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A Bible study aid

presented by BeyondToday.tv

BEYOND TODAY FEATURE T he First Horse m a n

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse


this latter term being the Greek name
for the book of Revelationhave
intrigued Bible readers for centuries.
What do they represent? The implica-
tions for mankind are staggering. In this
first article of a series, we introduce the
overall prophecy and look in detail at the
first horseman.

by Darris McNeely

F
ew sights are as stirring as a scene of horsemen gallop-
ing across a landscape. Moviemakers use such scenes to
add drama, mystery and power to their stories.
In Revelation 6, Christ uses four horsemen to represent the
first four of seven seals He opens from the scroll in His hand.
These images have intrigued generations of Bible scholars and
students. Thundering across the prophetic landscape, these
dramatic images cast a pall of terror on the world.
What is their meaning for our troubled and uncertain world?
Do these ominous riders foretell a coming wave of calamity
for the earths inhabitants? Lets look and see.

2 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television


Mankinds destiny hanging in the strength and honor and glory and blessing! Jesus gave four signs that correspond with
balance (verses 11-12). the first four seals of Revelation 6: Take
To understand the seals in Revelation 6, With a thundering crescendo the next heed that no man deceive you. For many
we first need to examine chapter 5. John is stanza arrives from every creature which is shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ;
experiencing a vision of the throne of God in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of
when he sees in the right hand of Him who and such as are in the sea, and all that are in wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not
sat on the throne a scroll written inside and them ... saying: Blessing and honor and troubled: for all these things must come to
on the back, sealed with seven seals (Reve- glory and power be to Him who sits on the pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall
lation 5:1). throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! rise against nation, and kingdom against
No one in heaven or earth is able or wor- Such is the scene that stands as a prelude kingdom: and there shall be famines, and
thy to open the scroll and reveal its contents. to the opening of the seals. The fate of man- pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse
John bemoans the absence of anyone capa- kind rests in Gods hands, and His patience places. All these are the beginning of sor-
ble of opening the scrolls. But a voice from is at an end. Christ alone is pronounced wor- rows (Matthew 24:4-8, King James Ver-
one of the elders around the throne says: Do thy to open the seals that announce Gods sion, emphasis added throughout).
not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of judgments on the nations. The destiny of Here Jesus reveals an overview of trends
Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to humanity is not a matter of chance or whim, and conditions from the first century until
but has been spelled out in the seals that He the end of the age. Take note of the four sig-
opens. nificant developments He foretold: Religious
deception, war, famine and disease.
Setting for the horsemens ride As this and later articles in this series will
What is the time setting of these prophe- show, humanity has long suffered from the
cies? Scholars offer divergent opin- effects of these four signs. But nothing in
ions, but the book of Revela- history will compare to the catastrophes
tion itself reveals the time unleashed at the opening of the seals by the
setting as the prophetic Lamb. The unprecedented devastation
Lords day (Revelation brought by the opening of the four seals will
1:10), elsewhere called set the stage for the return of Christ as King
the Day of the Lord. Notice of Kings.
how the prophet Joel described this Lets now look more closely at what
period: The sun shall be turned into dark- John saw.

Here is a rider who appears to come in the name of and bear-


ing a message of peace. But he is a conqueror, one who imposes
his version of peace on the world.
open
the scroll
and to ness, and the moon into blood, before the The first seal: Conqueror on a white
loose its seven seals coming of the great and awesome day of the horse
(verse 5). Lord (Joel 2:31).
What John saw next The Day of the Lord begins with Gods As the first seal opens, John writes the fol-
was the sight of the glori- intervention in world affairs to spare human lowing: Now I saw when the Lamb opened
fied Jesus Christ in the com- life during a period of unparalleled global one of the seals; and I heard one of the four
manding position to receive conflict and catastrophe. Mankind has suf- living creatures saying with a voice like
and dispense the full power of fered for centuries from the combined impact thunder, Come and see. And I looked, and
God. And I looked, and of war, famine and disease, but no previous behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a
behold, in the midst of the throne period of turmoil will compare to this age- bow; and a crown was given to him, and he
... stood a Lamb as though it had been slain ending storm described in Revelation. went out conquering and to conquer (Reve-
... Then He came and took the scroll out of When the seals open before John, he sees lation 6:1-2).
the right hand of Him who sat on the throne the first four uniquely pictured. Four omi- White is a symbol of purity and peace.
Illustrations: Sherwin Schwartzrock/Jonathan Koelsch

(verses 6-7). nous horsemen arise in an eerie sequence. To Here is a rider who appears to come in the
What follows from this awesome scene better understand what these horsemen rep- name of and bearing a message of peace. But
of angelic praise is the stirring anthem to resent, lets look at another key prophecy he is a conqueror, one who imposes his ver-
Christs role in the plan of God. The four liv- Jesus Christ gave during His ministry. sion of peace on the world.
ing creatures and 24 elders sing a new song. Possibly this rider will even bring about
You are worthy to take the scroll, and to The gathering storm a pseudo peace, a condition described by
open its seals, they proclaim in unison. Jesus disciples were visiting Jerusalem the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:3: For
To this scene is now added the voice of with Him. After admiring the temples build- when they say, Peace and safety! then sud-
many angels, perhaps numbering into the ings, they crossed the Kidron Valley, den destruction comes upon them ... And
hundreds of millions, all loudly proclaiming, climbed the Mount of Olives and paused to they shall not escape.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to ask Christ for signs of His coming and the Some confuse this rider with Jesus Christ,
receive power and riches and wisdom, and end of the age (Matthew 24:1-3). whom Revelation 19 shows riding a white

2013 United Church of God, an International Association www.ucg.org The Horsemen of Revelation 3
BEYOND TODAY FEATURE T he First Horse m a n

horse at His second coming. But a careful saw a rapid escalation in the heresy and
own blood. For I know this, that after my
examination reveals important distinctions. persecution that was plaguing the Church.
departure savage wolves will come in
Christ is wearing many crowns at His During the reign of Roman Emperor Domi-
among you, not sparing the flock. Also from
return, not just a single crown as worn by tian a virulent strain of antagonism was
among yourselves men will rise up, speak-
this first horseman. And instead of wielding ing perverse things, to draw away the disci-
unleashed on Christians. For a time, the
a bow, Christ is brandishing a sword with ples after themselves (Acts 20:28-30).
government even exiled the aged apostle to
which He strikes the nations. As the apostle Peter neared the end of
the Aegean island of Patmos. It was there
To be consistent with Christs statements his life, God compelled him to give a stern
that he received the book of Revelation in
in Matthew 24, we must conclude that this warning about the apostasy that he saw
vision.
The three epistles bearing his name
reveal the mounting tension in the churches
This rider represents not Jesus, but instead false teachers and Johns desire to warn the members of
who appropriate His name while corrupting His plain teach- the devastating impact of false teaching. He
wrote of their individual and collective
ing and leading many into destructive heresy. responsibility to examine those teachers
who presented themselves as spiritual
guides and experts.
rider represents not Jesus, but instead false looming on the horizon. He knew it was easy to claim divine
teachers who appropriate His name while The second chapter of his second epistle authority and thereby deceive people into
corrupting His plain teaching and leading is a powerful rebuke of those who would following ideas that were spiritually
many into destructive heresy. bring false teaching into the Church: But destructive. Beloved, do not believe every
Remember His warning: Take heed that there were also false prophets among the spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of
no one deceives you. For many will come in people, even as there will be false teachers God; because many false prophets have
My name ... and will deceive many (Mat- among you, who will secretly bring in gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
thew 24:4-5). destructive heresies, even denying the Lord We see the apostles warning of the cor-
who bought them, and bring on themselves ruption of the true faith brought by Jesus
A different gospel takes root swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1). Christ. Jude summed it up perfectly when
It didnt take long after Christs death for He went on to say, Many will follow he wrote of the need to contend earnestly
a different gospel (Galatians 1:6) to their destructive ways, because of whom the for the faith which was once for all deliv-
invade the Church, causing division and way of truth will be blasphemed (verse 2). ered to the saints (Jude 3).
confusion. The apostles were forced to deal Peter calls the Churchs doctrine the way Within decades, the truth of God was
with this problem, as evidenced by their of truth. It is like a trail of truth along gravely corrupted by false teachers. The
writings to the Church. which the faithful have always walked. result was teachings that no longer resem-
Paul warned the elders of the congrega- Christ called it a narrow and difficult way bled the gospel brought by Christ. In Gala-
tion at Ephesus to beware of false teachers: that few find (Matthew 7:13-14). tians 1:6, Paul had to reprimand the Gala-
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to tians for turning away ... to a different
all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit The Church corrupted by deception gospel. From the teachings of these cor-
has made you overseers, to shepherd the Near the end of the first century the rupters evolved a church bearing Jesus
church of God which He purchased with His apostle John, last of the original 12 apostles, name, but vastly different in doctrines and

What Did the Early Church Believe and Practice?


