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"The Book of Revelation, An Eschatological Study of the Endtimes", by Chad J. McCoy

Who wanted that small explosion to become a big one? The rider of the red horse. No one knows exactly how the Great War was started. The jury's still out. It should have been just a conflict between Austria and Germany, as the conflicts were before at the beginning of the timeline (with only two enemies). But somehow, it escalated. The situation was manipulated into World War One. No one is sure how or why. But it happened. The red horse was at work, taking peace from the earth and causing men to kill each other.

Consider these words:
Just as the Nineteenth Century really began after Waterloo in 1815, so may we understand that the real history of the twentieth century began in the post war era, after the first of what came to be known as two world wars. Almost every social, political or economic conflict of this century can be traced back to the incredible blood letting on the battlefields of the Great War. Its memory framed the political posturing of several generations of diplomats, politicians and generals. The gross failures of the war making powers generated and fed a century of rebellion against any rightful authority systems and monarchial systems of government in particular.

The red horse is at work.

The third and specific cause of the Great War involved the assassination of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary on 28 June 1914 by a Serbian radical who hoped to pave the way for a greater Slavic state separate from the Dual Monarchy.

What was it exactly that set off the Great War? An assassination. A killing. One man against another. The red horse.

What about World War Two? Here is the definition of World War II, by MSN Encarta:

World War II, global military conflict that, in terms of lives lost and material destruction, was the most devastating war in human history. It began in 1939 as a European conflict between Germany and an Anglo-French coalition, but it widened to include most of the nations of the world.

Note the words "the most devastating war in human history", and how it started small, but was manipulated into a global conflict.

Never has there been a war that could have been avoided more easily than the one that has just destroyed (1939 - 1945) whatever was left of the world after the previous confrontation (1914 -1918).

This should have been a most easily avoidable war. The most easily-avoidable war in the history of the world. But it wasn't avoided. Why? The red horse was at work, taking peace from the earth, and causing men to kill themselves.

From 1939 to 1945, Germany's military machine struck out and conquered most of Western Europe, swept into deserts of North Africa and drove deep into the hinterlands of Russia. In time, however, the Allies gathered strength and eventually crushed the German Army and Axis powers with a display of brute force that has remained unmatched to this day.

War. Such as the world had never seen. The red horse. Even men did not understand what was happening to them, or why.

"The story is how did you get from there to the First World War, and who wanted that small explosion to become a big one? "… "the answer is almost impossible to define." - World War One
" Never has there been a war that could have been avoided more easily…" - World War Two
The red horse. Taking peace from the earth. Causing men to kill each other.

Sure, war has always been with us. Even the Israelites made war. But it was always the Israelites against the Hittites, or the Israelites against the Ammonites, or the Israelites against the Philistines, or the Israelites against the Assyrians…
It was two forces, two enemies. Just as it was Athens against Sparta, Carthage against Rome, Greece against Persia.
You never saw a force of Assyrians, Philistines, Hittites, Ammonites, Amelekites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perezzites, Jebusites, and Moabites against the Israelites, Egyptians, Medes, Persians, Hivites, and Sidonians.
Oh, no. This batch of war was cooked up by the rider of the red horse.
And it started sometime after the death of Jesus. It hadn't been like this before the birth of Jesus. It's like this NOW. So the ingredients had to be gotten together sometime after the time of Christ.
Now World War One may not have been the first occurrence. Like I said, I'm no historian. There may have been wars previous to the Great War that involved many different nations. It doesn't change the picture, though.
We have a situation here where wars involve the whole world. Even nations that do not take part are affected. How has it come to this? It wasn't like this before the time of Christ. It has come about since then. The red horse.
A Demon of Great War. The Great War.
World War One. The Red Baron. The Red Horse.
World War Two. The Red Army. The Red Horse.
Korea. Vietnam. Iraq.
The Red Horse.

We live in a world where we are familiar with the phrases "going postal", "road rage", and "guns in schools".
Men killing men. Who can figure out the reason? What can we do to put a stop to the killing? More police, more soldiers, more security guards. The killings continue. Parents kill their children. Children kill children. Whites kill blacks, and Muslims kill Serbs. When will it all end? What can we do about it?
And the red horse continues its journey through the earth, taking away the peace and causing men to kill each other.
One might ask what purpose God would have in loosing such a spirit upon the world. I would submit that it is our Tree of Good and Evil. It is the fire through which we will be tested, and refined to become pure as gold. It is that which will burn up the chaff, leaving only the wheat.
We must make our choice. Who will we serve?
Am I an atheist, whereby the armed men coming down the street will leave me alone, or am I a Christian whom they will kill?

