ghostly spectres of dread disease, death, and warfare, the Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse appeared to John in vision at the close of
the first century A.D. What do the legendary Four Horsemen really
represent? Who has the authority to reveal their meaning to us today?
Who can know when they will ride, where, how, or why? Were they merely
a vivid nightmare of the elderly Apostle John's imagination? Or are
they a living prophecy soon to unfold in our generation? You'll be
shocked to see how Jesus Christ Himself revealed the true meaning — for
our day, right now — of the four mysterious riders of Revelation.
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Christ the Revelator
Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His
servants things which must shortly come to pass." — Revelation 1:1
first five words of the Book of Revelation reveal two vital keys to the
book: that Jesus Christ is the Revelator; and that this book is a
Revelation. Ignoring these vital keys, men have viewed the "revelation"
as the opposite: a hidden, closed, cryptic, sealed document contrived
from the angered and elderly mind of the Apostle John in prison on
The reason is clear: men have not let
the Bible interpret itself! Turn to the inscription below the title of
Revelation in your own Bible. It says, "The Revelation of St. John the
Divine" in most versions. Men added those words! God's Word starts out
by saying the direct opposite of man's words. If men cannot even
compose the title correctly, it is no wonder they are confused with the
contents! Because of this confusion among Bible scholars, the average
Christian has assumed that the word apocalypse — the Greek word for
"revelation" — means a hidden, dark, cryptic message of doom. In truth,
"revelation" means just what the dictionary says, "the act of
revealing; the disclosing to others of what was before unknown to them."
In the case of the Book of Revelation, the "others" to whom truth is
"disclosed" are "His servants" (Rev. 1:1), and the One who is able to
reveal is Jesus Christ.
'Who Is Worthy . . .?"
Interpretations of the Bible are a dime a dozen. The Book of Revelation
has spawned millions of words of human thought over the 19 centuries of
its existence. Some of man's interpretation is correct, but that is not
the point. The key question is asked by a "strong angel proclaiming
with a loud voice" in Revelation 5:2. He asks, "Who is worthy to open
the book, and to loose the seals thereof?" Who has the right, the
The answer: "No man in heaven, nor
in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither
to look thereon" (Rev. 5:3). If the book was closed to human
understanding, how then was it to be "revealed"? "Behold, the Lion of
the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book"
(verse 5). Jesus Christ is the only "worthy" interpreter of the Book of
Revelation. "Worthy is the Lamb" (verse 12).
But where does Christ reveal the meaning of the Book of Revelation —
specifically the "Four Horsemen" which represent the first four of the
book's seven sealed messages? How does the Bible interpret itself?
By parallel prophecies. Since Christ is the Revelator, we must turn to
His own words — the "Gospels." Since it is a prophecy of the future
("... things which must shortly come to pass ..."), we must turn to the
prophecies — future predictions — of the Gospels.
The Olivet Prophecy is the longest and most pivotal prophecy uttered by
Jesus Christ on earth. The Apostle John himself was there — on the
Mount of Olives near Jerusalem, some sixty years earlier — when Christ
gave His followers the signposts of His Second Coming and the end of
man's government. It is the same time setting as the Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation is an expanded visionary description of the same series of events described in capsule news-brief format in Matthew 24. This is clearly Christ's own revealing of Revelation, His very own words.
The Time Setting
In Revelation 6:1-8, John sees the Four Horsemen, a symbolic
re-enactment of the bold, straight-forward, easily understood Olivet
Prophecy. They differ only slightly in fulfillment. Matthew 24 had a
first "typical" fulfillment in the war, famine, and disease epidemics
in and around Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (see Flavius Josephus, Wars of the
Jews, for a full graphic description of this first prophetic
John's vision of Four Horsemen,
however, occurred twenty years after the local Jewish wars, the fall of
Jerusalem, and the destruction of the Temple. This vision does not
refer to any past fulfillment or present condition, but to a future
series of specific events, an "anti-typical" fulfillment of Matthew 24.
One way to prove that these events are yet future is the contextual
evidence in the Book of Revelation itself. John speaks of an army of
200 million men in Revelation 9:16. There were barely that many men,
women, and children on earth in the days of Christ or the Apostle John.
The world did not pass the one billion mark until as recently as 1850.