T he book of Acts records eyewitness accounts of the early Church from Christs res-
urrection until about A.D. 60. Chapter 2 records the beginning of the Church.
This special event began when the place in which the apostles and other disciples
spiritual significance.
Speaking of one of these God-given feasts, the apostle Paul urged the Church con-
gregation in Corintha mixed group of gentile and Jewish believersto keep the
were gathered suddenly was filled with the sound of a mighty wind and tongues, as feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the
of fire, that appeared to alight on them. They went out and almost immediately unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8).
began to speak to the crowds gathered in Jerusalem, for these events occurred on the Paul was obviously referring to keeping the biblical Feast of Unleavened Bread (see
biblical Feast of Pentecost. Miraculously, the apostles preaching was comprehensible Leviticus 23:6; Deuteronomy 16:16). Paul similarly explained the Christian significance
to all people from many lands so that all understood their words in their own lan- of the biblical Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7; Leviticus 23:5) and gave instructions on
guage. how to properly observe this ceremony in the Church (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
Often overlooked in this account is the significance of these events occurring on the Such passages prompt an obvious question: Since Jesus, the apostles and the early
Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). This was one of the festivals God commanded for His peo- Church kept these days, why dont churches teach and observe them today? After all,
ple many centuries before (Leviticus 23). In revealing these festivals, God exclaimed, Paul directly tied the feasts to Jesus, His purpose and His sacrifice for mankind
... These are My feasts ... the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations ... (verses 2, 4). (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Then God proclaimed them to be a statute forever (verses 14, 21, 31, 41). The Gospels and Acts are equally clear that Christ, the disciples and the early
The Gospels show Jesus keeping the same festivals (Matthew 26:17-19; John Church kept the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of the week as their day of
7:10-14, 37-38). Both the book of Acts and Pauls letters show the apostles observing rest and worship (Mark 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31-32; 13:10; Acts 13:14-44; 18:4). It was
these festivals long after Christs crucifixion (Acts 2:1-4; 18:21; 20:6, 16; 27:9). This is Jesus custom to go to the synagogue on Sabbath days to worship (Luke 4:16).
the example they set for us. Contrary to the teaching of those who say that Paul abandoned the Sabbath, it
Today, however, most churches teach that these festivals were somehow annulled was his custom, too, to go to the synagogue every Sabbath (Acts 17:1-3), using
by Christs death. Yet the unmistakable record of the Bible is that the early Church this God-ordained assembly to teach others about Jesus as Savior and Messiah.
continued to observe them long after His deathbut with a greater grasp of their Of course, most people and churches ignore the biblical seventh-day Sabbath.
4 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television
practices from the Church we see in the movement begun in the first century. Christ lamb and speaking like a dragon (verse 11).
New Testament. In fact, two vastly different said that wide is the gate and broad is the This person acts in tandem with the first
Christian faiths were now locked in a way that leads to destruction, and there are beast (verse 1), actually causing people to
strugglethe true followers of Jesus teach- many who go in by it ... Narrow is the gate worship the first beast with great adulation
ings and the tarnished followers of a spiritu- and difficult is the way which leads to life, (verse 12). He performs great signs, so that
ally corrupt, counterfeit Christianity! and there are few who find it (Matthew he even makes fire come down from heaven
Over the centuries, persecution from the 7:13-14). on the earth in the sight of men. And he
Roman authorities took its toll. This coun- Yet even for these few, there is danger deceives those who dwell on the earth by
terfeit church further compromised the faith from a coming deceptionSatans end-time those signs which he was granted to do in
under threat of death from the state. effort to defeat and enslave humankind. the sight of the beast, telling those who
Roman Emperor Constantine combined Christs Olivet prophecy progresses, in dwell on the earth to make an image to the
the power of the state with the ecclesiastical concert with the book of Revelation, toward beast who was wounded by the sword and
structure and authority of the false church. the final events before His return. He said, lived (verses 13-14).
This created a union of church and state For false christs and false prophets will What is this talking about? Here we find
with the ability to create order by squelch- rise and show great signs and wonders to the description of Satans final attempt to
ing dissent. Thus, Constantine and succeed- deceive, if possible, even the elect (Mat engineer a system based on his lying words
ing Roman emperors allied themselves with thew 24:24). Even the elect, the people of of deceit and confusion. That it involves
a deceptive religious system represented by God who keep the commandments of God false religion is obvious from all the mark-
the symbolic white horse of peace. Their and have the testimony of Jesus Christ ers we have seen in the New Testament
mission was to conquer, in the name of (Revelation 12:17), will be susceptible Scriptures.
Christ, all those who opposed them. to this great deception. A man claiming to be God, in the temple
The apostle Paul spoke of this time of of God, performs signs with the intent of
A final great deception to come deception in 2 Thessalonians 2. This proph- persuading men to worship a system that
Christs prophecy of false teachers com- ecy of a man of sin to arise before Christs appears to be doing good for the world. This
ing in His name, claiming He is the Christ return stands out within Pauls writings. is the final resurgence of a system God calls
but deceiving many, indeed came to pass. This end-time deception is led by a figure Mystery, babylon the great, the
Church history is largely a story of teach- who opposes and exalts himself above all mother of harlots and of the abomina-
ings and practices of the counterfeit Christi- that is called God or that is worshiped and tions of the earth (Revelation 17:5).
anity, with its system of beliefs and prac- who will even sit in the temple of God, His allure will likely lie in bringing about
tices fundamentally different from what the showing himself that he is God. In Pauls a peaceful solution to a world crisis where
early New Testament Church believed and day, this opposition to the law and doctrine no one else has succeeded. The world will
taught. The story of those who held to or at of God was already at work. But before the wonder in amazement at the ability of this
times recaptured the essence of true Christi- coming of Christ it will expand according system to impose a peace that will seem-
anity is not easy to follow through history. to the working of Satan, with all power, ingly bring security in which the world can
Today those who strive to practice the signs, and lying wonders (verses 3-9). prosper economically. It will be a global
teachings that Christ put into His Church This son of perdition matches the system unlike any previous system, and it
are few in comparison to the thousands of description of the figure described in Reve- will seem to work.
churches that call themselves Christian but lation 13 as a beast, one of two beasts in
Continued on page 9
are in fact descendants of the counterfeit this section, this one with two horns like a

But why? Shouldnt we observe a weekly day of rest and worship as God com- 1 Corinthians 11:30; 15:6, 51; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
mands (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15), and shouldnt it be the same day Nowhere in the Bible do we find any mention of, or hint of approval for,
that Jesus and His apostles kept? todays popular religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Though the
A closer examination of the Scriptures reveals many other differences between the Greek word pascha is once incorrectly translated Easter (Acts 12:4, KJV)
teachings and practices of Jesus and His apostles and what is commonly taught. For and that only in one Bible translationthis is a flagrant mistranslation. Pascha
example, the belief that obedience to Gods law is unnecessary is directly contrary to always means Passover, never Easter!
Instead of approving such celebrations rooted in paganism, God condemns
A closer examination of the Scriptures them even when they are used in attempts to worship Him (compare Deuteron-
omy 12:29-32; 1 Corinthians 10:19-21).
reveals many other differences between These are some of the major differences between the Christianity of Jesus and
the teachings and practices of Jesus and the apostles and the Christianity commonly practiced today. But dont simply
take our word for it. We encourage you to follow the example of the Bereans
His apostles and what is commonly (Acts 17:11) and look into your Bible to see whether todays popular beliefs and
taught. practices agree with what Jesus and His apostles practiced and taught.
(Adapted from the booklet The Church Jesus Built. Down-
Jesus own words (Matthew 4:4; 5:17-19) and the teachings and examples of His load or request your free copy at www.ucg.org/booklets or
apostles (Acts 24:14; 25:8; Romans 7:12, 22; 1 Corinthians 7:19; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). from any of our offices. To learn more about these subjects,
Jesus and the apostles never taught that the righteous ascend to heaven at be sure to request our free booklets Gods Holy Day Plan: The
death (John 3:13; Acts 2:29, 34), and they understood that man does not pos- Promise of Hope for All Mankind, Holidays or Holy Days:
sess an immortal soul that would spend eternity in either heaven or hell (Ezekiel Does It Really Matter Which Days We Keep?, Sunset to Sun-
18:4, 20; Matthew 10:28). Rather, they followed earlier Scripture passages in set: Gods Sabbath Rest, Heaven and Hell: What Does the
referring to death as being like an unconscious sleep in which the dead await a Bible Really Teach? and What Happens After Death? )
future resurrection (compare Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Daniel 12:2-3; John 11:11-14;

The Horsemen of Revelation 5


BEYOND TODAY FEATURE The Sec ond Hors e m a n

Approximately 180 million men, women and children were slaughtered in 20th-century wars.
The new millennium has continued the trend, with the addition of mass-murder terrorism. What
do history and the Bible tell us about the second horseman of Revelation? We continue with our
second article in a series about the horsemen of Revelation.

