By John J. Blanchard
February 1, 2014
Good morning once again, brethren.
Do things seem a little crazy and strange around the world to you? They sure do to me. I am speaking in generalities, so I am not going to go through the details. Some of the details of what’s going on are too horrible to talk about anyway. But as we look at the news, it seems like nations are in chaos and crisis around the world. If you watch the news closely, it almost appears like the world order seems to be breaking down. Something seems to be changing. There are a lot of riots and discontent around the world. There are a number of civil wars taking place. There is a lot less respect for law and order in the supposed developed nations of the world.
There are other aspects of the world that are troubling like economic turmoil. There are a number of debt bombs around the world ready to go off, if you follow economics at all. It seems as if the world has tried to print their way out of their problems with more and more money but simply borrow from Peter to pay Paul making the debt situation worse. There is a lot of fear today about economic collapse and the unemployment that would run rampant after that. There would be foreclosures like what we have been through already. As a matter of fact, on Friday I heard on the radio that this month (January that just ended) was the worst month for the stock markets around the world since 2008. We remember what happened right after that in 2008. That’s when the supposed “great recession” started.
Whether it’s in government, politics, corporate, or individual scams that people are doing, it seems like corruption is rampant. There is always an investigation. Have you noticed that? So and so is getting investigated. This outfit is getting investigated. That senator or that congressman is getting investigated. It’s a constant stream of investigations. They never seem to get anywhere or get anything done, but everybody is getting investigated, it appears.
As I walk around whether I am at a mall or some sort of public venue, I see weird behavior and strange ways that people dress and act. Just yesterday I was getting a coffee at a coffee shop. There was a young man who, from our point of view when you get to be our age, was in the prime of life. He looked so dismal. I have seen a lot of hardware on kids today such as the different earrings and bars and that sort of thing. He literally had about a four inch chain hanging from two connecting points on his lower lip. It hung down to as far as his chin. I have seen bulls where you have a ring. I thought this was so strange. He didn’t look happy. He obviously chose to have that done, but it didn’t seem to be making him happy. He looked very depressed.
Young people, and not just kids, but the younger set of people in their 30s and 40s seem so depressed and somewhat withdrawn. Often they are antisocial. What I mean by that is they are focusing on their digital gadgets rather than people. They are more involved with things than with people. I see a lot of this strange behavior.
Of course, when you follow the news, there is a lot of depressing and senseless cruelty and violence around the world. Kids are killing kids in school! We never had that when I was young. My parents were never afraid to send us to school. The worst thing that might happen was a fist fight after school between a couple guys who were upset. You never worried about another student coming in with an automatic weapon and shooting people. That never entered our minds.
In so many areas of the world terrorists are killing innocent people. In a few days we are supposed to be having the winter Olympics, which happen once every four years where the world comes together to celebrate sports and to celebrate human achievement. Apparently the Russians have 100,000 security personnel around Sochi to try and protect the Olympics from catastrophe in a terrorist attack! The athletes are young people competing to help the world come together and to show what humans can achieve.
It just seems crazy right now. The problems seem to defy solution. People around the world are clamoring for answers. We see the demonstrations in the Ukraine and in various other places. Thailand comes to mind. There are a lot of people demanding answers. They want their situations fixed. No one seems to have any decent answers. There are so many problems that it defies solutions.
THERE ARE PROBLEMS, BUT IT HAS BEEN WORSE
The first thing I want to do today is put everything in perspective. There is that saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It helps sometimes to back off from the trees and look at the overall forest and think about things for a moment. There is really nothing new under the sun. Man has always lived in despair, as they say, lives of quiet desperation.
Some things are worse than ever. When it comes to technology, I do believe that there are more negative things that you can get into with technology. But as far as how bad the world is, think about this for a moment, and ask yourself a couple of questions. Would you rather be alive today with the problems we are facing now, or be entering 1939 and be living in Europe or any of the places that Japan invaded in World War II? Knowing what you know now and knowing what happened during the Second World War, would you trade places with those people? Would you rather be going through the Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s leading up to World War II? Would you rather be alive in the Great War (World War I) and the pandemic flu epidemic that took place after the war? Literally whole towns were dying. Would you rather be alive brother fighting brother on the front lines in the Civil War? It is still the most destructive war the United States has ever fought, and more Americans died in that war than all the wars that we fought put together! Would you rather go back a little farther in history and be one of those little towns that you knew Genghis Khan and the Mongol hordes were headed toward when he would wipe out whole towns? The plague of the Black Death hit Europe three or four times, wiping out tens of millions of people.
