Revelation 6:5-8

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


Rev 6:5  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.
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.
Rev 6:7  And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
Rev 6:8  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.

Introduction

Once we know the significance of the four beasts, we realize that they symbolize those who are “redeemed… to God… out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” The challenge is now to remember that it is only through these four beasts, that we come to see what is the hidden truth behind these four seals. In other words, it is “by the church” that we are told “Come and see… the hidden things of the spirit.” It is of great significance that we are told ‘The first… second… third… and fourth beast say to us, “Come and see”. It confirms these words of our Lord:

Mat 10:40  He that receiveth you [ the four beasts] receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Luk 10:16  He that heareth you[ the four beasts who say “Come and see.”] heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

So Christ is revealing Himself to mankind by loosing the first four seals of this book which is in “the right hand of the Him that sat on the throne.” But Christ does not Himself say “Come and see”. Instead He sends the four beasts to say to us, “Come and see.” If we do not receive what we see behind these seals, then we are not receiving Christ. If we are given to hear what these beasts show us, then we are hearing Christ. We must try the spirits to see if they are of God. Then we will know whether we are receiving and hearing Christ.

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1Ti 4:4  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Of course these words have a physical application for babes in Christ, but the “meat” from which those very babes command us to abstain, are the experiences which we find we are to live and keep, and which are hidden from the whole world behind the seven seals and behind these first four seals.
Last week we saw that the first beast showed us a white horse hidden behind the first seal. We saw that the removal of these seals by Christ reveal hidden truth which this white horse rider represents. He has come to conquer all the lies that have held us in bondage all our lives, so He has a bow with which to do battle with His spiritual arrows, which typify his teaching and His doctrine. It is His Word and His doctrines with which He carries on this war within us as He brings us out of Egypt:

Num 24:8  God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

How blessed we are that God has spoken these words of comfort to us.
The second horse was a red horse and we saw that the coming of the white horse rider into our lives, necessarily takes away the peace that we once knew in this world. The coming of the conqueror on the white horse causes us to be “hated of all men.” It is the unavoidable consequence of Christ coming into our lives that our enemies become “they of our own household.”
This is the revelation of Jesus Christ in us which is the hidden wisdom behind the second seal. This horse and its rider are also revealed to us by the second beast who says “Come and see.”

The third horse is a black horse

Rev 6:5  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.

The third beast shows us that the revelation of Jesus Christ entails a black horse rider who must come into our lives. We are also told that this black horse rider has a pair of balances in his hand. Why is this part of the revelation of Jesus Christ a black horse, and why is the rider of this horse carrying a pair of balances? What does the color black symbolize? It is important that we remember that this whole Revelation is seen when John looks behind himself to see Christ.
Here is how this color black is used in God’s Word:

Pro 7:6  For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
Pro 7:7  And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
Pro 7:8  Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
Pro 7:9  In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
Pro 7:10  And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

This revelation of Jesus Christ, reveals that we must all come out of Babylon, and this black horse reveals that we must first go into Babylon before we can come out of “that great city where also our Lord was crucified.” It is the coming out of Babylon, and the dying to the flesh that is entailed in that journey, that is symbolized by the death which is the name of this black horse rider. It is “written therein” and it will be “kept” by all who are blessed to see and to know and to hear with spiritual ears the words of this prophecy.

Jer 4:28  For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
Rev 11:8  And t heir dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The words of this black horse in our lives has been spoken, and Christ “will not repent, neither turn back from” the words of this revelation which we must keep, live and observe. It so happens that this revelation requires that we must come to see ourselves as those who have crucified our own Lord in the city of His own people.