I
n the mid-1980s, at the height of the past when we thought the world was coming (verse 22, Revised English Bible, emphasis
Cold War and nuclear arms race, Presi- to an end, but never anything like this. added throughout).
dent Ronald Reagan once openly pon- Those who lived through World War I felt In the last issue we saw that the first of the
dered the potential for an age-ending the same way. They called it the Great four horsemen of Revelation 6 represents a
world war in our time. War and the war to end all wars. If only massive Satan-inspired religious deception.
... I turn back to [the] ancient prophets that were true, and warfare had ended almost The ride of the second of the four horsemen
in the Old Testament and the signs foretell- a century ago! More than 150 million people unleashes the malignant forces of evil and
ing Armageddon, he mused, and I find wouldnt have had their lives snuffed out removes the last vestiges of peace from the
myself wondering ifif were the genera- prematurely by bullets and bombs, stones earth. However, Jesus Christ cuts short this
tion thats going to see that come and spears in the decades since. But it was horsemans ride, preventing human extinc-
about ... There have not to be. tion, with His appearance and the establish-
been times in ment of His world-ruling Kingdom.
the A coming war to end all wars Notice what the apostle John saw with
The war to end all wars is coming, but it the breaking of the second seal: When He
will follow a time of global conflict and tur- opened the second seal, I heard the second
moil unlike anything ever seen (Matthew living creature saying, Come and see.
24:21). That age-ending period will be so Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it
bloody, so dangerous and deadly, that was granted to the one who sat on it to take
Jesus Christ warned us that if that peace from the earth, and that people should
time of troubles were not cut short, no kill one another; and there was given to him
living thing could survive, but for the a great sword (Revelation 6:3-4).
sake of Gods chosen This vision corresponds with Christs
it will be cut prophecy of the end time recorded in Mat
short thew 24: And you will hear of wars and
rumors of wars. See that you are not trou-
bled; for all these things must come to pass,
but the end is not yet. For nation will rise
against nation, and kingdom against king-
dom (verses 6-7).
The record of history shows a pattern
of the red horse of war often following the
white horse of false religion. An example is
the Thirty Years War in Europe during the
mid-17th century. Following the Protestant
Reformation, the resultant shift in power
among European states led to 30 years of
carnage from 1618 to 1648.
Religion, the newly emerged Protestant
versus Roman Catholic theology, was the
ideology that fueled the winds of war. It led
to strange alliances: Catholic France aligned
with Protestant Holland to offset the power-
ful Catholic Hapsburg dynasty. This resulted
6 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television
in prolonging the conflict. By the time
peace (a euphemism for balance of
cating an adversarial relationship with
Gods purpose and plan. This is made
Whats at the Root of War?
power) was restored in 1648 with the
Treaty of Westphalia, 8 million people had
clearer in the story of the Tower of Babel
in chapter 11. The cities associated with V
olumes have been written describing the root causes of
war. It has been studied, no doubt, since the first conflict
erupted among human beings. The ancient Greeks felt human
lost their livesa staggering toll, espe- Nimrod war back and forth for centuries.
cially at that time. Babylon becomes a city, then an empire. behavior was guided by fear, self-interest and honor
What can we expect to see as this red Eventually it becomes the symbol of the characteristics that cause war and instability.When these aspects
horse of war rides across the landscape in system that opposes God, His people and of human nature create a crisis, the normal course of events
leads to a breakdown in order, and anarchy or war is the result.
the last days, unleashing the fury of His plan throughout the Bible story. It is
Relations among nations are likewise generally guided by
nations on the world? that city, described in Revelation 17:5 as a self-interest.When nations interests are jeopardized, the natural
A look at the history of war will give us mystery ... the mother of harlots instinct for self-preservation takes over. War is often the result.
a clue. Lets first look at what the Bible and of the abominations of the earth, The apostle James wrote quite pointedly on this subject:
reveals about the roots of war. which in the time of the end provides the Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not
cultural and religious inspiration to a polit-come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
The beginning of war ical-religious empire called the beast. You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot
Those who understand mans nature The roots of this end-time system reach obtain. You fight and war (James 4:1-2).
know he is on a course toward destruction back to the pattern started by Nimrod at James identifies lust, desire and covetousness as the primary
and has been since the beginning. Babel, thus sources of strife among people who cannot
In Genesis 4 we read of the first human bridging the focus on the right relationship with God. He
war, the conflict between Cain and Abel, intervening cen- goes on to say: Adulterers and adulter-
the sons of the first human beings, Adam turies. This sys- esses! Do you not know that friendship with
and Eve. When God refused to accept the tem will form the world is enmity with God? Whoever
therefore wants to be a friend of the world
offering of Cain, reading his sinful heart, the backdrop for
makes himself an enemy of God (verse 4).
Cains self-interest was threatened. He did the final conflict Again we see that self-interest plays a
not control his anger and aggression and of the age dominant role in human aggression.
subsequently rose up against Abel his brought on by Left to itself, without a spiritual relation-
brother and killed him (Genesis 4:8). the red horse of ship with God, the human heart is the seat
Expelled from the family environs, Cain war. of conflict. Jeremiah the prophet observed
went to the land of Nod on the east of No war has that the heart is more deceitful than all
Eden (verse 16). Some biblical scholars brought peace. else and is desperately sick ... (Jeremiah
say he built on the ancient site of Jericho. Wars waged in 17:9, New American Standard Bible).
Jesus Christ confirms that out of the heart proceed evil
The war to end all wars is coming, it will follow a thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness,
blasphemies (Matthew 15:19).The apostle Paul tells us that the
time of global conflict and turmoil unlike anything natural, human way of thinking is hostile to God and does
ever seen. It will be so bloody, so dangerous and not submit to Gods law, nor can it do so (Romans 8:7, New
International Version).
deadly, that Jesus Christ warned that if that time ... But the Bible reveals that the real source of this hostility within
were not cut short, no living thing could survive ... Phariseesbeings human is Satan the devil. In a heated discussion with the
who were challenging Him, Christ labeled Satan as the
source of human hostility. You are of your father the devil, and
Regardless of the accuracy of those the name of religion have not achieved the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer
speculations, excavations at the earliest religious harmony. No war waged for from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because
levels of this site, one of the oldest inhab- national interest has brought lasting secu- there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his
ited settlements on earth, reveal a fortress rity for any city, state or empire. The peace own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44).
city with walls 12 feet high and 6 12 feet sought by man is all too often a peace that Paul describes Satan as controlling the power of the air,
thick. only suits nationalistic interests and lays swaying people to disobedience without their conscious aware-
The remains of a large tower, 30 feet the groundwork for subsequent conflict. ness. Until mans nature undergoes a fundamental change, he
across at the base and 30 feet high, tell a follows after the natural lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of
story of people living in a fortress city, The terrifying nuclear genie the flesh and of the mind. He is a child of wrath caught up
protecting what they hadprobably As a result of the breakup of the Soviet with the rest of humanity in a spirit of conflict (Ephesians 2:2-3).
It will take a change of heart along with the addition of Gods
foodfrom those who would take it by empire in the early 1990s, its nuclear Spirit to turn the human mind from pursuing pure self-interest to
force. Clearly Jericho was a site of conflict stockpiles and those of the United States following the lead of God. We find this solution alluded to in a
long before Joshua and the Israelites encir- have been dramatically reduced. However, quote from Russian author Leo Tolstoys famous novel War and
cled its walls. the nuclear genie has not been put back Peace: Drain the blood from mens veins and put in water
In Genesis 10, God provides a narrative into its bottle. Through various means instead, then there will be no more war!
of the sons of Noah and the cities that some of that nuclear technology and When the world comes under the covenant in which God
grew from their dynasties. One descen- know-how has migrated to other nations writes His law of love on the human heart through His Spirit, we
dant, Nimrod, and the city he built, Babel, or been independently developed. will see the end of war. Until then, we will see wars continue
are inserted into the story. Today longtime enemies India and Paki- and escalate in ferocity and devastation as mankind uses tech-
Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the stan possess nuclear weapons, and nological advancements to introduce ever-more-deadly means
Lord (verse 9). The before here although currently talking again, twice in of killing other human beings.
denotes in the face of or against, indi- recent years they have rattled their sabers
Illustration by Sherwin Schwartzrock/Jonathan Koelsch, photo by PhotoSpin The Horsemen of Revelation 7
BEYOND TODAY FEATURE The Sec ond Hors e m a n

