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The Apocalypse

(Part 4)

Publication #206.08

 

We saw in our previous study what it is to be blessed when reading and hearing the words of the prophecy of the Revelation (Apocalypse) of Jesus Christ. Rather than focusing on the symbols and what they might mean in the natural, and missing the reality to which those symbols point, we came to the understanding that the compound Greek word for read is anaginosko which embodies more than our English word, which is to know again. It is an upward knowing, a severe, intense, spiritual knowing. The suffix, ana, means up or severally, and ginosko means to know. In the truest sense, this is what it is to understand what we read. Concerning this book, it is to know by anointed intuition. It is to know by the Spirit. It is to know by revelation from on high. There is much more to reading than merely taking the words at face value, or attempting to decipher them with the natural mind and seeing nothing beyond that scope of understanding.

It opens the reality of the heavens that was in Christ long before the ages and prepares it in His elect to be manifested in due season. It is by this that those who read the prophecy of the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ are blessed! For they are knowing again the mystery that has been reserved in the heavens to this day; but when they truly read, it will no longer be held in reserve. All men will see what is the fellowship, participation of partnership, of the mystery which has been hidden in God from the beginning of the world. The principalities and powers in the heavens will be manifested and known, along with the manifold wisdom of God. For this is the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, as mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 3:9-11.

They who read and hear the words of this prophecy will understand and be blessed by what they read. They will know again that which was in Christ before the foundation of the world. They will know and understand that they were a part of it, and they will be again. They will remember the works of the Lord and His wonders of old, that which was the forefront, that which was in the beginning in Jesus Christ

We are not shaken nor troubled when we read the words of this prophecy of the Apocalypse, not by any means, for we are in truth reading it unto the rapture of our spirits, souls, and bodies in the heavens of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Captain of our unveiling.

If we recall, in order to remember something, it had to have been known before whether it was ten minutes or ten thousand years ago. Remembering something cannot be the first time of knowing it. When all things were created in Christ, nothing was remembered; it was being made known. And now, eons hence, we are remembering, we are knowing again the prophecy of this book. We are blessed by knowing them again. We are made happy by remembering them. And we are embracing those marvelous wonders with thanksgiving! Itís like going back home after a long journey.

When we truly read, we will remember. When we truly read, we will know again. When we truly read, we will understand the mystery of Christ that was not made known in ages past. But today, it is being revealed, made known again, unto us whose eyes and ears are opened by the Spirit of revelation. The veil is removed from our understanding, and His life pours forth like a crystal river to swallow up anything in us contrary to life. Mortality will all be swallowed as surely as light swallows darkness, and as long as death exists anywhere in the universe, the appearing of our Lord in His many membered body will intensify until death is utterly destroyed. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. This, my dear friends, is one of many apocalypses of our Lord and His many membered body! And none can prevent that light from shining in its brilliant glory.

What a wonder it is to read and remember again the wonders of old and be joined again, re-membered, together with whom and where we were, with whom and where we are, and to whom and where we shall be. It is then that we will declare as did our Lord: We will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. Matthew 13:35. We will open our mouths and utter dark sayings of old Psalm 78:2. From within His ageless pavilion we will come forth and manifest His glory, power, wisdom, and might, but not before many things are unveiled and made manifest to the elect, such as, the rider and His four horses charging through their land. You see, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ is not only an unveiling of Him and His many membered body in glory to the world, but it is first an unveiling of Himself to His body.

THE HORSEMAN

The thought of "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" has been written about before. With some I am in agreement and some I am not. I have also mentioned them before. Nevertheless, I believe it bears to be noticed again.

The Rider of the four horses is the same as the one of Revelation 19:11-16, but serves two different purposes. The one of chapter 19, like the kings of the past, goes in the forefront of the battle leading His army into victory over every enemy. We see Him as a Conqueror coming as the King of kings upon His white horse of righteousness and with His mighty army upon theirs. This is the same King as in Revelation six with the four horses; but the one of Revelation nineteen comes sweeping through the heavens of humanity astride His horse and with the host of His mighty army. It is by this invasion that He, together with us, conquers and establishes His Kingdom in the earth, while the rider of Revelation chapter six rides alone with the purpose of conquering each and everyone of us.

