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Pre-parousia -- The black horse

First posted: January 9, 2005

 

This article is the fourth in a series of articles dealing with the spiritual events --- as prophesied by the Lord in Matthew 24 --- that are already taking place prior to the coming of the Son of Man. This article will deal with the manifestation of the black horse of the Apocalypse in these latter days.

 

Index

The horse of famines

Barley and the poor

Oil

Wine

Temporary grace

Spiritual cappuccinos

The 3M god

Balaam's undead wheat

Lustful grace

Stick with the stones

No mo' hetero-yoke

Grace-aware judges

Sanity restored

Conclusion

 

 

 

The horse of famines

In Matthew 24:7, the Lord declares the following:

 

"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." (Matthew 24:7)

 

In our two previous articles, we saw how the first half of this verse refers to the white horse of the Apocalypse and how the word "pestilences" refers to the red horse. We will now focus on the word "famines" and study what horse of the Apocalypse it refers to:

 

"1And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 3And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. 5And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. 7And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:1-8)

 

From verses 5 and 6 above, it becomes evident that, when the Lord spoke of "famines" in Matthew 24:7, He was pointing prophetically to the black horse. As the black horse appears, a spiritual command will go forth: "A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, but hurt not the oil and the wine" (v6).

 

The word "penny" was translated from the Greek word denarion, which was the name of a Roman silver coin that, according to Matthew 20:2-13, was equivalent to what a worker would ordinarily get paid for a day's wages. If applied to a modern-day U.S. worker who makes $1,500 a month and works 5 days a week, a denarion would be equivalent to around $68.

 

The word "measure" that appears in Revelation 6:6 was translated from the Greek word choinix, which is equivalent to around 1 liter (or 1 quart). Therefore, if Revelation 6:6 is taken literally, it would mean that 1 quart of wheat grain would sell for US$68 and 1 quart of barley for around US$23. This means that the appearance of the black horse will produce limitation on the wheat and barley without affecting the supply of oil and wine. However, we must understand this in the Spirit, and, in order to do so, we must first understand the spiritual meaning of the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which are mentioned in Revelation 6:6.

 

Barley and the poor

As we share in a previous prophetic word, wheat in Scripture is generally associated with the prophetic ministry. Barley, on the other hand, is related to a different ministry.

 

In Biblical times, both wheat and barley were used to make bread, but wheat bread was more expensive than barley bread. Therefore, barley bread was generally consumed by people who were poor. Scripture says the following about the "poor":

 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)

 

The word "poor" above was translated from the Greek word ptochos, which refers to a person who is "reduced to beggary". Therefore, the phrase "poor in spirit" above refers to those who are "reduced to beggary" by the world for abiding in the Spirit. God gives the kingdom of heaven as an inheritance to those who refuse to rely on the methods and resources of this world, choosing instead to rely on the methods and the resources of the Spirit. In other words, the "poor" are those who see the riches of this world as poverty in comparison to the riches of the Spirit.

 

Another passage where ptochos appears is the following:

 

"5The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." (Matthew 11:5-6)

 

The phrase "have the gospel preached" above was translated from the Greek word euaggelizo, which literally means "to bring good news" and is the equivalent of the word "evangelize" in English. Therefore, the Lord is saying in Matthew 11:5 that the poor are "evangelized". This connection between the "poor" and "evangelism" is also shown by the following verse:

 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18)

[The phrase "preach the gospel" was once again translated from the Greek word euaggelizo]

 

In a sense, evangelists are "spiritual salespeople"; they are men and women designed to "sell" a message of repentance and conversion to a large number of people. In the world system, those who try to sell a product to a large group of people make a concerted effort to target the "leaders", i.e.- the rich and notable people of that group, first. For example, those who sell sportswear try to get famous athletes to endorse their products. Since those athletes already have a "following", the marketers' thinking is, "If we get this athlete to use and endorse our product, those who follow him (or her) will automatically be persuaded to use the product as well".