to threaten a holocaust on the South Asian groups get the funds or other resources One world government
subcontinent. needed to acquire them. This bleak prospect has led many to con-
Last year North Korea, in violation of The great fear is that nuclear weapons, or clude that a supranational world government
signed agreements, announced it had devel- other weapons of mass destruction, would is the only hope for universal peace. The
oped several nuclear warheads and stated fall into the hands of terrorist groups such as medieval writer Dante Alighieri, in his work
its intention to produce more in short order. al-Qaeda and be used against Western De Monarchia, speaks of the inevitable con-
U.S. intelligence sources acknowledged the nations. The end of the Cold War did not tentions between two governments which
North Koreans claim was credible. The rene- bring us any closer to the end of possible require arbitration by a third power with the
gade country also has an aggressive missile nuclear war. The grim reality is that it simply authority to settle the dispute.
program, steadily increasing their range to the shifted the power into the hands of more This third power is either the world-
point that last February CIA director George playerssome of whom view themselves as government, or it is not. So, we must arrive
Tenet admitted Korean ICBMs were now having nothing to lose by unleashing such at a first and supreme judge for whom all
capable of hitting the western United States. weapons against the West. contentions are judicable ... Therefore,
U.S. analysts also fear that cash-starved Those who study war understand the world-government is necessary for the
North Korea, which markets its Scud-class persistent danger. In a comprehensive look at world (quoted in The Great Ideas: A Syn-
missiles throughout the Arab sphere, may the subject, author Gwynne Dyer made this topicon of Great Books of the Western World,
up the ante by adding nuclear warheads to the chilling, sober and almost hopeless observa- Volume II, William Gorman, general editor,
weaponry it offers for sale around the War and Peace, 1952, p. 1018).
worldpossibly making them available At the end of the age, war will bring the
to terrorist groups for the right price. nations to the point where a system will be
Libya, whose leader Muammar Gadhafi in created with the capability, and perhaps even
December renounced efforts to develop and the stated purpose, of bringing peace to the
deploy weapons of mass destruction, was earth. Revelation 13 describes this system
quickly found to have a nuclear program rising up out of the sea and calls it the
much further advanced than Western intel- beast.
ligence agencies had believedone that had By a series of apparent miracles, a world
existed secretly for more than a decade. in crisis is persuaded to accept this system.
Iran, identified by President George W. Nations surrender their sovereignty and the
Bush as part of the axis of evil (along with world worships this beast, asking, Who is
Iraq and North Korea), has come under suspi- able to make war with [the beast]? (verse 4).
cion of using its Russian-built nuclear reac- To enforce this type of peace, this sys-
torsupposedly built for peaceful power- tem has authority over every tribe, tongue
generation purposesas a cover for a secret
and nationa worldwide power (verse 7).
nuclear weapons program.
But in enforcing its rule it makes war on the
Those suspicions were heightened last year
true servants of God, who recognize the true
when International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) inspectors found traces of enriched
uraniuma crucial component in developing One unmistakable message of the book of Revelation
nuclear weaponson Iranian nuclear equip- is Gods control of seemingly uncontrollable events.
ment. Tehran responded that the equipment
was already contaminated when the Iranians The only hope of human survival is the reality of Christs
purchased it from a third country and, after intervention to prevent the total destruction of the
first refusing, finally agreed in December to
open its nuclear facilities to more stringent earth and its inhabitants.
IAEA inspections.
Just about the time Gadhafi renounced his tion: To begin quite close to the end: we may nature of this power and system as satanic.
pursuit of nuclear weapons, Pakistans gov- inhabit the Indian summer of human history, Revelation 17 describes this beast
ernment denied that it had helped spread its with nothing to look forward to but the receiving power from 10 kingsleaders
nuclear technology to countries such as nuclear winter that closes the account. The of nations or groups of nations allied together
Libya, Iran and North Koreabut later con- war for which the great powers hold them- to support this system and its human leader.
fessed that Pakistani scientists had done so on
selves in readiness every day may come, as And apparently it will bring a temporary
their own. hundreds of others have in the past. peace to the world (compare 1 Thessalonians
Taken together, these many troubling The megatons will fall, the dust will rise, 5:1-3). Yet the peace that is brought ulti-
developments point to unstable dictatorships the suns light will fail, and the race may per- mately leads to war against God. This system
and paranoid regimes scrambling to develop ish. Nothing is inevitable until it has actually and its leader will make war with the Lamb
or acquire nuclear and other weapons of mass happened, but the final war is undeniably a (Jesus Christ) but in the end will be over-
destruction so they can become the biggest possibility, and there is one statistical cer- come by Him.
bully on the block. tainty. Any event that has a definite probabil- Throughout the ages man has sought
ity, however small, that does not decrease to organize a universal government. What
Present world scene ready for war with time will eventually occurnext year, began thousands of years ago at Babylon as
Of course, such weapons would be the ulti- next decade, next century, but it will come. an attempt to reach to the heavens and defy
mate tool in a terrorist arsenal should some Including nuclear war (War, 1985, p. xi). God will be resurrected in an age-ending

8 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television Illustration by Sherwin Schwartzrock/Jonathan Koelsch, photo by PhotoSpin
attempt to unify the nations into a global charge of history, and He will bring this trial
had the trumpet, Release the four angels
political and economic system. to a conclusion that will at long last result in
who are bound at the great river Euphrates.
The intended goal of this system will be peace for all peoples. But genuine peace will
So the four angels, who had been prepared
to bring order, peace and prosperity among not come without a terrible cost in human for the hour and day and month and year,
the warring factions of humanity. But once suffering. were released to kill a third of mankind. Now
peace is attained, the attractive mask will The final war of this age will serve to hum-
the number of the army of the horsemen was
be removed to reveal a hideous beast of a ble mankind to the point that people finally
two hundred million (Revelation 9:13-16).
system that will tear and destroy any opposi- will obey God and become willing to live the This 200-million-person army is fear-
tion to its rule and authority. The desire of the way that will produce peace. some to contemplate. Verse 18 tells us that a
agespeacewill prove elusive one more Look at the description of this time of third of mankindmore than 2 billion lives
time, when left in the hands of man. at our planets current population level
world conflict. It begins in Revelation 8 with
The stage will be set for the climactic the opening of the seventh seal, containingwill be snuffed out in this age-ending wave
of warfare.
The final war of this age will serve to humble mankind One unmistakable message of the book
of Revelation is Gods control of seemingly
to the point that people finally will obey God and uncontrollable events. The only hope of
become willing to live the way that will produce peace. human survival is the reality of Christs
intervention to prevent the total destruction
of the earth and its inhabitants.
battle at the end. As this crisis at the close of mans age
reaches its crescendo, the heavens will open
Christs intervention to save humanity and Christ will appear on a white horse.
Peace, when left to human beings, has lit- Here, in Gods message of hope, appears a
tle chance of permanence. The rise of this fifth horseman whose ride will be decisive
end-time Babylonian system will be a major and final. Revelation 19:11 says He is
factor in a time of world calamity unlike any called Faithful and True, and in righteous-
experienced in history. The prophet Daniel ness He judges and makes war.
was told that this period will be a time of Christ will wage this battle in righteous-
distress such as has not happened from the ness because He alone holds the keys to
beginning of nations until then (Daniel death and the grave (Revelation 1:18). No
12:1, New International Version). other person waging battle or war in history,
Christ spoke of this time as well: For then no matter how just the cause may seem,
there will be great tribulation, such as has not can make this claim. Gods judgment on the
been since the beginning of the world until nations has been building over the millennia
this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless and will be executed at precisely the right
those days were shortened, no flesh would be time.
saved ... He offered the light at the end of Christs victory in this ultimate battle will
the tunnel when He added, but for the seven trumpet plagues of unimaginable result in the establishment of the Kingdom
elects sake those days will be shortened destruction to come on the earth. of God. Finally the world will see lasting
(Matthew 24:21-22). The next chapter describes what happens peace.
This final time of war will ultimately rest when the sixth trumpet sounds: Then the But before this takes place two other
in the hands of God. Remember that Revela- sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice horsemen must ride. In our next installment
tion 5 shows us that it is the Lamb, Jesus from the four horns of the golden altar which well look at the ride of the third horse, fam-
Christ, who unlocks the seals. Christ is in is before God, saying to the sixth angel who ine. BT

Four Horsemen Judaism and Buddhism, growing and


changing, but countless other new faiths are
springing up, almost on a daily basis.
dramatic changes in the world geopolitical
structure. Religious-based terrorism has
implicated this major religion in a radical
Continued from page 5
Scholars who keep track of the world reli- movement that will drag others, including
gious scene identify more than 9,900 dis- Christian-professing nations, into a clash of
An unparalleled religious movement tinctive religions. Despite predictions at one civilizationsone that could possibly trig-
The ride of the first horseman, false reli- time that religion would become extinct, it ger the age-ending crisis foretold by Jesus
gion, will greatly impact the nations in the continues to grow, reinventing itself after Christ.
last days. It will mark the expansion of a the personal interests and whims of people. Christ spoke of false religion as the pre-
religious movement without parallel in his- False religion marches on at the same cursor to wars and rumors of wars. The
tory. time that the worlds citizens are desper- second seal of Revelation 6 is a rider on a
Religion continues to be a powerful force ately in need of hope and solutions for sur- red horse described as taking peace from the
among the nations. A great wave of reli- vival. Their desperation provides fertile earth. Religious strife has often been the
gious change is moving continually ground for religious extremism. cause of war. We will see the connection
throughout the world. Not only are the large The rise of fundamentalist Islam has pre- between the two in the next issue as we look
world religions, such as Christianity, Islam, cipitated a cultural clash that could lead to at the ride of this next horseman. BT

The Horsemen of Revelation 9


BEYOND TODAY FEATURE The T hird Horse m a n

The food-rich countries potential to feed the entire planet makes it hard to imagine a famine
extensive enough to thrust the earth into a global crisis. Yet the third seal of Revelation 6, employ-
ing the symbol of a black horse, describes just such a horrifying scene. How could this happen?
What would be its consequences?

