing a cleanser that is itself white or comes in predominantly white packaging helps to convince the consumer that the product is effective. However, an ancient Israelite might not see white that way. In Leviticus, white appears as the color of leprosy more than a dozen times (see, for instance, Leviticus 13:3). In Genesis 40:16, white baskets presage the death of Pharaoh’s baker, and in Joel 1:7, it is the color of a land stripped bare by an enemy.

Conversely, at other times it represents the more positive associations we are accustomed to. In Ecclesiastes 9:8, Solomon writes, “Let your garments always be white,” which most commentators feel refers to the joy, purity, and beauty of a righteous, godly individual. The Shulamite describes her Beloved, a type of Christ, as “white” (Song of Songs 5:10), implying His spotless and holy character. Similarly, Daniel sees “the Ancient of Days” clothed in a garment “white as snow” and with hair “like pure wool” (Daniel 7:9), reminiscent of John’s description of the glorified Christ in Revelation 1:13-16.

In the book of Revelation itself, white is predominantly positive in meaning, as most of its appearances describe God, Christ, glorified saints, or associated objects like the Great White Throne. Overall, white suggests purity, righteousness, holiness, glory, victory, and perfection. This preponderance of positive, symbolic meanings for the color white—without considering the mainly negative aspects of the other symbols—has led many interpreters to misidentify this horseman as a positive, even divine, image.

For starters, the white horseman carries a bow, a weapon of war. Strangely, John makes no mention of arrows or a quiver, although we may infer the former, since a bow is nearly worthless without arrows. (Then again, the lack of arrows may suggest war fought, not with blood-letting weapons, but with words or ideas; see Psalm 11:264:2-4Jeremiah 9:8Ephesians 6:16.) A bow is a purely offensive weapon, even more so than a sword, and is highly effective from long range (for example, archers killed Uriah the Hittite and kings Ahab of Israel and Josiah of Judah). Thus, the foremost idea behind this biblical symbol is powerful, penetrating, deadly accuracy with an intimation of distance.

A sidelight of the bow’s imagery is the frequency of its use as a symbol of God’s judgment. Job complains, “His archers surround me. He pierces my heart and does not pity; He pours out my gall on the ground. He breaks me with wound upon wound” (Job 16:13-14; see also Lamentations 2:43:12-13Jeremiah 50:9, 14, 29; 51:3).

The white horseman’s bow, then, represents an effective instrument of God’s judgment on the world for rebellion against Him. Unlike the sword that Christ wields (Revelation 19:15), the bow’s long range hints at God being somewhat removed in His judgment, yet it is just as devastating in its effectiveness at meting out justice. In addition, whereas the sword symbolizes the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17Hebrews 4:12)—His truth—the bow suggests a counterfeit “truth” or a false gospel. As II Thessalonians 2:11-12 says, “God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

The rider of the white horse is given a crown to wear, after which he goes “out conquering and to conquer.” These two symbols are related both in their proximity in the verse and in their meanings. First, the word order suggests that being endowed with a crown allows or authorizes the horseman to go to war. Who gives him this crown? Notice Romans 13:1: “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” An angel tells Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:17, “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.” God is sovereign over all earthly authority, and it is from Him that this horseman receives his crown and purpose.

Second, crowns generally represent some state of honor or blessing for the wearer. We normally associate crowns with royalty, which in Classical Greek is represented by the word diadema, which has come down to us as “diadem.” The word in Revelation 6:2, however, is stéfanos, a circlet, wreath, or garland, oftentimes made of leaves and twigs but sometimes of precious metals. It was awarded as a prize of victory or triumph, as a symbol of honor or authority, as a badge of civic worth or military valor, or as a sign of nuptial joy or festal gladness. Due to the verse’s heavy martial emphasis, it is likely that the horseman’s crown signifies triumph, authority, or military valor.

Third, this horseman goes “out conquering and to conquer,” a fairly literal rendering of the Greek. To us, this phraseology sounds strange, but it is merely expressing two different tenses of the same verb (nikao, “conquer,” “subdue,” “overcome,” “prevail,” “get the victory”): the present participle and the aorist subjunctive. In other words, John is telling us that the horseman begins and continues to conquer, and he will certainly conquer or will ultimately conquer (see A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament on this verse). The implication is that his entire purpose is to conquer, to dominate, to subjugate the peoples of the earth.