 

In God's Kingdom, however, things work differently. As many of you may recall, John chapter 4 speaks of how Jesus evangelized a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. John 4:6 declares that the woman appeared at the well around the "sixth hour" as Jesus, who was tired, sat at the well. Since the hours of a day were counted starting at sunrise (not at midnight, as we do now), the phrase "sixth hour" means that it was noon when the woman showed up. Samaria is a very hot place, and the sun reaches its hottest intensity around noon, meaning that the Samaritan woman chose the hottest hour of the day to go to the well. Most women would go to the well early in the morning, when the sun was not as intense. Therefore, it can be inferred that the Samaritan woman chose the hottest hour of the day in order to avoid the other women. According to John 4:18-19, this woman had already had 5 husbands, and the one she was living with was not her husband. This must have made her a "hot topic of conversation" among the women who gathered at the well early in the morning. The Samaritan woman had a "questionable reputation" in her community. Yet, she was the one whom Jesus chose to evangelize first, and these were the results:

 

"27And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30Then they went out of the city, and came unto him." (John 4:27-30)

 

"39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41And many more believed because of his own word; 42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." (John 4:39-42)

 

Notice how the Samaritan woman became a powerful evangelist through whom many were converted to the Lord. Instead of evangelizing the rich and notable leaders of the Samaritan community first, Jesus evangelized the "poor" and "non-notable" Samaritan woman at the well. Why? Because, as we have said before, evangelists are the spiritual conquerors who dethrone Amorite kings and establish the kingdom of Heaven, and, as Matthew 5:3 declares, the kingdom of heaven belongs to the "poor", i.e.- to those who are judged as unimportant and irrelevant by the carnal, natural eye:

 

"2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?" (James 2:2-7)

[The words "poor" that appear throughout this passage were all translated from the Greek word ptochos mentioned above]

 

Notice how verse 5 above once again relates the "poor" with the kingdom of God. A "poor" person has a supernatural anointing to take over the spiritual atmosphere around him or her, because, as Matthew 5:3 declares, the kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor. In the world system, the marketers go after the rich and notable leaders; in the spirit realm, the true evangelists go after the "poor" and non-notable. When Jesus ministered for 3 years, He did not try to convince the religious leaders of His day; He went after those whom the religious structures thought were spiritually irrelevant. He did not pick His apostles from the elite "seminary schools" of His day; He chose unknown fishermen and tax collectors. He chose the "poor" whom the world thought had nothing to offer, and those "poor folks" went on to shake the world for God. Fellow believer, things in the Spirit realm are paradoxical. If you want the Gospel to be heard, you must preach it to those who are not heard. If you want God's power to be seen, you must impart it to those whom the world does not see.

 

"8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

 

From all of the above, we can now say that "barley" is strongly related to the evangelistic ministry, since "barley bread" was predominantly eaten by the poor. This connection between "barley" and the evangelistic ministry is further strengthened by the fact that the Greek word for "poor" studied above, ptochos, is derived from the word ptoeo, which means "to terrify". One of the Hebrew words for "barley", seorah, is derived from the Hebrew word saar, which means "to be very afraid". Notice how the Greek word for "poor" and the Hebrew word for "barley" are both derived from words related to the concept of "being afraid". The probable reason for this is the fact that "poor" people are generally intimidated and belittled by the "rich" who hold the power (remember, we are using the words "poor" and "rich" in a spiritual sense).

 

In John chapter 6, the Lord used 5 loaves of "barley" (krithinos in Greek) to feed 5,000 men, after which the crowd wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him an earthly, Amorite "king" (John 6:15). Even though the crowd here was reacting in the flesh, we can once again see the spiritual connection between "barley" and "kingdom".

 

Oil

Now that we can say that "wheat" points to the prophetic ministry and "barley" to the evangelistic ministry, we must study the spiritual meaning of "oil".

 

In Scripture, oil is a figure of the "anointing":

 

"25And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. 30And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priestís office. 31And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations." (Exodus 29:25-31)

 

"My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment." (Luke 7:46)

 

"Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah." (1 Samuel 16:13)

 

As the passage above shows, Scripture associates the "anointing" with the Spirit of God coming upon us:

 

"Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?" (1 Samuel 10:1)

 

"9And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. 10And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them." (1 Samuel 10:9-10)

 

As the passage above shows, the Spirit of God coming over us is also associated with "prophesying". This is reaffirmed throughout Scripture:

 

"28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke." (Joel 2:28-30)

 

"And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied." (1 Samuel 19:20)

 

"25And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. 26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp." (Numbers 11:25-26)

 

"6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7And all the men were about twelve." (Acts 19:6-7)

 

From all of the above, we can conclude that oil is associated in Scripture to the "anointing", to the Spirit of God coming over us, and to the prophetic ministry.