P
eople areand have long been aid, including food and oil, from the alleviating the effects of food shortages
suffering from famine in many world community. wherever they occur. Modern agricultural
parts of the world. Famine has The scourge of famine has appeared methods and generally stable weather
returned to Ethiopia where more cyclically throughout history. Often it is patterns produce bumper crops in the
than 7 million are in desperate need of caused by drought, blight, floods and developed world resulting in massive
emergency food supplies in order to avert other natural means beyond human levels of food production, more than
starvation. Perhaps another 2 million control. At other times the causes are all enough to feed the hungry of the world.
require immediate help in Eritrea. too humanwar, social unrest and There is no reason to expect people to
For Africa as a whole, the United breakdown, and inefficient or outright starve when this is coupled with the
Nations Food and Agriculture malevolent government policy. means to transport food to any location in
Organization (FAO) declared in March In todays global the world. Yet famine and suffering from
that 23 of the continents 53 countries society, there food shortages continueand at times
almost halfface dire food shortages. should be no even grow.
More than two million people have real obstacle Its easy to dismiss famine when its on
died in the past decade in North Korea to the other side of the planet or some far-
due to food shortages caused by a off, isolated corner of the globe. Is it
combination of flood, drought and bad conceivable famine could spread to
government policy created by Kim Jong impact the wealthy, food-rich countries of
Il, the nations dictatorial ruler, who the world?
currently threatens the use or sale
of nuclear weapons. The third horseman rides
Periodically he has used his In the last two issues of The Good News
threats to gain we covered the meaning of the first two
horsemen of Revelation 6religious
deception and war. We come now to the
third horsemans ride. What does it
portend for the world?
Notice what it says in verses 5-6:
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.
What does this mean?
The Expositors Bible Commentary
explains regarding this passage: This
amount [of money] suggests food prices
about twelve times higher than normal ...

10 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television Illustration by Sherwin Schwartzrock/Jonathan Koelsch
and implies inflation and famine knowledge needed for growing food for
conditions (Matt 24:7). A quart of wheat survival is not passed on to the younger
would supply an average person one days generation. Consequently, the society
sustenance. Barley was used by the poor loses its ability to produce foodeven if
to mix with the wheat. Food shortages weather and soil conditions were optimal.
cause inflation in food prices. And higher An article in Britains The Economist
prices make the remaining food harder to describes a woman whose tragic personal
afford. example depicts vividly this larger
Oil and wine, though, are typically unfolding catastrophe.
symbols of plenty. The reference here In the past, when food was short,
could indicate there will be pockets of Jenerah Michelo, a Zambian subsistence
abundance in the midst of famine. Christs farmer, could buy or beg from neighbours.
reference to famine in various places But then her husband died of AIDS,
(Matthew 24:7) indicates the same leaving her with six children, a nearly
possibility. empty food pot and a debilitating virus in
The cry to not harm the oil and wine her bloodstream. Now she is too feeble to
could represent attempts to safeguard the forage, and neighbors are reluctant to help
pockets of abundance against plundering. because she is a patient.
Foreign donors sometimes bring food
and tablets to treat convulsions. But the
medicine should be taken after a full
In some countries, food shortage is not the only prob- meal, so I get side effects, I become weak
lem. The famine is aggravated by the AIDS epi- and dizzy, I cannot manage. She cannot
demic that grips the continent. About 25 percent of get hold of anti-AIDS drugs, but if she
could, they too would be useless without
the adult population of these countries is infected with adequate nourishment (Cursed, Twice
the virus. Over, Feb. 13, 2003).
In his January 2003 State of the Union
address, U.S. President George W. Bush
However, The Living Bible interprets the pledged $15 billion in emergency medical
phrase in Revelation to mean that there is aid to Africa over the next five years. This
is a generous, noble and helpful step in a
practically no oil and wine left. That
mounting battle, but medicine alone will
would also fit with the admonition that
not solve the crisis.
what is left not be harmedlest there be
Other needs, not the least of which is
none left at all.
education, come into play. Food is also a
In any case, the opening of the third major factor. A person infected with the
seal indicates the onset of a period of HIV virus needs extra calories, especially
severe famine unlike any in the past. protein, as well as powerful drugs, to keep
While famines of varying severity have the infection from developing into full-
struck throughout history, it appears blown AIDS. When there are massive
things will get much worse. Most of us food shortages, the death toll keeps rising.
have seen pictures of famine in our time, In large portions of rural Africa today,
usually in parts of drought-stricken Prelude to an apocalypse? the future looks bleak. In fact, the future is
Africa. In 1984, a famine in Ethiopia The six southern African countries of dying. The combination of famine and
developed through natural means, but was Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, disease is hitting mainly those who are in
aggravated by the unstable government. Swaziland and Mozambique currently their most productive years, those under
Millions were at risk of starvation. suffer from large food shortages and will 40.
Thankfully, a massive humanitarian need help for months to come. Prolonged A majority of victims are women who
effort from around the world stopped the drought and bad farming practices have traditionally do most of the farming. As
famine from killing as many as predicted. contributed to the problem. parents die, the children leave school to
(Even then, corrupt government officials But more recently another factor is take care of themselves and other children
withheld some of the donated food as a having a growing impact on the ability of in the family. The tribal village has been
weapon to starve their political these countries to feed themselves: A the traditional backbone of African
opponents.) large number of agricultural workers are society, but it is beginning to crack under
This was testimony to the generosity of infected with or have died from AIDS. the strain of loss from the famine.
the many wealthy nations and the global About 25 percent of the adult A social breakdown is occurring in
means of transport that is available. population of these countries now is many areas of Africa due to the twin
However, if a nations social fabric begins infected with the virus. As more adults problems of famine and disease. The
to unravel, larger problems can set in. The succumb to this plague, fewer people are Economist ended its report by saying:
crises in Africa may be a foretaste of left to plant and harvest the crops. Worse Indeed, there are signs of such a
larger tribulations to come. yet, as the adult community dies, the breakdown in Mrs. Michelos village: her

Photos (from top): Catholic Relief Services, United Nations The Horsemen of Revelation 11
BEYOND TODAY FEATURE The T hird Horse m a n

family cannot help her, her neighbours commandments, God promises in the next Terrifying look into the future
will not, and some have even been stealing verses the necessities for plentiful food In Deuteronomy 28 God details the
her chickens. Such theft was unknown production: rain in its season so that horror of a people stricken with the curse
during previous food shortages, as was the land shall yield its produce, and the of famine. It demands our attention so we
hoarding by the better off, which has now trees of the field shall yield their fruit ... may understand what lies ahead for the
become commonplace (ibid.). you shall eat your bread to the full, and world when the third horseman rides.
dwell in your land safely. For disobedience, God says He would
Devastating famines of the past Continuing, He says: I will give peace bring a nation from afar to besiege and
Famine is listed in Revelation 6 as in the land, and you shall lie down, and blockade the cities. All the food stores
following the previous horsemen of none will make you afraid; I will rid the would be forcibly taken. The resulting
religious deception and war. While land of evil beasts, and the sword will not starvation would cause the social structure
naturedrought, floods and insect go through your land ... For I will look to unravel at a frightening speed. The
infestationsis often the cause of famine, on you favorably and make you fruitful, results are horrifying to contemplate.
quite often war and misrule, as well as multiply you and confirm My covenant You shall eat the fruit of your own
malignant political or religious ideology, with you (verses 3-9). body, the flesh of your sons and your
are prime factors. A look at past famines By living righteously and avoiding false daughters ... in the siege and desperate
gives us an idea of how devastating they religion, Israel would be able to receive straits in which your enemy shall distress
can be. divine blessings of good weather, fertile you. The sensitive and very refined man
During the 20th century two humanly soil and plentiful rainfall. Peace, material among you will be hostile toward his
engineered famines brought devastating abundance, good health and the absence brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and
consequences. In 1932-34, the Soviet
dictator Joseph Stalin sought to suppress
Ukrainian nationalism by forcing a system
of collectivized agriculture on the
peasants. Food supplies were removed to
the cities, crops failed and food supplies
were barred from the region. This
manmade famine resulted in the starvation
of between 6 and 8 million people. It was
a state-sponsored attempt at genocide.
Chinas Great Leap Forward in 1958-
60 resulted in mismanaged food
production and the disruption of
distribution chains. Fertile rice fields were
plowed over and factories built on them.
Farms were collectivized. Farmers who
knew only the land were at a loss in
factories. Coupled with bad weather, the
result was the death of 20 million people
by starvation during 1960 and 1961. For keeping His statutes and commandments,
Famine in prophecy
God promises the necessities for plentiful food produc-
Lets step back in history to the book of
tion: rain in its season so that the land shall yield its
Leviticus for a look at Gods warning to produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit
man through the example of Israel. Here ... you shall eat your bread to the full ...
we can see the consequences of false
religion, war, famine and pestilence when
Israel was unfaithful to God. of disease would follow. In other words, toward the rest of his children whom he
Leviticus 26 is a chapter of promises the curses like those accompanying the leaves behind, so that he will not give any
from Godthe promise of blessings for horsemen of apocalyptic disaster would of them the flesh of his children whom he
obedience and of curses for disobedience. not go through their land as long as they will eat, because he has nothing left in the
The first step toward blessings is sincerely obeyed God and worshipped siege ... (Deuteronomy 28:53-55).
faithfulness in the worship of the true Him in truth. Famine-induced cannibalism is the
God. You shall not make idols for This promise will be applied to all lowest depth of depravity to which a
yourselves; neither a carved image nor a nations after the return of Christ. In time, nation can sink. Yet scenes like this have
sacred pillar shall you rear for yourselves; they also will receive these same promised occurred in history and God says they
nor shall you set up an engraved stone in benefits when they, too, learn to live the will happen again. Reading this in the
your land, to bow down to it; for I am the way God has revealed in His Word. But light of todays reported tragedies is
Lord your God. You shall keep My until then, we will continue to see cyclical profoundly sobering. But such deeply
Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I occurrence of famine, from all sorts of distressing events inevitably occur when
am the Lord (verses 1-2). causes, resulting in millions of people men and women become entrenched in
For keeping His statutes and dying when they could have lived. their disobedience to Gods laws.