It is significant to note that the symbol of the horse and rider in scripture is associated with war. In the days of old, the strength of armies was reckoned by the number and greatness of their horses. In scripture, horses were never mentioned as being used for agricultural purposes, but for riding, drawing chariots, and for war.

The horseman of Revelation six portrays conflict, war, and destruction. These four horses are war horses, and are sent into our own earth to destroy every enemy. They destroy the usurper: the carnal mind, the will of the flesh, the lusts of the flesh, the emotions of the flesh, and the works of the flesh. Simply speaking, the Rider and four horses are the adamic manís worst nightmare coming to fruition.

Many teach that the rider of the white horse is the anti-christ, while others believe he is Christ. And whether Christ or the anti-christ he is usually portrayed as a passive individual who brings peace to the world for a short season. The reasoning behind this is due to the verse saying nothing about arrows, only a bow. This may sound logical, but only ten minutes of research in a concordance of any kind will reveal a lot. Even to the casual observer a simple truth about bows and arrows can be seen. Every place in the Bible where a bow is mentioned as being a weapon, arrows are expressly implied. One is never used without the other. They are always joined. Like Christ and the Church, or a man and his wife, they are inseparable. The fact is, more often than not arrows are omitted when bows are mentioned. The Hebrew word, qesheta, is used seventy-four times, and only thirteen times did the writers bother to supply the word arrow or arrows with it. Bow stands alone the other sixty-one occurrences when it speaks of the mighty men of war and their bows. The bow is used only once in the New Testament, Revelation 6:2, and there is nothing in this verse to remotely suggest that this solitary occurrence should be different than all the rest.

Let us notice this bow wielding rider of the white horse. He is going forth conquering and to conquer. The word conquering and to conquer in the Greek is nikao, which means to prevail, to overcome, to be victorious. In every case it is used in the new testament, the context is of victory, whether it is Christ's victory over the enemy in one form or another, or it is the victory of his saints over the enemy. The way it is used here, conquering and to conquer is a way of saying, He will be prevailing until He has emphatically prevailed. It is to say that He will be overcoming until He has completely overcome. It speaks clearly of ongoing, repetitive conquests until there is left nothing to conquer.

If this is not Christ riding forth out of the inner realm the of Spirit invading the carnal dimensions of soul and body, the Church and the world are in serious trouble. If it is truly the anti-christ, as some errantly teach, the enemy of God would then conquer, and continue conquering, until he is eventually the absolute victor, which we know shall never be.

This rider can only be Christ. It is the Lord riding alone upon the white horse of purity, of righteousness, of light, of illumination; and is not this holy invasion within the corridors of our own souls? Surely we hear the hoof-beats of this mighty steed thundering out righteousness in every dark valley of our being. Don't we hear the pounding hoofs of the valiant charger as he races through the valleys and mountains of our cherished world, carrying its Rider to grand battlefields and glorious victories within? The Rider has His bow, it is fully bent, and the arrows of divine conviction are piercing every targeted heart. Every enemy within falls down before Him. His resplendent rays of glory, like lightning, blazes through our dark skies to enlighten our understanding. Those bolts of fire pierce every treasured tradition and legalistic idol. It vaporizes every dogma, creed, and human interpretation of the truth, while burning away every carnal concept, thought, imagination, and lie.

Christ is conquering the human heart and capturing that which He redeemed. In so doing, He gives each conquered soul a mount of his own. Not one person, however, will ever ride or conquer until he himself has been conquered; but once this battle is won in the Sons, they will then sit astride their white stallions of conquest and go forth conquering with Him. They will ride into battle across the heavens and the earth, riding as victors in the heavenly host of His great army.

The red horse is the next to come. From the Greek, we can see it is suggesting more than merely a four legged animal with hoofs and a red colored coat. The word for red in this verse is purrhos, meaning like fire or specifically flame colored. The fact is, the word does not suggest a color at all, but speaks of an appearance, a manifestation of flaming fire. Purrhos, as many already know, is a derivative of pur, which is the Greek word for fire. Pur is the root of our English words: pure, purity, purify, purge, puritan, purification, purgatory, etc.. Hebrews 12:29 uses this word to describe God: "For our God is a consuming fire (pur)." Malachi wrote this of Christ; that is, the Rider of the red horse: "...The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple...But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire...and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness" Malachi 3:1-3.

