BILLY GRAHAM PUBLISHED A BOOK A FEW MONTHS AGO ON THE FOUR HORSE RIDERS OF REVELATION, CHAPTER 6. IT WAS HIGHLY ADVERTISED, AND RECEIVED QUITE A BIT OF ATTENTION, AND I JUST THOUGHT, AS I SAW IT ADVERTISED, I SURE AM THANKFUL TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THOSE FOUR HORSEMEN. I REMEMBER YEARS AGO, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, WE LIVED IN A COMMUNITY WHERE THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES WERE VERY STRONG. I REMEMBER SEEING SOME OF THEIR LITERATURE, SHOWING THESE HORSE RIDERS. THEY SHOWED THEM STRUNG OUT ACROSS THE HEAVENS, ALL RIDING AT THE SAME TIME, AND PORTRAYING TERRIBLE CATASTROPHIC EVENTS THAT IS SUPPOSED TO ENVELOPE MANKIND RIGHT AT THE END OF TIME. THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS ALSO HAVE THEIR VERSION OF IT IN PRINT, AND THEY ARE JUST AS FAR OFF BASE WITH THEIR VERSION AS THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES ARE WITH THEIRS, AND BILLY GRAHAM LIKEWISE. THAT IS WHY IS SAY, I SURE AM THANKFUL THAT WE CAN KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THAT THE TRUTH CAN SET US FREE FROM FEAR AND CONFUSION.
SAINTS: I AM FULLY CONVINCED, THAT GOD HAS SOME PEOPLE IN THE EARTH TODAY, THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD. THEY WILL RECOGNIZE THE TIME WE ARE LIVING IN, AND THEY WILL KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. WE ARE LIVING IN A DAY, WHEN EVEN LOST SINNERS THAT DO NOT EVEN PROFESS TO BE CHRISTIANS, ARE MAKING REMARKS BASED UPON THINGS THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION. THE FOUR HORSE RIDERS, AND THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON ARE THE TWO YOU HEAR THE MOST. BUT THE MOST DISTURBING THING IS WHEN YOUR GREAT BIBLE SCHOLARS OF THIS DAY, TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES TO TEACH ON THESE SUBJECTS, AND THEN PUT IT IN PRINT AND IT BECOMES SOMETHING THAT THEY FEEL GOD MUST ABIDE BY. WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR THEM GOD ALREADY HAS HIS OWN PROGRAM SCHEDULED, AND IT IS ALMOST THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEIR PICTURES PORTRAY TO THE WORLD, AND HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANY PART OF WHAT HE HAS ALREADY PURPOSED TO DO, JUST SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE WRITTEN THEIR BOOKS, AND THEY ARE MEN OF REPUTATION IN THE WORLD. GOD COULD NOT CARE LESS ABOUT THEIR GREAT REPUTATIONS, FOR HE IS CONCERNED WITH THOSE THAT WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND ALLOW HIM TO SPEAK TO THEM BY HIS SPIRIT, TO GIVE THEM A TRUE REVELATION OF HIS WORD, INSTEAD OF JUST A HEAD FULL OF MAN’S THEOLOGY. THEREFORE I ASK THAT YOU WOULD PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER WHAT WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO BRING FORTH FROM THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD CONCERNING THESE FOUR HORSE RIDERS OF REVELATION, CHAPTER 6.
JOHN’S COMMISSION TO WRITE
In order to get our setting for the subject we want to deal with, I will ask you to open your Bibles to the first chapter of the book of Revelation, where we will read verse 19. John was on the isle of Patmos, where he had been in exile because of the testimony of Jesus Christ he held to be the most valuable thing of his whole life. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and he heard a great voice come from behind him, a voice as a trumpet, and that voice said, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; then the voice names the seven churches that are to receive what John will write. So as John turns to see who is speaking to him, he sees the Lord Jesus Christ, portrayed in His high priestly role, and symbolized to John, as standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, clothed in a garment down to His feet, with hair as white as snow, and eyes as a flame to fire, and He is speaking directly to John. At first glimpse, John fell at His feet as a dead man, but He laid His right hand upon him, and said, Fear not: I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death. Then he says to John, verse 19, “Write the things which thou hast seen,” as well as present and future things, but they will all be related in the book of Revelation, and they will be things directly concerning these seven churches of Asia, for that is the area John has been in. The Lord is just simply going to remind John of how these things looked to Him. He wanted John to know how He looked upon what was going on in those churches. So he was not only to write of the things which he had already seen, but as we read the rest of the verse, notice also that he is to write, “the things which are, (things that were going on right then) and the things which shall be hereafter.” It was because of what was going on right at the present hour, that caused the Lord to visit John when he did. John was the last of the original twelve apostles, and in 96 A.D., I am convinced that the Lord knew he would not live much longer, and He wanted some things written by him, and sent to these seven churches while he was still alive. Now John could have written many volumes on the things which he had seen already, for he is the one that concluded his gospel account by saying, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” He was a personal disciple of the Lord Jesus, and he had seen those miracles that He had performed throughout His ministry, but what he is to relate in these letters, are the things he has seen take place in these seven churches of Asia. Furthermore he was not even permitted to put it in his own vocabulary, for the Lord told him exactly what to write.
HOW MEN ARE INSPIRED TO WRITE, OR SPEAK
There are two ways to look at inspiration. A man can see something that disturbs him in his spirit, and the Lord can just anoint and unction him to speak against it, using his own vocabulary and intelligence to express it. That is mostly what we see in the Epistles of the New Testament. But when we come to the book of Revelation, we find inspiration of the greatest magnitude, because, when the Lord said, Write, He took John, and showed him various things in symbolic pictures. Things that John could not possibly have had the vocabulary to write of using his own human terminology, so he writes exactly according to the instructions the Lord gave him. Therefore up through chapter 3, we find what those seven churches were, how they were founded, how they had grown in the revelation, what they were known to the Lord by, and the conditions that were then present in them. It was the present conditions, that had put those churches in a very bad state, and limited the work of the Lord through them in future days. The Lord spoke to Ephesus, for example, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake thou hast labored, and hast not fainted. (Notice now) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” When a person, or a church loses the fervency of their experience with the Lord, and then just simply continues doing the right things out of habit, instead of being moved by the Spirit of God to do them, they have lost their effectiveness as instruments in the hands of God on behalf of lost mankind that still has need of a Savior. In other words, You can go to church every time the doors are opened, go through all the functions of the service, and still be almost dormant in your spirit. When you get like that, you need to be revived, and your soul set on fire anew with the reality of God’s great salvation plan, that you are a part of, for you are not worth two cents as an instrument of God, when you are just merely drifting along in a state of dormancy. I must cut this part short though, for I want to get into the part that moves from the past tense, and the present tense, into the future tense, because that is where we get our setting for the four horsemen, that we want to look at.
JOHN TRANSPORTED INTO HEAVE IN A VISION
God with me now, into chapter four, and notice the very first verse. “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” Now the things that must be hereafter, are what we are primarily interested in, as we go on into this message. The first three chapters give us a spiritual history of the seven local churches up to that point, and we already know that the conditions existing in those seven churches then, portrayed conditions that would characterize the seven church ages, or seven particular phases that the church of the living God would pass through during the dispensation of grace, and Laodicea was the last one. We actually see a type of the rapture of the church set, right here. For as John finished writing the letter to the church of Laodicea, or we should say, As the Lord finished speaking to Laodicea, He called John to, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” He could have showed John everything He was going to show him, without John moving one inch from where he was, spiritually speaking of course. But this was no spur of the moment thing that the Lord did here, for there was a type to be set for those that would later have a spiritual eye to see it, so He lifted John up from the earthly setting, where he had showed him the past and present things he was to write, and conveyed him by the Spirit into heaven, so notice what John says here in verse 2. “And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Now saints, I seriously doubt that John’s physical body went anywhere. It was still right there on the isle of Patmos, but by a spiritual vision John was transported into heaven. God had literally taken control over his intellect. He was totally taken over by the Spirit of God. Let me say this also. John was an old man, and in the natural it is very hard for a person that old to remember everything they see and hear. But when John came out of that experience, he remembered every detail of what he had seen and heard. But let us be sure we catch a very important point here. There was only ONE throne in heaven, and there was only ONE there to sit on that throne, not three. Of course all of you here, already know that, but perhaps this message will fall into the hands of some who do not have a one God revelation, and every point could help them. This modern church world of our day, seems to take great pride in making the Bible say things that it really does not say at all. They can see three persons in the Godhead so plain, they brand anything that believes God is one, as a cult. That is one of their main gauges that they use to identify a cult. Look out for those that deny the blessed holy trinity, they will tell their members, for they are a cult. It is very simple. Their teachings are Antichrist, and cannot possibly be vindicated by the Bible, and they hold their members under bondage all the days of their lives, by fear tactics, and their secret deeds are evil and ungodly. On the other hand, I will take the scriptures and back up everything I teach.