No army from a group of nations could possibly reach the prophesied
size of 200 million until the earth housed at least a billion.
The context of Matthew 24 also shows the ultimate fulfillment of these
prophecies to be yet future, not in the past or present. Jesus Christ
said His messages would be fulfilled at a time when total human
annihilation was possible (Matt. 24:21, 22). This period began with the
Nuclear Age. Only since 1950 has mankind lived on his short-fused
nuclear time-bomb. Only in this Nuclear Age have the Four Horsemen
saddled up to ride!
This understanding of the
duality of prophecy is vitally important. The words of Matthew 24 refer
to 1) a first "typical" fulfillment in 70 A.D., 2) a long-term
condition prevailing from 70 A.D. until now, and 3) an end-time
"anti-typical" fulfillment yet ahead. The Four Horsemen refer only to
the last of these three fulfillments. They represent an intensity of
these conditions far beyond the "normal" wars, famines and disease
epidemics that periodically scourge mankind.
The Four Horsemen bring the final culmination of these end-time
conditions to their cataclysmic conclusion and to the ushering in of
the age of God's rule. The Four Horsemen are yet future in fulfillment.
The exact time of their full rampage is unknown, but world conditions
show they will strike in the near future, in this generation, in your
The knowledge of who these horsemen
are, and how you can escape their destructive force is vital to you.
Don't ignore it. Read Jesus Christ's revelation of what they mean to
you in the chapters ahead.
A Counterfeit Christ
"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name,
saying / am Christ; and shall deceive many." —
"And I saw when the Lamb
opened one of the seals, and / heard, as it were the noise of thunder,
one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 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."
— Revelation 6:1-2
The first horseman of the Apocalypse has caused more confusion and
consternation among Bible critics than the other three horsemen
combined! The majority of Bible commentators are at least partially
correct in determining the meaning of the red, black, and pale horses
which follow. The context of Revelation 6 interprets itself in regards
to the final three horsemen's identity. But the identity of the first
horse is almost universally misunderstood because scholars have
neglected the clarifying words of Christ the Revelator in Matthew
Many men, using human interpretation,
have looked ahead to the 19th chapter of Revelation, to the description
of the glorious Second Coming of Christ on a white horse. They have
made the error of equating the white horse of Revelation 6 with the
true Christ of chapter 19.
misinterpretation appears in many forms. Some say the white horse of
Revelation 6 represents the worldwide preaching of the Gospel, to
"conquer" men's minds. Some say it is an angel preparing the way for
Christ. Some say it represents Christian governments conquering heathen
nations in the name of Christ. Some say it is the church. Some say it
represents "Elijah," preparing the way for Christ. Some say it
represents the second coming, while others think it is a flashback to
Christ's first coming.
commentators label the white horse rider as Jesus Christ, or some form
of His Work on earth. But what does Christ Himself have to say about
the white horse? Believe it or not, He prophesied that this very
deception and misunderstanding would occur!
A Counterfeit Creeps In
The very first world development Jesus Christ warns about is the advent
of many false preachers, misleading and deceiving the many, not the
few. This condition began immediately after Christ's death and
resurrection. The Apostle Paul warned that the spirit of iniquity was
already working, even as he wrote.
younger brother of Jesus Christ, exhorted early Christians to
"earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the
saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of
old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of
our God into lasciviousness" (Jude 3, 4).
In the first century true Christians witnessed a
counterfeit Christianity creeping in, deceiving many. Such religious
deception has now increased in intensity until the whole world has
become deceived about the true message of Christ. By the time of the
end, your Bible says that Satan the devil "deceiveth the whole world"
There is no greater sign of this
universal ignorance about God than the misunderstanding of who the
first horseman of Revelation 6 actually represents.
It is true that the white horse represents a Christ, but it is a false
Christ. It is true that the first horseman represents a gospel and a
church, but it is a false gospel and a false church — all in the name
of Jesus Christ, but in truth a deception and a counterfeit. Jesus
Christ says so Himself in Matthew 24, and the Apostle Paul amplified
Christ's words very plainly in II Corinthians 11.
"I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is
in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have
not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not
received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted" they might be
deceived. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great
thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Cor.