Black is black, and white is white. Hell is hot, and sin ain't right. God is holy, and Christ is coming, and righteousness will prevail! - Radically Saved - Carman

Joshua 24:15 - But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

THE THIRD SEAL -

Rev. 6:5,6: When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

Once again, we have a horse, symbolizing war. We must find out what kind of war it is this time around. The horse is black, so we'll have to determine what the color black represents. The rider is holding a pair of scales, so we'll need to determine the meaning of the scales, as well. Then we have the stock report statement, which the New Testament in Modern Speech version of the bible translates as:
"A whole day's wage for a loaf of bread, a whole day's wage for three barley cakes, but do not damage the oil or the wine."
This will need to be understood as well.
Let's begin with the color black. There are 16 instances in the NIV version of the bible, where the word black is used, and 18 instances in the KJV. In these instances, the color black is used four different ways. It is used to indicate darkness, as in the sky was blackened. It's used simply as a color, as in the black vulture. It's used to indicate disease, as in Job 30:30: My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever. And it's used to indicate a condition caused by famine, as in Lamentations 5:10: Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
Basically, black is black. So let's not read too much into this color. Whatever this horse represents, it must be something dark. It is going to cause something to darken.
Let's go on. Scales. In the bible they are used by merchants as measuring instruments, for lengths and weights.
Consider the following verses:
Lev. 19:35,36: 'Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt.
Proverbs 11:1: The LORD abhors dishonest scales,
but accurate weights are his delight.
Proverbs 16:11 : Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.
Proverbs 20:23 : The LORD detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.
Ezekial 45:9-12: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You have gone far enough, O princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. 10 You are to use accurate scales, an accurate ephah and an accurate bath. 11 The ephah and the bath are to be the same size, the bath containing a tenth of a homer and the ephah a tenth of a homer; the homer is to be the standard measure for both. 12 The shekel is to consist of twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels equal one mina.
Hosea 12:7 : The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud.
Amos 8:4-7 : Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying,
"When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?"-
skimping the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
7 The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: "I will never forget anything they have done.

We see here that the Lord hates dishonest scales! You can read these passages as they continue on, and you will find out about the punishment God will pour out on those who cheat others out of their hard-earned money.

Ok, let's combine what we know: A darkness will come over the economy. (The scales represent buying and selling, and therefore represent the economy) The fact that this dark cloud emanates from a horse, the symbol of war, means that this won't just be a minor recession, but a major crash.
Let's go on to the statement that was made:

"A whole day's wage for a loaf of bread, a whole day's wage for three barley cakes, but do not damage the oil or the wine."

John says that the voice he heard that spoke these words came from among the four beasts that are before the throne. If you back up and take a look at who is among the four beasts, you see that it is the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Rev. 5:6: Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.

