"The Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse"

"So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer. Another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth, so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword. ------ I looked, and here came a black horse ! The one who rode it had a balance scale in his hand. ----- I looked and here came a pale green horse ! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind." Revelation 6:2-8

"In chapter 6 of his apocalyptic vision of God's purpose in the world, John the Evangelist describes four horses, signifying war (a red horse), civil strife (a white horse), hunger (a black horse), and death (a pale horse). The horses and their riders are frequently depicted in art and have come to be a symbol of the evils of the earthly world." MS Encyclopedia Encarta

In the Book of Revelations, there are actually FOUR horsemen, but for the sake of this article, we are only going to consider THREE.  The Red Horse - War, and the White Horse - Civil Strife can, for our purpose, be combined into one. War is, after all, but the  consummation  of civil strife. At the beginning of Genesis, Eve is tempted and overcome by the three basic SINS or Temptations that have since continually plagued and defeated mankind.

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil." When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:5,6:

In different words, the Apostle John informs us about this "Unholy Trinity" again, and tells us that these are not IN or FROM the Father of Lights, but constitute the basic structure of this "Present Evil World System" !!

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1John 2:15,16

The KJV words the passage in slightly more emphatic and descriptive terms:

For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes , and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1John 2: 16

I now want to draw your attention to the account in Luke, where Satan was allowed to "Sift or Tempt" Jesus, in order to reveal whether this "World System" did or did not have "any place in Him" (any hold or source of influence over Him). You will note that He only appears to have been subjected to THREE unique temptations, yet verse 4:13 states, "when the devil had completed EVERY temptation". In Hebrew 4:15, the Bible states that,".... one (Jesus) who has been tempted in EVERY way, just as we are." Here, I believe, we have the same three all encompassing classes of temptation that we have been discussing !!

Verse 4:3,4 -- "Command this stone to become bread. Man does not live by bread alone." (Lust of the Flesh) **** Here we see the preoccupation with the material world to the exclusion of the spiritual. Manipulating and using the material creation is a legitimate and valid function of our place in this creation, but NOT when it excludes our Love of and dependence upon God, our creator. If we WILL NOT serve the TRUE GOD, then Jesus tells us that we WILL, in fact, serve one or more FALSE "gods", chief among them being "mannon", the riches of this world (Luke 6:13,14).

Verse 4:6,7 -- "I will grant this whole realm � and the glory that goes along with it. If you will worship me, all this will be yours." (Lust of the Eyes) **** Here we see the Desire (Lust) to posses, to own, to control, to lord it over others. The desire for personal power, fame, and glory -- in fact, the fulfillment of Satan's deception of Eve in the Garden, "You shall become as GOD". All that we have to do in order to obtain this is to be willing to worship Satan, to bow down before him, to declare him to be OUR "god" in return !! This DOES NOT mean overt "Satan Worship". No, as a matter of fact, the bulk of humanity ALREADY worship Satan as their "god", though they have NO idea of such, and may not even "believe" in him. They do so by DEFAULT, for the bible declares that Satan is the "god of THIS Age (World System)" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Verse 4:9 -- ".... throw yourself down from here. 4:12 You are not to put the Lord your God to the test." (Pride of Life) **** This temptation is a little more difficult to see, and may, at first glance, not even appear to be a sin at all. The human mind might reason, "What is wrong with giving God a chance to display His Glory for all to see??" It is subtle, like the Sin that prompts it -- PRIDE -- perhaps THE most devious and destructive of all sins. This is the sin that can turn one who might appear as a Saint on the surface into a Demon inwardly. It is the Sin of the Serpent (he was the most cunning of all the creatures in the Garden). It is the Sin of the Scribes and the Pharisees, who allowed (and still do allow) it to lead to the murder of their Savior. It is the Sin of Presumption - of knowing more and/or better than God. It is the Sin of Elevation - it would seek to elevate the one whom IT POSSESS "Above the Throne of Heaven". It is the Sin of Destruction - it will use, posses, destroy, or MURDER ALL that would stand in its way of SELF ELEVATION !!

3 The devil said to him, �If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.� 4 Jesus answered him, �It is written, �Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.�� 5 Then the devil led him up to a high place and showed him in a flash all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur. 6 And he said to him, �To you I will grant this whole realm�and the glory that goes along with it, for it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. 7 So then, if you will worship me, all this will be yours.� 8 Jesus answered him, �It is written, �You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.�� 9 Then the devil brought him to Jerusalem, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, �If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, �He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,� 11 and �with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.�� 12 Jesus answered him, �It is said, �You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.�� 13 So when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until a more opportune time. ** Luke 4

We find this same "Trinity" enumerated as the cause for God's overthrow of Sodom. Common belief is that it was because of the wealth of homosexual perversion that abounded there (hence the word "Sodomy"). Perversion was no doubt the FRUIT of this society, but the ROOT lies deeper beneath the soil. Read God's account:

16:49,50 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread (lust of the flesh), and prosperous ease (lust of the eyes) was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. They were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. ** Ezekiel

Allow me to take a moment to correlate these four "Kings of Destruction" from the different passages:

1. The BLACK Horse - Hunger - good for food - desire (LUST) of the flesh

2. The RED Horse - War  (and  The White Horse - Civil Strife) - attractive to the eye - desire (LUST) of the eyes

3. The PALE (Green) Horse - Death - desirable for making one wise - arrogance produced by the Wisdom and Possessions of this World System (pride of life)

James spells out the process very succulently: You see it (lust of the eyes) -- You crave or ENVY it (lust of the flesh) - You can NOT have it, so you quarrel, fight, and finally KILL (murder) to get it  (pride of life) !!

14,15 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then, when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. James 1:

1 Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? 2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; 3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. James 4: (Note: passions=LUSTS - kjv)

Does this not spell out the bloody trail of mankind from the beginning of history until today -- as Individuals, as Groups, and as Nations ??

Paul tells us that it is, "the LOVE OF MONEY that is the root of ALL evil" (1 Timothy 6:9,10) ! Take note, He did NOT say that it was the MONEY itself that was evil, but that the LOVE (LUST - ENVY) engendered over and toward it that was the ROOT of ALL evil. Jesus likewise tells us that, "a man can not serve two MASTERS - one can not serve God and Mammon (the treasure {riches} of this world)" (Luke 6:13,14).  A man's heart cannot be divided between two conflicting, bipolar loyalties

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