Your Bible identifies Satan's
ministers as being professing Christians! They don't appear Satanic, of
course. They appear as "angels of light." They look like the white
horse of Christ's return, but they are in truth a clever counterfeit of
the true Christ.
Paul isn't warning us
against obviously false religions — such as pagan animism, Eastern
occult sects, outright Satan worship, or bizarre semi-Christian cults —
but rather against a subtle counterfeit. Counterfeits, like bogus
money, attempt to be as close as possible to the original, yet with
subtle flaws discernible only to experts. Counterfeit Christianity is
the same. It may appear Biblical or Christ-like, but subtle flaws exist
throughout its beliefs.
The horseman aboard the white horse in Revelation 6 is just such a subtle counterfeit.
The Two White Horses Compared
If you will carefully compare Revelation 6:1-2 with Revelation
19:11-15, you will see that this first horseman is no more than a
clever counterfeit Christ, one close enough to fool the majority, but
not the "elect."
Notice first that the
returning Christ of Revelation 19 brandishes a sword out of His mouth,
not a bow in his hand, as in Revelation 6. The sword is His Word the
Bible. The Word of God is called, in symbol, a "two-edged sword" (Heb.
4:12). Christ comes reproving nations with His Word, while the
counterfeit horseman of Revelation 6 comes with another source of
power. Regardless of the precise meaning of the "bow," it is clearly
not the Word of God — the two-edged sword.
The time setting of Revelation 6 versus 19 also proves they could not
be the same Christ. In fact, the two could hardly be further apart in
the time flow of the Book of Revelation. The white horse is the first
seal opened, the very first event in the unfolding drama of the end
times. Christ's Second Coming, on the other hand, ushers in the end of
the drama. It is the last portion of the last seal, just prior to the
1,000-year reign of the saints of God on earth. The two events are
years apart in fulfillment. They could hardly be the same horse and
rider, being so widely separated.
sequence of Matthew 24 also reveals that counterfeit Christs appear
first, while the Second Coming of Christ follows many other signposts,
and is the last event to unfold. The general condition of false
religion appeared first after Christ's death (even before war, disease
and famine in 70 A.D.), and has increased for over 1900 years. But
remember that Christ's prophetic words refer to both a long-term world condition and to an end-time specific event, at "the end of the age."
The End-Time Fulfillment
The long-term condition of false religion described above will
culminate in the end-time fulfillment of the white horseman of
Revelation 6, in the person of a great False Prophet. From the midst of
many conflicting nominal Christian sects and arguing religious leaders
will emerge a single individual of immense personal power and
magnetism, eclipsing all others. He will rise to prominence in the near
future — the exact year is unknown — just prior to all other cataclysms
at the time of the end. He will signal the beginning of sorrows: the
Notice his description in II
Thessalonians. "And then shall that Wicked One be revealed, whom the
Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with
the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the
working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders ..." (II
This powerful instrument of
Satan will have unusual charisma and power! He will dazzle the world
with miracles, mobilizing vast armies of formerly lukewarm professing
Christians to his sinister service. This "wolf in sheep's clothing"
will appear innocent, sincere, and righteous before men. Only the
"elect" — those already led by God's Spirit and obedient to His laws —
will be able to recognize the true course of these deceitful wonders
This end-time professing
Christian leader will arrogate to himself titles and honors equal to,
and attempting to exceed, those of God Himself! He "exalteth himself
above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God
sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (II
After this "White Horseman"
proclaims himself to be God, his believers will "go forth conquering
and to conquer" in the name of their god, this false prophet. A series
of religious wars dwarfing the Dark Ages Crusades will scourge the
earth. This leads directly into, and overlaps with, the second horseman
of the Apocalypse: war!
All three of the
remaining horsemen, however, have their basis in this world's false
"Christian" religions. So few understand this first horseman — since so
few listen to Christ and His interpretation — but it is the vital key
to the understanding of the remainder of the Book of Revelation.
If you are still part of this world's religious Babylon, this very Book
of Revelation warns you to, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues"
(Rev.18:4). To escape the following three horsemen, come out of the
first horseman: counterfeit Christianity — the root cause of the war,
famine and pestilence prophesied to come on all mankind, during your
A World at War
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not
troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not
yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
. . ." — Matthew 24:6-7
"And when he had opened the second seal, / 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. " — Revelation 6:3-4
As John's graphic heart-stopping vision continues, Jesus opens the
second seal and John sees a red horse. Its rider is given authority to
remove peace from the earth. The absence of peace is war. The red
horseman obviously represents the scourge of war.
