Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Conquest, War, Famine, Death
Revelation 6:1-8

A Short Study on the
Book of Revelation

Carol Morgan

Armageddon

The Battle of Armageddon

"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse...And the armies of heaven...were following him on white horses."
Revelation 19:11-14

"LOOKING FOR THE BLESSED HOPE AND GLORIOUS APPEARING OF OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST"
Titus 2:13

In the opening chapter of the Book of Revelation, John writes, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near" (v. 3). Then in the last chapter of the book, Jesus speaks: "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book" (v. 7). Yet this book is perhaps the most neglected book in the church today. Many pastors have little interest in it or even in eschatology itself, the doctrine of last things. I believe God will require an accounting for this neglect to present the whole counsel of God. I hope this study will pique your interest in this fascinating book.

The purpose of this study is to compile, for the reader, quotations from well-known scholars on the premillennial approach to the Book of Revelation. This premillennial approach, we believe, is the only one that does justice to the historical-grammatical basis of interpreting Scripture. However, not all of these scholars take the same position on every issue. For example, some would find a pre-trib rapture at the beginning of chapter 4, while others with equal fervency would deny one; some would find the identification of the 24 elders to be saints, while others maintain they are heavenly creatures. Nevertheless, on the fundamental issue as to who is represented by the 144,000 sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel, all (with very few exceptions) are in agreement that they are Jews, that is, physical descendents of Jacob. And as to that most critical battleground issue--the millennium--all premillenarians contend, in no uncertain terms, that it consists of 1,000 literal years.

Now, although the premillennial view predominates throughout, some pertinent excerpts from scholars of other persuasions will appear from time to time. Also, because premillennial scholars do have different interpretations on issues in the Book of Revelation, the reader will be confronted with conflicting interpretations. And so with the above in mind, I offer this paper with the hope that you, the reader, will engage in a study of the Book of Revelation yourself. Perhaps this paper and the sources cited will give you some foundation on which to build.

Note: In Roman Catholic Bibles, the Book of Revelation is called The Apocalypse.


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Summary of Contents

Introduction

Latest Revision: 10-5-2016

Some background is given for understanding the Book of Revelation, in particular why we need to be familiar with the OT. The rationale in limiting myself mainly to the premillennial viewpoint is briefly addressed. What is the structure of the Book of Revelation? Several outlines are presented.

Chapter 1

Latest Revision: 6-11-2016

What does the phrase "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" mean? Also, verse 7 and its relation to a pre-trib rapture is discussed.

Chapters 2 and 3

Latest Revision: 1-3-2017

Here we have the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia. Is there anything in these letters that apply to us as members of the present-day church?

Chapter 4

Latest Revision: 7-23-2016

The pre-trib rapture and the identity of the twenty-four elders are of importance here.

Chapter 5

Latest Revision: 1-15-2014

The subject of the scroll with its seven seals is introduced in this chapter. We also have a description of the One who alone was found worthy to open it. Deserving special attention is the song of the elders and living creatures.

Chapter 6

Latest Revision: 7-28-2016

The first six seals are described. Particular attention is given to the rider on the white horse, the first of the "four horsemen of the Apocalypse"--who is he? Is there any relation between this rider and Daniel's seventieth week? The fifth seal, too, presents a problem--who are the martyrs seen "under the altar"?

Chapter 7

Latest Revision: 7-30-2016

Here we have the first "interlude" in Revelation. The 144,000 are introduced as well as an innumerable multitude "from every nation, tribe, people, and language."

Chapter 8

Latest Revision: 11-29-2016

The first four trumpets are described.

Chapter 9

Latest Revision: 1-15-2014

The next two trumpets, 5 and 6, are described. They are also identified as the first and second "woes." Are we to regard the locusts of the fifth trumpet as real or merely symbolical? What about the 200,000,000-man army of the sixth trumpet?

Chapter 10

Latest Revision: 7-29-2016

Here we have the second "interlude" in the Book of Revelation. What is its purpose? What does the phrase "there should be delay no longer" mean?

Chapter 11

Latest Revision: 7-29-2016

The "two witnesses" are introduced. The suggestions pertaining to who they are and when they prophesy are numerous. Another most important topic is raised in this chapter, namely, the seventh trumpet. Is it the same as the "Last Trumpet"?

Chapter 12

Latest Revision: 7-29-2016

A number of new "actors" are introduced in this chapter. They include the woman clothed with the sun, the dragon, the beast from the sea, the beast from the land, and Michael.

Chapter 13

Latest Revision: 8-4-2016

A subject of great interest is brought to our attention here--two figures we all know as the Antichrist and the False Prophet. One is a beast with seven heads and ten horns; the other is like a lamb with two horns but who spoke like a dragon. Which one is the Antichrist? What opinion did those during the Reformation hold? An interesting excerpt from Philip Schaff is included that may provide some insight. Here especially it is essential to understand the OT prophecies to get a handle on this portion of Revelation.