This, we can count on, brethren! The rider of the red horse will break us. He will build the fire in our lives that will bring each of us to the cross, and it will work a righteous work. It will change us. It may take a long time of fiery judgment and tormenting darkness for some, but there is hope even for those. The fire will come to an end. The great fire of God will last only until it has melted all pride, arrogance, and self-reliance as they are replaced by humility. The flames of the red horse will continue until all that is of self has died at the cross of Jesus Christ. Never believe the fire cannot bring every soul to the cross, and neither believe it will last forever. Be assured that once the fire is kindled, the smoking flax shall not be extinguished. The passion of His love will never be withdrawn, not until it has worked His holy purpose in every soul. But for sure, once the unquenchable fire has consumed every thing flammable, and has worked its marvelous work, and the cross has drained the blood of all wanton flesh, beauty shall rise from the ashes, and life shall bloom from the earthen tomb of death wherein every soul abides.

He first began His conquering on the white horse of life and revelation, piercing and convicting us of sin. Following comes the fiery red horse that refines. And thirdly we see him riding the black horse of darkness. When this horse invades our land, great darkness falls upon our earth, upon the natural man, the carnal mind, the fleshly nature of the first man.

Black has no light or color. It speaks of having no understanding, no expression, void of substance. The black horse is a revelation, an apocalypse, of darkness. It is knowing what is in the first Adam. It brings the understanding of what he is, how he works, what his utter futility and worthlessness is in the light of Reality and Truth that the Spirit brings. It reveals one's black nature as it did to the Shulamite maiden in the Song of Solomon. It wrecks the ship of pride, and with pride being foreign to our humbled esteem, we echo her plea and cry out: We are black but comely, draw us O LORD, and we shall run after Thee. With the black horse charging through our world, our black, carnal wit ceases to be a factor in our lives. We recognize our dark souls of the ground for what they are and see that they have no value. They are worthless; but we also see our comeliness in Christ, which is of great value.

The rider of the black horse also carries a balance in his hand, measuring the wheat and barley and setting the same price on each. Once the blackness of the carnal nature of Adam is revealed, and his glory darkened, the wheat and the barley are weighed. We understand that the wheat represents Christ in His coming down into a natural state as the Son of God in the human form of the first Adam. He was one grain which came to fall to into the ground and die, else it would abide alone. The barley typifies Him in His going up in resurrection life. Wheat is walking through the Valley, while barley is ascending upon the Mountain. One speaks of Death while the other of Resurrection. Christ as one grain of wheat is limited. He can influence our thinking and improve our natural life, He can feed our hungry stomachs; but as wheat He can do nothing about our nature. As wheat our nature remains carnal. So long as He is the man from Galilee, even though He walks upon the stormy sea, casts out demons, and raises the dead, He is limited. Before His resurrection, not one act, not one miracle, not one sign or wonder was on the higher plane of incorruption. But when He comes to us as barley, as the indwelling Spirit, as our resurrected Lord from heaven, He is unlimited. We can eat our fill of a different bread, namely, the multiplied barley loaves of His transfiguring Life. We have more leftovers than with what we started. Itís an inexhaustible, everlasting source of Life!

We thank God that He sends the rider of the black horse who balances the death of Christ in us with His resurrection life, and that there is three times more barley than wheat, and this is for the same price: "A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny." After the hooves of this horse sound the fifes of death and also the trumpet of Christís life in our land, a voice is heard coming from the midst of the living creatures saying, "...and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." Revelation 6:6. Once the wheat of death is exchanged for the barley of life, we hear the command: Hurt not, waste not, the oil and the wine! Do not prostitute, misuse, or exploit the anointing of My Spirit. Do not infringe upon the word of My revelation.