 

Wine

Now that we have studied the spiritual meaning of "wheat", "barley", and "oil", let us study the spiritual meaning of "wine".

 

In Scripture, wine is related to "joy" of the heart:

 

"And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?" (Judges 9:13)

[The word "cheereth" was translated from the Hebrew word samach, which literally means "to rejoice"]

 

"And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth manís heart." (Psalm 104:15)

[The phrase "maketh glad" was translated from the same Hebrew word samach mentioned above]

 

"And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD." (Zechariah 10:7)

[The word "rejoice" in the phrase "their heart shall rejoice" was translated from samach. The phrase "be glad" was also translated from samach.]

 

In Scripture, "joy" is associated with concepts such as "victory", "conquest", and "possession of an inheritance":

 

"1And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God." (1 Samuel 2:1-2)

[The word "salvation" was translated from the Hebrew word yeshuwah, which speaks of "salvation", "deliverance", and "victory", and is the word from which the name Yeshua (Jesus) is derived]

 

"Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad." (Psalm 14:7)

[The word "salvation" was translated from the word yeshuwah mentioned above. The phrase "shall be glad" was translated from the word samach ("to rejoice") mentioned above.]

 

"16Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. 17But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God." (Psalm 40:16-17)

[The phrase "be glad" was translated from samach, and salvation was translated from the Hebrew word teshuwah, which means "salvation", "deliverance", or "victory", and is related to the word yeshuwah mentioned above]

 

"Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies" (2 Chronicles 20:27)

[The word "rejoice" was translated from samach]

 

"26Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me. 27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant." (Psalm 35:26-27)

[The word "rejoice" in verse 26 was translated from sameach, which is derived from samach; the phrase "be glad" in verse 27 was translated from samach]

 

"11Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls; 12Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. 13Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues." (Jeremiah 50:11-13)

 

"10The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth." (Psalm 58:10-11)

[The word "rejoice" was translated from samach]

 

From all of the above, we can say that wine is associated with "joy", which in turn is associated with "conquest", "victory", and "possession of an inheritance", all of which is associated with the evangelistic ministry, since evangelists are spiritual conquerors who overcome Amorite kings and establish the kingdom of Heaven. Evangelists tear down strong men and are strong themselves. This is why many of the passages quoted above also speak of "strength-related" words such as "mighty man" (Zechariah 10:7), "rock" (1 Samuel 2:2), "strengtheneth" (Psalm 104:15), and "bulls" (Jeremiah 50:11).

 

Temporary grace

So far, we have determined that

 "Wheat" points to the prophetic ministry

 "Barley" points to the evangelistic ministry

 

"Oil" points to the prophetic ministry

"Wine" points to the evangelistic ministry

 

Notice that both pairs of words point to the same two ministries: prophets and evangelists. As we have shared before, the prophetic ministry is the one most innately related to the concept of "spiritual grace", whereas the evangelistic ministry is the one most innately related to "natural grace". Therefore, these two ministries are the ones most related to "grace". This means that the black horse of Revelation 6:5-6 is being sent by God to judge the Church with respect to its management of grace.

 

Revelation 6:6 says that the black horse is coming to limit the amount of "wheat" and "barley" that can be acquired per denarion (i.e.- per day), without placing any limits on the "oil" and the "wine". Therefore, the black horse is coming to reveal the temporary nature of the "wheat" and the "barley" so that believers will be compelled to pursue the eternal "oil" and "wine".