What is it Jesus is saying? A whole day's wage for a loaf of bread. How much is a day's wage? Let's say on average, a person makes $10 an hour. A day's wage (8 hours) would be $80. We're talking about an $80 loaf of bread here!
What was it that we just figured out? There will be a major darkening of our economy! At $80 per loaf of bread, Jesus isn't kidding!
What else did he say? A day's wage for three barley cakes. So another $80 for three barley cakes. Now I'm not sure what barley cakes are, but I picture them as something like a pita bread, or a rice cake. Whatever they are, they cost $26.66 each. Let's see. Three people could eat a whole meal at a restaurant for what it would cost to buy one of these barley cakes. Definite crash of the economy.
Now what does he mean when he says, "but don't damage the oil or the wine"? I did look up the word "oil" in the Greek. It's olive oil, not crude oil.
So what does this mean? I think that Jesus is giving the rider of the black horse his instructions. The rider is to cause great economic collapse, but he is not to harm the oil, or the wine.
Now why would Jesus say this? What good is oil and wine if everything else is outrageously expensive?
Here's another thought: what would cause such a collapse of the economy? Why would foodstuffs like bread and barley cakes become so expensive?
I know from the Gulf War, and the computer RAM industry, that when products become scarce, they become very expensive. The demand for them is greater than supply can easily handle.
So one possible scenario, is that things will become in short supply. When Jesus tells the rider not to tamper with the oil and the wine, it could mean that he is telling him not to destroy any of it. So we will be in short supply of other things which are now very expensive, but we will have plenty of oil and wine.
Again, what difference does it make that we have plenty of oil and wine? If our bills are going sky high, and we can't afford to feed our families, or to pay the rent, then we're worried about survival. Who cares if we can get olive oil at a great price?
Aha, but there's the key, and I danced all around it for two days before I realized it.
When Jesus tells the rider not to tamper with the oil and wine, it is true that he is telling him not to destroy it. But my next assumption was wrong. I said that may mean we will be in short supply of a lot of things, but will have plenty of oil and wine. Where did it say we would be in short supply of anything?
I spent many hours trying to figure out what good it would do us if the economy crashed and yet we still had plenty of access to olive oil and alcohol. There is no answer forthcoming for that riddle.
The answer is, there is NO benefit. So what is being said here? To solve this riddle, you must listen carefully.
The black rider appears. He is to go about the earth, making war on our value system. Jesus speaks, and gives the rider his orders. The orders are: a loaf of bread will cost a day's wages. Three barley cakes will cost a day's wages.
This tells us how bad a war this rider is going to wage on our economy. Then Jesus issues another order: Do not hurt the oil and the wine. In other words, do not damage it. Do not cause injury, do not ravish, do not harm, do not ruin.
Listen carefully: although he said not to damage the oil and wine specifically, he never ordered the damage of anything else, either!
You see, I had assumed that all commodities would be damaged, except for the oil and wine, but the bible doesn't say that. It says that prices soared, BUT… the food was not damaged.
I was not looking at olive oil and wine as food, until I saw this verse:
Deut. 11:13-15: So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today-to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
In this passage the Lord

is saying that the people may harvest their crops. Listen carefully: He says that they may gather in … what?
Their grain… that's understandable, you can go out into the fields and harvest grain.
They may gather in wine… wait a minute, you can't just go out and harvest wine. Wine does not grow on trees. It doesn't! Grapes do, which are the ingredients of wine, but wine is a finished product, meaning it needs to be made. There is a process of turning grapes into wine. Wine is a finished product. So what does the Lord mean here? It's obvious he's talking about vineyards. Grapes, vines… Go out and gather in the produce from your vineyards… that is what he is saying!