Really things aren’t that bad. They are serious. They are very confusing today. But we are not facing some of the really horrible things that have taken place in the world in the past. There is another saying, “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.” I really think most of us would take the set of problems we are dealing with and not go back and relive the past.
That is my jumping off point for today’s study.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE
We need to know who the devils are that are causing our problems. What is the source of our trouble? Why is it so confusing? Why are people so desperate and upset? Revelation, as the name indicates, reveals it to us. The Book of Revelation reveals these things, and I want to start by turning to Revelation chapter 6. Turn to the Book of Revelation chapter 6. Some of you probably already know where I am headed there. We know what’s in Revelation chapter 6: the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Let’s read beginning in Revelation 6, verse 1: “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”
These are false beliefs and false dogmas that cause people to really hate each other over beliefs.
Verse 3 of Revelation 6: “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”
Really that’s one of the most distressing things we see around the world today. There is a lack of peace. Even in places we used to think were very secure like schools, shopping malls, or athletic events like the Boston Marathon where people have come together to have a good time, then disaster strikes. Peace really doesn’t exist. You could be anywhere at any time, and something terrible could go wrong. That is the second seal—the second horseman. It takes peace from the earth, causing war and violence.
Going to verse 5: “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying. ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’”
A denarius back in the day was a day’s wages for the average working person, so we are speaking of physical famine here. I do believe it is also a spiritual famine. We could examine that and perhaps in the future we will examine that once again, but we are talking about a food famine and a famine of the word. Looking at a food famine, there have always been famines. There is a potential problem right now for the food supply, and it’s one of the things that is getting people upset because the Western United States is suffering a terrific drought. They have it on the news every night. It turns out that in California, where the drought is really serious, they produce one-third of our fruit and vegetable crop. There is always something to worry about, and famine is definitely one of them.
Continuing in verse 7 of Revelation 6: “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature, saying, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
It includes death by any other source here.
We have these four horsemen of the Apocalypse. They have certainly caused a lot of sorrow, anxiety, and suffering over the years. These are not four horsemen that are released at the very end time to cause a great tribulation. They have been out there causing pain, suffering, sorrow, and anxiety for a long time. The problem is they are limited to working with influence, and too many people have allowed them to work in them. In other words, people are cooperating with them, like the few that I mentioned like Genghis Khan. They have allowed those influences into them and them to influence others, and it could be a very powerful influence. We know what Adolph Hitler was able to do, letting demonic influence into him and then spreading that out to a nation that plunged all of Europe into the worst war they have ever seen.
Let’s turn to Luke chapter 21 because in Luke 21 it talks about the history of suffering throughout the Christian dispensation since the time of Christ. Too many people read Luke 21 and Matthew 24 and just focus on the very end of time. These troubles have been around ever since Christ was here, and He was prophesying of that.
We are turning to Luke chapter 21 where Christ is talking to His disciples. Luke 21, verse 20: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
We have discussed that in the past and how that was the fulfillment of prophecies of the Old Testament Church (the old ecclesia), and it was coming to a completion when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies and destroyed. This terrible tribulation upon those people took place back in 70 A.D.
Continuing in verse 23 of Luke 21: “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
SIGNS AND WONDERS
We have seen physical Jerusalem trampled.
Verse 25: “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
This has been taking place ever since Christ left this earth. Too many people are focused on these verses and say this is where God talks about the very end-time tribulation. That’s not true. If you were alive in Jerusalem back in 70 A.D., there were people dropping dead just from fear because it was such a horrible thing that happened to the Jewish people. And you have had men’s hearts failing because of fear and the expectation of those things that are coming all through this whole last 2,000 years. The distress among nations depends on when you are alive. The nations have always been in distress. Horrible things have happened and horrible things from man to man have been done to one another.