JESUS SITS UPON A THRONE IN HEAVEN
Alright now, verse 3, “And He that sat (on the throne) was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Now some will say, Bro. Jackson: If that one sitting upon the throne was the Lord Jesus Christ, how is it that John describes Him as looking like that? Jesus did not look like that when He walked on earth for 33 ½ years. Saints: You just have to realize that these symbolic descriptions are to convey the reality of the investment of authority that the eternal Spirit has bestowed upon His only begotten Son. The characteristics of the Ancient of Days (which is the sovereign, eternal Spirit of all creation) are shown here as a vindication of that investment of power and authority that now rests upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Did not Jesus say, in His closing words to the church at Laodicea, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne?” Of course He said that, but that does not make two persons sitting upon thrones in heaven, for the Father is not a person; He is a sovereign Spirit, just like it says in St. John 4:24. Therefore the only person John saw sitting upon that throne in heaven was the Lord Jesus Christ (still in His mediatorial work as high priest) invested with all the authority and attributes of the great eternal Spirit. The rainbow round about the throne symbolizes the covenant God made with mankind. It is a sign of His presence, and has nothing at all to do with a flood, at this time. Verse 4, “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” Now if there is only one Spirit which is God: what are the lamps, and why are they referred to as the seven Spirits of God? Certainly they have to be symbolic of something, but we know God is one Spirit, and definitely not seven different Spirits. If you fail to get this symbolic terminology straightened out, you will be dealing with gods again, instead of one God, for you simply cannot take a plurality, and make it singular. Well these seven lamps speak symbolically of those seven great deity attributes that pertain to Jehovah. Throughout the Old Testament God was made known on various occasions by one of these seven deity names that speak of a particular attribute of the one true God. Then when you get over to the New Testament, where the only begotten Son of God is indwelt with the fulness of this one Spirit which possesses these many attributes, you have to realize that He (the Son) is the embodiment of all that the Father is. In other words, All that the Father is, now dwells in the Son of God in full measure, so He now possesses these seven deity attributes. Just like Paul said, in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” That is why Paul went ahead and said, “And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Through this one Son, Jehovah purposed to reconcile the world back to Himself. By Him, through Him, and with Him, He has purchased all things. Then when Jesus was preparing to depart from His disciples, He promised to send them a Comforter, one that would lead them into all truth, and that Comforter that came to dwell in those that believe, was the same Spirit that dwelt in Jesus. Now the Church is to reflect the indwelling Christ to the world, in seven distinct ages within the dispensation of Grace. We find also, that each age had a star messenger through which this Spirit of Christ would be characterized, so we certainly have no difficulty recognizing the fact, that God is in sevens. Seven is a number that speaks of completeness.
JOHN SAW PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED
Do not give an ear to these false teachers of what is supposed to be men following Bro. Branham’s message, if they start telling you that what John saw in heaven was the seven church age messengers, standing before the throne of God. It never was, and never will be. We must keep the symbolism as it was in the Old Testament. They are seven lamps of fire that symbolize the eternal flame of the seven spiritual attributes of Jehovah. Men are born, but God was not born; He is eternal. Men die, but He who is eternal will, never die, and that which God is, has been reflected to mankind through these seven attributal names, all down through time. It seems that carnal mankind always wants to glorify the flesh of some man, and the reason for that, is the fact that they cannot see beyond the flesh of the instrument God uses in an extraordinary way, in their hour of time. “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before a behind. And the first beast (Notice now, as John sees these beasts, and as he records what he saw, he has them in the exact order in which they will function when the events of chapter 6 come into focus.) Was like a lion, (the lion was absolutely first, and we wills how you why later) and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him.” Every bit of this can be found in Ezekiel. When Ezekiel saw the glory of God, he saw these four living creatures. Brother, I want you to know, The scenes Ezekiel saw transpire, all pointed to the future, to the time when Christ would literally be positioned in the very place John saw Him in, in this fourth chapter of Revelation. Furthermore I am thankful to God, that this scene has never changed from that day until now. Therefore what Ezekiel saw was a preview of what John saw as a fulfilled reality. When Ezekiel saw it, and wrote it, it was a prophecy; but when John saw it, and wrote about it, it was being fulfilled. Alright “the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Alright now saints, we see here, that all those elders were bowed before the throne worshiping Jehovah, the Creator of all things, but the person they are bowed down before, is Jesus the Christ, the only begotten Son of God in whom He (the Father-Jehovah) now dwells, and He is fulfilling His office as high priest. Those elders knew exactly what they were doing. That is why it is expressed like this. That is why we, in this New Testament dispensation, worship God through the person of His Son. Jehovah could not be seen, but the Son in whom He dwells could be seen, and God ordained that this Son be a vessel that would exemplify all of His attributes, even to the natural eye of mankind, but only those that had spiritual eyes would ever really know what they were seeing. That is why so many of those that actually witnesses the miracles described in the four gospels, later turned against Jesus, and desired to see Him crucified; they just simply did not have spiritual eyes to recognize who and what they were seeing. That is why all through time, good has been called evil, and evil called good. It is not the true saints of God that gives these adverse opinions, it is carnal mankind, that judges everything according to their own ideas and traditions.
ONLY ONE SEAT – AND ONLY ONE SEATED
Let us go into chapter 5 now, and get the complete setting before us, before we actually approach the four horsemen, which we find in chapter 6. “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book (scroll) written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, (scroll) and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Let me take time right here, to remind you of some things, that you really need to be sure you get straight in your mind. First of all, Be sure you know beyond any shadow of doubt, that the one sitting upon this throne is the Lord Jesus Christ, invested with all the authority and attributes of Jehovah, the Creator, the Father of all living creatures. Then be sure you realize that John saw Him in the process of performing His duties as high priest, interceding for lost mankind before the great eternal Spirit, who, even though He indwells this obedient Son, is still omnipresent, and as I said already, This scene in heaven is still the same today, as it was nineteen hundred years ago when John wrote these words. He still holds in His right hand a little scroll, which has one seal that still has not been broken. Of course you will realize why I am saying this, in a few minutes, for I am sure some of you at least, have heard from various sources, that Jesus Christ is off of the mercy seat, and that the seventh seal was broken when Bro. Branham preached the series on the seven seals, in 1963. It is a fact that when Bro. Branham was inspired to preach what he did, concerning these things, there were certain things said, which were never explained, and after his death, different ones took those statements, gave them their own private interpretation, and started preaching and presenting their ideas as facts, and it is still going on today. They say, There is no more mercy on the mercy seat of God. Well let me say this, There is only one throne seen by John; not two. There is no such thing as a mercy seat, and then a judgment seat also. There is only one seat in heaven; not two. It is a throne, and there will be mercy there until the hour appointed of the Father arrives, and that last seal is broken, and Jesus is seen on earth in angelic form, with one foot upon the sea, and the other foot upon the earth, and that little scroll open in His hand, on earth to claim what He has been interceding for all these many generations since Calvary. I guarantee you, When that scene becomes a fulfilled reality, You will not have twenty years to run all over the world preaching your own private opinions, for the Spirit of God will leave the Gentiles, and go back to the Jews, to fulfill the seventieth week of Daniel. When that time arrives, mercy for Gentiles is over, and judgment is eminent. But you believe me saints, That hour is yet ahead of us. Many of those men that sat there, and heard Bro. Branham preach those messages, were out of oneness Pentecost systems where they had preached one God for all they were worth, and yet the very fact that they have gone out, and preached what they have since then, proves that they still do not know whether God is one, two, three, or a half a dozen. They could not explain the Godhead, if their life depended on it. That is why I say, If they cannot get a true picture of the events described in this 5th chapter, they certainly do not have a revelation of the Godhead, and because they do not have a revelation of the Godhead, they will go so far as to say, Bro. Branham was Elohim. Listen to me saints, when you allow the devil to twist your mind like that, you have already stepped across the threshold between God’s mercy and God’s judgment. You just simply cannot play around with God like that. The only person God ever dwelt in, in the measure that made that person God in flesh, was the person of His only begotten Son, and the next step, was that He would dwell in all of His redeemed children only by a measure of His fullness. But that measure of His indwelling presence is all any of us need, in order to overcome Satan, and live for God in this life. Naturally there is a dispensation of time allotted to that, but you believe me, We are still living within that dispensation. The Holy Ghost is still in the earth today, regenerating lost mankind, bringing everything to God’s perfect plans. Furthermore there have been certain men that have been used by God in an extraordinary way, and Bro. Branham was one of them. But he was a mortal creature just like the rest of us. The man himself was a sinner just like all the rest of us, and had to be redeemed the same way, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is a fact, he had a greater measure of the Spirit of God in him, than the rest of us, but never to the extent that he should be looked upon as God. That is why I have said, Anyone who looks upon Bro. Branham as God, is just as much an idolater as any pagan Gentile ever was before the gospel came over to the Gentiles. They have missed the whole purpose for which Bro. Branham had that special anointing of the Holy Ghost. They have not been turned back to the faith of our apostolic fathers at all.