Chapter 14

Latest Revision: 7-30-2016

The Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000 is central to this chapter. Is this the same group of 144,000 that we read of in chapter 7? We also read of "the harvest" in this chapter. Who is it that puts in the sickle for reaping? Is this the same harvest which we read of in the book of Joel, and is it a harvest of the righteous or of the unrepentant?

Chapter 15

Latest Revision: 1-15-2014

This is a short chapter of only 8 verses, wherein we read of the seven last plagues as well as the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony.

Chapter 16

Latest Revision: 7-21-2016

We now come to the seven bowls. What is the chronological relationship between the seals, trumpets, and bowls? Are they sequential, overlapping, simultaneous? A review of them is given along with several possible solutions. The identifications of "the great city" and "great Babylon" are also discussed.

Chapter 17

Latest Revision: 8-7-2016

In this chapter we have the "Mystery of Babylon the Great" to deal with, as well as the progression of world empires as recorded in the book of Daniel. That mysterious phrase about the beast "that was, and is not, and yet is"--an enigma to most--is discussed in great detail. Are we to expect a Revived Roman Empire in the near future? As promised back in chapter 13, both the fatal wound of the first beast and which of the two beasts is actually the Antichrist (and whether he will be a Jew or Gentile) is covered in more depth. We shall consider Dan. 11:37--"He shall regard neither the God of his fathers . . ." An interesting account of Alexander the Great will be found as an Excerpt at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 17 (written by Ken)

Latest Revision: 6-2010

Ken gives us here some additional insight of his own on chapter 17.

Chapter 18

Latest Revision: 8-1-2016

"Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen!" Who, or what, is Babylon the Great?

Chapter 19

Latest Revision: 8-1-2016

We now come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Who is invited? Who is the bride? Is the bride Israel, the church, the entire company of saints? We read also of the Battle of Armageddon, and here again we need to look back to the Old Testament for help.

Chapter 20

Latest Revision: 9-27-2016

The battlegroud chapter is now before us. We have the millennium, when Satan is bound and the saints reign. We also deal with the subject of the first resurrection, when it is and who is raised. An even more fundamental question concerns whether this resurrection is physical or spiritual. Also covered are Satan's rebellion, Gog and Magog, and the great white throne judgment.

Chapter 21

Latest Revision: 8-19-2016

The new earth, new heavens, and new Jerusalem are the focus of this chapter.

Special Note: For more information on the new earth, see our original paper by Ken Morgan, "The Christian Answer to Death and The Eternal State of the Redeemed".

Chapter 22

Latest Revision: 7-4-2017

In chapter 22 we have more description of the new Jerusalem. Also discussed is John's statement, "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus." Two appendices are also included, one on the "parousia" by Adolph Deissmann and another entitled "Preface of Blessing" by Cecil Yates Biss. The one by Biss gives an outline of the 22 chapters of Revelation (an appendix to Tregelles, The Hope of Christ's Second Coming).

Appendix 1: Sheep and Goats

Latest Revision: 2-17-2015

In this appendix an important passage from the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 25:31-46, is discussed. It is commonly referred to as the judgment of the sheep and goats. Does this judgment take place at the same time as the Great White Throne judgment? Two views are presented--that of William Kelly and that of George Ladd.

Appendix 2: Antichrist

Appendix 3: Signs

Latest Revision: 4-12-2015

You will find these two chapters from Horatius Bonar's book, Prophetical Landmarks: Containing Data for Helping to Determine the Question of Christ's Pre-Millennial Advent, most valuable in assessing the signs of the times and the question of who, or what, is the Antichrist. We have posted Dr. Bonar's entire book here.

Appendix 4: The Seven Churches of Asia

Latest Revision: 5-15-2015

This appendix is taken from Alexander Keith's book Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion Derived From the Literal Fulfilment of Prophecy (1850).

Appendix 5: The Importance and Exegesis of Revelation 20:1-8

Latest Revision: 6-10-2015

This article by Merrill C. Tenney is quite helpful in amassing the evidence for a literal millennium. It is taken from Bibliotheca Sacra, April, 1954.

Appendix 6: Revived Roman Empire or a Caliphate of Muslim Countries?

Latest Revision: 6-17-2015

Here is a short appendix written by Ken that deals with whether the 10-nation confederation in Daniel 2 and 7 and Revelation 13 and 17 is a revived Roman Empire (the standard view amoung premillenarians) or a new caliphate of Muslim countries (suggested by some recent online writers).

Appendix 7: The Man of Sin

Latest Revision: 4-3-2016

This excerpt on the view of the Reformers--that popery is the Antichrist--is taken from Paton Gloag's Introduction to the Pauline Epistles, 1874.

Appendix 8: The Parousia (The Term and its Signification)

Latest Revision: 6-1-2016

This is Chapter 1 from Israel Warren's The Parousia: A Critical Study of the Scripture Doctrines of Christ's Second Coming; His Reign as King; the Resurrection of the Dead; and the General Judgment (Portland: Hoyt, Fogg, & Donham, 1879).

Bibliography of Sources Cited

Latest Revision: 7-4-2017

We encourage you to buy some of the books used and cited in this study of Revelation. Many can be read on Open Library for those who don't mind reading on-line. Most of them we can heartily endorse.

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