Luk 13:33  Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Luk 13:34  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Christ will never gather us under His wings until we see ourselves as those who helped to nail Him to His cross; until we see that we are that city wherein all prophets must die.
Jer 4:28 are words which have “proceeded out of the mouth of God” and we live these words. Our “earth will mourn, and our heavens above will be black.” This is the work of this ‘black horse’ and his rider. This black horse leads up to the seven  trumpets, which culminate in the seven last plagues which also “proceed out of the mouth of God.” We will see this “seven times” referred to later in the book of Leviticus in relation to a famine in the land.  It is all saying the same thing. It is all part of this revelation of Jesus Christ within us.
As we “look behind us” we see that it is spiritual Jerusalem, we ourselves, who have claimed the name of Christ, even as we rejected His doctrines. We have hated and killed our own Lord and have despised His doctrines. This black horse reveals that we have all been lacking eyes that see and ears that hear. It reveals that we ourselves have been “that great city wherein our Lord was crucified.” It is not ‘those people,’ but it is I, “the chief of sinners,” who is so deserving of being “chastised seven times for my sins.”

Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

The only avenue to being the dead bodies of God’s two witnesses lying dead “in the street of that great city,” is to first come to see ourselves as those who have “crucified our Lord” and those witnesses His has sent. We will never do that as long as we see others as more blasphemous and more deserving of God’s wrath than we are. We will all first come to see ourselves as “chief of sinners.” This is the black horse and his rider in our lives.

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

What room is there is such an attitude for a secret rapture to take us out of God’s wrath on  the “chief… of sinners”?
Why are we “chief of sinners?” What brings us to such a sad state of affairs? It is our total ignorance of the heart and mind of our loving heavenly Father and the mind of His Son. It is the black darkness into which we have descended, even as we considered ourselves to be angels of light. It is a famine of the words of Truth.

What is the wheat and the barley?

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.

Here is this “pair of balances.” Here is the meaning of our “bread by weight” as revealed to us in the scriptures. Here is Rev 6:6 in the Old Testament:

Lev 26:26  And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
Lev 26:27  And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:28  Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

The ‘barley’ and the ‘wheat’ are the staples out of which the bread is made. The bread is the Word of God. That Word of God, is of course Christ.

Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

The balance in the hand of the black horse rider and the “voice in the middle of the four beasts” indicate that we look behind us to see that we have lived through a time in our own lives when Christ and His doctrines and Words were in very short supply.

What is the oil and the wine?

The oil and the wine are also types of  the anointing of the spirit of God, and the illumination which is that spirit:

Exo 25:6  Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
Lev 24:2  Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.
Exo 29:40  And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.
Luk 5:36  And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.
Luk 5:37  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
Luk 5:38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

These commodities pertain only to these four beasts and four and twenty elders as those overcomers who have been redeemed from among men and found worthy to sit with Christ in His throne. Truth simply has no place in the lives of those whose very sustenance is their lies and smooth sounding false doctrines.

Num 4:16  And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.

As we saw last week, the “comfortable words” spoken to God’s elect are words which “take peace away from the earth.” Those are words of light to those who have the charge of keeping the lamps of God’s tabernacle burning. But such ‘light’ as that appears as deep darkness to those who are the purveyors of smooth things, purveyors of deceit. All the blessing produced by our severe trials appear as curses to the natural man.

Zec 1:11  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.
Zec 1:13  And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
Zec 1:14  So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Zec 1:15  And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

We have an altar at which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat, because those who serve the tabernacle are those who cannot handle “the oversight of the tabernacle and all that therein is.” Those who serve the tabernacle are those who are “carried about with different and strange doctrines.”

Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

But we have all been carried about by different and strange doctrines. That is the black horse and His rider coming with a pair of balances and with all the symbols of the paucity of Truth. This horse too, must ride through our lives if we are to know the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The fourth horse

Rev 6:7  And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
Rev 6:8  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.

The fourth horse is called “a pale horse” in the King James. But this is the only place in the New Testament where this Greek word ‘chloros’ is translated as ‘pale.’ Every other occurrence of this word is translated with the English word ‘green’. There are only three other verses with this Greek word ‘chloros’ so we will just read them:

Mar 6:39  And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
Rev 8:7  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.
Rev 9:4  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.