It says, because of that, the sea and the waves will be roaring. That is some of what we are seeing today, too. Christ talked about His disciples being fishermen in the sea bringing in the fish. The sea of mankind is what’s being spoken of here. We even use that expression today. Men that are roaring in fear and roaring in riots and chaos is something that happens when they are in distress, whether it’s from war, political upset, or some terrible economic calamity with people demanding results. This is the roaring of the waves and the roaring of the people. That’s what’s happening around the world today. It causes anxiety to watch the news seeing tens of thousands of people demonstrating or getting killed in Tahrir Square because they want rights or whatever it may happen to be. It’s terrifying. It would be even scarier to be there and be involved in it.
It is also spoken of here that the sun would be darkened and the powers of heaven would be shaken. We know that the sun pictures Jesus Christ and the moon pictures His Church and that the stars are angels. We have lots of literature and lots of sermons about that if you need more information, because that’s not what I want to get into right now. There have been lots of signs if you knew what to watch for. Unfortunately, the world at large does not know what to watch for, and they are quite terrified by the things that are going on.
We have this happening all this time, and the signs are there that are physical. You can see the signs of the four horsemen at work. That’s the wars, the lack of peace, and the people dying of famine in the Sudan. Those are the signs that the four horsemen are still alive and doing very well. But the spiritual signs of the sun and the moon and stars are much harder to discern, and one really needs to be taught what to look for.
I want to focus for just a minute on this perplexity among nations because really what’s going on in the world is people are very confused. The certainty of life is gone. When your government is collapsing or your currency is collapsing or whatever the case maybe that is shaking your country and you have lost hope, that is terrifying. It’s very confusing, and who are you going to turn to for the answer? For the last maybe 75 or 100 years the world has turned to England or to the United States, to the developed nations, and said, help us out here! And now they seem impotent! They don’t seem to have the answers. When you look at the debts of the free world, their debts are so large, they don’t have the money to throw around like they used to. I think there are a lot of people in the world who are saying, wait a minute! There’s no one left to turn to! What do we do now when we are in a jam? What do we do now?
God knows. He knew this time would come and that people would be perplexed. He knows exactly how to get us out of the situation that we are in. All we are seeing is something that has recurred through history and over and over again, except for one difference. Today is different, and the result will be different because of the time we are involved in. We are at the time of the end. We are alive when Jesus Christ is getting ready to return. The Father will send Him in a moment that we do not expect. That’s why I often say, if you’re waiting for most of the world to get destroyed before Christ returns and you’re waiting for mountains to get laid flat, then you are looking for the wrong signs and wonders. You don’t understand the signs and wonders of the Bible.
God is going to save this earth. It is Satan who wants to destroy the earth, and he is using these four horsemen of the Apocalypse to do it. I want to focus on some of the troops that these four horsemen use. I want to go to Revelation chapter 9 because Revelation, like I said earlier, really is to reveal things to us. It is to help us understand, so we can have confidence in God, in His plan, and in His power and the fact that He knew all along what was going to happen.
200 MILLION DEMONS
Turn to Revelation 9, verse 13: “Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and the day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.”
This Euphrates is not the physical Euphrates that you see in the Middle East. We are talking about a spiritual river here. There again, if you don’t understand that, you need to get some help and understand the signs for the Bible. There are four angels who are restraining this river. If you look, the Euphrates is flowing, so there are not four angels at the physical river holding it back right now.
Continuing in verse 15 of Revelation 9: “So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and the day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.
A lot of people have tried to explain this in just physical terms. We have heard them described as helicopters spewing out death. We have heard them described as a 200 million man army from Asia, descending upon Europe in the Middle East. None of those make sense as you will see here in just a moment.
Verse 18 of Revelation 9: “By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
We get the picture of people not turning from sin (from idol worship), so God has allowed this 200 million man horsemen army to wreak havoc around the world. They are like serpents in their mouths and their tails. They have heads from their tails like serpents. These are obviously demon beings. If you back up to the woe just ahead of this one in verse 9, you will see that they come from the same place as these horsemen.
Verse 9 of Revelation 9: “And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.”
This is a very similar type of being. These particular ones had a little different job that we don’t want to get into today, but they come from the same source.
Continue in verse 11 of Revelation 9: “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon [that’s Satan].” One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.”
We see these are the beings that come out of the bottomless pit. There are no helicopters in the bottomless pit. There are no Asians in the bottomless pit. The bottomless pit is where the demons dwell.
