In the past month, I have been taking a new approach to the book of Revelation. I am seeking the Lord for fresh revelation. Because prophecy contains a message for the time in which it was written, a message for today (whenever that day may be) and a message for the future, I have been praying for the Holy Spirit to give me messages for this moment in which we are living regardless of whether or not we are in the last moments of history.
The Holy Spirit drew me to Revelation 6:1-2 (NKJV): “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”
This conqueror on the white horse represents both the antichrist of the tribulation period and the spirit of antichrist which has been in the world for at least 2,000 years. 1 John 4:1-3 (NKJV) “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
The phrase that captured my attention is “a crown was given to him.” This, I sense, is a key verse in understanding much of what is happening in our lives. We have given a crown, that is, placed in authority over ourselves, those whose decisions and actions are bringing about the circumstances represented by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse: violence, inflation, famine and death. We have participated in crowning the antichrist spirit in our personal lives, in our nation and in the global arena.
We have become a people so consumed by fear, that we have fed and empowered the red horse personifying violence. Revelation 6:3-4 (NKJV): “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”
In scripture, the word of God is symbolized as a sword (Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12.) The word of the Lord brings victory to those who stand on it. However, the sword of the antichrist brings spiritual defeat to those who wallow in fear.
One of our fears is based on the economy. Ironically, in that fear, we spend ourselves into near bankruptcy.
That brings us to the third horse, the black one. Revelation 6:5-6 (NKJV): “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
Two things cannot be harmed by poor economic conditions—the oil and the wine. In scripture, oil represents the anointing, the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The wine represents the covenant we have through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In darkest economy times, the power and authority of God stand firm. We have no need to fear.
In 1706 Matthew Henry wrote, “During the progress of this black horse, the necessaries of life should be at excessive prices, and the more costly things should not be hurt. According to prophetic language, these articles signified that food of religious knowledge, by which the souls of men are sustained unto everlasting life; such we are invited to buy, Isa 55:1.
“But when the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition, denoted by the black horse, spread over the Christian world, the knowledge and practice of true religion became scarce…The famine of bread is a terrible judgment; but the famine of the word is more so.”
The famine of the Word does not result from a lack of availability. It most often results from Christians who are spiritually anorexic and/or bulimic. We either refuse to eat of the Word or we purge ourselves of it as soon as we step out of the church door.
What is the answer? We must take back the authority we have been given in Jesus Christ. That authority is, amazingly, protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. Our hope is in the Lord who is our provision, our strength and our light. It is time for us to step out of the darkness of the spirit of antichrist and into the light of Jesus