12 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television Photos (from left:): Corbis Digital Stock, PhotoSpin
Hope in the midst of horror One horseman is yet to ride in this grim
Jesus Christ wept over the fate that was scenario. We will see in our next
about to fall on Jerusalem in the first installment that he rides in tandem with
century. He knew that terrible scenes this third horseman. We have not yet seen
would occur within the city of peace. the full depths of the catastrophe that
He wanted to gather the people into a awaits the world as the seals of Revelation
loving and protective embrace and keep 6 are opened and the human tragedies
them from such tragedy. described in them unfold.
But their sins and defiant attitude would In His Olivet prophecy, Jesus gave the
not allow them to repent and escape what first description of the events symbolized
was coming. So the only course left for by these sealsand His prophecy is
them was impending desolation and the unerring. He foretold that there will be a
cruel lessons of experience (see Matthew time of great tribulation, greater than any
23:37-39). The worst horrors described previous world conflict, and unless that
above in Deuteronomy 28 fell on them time is cut short, no human flesh will
during the Roman siege of Jerusalem. survive.
Those horrors will only grow as mankind No treaty, no cease-fire, no human
continues its self-destructive course of being, will be able to stop this end-of-the-
rejecting God. age cataclysm. Events will drive the world
into an out-of-control spin. But for the
W
Nothing is more basic to human ere all interested in what the future
holds. What can we expect? Is there a
way to know what lies ahead? Where should
we look for answers? How will future events
affect our families and loved ones?
Human efforts at predicting the future are
notoriously inaccurate. Self-proclaimed seers
and prophets have
been proven wrong
time and time again.
But there is a sure way
to know what the
future holds. Its written
in advance in the pages
of the Bible.
The book of
Revelation, the last
book in the Bible, is to
many people the most confusing. They find
For disobedience, God says He would bring a nation Revelations strange symbols and images
from afar to besiege and blockade the cities. All the food puzzling and mysterious. But it need not be so.
stores would be forcibly taken. The resulting starvation The books very name means a revealing, a
way to gain understanding. Its first verse tells
would cause the social structure to unravel at a frighten- us it was written to reveal things which must
ing speed. The results are horrifying to contemplate. shortly take place.
Weve prepared an exciting, eye-opening
survival than food and water. Yet the sake of a remnant called the elect, His bookletThe Book of Revelation Unveiled
entire world is wholly dependent on true followers, those days will be to help you understand what is going to take
elements totally beyond human control shortened (Matthew 24:21-22). place in the days ahead. This 32-page, full-color
namely sufficient rainfall, sunshine, Too often, people speak of this period booklet will take you through the major
temperate weather and fertility of the as the end of the world or by some other themes of the book of Revelation, helping
earth beneath our feetto keep us alive. similarly gloomy name. Terrible as that you discover how it all fits together. In this
The many recurring reports of droughts, time will be, the world will not end and booklet youll learn tomorrows headlines
floods, losses of fertile land and disturbed human life will not be extinguished. The today, discovering the major trends and events
weather patterns should wake us out of Bible gives us hope that the light will that will shape the world in the days ahead.
our complacency. Ultimately, we are dawn out of the chaos at the end of this You cant afford to be without this priceless
dependent on God for everything. When age. knowledge!
He decides to pull the plug on the systems It is when we keep our eyes firmly For your free copy, contact any of our offices
that support human life on earth, it will be focused on this truth that we can have or visit our Web site:
too late to realize how much weve taken hope beyond the tensions of our present
these things for granted. world. BT www.ucg.org/booklets

The Horsemen of Revelation 13


BEYOND TODAY FEATURE T he Fourth Hors e m a n

Previous articles in this series covered the meaning of the first three of the horsemen of Revelation
religious deception, war and famine. What does the fourth, the pale green horse and its rider, signify?

D
isease travels in tandem with fear. of Revelation 6. These seals, dramatically horseman, and his ride of death by plague.
While the first can lead to the death depicted by four horsemen, show the effect How will the ride of this horseman affect
of thousands, the second can unravel of false religion, war, famine and plague the nations of the earth?
the social fabric, disrupting the precarious among the earths population in the days
balance of relationships essential for the leading to the return of Jesus Christ. The ride of the fourth horseman
stability of nations. Each of these seals represents powerful Revelation 6:7-8 tells us this about the
The most recent disease fear was SARS forces that devastate human life on the earth. fourth seal: When He opened the fourth
(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), The cumulative effect will lead to such con- seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living
which killed hundreds last year and panicked ditions that if Jesus Christ did not intervene creature saying, Come and see. So I looked,
thousands more. Before that it was AIDS, and cut short the time of trial, no flesh and behold, a pale horse. And the name of
which has killed tens of millions and even would be saved (Matthew 24:22). him who sat on it was Death, and Hades
today is still decimating the populations of We now come to the fourth seal, the fourth followed with him.
some countries. Tomorrow it could be The Expositors Bible Commentary
another, even greater plague to sweep says this about the color of the fourth horse:
across the landscape, leaving death and Pale (chloros) denotes a yellowish green,
destruction in its wake. the light green of a plant, or the paleness
In this series we have been of a sick person in contrast to a healthy
examining each of the first appearance. Put bluntly, this horse is the
four seals color of death.
In Jesus parallel prophecy in Matthew 24,
He explained that in the wake of religious
deception, war and famine would come pes-
tilences or disease epidemics (verse 7).
The seals have a cumulative effect. False
religion causes instability within relation-
ships leading to war. Famine follows war,
and when malnourishment occurs and social
systems break down, human beings are more
susceptible to disease. These seals depict the
ferocity of problems unleashed on the world
in the lead-up to the Day of the Lord.
There would be other calamities as
well. Jesus also listed in the same context
earthquakes in various places (verse 7).
Plague in Scripture denotes not only
pestilence but also other calamities in
nature that God uses to punish a disobedient
humanity. Of course, any such calamities
make populations that much riper for the
spread of disease epidemics.
The latter part of Revelation 6:8, speaking
of all four horsemen, states: And power was
given to them over a fourth of the earth to kill
with sword, with hunger, with death and by
the beasts of the earth.