Clearly this is a green horse with His rider.

Who is dying?

This rider’s name is Death. Hell (hades, the grave) follows with Death, and this rider whose name is Death is given power over “the fourth part of the earth to kill with sword, hunger, death, and beasts of the earth.” What are we being told. Who is dying and who is doing the killing? We will not understand what this green horse and his rider have to do with the revelation of Jesus Christ if we do not answer these questions. Here are a couple of verses which help us to understand what we are being told about this green horse whose rider’s name is Death.

Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

This fourth seal is revealing Christ to us, just as much as the first seal with the white horse revealed Christ to us. His name is death, not because he is destroying Christ, but because he is destroying the man of sin. Hades, the grave is the abode and destination of all sinful flesh and blood.

Mat 8:21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Mat 8:22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
1Co 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such [ are] they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

It is “the first man Adam… the man of the earth, the earthy,” it is “corruptible… flesh and blood” which is being destroyed by this green horse rider whose name is death. It is the death of our old man which is being revealed to us through out this revelation of Jesus Christ. The death of “the first man Adam” is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Paul makes it clear that being “crucified with Christ ” is a daily progression, and not a past matter of a ten second sinner’s prayer.

1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Here is the result of the work in our lives of this green horse rider whose name is Death:

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

When all of these horses have ridden through our lives, we too, will be dead with Christ and will be dying daily and will be walking in newness of life. This is a “die daily” life- long process which culminates in perfection on the day of resurrection from among the dead.

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.
Luk 13:32  And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

The spiritual significance of the color green

We have a series of studies on the spiritual significance of the colors mentioned in scripture. As always the things that are made teach us about the spiritual things of God (Rom 1:20). I will not go into an in- depth study of the color green at this point, but I will tell you that green is the result of the coming together of the two primary colors, blue and yellow. The color blue in scripture represents the heavens. The color yellow typifies our dying flesh. For the purpose of better understanding this green horse we will only consider the conclusion of that study.

“Green is positive inasmuch as the blue is performing its irresistible work in the flesh as it conforms the actions of this clay vessel to the actions of Christ.

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world [ yellow]: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind [ blue], that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

But let’s close this part of our study of this color with the understanding imparted to us in our opening verse:

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Green is not blue, it is rather blue as it works with yellow. Green is weak and sickly flesh as it is being worked with and eventually destroyed by the pure, fiery, clean burning, blue flame of the Word of God. “You cannot do the things you would” but “Christ in you” will do the things he would.

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Green represents our flesh as it is being conquered by and destroyed by the spirit. That is why we are told, “ his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” As Christ is revealed in us our old man dies, and our new man grows and prospers.

Joh 3:30  He [ Christ] must increase, but I [ the flesh] must decrease.

These seven seals lead up to and encompass the seven trumpets. The seven trumpets lead up to and encompass the seven last plagues of God on those things in our lives which defend the flesh and attempt, in any way possible,  to keep us from seeing the truth of these words:

Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

If ‘nothing good dwells in our flesh,’ then what does dwell within our flesh? The answer to that question is crystal clear in scripture:

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Sin dwells in our flesh. Let no one tell you otherwise. Flesh misses the mark of the resurrected spiritual body for which our journey in this body of “sinful flesh” was designed to bring us. Sinful flesh is but a necessary evil to get to the end of that journey.

Jer 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was [ deliberately] marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

But to make that journey this body of sinful flesh and blood must “decrease… [ and] die daily” in order for Christ in us to “increase… [ and] “destroy the man of sin with the brightness of His coming.”

Joh 3:30  He [ Christ] must increase, but I [ the flesh] must decrease.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, a nd shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Our Lord and His words and His doctrines are “the spirit of His mouth,” and they are “the brightness of His coming.” Paul poses the question:

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

“His name that sat there on is death.” But it is Christ who is bringing death to our old man. So Paul answers his own question:

Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

“His name that sat on him was Death, and Hell [ hades, the grave] followed with him.” This is the work in our lives of the green horse. It is the work of the spirit of Christ working in us day by day to destroy the old man and replace him with the new man.