 

Spiritual cappuccinos

Since wheat is related to the prophetic ministry, it refers to spiritual grace and blessings, and points to the emotion-laden, "religious experiences" that many believers feel in church services across the world. Obviously, an emotional experience is not wrong in and of itself, and those who truly and sincerely love and obey the Lord will experience many moments of strong emotional intensity in their walk with God throughout their entire lives. However, as we have seen before, Scripture clearly shows that it is possible for believers to have strong and real "religious experiences" without God being present. God Himself will send Hittite spirits of deceit that emulate the "real thing" when He sees believers whose hearts are not bent on His righteousness and judgments (2 Chronicles 18:18-22). Hittite spirits are "good" at emulating the sensations produced by the "prophetic anointing" in those whose hearts are after temporary blessings and religious experiences, and not after God's righteousness and purposes:

 

"1Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. 2A wise manís heart is at his right hand; but a foolís heart at his left. 3Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool." (Ecclesiastes 10:1-3)

[The reference to wisdom and the "right hand" in verse 2 points to "justice, truth, and judgments", while the "left hand" points to "grace, liberty, and blessings". As we have said before, God writes from right to left, meaning that left-handed grace is legitimate only when it is preceded by a foundation of right-handed judgments and righteousness. Otherwise, it becomes the grace of a "fading fool".]

 

Recently, I was sharing with a brother in Christ that I like cappuccinos, and I usually go out just for the explicit purpose of enjoying one. In fact, I can firmly testify that it's been the Lord Himself who has compelled me towards my "cappuccino outing routine". Many times, the Lord has spoken powerful words into my heart as I've sat there enjoying my cup of Joe. However, I know that the enjoyment I derive from drinking a cappuccino is temporary; it lasts for a while, and then it ends. Therefore, I will definitely never make a decision to gear my life towards the accumulation and enjoyment of cappuccinos. I would never turn a temporary enjoyment into an "eternal" goal. Temporary emotional enjoyments are not inherently wrong, but they becomes wrong when we gear our lives towards the pursuit of those enjoyments. When we do so, we are giving an "eternal" label to something that is temporary. Our prophetic callings have eternal overtones; as we live out God's prophetic calling for us, eternal results which transcend the sphere of the temporal are produced. Our prophetic callings, therefore, are too valuable to be traded in for the enjoyment of "spiritual cappuccinos".

 

Many believers have reduced their relationship with God to having a good time during praise and worship at church and have disregarded God's prophetic calling for their lives. Such believers have traded in their eternal, prophetic "oil" in exchange for temporary, Hittite "wheat". Unless they repent, such believers will not enter into eternal life, even if they will not go to literal hell.

 

The 3M god

Since barley is related to the evangelistic ministry, it refers to natural grace and blessings, and points to the Church's pursuit of material blessings and prosperity. Obviously, a material blessing may not be wrong in and of itself; in fact, many material blessings have a role to play in our lives -- a role designed by God Himself. For example, the intake of food on a regular basis is necessary to keep our physical bodies going so that we may fulfill God's purpose for us on this Earth. Whenever it's necessary, God may bless a believer with a car, for example, if He deems that the believer needs that car as a mode of transportation in order to carry out His purposes in the believer's life. However, it would be foolish to gear our lives towards the pursuit of food, clothing, or cars. Such things have a temporary role to play, but they are not "eternal" in nature. As we have said before, Scripture clearly shows that "material issues" have to be seen from the "contentment" perspective: as long as we have food to eat and clothes to wear (which implicitly includes some sort of "roof" over our heads in most cases), we should be content (1 Timothy 6:6-9, Matthew 6:31-34). This frees us up to worry about the pursuit of God's prophetic purposes in our lives and in the lives of others.

 

Many believers have reduced their lives to the attainment of material goals, and have even framed their relationship with God in terms of those goals. Many preachers sincerely teach that the greatest way to win people over for the Lord is by showing them how wealthy one can become when one converts to Christianity. In other words, these preachers teach that, by becoming wealthy, one shows others how "good" it is to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To these preachers, barley becomes a powerful "evangelistic tool".

 

Such an argument may sound good on the surface, but a closer look reveals a fundamental spiritual flaw. If a man is basically drawn into Christianity by the fancy cars and clothes that he sees Christians owning, he is not "converting" out of a sense of his own unrighteousness but rather out of interest for material wealth. In many cases, people who would have had a sincere conversion later on in life are prematurely drawn into the Christian "religion" by those who promote the 3M god (the "money-making machine" god), thereby allowing satan (cursed be him) to sow tares that obstruct the fulfillment of God's eternal purposes in those people's lives.

