Thursday, June 23, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 3 of 6

6:3-4 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
The first rider was given a crown; the second rider is given “power.” The word power isn’t actually in the original Greek, so the verse states that it was given to him that sat upon the horse to take peace from the earth. In fact, a “great sword” was given to him, representing not necessarily war, but violence and unnatural death. The Greek term for “great” is “megas” and means: physically large, intense or violent.

This rider follows on the heels of Antichrist’s advent, which is an indicator that when the man of sin appears the Tribulation begins in earnest. It is speculated that the Antichrist makes a covenant with the majority of Israel for their peace in the Middle East; part of which includes the rebuilding of their temple where the Dome of the Rock presently resides. This treaty, if Daniel’s prophecy is followed, is made to last for seven years, though the Antichrist will break his word part way through and persecute the Jews, which has always been Satan’s desire whether through the Roman Catholic Church, Islam or Hitler’s Arian dream that required the death of the Jews. When the first rider comes forth the second arrives very shortly thereafter. I believe this is for one reason, and that reason is stated in John 5:43. The world rejected Christ, but it eagerly accepts the man who comes in his own name.

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people, Hebrews 10:26-30.

The restrainer, the Holy Spirit has been removed. The salt of the earth, the preservative that is the church has been removed; now the world embraces Satan’s prodigy and wrath ensues. What does it mean that peace is taken from the earth and that men kill each other? I cannot really venture a guess. Paul gives us an inkling of what will befall humanity in the end times. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves (self esteem/self-deification), covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,” 2nd Timothy 3:1-4. One of the phrases Paul uses is “without natural affection.” Let’s look at this a little.

One look at the newspaper lately reveals that we are already very adept at killing each other for no reason at all. I’ll name a few random news snippets that have passed my attention and caused great grief. A mother is on trial presently for killing her two year old daughter by snapping her neck and carrying her body around in the trunk of her car for a month. Another mother was committed to an asylum for drowning all five of her children, from the youngest to the oldest, in her bathtub. A mother and teenage daughter are arguing during a drive. The mother pulls over, chases the daughter through the woods, kills her and rolls her body into a ditch; after this she merely reports her missing. These are but a tiny sampling; the examples are legion.

Paul could also be referring to the advent of the homosexual movement so prominent in our time. Twice in Romans we are told that men and women depart from the “natural use” of the opposite sex for what is “against nature,” Romans 1:26-27. This natural affection may be the intimate love shared between a man and a woman, which Agur declared was too wonderful for him, Proverbs 30:19. God finds sexual sin extremely perverse, Hebrews 13:4; Romans1:29; 2nd Peter 2:10.

Anyone who thinks the world is actually progressing and getting better is either lying or deluded; I lean toward delusion because God warned that anyone who rejected His truth in favor of Satan’s lie would suffer a strong delusion sent by God to strengthen them in their cause so He might punish them for their rebellion. This was Pharaoh’s problem long ago. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21), but not before Pharaoh hardened his own by an act of volition, Exodus 3:19. God simply foreknew this and had chosen, on the basis of Pharaoh’s choice, to make the king of Egypt an object of wrath, Romans 9:17-18. Make no mistake: God does not make the greater portion of humanity incapable of responding to Him as John Calvin would suggest; no, when God hardened Pharaoh the term in the Hebrew commonly used was “hazaq” and means “to be strong, to give strength or encourage.” What was God doing? He was strengthening Pharaoh to permit this rebel to do with his actions what he longed to do in his heart: namely resist God’s will. God will do likewise with everyone who rejects the truth, like Pharaoh, and loves lies instead, 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12.

Many people blame religion; they love to dump the atrocities of the world on the church’s doorstep since Bible thumpers make people feel awful with all of the sin and judgment preaching. Religion causes wars. Correction: men cause wars, and we will use any excuse necessary to justify our desire to get what we want because we are proud. Independence and pride are the roots of sin, and sin that masquerades in the guise of piety is doubly repulsive. This talk of killing each other must be something above and beyond what we presently witness in our sin-sick world today, and I am glad to God that Christians will not be here to endure it. I also pity those who march proudly into the Tribulation, rejecting the salvation found in Jesus Christ while sampling every broken cistern in sight. “Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” Jeremiah 2:12-13.

6:5-6 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 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.
Following the rider bearing the great sword of intense violence comes a third rider; this one bearing scales. The scales represent the weights used in ancient times to buy and sell products. This rider has control of the economy; of the price objects cost and will greatly increase the prices of necessities represented by wheat and barley. The penny in the KJV is the Greek denarius, which is about a day’s wages in that time. Since bread was a chief staple in the diet of many in ancient Israel and Rome, we may presume the barley and wheat represent common food items that we would purchase at the grocery store today. In other words: the price for perishable food is going to skyrocket.

Wine and oil on the other hand represent luxury items or unnecessary merriment. While the necessary food to feed oneself will begin to cost much, possibly through drought or another “natural” catastrophe, the luxuries of the rich and our amusements will still be intact. Thus far we have the rider on the white horse going forth to conquer with a bow sans arrows; which might well imply delegation and charisma. This is followed by the red rider who takes away peace and causes men to kill one another. The third rider exacerbates this situation by making the appropriation of commodities exceedingly difficult. And this is only the beginning of the Tribulation; God’s wrath is not being poured out in earnest. I pray for anyone unsaved reading that you will seriously consider where this journey of life is going to lead you. Do you KNOW where you will spend eternity? You can know. Please read my Gospel post and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for now and eternity.

2 comments:

  1. I have often felt that much of this first part of the tribulation is God simply allowing man to experience the consequences of his actions. That things have not gotten to that point already is the result of God's constant intervention on behalf of his saints. Later, he will actively cause things to happen.

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  2. I quite agree. It seems that things greatly intensify when the man of sin proclaims himself God and demands global worship.

    When the men in chapter six are afraid that the great day of God's wrath had come, it was in fact still coming. The first part of the Tribulation is preliminary; the cup of God's wrath has yet to be poured out by that point. Thank you for the insight, dfish.

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