THE LION HATH PREVAILED
Alright now, let us continue reading in verse 3, so we can get the complete setting of what preceded the four horsemen, as John is shown this vision. “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” Remember saints, Everything John saw after he was taken up to heaven in this vision, was for a future time, and most of it was for our generation. So John stood there weeping, because no one was found worthy to loose the seven seals, and open the book. “And one of the elders saith unto me, weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, (John was looking right at the throne) and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Saints, above everything else, be sure you understand that John had his eyes fastened upon the throne, and the one that sat upon that throne. The only one sitting upon that throne is the Lord Jesus Christ, so keep that in mind, and try to catch the symbolism of what John saw here. He has already described the one sitting there, and also the twenty four elders, and when he began to weep, because no man was found worthy to open the little book, what did the elder say to him? Behold, THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, THE ROOT OF DAVID, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. That should leave no doubt whatsoever, that it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who offered His life upon the sacrificial altar of God for the sins of the whole world, that John is looking at, and He is not changing from one form to another. It is only that John is being shown in a vision, what this ONE obedient Son of God has accomplished on behalf of lost mankind. He was not a literal lamb; He only took the place of the required lamb without spot or blemish of any kind. Neither was He ever, nor will He ever be a literal lion, but symbolically He is called that in connection with His Kingship. Therefore as John stands looking at that throne, and seeing Jesus Christ Himself sitting upon it, he then sees this symbolic Lamb coming right out of the midst of what he is looking at. No, Jesus did not turn into a lamb, but this symbolically speaks of the fact, that the one sitting upon that throne is worthy to open the little book and loose the seven seals thereof, on the merits of what He accomplished at Calvary as the Lamb of God. That is why the Lamb John is seeing appears to him as one that had been slain. That is what merited Him the worthiness to open the book that contains the names of all that He is interceding for as high priest. I am sure you will remember reading in the Gospels, where Jesus came walking past John the Baptist one day, and John spoke something to those who stood by him, Behold, the (What? Messiah? No.) LAMB of GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world. He spoke that by revelation. He was not even seeing a lamb, like John the apostle is seeing here in these verses, but both instances point to the very same thing. They both point to the glorified one that is now sitting upon His Father’s throne in heaven. But no literal lamb is seen at all; John is in a vision, and it looks real to him, and that is what he was supposed to write. That is why these things can only be understood by a revelation given to us by the Spirit of God. Do you think it would do any good to try to explain these symbolisms to a Trinitarian? How could they possibly understand this, when they already see three persons in the Godhead? It takes a one God revelation to understand what John was seeing here. Besides that, this Lamb that John was seeing would have been a freak of nature, and unacceptable as an offering to God under the old Testament covenant, if it were a literal lamb. Oh hallelujah! This makes me feel good, to read this. Even though no such literal animal would have been accepted as a sacrifice in the Old Testament, the fact that John is being shown this Lamb coming right out from the midst of the throne, having seven eyes and seven horns, shows us that the same one that was slain as the Lamb of God, is also endowed with all the attributes of God the great eternal Spirit. In other words, In this one sitting upon the throne in heaven, is a full embodiment of all those attributes of Jehovah. Those seven spiritual attributes of Jehovah are now at work in the New Testament, through the person of the only begotten Son of God in whom the Father dwells in the fulness of Himself.
WHO OPENED THE SEALS?
Saints: Just try to picture John, standing, looking at Jesus Christ sitting upon this throne, and as he watches, the human form fades into the background, and he is seeing this Lamb as if it had literally stepped right out of the throne, and verse 7 says, “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” Please take note of the fact that the Lamb is the only one that moved. There has to be a certain physical action here, to portray transition of authority that comes from the investment of the mind of Jehovah. Jesus Christ could not open those seals while in His office work as high priest. It was not His high priestly work that merited Him the right to open those seals; it was what He accomplished as the Lamb of God, that merited Him that right, and it could not be opened completely as long as Jesus Christ is still in His office-work as high priest. I never will forget, as I sat there listening to Bro. Branham, when he was anointed of God to teach on the seven seals, I thought to myself, The one sitting upon that throne did not move one inch, only the Lamb moved. Yet because Bro. Branham just merely asked the question, Could it be, that Jesus Christ has left the mercy seat? Many of those that heard him, went out from there saying, Jesus Christ is off the mercy seat. No one else can be saved, and they have been saying that ever since. Well, if they would have just gone back and read the scripture again, with an open mind, they would have seen that the one sitting upon the throne, did not move at all. Only the Lamb moved. This had to be written like it is, in order to show the transition of authority, but anyone with a true revelation of the Godhead knows good and well, that there is no literal lamb involved in the picture at all. Actually, in the introduction, He was introduced as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, which is His next office. But I assure you, He will not fulfill that office as a literal lion; that is only symbolic terminology that describes the kind of rule He will have on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Brothers and Sisters: I hope it is clear to you, that in 1963 when Bro. Branham preached on the revelation of the first six seals, Jesus Christ did not move one inch from His position on the throne as high priest. Neither has He yet moved from that office work. If He had left the mercy seat in 1963, we would sure be in the Millennium now. Is that what you want to believe? Of course not. Most of all, we would have to wonder what happened to the resurrection, and the rapture of the living saints. Those things were not written just to fill up space in the Bible; it will all take place just like it is written, when God’s time is right. He is the one that is keeping time, you know.
DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES ARE ANTICHRIST
Let us read verse 8 now, and move on. “And when he (the Lamb) had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us (Who redeemed us? Jesus Christ) to God (the eternal Spirit) by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: (Hallelujah! And we shall float around on clouds forever. Is that what it says? No, listen) and we shall reign on earth.” Are you aware of the fact that the Methodists do not believe in a Millennial reign of Christ upon earth? Neither do the Church of God people. You cannot preach this to them, for they do not believe the book of Revelation ever should have been written. Some of them have said, John must have been having a night mare when he saw all of this, and others have said, The book of Revelation is like a mud hole; the more you stir around in it, the muddier it gets. Well I am thankful that the true Church of God believes it is for them, and they love to hear the revelation of it taught. Furthermore the true church does not go to the Baptist seminary to get the revelation of it either, for they all know that these manmade religious systems do not have the revelation of it. If they did, they would not still be in those church systems where there is more unbelief taught, than there is truth. It just proves that man’s intellectual learning, does not do the church world one bit of spiritual good. Tell me sincerely, If you were Trinitarians, could you possibly see what you see right now, from these chapters we have covered? Would you know who is on the throne, and by what authority that same opens the little book? Let us be thankful that God has called us out of those antichrist systems. Bro. Jackson: You ought not call them that. Why not? Any church system that preaches and teaches anything different than that which the early church taught as the gospel of Jesus Christ, is antichrist. What else can you say about them? If the Bible says God is one, and they say, God is three persons, is that not antichrist doctrine? If the Bible says, Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they say, It does not matter whether you are baptized or not, is that not antichrist? Need I go on? Sure you still have close friends and loved ones in those places, and so do I, but I assure you that just pretending that they are good Christians, simply because they are good moral people, and seem so sincere, is not going to make it sol. If they reject truth, they are rejecting God, for God and His Word are one and His Word is truth.
THE WHITE HORSE – THE LION BEAST
Let us move on to chapter 6 now, where we will begin to see the four horsemen come into the picture. As I said already, Billy Graham is telling his great audiences, Read the greatest book for our time, that the world has ever known, “The Four Horsemen.” To them, it is some future event, some terrible dark catastrophic time of judgment. But I am so glad to know that the little bride of Jesus Christ does not think like that. She knows that those four horsemen have already been riding for a long time now, riding right on over Billy Graham’s head. Then right on down through the Jehovah Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists, and any others that are without revelation. So let us look at this first one now. “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, (It is Jesus Christ opening these seals, but He is doing so by the virtue of what He accomplished as the Lamb of God, not because He is the Lion, or high priest) and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, (We have already seen the order fo the four beasts, back in chapter four. The first was a lion, so it would be the lion that is saying this.) Come and see.” It is important that we see this beast as being in heaven. He gets John’s attention saying, Come and see, meaning, Come and take a look. But it was the first beast, the lion, as we will see when we get to the next one. “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 (the white horse rider) went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Now brothers and Sisters, if that pictorial scene is yet a future event, as Billy Graham and these others believe it is, then that white horse rider still needs an interpretation, who is he, and what does all of this mean? Will you agree with me? But if it is not some future event, yet to be fulfilled, and I am fully persuaded that it is not, then we already have the interpretation. We can check it back through history and see what has been going on all the time, and I believe we will have to accept the fact that the revelation is already here. I will never forget; well I am not sure about the year, but somewhere around 1954 or 1955, Bro. Branham determined to start a series of meetings, to preach on the book of Revelation. He started in the first chapter, and he had only preached one or two nights, when Bro. Bozay, from Chicago, who was then pastoring the Philadelphia Church, called him to come fo a meeting. He just dropped everything, and went to Chicago, and you know, he never did get back to the book of Revelation again until 1963. I can look back now, and see why. He was not supposed to. It was not time for him to touch it the way he did in 1963, when it was the time for it. When Bro. Branham stood there, that night, and read the two verses we have just read, it just seemed like he stepped back with an expression of joy, and as he would describe this lion, and what it characterized, he then said, but this white horse rider was none other than the spirit of antichrist, riding in the first church age. The thing that shows this, is the fact that this white horse rider had a bow, and a crown, portraying Christ, in a sense, but he had no arrows. Therefore without the arrows, he is only a bluff. But if you will read the history that is available, you will see that this is the very way Satan’s emissaries gained supremacy, through fear tactics. Even in 54 A.D. when the apostle Paul wrote his second epistle to the Thessalonians, he said, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now leteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” He could see that an antichrist spirit was already causing men to harass the Church with ideas that were completely foreign to true revelation. But he could also see that the Spirit of God was still present to hinder this antichrist spirit, and would do so until it was time for the Spirit of God to pull back completely, and allow Satan to introduce his literal Antichrist man to the world, the one who will be consumed with the Spirit of the mouth of the Lord, when he returns to earth in glory. Yes the spirit of the devil was already running parallel to the Spirit of God in the church, before the last of the original apostles of Christ had left the scene. That is why John would say, over in his little epistles, Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. He said also, This is that Spirit of antichrist that ye have heard should come: and even now is already in the world. That was the spirit of that white horse rider moving through the earth in those false prophets, running parallel to the gospel of Jesus Christ that the true disciples preached. What about the lion though? Some will say. Naturally this is all symbolic. There is no literal lion beast. But the Spirit of Jesus Christ in those first age Christians, caused them to fearlessly stand against that spirit of antichrist that was trying to get the church off course. That is why it was the lion beast that said to John, “Come and see.” You will see the significance of these four beasts in relation to the spirit of antichrist, as we continue on with these first four seals here in the sixth chapter of Revelation. The spirit of the certain beasts that are mentioned, characterizes the Spirit of Christ that was in Christians in the age that these various horse riders went forth. In the animal kingdom the lion is known as the king of those beasts. He fearlessly goes about to fulfill his own will, and nothing will dare get in his way. Well this symbolizes the kind of spirit that was in the early church. They held the line on the word of God, and put those false apostles to the test, and refused to let them spread their antichrist ideas in the church. That is what you see in the letter to the church at Ephesus, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Brother they had something in them that would stand up against false doctrine, just like Jesus Himself stood up to those scribes and Pharisees that tried to get something on Him. That lion spirit was first characterized in Him. He walked wherever He wanted to preach, and no one could touch Him until it was time for Him to lay His life down, and then He became subject to those that desired to take His life. But on the day of Pentecost, that lion-like Spirit that was in Christ Jesus, came to dwell in the church, and the church became fearless. Their adversaries would grab them, throw them in prison, and tell them, You cannot preach anymore in that man’s name. But along would come an angel, that would get them out of prison, and right back they would go doing the same thing they got arrested for in the first place, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is hard to keep a lion from doing what he wants to do, you know. You can threaten him, and he will roar right back at you. That is the kind of fearless boldness those first age Christians had. When they were told not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus, they answered, We will obey God, rather than man. When that mob came against Stephen, the Bible says they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. They arrested him, brought him before the council, and had false witnesses testify against him, and accuse him of blasphemy and all sorts of things, but Stephen stood there before them, and the Bible says that they all saw him as one who appeared to have the face of an angel. When he got a chance to preach to the council, he started with the call of Abraham and preached all the way through to his present hour of time, and then said, (using scripture) “Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? They have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. (Brother you do not find any fear in that man.) When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. (We are in Acts 7, so notice this 55th verse.) But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (Not another person) and said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” That was the last thing they could take. They stopped up their ears, ran and grabbed him, took him outside the city, and stoned him to death. But did they ever see any fear in him? Absolutely not. He looked up to heaven and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he kneeled down, and said with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” That was the last words he ever uttered. Now I hope you can see how this lion beast symbolizes the spirit that was in those men like Stephen. With his last breath, he exalted Jesus Christ, the one who had first walked that road.