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The instruments used by God to accomplish His ends

Now let’s notice the tools used to accomplish this end:

Rev 6:8 (b) 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.

Why is power given to Death and Hell over only “the fourth part of the earth?” Why is it not the whole earth all at one time? The reason we see various fractions used throughout this prophecy is that this to tell us that this revelation is not a simple matter of a ten second “sinner’s prayer.” It is “a fourth part of the earth” to tell us that “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” God is not dishonest with us. He tells us all up front that this is a “far journey” for “a long time,” but culminating in a day of reckoning, when we will all give an accounting of what we have done with what we were given.

Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

It is during this time that the old man is being destroyed with the brightness of the coming of the new man. It is during this time that all the tools needed to try these servants are utilized. The four tools mentioned as being given to this green horse rider are the sword, hunger, death and beasts of the earth.

What is the sword?

The sword, as we know, is the ever present white horse rider with a bow. Later in this prophecy we read this about this same white horse rider:

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

So the sword used to bring death to our old man is “The word of God.” It is Christ and His words and His doctrines within us.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

What is hunger?

Our hunger which destroys our old man is the exact same thing as the sword of the spirit. It is our hunger for the word of God. A deep and sincere hunger for the unvarnished Truth of God’s word will destroy the man of sin who sits on the throne of our hearts and minds. As long as we are in that great city wherein our Lord was crucified we are actually starving to death, whether we realize it or not.

Amo 8:11  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

This is the hunger that brings all of God’s prodigal children back to him. This is the hunger which brings death to the first Adam, our old man.

Luk 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luk 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Luk 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

This story of the prodigal son is the perfect explanation of the work of this green horse rider in our lives. Our old man is destroyed by the hunger we are brought to when we finally see ourselves as those who have joined ourselves to the citizens of Babylon, and we see ourselves for what we are doing, “feeding swine,’ a swine’s diet. Only then do we realize that we are in “a mighty famine” and are “perishing with hunger.”

Amo 8:11  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

What is death?

We have discussed this topic when we discussed the spiritual significance of the color green. This death is not the death of Christ in us. This is the death of all the false doctrines within us which withstand the words and doctrines of Christ. This death is the death of our old man and the nourishment and growth of our new man.

Joh 3:30  He [ Christ, the new man] must increase, but I [ the flesh, the old man] must decrease.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

What are ‘the beasts of the earth?’

If we are consistent and we remember that the ‘earth’ is God’s own people who rebel against his Words and His doctrines, then how can we say that those who rebel against God are used by God to destroy our old man? That is as easy as seeing that the giants in our land become food for us:

Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
Num 14:10  But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
Num 14:11  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

‘The giants in the land’ were never as much of a problem for the nation of Israel, as was their own lack of faith. It was the lack of faith of “the beasts of the earth,” God’s own people rebelling against His rule over them, that plagued Israel the most. But as only God can, our own lack of faith is turned into “the trial of our faith.” As such it becomes “bread for us” and it becomes “more precious than gold” because it is used by God to destroy the old man in us “with the beasts of the earth.”
King David and our Lord himself were destroyed by “the beasts of the earth.” King David’s destruction was led by the defection of his most trusted military adviser, and Christ’s was by His own trusted treasurer and one of His 12 apostles. They were “beasts of the earth” who were used by God to destroy our old man within. Until we see ourselves as beasts, this green horse who destroys us with death and beasts of the earth will never yet have made his appointed rounds through our lives.

Ecc 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

The destruction of our old man by brute beasts are comforting words to those who know and appreciate the mind of God and Christ:

2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

It is our own brute beasts that are “made to be taken and destroyed… and to utterly perish in their own corruption.” We are all crying out with the apostle Paul: 

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

“The body of this death” is the death that is inherent in our own flesh as a ‘beast of the earth.’