These are 200 million demons released at a specific time to wreak havoc upon mankind. They have been plaguing us for a long time and not just waiting for the end of the age. Unfortunately, since the Garden of Eden, they have overwhelmed mankind with evil influence. They have indeed attacked Christianity as well and have done a marvelous job, causing Christians to turn on Christians. In many cases, Christians have led the world off into war and various things, so obviously these are very potent forces here.
SATAN INFLUENCES PEOPLE
If you turn to Ephesians chapter 2, we are told a little bit about how they do it. Go to Ephesians chapter 2. They use influence as I mentioned earlier. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse influence mankind. They are not out there actually doing the killing themselves. Ephesians 2, starting in verse 1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…”
We see that once we are called into the truth, we should be out of the influence of Satan and the demon world, but Satan is called the prince of the power of the air. Just like a radio or a television or the Internet in which you can tune into his wavelength and receive anything that he has to broadcast to you, that’s how he operates. He operates in the human mind. That is how he stirred up Adolph Hitler for instance or Genghis Khan. That’s how he stirs up various doctrines, religions, and faiths that have no problem killing people. It is really influence in the human mind, but we have to let it in. We have to let it influence us. For the unfortunate world, they don’t understand this. Therefore they are very easy to fall victim to it. Human beings in the Church should know better.
It’s very difficult today because today the one difference we do have is Satan has more ways to influence us through the air than ever before. Because of technology, he has access to our minds through everything from television, movies, music, video games, and the Internet. He has ways to get into the human mind that he never had before, and he is using it to a great effect! Hence, we have children who are involved with these games and entertainment sources who are killing other children in our schools. They literally get taken over by this horrible being or one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they don’t know it’s happening to them. They get so depressed and so despondent and so uncaring about their fellow human beings that they can literally kill as many of their schoolmates or innocent people has possible. They never have a shred of compassion on them. This is not normal human behavior. This is Satan and the four horsemen working in people.
The world really does need to learn how to fight these beings. They need to know that they exist. They need to know how they operate. Christians should know because it is in the word of God, but we have failed miserably at using the word of God and the power that God has available to us to fight these beings. We are not doing very well at this time.
If we look at various Christian denominations, we can see all kinds of problems because they are letting Satan in through these very same devices. It is having a terrible effect on our young people. Most Christians should understand that we go to Ephesians chapter 6 to learn how to fight the demon world. Let’s turn to Ephesians chapter 6, and we will begin in verse 10.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
Ephesians 6, verse 10: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
We are literally fighting a spirit world that influences human beings. That’s why we can always get rid of a tyrant like Adolph Hitler, and he is quickly replaced by another one over and over! We can lock up a terrible killer and put him behind bars, and there is always another one or two or three to replace him because Satan continues to work through human beings. If they cooperate with him, they are capable of any kind of misdeed. We need to fight with spiritual weaponry. Just putting people behind bars or killing tyrants doesn’t solve the problem. The problem is still there because the four horsemen are still there.
Continuing in verse 13 of Ephesians 6: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
All the things that he tries to put into our mind and heart to do, you will be able to quench it.
Verse 17: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…”
We need the word of God living and dwelling in us, and we need to know how to use that sword. We need to have a helmet on, just like a soldier has a helmet that is protecting his head from bullets and shrapnel. In our case, it’s protecting our minds and our hearts from Satan’s influence. We need to put on this armor and fight with these weapons if we are to succeed against the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. We cannot shoot them out of the air. We cannot knock them off their horse with any physical tool available or any physical weapon.
Continuing in verse 18 of Ephesians 6: “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
That’s what needs to be done by Christians in general and by the Church. We need to take these tools. Take the truth of God—the word of God—and speak boldly to show the world how to do battle with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. That’s what we are trying to do this very day!
We want the world to receive the spiritual help that they need to really control the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The world really needs to control the wavelengths and the power of Satan in the air that affects mankind. They need to do this with the good old fashioned tools of repentance, baptism, and reception of the Holy Spirit. Christ gave us the instructions. He showed us in His word what to do.
Turn to Matthew chapter 28, and we will begin in verse 16: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”
He is with us even to our very time!
Christ gave instructions to go baptize the world. Obviously that was not possible back in His day. That’s why if you went to Acts chapter 1 and read that, He said there is an order to this. We start at Jerusalem and then Galilee and then Samaria and then out to the whole world. Until technology was available (the same technology that Satan uses to hurt mankind), we couldn’t reach the whole world with the printed word of God or preach to the whole world like we can today. This message that God has for the end of the age on how to fight the four horsemen can go out with incredible speed when God is ready to use technology for His purposes. That’s coming!