HOW THE LION GUARDED THE GOSPEL
The Trinitarians really love to read those verses, for they think Stephen was looking at two of the persons they saw is in the Godhead. See there! Stephen saw both the Father and the Son, they will say. No he did not. That is terminology that shows the investment of authority that was entrusted to that obedient Son of God. This scene Stephen pointed to, portrays Jesus in His intercessory work on behalf of him. When you have a revelation of the Godhead already, you can see these things for what they truly portray. But while speaking of that lion spirit in believers of the first age, there was another time when the apostle Peter ended up in jail, and an angel of the Lord caused his chains to fall off, and said to him, Follow me. He led Peter out through the gates that opened to them as they approached, and Peter went right to the prayer meeting, where they were gathered, praying for his release. You just simply cannot keep a lion caged up, he will find a way to escape. (Do not allow your mind to run wild; we are making a spiritual application of some scriptures. We all know that there are some literal lions kept in cages, but you will have to agree, they are not kept caged up by just any old way; for it takes a little more to hold them, than it does some other wild animals.) A lion is always on the prowl. You can see that same spirit characterized in Paul. He and Silas were over in Asia Minor preaching the gospel, and casting out demons, when they were arrested, beaten, chained up, and cast into prison. They had that old lion captured, but brother, a lion in a cage is like a stick of dynamite, and a can of gasoline. (You have seen in zoos, how a caged lion will just walk back and forth, looking for a way to get out of there.) These lions were in stocks, so they could not walk back and forth, so what did they do? At midnight, with their back’s bleeding, and pain surging through their bodies, they began to praise the Lord. Hallelujah! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. I do not know what they were singing, but they counted it a great privilege to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ, and that lion spirit in them found a way to express that great joy that was bubbling up within them. Then suddenly the ground began to shake, and those old prison gates began to rattle and swing open, and all the prisoners were set free, but they did not leave. God had his sight set on that old jailor and his household. So when the jailor realized that all the cell doors were open, he naturally expected that all the prisoners would be gone, and knew his own life would not be worth two cents, if he had allowed all those prisoners to escape. That is when he drew his sword, and started to fall upon it, and Paul cried out with a loud voice, Do thyself no harm, for we are all still here. Needless to say, the lions got out, the jailor got baptized, and the devil lost another battle. But what I want you to see in all this, is how that lion spirit was working in that first church age. It was a guard to the ministry, so the gospel could get out. That is how the church survived that first age. Another thing, brothers and sisters: a lion has a very keen sense of instinct. That is why old John would prick his ears up when these strange doctrines would come along. Something is not quite right here. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God or not. In other words, Check up a little, on what you are hearing, for many false prophets have already gone out into the world. Why? To deceive as many as will believe them. That lion spirit in him really guarded the true revelation of the gospel of Christ, right to the very end.
THE RED HORSE – THE CALF BEAST
Tell me, Saints: Can you now see what that lion beast symbolizes here under this first seal? It guarded the true revelation of the word of God, when that white horse rider rode out to deceive the world. At first glance, you would think it was Jesus riding that white horse, but that is where the revelation lies. It was a deceiving, perverting spirit, that used fear tactics to accomplish its purpose, but that lion spirit protected the church in that first age. When you move from the first church age into the second, you have a different situation altogether, so the spirit of that age is symbolized by a different beast. Notice, as we read the second seal, in verse 3. “And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the SECOND beast say, Come and see.” In chapter 4, John numbered the four beasts, so the second beast was LIKE a calf. I want to dwell mostly on this calf now. What is a calf? Well, it is in the family of animals that, under the law, were used on the altar of sacrifice. It is also a species that is used as a burden bearer. So the type here is two fold. It characterizes how the Holy Spirit worked in the church, as it passed through a transition period, from the first age into the second. Let me say this though, We do not have a horse rider and a beast for every church age. We have a beast for every horse rider, but their affect upon the church spanned more than one church age, for we have four beasts, four horse riders, and seven church ages. The whole thing started with the first church age, naturally, but that spirit of antichrist that these four horses represent, has been riding right on through seven church ages, and as we continue, you will see how it is riding even in our day. This calf is symbolic of how the church, as she moved into the second age, faced martyrdom. The lion is no longer on the scene. The horse is now red. Deception and rear tactics failed to overthrow the church, so now Satan is going to try to kill all the Christians, but all of this presents a different picture. He changes his identity, and gets him a red horse. That red horse speaks of how he intends to bathe this thing in blood. Did he succeed? He killed a lot of Christians, but he certainly never accomplished what he intended to. As fast as those imperial rulers would rise to arrest them, humiliate them, try to frighten them, and put them in prison, and then put them to death, up would step another bunch to take their place, Let me die for my Lord next. What was it? The Holy Ghost was giving them grace to face martyrdom with great joy. They could step up, and lay their life down in martyrdom, shouting and praising God all the while. Just thankful to be counted worthy to die for the name of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is what sacrificial calf spirit exemplified in the way they faced death at the hands of their enemies, in the second age, and thereafter. That shows how God can give you grace to overcome, even in the face of death. It is a completely different picture, but the church survived.
GOD GAVE GRACE TO FACE DEATH WITH
In that first age, God gave those preachers boldness to preach, even in the face of what seemed like sure death, and when they were arrested, God would send an angel to set them free again, and right back to the same place they were arrested, they would go. But in the second age, the age of martyrdom, God did not get them out of prison; He just simply gave them grace to die while shouting praises to their God. Do you see the difference between the lion Spirit that guarded the word of God in the first age, and the calf Spirit that guarded it in the next age? No matter what the devil did, he could not get rid of the church. When they would kill one, three would step up to take his place. Many times, we have heard people say, How could those people die so willingly? Well that just shows what the Holy Ghost can do. He can so completely take over your faculties, that you will lose all fear, and when death comes, you do not even feel the pain. That is how so many Christians have been able to endure such severe torture, and still live, and retain their sanity to tell about it. God just simply gave them sufficient grace to bear whatever was not put upon them. There is nothing impossible with God, but what He does is to fulfill a purpose of His, He never meant for the true church to use the power of His Spirit to satisfy the whims of their flesh, as you see going on out here in the Charismatic gatherings. They present the Holy Ghost as an option, a bonus for Christians, if they desire to have that power of God in their lives. Most of them will never hear this, but I have news for them. Without the Holy Ghost, they are not even Christians in the first place. They may be sincerely following some concept of Christianity, but what the Bible calls Christians, are believers that have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and filled with His Spirit. It takes that Holy Ghost seal, to give you that eternal security that a lot of them believe they have without being baptized by the Holy Ghost. I guarantee you one thing. Without the Holy Ghost in your life, you will never face martyrdom for your faith in Jesus Christ, the way those Christians in the second church age faced it.