And they are to gather in oil… here we go again. The word "oil" here is olive oil, not crude oil. Again, you can't go out and gather in olive oil. It doesn't just seep out of the ground like dew, waiting to be collected into barrels. Olive oil is a finished product, made from squeezing olives. So they are to gather the olives, from which they will make the oil.
So what are they to gather? Grain, grapes, and olives. We're talking about fields, vines, and olive trees! Living, growing plants. Sustenance. Food. Food!
So, to get back to the statement about not damaging the oil and the wine, Jesus is using the same wording that he did in Deuteronomy. He doesn't mean that wine PRICES will be spared. He doesn't mean olive oil PRICES will be spared.
He means that the grapes will be spared. The olive trees will be spared.
What does this mean? It means something very important. We're not talking about famine here.
NO FAMINE!
Some people believe that the black horse is famine, but the bible reveals that it can't possibly be!
What about the bread that is said will cost a day's wages? Well, what about it? It doesn't say that the bread will be destroyed, either. It never says any kind of food will be harmed. It says simply that it will be very expensive!
What does that mean?
It means that whatever it is that causes this crash of the economy, it is not brought about by a famine!
Let's review:
The white horse went out into the world with a weapon, a bow and arrow. The red horse went out with a weapon, also, a sword. Both of them rode out to conquer.
But the black horse has no weapon! He has… a scale. He's not going to be able to damage anything without a weapon!
And that's just it! This horse doesn't damage the grain, grapes, olives, or cattle. He simply goes throughout the earth assigning values. He does this aggressively, plunging the world into economic collapse.
How does he do this?
Well, if you wanted to send the price of computers soaring, just put a RAM factory in Japan out of business. Send an earthquake across Europe. Prices will soar to the heavens!
If you want to raise the price of automobiles, just cause some steelworkers to go on strike.
If you want to raise the price of gas, start a little war with Iraq.
And once prices start to go up, so do bills. The grocer at the store has to raise prices, to cover his bills. The farmer, who already needs government aid in order to make a profit on the crops he sells, now can't stay in business.
Food prices go up, as well as all other commodities, and now supply can no longer meet the demand.
The government steps in with financial aid packages, and they start printing money. Once that happens, the money isn't worth anything anymore, and now the nation hits rock bottom, laying out a red carpet for the pale horse of the fourth seal.
This all happens on a world-wide scale, so you can imagine the tragedy.
And the grain isn't damaged. The grapes continue to grow. The olive trees flourish. But the food processing centers are crippled. The grain doesn't get made into bread as much anymore. The grapes don't get made into as much wine. There is less olive oil because there are no workers to press the olives.
Crops are not damaged, but our ability to harvest them IS.
And we're not just talking food, here. Remember, this horse has declared war on our monetary system. It's not just food that's affected. It's gas, cars, electric, water, computers, rent, mortgages, credit…
But the important thing to remember, is that this is all brought about, NOT THROUGH FAMINE, but through the assigning of astronomic value to the most common of commodities.
The black horse. The spirit of financial ruin.
As I look around me today, what do I see, but perhaps the beginning of the ride of the black rider. Gas prices have hit $1.70 per gallon, with no end in sight for the entire year! It's only February, 2000! The AAA says to expect that to be a good price for gas at the end of the year in the Ohio area, with it being closer to $2.00 in California.
Could the black horse have actually started his ride back during the Great Depression? Maybe, but I doubt it.
The 1980's were the most prosperous years this nation has ever had. This prophecy doesn't read as if this is just going to be a slight setback. It reads more as if this is going to be a disaster from which we will not recover.
And although during the Great Depression, things were expensive, I don't think the price of a loaf of bread ever reached so high as to be equal to a day's wage.
I think the days of the Black Rider are upon us. Just keep an eye on the price of gas, and see how many other things start going up.
Let's now study the fourth horse.