Even though Revelation 6:4 clearly interprets itself, further proof is
given in the parallel prophecy of Matthew 24:6-7. In Jesus' own words,
the second horseman represents "wars and rumors of wars."
But hasn't man always had war? To which wars is Christ referring? What
war does the second horseman represent? All war or one specific war?
These questions are answered from your Bible.
First: MANY Wars
Jesus first prophesied a general condition of war on earth that would
continue from His day until the very end of man's government on earth.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars [plural]."
Immediately after giving this warning of many wars, He said, "See that
ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end
is not yet." These many wars, therefore, represent a general condition
of mankind. "Don't let it worry you overmuch," Christ warned. For
nearly 6,000 years, there have been alternating generations of war and
peace: big, small, civil, and uncivil wars.
But the remaining verses of Matthew 24 — and the second horseman of the
Apocalypse — refer to more than brushfire wars. They refer to one
specific, end-time war of great magnitude. It is the first and last war
of its kind: a world war of cataclysmic proportions.
Second: WORLD Wars
After the many wars of Matthew 24:6, the next verse speaks of "nation
rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." This indicates
world war, with one group of allied nations attacking another group of
nations. It means more than "wars and rumors of wars."
The world has already suffered through rounds 1 and 2 of world war, but
neither were of the nuclear world-killing proportions of Matthew 24:22:
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved." This refers to total war, with the annihilation of all mankind
as the probable outcome barring divine intervention.
World War II could not be that war. The Atomic blast at Hiroshima was
only a firecracker compared to today's hydrogen bombs, each with
hundreds and thousands of times the explosive power of this primitive
A-bomb. There was no threat of world "overkill" in 1945 (or ever
before), but there is approximately 150 times world overkill at the
Never before has total
cosmocide — world-death — been at men's fingertips. "For the first time
in history, human beings hold the power to destroy mankind," wrote the
Associated Press in 1970. "There are no precedents in political science
or in history to guide men who command modern power."
Mankind may have "always had war," but never yet on the scale Jesus
Christ predicted in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. Never before has man
had the potential for the total obliteration of human life. And just as
man has always used the weapons in his possession, mankind will use the
nightmarish weapons now in his arsenal: nuclear warheads, laser beams,
chemical and biological warfare, nerve gas, heat-seeking missiles
(called "smart bombs"), and who knows what other "science fiction-fact"
items that may still be classified information in government files
around the earth.
These are the weapons of
the second horseman of the Apocalypse. Notice in Revelation 6:4 that he
has power to take peace from all the earth. This involves world war,
not local wars, civil wars, or even conventional international
conflicts such as Korea or Vietnam. Also notice that this second
horseman has a great sword. This represents the ability to kill
millions, not just the few thousands killed in such "normal" wars.
Finally, notice the specific time and place of the second horseman's grisly ride upon the earth.
World War III
As the first horseman rides forth "conquering and to conquer" in the
name of his false religion, the second horseman — war — is quick on his
heels as that instrument of conquest. Prophecy labels this political
instrument as "The Beast," a future ten-nation alliance which is now
forming in Central Europe.
Included in the
horseman's victims are (as identified in Bible prophecy) the
descendants of the ancient ten tribes of Israel. These represent the
present white English-speaking members of the British Commonwealth of
Nations, the United States, and some of the democracies of Northwestern
Europe. (For proof of this national identity of our peoples, write for
our free book, The United States and the British Commonwealth in
Even today, the political and
military polarization is taking place — power blocs are being formed —
that will eventually clash in the most titanic series of battles in
human history. It will be a war so intense and so destructive that
unless God intervened to forcibly stop it, all of humanity would die.
How destructive will it be? Whole metropolises will be vaporized by
nuclear attack, with tens of millions dying instantly. "Thy cities
shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant" (Jer. 4:6-7).
How many will die? Military experts estimate that about a third of a
nation would be killed by a full-scale nuclear first strike. But more
important than what experts can see, your Bible predicted the exact
same kill ratio some 2500 years ago.
part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they
be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the
sword round about thee" (Ezek. 5:12). This is a direct prophecy of how
many will die as a result of the sword given to the second horseman,
and the famine and pestilence of the third and fourth horsemen of the
next two chapters.