TESTIMONY CONCERNING POLYCARP
Conditions in the church at Smyrna exemplified conditions that would be present in the second church age, so let us turn to the 2nd chapter of Revelation, and read what John was told to write to that church. Verse 8, “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, THE DEVIL shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Jesus told those saints to be faithful unto death, and I assure you, He will never tell you to do anything that he will not enable you to do. Now as I said, This is the church, in the line up of seven churches, that portrayed the second age, an age of martyrdom. I have read some of the history written of that period, and Polycarp was one martyr that really left an impression on me, as I read what he wen through. It is believed that he was the pastor of the church of Smyrna, during the time this red horse rider really began to reach out, and bathe the earth in martyr’s blood. He was a student of the apostle John; therefore he had heard John preach. But I read an article giving the account of his arrest and martyrdom. When they finally arrested him, and brought him into the arena, it was late in the day. Now normally they would just let the lions rip and tear those Christians to pieces, but Polycarp had already seen in a vision, his coat engulfed in flames. They brought him before the Tribunal and those magistrates actually egged him to recant, and deny his faith in Christ. But he said, Never! I will never deny Him. The elders of the church at Smyrna had gone along and were witnesses of the gallant testimony he left. The more they urged him to recant, the more determined his answer came back, I will not. Then the officials called for the lions to be turned loose, but the caretakers told them that they had already been caged for the night, so they determined the he should be burned at the stake. (So there was the fulfillment of his vision.) When they brought the wood and tied him to the stake, he did not resist and wrestle with them; he walked out with his head held high, and the peace of God in his heart. Brothers and Sisters: when they tried to light the fire, it just did not want to burn. Then when it finally did get started, it still would not burn as they wanted it to, so one of the soldiers determined to hurry the process along, and he just rammed a sword right through Polycarp’s side. But do you know what happened? The beat of his heart caused the blood to gush out, and it was putting the fire out. That so infuriated the officials, they then went to extreme measures to build a fire hot enough to accomplish their purpose, something they had never before had to do. Needless to say, they finally succeeded in burning him, but witnesses declared that as he burned, his face lit up with a glow, and nothing but the peace of God was displayed on his part. That just shows what that calf spirit did for those saints in that age of time; it made them willing to lay their lives down for the name of Jesus Christ. The revelation, power, and influence of the gospel was preserved in that age, because the true Christians were willing to die for what they believed. Those Christians died with such victory in their souls, even pagans many times, would come rushing down from the bleachers to take their place alongside them. Why? Because the fear of God would get hold of the. God’s convicting power could deal with them under those circumstances, and when conversion took place, they were ready to take their stand right alongside the martyrs. The calf was on the slaughter block, but did the church perish? No. The church thrived. The red horse rider was galloping at will, and the blood of martyrs ran like wine form a winepress, and it continued like that for many decades, but the church of the living God still survived. Oh yes, there were periods when the intensity would subside, but then it would start up again, and during all that time, the calf nature was present to give those saints grace to die.
GOD IS STILL REVEALING TRUTH
Brothers and Sisters: If eel that this is an important message; especially at a time like this, when so many others are preaching and printing their versions of it, and all of them are going in the wrong direction. They have people looking for these horsemen to bring something upon the world, yet at a future date, when actually everyone of them have already gone forth to produce their effect on society, but mainly upon the body of believers. Satan’s deceptions affect everyone, but they are designed as an effort to overthrow the church of the living God. Therefore I want to say, at this point, I am not changing anything that was a divine revelation spoken by God’s servant, Bro. Branham in 1963, when he preached on the seals. I will say though, I could not care less what the critics may say, when I feel led of God to present something that Bro. Branham did not touch on, or something that was not given a full explanation at that time. We are living more than twenty years beyond what he taught, and I am fully persuaded that there are things in some of those verses left untouched by him, that the church needs to know, in this present hour of time. God did not got to sleep, just because He took His prophet messenger from the scene, and laid him to rest. There is still a church to perfect, and He is still on the scene to give revelation and enablement to all who follow Him in truth. People of every major denomination, have always been prone to look back to what the founder or messenger brought, that their denomination is built upon, never seeming to realize that God continually moves on. He does not stop for 50 or 60 years, and just let the church exist on what they already have. The Reformation was inaugurated to restore the church to the apostolic truth that Satan’s deceiving and overthrowing efforts got her away from, so the Spirit of God is working constantly to that end, and revelation for the body of Christ did not end with the death of Bro. Branham. That is why He said, I am the same yesterday, today, (present tense) and forever. That means that, no matter how many days, weeks, months, or years we have left, the Spirit of God will remain the same to the church. He will continue to update her revelation until she is restored to the place where she is supposed to be before Jesus comes, to call her to the marriage supper. Therefore I ask you to keep an open mind, and allow Him to do His work in each of you, for the hour is late dispensationally. No one should even allow themselves to think, that the bride of Christ will just glide through life, carefree, and then be ready to meet Him when He comes. The Bible lets me know that she is going to get herself dressed up in a revelation of His word, and make herself ready to meet Him.
SATAN’S FAILING EFFORTS
We have spent quite a bit of time on the calf beast, that said to John, Come and see, and when the second seal was opened, so let us read verse 4, and say something more about this red horse and his rider. “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, (Brother the only peace anyone had when this rider went forth, was the peace of God in their hearts.) And that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” Remember now saints, When the Lamb opened that first seal, we saw a man portrayed in white, with a crown upon his head, and a bow in his hand. That bow is his weapon, but it really is not a weapon, because he had no arrows for it. Without the arrows, there could be no hurt from the bow. The rider is a bluff. All he can do with his bow is scare some people. He portrays the kind of men John and Paul wrote about, false apostles, and false prophets, men who would come among the congregation of the saints, pretending to be of eh same belief, but looking for every opportunity to slip in a false teaching something contrary to what the apostles of Christ taught. The church at Ephesus was commended, because they were diligent to put such men to the test, and prove that they were false apostles. Nevertheless it was the devil in disguise, trying to overthrow the church by deception and fear. It was that same old spirit that you find in a lot of these people who go around preaching Bro. Branham, today. They will say, If I were you, I would be afraid to say anything different than what the prophet said it. Just remember, saints, the gospel is good news; therefore if what a person brings to you is good news, why should they have to threaten you, and try to frighten you into receiving it? God never meant it to be so. True saints love truth; they do not have to be threatened, to get them to receive it. The aim of Satan, was to conquer and subdue the church, and get in control. But the Spirit of God in those true saints of that first age, caused them to react to that antichrist teaching with the boldness and authority of a lion. They were not afraid to stand up for the truth, no matter what the circumstances were, and God backed them up all the way. Brother let me tell you, Anyone who dresses up in a lion skin, and gets into a cage with a lion, trying to fool him is going to get hurt. Do not every think that lion will not know the difference. He will, and he will soon let you know that he knows the difference. But this setting portrays how Satan worked in that first age. That antichrist spirit embodied itself in a lot of men, and they hit the road professing to be great, anointed teachers, apostles, and prophets, and the Holy Ghost in those Christians stood up against them with a lion-like boldness. That is why the devil had to change his tactics. He finally realized that he could not get control of the church like that, so he changed his identity, and his tactics. Realizing that the could not get in the church, and control it, he determined to destroy it, so now he is portrayed on a red horse, with a sword in his hand. A sharp sword is a lot different than a bow without any arrows. A person with a sword can do a lot more than just bluff; they can cut heads off with one swing, and that is exactly what took place in that second age. That is the reason those saints were given a calf-like spirit; it enabled them to die without fear. In other words, when Satan changed horses, and changed his disguise, God was still one step ahead of him. Hallelujah! Satan; You may kill them, but I will give them grace to die with victory int heir souls, and there will always be others to take their place. The church was here to stay, no matter what Satan did, trying to get rid of her.
SATAN’S TOOLS IN AGE OF MARTYRDOM
Alright now, let us observe this figure sitting on the red horse. It is important that we see how this same devil keeps changing his tactics, keeps using different types of characters to do his work for him, but always with the same purpose in mind, the overthrow of the church as a spiritual force led by God. When he was riding the white horse, he used preachers to do his dirty work. But now that he is on a red horse, preachers are out of the pictures. He is now going to use politicians, magistrates, dictators, and all men of authority, and they are to take peace from the earth. Remember, Satan always uses men to do his work for him, just like God uses men to do the work of the Lord. Now those whom he (Satan) used in the first age were not commissioned to take peace from the earth; they were sent, to slip into the church and plant false doctrine. But these men sent out in the age of martyrdom, portrayed by the red horse, have swords in their hands, and a commission, to take peace from the earth. They definitely are not preachers; they are various officials of the Roman Empire. Read the history of that period of time, and see how there was constant unrest in the Roman Empire, rebellion and revolt in every direction, and the Christians got the blame for it all. Those political men, in their various provinces, who were not able to keep everything running smooth, were always looking for someone to blame the nervousness and political unrest on, and anything that went wrong, was blamed on the Christians. Therefore millions of them were led into the arenas where they were tortured and butchered, and the bleachers were filled with blood thirsty, degenerate souls, that enjoyed watching this sort of thing. It was not a sudden thing; it built up gradually, and lasted for many, many years. Christians were treated like that, just to appease politicians, kings, and potentate. Where people now go to bull fights, to satisfy their bloodthirsty craving for violence; in those days, they went to the arenas, to watch Christians being tortured and killed. But as I said already, Some of those Christians died with so much victory in their souls and left such a testimony of the power of God in their lives, it got hold of many of those who came, just to be entertained, and they would run to their side, and accept the same fate. Every time they killed a bunch, another bunch would fill the ranks, so the Church could not be wiped out like that. The convicting power of God would sweep over those spectators, when some well known saint would stand so bravely, and face those blood thirsty pagans, that many of them would just rush to their side. Only the Spirit of God could do a thing like that, and only the Spirit of God could enable those saints to bear such cruel and inhumane treatment. So by and by, Satan finally realized that he was not going to be able to destroy the Church like that, and that forced him to change horses again, and take on still another identity. Time has moved well into the fourth century, when the third horse comes fully into the picture. But let me say this, Do not picture this as though suddenly, one day, the rider jumps off of one horse, and leaps upon another one, and away he goes. No. Each change was a gradual one. But the third horse rider, had the longest ride of any, all the way through the Dark Ages.