THE FOURTH SEAL -

Rev. 6:7,8: When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

This is the last horse, and its color is pale. What is pale? Pale is colorless, ashen, blanched, doughy, wan, bleached. The bible uses it sometimes to describe a death-like appearance.
Jeremiah 30:6 : Ask and see:
Can a man bear children?
Then why do I see every strong man
with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,
every face turned deathly pale?
Daniel 10:8: So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.
The dictionary describes the word "pale" as meaning feeble, or weak. That would fit with biblical usage of the word in the above scriptures.
Usually when we say a person looks pale, we follow up by asking them if they feel ok.
So pale represents sickness, weakness, or death.
We could interpret this to mean that the pale horse represents a war on our well-being.
Interestingly enough, the rider of this horse has a name: Death.
This rider is going to travel throughout the earth, waging a war of death.
This isn't just going to be some flu epidemic or malaria outbreak. Imagine Ebola, Marburg, Lassa Fever, Dengue, and AIDS running rampant throughout the earth.
Consider this statement, made in 1996:
"We are standing on the brink of a global crisis in infectious diseases. No country is safe from them. No country can any longer afford to ignore their threat," - Director-General of WHO (World Health Organization), Dr Hiroshi Nakajima

This horse and rider is given power to kill. Remember the red horse? It had a large sword, but did not kill men with its own hand. It had the power to cause men to kill each other. This horse, however, is going to do its own killing.
It is given four methods it can use to accomplish this, with plagues being only one of them. It can also kill through the use of weapons, famine, and wild animals.
This is the spirit of Death. While the red horse caused a lot of war, and with it, a lot of death; this horse will cause nothing BUT death. Death by disease, death by starvation, death by lions and scorpions, and death due to rioting. It will affect one-fourth of the earth.
Notice that the bible says that Hades followed close behind Death.
The KJV uses the word "hell" here, and incorrectly. The original Greek word used here was "Hades" which is the place of departed souls.
As a comparison, let's look at James 3:6, which says: The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
The word "hell" here, is "ghehennah" which is the Valley of Ge-Hinnom; used as a name for the place of everlasting punishment.
2nd Peter 2:4 says: For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
The word hell in this context, is "Tartaros" the deepest abyss in Hades, and also used to mean "to incarcerate in eternal torment".
There are words used in the bible that refer to Hell, the place where unrighteous souls are sent, along with Satan and his demons. Hell is a final resting place. So is Heaven.
But in-between is a waiting-room area, called Hades. This passage in Revelation uses the word Hades, not Hell. Let's explore the difference.
The following verses are speaking of this place of Hades:
Matthew 16:18: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
This is the same Greek word "Hades" used in Revelation.
Rev. 1:18 : I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Rev. 20:13, 14: The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
Each of these passages uses the exact same word in the Greek language: Hades.
Not Hell. Hades.
Hell is the pit of eternal fire and torment. As we see in Revelation 20:13, and 14, Hades was thrown into Hell.
That proves that Hades cannot just be another word for hell. They are two separate places.
Hades is a waiting area. Let's look at the passage in Revelation again:
Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.
The New Testament In Modern English version of the bible says "…the grave followed close behind him". Sometimes the word "grave" is used in place of Hades. The grave is a resting place, not a final place.
The Twentieth Century New Testament version of the bible translates it as "…the Lord of the Place of Death rode behind him".
So if the Place of Death (the grave, the resting place) is Hades, then what we have is the Lord of Hades following behind Death. That really draws a good picture.
As Death rides by, killing people with famines, plagues, weapons, and wild animals, it makes sense that the Lord of Hades is right behind him, so that the souls that have just been released from their earthly bodies, are caught and taken to the Hades, the invisible world, to await their judgement. Some of these souls will be judged righteous and taken to heaven, while others will be judged evil and sent to hell.
When the word Tartarus is used instead of Hades, it is used to mean the lowest level of Hades. That indicates to us that there are different levels of Hades. There are higher levels and lower levels, and levels in between. Why would this be?
Evidently, the God who knows everything, who already knows our eternal destination, has placed souls who are more deserving of hell in lower waiting rooms, which are closer to being actually like hell, while those who are righteous get to inhabit the upper levels.
The bible speaks of a 7th Heaven, as well, which indicates there are varying degrees of heaven, too. This all fits together.
This would explain why the Rich Man in the parable of the poor man Lazarus, was in torment, and in flames, and yet still in Hades. He must have been in a lower level.
Consider: If he were actually in Hell, I don't think he would have had the ability to carry on a conversation with Abraham, acting as if he were just in a 130-degree heatwave with no shade in sight.
The bible says that Hell is an endless pit (the rich man was not falling- another indication he was in Hades, not Hell), and in it, fire burns with brimstone, and there is great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Have you ever been burned on a hot stove, or kerosene heater? That intense heat makes you yell with pain. In that instant of pain, you cannot carry on a conversation with someone like you could if you just put your hand into a sauna. Your conversation halts, and you cry out in pain. Imagine this moment of pain, feeling it forever, eternally, and the fire probably being several times even hotter.
You would be in no condition to converse, or argue (like the rich man did with Abraham). This rich man was tormented, but in reality, considering the scope of Hell, he had not yet begun to feel torment. He was in Hades. Not Hell.
Why the importance? What difference does it make that it's Hades that follows behind Death, and not Hell?
Because if it were Hell that followed, it would mean that everyone who died from the pale horse's blow would be eternally damned.
But because it is Hades, it means that this tribulation will be poured out on all men - rich, poor, great, small, free, slave, righteous, and evil.
The Church will not be spared this tragedy. If you don't believe this, you have only to look as far as the next seal.
When it says further on in Revelation that Hades and Death are thrown into Hell, it means that the only souls left in Hades are those who have been judged and their names were not found in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Psalms 115:17 : It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to silence;
Sometimes, it is spoken of the dead, that they go down into silence.
I would submit that if the dead went straight to hell, they wouldn't be silent. They would be wailing, and screaming, and crying, and gnashing their teeth.
If they went right to heaven, they would be praising God with loud voices.
Only in Hades, in the waiting room, could there possibly be silence.

So to review: The first horse is the Holy Spirit. The second horse is the spirit of War. The third horse is the spirit of Economic Disaster. And the fourth horse is the spirit of Death.
On to the fifth seal.

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