In this place of resurrected life we are entrusted with the holy oil and wine of Christ. But sadly, there are those among us today who are uncircumcised in mind and heart. The spirit of Babylon is alive in the soil of their earth. As it was with Eliís sons, they tread the courts of the holy temple of God and usurp His holy things with overflowing sin and pride, self-indulgence, and promotion of themselves. Sadly, they will not receive the words of wise counsel or admonition. As the sons of Eli, they refuse to cease from laying with women (spiritually and physically) that assemble at the gate of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:22). By serving self, they are hurting, misusing, prostituting, and exploiting the spirit and the word of God. It is not a pleasant sight, but the truth is, the black horse and its rider is unveiling this exploitation today as He passes through the lives of self-aggrandizing souls of Adam.

"And I looked, and behold the 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" Revelation 6:8. The fourth part of the earth is that portion of earthiness not already dealt with by the three preceding horses. It speaks of the conclusion of the process of conquering individuals upon the battlefields of their souls. The pale horse speaks of the end, the final subjection and destruction of everything within us that is contrary to the Life of Christ and His Kingdom.

The Pale Horse first kills with the sword. This is when His Word pierces and divides asunder of soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). He comes in varied facets of destruction, one, of which, is in the form of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is ravenous. He devours every particle of flesh that remains, like His holy flame devours the chaff of the summer's thrashing floor. Moreover, the beasts of the earth are figures of the various aspects of the bestial nature within mankind!  Ray Prinzing said that that in a unique way, mysterious, and amazing the Lord is able to marshal the bestial nature of men about us, so that they are His instruments to bring to death in us things that are not pleasing to Him.  These are all part of the testings, trials, temptations, and troubles that come to each of us as challenges by which we learn to draw upon the life of the Christ within to become more than conquerors in all things.  These are ways the pale horse kills with death, by piercing with the sword of His Word and devouring the carnality of Adam. But there is still one more way ó by death!

How does He kill with death? In 2 Timothy 1:10 we note that Jesus came to abolish death. He also came to destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil (verse 14); and, of course, He holds "the keys of hell and death" Revelation 1:18. The consummation of this is mentioned in Revelation 20:14: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." The Spirit has made it clear. The second death is the death of the first death. "And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." 1 Corinthians 15:26. This is what the pale war horse of death is about ó the Second Death putting to death the first death in the midst of our very being.

In the sixth chapter of Revelation our Lord comes in four manifestations. He comes to us individually as a warrior; but in Revelation twenty we see Him sitting upon a throne. He is seated with all power and authority. He is no long warring, for the war has been won. The victory has been made sure. The last horse whose name is Death has gone out and finished the individual battles in the overcomers. The apocalypse of the last Rider and horse captivates and deals with death, the last enemy in us.

However, when the King sits upon the great white throne, something has happened to both the adamic footstool of the earth and the throne of man's heavenly dominion. They have come to nought. No place of consideration or right can be found for them. All authority comes out of the height of a greater throne than Adam's time-worn world. The Lord sits upon the white throne and judges men and kingdoms from what is written upon the tablets of their hearts. At this point the war is over. Every battle has been won. The weary warriors have come home. The wounded are healed. The casualties are raised from the dead. Ever man's fate is judged. Their destiny is determined. The presence of Christ's light opens their books. The nature of their spirits, the character of their souls, and the deeds done in their bodies become clear. In such sober splendor nothing is hidden. Whatever is revealed from the depth of their own being determines what judgment is necessary to transform them into loving creatures of Life. If there still remains even a splinter of wood, hay, or stubble (that which is enmity against God, the nature of man, the scheming works of man, or the worthless vanity of man ó 666), that individual will be subjected to the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Resurrection, the Second Death, "the resurrection of damnation," so called.

Please note that the throne is white from which all who are in the second resurrection are judged. In type, the first Adam and God's kingdom under his fallen rule are judged, and what comes out of it is a complete change. We see this in the transfiguration and the glistening white light of Jesus on mount Hermon. This event typified not only the resurrection of the one man Jesus, the Last Adam, but the entire body of the last Adam as well. Every member of the last Adam are the same members as the first Adam, only transfigured in resurrection, yet every man in His own order 1 Corinthians 15:22-24.