THE BLACK HORSE – THE BEAST WITH A MAN’S FACE
Let us read verse 5, and catch the third seal now. “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, (the third beast is the one that had a face as a man.) Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Again, Saints: We want to pay attention to the type of fellow that is riding the horse. The first one, and a bow, the second a sword, but this one has a pair of balances, scales. He is going to sell something. Naturally it is the devil in each scene, but he uses men to accomplish what he wants done, and in each setting, he uses a different type of man. Therefore these balances in the hand of him, who sat upon the black horse, helps us to understand the kind of men he will be using during this period. Is that understood? We do not see kings, out trying to sell something, carrying a set of scales with them, but someone is sure going to, for the voice said, “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.” Billy Graham, and all those who are writing articles about these four horsemen, have been all riding at the end of the Gentile dispensation, bringing famines, pestilence, and all sorts of calamity upon mankind, and causing worldwide starvation, and all sorts of things. It is true, such things will occur, as time closes out, but it will not be caused by these four horsemen riding out in the sky, and dumping it upon humanity. As for the famines, that has been going on for many years already. In Africa, and in other places also, people are starving to death by the thousands. The western world hears little about it, for as a rule, they are politically unconcerned, but it is happening just the same. Nevertheless these four horse riders have nothing at all to do with any of that. This is a different picture altogether. So as we look at these weight and measures in the hand of this black horse rider, we realize that this types a certain kind of man, and the position he holds, and we know also, that what this black horse rider attempts to do, will be counterattacked by the third beast John saw in heaven. The one that had a face as the face of a man. Now you realize of course, that regardless of whether we speak as though this is still some future event to be, it is all in the past already. All of these horses have already gone forth, and the effects brought about by their riders, has already been manifested in the earth, so what did that third beast characterize? It could be none other, than what the Holy Spirit would do to preserve the church, throughout all the time this black horse rider would be riding. God’s first concern is for the church, so this beast with the face as a man, characterizes the men that were unctioned of God to write letters of rebuke, and to speak in public places, condemning the Catholic Church, and exposing her sins, throughout all of that long Dark Age period. It is true, each church age had its messenger, a man that stood out above all the rest, in defending the word of God, but God used many men for that same purpose in every age. As you read the history of that long period known as the Dark Ages, you will find that man after man, rose to expose that old antichrist church system, and to preach against the sin and corruption of it, but none of them had a revelation as to how to destroy the system. Everything they did was ordained of God to preserve the faith, the confidence, yes even the soul of a few people, who in that dark hour, would make up God’s true church, and all the rest were just left to go their own way, which leads to destruction. I have read a few of those letters, written by those men whom God raised up just for that very purpose, and some of them were very lengthy. If you think we have educated men in the world today: let me tell you something, I know of no one that could even compare with them. They could write to emperors and magistrates, with such Holy Ghost boldness and wisdom, it makes you think of the scripture where Jesus said, When they deliver you up to the council, take no thought for what ye shall say, for the Holy Ghost shall give you words in that hour, that shall confound the gainsayers. That is not exactly how it is written, but you know what I mean; the Spirit of God can put words in your mouth at a time like that, that man’s education could never come up with. Nevertheless in connection with what we are dealing with, wherever the effects of that black horse rider were felt, this beast with a face as a man was always on hand to oppose it. In other words, We just have to say that this is how God preserves His true church in every age, by opposing Antichrist teachings and the sinful and corrupt ways of religious systems. To some, it looks like the whole plan of God has fallen apart, but I am here to tell you, Nothing every happens, that is a surprise to God, for He is omniscient, He knew it before the world was ever created. Why did He allow it to go as it did? Some will say. You just have to realize the fact, that God receives glory from those who overcome the devil, so the opportunity to take as many as he can. When you start asking, Why? Why? Why? You have to go all the way back to the garden of Eden. Why did God ever allow the devil to get the first man and woman out of the perfect will and purpose He had set before them? But after the Serpent’s seed became a reality, everything else since then has been more or less a sorting out process. God always does something to save those foreknown to Him, and He allows the devil to take all the rest. God has His church, and Satan has his.
CATHOLICISM IN THE DARK AGES
Brothers and Sisters: Let me say this, Once that red horse rider changed to a black horse, and became identified as the black horse rider, he had successfully established what is now called the Roman Catholic Church, and the figure sitting upon that black horse is none other than the figure that is exemplified through all those old popes, that began to change the doctrines and ordinances, and the things of the gospel, that the first church preached, and those black robed priests that sold the word of God. That is what actually brought on the spiritual darkness. Black symbolizes darkness and death, and brother, history sure calls it, The Dark Ages, all the way from the closing of the fourth century into the fifteenth century. During all that time, the Catholic Church held poor souls under bondage by every means imaginable, and everything that pertained to the gospel was sold to them. That is why the balances are in the picture; they symbolize trade, or the buying and selling of merchandise. But praise God for the last part of verse 6, see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. That is what the third beast was guarding all that time, God’s predestined seed. I will never forget the night Bro. Branham was preaching on this, and said, The wheat and barley, naturally is speaking of the two main elements of grain that man, throughout the whole world, has always used as a basis of the staple food of life, which is bread. “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.” The word of God is man’s spiritual bread, and that is what those popes and priests were selling, but brother, they could not sell the Holy Ghost not a pure revelation, and neither could they hurt it; for the third beast was at his post of duty. But we do need to see that all of these ingredients are symbolic of something, and then we need to apply them where they belong.
AFTERMATH OF NICENE COUNCIL
Let me take a minute, and just sort of fill in some details that will allow you to better see how the Catholic Church got such a hold on people in the first place. Coming out of that age of martyrdom, where the church had lived under such pressure, it is easy to see how everything just suddenly turned right around. The devil finally realized that they could never kill all the Christians, for as fast as he would kill a bunch of them, a bunch of pagans would get converted, and take their place. That is why he changed horses, and put on a different disguise. He completely changed all of his tactics. By using a political figure, sitting on a throne, an imperial throne, to make a decree that took all the pressure off of the Church. All of a sudden, they were to be no longer persecuted, but accepted, recognized, and respected, along with all the other religions of the Roman Empire. To the Church, that was almost like a shock. You take an element of people that has lived in danger for so long, and their minds have been braced for the ultimate of that which they feared: do not tell me that it would not be a terrible shock, to suddenly hear that their persecution is over with. A thing like that creates a tremendous psychological reaction. For years the Church had lived under great tension, looking upon the terrible atrocities of martyrdom, and knowing from what caliber of men their persecution came, then all of a sudden, here is one of them that extends his hand, and says, We accept you, and respect your religion. What do you think that did to the Christians, to hear news like that. Remember, by that hour of time, Christians were not of the same quality as those of the first century. They did not have the same degree of revelation the Church started out with. In fact, many of them did not even live clean lives, and therefore were not sensitive to the Spirit, so they could receive revelation. They were very conscious of the fact that they needed salvation, and they could see that this was the way. That is why they were so willing to die for it. But as far as revelation, they had very little. Therefore when they heard that the persecution was over, they breathed a great sigh of relief, and right at that moment, the devil was standing, ready to bring on the great numbing shock. Throughout the whole Roman Empire, that decree was fully in effect, and pretty soon, they would begin to see various dignitaries coming into their services. What a surprise. The Church began to feel honored, to have such men coming into their services, and the devil was loving every bit of it, for it was all playing right into his hands. Soon the black horse rider would be selling his merchandise. Naturally it took a process of time, for all of that to built up to the point where it really stood out, but when you study history, how the power of the papacy came to be what it was, you just have to realize that the bishops of Rome took advantage of every opportunity to exercise themselves in things that would draw attention to themselves. During the age of martyrdom, those bishops of Rome were men of prayer, but now that the state has shook hands with the Church, and the bishops have an opportunity to be recognized by political figures, they are a completely different quality of men. As the old imperial throne began to weaken, those bishops stood ready to influence decisions pertaining to state business. History shows that they were outstanding voices of decision, pertaining to political as well as military affairs. In the many invasions by barbarian tribes from the north, it was the decisions made by the bishops, many times, that enabled Rome to stand, and survive. That happened over and over again and again, not just with one man, but with the many that succeeded each other. They all used the power of that chair, to gain every possible political advantage. This is how they managed to get completely in the saddle. By this time, they are called popes instead of bishops, and they will ride that back horse throughout the long period known as The Dark Ages. Everything pertaining to the gospel was sold to those who could afford to pay, but what the poor souls bought, was never even heard of in the first century. The one God that the apostles of Christ preached, was cut up into three pieces. They made a trinity out of God, and turned justification, sanctification, and baptism of the Holy Ghost into rituals that could be sold, instead of personal experiences administered by the Holy Ghost to the individuals. This is that leaven Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13:33, the fourth parable of the seven. The old Roman emperor Constantine, should be alive two hundred years later, to see what his Nicaea Council has turned into. Brother, the farther it went, the worse it got. By one decree, the whole situation was turned around. Where the state used to be over the Church, the Church is now over the state, and the Roman emperor is just a figurehead. They can be put up, or taken down, by the pope. No it did not get that way in one century. It took many centuries for the pope to get into such a place of dictatorship over the state, but the point is, The devil was in no hurry, just as long as he could get a system of religion set up, that he could rule, and brother, he had it. By the time Martin Luther was raised up to protest that old system of religion, there was very little left in the church, that could even be associated with the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the first church was founded upon. The Lord’s supper was sold all over Europe. They call it a mass. It is now sold worldwide. The Reformation did not destroy Catholicism, it only wounded its head for a while, but that wound is healed, and all the Protestant daughters of that old mother system are returning home to fellowship with her.