These are frightening
words. But there is no need for the "elect of God" to be frightened.
Christ said to His true followers, "See that ye be not troubled."
Likewise, if all mankind would turn from their wrong ways — of war,
disobedience to God, false religion, vanity, greed, and all that causes
man's wars — in deep heartrending repentance before their Maker, the
blood-red second horseman need never ridel
But mankind gives little indication of wholesale repentance. The second
horseman of the Apocalypse will have to help teach man that lesson
through bitter pain.
Famine Stalks The Earth
". . . And there shall be FAMINES ..." — Matthew 24:7
"And when he had opened the third seal, / heard the third beast say,
Come and see. And / beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on
him had a pair of balances in his hand. And / 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. " — Revelation 6:5-6
as the third horseman appeared on the heels of the second, famine
follows rapidly on the heels of war. Starvation and scarcity are the
natural and immediate results of crop damage, defoliation, contaminated
water supplies, destroyed livestock, and the unusually high food
demands for the sustenance of a standing army — all caused by war.
In Matthew 24, Christ spoke of this general condition
of famine in the context of war. He again used the plural, famines,
referring to many re-occurring instances of famine over the centuries,
increasing at a time just prior to His return.
Famines of the Past
The well-trod path of 1) false religion, leading to 2) war, leading to
3) famine is an oft-repeated chapter of man's sordid past. The latest
repetition of this formula was the India-Pakistan war of December,
1971. Conflicting religions led to conflicting political and social
demands, which led to war, after which famine and disease ran rampant
(aggravated by horrible natural disasters: in this case a typhoon which
killed 500,000). Just previously, another chapter of similar grief was
written in Biafra, where famine killed perhaps millions as the direct
result of war.
This principle of war-caused
famine is described in grisly detail in two parallel chapters of the
Old Testament, Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. The nation Israel was
here warned that if they did not obey God (that is, if they practiced
false religion and neglected God's Commandments) they would be
overtaken by national curses leading to war. Read it in Leviticus 26 of
The New English Bible:
"If after all this
[internal, domestic curses] you have not learnt discipline but still
defy me, I in turn will defy you and scourge you seven times over for
your sins. I will bring war in vengeance upon you ... you shall be
herded into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you
shall be given over to the enemy. I will cut short your daily bread
until ten women can bake your bread in a single oven; they shall dole
it out by weight, and though you eat, you shall not be satisfied.
"If in spite of all this you do not listen to me and still defy me, I
will defy you in anger, and I myself will punish you seven times over
for your sins. Instead of meat you shall eat your sons and daughters"
(Lev. 26:23-28, New English Bible).
prophesied pattern of national decline and despicable deprivation has
been followed many times in history, and it will be followed again!
Less than 40 years after Christ uttered this prophecy of famines, a
Roman war siege on Jerusalem caused such severe famine that even
cannibalism reared its ugly head in the so-called "holy city" (read
Josephus, Wars of the Jews, for the grisly details of this siege).
Throughout the Middle Ages, such war-caused food shortages forced whole
cities periodically into starvation, often followed by the Bubonic
Plague or other diseases. At the very close of the Middle Ages, the
Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was especially ferocious in this regard.
Whole cities were sacked and destroyed, starvation was widespread, and
there was even cannibalism in many instances.
Though such war-caused famines still strike the earth periodically
(note Biafra and India-Pakistan again) a new kind of famine threatens
the Twentieth Century.
Famine in the 1 970's
Despite the occasional war-caused famines, the bulk of humanity faces a
different kind of famine, which is built into their life and society
from birth. It is fueled by the twin problems of the population
explosion and dwindling food supplies in poor lands.
For a complete description of the world's greatest single problem, be
sure to write for our 64-page full-color booklet, Famine — Can We
Survive? It is available free of charge from one of the offices listed
at the end of this booklet. Below is just the briefest summary of the
hunger problem facing mankind in the last one fourth of the Twentieth
The very day you read this — and
repeated each day — 350,000 new babies cry their way onto planet earth.