Overall, the white horse and its rider are vivid representations of a powerful, aggressive, victorious force running unrestrained over mankind. Like a knight in armor or a soldier in full dress uniform, the first horseman appears to the eye as glorious and noble, but its intent is to kill, destroy, and subdue its enemies. Its white façade is deceptive, concealing a deadly, unholy purpose.

These interpretations of the symbols may seem highly speculative and arbitrary until we unlock their mystery with the key supplied by Jesus Christ Himself in the Olivet Prophecy. In a series of four verses, He decodes the meanings of the Four Horsemen. Of the white horseman, He says: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5; see Mark 13:5-6Luke 21:8). The white horse and its rider represent religious deception.

 

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Four Horsemen (Part Two): The White Horse

 

The Four Horsemen and their purpose

The four horsemen of the first four seals are found elsewhere in the Bible, not just Revelation. Zechariah describes four horses with similar colors and riders. Ezekiel describes four judgments that appear to be the same as our riders in Revelation as well. Together, we can paint a more complete picture of who these riders are and what they do.  The number of horses, their colors, and what their riders carry help clarify who they are and what they do. 

The four horsemen of Zechariah’s Vision

Zechariah mentions four horses of different colors with riders in Zec. 1.  Interestingly, he opens up his prophecy with them, just as John does in Revelation.

8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.

9 Then said I, O my lord, what [are] these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these [be].

10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

The colors are significant, but they change in every passage and they do not show consistency between the Hebrew, Septuagint and English. Red, Black and White are the most common, with red and white in every translation and every passage.  There is a divers horse that ranges from paint, grizzled, “diverse” and speckled.  I would guess that to be our “pale” horse in Revelation.  But KJV translates the word for “pale” as “green” in 3 other passages.  It’s our “horse of a different color” I guess The green/pale does match up with our noisome beast judgment in Ezekiel as it has green living things connotations in the Greek word translated “beast”

The mountains in Zechariah chapter 1 are missing and replaced with myrtle trees which is how the Septuigent reads.  KJV may be referring to the shady place as the place of the trees. Revelation does not mention the mountains in conjunction with the horsemen. 

8 I saw by night, and behold a man mounted on a red horse, and he stood between the shady mountains; and behind him were red horses, and grey, and piebald and white.  9 and I said, What are these, my lord? And the angel spoke with me said  to me, I will show you what these things are. 10 and the man that stood between the mountains answered and said to me, These are they whom the Lord has sent forth to go round the earth.  11 And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood between the mountains and said, we have gone round all the earth and behold all the earth is inhabited and is at rest.

The horsemen show up again in Zechariah 6 and this time with chariots (again in different orders)  and the mountains are brass.  Brass usually represents judgment, but I will not take time here to provide evidence of that.  Zechariah gives a description of the duties and purposes of these horsemen:

1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. 7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. 8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.

So here it appears that the horsemen patrol the entire earth and quiet the spirit of God by judging the transgressions.  Ezekiel will shed light that these are actually judgments. Ezekiel does not mention horses or riders, but speaks of the four judgments which sound very similar to our Revelation riders who we know are executing judgments.

The Four Judgments of Ezekiel

12 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: 14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver [but] their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. 15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: 16 [Though] these three men [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. 17 Or [if] I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it: 18 Though these three men [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19 Or [if] I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: 20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall [but] deliver their own souls by their righteousness. 21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? 22 Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, [both] sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, [even] concerning all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.

 

Vs. 21 and following I believe are our four Revelation horsemen.

 

The Four Angels in Enoch

 

Enoch speaks of four men, and following the format seen in Zechariah, one leads the other three.  This is an allegory, in Enoch and the four men represent angels and the peoples and nations are represented by different animals. In this allegory, one of the four men gave the animals a sword to kill (the sword is one of the four judgments in Ezekiel) and the angel which went first bound up the stars (which represent the fallen angels also described as having a form like horses).

 

There are four angels which stand before the Lord listed in Enoch chapter 40

  The first is the merciful, the patient, the holy Michael. 9.  The second is he who presides over every suffering and every affliction of the sons of men, the holy Raphael. The third, who presides over all that is powerful, is Gabriel. And the fourth, who presides over repentance, and the hope of those who will inherit eternal life, is Phanuel. These are the four angels of the most high God, and their four voices, which at that time I heard.

Perhaps these are our four horsemen with Michael as their leader. I suppose we shall find out when we get there!

The Four Horsemen are Executors of Judgment

 

It is my opinion that these angels have been going throughout the earth with judgments of sword, pestilence, death and famine at least since the dividing of nations in Babel.  Their purpose is to appease the wrath of God by sending hard times on sinful nations in order to provoke them to repentence. Once they repent, the wrath of God is appeased. In that respect it is a form of mercy, keeping the nations from a worse fate.  It is always God’s purpose to redeem mankind back to himself.  