NO PROGRESS MADE IN DARK AGES
It is sad to see people who are so devoted to that old system of religion, how they are robbed by the priests. A little Catholic mother takes her little baby to the priest, to have it christened, and that mass costs her money, and at every stage of its growth, there is another mass to be paid for. Then when that child grows up and becomes self supporting, if that person remains true to the Catholic belief, he, or she will go through life, paying some black robed priest to pray for them. That is that black horse rider, selling the bread of life, at least what they call, the bread of life. Regardless of whether it is Europe, America, the Philippines, or where, that black horse rider has been selling the gospel, the so called bread of life. That is what brought about the darkest era that the history of the human race has ever recorded. There was not one bit of materialistic advancement in Europe during all that time. However they went into the Dark Ages, that is how they still were, one thousand years later. Their life style did not change during all that time. Poverty was considered to be a virtue of true spirituality. I read where one fellow that believed like that, had a pole set up in a certain part of his city, and a platform erected on top of it, and he sat up there ever so many days, dressed in old burlap, and eating old stale bread, and drinking water, nothing else. Then it told of the great miracles that took place, when visitors would pass by that spot. Now brothers and sisters, I do not deny the miracle power of God. Neither do I deny His acts of mercy. But I will say this, Whatever acts of mercy and grace God may have bestowed upon some of those people, it was not because that dirty thing was sitting up there on top of that pole. God, many times, looks upon the ignorance and sincerity of certain people that try so hard to please Him, and He meets their need, and comforts them, but I assure you, none of these self inflicted tortures and denials of the flesh have ever moved God to do anything. The world of religion cannot use that though; they still believe God is persuaded to move on their behalf, because of what they do, when the Bible clearly teaches us, that God is moved only by our faith that is exercised toward Him, and that kind of faith is not something that a person just suddenly decides to have. It must be built in us, and cultivated, by a personal relationship with God and by studying His written word. That has nothing at all to do with what God does sovereignly to accomplish some purpose of His. God does many things just simply to further deceive those who have no love for the truth. Would God do that: You may say. In 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 2, Paul said He would. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” In other words, what I am saying is, God, by His own sovereign will does many things for many people, but the only spiritual provision we have, to receive anything from Him, is to ask in prayer, believing that we shall receive it, because we see a provision in the scriptures. As for this old burlap, If the Pope of Rome wore it, no one would say a word against it, but a while back, the news media looked at the queen of England, and because they did not think she was dressed according to their perception of how she should be dressed, they made remarks about it. I just thought to myself, The devil has this world so blinded, they have completely left reality. He is playing with their minds, and they are too far gone to even realize it. Thank God for those precious souls that have always cherished whatever little measure of truth they could get hold of, or this world would be completely given over to insanity.
THE OIL AND THE WINE
God let those old priests sell the gospel in its bits and pieces, but He refused to let them touch the Holy Ghost. “See thou hurt not the oil and wine.” Oil and wine are opposite ingredients from what the bread is. These are liquids, that serve a different purpose, but when we make a spiritual application, they go with the bread. The bread, being the word of God, must be taken with the Holy Ghost, (which is signified by the oil and wine) or else it is just dead letter. It takes the Holy Ghost to cause it to be a life giving substance. As we said, Oil speaks of the anointing quality of the Holy Ghost, and wine speaks of the revelatory quality fo the Holy Ghost, because revelation of God’s word causes the same stimulating affect upon our spirit, that natural wine does to the natural body. You let the natural man of the world get a little discouraged, and the weight of depression starting to burden him down, and many times, you will see him take a little wine, because it has a stimulating, relaxing affect upon his natural body, and makes his heart merry. In other words, It just sort of lifts his spirit, if he does not take too much. Too much of it will cause him to pass out, but you will have a type of the Holy Ghost there, for I have seen people pass out when they drank of the Spirit of God, also. They do not wake up with a hangover, when they pass out like that, though. Hallelujah! If you are going to drink, this is the kind of wine to drink, for it is still the same as when those first disciples of Christ drank of it on the day of Pentecost, almost two hundred years ago. You cannot change it. As I said, God permitted the papacy to change the letter of the gospel, and sell it to all who would buy, but they could not touch the oil and the wine, for that is the Spirit of God, and God never changes. He reserves that same stimulation for His true people, in every age, if they seek all that is available to them. But during those Dark Age years, you will have to admit, there was very little revelation. They just simply existed off of the grace and mercy of God without the stimulation, except for a very few individuals. The Catholic Church has their confirmation, but it is totally void of any spiritual benefit to the persons partaking of it, for the Holy Ghost is not in it. They can line students up before the altar who have studied all the catechisms and the apostles creed (so called) and when they put that little wafer on their tongue, they receive no more stimulation from it, than they would from eating popcorn. On the other side of the picture, you let a soul get hungry for the true bread of life, and the Holy Ghost will be right on hand to anoint that person. The anointing comes first, for that is how He leads you to truth. Hallelujah! Praise God! It is a beautiful thing, the way God works. As your soul reaches out to God, the Holy Ghost just comes down and gets inside of you, and begins to open up the avenue of your understanding, and when you begin to see the truth of something you have wondered and wondered about, you experience that stimulating affect in your spirit, like the natural man has in his natural emotions from taking a little wine. Alright, I hope this has helped you to understand the terminology used, in connection with the black horse, and his rider that carried the set of balances (scales) in his hand.
We have one more horse and rider to look at, but there is a transition period in between the black horse rider, and the pale (gray) horse rider, that we will need to talk about first. The gray horse rider comes fully upon the scene in the Laodicean age, but there are some men who come into the picture before that gray horse rider rides out. The Holy Ghost began anointing men like Martin Luther, Calvin, Knox, Huss, and others, and giving them a revelation of some great truth that had been taken from the church during the Dark Ages, and the years leading up to what is commonly referred to as the Dark Ages. Nevertheless their revelations were always for the purpose of restoring back to the church, something that had been lost. Actually John Huss was sort of a forerunner of the reformers of the sixteenth century, for he was burned at the stake in the year 1415 A.D., for refusing to recant, long before Martin Luther came into the picture. But God used all of those men, in a very real and dramatic way, as they would get a revelation of His word, and would take their stand against the opposing forces of the devil. Those years in between the Dark Ages and the Laodicean age, are known as the age of Reformation. Years in which various Protestant movements came into being, as a result of God’s dealing in the life of their founders. The Reformers are not the ones that built the denominational fences around the truth they received from God; it was their followers, that did that, after they had finished their work on earth, and gone on to their reward. Furthermore, it was not until around the World War 2 era, that any Protestant denomination even had any thoughts about merging back with the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, those denominational preachers were strongly opposed to any favorable mention of the Catholic Church, from Lutheranism, right on down the line. But prior to 1948, there began to be a compromising spirit move among them, as more and more of them lost their founder’s original revelation, and stimulation, and could no longer see clearly why they were apart from the Catholic Church. Therefore in 1948, there came the birth of a movement of Protestantism, The World Council of Churches, and that brings us up to a point where I believe we should get this gray horse rider into the picture. I call it a gray horse, because there is no such thing as a pale horse. Pale is a word that is used in connection with skin color and such like, but never in connection with the color of a horse. What John saw, was a horse that was neither white nor black, so he referred to it as a pale horse, but we all know that such a horse is commonly referred to as a gray horse. From a distance, and in certain light, it may look white, but upon closer examination, we find that it is really gray. We used to call that a blue steel gray. If you pull one hair out of the body, from a certain distance to the body, it is still white, but at the end of the hair you will find that blackish color. Why could John see a horse like that? Well the devil had to change horses, for this last ride, and the horse that is neither all white, nor all black, could signify nothing else but the fact that Roman Catholicism and apostate Protestantism is merging back together in a great worldwide ecumenical move. Satan’s church is being unified for the remainder of this Laodicean age. That gray horse rider will ride right on out to the end. Let us read the scripture we are talking about, the fourth seal, found in Revelation 6:7-8. “And when he (Jesus) had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast (the eagle) say, Come and see. 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 PALE (GRAY) HORSE – THE FLYING EAGLE
Alright let us take a close look at the figure sitting on that horse. When it first appeared on the scene, it truly was the Pope of Rome sitting in the saddle, but coming into the 1960’s Pope John 23rd took the prayer of Jesus, where he was praying that we all might be one, and he began inviting the Protestant daughters, to come home to mama. Saints, I am so glad we had a prophet messenger on the scene, that said, Beware of that thing. That is the pale horse rider of Revelation 6:7, it is not the Holy Ghost. This is the devil’s counterfeit. To a lot of people, and especially at a distance, it looked like a white horse, but that just goes to show how color blind they are. As I said, you could look at a white horse, and a gray horse off in the distance, and you probably could not see much difference between them. That is the way world religion is today; they are so spiritually blind; they cannot tell the difference between right and wrong any more. No wonder Jesus said, When the blind lead the blind, they all fall into the ditch. None of them can see well enough to guide anyone else. They are all color blind, or we should say sore eyed Christians, as it is described in the letter to the church at Laodicea, in Revelation 3:18. Why call them sore eyed? Simply because Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see.” They have sore eyes. They cannot keep them open; therefore they cannot see what is coming down the road, spiritually speaking. I had sore eyes once, speaking from the standpoint of my natural eyes. It was hot and dry, and I was riding a combine every day, combining grain, and sweated excessively, around my temple, and was continually just wiping across my eyes, so I got up one morning, and could not get my eyes open. Sitting there on that old tractor every day, with the sun beaming down on me, sweat running into my eyes, and all that dust boiling up around my head, finally got to be almost more than I could stand. My eyes were bloodshot and irritated, and finally got to the point where I just literally had to pry them open. It got to be so painful, I said to my wife one morning, Honey, If I don’t get some relief from this condition somehow, I am just going to have to stop for a few days, and let this irritation clear up. I only had a few more days of work, and I would be finished, so I wanted to keep going, if I could, but my condition got a little worse every day. That morning, I went on to the field, and my wife got in the car, and went to see the doctor for me. She told him the shape my eyes were in, so he said, We’ll fix that up for him. He sent me a little tube of ointment, no larger than my little finger, and said, Tell him to rub just a small amount of this on his eyelids, when he goes to bed. The very next morning, my eyes felt ever so much better. I know first hand, what Jesus meant by anointing eyes with eyesalve, and I also know how to apply that same thing spiritually. When Christians spiritual eyes get in the shape my natural eyes were in, how can they even know that they are naked, spiritually speaking? That gray horse is galloping. It has apostate Protestantism and Roman Catholicism all sleeping in the same bed. That ecumenical spirit is gathering them all together. The Protestant daughters are forming into an image of what their mother has always been. That is why John could see an image to the first beast, in Revelation, chapter 13. Pope John started this whole thing, and those that have succeeded him are still carrying on the program he started, and for the same purpose, to get the Protestant daughters back home again. Now Catholics themselves, do not care whether the horse is black, white or gray. But those poor blind Protestants say, It looks white. This must be Jesus. Surely it is the will of God for us all to be one. Sure the Bible says that, but Jesus was speaking of all those that the Father had given Him, so I am terribly afraid there are a lot of people using that scripture, that were not even in the mind of Jesus, when he spake those words.