The tragic fact is that 300,000 of those infants are destined to live
out their brief life in one of the dirt-poor "have-not" nations. During
the same 24-hour period, 150,000 human beings will die. The tragic
footnote to this statistic is that over half of these deaths are
children under five. More than 10,000 of today's deaths are due to
starvation (not enough food), while the majority (about 100,000) are
due in some form to malnutrition (wrong kinds of food).
The net increase every day, then, is 200,000 human beings, a city the
size of Basel, Switzerland or Haifa, Israel. For American readers
(especially Texans), we can picture world population dynamics by saying
that an El Paso is born each day, an Amarillo dies, and the net
increase is a Corpus Christi.
fact, as you can see by the above example, is that people are not dying
fast enough! The net increase among the 2.6 billion poor people of the
world is 2.6% annually, or 67.6 million new people yearly, while the
1.1 billion richer peoples increase by only 1.1%, or 12.1 million new
people each year.
This leaves nearly 80
million new mouths to feed each year (roughly equal to four Canadas!),
mostly in the poor nations. While world food production maintains a
pace of increase roughly equal to population, the unequal distribution
of food increase is the primary problem facing our hungry planet.
While grain crops grew ten percent last year in the seven major rich
exporting nations, grain crops declined or remained level in
impoverished Asia, while gaining only slightly in the poor nations of
the Southern Hemisphere (Latin America and Africa). Food is not being
harvested where it is needed, and the excess food of rich nations
cannot be bought by the poor nations.
the dilemma of food distribution. The rich get richer while the poor
get poorer. And ironically, the rich few within the poor nations
increase their ownership of the rich parts of their land, while the
poor masses have their already poor lot diminished.
Jesus Christ predicted this condition when He said, "And there shall be famines...." But He meant more!
The GREAT Famine
The third horseman of the Apocalypse doesn't primarily refer to the
cyclical famines of the past, or the "structural famines" of the
present, but to a specific Great Famine in the future. Following great
religious confusion and world war, the current "have" nations of today
— the rich few who wallow in the lion's share of the earth's wealth — will have their turn to suffer want and deprivation.
After one third of America and the British Commonwealth are liquidated
in the initial outbreak of war, Eze-kiel 5:12 shows that another one
third will die with the combined ravages of the third and fourth
horsemen, famine and pestilence. These prophecies are yet ahead of us.
The black horseman's future ride will reduce the proud faces of white
America, Europe, and the British Commonwealth into the blackened skin
of starvation such as now afflicts the vast majority of mankind. The
rich few are soon to inherit the lot of the poor majority.
Eventually this Great Famine will spread to all peoples and nations of
earth until mankind turns to God in total surrender. These dire plagues
are allowed by a loving God to teach man obedience. Peoples and nations
will have brought this pain upon themselves, by man-devised religion
and man-devised war. God is only allowing man to reap what he sows, so
that mankind will learn the bitter lesson that sin brings pain! After
man learns this lesson, God will shower down a world of plenty once
again, in the wonderful World Tomorrow.
But first, the fourth horseman must ride.
Death Toll: One Billion
". . . And there shall be .. . pestilences" — Matthew 24:7
"And when he had opened the fourth seal, / heard the voice of the
fourth beast say. Come and see. And / 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." — Revelation 6:7-8
fourth seal is opened, John sees a pale horse. It is not clear from the
context of Revelation 6:8 exactly what this horse represents, but a
clue is found in the word "pale."
The word "pale" is translated from the Greek word chloros. It is the same root word from which we derive the term
"chlorophyll" (a substance which helps make leafy plants green). It
means, in Biblical usage, a pale-green, the sickly yellowish-green
color of disease.
Here is how the word chloro
is rendered in various modern Bible translations: "a pale-green horse"
(Beck), "an ashen horse" (The New American Standard Bible), "a horse
sickly pale" (The New English Bible), "a horse sickly green"
(Phillips), "a pale-colored horse" (Weymouth), "an ashy pale horse"
(The Amplified Bible), and a "livid horse" (Rotherham).
Jesus Christ, the Revelator, fills in the most correct word to
interpret the meaning of this pale green horse: "... and there shall be
.. .pestilences ..." (Matt. 24:7). Pestilences are, by definition,
disease epidemics of world proportion — pandemics!