THE BREATH OF GOD
Now let’s go to Acts chapter 2. Of course, we are talking about Pentecost here. It was the first Pentecost after Christ was resurrected. We know the story about the thousands that were baptized and the signs that were in the sun and the moon. We have talked about that here in chapter 2, so we won’t talk about that today. When the sun went dark, that’s when Jesus Christ died. The moon getting covered with blood was the Church getting the blood of Christ upon it. I want to focus on verses 1-4.
Acts 2, verse 1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
It takes wind going into our lungs and through exhaling over our voice box so we can speak. To speak divine things, you must have divine wind. You must have God’s breath within you to speak the divine truth.
If you go back to John chapter 20, you will see something that Christ did to help them understand what was about to happen to them soon. After His resurrection but before Pentecost we read this in John 20, verse 19: “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’”
God was showing them something very powerful here. They didn’t receive the Holy Spirit until a few days later on Pentecost, but He was saying, when you hear that wind, that’s My breath. Just as you need breath to speak, you will be able to utter spiritual things. He breathed on them, therefore they knew on that first Pentecost fulfilled in Acts chapter 2 that the wind was God’s breath. Then they were able to go out and preach amazing truths of God in miraculous ways!
II Timothy calls the word of God God’s breath. Turn to II Timothy chapter 3, verse 16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
That expression “all Scripture is given by inspiration” means God breathed. The Bible is the word of God. It is the breath of God. When that becomes alive in us like it says in Hebrews chapter 3, it’s a living and active thing. It is an active sword. We can use it to fend off Satan. The Bible is that powerful.
If you back up in the same chapter to verse 10, the proof is right there. Paul says this speaking of Timothy in II Timothy 3, verse 10: “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
It is a knowledge of the Scriptures and the use of the sword of God and the utilization of the breath of God that allows us to fight false doctrine. False doctrine leads to these wars that are caused by crazy feelings that passions arouse within people to not tolerate anybody else. The word of God allows people to have the strength of God to fight against the anger and the bitterness that can rise up in our hearts to cause us to hurt or to kill our fellow man. This is how we defeat the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. We defeat them with the word of God—with His truth.
THE INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE
We know because of where we are in time, soon there will be an innumerable multitude that stands before God with clean garments. They are spoken of in Revelation 7, so let’s turn there. As I have said twice already, Revelation is to help us reveal and not to cause confusion. Too many people think Revelation is something that can’t be understood. It’s there to help us, but we need Christ’s inspiration in our minds and hearts to grasp it.
Revelation chapter 7 beginning in verse 9 talks about this innumerable multitude: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
They are talking about salvation here and an innumerable multitude in the world.
Verse 11 of Revelation 7: “All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’”
“Great” means the literal number of people being faced with baptism and repentance. Then they go into a tribulation to hold on to the truth, just like the Church has had to do since Christ was here. It is not talking about the death of the world. You can’t gain salvation if you are dead! You need to be alive, and you need to be able to understand what you are doing. You need to get baptized. You need to repent. You need to receive the Holy Spirit.
Continuing now in verse 15 of Revelation 7: “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Christ will lead them to the fountains of waters which are the people who have the truth. He says, I am a river of life. Remember it says that in John 7? I am a river of life. He who follows Me will become a spring of living water. We have Christ leading people to learn the truth from people who obviously have the truth and can help them with repentance and baptism. Once they have repented and been baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, they can start fighting the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Turn to Luke chapter 10. The same thing that God has made available to those who are serious-minded Christians who are really trying to observe God’s laws and obey Him, he offers the same promise that He tells His disciples in Luke chapter 10.
Please turn to Luke chapter 10. After He had sent 70 men out in pairs to spread the gospel, they came back to him, and here they are talking to Jesus Christ in Luke 10, verse 17: “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’”
And so it should be with a Christian who has properly repented, been baptized, and received the Holy Spirit. They are to have power over the scorpions and the serpents! That is exactly how those horsemen were described as when coming out of the bottomless pit! They were stinging like scorpions and serpents, so we are talking about spiritual warfare here and the tools to wage it, as we saw in Ephesians chapter 6.