ECUMENICALISM – GROSS DECEPTION
David Duplessis, who used to be the president of the Pentecostal World Council of Churches, is the one that took the Charismatic Pentecostal message to the Vatican Council, and taught those priests how to speak in tongues. This is why the book titled “Mr. Pentecost” came to be written. The Pope pointed his finger at David Duplessis and said, Mr. Pentecost! Brother from that time ever since, practically all of the Pentecostal movements have one way or the other, managed to align themselves with the overall body of this unification fellowship. They have all helped to form the body of this powerful horse, that is presently being ridden right on through the world of religion, and will continue right on to the end. The Pope of Rome is riding the gray horse, and the church world in general looks at it, and thinks it is a white horse. Pope John 23rd passed off the scene, and the next one stepped up and said, I will carry on what he started. He passed from the scene, and the next one went one step further; he said, We know that the Catholic Church, in the past, has made many errors. Oh, that sounded good to the Protestants. It sounded so good to them, they did not even notice that this was as far as he ever went. They automatically took what he said, as though the Catholic Church had repented, but that was not the case at all. In the letter to the Thyatira Church, God said, “I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.” So I thank God for that eagle Spirit, that spake through His prophet, and said, Watch out for that gray horse rider. It is one thing for a man to say, I have done wrong, but it is quite a different thing when he repents, and turns from his wrong ways. This was not the case here, for that was as far as he ever went, but it did serve its purpose. Psychologically it had a very persuasive influence upon a lot of people. That Pope has just concluded a visit to various nations, and he is liked everywhere he goes. He is the most influential figure in the world today. That is why I have to say, If he is not the pope to fulfill Daniel 9:27, he sure is getting everything set up for the one who will. But regardless of how much he is liked, the Bible says His name is, Death, and Hell followed with him. That is the end. Every person who allows themselves to be influenced, and incorporated into the body of that thing, death and hell is their end. Now notice the weapons, still in verse 8, “And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, (This is all still ahead) and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
THE EAGLE SEES DANGER UP AHEAD
Brother, let me tell you, The pope that is in that saddle in the dark tribulation hour yet ahead, is going to initiate a bloodbath like this world has never yet seen. That is when sword, famine, and everything will be used, all at the same time, trying to rid the earth of every soul that believes in God, both Jew and Gentile. That is when that gray horse rider, rides right off the scene, right into death and hell himself, at the end of that 3 ½ years of great tribulation. Now let me ask you this, Who was it that introduced that horse rider? It was the fourth beast, the one that was like a flying eagle. He was sitting high enough to see what was coming. Therefore by the authority of God’s word I will say, That is why God had a prophet on the scene when He did. For before that gray horse rider really got going, doing what he is doing now, he was already exposed to the true saints. We knew what that horse would represent, and we knew what to watch for. In 1963, where was that eagle? He was high up, where he could see the storms coming. He was looking beyond the natural horizon, beyond where our natural vision reaches, and when he told us to beware of that gray horse, that was God’s way of warning His true people to stay free from all of that ecumenical compromising. Of course you cannot expect denominational people to heed such warnings though, for if they had a revelation of Bro. Branham’s part in the plan of God, they would not still be in those denominational systems. Nevertheless knowing that the other three beasts fulfilled their role corresponding to the horses that were rode in their particular era of time, there is no reason in the world for anyone to doubt that God had that eagle Spirit on hand, in the physical form of a little man we loved and respected, to combat the activities of this gray horse rider, as he rode out to gather up the harlot daughters of Roman Catholicism, and deliver them into the hands of their old mother, the great whore of Revelation 17:1. Of course some will say, But Bro. Branham is gone now, and you say the gray horse rider is still riding, so how is that Antichrist spirit being combated in this hour of time? Well even though Bro. Branham has left the scene, the message he delivered to this Laodicean age is still very much with us, and so is that Eagle Spirit that was in him, still very present in our day, for it is the Spirit of God, working through the true ministry, on behalf of the bride of Christ, to perfect her revelation. In other words, God took the man that first exemplified the eagle Spirit in this age, but He certainly has not taken the eagle. It will be here as long as the church is still here. For as long as the Church is still here, it will need Holy Ghost guidance and protection. God will always have His instruments on the scene, to look at present situations, and say, Church! Don’t go that way! Therefore as the World Council of Churches and Roman Catholicism unite together, all incorporated in the body of that horse, you can be sure of this one thing, That eagle is going to be flying close by the side of the Church, and anytime it sees danger around the curve in the road, it is going to scream, and its screaming will always be in harmony with the scriptures. Just do not allow yourselves to become relaxed and careless, for that gray horse rider is still riding full speed ahead, and he will not give up his relentless efforts to mislead or destroy the church of the living God, until she is lifted up from this old earth in the rapture. Let us just be thankful in our hearts, that we had spiritual ears, to hear that eagle scream.
SPIRIT OF TRUTH
Brothers and Sisters: We still have the 5th seal that we could go on into, where John saw souls under the altar, asking, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? But my main concern, in the light of all that is being published on the subject lately, is to show who the rider is, on these four horses, so that people who are just sort of caught in the middle, will be able to make up their own minds, which way they want to believe this thing. Those who are capable of receiving a true revelation, will have their opportunity to do so, and all the rest can just go on with Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, or any one else they choose to. If they want to believe that all the horses are yet to be ridden out in the last days, causing terrible catastrophic occurrences in the world, let them do so, for these things are only for the true bride of Christ anyhow. Fifty years ago, it was a common thing for folks to believe like that, but when people still choose to believe like that, after they have had their chance to hear the true revelation of these things, then there is little hope for the. God did not place His Spirit within us, to keep us in darkness; it is supposed to lead us into the light of His revealed word. In other words, into all truth, not into error.
SUMMARY OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN
Let us run back through the four horsemen. Nineteen hundred years ago, the spirit of antichrist went forth, symbolized by a white horse and a rider that had a bow in his hand, but no arrows to shoot in the thing. He was a bluff, and the Spirit of God, to combat that spirit was symbolized as a lion, because that first church age had men who spoke against that antichrist spirit, with the boldness of a lion. Then came Satan in another disguise, symbolized by a red horse, because he had decided to try to kill all the Christians, simply because he could not get control of the church by sowing false doctrine in it. But the power of God that gave those saints grace to die a martyr’s death, was symbolized by a calf beast. Simply because a calf is a beast of sacrifice, and a beast of burden. Therefore Satan was still defeated in his attempts to get control, for as fast as he could kill a bunch of Christians, another bunch of pagans would get converted, and step up, to take their place. The martyrs went to their death, singing praises to the God of their salvation, so Satan could have no victory there. That brought on the black horse, darkness, and the gospel of Christ was sold to the people, in its perverted particles, by the Catholic Church. That is where we see the Spirit of God portrayed in the beast with a face as a man, as men were inspired and unctioned by the Holy Ghost, to speak against that religious dogma, and to write letters condemning and denouncing it. This covered all the Dark Age period of history and brought time to the Reformation. The Reformation produced all these harlot daughters, that stand out so prominently in the age of Laodicea, and that gave Satan the opportunity to send another rider out, the Pope or Rome, on a gray horse. This horse is neither all white, nor all black, but contains a mixture of both white and black. Remember, horse speaks of power, so we are looking at the power of the antichrist, pulling off a gross deception, on the harlot daughters of Roman Catholicism, but the Spirit of God, symbolized by an eagle, is watching over His true church, and warning her, not to have any part in this ecumenical Council of Churches. He is also revealing His true plan for the ages to her, by getting her back into His written word, and back to the faith of her apostolic fathers. So we will conclude this message by saying, We know what the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are, we know when they went forth, and for what purpose, and we know what the final results of it all will be, but the battle is not over yet, for Satan is still on the loose, and he will not give up until he is chained up for a thousand years. Therefore let us be faithful to our heavenly Father, and to the revelation he has so abundantly given us, and when that last trump sounds, we will be ready to go with Jesus, to the marriage supper. God bless you. Amen.