[If you purchase anything on this site, I may make a commission. Disclosure Policy]Would you like to see what we have written on a subject? Use the search below.
|site search by freefind|
This chapter on the Four Riders of the Apocalypse begins the Tribulation Signs section of The Book Of Signs. It starts with a good statement on balancing God’s love with God’s Judgment and Justice. To deny that God is a God of justice or to think that God’s love will override His justice is to form a false picture of God. It was because of God’s justice that Jesus had to take the punishment for our sins on the cross. If we refuse to accept His work on our behalf, we will face the perfect justice of God ourselves.
Indeed, the reality of the Tribulation and God’s wrath and judgment against those who have rebelled against Him are the primary themes of Revelation 6–19. As we read those chapters, we encounter Jesus Christ poised to take back control of the earth. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 235). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
As we mentioned in the previous article [worship], the primary theme of Revelation is worship. Our God is worthy of worship whether we are focusing on His love or His judgment. Revelation is a book of worship celebrating the victory of Christ and the justice of God on His enemies.
Jesus Christ never lost control of the earth. Adam surrendered his management authority, but God never lost control or ownership of the earth. Jesus Christ came to restore our relationship with God and to return us to our stewardship responsibilities, not to gain control of the earth.
Moses proved to satan’s representative, Pharaoh, that God had ultimate control of the earth.
Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. Ex. 9:29, NIV
David confirms this in Psalm 24:1:
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein. NKJV
There in the sixth chapter of Revelation, the first four seals are broken to reveal the events that will initiate the seven years of trouble upon the earth—the seven years which we know as the Tribulation. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 236). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Neither in the introduction to this section nor here in this chapter are any Scriptures or evidence of any kind offered to show the existence of this Tribulation or that it will last seven years. It is simply assumed, then stated as a fact.
One other thing we should consider is the purpose of the Tribulation. God never does anything without a reason. Why the Great Tribulation? The Book Of Signs simply states that it is against those who have rebelled against Him. Now, I ask you to consider what was/is the greatest act of rebellion against God. Do you know your Old Testament? How much of the prophetic books were spent in warning Israel against the looming Assyrian and Babylonian captivities? Israel was given hundreds of years of warnings and instructions to repent before the Babylonian Captivity, which only lasted 70 years.
So what is my point?
For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation… Heb. 2:2-3, NKJV
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, Heb. 12:25,NKJV
The Israelites were given hundreds of years of warning about the consequences of their rebellion against the Law of God. Then they were sent into the Babylonian Captivity for 70 years. Do you think that Jesus and the apostles would not have warned them repeatedly about the far greater consequences they were about to face for the greatest crime of history - the betrayal and murder of the Beloved Son of God? Or would Jesus and the apostles have spent their time warning about tribulations coming on a generation over 2,000 years in the future? Dr. Jeremiah and the dispensationalists would have us believe that the Bible is silent on the horrors that descended on Israel in the forty years between the Resurrection and the destruction of the Temple and Old Covenant system in AD 70. For a detailed look at this, I suggest you take our courses on The Great Tribulation and Understanding The End Times. I highly recommend you take the time to read our article: The Importance Of AD 70.
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Rev. 6:2, NKJV
The rider is none other than the Antichrist, the coming world dictator, who rides into the world at the beginning of the Tribulation period promising to bring peace in the midst of global turmoil. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 236). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Again, no Scriptural evidence is given for why this rider is the alleged Antichrist. In fact, the evidence is that he is not the Antichrist. We see that he is riding a white horse. White represents purity and righteousness. The colour white occurs 15 times in the Book of Revelation.
The first time we see it, it is a description of Jesus.
and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; Rev. 1:13-15, NKJV
Most of the other times, it is referring to the robes of Christians [overcomers, martyrs, etc.]. In fact, in this same chapter, white is used to describe the robes of the martyrs.
Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Rev. 6:11, NKJV
Spoiler Alert: The Book Of Revelation identifies the Rider on the white horse.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. Rev. 19:11-15, NKJV
Although Dr. David Jeremiah does not mention this, I am aware that some people try to avoid this ‘problem’ by saying that the rider in Revelation 6 is Deception, i.e. he looks like Christ, but he is not. The burden of proof is on their shoulders, and I have not seen it yet. It is a tragic statement that takes the work of Christ and lays it at the feet of the alleged Antichrist. How that must hurt the Father.