Summary

Zec 6 speaks again of the same four horses mentioned in Zechariah one:

Zec 6:1  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.
Zec 6:2  In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
Zec 6:3  And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
Zec 6:4  Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
Zec 6:5  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.
Zec 6:6  The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and t he white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.
Zec 6:7  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.
Zec 6:8  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.

These are the same four horses with the same colors doing the same things we saw in chapter one. But here we are told, line upon line, that they are pulling chariots from between two mountains of brass, the Biblical, metalic figure for the best the flesh has to offer. We are also informed in this chapter, precept upon precept, that these four horses are “the four spirits of the heavens”. We know what and where heaven is. In other words, it is clear that all of this, the good and the evil, is taking place within those in whom the revelation of Jesus Christ is taking place. These four horsemen of Rev 6 are “the four spirits of the heaven” of Zec 6:5. These four horses are the whole of the spirits of the heavens. Just as the “seven spirits of God,” are the complete spirit of God. See the series on The Spiritual Significance Of Numbers In Scripture.

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

These four chariots, horses and riders, are one and all the work of one Christ as He rides through our lives, burning out whatever is in us that will burn, and destroying our old man “with the brightness of His coming.”

2Th 2:8  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.

In this study we have seen that the opening of the third and fourth seals have shown us, “line upon line and precept upon precept,” a black and a green horse with a rider on each horse. We have seen that the scriptures use the powerful horse to symbolize the powerful war in which we must be engaged if God has seen fit to choose us to take part in, and to fight that war.
The loosing of every seal is essential in some way to the revelation of Jesus Christ. We have seen that this black horse represents the total darkness and the absence of light and the total perversion of the word of God which is characteristic of our Babylonian old man within us. This black horse rider comes with a pair of scales and symbolizes the spiritual famine and the state of spiritual starvation that is our lot as a Babylonian prodigal son.

Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Luk 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

The wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, one and all symbolize the Word of God, and His anointing, which are absent from us while we live in the darkness and the starvation that is this black horse rider.

Isa 3:1  For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

So once again it is the Lord Himself who takes away the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water, the wheat, the barley and the wine. As counterintuitive as this may seem, this black horse rider is an essential part of the revelation of Jesus Christ which is “written therein” and must therefore be “kept” and lived out by all who would know God and His Son.
We have seen that the green horse is green because he, too, must ride through our life representing our dying flesh which the scriptures compare to green grass.

1Pe 1:24  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

‘The grass withers and the flower thereof falls away’, is just another way of saying “and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death…” We have seen the scriptures which show us that “the sword, hunger, death, and the beasts of the earth” are, one and all, the work of Christ and His Words, destroying the beast within and the old man within as He Himself prospers and claims His rightful place upon His throne in our hearts and minds.
This is the revelation of Jesus Christ through the agency of the four beats which are in the midst of the throne of God. This is what we are shown as essential to the revelation of Jesus Christ in us when the four beasts say to us “come and see.” This is what is revealed through the loosing of the first four seals to those who have been given eyes that see “the things of the spirit” (1Co 2:13-14).
Next week, Lord willing, we will see what we learn when Christ opens the fifth seal. We will learn what it means to be “under the altar” and what it means to have “the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  Lord willing we will also discover what is symbolized by the great earthquake, what are the heavenly signs, and what are the effects upon our earth by the revelation of the things which are hidden beneath and behind that sixth seal. It is under this seal that we learn that there are many nations with many kings and great men and rich men and chief captains and mighty men and also bond men and free men, all within us and all hidden, behind and beneath this sixth seal.
Here is what we will be dealing with:

Rev 6:9  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:
Rev 6:10  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?
Rev 6:11  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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Rev 6:12  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;
Rev 6:13  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.
Rev 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
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;
Rev 6:16  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:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Other related posts