Evidence of this can be seen in the account where David sins in  numbering the people and is given a choice what the judgment should be.  He is given three of the four judgments listed in Ezekiel to choose from: famine, pestilence, or war.  An angel is sent to deliver the judgment of pestilence and is stopped when the people repent.  

1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know [it]. 3 And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they [be]: but, my lord the king, [are] they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel? 4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 5 And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all [they of] Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah [was] four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. 6 But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king’s word was abominable to Joab. 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. 8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 9 And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three [things]: choose thee one of them, that I may do [it] unto thee. 11 So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee 12 Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh [thee]; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. 13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great [are] his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. 14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17 And David said unto God, [Is it] not I [that] commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but [as for] these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. 18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. 20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with [his] face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of [this] threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. 23 And Ornan said unto David, Take [it] to thee, and let my lord the king do [that which is] good in his eyes: lo, I give [thee] the oxen [also] for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take [that] which [is] thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 27 And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. 28 At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, [were] at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.

In Numbers, a plague was stayed when the leaders of Israel brought an Israelite man to judgment who was committing fornication openly and in public with a Midianite woman, presumably as a ceremony to Baal.  Again there was judgment by a plague that was stopped once the people repented.

2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. … 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. 10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:

There are  other instances where angels are smiting sinners.  The death of the firstborn in Egypt, Sennacharib’s army in II Kings, and the followers of Korah (I Cor 10:10).

If what Paul says, that evil men shall ‘wax worse and worse” in the end times, it only makes sense that the horsemen would be busy in the last days bringing judgments to entice sinners to repentence.  However, in the last days, instead of nations repenting, they begin to martyr God’s people.  The fifth seal shows that mankind has progressed from its regular form of evil to apocalyptic evil. It is upon this response to the merciful judgments of God that the remnant is removed (the sixth seal) and the judgment trumpets are sounded.

When is the Rapture- Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post trib?

When will Jesus come to remove the church during the tribulation?

The tribulation lasts for 7 years.  During that time there will be a judgment on the whole world like the world has never experienced.  Whether Jesus raptures the church before, during or at the end is a matter of interpretation.

There are plenty of scriptures to support each idea so you can weigh them for yourself. I believe the church will be raptured out at the 6th seal, right before the first trumpet is sounded at the 7th seal just after midpoint.  Then the elect with the 144000 Jewish converts will be raptured out at the last trumpet before the vials are poured out.

Pre-Trib

Let’s be honest, to be raptured out before the tribulation is just the most desirable solution.  Who wants to be here for that.  If we get rescued before all that begins, there is really no point studying up for any of the apocalypse.  Not my problem.  Here are popular passages supporting a pre-tribulation rapture..

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. . . 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed….23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

Pretrib advocates say that all the saints can’t be raptured at the end because

“Believers who come to faith in Christ during the tribulation are not translated at Christ’s second advent but carry on ordinary occupations such as farming and building houses, and they will bear children (Isa. 65:20-25). This would be impossible if all saints were translated at the second coming to the earth, as post-tribulationists teach. Because pre-tribulationists have at least a seven-year interval between the removal of the church at the rapture and the return of Christ to the earth, this is not a problem because millions of people will be saved during the interval and thus be available to populate the millennium in their natural bodies in order to fulfill Scripture.”

But a “new heaven and new earth” indicate the time AFTER the millenial reign, and after the great white throne judgment, because the former things are not remembered, and Revelation lays out the new heaven and new earth After both.

The next point this pre-trib defender makes is the “immanent return of Christ”.

“The New Testament speaks of our Lord’s return as imminent, meaning that it could happen at any moment. Other events may occur before an imminent event, but nothing else must take place before it happens. Immanency passages instruct believer to look, watch, and wait for His coming (1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 1:10; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 1 Peter 1:13; Jude 21). If either the appearance of the Antichrist, the Abomination of Desolation, or the unfolding of the Tribulation must occur before the Rapture, then a command to watch for Christ’s coming would not be relevant”.

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Basically he is saying, why would you be told to look for Christ if we had some other specific signs that had to happen before he comes.  We could just look for those signs, but we are told to expect Christ at any moment.

The next argument made is that Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia that he would keep them from the hour of temptation.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

He also argues that after the initial letters to the churches, the church is never mentioned again in Revelation.