14 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television Illustration by Sherwin Schwartzrock/Jonathan Koelsch
By the time the fourth horseman completes selves for further attacks from terrorist
his ride, a fourth of earths inhabitants will More to Study groups. What is perhaps feared most is a
experience incredible devastation. The death Beyond the devastating rides of the four biological attack with smallpox or some
toll will be unlike any from plague and horsemen of Revelation lies a fifth rider other widely communicable germ. Experts
disease in human history. offering great hope! know that the West is woefully underpre-
To understand how bad it can be, lets go pared for such an attack.
back and look at some of the great plagues few as 10 bubonic plague cells can cause In June 2001, the Center for Strategic
of history. a persons death. and International Studies hosted a senior-
Perhaps disease transmission from rodents level war game examining the security chal-
The Black Death lenges of a biological attack on the Ameri-
is part of what Revelation 6:8 means by death
Perhaps the most famous plague in his- from the beasts of the earth. Microbial and can homeland.
tory is the Black Death of the 14th century, viral infection could also be intended. The premise was the appearance of a case
thought by most to have been bubonic of smallpox in Oklahoma City, rapidly
plague. Estimates are that more than 20 mil- Human-engineered plague spreading throughout the country. Among
lion people (a third to half of Europes pop- Throughout its history, plague has been the lessons learned from the exercise: An
ulation) died in the outbreak. used as an offensive weapon against popula- attack on the United States with biological
In 1346, reports reached Europe of a tions. The Mongols would catapult plague- weapons could threaten vital national secu-
devastating disease from China that was infested corpses over the walls of besieged rity interests. Massive civilian casualties,
affecting many parts of Asia. The next year cities. Thousands would die as the disease breakdown in essential institutions, viola-
a mysterious disease appeared in Italy. Ships spread through the walled-in population. tion of democratic processes, civil disorder,
from the Black Sea sailed into Messina with During World War II, Japan dropped loss of confidence in government and
sailors infected with black boils in their plague-infested fleas on China. American reduced U.S. strategic flexibility abroad are
armpits and groins. It was the bubonic research growing out of the war experience among the ways a biological attack might
plaque. led to a decades-long research project at compromise U.S. security (www.home-
The disease was so lethal that people were Fort Detrick, Maryland, proving that bio landsecurity.org/darkwinter/index.cfm).
known to go to bed well and die before wak- logical warfare was a feasible method Other estimates say that within days a
ing. There were two types of this plague. The of waging war. million people would be dead and two to
first was internal, causing swelling and inter- In 1969 U.S. President Richard Nixon three times that many infected. No one
nal bleeding. This was spread by contact. ordered the research stopped, and in 1972 knows what lies out there waiting to be used
The second concentrated in the lungs and the United States signed a treaty with 70 by groups wishing other nations harm. We
spread by coughing airborne germs. There other nations outlawing the production, only know that it could happen.
was no known prevention or cure. stockpiling and use of biological weapons
Whole towns were depopulated. The Naturally caused disease
as a means of war. Despite this treaty, it is
social structure completely broke down. known that many nations, rich and poor Beyond the human-engineered biowar-
Parents abandoned children; husbands and alike, have developed biological weapons. fare, another type of pestilence is waiting as
wives left each other to die. In many cases The former Soviet Union conducted a well. This one lurks quietly in the back-
no one was around to bury the dead, both sophisticated effort to manufacture biologi- ground and could erupt at any time, say sci-
from fear of contagion and lack of concern. cal weapons during the Cold War years. For entists who study the subject.
One writer of the time tells of observing years scientists researched ways to geneti- Eighty years ago a sudden mutation in
5,000 bodies lying dead in a field. cally alter bubonic plague so as to make it the virus that causes influenza initiated a
In that age, the Bible was the primary resistant to many forms of modern treat- worldwide epidemic that in only 18 months
means to measure any natural calamity. The ment. killed an estimated 25 to 40 million people
only way to understand what was happening Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in around the world. Many consider this to be
was to believe the world was coming to an 1992, the tracking and inventory of all this the worst natural disaster in history (Hill-
end. There seemed no hope for the future. work has been a great concern. The United ary Johnson, Killer Flu, Rolling Stone,
The bubonic plague has appeared in more States and its allies fear that some of it could Jan. 22, 1998). Some historians feel this epi-
recent times as well. The Great Plague of have fallen into the hands of terrorist groups demic hastened the end of World War I.
London in 1664-65 resulted in more than and could one day be used against them. Scientists studying infectious diseases
70,000 deaths in a population estimated at After the first Gulf War in 1991, weapons have sounded warnings that this could occur
460,000. An outbreak in Canton and Hong again.
inspectors confirmed that Iraq had devel-
Kong in 1894 left 80,000 to 100,000 dead, One expert, W.I.B. Beveridge, says,
and within 20 years the disease spread from oped biological weapons and had even There is no known reason why there
the southern Chinese ports throughout the equipped some warheads with germs to use
should not be another catastrophic pan-
whole world, resulting in more than 10 against Saddam Husseins enemies. The
demic like that of 1918 or even worse. The
million deaths. location of these weapons since that time is
flu always has the capability of becoming a
The plague came to America from Asia part of the unsolved mystery of that regime. global plague: a spark in a remote corner of
in 1899. Today cases are still reported, Could some of them be in the hands of al- the world could start a fire that scorches us
and an average of 15 people die each year. Qaeda or some other radical Islamic group, all. Should a super flu like that of 1918
The disease originates in rodents and is usu- waiting to be used on the West? make a comeback now that the population
ally transmitted to people by fleas, although has quadrupled and more than a million
animal bites can also be the means of trans- Are nations prepared? people cross international boundaries on jets
mission. It is still a virulent disease. As Today America and the West brace them- Continued on page 18

The Horsemen of Revelation 15


BEYOND TODAY FEATURE T he Fifth Horse m a n

Most Bible students focus only on the first four horsemen of Revelation 6. The phrase Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse is synonymous with frightening prophecies. But there is another
horsemana fifth, whose ride signifies a much different future and brings promise of a far
better age to come.

I
t seems as if it were a lifetime ago war, famine and pestilence.
that U.S. President George W. Bush Christ said these seals would herald an
put the prestige of his office into the unparalleled time of sorrow and great tribu-
quest for peace between Israelis and lation such as has not been since the begin-
Palestinians. ning of the world until this time, no, nor ever
Yet it was only a little over a year ago shall be (Matthew 24:7-8, 21).
in June 2003that the American president The prophecies show dark days ahead for
met in Aqaba with Israeli Prime Minister this world and its inhabitants. Revelation 8
Ariel Sharon, Jordans King Abdullah and shows the effect of further plagues, which
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mah- affect the earths vegetation (verse 7) and
moud Abbas to commit their efforts and devastate the waters of the rivers and seas,
energies to the road map for peace. the planets life-support system (verses 8 and
The Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook 10).
hands, expressed regret for the suffering of Conditions will grow so bad that men
the peoples, stated their desire for peaceful will seek the escape of death in that day, but
relations and committed to travel the road to it will not be found (Revelation 9:6). Why
peace. will all this come on the earth, and where
But within days of this highly heralded will it lead?

The book of Revelation shows that God will bring a time Gods righteous judgment
of divine judgment on the world that in the end will result We need to understand a basic principle of
Gods judgment on mankind. God takes no
in peace. It is the only way this warring, fractious world will pleasure in the death of the wicked. He
be brought to a state of harmony. would much rather see men and women live
righteously and enjoy the blessings that
Israel sounds ominous notes to students
meeting, another wave of violence broke on come from obeying His way. But when the
of prophecy.
the streets of Israel. Sniper attacks and way of man becomes too wicked, there fol-
homicide bombings took more Israeli lives. Fruitless search for peace lows a time of righteous judgment, the end
Seventeen were killed in one grisly bus of which is ultimate restoration.
attack, followed by other suicide bombings Where do we find the way to genuine Notice Ezekiel 18. In verse 23, God rhe-
that killed and maimed dozens more. Israeli peace? Beyond the Middle East, other areas torically asks, Do I have any pleasure at all
counterattacks took the lives of Palestinian of conflict continue to flare up. In Sudan and that the wicked should die? ... and not that
leaders as well as innocent children. the Congo, little-noticed wars have claimed he should turn from his ways and live?
No sooner were the hopes for peace the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afri- Again in verse 30 He says, Therefore I will
raised than they were dashed to the ground, cans. While attention is focused on Iraq, judge you ..., every one according to his
leaving many to wonder if any peaceful these wars have been all but ignored by the ways ... Repent, and turn from all your
solution to this problem is possible. world powers. It is a sad and discordant transgressions, so that iniquity will not be
Diplomats shuttle between nations, while commentary on those who try to work for your ruin (emphasis added throughout).
new solutions to age-old enmities are tried peace in the world. The book of Revelation shows that God
and found wanting. One U.S. senator sug- In the previous four installments of this will bring a time of divine judgment on the
gested that the United States may need to series, we have focused on the rides of the world that in the end will result in peace. It is
commit troops to Israel as a peacekeeping four horsemen of Revelation 6. These horse- the only way this warring, fractious world
force. The last thing Israel wants is the death men, who make up the first four of the seven will be brought to a state of harmony.
of American soldiers in defense of its terri- seals opened by Jesus Christ, show the com- Notice what is sung at the throne of God
tory. The imposition of a foreign army into ing destruction caused by false religion, in anticipation of the seven last plagues. A