The crown the rider wears is one of victory, but his bow has no arrows. It is the picture of a bloodless victory gained through peaceful negotiations. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 237). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
According to my Bible, Jesus is the Victor, not satan or his Antichrist. The Book Of Signs assumes that because arrows are not specifically mentioned that they are not there. That is an argument from silence, which is a weak argument. If I were to tell you that a soldier grabbed his gun and ran into battle, you would naturally assume there were bullets in the gun. If there were no bullets in the gun, that would be worth mentioning!
The bow is an offensive weapon capable of striking the enemy at a distance. The Lord is not fighting a defensive battle. He takes the initiative and presses onward, conquering and to conquer.
Although the Rider on the white horse in Revelation 6 and 19 is Jesus Christ, His mission in these two chapters is different. In Chapter 19, we see the sharp sword coming out of His mouth and that He is being followed by the armies of heaven. The sword is a well-established symbol for the Word of God. In Chapter 19, we have the spreading of the Gospel as the Word of God goes over the earth, redeeming people and destroying the works of the enemy. But here in Chapter 6, we have Jesus armed with a bow and being followed by three Riders of destruction. This depicts the devastating judgment of God on the Jewish nation in AD 66-70 for the brutal betrayal and murder of the Son of God and their stubborn refusal to repent and seek forgiveness.
If this is the true application of the Four Riders, as I believe it is, then every one of The Book Of Signs applications cannot be correct, for it places these riders in our future instead of John’s future.
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. Rev. 6:4, NKJV
…the truth needs to be told and the alarm needs to be sounded. We must alert people to this dark shadow that looms on the horizon. Only when we are warned can we prepare. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 239). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Well, so much for the power of the Holy Spirit and the effectiveness of the Gospel. Of course, Dr. Jeremiah believes the Christians - for some reason - have been raptured before this happens…but if that is the case, what are we needing to prepare for?
If, as I have mentioned above, these Scriptures are talking about something that happened in the 1st Century, then all of The Book Of Signs applications fall apart.
It is interesting that God does not have to declare war, all He has to do is allow His peace to be removed and sinful humanity automatically fight each other.
The rider on the red horse represents not only nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, but also man fighting against man. He will usher in a time of murders, assassinations, bloodshed, and revolution that will far exceed even the worst we see today or have seen throughout history. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (pp. 237-238). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Dr. David Jeremiah appears to be unaware of the mass murders and common assassinations that filled the land of Israel and especially Jerusalem in the days leading up to the Jewish War. Even the Temple flowed with human blood.
One of the most tragic aspects of the Jewish War [AD 66-70] was that the killing which took place was quite often Jews killing and murdering other Jews. In fact, it became so bad that eyewitness Josephus records, "they [Jews] ran away from their own houses to foreigners, and obtained that preservation from the Romans which they despaired to obtain among their own people." [Book 4:7:1] The Jews received more mercy from the Romans than they did from their own countrymen! Again Josephus says of the Jewish rebels, "their inclination to plunder was insatiable, as was their zeal in searching the houses of the rich; and for the murdering of the men and abusing of the women, it was sport to them." [Book 4:9:10] "...the temple was defiled everywhere with murders." [Book 5:2] "The aged men and women...wished for the Romans, and earnestly hoped for an external war, in order for their delivery from their domestic miseries." [Book 5:1:5] They considered war with the Romans a blessing in comparison to what they were suffering from their own countrymen! It is a fearful thing when the Lord allows an avenging sword to sweep across a nation.
So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” Rev. 6:5-6, NKJV
Urgent humanitarian action is needed to save lives and reduce hunger and malnutrition. This crisis is largely due to conflict or instability in the countries affected. But as global population increases and the inevitable food shortages result, the world may lose its ability to feed itself. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 239). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
The Book Of Signs is correct in stating that most of today’s famines are due to conflict or instability in the countries affected. But then it goes on to insult the sovereignty of God by predicting food shortages because of the global population. Do you really think that an all-wise, all-loving, all-knowing God would create a planet that could not abundantly provide for any size of population? Seriously?
The fact is there is enough food on the planet for current and future needs. The issue is not lack of food; the issue is human sin which creates wars, deliberately starves ‘undesirable’ portions of the population, creates harmful government, bureaucratic laws, etc. Don’t blame God for the problem! The vast majority of the problem would be solved if we could just get the governments out of the way - including the United States and Canada.