The next argument is that the “restrainer” in 2 Thessalonians is the Holy Spirit indwelling in the believers. The argument is that when the believers are removed, the holy spirit will also be removed from the earth, and the antichrist will be free to do his work.

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…

I don’t think the “restrainer is the Holy Spirit”. Paul talks about the Holy Spirit often, and would not suddenly go cryptic on His identity here.  More on that later.

I will address these verses again in the mid-trib section.

Here is the full argument for the pre-trib position.  https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1117&context=pretrib_arch

Post-Trib

The verses supporting a post tribulation belief are stronger.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.

The verse is pretty straight forward.  It says it is the first resurrection. The end.

Then there is Matt 24.  Pretty much the whole chapter, but I have some key verses here for your convenience. Just be advised, there are verses missing.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. … 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. … 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. … 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. … 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. … 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two [women shall be] grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. … 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

This is more clarification from the wiki article (none of this is my view, I am just presenting the competition)

“For additional references, see also the parallel passages from Mark 13:24-27 and Luke 21:20-28. While the passages in Luke 21 parallels Matthew and Mark, it offers a couple of interesting clarifications. This passage in Luke offers interesting references to some of the major events which are greatly elaborated on in the Book of Revelation. Reading all three books of the Bible in parallel, it would appear that Luke elaborates on the “abomination of desolation” describing Jerusalem being surrounded by the armies of the world and of Jerusalem’s imminent destruction (Luke 21:20).”

Another argument is 2 Pet 3:10-13 (Don’t let it be lost on you that many of these verses are used to support both pre and post tri which is why I say it is a matter of interpretation.)

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

“Another account which lends support to the idea of a post-tribulation rapture is in 2 Peter 3:10-13, where the idea of “The Day of the Lord” coming as a “thief in the night” comes from. This idea of imminence, according to the post-tribulation view, only applies to the wicked and the spiritually unprepared people that are still alive before the return of Christ. Therefore, only God’s elect will fully have a clear understanding of the timing of the second coming, and Christ’s coming will not catch the believers by surprise, but only those who are spiritually ignorant regarding the truth. In the passage of 2 Peter 3:10-13, Christ’s return is equated with the “elements being melted”, and “the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up”. Two opposing views, pre-tribulationism and mid-tribulationism, see the rapture and the Second Coming (or Greek, parousia) of Christ as separate events; while in post-tribulationism the two events are identical or simultaneous.”

Another key difference between the pre-, mid-, and post-tribulationism is the number of times that Jesus Christ must return. Although it is not directly referenced, in both the pre- and mid-tribulation raptures, Christ must then return a third time, at the end of the tribulation period.”

The wiki article does a thorough job of defending the post tribulation view, and it is quite lengthy.  I don’t really want to copy it all down here, but you can read it all for yourself  <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-tribulation_rapture>  I will also address these verses in the next section.

Mid-Trib

Most people think that the rapture and the abomination of desolation are not found in Revelation.  I think that these events are too significant to NOT be found in Revelation. These events are huge and they are major timeline markers. Find the markers and everything else will line up.

Here are the verses about the abomination of desolation

[Mat 24:15 KJV] 15 

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Jesus is specifically quoting Dan 12.  We know because He included the phrase “whoso readeth, let him understand” which is not an instruction from Jesus, but actually part of the quote in vs 10.

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. 11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Here are the other three passages from Daniel.

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

This specific prophecy was fulfilled during the time of the Maccabees.  Herod Antiochus entered the temple, declared himself to be god (Zeus actually) and offered a swine on the altar.  Then the Jews were also caused to offer abominable sacrifices in their towns and villages where they lived and give allegiance to Zeus. Those who did not comply were slaughtered. Their children which were circumcised were hung and the mothers offered as a burnt offering. This is why the phrase “woe to them that give suck” is included in these passages.

The surrounding passages give details about the perpetrator of this event

And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. … 36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38 But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

So the key characteristics are

  1. An object considered abominable in a place that is holy so that it is polluted
  2. The act will cause desolation
  3. The perpetrator exalts himself as God
  4. Honors other gods besides God
  5. Rules through proxies (referred to here as “arms” and in vs. 39 “he shall cause them to rule over many”
  6. He will war against God’s people (Dan 11:28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart [shall be] against the holy covenant; and he shall do [exploits], and return to his own land.)

So now we have enough information to see if there is a person and an event in Revelation that matches.

The beast described in Rev fits our perpetrator in Dan 11.  I have highlighted the portions that display the key characteristics listed above.