The LAST Horseman Rides
Almost overlapping the third horseman, worldwide disease epidemics will
strike hard on the heels of famine. Millions more will die, even though
they survived the initial nuclear blasts and the ensuing famines. This
last of the four horsemen will bring the total death toll of all four
to one fourth of mankind (Rev. 6:8). As world population reaches four
billion (by 1975), this death toll represents about one billion human
The only reason for such global
genocide is man's disobedience to God. Notice the parallel prophecy in
Deuteronomy 28, "... if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your
God," warns man's Creator, "The Lord will make the pestilence cling to
you until He has consumed you from off the land, which you go to
possess. The Lord will smite you with consumption [wasting,
degenerative diseases], with fever and inflammation [communicative
diseases] ... and the tumors [cancer], the scurvy [deficiency diseases]
and the itch, of which you cannot be healed [incurable diseases]. The
Lord will smite you with madness [mental illness] and blindness [birth
defects] and dismay of heart and mind [emotional traumas] (Deut. 28:15,
21, 27-28, Amplified Version).
That's quite a complete medical listing of what "pestilence"
actually means in fulfillment! But there is more. God further warns
that, "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of
your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and
your highways shall be desolate" (Lev. 26:22).
This Old Testament prophecy is echoed by the Apostle John in his last
words concerning the four horsemen vision. Man will also be killed, he
said, "with the beasts of the earth" (Rev. 6:8). This refers to
animal-borne epidemics as well as animals literally attacking human
beings for food. In fact the very word "pestilence" is derived from its
animal-borne origin, "pest."
It is a recognized historical fact that the greatest plagues mankind
has ever experienced have been animal-borne. When food is scarce for
man, it is scarce for wild animals too. They not only attack humans for
food, but they also become weak and disease-ridden themselves, carrying
mass killers such as Bubonic Plague ("The Black Death"), or rabies.
Even in modern civilized Western nations, rats, skunks, foxes, bats,
and other rabid animals are often found in close proximity to large
cities. If, in a future time following war and famine, such animals
came in contact with multiple millions of household pets, man would be
literally outnumbered by rabid or ravenous beasts.
Such massive plagues are not now happening in America and other
developed countries due to existing sanitary standards, medical
science, and the organized security measures which separate
"civilization" from wilderness. But the point is that the potential for
epidemic is always there, dormant, latent, ready to strike when such
protective conditions break down.
again the modern examples of disease epidemics in the wake of war in
Biafra and India-Pakistan. Even in the supposedly sanforized United
States, as late as the early Twentieth Century, about 100 Americans
died of Bubonic Plague in and around San Francisco following the
destructive earthquake and fire of 1906. There have been "only" 50
documented cases of Bubonic Plague in the last decade (1962-1972) in
America, but the important point is that the threat continues.
Other nations have not been so fortunate of late. In war-torn Vietnam,
there were 370 confirmed cases of Bubonic Plague and 72 of cholera in
just one six-month period in 1970. During the same period, cholera
killed more than 1,500 in India and Pakistan alone.
But these are just minor warnings of the vast potential for plague in
the future. The only prerequisites are the great famine and war which
must precede epidemics.
But There Is a Way of Escape
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." —
"Hurt not the earth, neither
the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in
their foreheads. . . . After this / beheld, and, lo, a great multitude,
which no man could number .... These are they which came out of great
tribulation." — Revelation 7:3, 9, 14
Hundreds of thousands were caught unprepared in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
when two atomic bombs plummeted out of the sky and cremated the two
Japanese cities on August 6 and 9, 1945. Days previously, the U.S.
Government had warned the Japanese government that the bombs were to
fall, but the message was garbled in the translation. Had any heeded
the warning, they could have escaped — but no one could foresee what
happened from the warnings given. Can we, today, learn from their
Millions of Jews and
other nationalities perished under Hitler's reign of terror. Many could
have read the signs of the times and escaped, but they didn't.
Likewise, the millions of the majority of people will be caught by
surprise when the four horsemen ride over this earth in the near
future. They could escape if their eyes were opened to the Bible and
world trends, but their eyes are closed — willingly or in ignorance.
Other millions will see the signposts of religious deception, war,
famine, and pestilence, but will not know where to turn for escape.