BLOOD TO THE HORSES’ BRIDLES
Now let’s turn to a very interesting Scripture that many people get confused about and are terrified of, and that’s in Revelation chapter 14. I am going to start reading in Revelation 14, verse 17: “Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’ So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”
Many people look at this Scripture and are terrified! They don’t want to look at it, and they don’t want to think about it because they are under the impression that Jesus Christ is literally going to squeeze people to death and cause a river of blood! But if you understood the signs that we are to look for and the signs God will bring about to come to pass in the future, you would see this is a very hopeful verse for the innumerable multitude! It is by the blood of the Lamb that they are converted.
Christ literally wants to turn water (His truth—the water of the word) into blood! It’s a miracle. It’s what He does. He converts water into blood at baptism! When a person is baptized and immersed in water, that becomes the blood of Christ. And we are all in a vineyard of one sort or another. If we are in God’s vineyard, we are in the Church. If we are in a vineyard of the earth, we are living under Satan’s influence. God says, when I am ready and I take matters into My own hands when things have run their course and the grapes are fully ripe, I will use My wrath to pressure mankind into knowing the truth and being converted.
That word “wrath” here is thumos (#2372, Strong’s Concordance, 1995) which means passion, as if breathing hard. The love of God will be so powerful that instead of breathing on twelve men or breathing on 120 like at Pentecost, He is going to breathe hard upon the whole world! He will push His truth into their minds and hearts, giving them the tools to fight the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Christ doesn’t want to destroy us or the world. He created the world and said it is good. It is Satan who is the destroyer. His name is Apollyon which means destroyer. Christ said, when I put the world through this test, will they accept My word? Will they accept My Holy Spirit? Will they repent and be baptized? All who do will become like a river of blood covering the earth, and it will reach to the horses’ bridle.
The word “bridles” here is chalinos in the Greek (#5469, Strong’s, 1995) which means a curb or a headstall. Figuratively it means as curbing the spirit. (You can look it up yourself.) Being a farmer and cattleman as I am and working with cattle, I know that if you use a curb (a bit that you put in a horse’s mouth) or a headstall on an animal, you can gain total control of that animal. I have seen large bulls forced down a narrow path to a chute where they had no place to go but straight ahead. That’s what God is going to do! People are going to have no place to go except to the truth. Then once they get down that narrow chute and that headstall clamps around the neck, I don’t care how powerful that bull is, you have gained control of his head and you have gained control of his body. That’s what we are being shown here.
When enough people in the world accept the blood of Christ, are baptized, receive the Holy Spirit, and can battle these horsemen, it is as if you put a bit in a horse’s mouth or put a large bull in a headstall.
Furthermore, the word chalinos comes from the word chalao (#5465, Strong’s, 1995) which means to lower as into a void. What was the void they came out of? It was the bottomless pit. When we accept the blood of Christ and receive the tools to fight these four horsemen and these 200 million horsemen running amuck on the earth, as we gain control and mastery of our thoughts and our actions, we literally force that demon who has plagued us or those demons who have bothered us back down into the bottomless pit. Thereby we gain the power to trample on serpents and scorpions! That’s where they belong. That’s where they will all end up.
TAKE CONTROL OF THE DEMONS
It’s an amazing thing to understand and to ask God for the strength. It doesn’t matter what you have had in the past in your life or what mistakes you have made. It doesn’t matter what sins you have committed. Once you repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, you can trample on scorpions and serpents. You can shove the demons that have bothered you back into the bottomless pit. That’s what Christ told His disciples. When that way is opened up for all mankind, all mankind will be able to do that!
The conclusion is that peace is coming to this world, and that peace can enter your life now. When Christ breathed on the apostles, he said, My peace be with you. You can have it, but you have to want it. You have to want it. You have to be willing to follow Christ’s instructions. Then with all your might you have to try to live it. Whenever you slip up, ask for the blood of Christ to cover your sin.
If you need more information on the signs and wonders or the tools that can help you beat the demons in your life, we are willing to help you. Put the four horsemen in their place, locking them in a headstall. Put bridles on their mouths, and pull on them to get control. We are willing to help you see these things. You must take salvation into your own hands. Your calling and election is something that you have to work out with God, but we are here to help you in any way that we can.
Until next time, greetings from the Great Lakes Church of God.