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. … 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. … 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: … 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

Also note worthy is that he kills the people who refuse to comply, which was true about the first fulfillment Antiochus.

Also note worthy is the duration of the rule of the perpetrator.  Dan 8 says he will make a covenant for 1 week (or 7 years) and in the midst of the week (3.5 years) he will cause the offering to cease.  3.5 years on either side would be 42 months. Revelation gives the beast another 42 months in vs. 5. So the time lengths are matching up.

So the act of this villain that gets referenced over and over is the mark.  Those who receive the mark are cursed by God.  God will destroy all of them.  This is the very definition of desolate. He causes the people to worship a false god, and to receive his mark resulting in them being cut off from the grace of God.

Now the reason we are trying to find the abomination of desolation is because it is a mile marker on the apocalypse time line.  So if the mark is the abomination of desolation, the events should match up to the timeline.

Daniels time line is summarized in ch 12

And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

So here there will be A. ceasing of the sacrifice, B. Abomination of Desolation C. Some blessed event

This passage begs the question whether you count the 1335 days from the beginning time mark – the ceasing of the sacrifice, or from the 1290 day time mark – the abomination of desolation

The Sequence of Events in Matt. 24:29-31 Fits the Sixth and Seventh Seals in Revelation

Back to Jesus who was quoting this passage. It gets confusing because there are several passages but they seem to skip around and come out of order.  There is three in sequence that line up with Revelation that indicate there is a rapture at mid point.

Sign of the Sun, Moon & Stars

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

It says immediately after the tribulation.  Most people automatically think this is referring to the entire 7 year tribulation, so it would be at the end.  I would agree, except the sun is darkened and the moon does not give light.  The stars fall from heaven and the powers of heaven are shaken.  Revelation has these 4 signs

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 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. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Now AFTER the tribulation ( the entire great tribulation) there are some similar signs. Near the end, when the vials are being poured out right before the battle of Armageddon, one of the vials is about the sun

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

And there is a great earthquake.  But it does not have all four signs so neatly in order.

Men Mourn the Sight of the Lord

Furthermore, Matthew 24:30 is also included if you continue reading in Rev. 6:15

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; 16 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: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

But the passage continues to hold the sequence of Revelation with chapter 7.  Matthew 24:31 mentions the trumpet.  And four winds gathering the elect.  Revelation 7 is a clear break in the timeline and focuses on something very unusual going on in Heaven with the four winds.

The Four Winds

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Immediately after the 144,000 are sealed…

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

These people are not the 144000.  The passage is very specific that the 144000 is from the tribes of Israel.  These people here are all nations and kindreds.  But the passage is kind enough to spell it out for us

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

So just a side note, the Bible called the previous events the “great tribulation” even though we are only part way through the vision with many more terrible things to come.

The Trumpet

Now Matthew 24:31 also mentions a trumpet.  The next seal is in chapter 8 (lest you think we have fallen into a rabbit trail, John keeps us updated on the time line.  The 7th seal is the trumpets.

So there is a little dis-junction here because Matt. 24 lists sun, moon, stars, shaking, son of man in heaven, men mourning, trumpet, four winds and Revelation has the trumpet AFTER the four winds.  I cannot account for that, but it is the most similar line up of events hands down. My guess is that the half hour of silence is when the martyrs receive their white robes and the four winds are stilled and the sound of the first trumpet is when the saints are raptured. Not to be confused with the “last trump” which I will get to.

The Church is Present in Heaven

So I think the passage clearly indicates that the church is present in heaven at the sixth seal, and they were not there before.  In fact, during the 5th seal, which is the martyrs, the people who have already been killed and are waiting for justice cry out to God and ask how long until they will  be avenged and they are told a little longer until their bretheren are killed.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 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? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; 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.

God will not avenge them until the saints are taken out of the way, which fulfills a very important verse that the pre-trib worry about.  The seals are not the wrath being poured out, they are a tribulation to test the saints and to make them white.

[1Th 5:9 KJV] 9 

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ

The Four Winds Used for Resurrection

Another reason that supports this being the resurrection and gathering of the saints is because of the “four winds”.  In Ezekiel, God brings Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones and God resurrects an army from the bones. This is obviously a prophesy of the 144000 coming to the understanding of the Messiah and they will rise against the beast for the remainder of Revelation.  But it is noteworthy that the four winds are called to resurrect the dead.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.