When the third seal was broken, a black horse and rider appeared. Black is the colour of darkness, despair, and depression. The third horse symbolizes the great shadow of famine which swept across the land as both the Romans and the Jewish Zealots [or robbers] plundered the land burning cities and their surrounding communities. Part of the judgment and justice of God was famine against those who had rejected The Bread Of Life. God has a sense of irony.
The famine was to come to a tragic climax in the siege of Jerusalem. Three factions of Jews were fighting with themselves inside the city, and in so doing, they burnt each other’s food supplies "so that almost all the corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. So they were taken by the means of famine, which it was impossible they should have been, unless they had thus prepared the way for it by this procedure." [Jospehus, Book 5:1:4] They destroyed their own food!
The Jews within the city of Jerusalem were so hungry they committed inhuman acts. Josephus records: "But the famine was too hard for all other passions, and it is destructive to nothing so much as to modesty; for what was otherwise worthy of reverence, was in this case despised; in so much that children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were eating out of their mouths, and what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their infants: and when those that were most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might preserve their lives; and while they are after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing; but the seditious everywhere came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that the people within had gotten some food; whereupon they broke open the doors, and ran in, and took pieces of what they were eating, almost up out of their very throats and this by force; the old men, who held their food fast, were beaten; and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for so doing; nor was their any commiseration shown either to the aged or to infants...they also invented terrible methods of torment to discover where any food was..." [Book 5:10:4] The Jews were suffering the terrible judgment of God for their cry years earlier at the crucifixion - "His [Jesus] blood be upon us and on our children!" [Matt. 27:25, Amp.] The judgments of God are not to be taken lightly. They are not to be laughed at or scorned.
So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. Rev. 6:8, NKJV
Satan and the Antichrist would like nothing better than to have a worldwide plague under way at the beginning of the Tribulation to further their argument for a one-world government led by a seemingly benevolent, peace-loving dictator. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 242). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Again, if these events were fulfilled in the past, then all of The Book Of Signs fear-mongering is pointless and wrong. I would say that Satan would like nothing better than to have God’s children chasing false end times prophecies and living in fear rather than doing what God actually commanded them to do.
I have noticed that Dr. David Jeremiah will sometimes give the meanings of Greek words. One important Greek word that has not been mentioned is the word translated as ‘earth.’
The Greek word used here for ‘earth’ here is "Ge.” Often "Ge" is translated as "land" instead of "earth.” The word can mean the whole world; however, it can also mean "a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region; simply when it is plain from the context what land is meant, as that of the Jews." [Thayer's 114-115] So while the term can refer to the whole earth, it can also refer to a specific part of the earth. The term 'the land [earth]' in Jewish writings most often referred to the land of Israel. Every other country was considered outside 'the land', as Palestine was called..." [Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1:7] In the days of Jesus and the apostles, if you were a Jew and you didn't live in "the Land" you were considered inferior. We see this conflict even in the church between 'the Land' Jews and the Hellenistic [Greek] Jews in Acts 6:1.
The New Testament uses the word "Ge" to refer specifically to the Land of Israel. "Elijah...prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land [Ge] for three and a half years." [James 5:17, NIV] Jesus Himself used the word in this way in Luke 4:25. "...there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land [Ge]." We also see in John 3:22 the reference to the “land of Judea.” Matt. 10:15 speaks of “the land of Sodom.” Same word. This word can also refer to the soil itself as when Jesus said in Matt. 10:29 that no sparrow falls to the ground without His Father’s knowledge. The word “ground” is our ‘Ge.” Also in Matt. 13:8 Jesus talks about the seed falling on the good ground - ground is our Ge word. Sometimes it has the meaning of shoreline. For example, in Luke 5:3 Jesus entered a ship, and they thrust out a little from the land - land is the same word used in Revelation 6:8.
If the earth is referring specifically to the land of Israel, then all these worldwide doom-day predictions are false. One thing is for certain. Since that are legitimate Biblical explanations for these verses that do include The Book Of Signs predictions, they cannot be used as undeniable signs of the apocalypse.
Return To The Book Of Signs.
Please note: We no longer have the commenting feature [maybe again in the future]. Joshua Institute students who have questions or comments on their courses can use the contact button and mention the course name and lesson number in the email. Thank you. Glenn