Before Jesus judged any man born of the first Adam, He began with Himself; he came in likeness of the first Adam. He was not raised up from the earth as was the first. He did not come from the dust of the ground which could not reach the heavens of God. He was not from the realm that could not resist the tempting elements of the dust. He was lowered from heaven and took on the form of flesh. Even though He was the Lord from heaven, He humbled Himself, being clothed upon with those same garments of dust. In those rags He, of course, could feel their mystifying lure.

John, the beloved, heard a great voice while in exile on the isle of Patmos, saying, "...I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last..." Revelation 1:11. He was not the first Adam in the Garden who lived and then fell, but He became the first when he descended into the lower parts of the earth of Mary and died. There was no other way to lead her captive and give her life. He had to become the first Adam in order to save and transfigure/resurrect those with the stroke of death, which is ALL. Paul said that the woman (every soul) shall be saved in childbearing. Mary could not be saved until she bore the Son of God, and neither can any other. Like her, they must hear the Word of God, believe and conceive, and then birth the Son from their own souls.

Jesus became everything the first Adam was before the fall, but He was not a living soul like the first. He was a quickening spirit. He was not formed and then the breath of life breathed into His nostrils ó He was Life. Clay was formed around that Life, the Word of God. This is how He was conceived, which is the same way every new creature in Christ comes forth ó by the word of God! 1 Peter 1:23.

Mary, perhaps, can be a type of the Last Woman. Upon hearing Gabriel speaking with the Voice of God she said, "Let it be according to Thy Word," and she conceived Life. This Life eventually became her own salvation (1 Timothy 2:15). On the other hand, the First Woman, Eve, heard the voice of the serpent, and by her actions she also said, "Let it be according to thy word." She was tempted by a seducing spirit. She believed and gave herself to it, and by that conception, in dying, she died. The word to which she gave herself utterly destroyed her, while Mary was saved by the Word to which she gave herself. One woman died due to her faith, while the other was saved from death by her faith.

Jesus came in like fashion of the first Adam, and within the confines of that body of carnal passions, He ruled over it. In doing so, He struck the deathblow to all death. All of humanity was raised from the earth in the first Adam and lived. Then in dying, he died, taking all to the grave with him. At the beginning of a New Day, Jesus was lowered from heaven and died, becoming one with the First Adam. He then Lived, and became the Last Adam. And in Living, this Last Adam will take all out of the grave in resurrection with Him. Life overcomes all death as easily as Light dispels darkness.

The first Adam was the deathblow to creation, while the Last Adam is the Breath and Seed of Life to the same. Where the first Adam from beneath failed, the Last Adam from above is victorious.

The first Adam was raised from the dust of the ground, he lived, and then died upon eating forbidden fruit. The last Adam was lowered from the heavens, he died in the womb of Mary, and then Lived by every Word that came forth from the mouth of God. He was lowered from the glory of Life that He had with the Father in the highest heavens. He was placed in the dark confines of Adam's death, deep into the lower parts of the earth. He was conceived in a tomb of clay. His journey began in the belly of humanity, in the womb of Mary, the last woman.

From Eve's belly, the first woman, all death proceeded; while from Mary's womb came all Life. Jesus came as the First from Mary's womb and then was sealed as the Last when He died without sin. He then rose from earth's tomb, marking His victory once for all (Hebrews 10:10). The first woman compassed a seed as she took the word of the serpent into the womb of her soul, and death to all was her perpetual fruit. The last woman also compassed a Seed, but that quickening Word was the fruit of Life to all. What a contrast between the first and the Last.

After the apocalypse of the rider and His horses thunder through our land, we will mount our own and ride with Him to overthrow all the kingdoms of this world. All the heavens, all the governments of the world will be brought to nought. They will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His anointed. That which has been hidden from the foundation of the world will be declared and come to pass. From within His pavilion of darkness we will come forth in His rapturous glory of His power, wisdom, and might. But this is not before many things are unveiled and made manifest in and to His many membered body. Keep in mind and spirit, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ is not only an unveiling of Him and His many membered body in various ways to the world; but it is first an unveiling of Himself to His own. There are many things to be revealed, but everything in the proper order. Therefore, let us be on tiptoe and with outstretched necks anxiously looking for and awaiting His apocalypse to us, in us, and through us!

To be continued...

Elwin R. Roach



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