The Great Tribulation is Shortened

The verse used by the Pre-Trib view is actually a very good case for the Rapture in Rev 6.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

You see that their days of the tribulation were shortened.  This also makes sense of the verses prior in Matt 24

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

We still have some issues to deal with as far as the resurrection of the believers who are killed after the seals.  There are 144,000 Israelites who will be preaching.  And Paul refers to the “last trump” which definitely is not the first trump at the 7th seal.

The Judgment of the Great City of Babylon in Revelation 18 comes to completion and God calls out his people.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

The voice of the Bride and Bridegroom (an obvious reference to Christ and the Elect) is not heard in the streets of Babylon anymore. There is no more light of the candle (also a reference to the spirit of the churches)

23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Then, just as we saw after the 6th seal, there is a scene in heaven in Rev 19 with the 24 elders and all the multitudes.  The Bride at last has made herself ready and is now in the heavenly court:

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. … 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

And there is a final trumpet.  We are told there are seven, but the seventh is never specifically mentioned because it is the sound of the  final battle.  Like the first trumpet, it seems as though it gets sounded after the resurrection.  I have no explanation for that  Perhaps it is a simultaneous thing.

14 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

 

The First Resurrection

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.

It is my opinion that this verse is commemorating the completion of the first resurrection which isn’t until AFTER the millennial reign when all the dead, even the wicked as well as those who died during the millennial reign have been resurrected for the great white throne judgment.

Now I will go back through the scriptures for the other views and clarify how they could also be in support of a mid tribulation rapture, or at least, not be disproving it.

[Isa 65:17 KJV] 

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. . . 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed….23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

This verse is clearly referencing

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. It also mentions the former things not being remembered which is in

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Verse 20 throws us off because it sounds like people are dying, and Revelation says there is no more death.  However, looking at other translations, it seems that instead of saying people will die when they are a hundred, that the idea of dying when you are a hundred will be considered a curse.

[Isa 65:20 NIV] 

20 “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

I do not feel this verse can be used to prove an exact time of the rapture.

The next set of verses in the pretrib section alluding to the immanent return of Christ I feel is a weak argument.  The return of Christ, like the phrase, “the later days”, the “end of the world” or the “day of the Lord” is a very broad term that can refer to a specific event or a series of events.  The return of the Lord is no less imminent because we experience more signs, and even if we are counting the days like Daniel was instructed, we still cannot not know that exact hour.  We are constantly in a state of waiting and watching.

Next is the argument that we are not meant to endure the judgments.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

So these verses show that there is an intention to keep the elect from the harsh stuff.  I feel that this is addressed in Revelation when the elect from the gentile nations are brought to heaven

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. And again when the elect are bought to heaven

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Clearly God’s people are present during part of the tribulation, and then pulled out.  Hence use of the word “time shortened”. So it would be very ill advised to be sitting around saying, we don’t have to worry, because we will get raptured out first.  Especially with all the warnings of being killed by both Jesus AND John.

Now on to the issue of the “restrainer”

6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…

The point here is that the Holy Spirit in the believers is what is restraining evil in this world.  I would argue that the objective of the Holy Spirit is never cited as restraining evil.  We DO have scripture that points to another entity that is responsible for restraining the evil one.

The angel ministring to Daniel says Michael came to take care of the Prince of Persia (another spiritual entity keeping Daniels prayers from receiving an answer.

13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

It was Michael who contended with the Devil over the body of Moses

9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

But, the real scripture that puts this argument to rest is that Daniel names Michael as the entity who is associated with the resurrection AND the great tribulation.

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

After that scripture, I don’t really think it is still a question who the “restrainer” is in Thessalonians, but he is also said to be the one wrestling the dragon in Revelation

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels

Enoch also has Michael binding up evil watchers until what appears to be the prophecy of Revelation

And the Lord said unto Michael: ‘Go, bind Semjaza and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves 12 with them in all their uncleanness. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is 13 for ever and ever is consummated.

Now to address the last verse that is used to support a post tribulation rapture.  All the references to fire and the heavens and elements being dissolved with heat, leads me to believe that this is talking specifically about the great white throne judgment. At that time, all the works will be judged and tried by fire.  The devil is cast into the lake of fire. The former things are passed away.  It is the end of the end.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

So a quick summary, I believe the scripture is alluding that a rapture event will happen with the church at the end of the 6th seal or beginning of the 7th seal/1st trumpet, and a second rapture event will happen with Israel and the tribulation saints at the last trumpet before the vials are poured out. And that a final resurrection for all the dead will be at the end of the millennium for the Great White Throne judgment.

 

 

 

The Reign of the Antichrist and the Fall of Babylon