16 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television


song of Moses and the Lamb includes these turmoil and tribulation, Christs ride will to live and love and grow old through the
words: Great and marvelous are Your lead to a time of peace throughout the earth. generations without fear of war, wasting dis-
works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are eases and want?
Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall The war that finally brings peace Throughout the ages men, women and
not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your Christ will rule the nations according to all children have looked and longed for one
name? For You alone are holy. For all the prophecies that foretold His righteous who would bring lasting peace to the world.
nations shall come and worship before You, government. Revelation 19:15 carries for- The first-century world looked for a golden
for Your judgments have been manifested ward the thought recorded in Isaiah 11:4: age that would bring justice and peace to
(Revelation 15:3-4). Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, mankind. They sensed the time was right for
Another angel, holding a bowl of judg- that with it He should strike the nations. And restoring a time of prosperity and wisdom
ment says: You are righteous, O Lord, He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. when the physical and spiritual world
the One who is and who was and who He Himself treads the winepress of the worked together in harmony.
is to be, because You have judged these fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. The Roman poet Virgil spoke of the return
things. For they have shed the blood of saints Christs second coming, with power and of justice from a new breed of men sent
and prophets, and You have given them great glory, will be a time of great conflict down from heaven and the boys birth in
blood to drink. For it is their just due (Rev- and a final battle of the nations gathered at whom the iron shall cease, the golden age
elation 16:5-6). Jerusalem. These armies gather for what will arise ... He shall receive the life of gods,
To the human mind, unaccustomed to seem to them to be an earthly, temporal mat- and see heroes with gods commingling, and
thinking about divine judgment, these words ter. But God will have another purpose. himself be seen of them, and with his
strike a jarring and harsh note. How can An angel, emblazoned against the sun, fathers worth reign over a world at peace
a loving and merciful God do this to His cre- appeared to John with this ominous com- (Eclogue 4.5-13, 15-18).
ation? mand to the fowl of the skies: Come and Of course, the Roman Empire did not
Yet our judgment must be guided and gather together for the supper of the great bring a golden ageit was more like iron
shaped by the words of another angelic God (Revelation 19:17). Plainly, after than gold. The peace of Rome was achieved
being from Gods altar, who says, Even so, Christ destroys those armies gathered to at the end of the legionnaires short sword
Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are fight against Him, there will be nothing left war, but not a righteous one. No leader or
Your judgments (Revelation 16:7). but food for the scavenging birds. nation since then has brought lasting peace
Read in your own Bible the words to any age of man.
The ride of the fifth horseman describing this dramatic scene at the end of
However, the fifth horseman of Revela- this present age of human misrule. While not A lasting peace
tion, Jesus Christ, rides not with famine, pes- pretty, it is the only solution to the Where can you turn for a reliable promise
tilence or a false gospel like the earlier rid- continual warring of mankind. of peace and justice?
ers. His ride is not the fifth seal of Revelation When giant oil wells are burning out of The search will continue for a lasting
6. Instead He is the returning King control, often the only way firefighters can peace among todays nations. Conferences
of Kings and Lord of Lords. extinguish the flame is by igniting an explo- will be held, treaties produced and accords
Christ rides onto the world stage at the sion in the well head. The explosion sucks signed. There will be short periods of calm
moment of earths greatest crisisand out the oxygen, thus taking away a key ele- giving the illusion of peace. But in the end,
makes war. But it will truly be the war ment needed for the fire. Similarly, the righ- the only real peace must be brought by the
to end wars. teous war Christ will wage is like a massive hand of God through the ride of the fifth
And it will be a war waged in righteous explosion of force that brings the raging horseman of Revelation.
judgment. Notice the description in Revela- flames of war to a halt. Only then will the Today the world awaits the voices that
tion 19: Now I saw heaven opened, and conditions be set for ushering in the peace of will declare, as foretold in Revelation 11:15:
behold, a white horse. And He who sat on the Kingdom of God. The kingdoms of this world have become
him was called Faithful and True, and in the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ,
righteousness He judges and makes war The Desire of All Nations
and He shall reign forever and ever! BT
(verse 11). Through the prophet Haggai, God sent a
Like the first horseman of Revelation 6, message of comfort that echoes through the
Christ sits astride a white horse, this image ages. It speaks to the world at the time of Recommended Reading
in both places symbolizing conquest. But great calamity mentioned in Revelation. What will happen on earth
here the similarity ends. Unlike the decep- My Spirit remains among you; do not when Jesus Christ returns?
tion of the first rider, Jesus comes with fear! For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once What does Bible prophecy
truth. His name is The Word of God (verse more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven foretell about the transfor-
mation of our world under
13) and He wields a sharp sword, which in and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will the reign of the Messiah?
other places is used to symbolize the Word shake all nations, and they shall come to the Why must He return? Learn
of God. Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this tem- the hopeful, encouraging
truth in our free booklet The
Indeed, there will be a literal battle, after ple with glory ... The glory of this latter Gospel of the Kingdom. And
which the true way of God will replace the temple shall be greater than the former ... to better understand the events prophesied for
governments of this world and nations will And in this place I will give peace, says the the end time, also request or download your
free copy of The Book of Revelation Unveiled.
be subject to the Kingdom of God, the divine Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:5-9).
reign of Jesus Christ over the entire world. Clearly, Jesus Christ the Messiah is the Contact any of our offices or request or download
Unlike the previous four horsemen, which Desire of All Nations. What do all nations them from our Web site at
foreshadowed increasing world long for? Is it not peace? Is it not the chance www.ucg.org/booklets

The Horsemen of Revelation 17


Fourth Horseman sented by the first seal and its horseman. Any
form of worship other than that given by God
will be a time of unparalleled tribulation.
The fifth horseman
Continued from page 15 is a false idol having no value or validity.
each day, experts say it could kill hundreds Lacking meaning or sense, it is worse than Barely a year ago the world experienced
of millions (ibid.). nothing because it leads to willful ignorance something resembling panic with the sudden
Influenza is one of the most underrated and lack of understanding of the true God appearance of the SARS virus. In Hong
biomedical hazards in todays world. Its pos- and His purpose for human life. Kong all places of entertainment were tem-
sible that new super strains may already be False religion and deception breaks the porarily shut down. Cities such as Toronto
evolving. Medical science takes eight months bond between God and His creation and were put on a warning list as possible places
or more to create a vaccine once a new strain leads to false systems of religion. When this to avoid due to the spread of SARS cases.
appears. Researchers know they cannot stop bond is broken, human relationships suffer, The world media machine contributed to
a pandemic. By the time authorities under- leading to conflict and war, represented by both an awareness of the disease and a fear
stand what is happening, it would be too late the second of the seals. that, in the end, proved to be out of propor-
to spare millions. Verse 6 says: I will give peace in the land, tion to the danger posed by the virus. How-
Last years outbreak of SARS was rapidly and you shall lie down, and none will make ever, the economic impact due to decreased
identified and its genetic makeup fully you afraid. This peace, in contrast to the sec- tourist and business travel had a significant
decoded in a matter of weeks. Scientists from ond horsemen of war, is a gift from God effect on many areas.
around the world worked together using the when man obeys Him from the heart and puts One can only imagine the worldwide
latest technology and communication tools to His laws and ways first. impact to come from the culmination of the
make this breakthrough. By contrast, it took If you walk in My statutes and keep My ride of the pale horseman. The world has
several years to do the same with the Human commandments, and perform them, then I seen relatively mild precursors. What will
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) when it first will give you rain in its season, the land shall happen when modern communications and
surfaced more than 20 years ago. yield its produce, and the trees of the field travel allow people to see literally millions of
However, it could take years to develop shall yield their fruit (Leviticus 26:3-4). For deaths?
a viable vaccine to combat SARS. In the obedience, God promises the opposite of the Which brings us to the only hope this world
meantime other mutant strains are waiting third horseman of famineplenty of food has to survive this devastating stampede. Peo-
to jump the species barrier from animals to from abundant harvests. ple commonly refer to these four seals as the
humans. When they do, the results could be And the antidote to the fourth horseman Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Because
catastrophic. A breakdown caused by war of disease? When God brought the Israelites the last word here is often synonymous with
in one part of the world, coupled with an out- out of Egypt, He told them: If you diligently global destruction, there is typically no hope
break of influenza, as in World War I, would heed the voice of the Lord your God and do in this reference. But Apocalypse is simply
be all it would take to set in motion a disease what is right in His sight, give ear to His the Greek name of the book of Revelation
pandemic on the scale of those described in commandments and keep all His statutes, I meaning revealing or unveiling. And this
the book of Revelation. will put none of the diseases on you which I book reveals more than the gloom and doom
have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the that lie at the end of the age.
The seals in context Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26). How- Indeed, John saw more than four horse-
When we look at the four seals of Reve ever, if they disobeyed and broke the cove- men in his vision. He saw five. Revelation
lation 6, we have to understand them in nant, they could expect disease to afflict 19:11-16 shows us the ride of the fifth horse-
the context of Gods agelong message to them, their families and their nation. man. It is the appearance of Jesus Christ, on a
mankind. False religion, war, famine and dis- Notice: But if you will not obey the voice white horse from heaven, intervening in
ease are the results of mans broken relation- of the Lord your God ... the Lord will make world affairs at its most crucial point. In the
ship with Him. And when these horsemen the pestilence cling to you until He has con- next issue, in our final article in this series,
make their rides, it will be after repeated sumed you from the land into which you go we will focus on this horseman of hope,
warning and pleading from God to turn from to possess. The Lord will smite you with con- the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whose
sin and live righteously based on His eternal sumption, with fever and inflammation ... appearance will bring an everlasting King-
law of love toward God and man. and the tumors, the scurvy and the itch, from dom of truth, peace, plenty and ultimate
When God first set ancient Israel in a which you cannot be healed. The Lord will well-being. BT
land of promise, He gave them instruction on smite you with madness and blindness and
how to live and conduct their affairs in a way dismay of [mind and] heart (Deuteronomy Recommended Reading
that would bring peace and harmony. God 28:15, 21-22, 27-28, Amplified Bible).
What other factors play into the
wanted them to live with blessing and abun- Bound within the promises of blessings frightening ride of the pale horse,
dance, not suffering and misery. In His basic and curses is the larger context for the four the color of death, at the time
instruction, our Creator explained how to seals of Revelation 6. The human race is of the end? What leads to its
bound to its Creator in a relationship that will fateful ride? How will humanity
avoid the problems that will devastate the be affected by these and other
world with the opening of these seals. reach a conclusion. God will accomplish His events? Be sure to request or
Notice the pattern set in Leviticus 26: You purpose of bringing many sons to glory download our free booklets The
(Hebrews 2:10). Mankind eventually will Book of Revelation Unveiled and
shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a Are We Living in the Time of
carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you come face to face with God and admit that the End? to better understand
rear for yourselves; nor shall you set up an He is the one and only true God. these prophesied events.
engraved stone in your land, to bow down to The book of Revelation shows Gods mer-
it; for I am the Lord your God (Leviticus ciful intervention in human affairs to both Contact any of our offices or request or download
them from our Web site at
26:1). correct and save man from destruction. God
will bring justice to the earth, but first there www.ucg.org/booklets
Here is the solution to false religion, repre-
2013 United Church of God, an International Association www.ucg.org

18 A Bible study aid presented by Beyond Today television 505/1305/2.0