 

The book of Acts never says that the Primitive Church grew because people throughout the Roman Empire saw how wealthy and prosperous Christians were! Acts chapter 16, for example, doesn't say that the jail keeper at Philippi converted to Christianity because he saw how expensive Paul and Silas' robes were! In fact, it is doubtful that they looked too wealthy or sophisticated to the jail keeper, considering that they had just been severely whipped a few moments before (Acts 16:23). The jail keeper did not see enough opulence in Paul and Silas so as to reserve the "VIP cell" for them; instead, he thrust them into the inner prison and even "made their feet fast in the stocks" (Acts 16:24).

 

Acts chapters 3 and 4 do not say that the 5,000 who converted to the Lord during Peter's second sermon did so because they were impressed by the chariot Peter and John were riding around the streets of Jerusalem! In fact, the prophetic miracle that led to the conversion of the 5,000 was preceded by the following confession:

 

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6)

[I once heard a sister on TV read a "translation" of this verse that said, "Silver and gold have I none to give to you"; these words do not appear in the original Greek text, and the sister's unsolicited mention of these extra words in her "translation" were a clear effort on her part to defend the 3M "gospel". Whether or not Peter was carrying any silver or gold that day, the point is that it was not through the exhibition of material wealth that people converted to God.]

 

Any wealthy man could have given the lame man a bag full of shekels, but only a man in the Spirit could give him a healing that not only transformed his life but the lives of 5,000 people in one day. Instead of giving him some "barley" (i.e.- a bag of shekels, or "silver", as Peter called it) or some "wheat" (i.e.- an emotional "thrill", or "gold", as Peter called it), Peter and John gave that man "oil" and "wine" that changed his life forever. He not only was healed of his physical ailment; he and 5,000 were transformed into bold, righteousness-seeking men and women from the inside out (Acts 3:8-11, 3:19, 4:23-37). Peter, who was an evangelist (Luke 5:1-11), provided the spiritual "wine" that day, while John, who was a prophet, provided the spiritual "oil". That day, the lame man who sat by the gate called "The Beautiful" had an encounter with true grace, and he was able to leap with a joy of victory that only the true evangelistic wine can provide.

 

Balaam's undead wheat

In our previous article, we shared that we must associate the "triplet" of red, black, and "pale" horses with items from 6 other triplets. One of those triplets is the set of three names mentioned in Jude 1:11 -- Cain, Balaam, and Korah. In our previous article, we saw that the red horse comes against the spirit of Cain. A close look at Balaam reveals that the black horse comes against the "greedy" spirit of Balaam:

 

"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core" (Jude 1:11)

 

"Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness" (2 Peter 2:15)

 

"1And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. 5And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor." (Numbers 25:1-5)

 

"15And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. 17Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him" (Numbers 31:15-17)

 

As many of you may know, Balak, king of Moab, hired the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. Deep in his heart, Balaam wanted to curse Israel because he was after Balak's pay. However, the 3 times that Balak tried to get Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers chapters 22 through 24), Balaam ended up blessing Israel, because he could only prophesy what God placed in his mouth. Since Balaam realized that he could not prophesy curses against Israel, he thought up a plan to inflict spiritual damage upon the people of Israel without having to curse them. In order to get his desired payment, Balaam counseled Balak to send attractive Moabite women to the Israelites. By luring the Israelites into sin, Balaam knew that the spiritual protection around Israel would be weakened, allowing Balak to achieve his purpose of bringing destruction upon the Israelites. Since Israel could not be destroyed from the outside, Balaam figured that the only way to destroy them was from the inside.

 

As we have said before, "grace" and "beauty" are two interrelated concepts. By definition, a person is "beautiful" when he or she "finds grace" in the eyes of the beholder. By presenting the Israelites with beautiful Moabite women, Balaam was luring the Israelites into pursuing a false grace, i.e.- a grace not based on a covenant relationship. The Moabite women had no interest in entering into a covenant relationship with the God of Israel, meaning that any Israelite who would join up with these women would have to do it outside of God's covenant. Every covenant demands a death:

 

"16For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." (Hebrews 9:16-17)

[The word for "testament" and "covenant" are the same in Greek]

 

The grace and blessings of intimacy between a man and his wife are pure and righteous because they take place on top of the foundation of a marriage covenant where each partner has "died" to his or her right to have intimacy with any other person; each partner has "died" to his or her right to an "independent life" and is now committed to caring for the other person with deep, abiding love. False grace offers the blessings without the covenant; it offers "life and harvest" without a "seed of death". It offers "wheat" that hasn't died yet:

 

"24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour." (John 12:24-26)

[In verse 26, the Lord is speaking of us following Him to Golgotha (Hebrews 13:12-14)]

 

Lustful grace

So far, we have established that God is sending the black horse in these latter days to cause famines against Balaam's false grace of undead Hittite wheat and Amorite barley. The black horse is forcing believers to seek after the true grace of prophetic oil and evangelistic wine. As we did with the red horse, we must now associate the "famines" and the "black horse" with one of the three things mentioned in 1 John 2:16:

 

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:16)

 

In our previous article, we saw how the red horse is coming against the "pride of life". From what we have seen so far, it becomes evident that the black horse comes against the "lust of the flesh". Why? Because the "flesh" in Scripture speaks of human weakness, and the spirit of Balaam makes every effort possible to get believers to surrender to the passions of a weak flesh that is seduced by the beauty of a false grace, as the Israelites were by the Moabite women.

 

Stick with the stones

As we did with the red horse, we must now associate the black horse with one of Jesus' 3 temptations in the desert. In our previous article, we saw that the red horse comes against the temptation to jump from the temple's pinnacle (Matthew 4:5-7). From what we have seen so far, it becomes evident that the black horse comes against the temptation to turn the stones into bread:

 

"2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:2-4)

 

Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and became hungry; satan then came to tempt Jesus in His weakness, in an effort to evoke a "lustful pursuit of food" in His weak human flesh. Notice that he recommended that Jesus turn the stones into bread, which points to the "wheat and the barley" that the black horse comes against.

 

The word that was translated as "stones" in Matthew 4:3 above is the Greek word lithos, which appears 5 times in the following passage:

 

"4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Peter 2:4-12)

 

Notice how the Spirit speaks of "stones" rejected by men in this passage, which points to the "poor" which we studied at the beginning of this article. Notice also who verse 11 specifically refers to abstaining from "fleshly lusts", which reaffirms the connection between the black horse, Balaam, and the "lust of the flesh" in 1 John 2:16.

 

Notice also how the passage quoted above makes a constant reference to holiness and priesthood. As we have studied before, holiness is strongly connected to the prophetic ministry, while priesthood is related to spiritual inheritance, and is therefore linked to the evangelistic ministry, since the evangelistic anointing allows us to conquer our inheritance in Him. Again, we see the two "grace" ministries appearing here. Since the passage of 1 Peter 2:4-12 is centered around "stones", we can conclude that the "suggestion" to turn stones into bread speaks of forsaking God's true prophetic oil and evangelistic wine in order to go after a fake "prophetic" wheat of emotional blessings and a fake "evangelistic" barley of material blessings. Yeshua preferred to stick with the oil and the wine, forsaking the fake bread of wheat and barley which the spirit of Balaam was offering Him. Jesus countered satan's temptation by saying the following:

 

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

 

Here, Jesus is not denying the role of "wheat and barley bread" in man's life, but He is placing it within the scope of its temporary usefulness. The word translated as "word" here is rhema, which, as we have said before, points to the flow of the prophetic anointing. The "mouth" is related in Scripture to the "heart" (Deuteronomy 30:14, Proverbs 16:23, Matthew 12:34, Romans 10:8-10), meaning that the "mouth of God" points to His heart. As we have said before, the evangelistic ministry targets the heart specifically. Once again, we see how the two grace ministries appear in Jesus' answer against the spirit-of-Balaam temptation.

 

Just as the spirit of Cain works to harden the heart, the spirit of Balaam works to stir up an emotional rush that makes us pursue left-handed life and grace without abiding in covenant truth. When such an attack comes upon us, we must redirect our emotions towards the pursuit of true, covenant-based prophetic and evangelistic grace of eternal value, just as Jesus did in Matthew 4:4. We must seek after the river of God's prophetic rhema which flows out of His righteous heart. We must stick with the stones and forsake the bread.