Bomb shelters? A hideout in the mountains or desert? A church? Storing
up food? Fleeing to South America, Switzerland, or the South Seas?
No, in the age of nuclear war, human hideaways offer no hope for
permanent escape. The only escape from the grisly realities on earth is
recourse to the greatest reality in the universe — God!
For the Elect's Sake
Jesus Christ promised protection to His own elect. He promised they
would survive the prophesied holocaust to strike this unsuspecting
world. That is man's only hope for survival — the intervention of God.
Fortunately for mankind, God is not only going to save these "elect,"
but millions of others will be protected "for the elect's sake." God
will stop the death stroke of the fourth horseman before it sweeps all
mankind from off the earth. For the elect's sake, mankind will survive
into the Wonderful World Tomorrow.
elect, Christ said, "fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's
good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). He also promised
that this "elect" would always be on earth. The end-time remnant of
that group would have special strength to preach Christ's Gospel to all the world for a witness (Matt. 24:14).
You need to find out where that Work is being carried on! Why? Because
it is only those having a part in that Work who have any guarantee of
safety. Others may survive after years of ordeal and pain, but the path
of the "elect" is safe and sure.
are those who are the called and chosen, who have truly repented of
their own carnal ways, and have accepted the holy ways of God. They are
the ones who have been made members of the very body of Jesus Christ (I
Cor. 12:13) performing His Work.
end-time "elect" doing God's Work, Jesus says, "I know thy works:
behold, I have set before thee an open door" (Rev. 3:8). This door
refers to a way being opened to preach the Gospel (II Cor. 2:12).
Today, that way is through the mass media of radio, television, the
printing press, and personal evangelism.
And no man can shut it: for thou hast [only] a little strength, and
hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Rev. 3:8). The very
elect would never become corrupted by false doctrines, or be muzzled by
boards of men — they would never deny Christ's name or His doctrines!
As a reward for this faithfulness, Jesus gave this exhilarating good
news to those faithful ones who put the Work of God far above their own
personal desires. He said, "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"
Later in the Book of Revelation,
an entire chapter is devoted to God's loving care for his end-time
Church, the elect. The Church is personified as a woman, God's
betrothed wife. "And to the woman were given two wings of a great
eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where
she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face
of the serpent" (Rev. 12:14).
prophecy tells of an "escape" from terrible war and tribulation
signified by the four horsemen and the events that follow in their
wake. For 3 1/2 years they will be untouched by Satan (the
serpent) and the cataclysmic world at war around them. God promises
miraculous, supernatural, spiritual and physical shelter!
Who Are the "Elect"?
The elect are the end-time remnant of the Church of God and Work of God
on earth. By God's definition, this "remnant of her seed ... keep the
commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev.
12:17). "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep
the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12).
The elect obey God's Ten Commandments! They obey God's will in
everything, and they have the love and faith of Christ. Don't make the
mistake of following the false counterfeit Christianity which may
masquerade as God's "elect" but refuse to obey God's Ten Commandments.
Some that do acknowledge these commands refuse to obey other laws of
Don't confuse any church which has
the name of Christ as being a church that obeys Christ. Don't swallow
mainstream Christianity, which lies exposed as the first horseman of
the Apocalypse. Instead, study what Christ Himself said, study the
Bible's true doctrines (which are in most cases the direct opposite of
men's ideas about God), and search for the one group that obeys all of
God's commands in sincerity and truth.
Believe it or not, that group exists! The "elect" are on earth at this
moment, doing God's Work. A way of escape is available and attainable
If you are one who desires to obey God — and who wants God's protection
in the uncertain times ahead — then here is good news. The Worldwide
Church of God has ministers in all parts of the United States and many
other parts of the world who are ready to counsel you personally and privately, to answer your questions, and to show you the only escape possible.
If you are desirous of seeking answers to your Bible questions from a
qualified and dedicated servant of God, please write and let us know.
Of course these men will not call on you unless you request it. But if
you, of your own volition, desire a private appointment, that's what
these men are there for. Their sincere desire is to help and serve you.
If you do not yet desire personal counsel, be sure to write for further
literature which will show, from your Bible, the way of life which is
pleasing to God and which will protect you from the very real plagues
destined to be unleashed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!
For those who choose to disobey God, these horsemen will not ride just in vision, but in reality.