 

No mo' hetero-yoke

Revelation 6:5 declares that the black-horse rider is coming with a "pair of balances" in his hand. Interestingly enough, the phrase "pair of balances" was translated from the Greek word zugos, which is translated as "yoke" in all the 6 verses where it appears, except for Revelation 6:5. A related word, heterozugeo, which means "unequally yoked", appears in the following passage:

 

"9As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 11O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:9-18)

 

Notice how verse 10 speaks of "rejoicing" and the "poor", which correlates with what we shared earlier in this article. Notice also how verse 11 speaks of the mouth and the heart, which correlates with what was said above with respect to the "mouth of God". Verse 14 then speaks of "unequal yoking" (heterozugeo), which refers to the union of two heterogeneous things, i.e.- the union of two things of different or conflicting nature. This clearly points to the union between the Israelites and the Moabite women which the spirit of Balaam tries to promote. Notice also how verse 16 then refers to us as "temples of the living God", which points to the "stones" in Jesus' temptation.

 

Therefore, we can safely say that the black horse is coming to destroy the heterogeneous yoke --- or "hetero-yoke" --- between God's holy people and the spirit of Balaam inside the Church, which promotes a false grace that disguises itself under a "spiritual" overcoat, but is nothing more than earthly lust of the flesh underneath. The latter-day black-horse believers are coming to break the hetero-yoke and to place grace under God's true spiritual yoke. The black horse comes against the misuse of grace inside God's Church, placing grace under the rein of righteousness, truth, and judgments.

 

"14Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. 15Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. 16For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people." (Micah 6:14-16)

 

Grace-aware judges

Since black-horse riders come to place a yoke of limitation on the Church, it becomes evident they will have a strong apostolic anointing on their lives. Why? Because, as we have said before, the apostolic ministry is a right-handed ministry of judgments, and the right-hand side is one of "limitation" (as opposed to the left-hand side of "liberty").

 

However, the fact that the black-horse riders will not hurt the oil and the wine means that, besides being aware of apostolic judgments, they will also be aware of prophetic and evangelistic grace. Unlike the church of Ephesus which left its "first love" by forgetting the purpose behind God's judgments, the black-horse riders will allow for the free expression and overflow of true prophetic and evangelistic grace that is founded on righteousness. The word "hurt" in the phrase "hurt not the oil and the wine" in Revelation 6:6 was translated from the Greek word adikeo, which literally means, "do no injustice against". In other words, the black-horse riders that God is already sending out against the Church's false grace will not unjustly condemn the manifestation of God's true grace. Therefore, we can safely say that the black-horse riders will be judging apostles with a strong prophetic anointing; they are prophetic apostles.

 

As we have said before, "flying creatures" like the "eagle" speak of the prophetic anointing, while the "lion" in Scripture speaks of apostolic judgments. Therefore, the black-horse riders are "Eagle-Lions".

 

Sanity restored

The word "black" in Revelation 6:5 was translated from the Greek word melas. This word only appears in two other verses (Matthew 5:36 and Revelation 6:12), and, in both cases, it is associated with "hair", which is a figure of the thoughts that emanate from our minds. Therefore, the black horse comes to bring spiritual sobriety to a Church whose mind is making the judgments of a "drunken fool" (Ephesians 5:15-20).

 

The word melas is also related to the word melan, which means "ink" (as in "black ink"); this word only appears 3 times in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 3:3, 2 John 1:12, 3 John 1:13) and refers to the writing of God's laws and principles in our hearts. If you choose to be a black-horse rider, God will use you to write His laws and judgments in the hearts of the people around you.

 

Conclusion

Out of the 7 triplets mentioned in our previous article, we have related the following items from each triplet:

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Famines (Matthew 24:7)

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The black horse of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:5-6)

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Balaam (Jude 1:11)

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The lust of the flesh (1 John 2:16)

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The emotions (Matthew 22:37)

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Jesus' temptation to turn the stones into bread (Matthew 4:2-4)

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Eagle-Lions (one of the 3 possible pairs of living creatures in Revelation 4:7 excluding the calf)

 

Fellow believer, we pray that you will become a black-horse rider that will cause "spiritual famines" that will separate believers around you (and all over the world) away from the lustful pursuit of temporary wheat and barley and towards the righteousness-based oil and wine which God wants to manifest in and through His people in these latter days.

 

"1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding." (Proverbs 9:1-6)

 

{The next article is titled "Pre-parousia -- The green horse"}