Two Hundred Million Horsemen

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One of the most mysterious and awesome mental pictures in the Revelation is that of Rev.9:16 –the two hundred million horsemen. What does this mean? Who are they and what do they represent? Do not worry, the Lord through His restoring prophet comes through for us. Let us look at this subject.

“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were  two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.” (Rev. 9:15-17)

There has been many theories put forth and our own S.D.A church is without exception. But the message gives us warning and counsel in regards to privately interpreting subjects such as the two hundred million horsemen —

“Ever since John recorded this imposing symbolization, church history has repeatedly throughout her pages had to make the entry that every attempt made to unlock its mystery has but resulted the more in barricading it with mysticism and confusion.  It is necessary, therefore, in clearing the mysticism, first of all to find

THE REASON FOR THE CONFUSION.

   The very fact that nineteen centuries of prying at the subject to open it up has only made it the more impenetrable, is the strongest possible evidence that God controls the Scriptures and reveals Them only at the divinely appointed time.  The truth of this statement is conclusively substantiated by the angel’s words: “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your Prince.” Dan. 10:21.

   And “when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come,” says Christ, in broader statement of this same truth, “He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.

   Having been put forth prematurely and without the prompting of the Spirit of Truth, human efforts have accordingly failed to discover and explain the truth of “the trumpets.”  And no scripture ever being unfolded without Inspiration, the expositions of uninspired minds are hence of private interpretation, in forewarning of which the Bible says: “….no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Pet. 1:20.

So before a person can climb the ladder of Truth, he must first of all free himself from erroneous theories, which keep him bound in darkness.  And to loose himself from such weights of error so as to reach the top step of the ladder of Truth, he must carefully investigate and “prove all things” in

Open-Mindedness.

   “Do not read the Word in the light of former opinions; but, with a mind free from prejudice, search it carefully and prayerfully.  If, as you read conviction comes, and you see that your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the Word, do not try to make the Word fit these opinions.  Make your opinions fit the Word.  Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding.” — Messages to Young People, p. 260.

   This prime necessity urgently confronts those who have been disposed to accept, as unquestionable Bible truths, theories which are the results of

Adding To and Taking From the Scriptures.

   Any explanation of a prophecy which adds to or takes from any part of relevant scripture in order to harmonize the interpretation, can only be false. When the Spirit of God interprets the Scriptures, He does not in any way need to alter any part of Them in order to make the explanation fit that which is being unfolded.  When, moreover, the true interpretation of a prophecy is made, it always contains a lesson of present truth “adapted to the necessities of God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 609) at the time the scripture is revealed.  Knowing this, Satan is continually

Paving the Way for Sinning Against the Holy Ghost.”

No one is lost for believing a false interpretation of a prophecy before the truth of it is revealed, provided the false interpretation does not draw him away from some other truth.  Such individuals, however, are in great danger because, as history reveals, very few who become thus involved in error are willing to humble themselves by renouncing their errors and accepting the truth when it is made known.  They are consequently in constant peril of sinning against the Holy Ghost.  And being acutely aware of this, Satan misinterprets the prophecies before they are divinely revealed.  He realizes full well that many, unwilling to be corrected and to exchange their errors for revealed truth, will thereby be led to eternal ruin.  All-important, therefore, is the need that the student of the truth fortify himself with all honesty and humility as the light of truth is now turned searchingly on

Popular Theories.

(Tract 5, p.4-7)

Now we shall look at what our church has supported even though it is deceiving error. This will enable us to see the folly of such understanding that we as Adventists have been exposed to through the years on our subject. Let us read —

“To begin with, the reader’s attention is called to Elder Uriah Smith’s book, originally entitled Thoughts on Daniel and The Revelation, and later Daniel and The Revelation, in which is explained, among other subjects, the subject of “the seven trumpets.”  Here one will notice that Elder Smith is not the original author of the exposition of the trumpets.  The originators were Messrs. Keith, Clark, Barnes, et al.  “Thus far,” says Elder Smith, “Keith has furnished us with illustrations of the sounding of the first five trumpets.” — Daniel and The Revelation, p. 506.

   Then further in the same chapter, and in explanation of Revelation 9:17, we read: “As the Turks discharged their firearms on horseback, it would appear to the distant beholder, that the fire, smoke and brimstone issued out of the horses’ mouths, as illustrated by the accompanying plate.” — Id., p.510.  “Barnes thinks this was the case,” remarks Elder Smith; “and a statement from Gibbon confirms this view.” — ld., p. 510, footnote.

   Thus, plainly, the interpretation of the seven trumpets, as it is found in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, was not originated by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.  But their placing upon it their endorsement makes it appear as Seventh-day Adventist doctrine.  In other words, the theories of uninspired men having the S.D.A. stamp of approval, are made to appear to the S.D.A. laity as genuine S.D.A. Bible doctrines.  This goes to show that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists, right along with others, do not ask, “Is it true, — in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated?” — Testimonies to Ministers, p.106.  And if the theory comes through a popular channel, they as a rule unquestionably accept it!

   A fair example is their unhesitatingly applauding such manipulations as rationalizing “the heads of lions” (in the symbolism of Revelation 9:17) into heads of Arabian horses, and the serpent-like tails (Rev. 9:19), into common horses’ tails (as evidenced by the accompanying illustration) in order to connect the trumpets with the battles of the Turks!

   But even worse, they unhesitatingly agree that the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone” did not issue, as John saw them, from the lion-like mouths, but rather from a gun in the hand of a Turk!

   Their accepting these additions and subtractions to and from Holy Writ, a practice condemned by the Scriptures (Rev. 22:18, 19), shows that they are victims of a faulty vision, which causes them to think themselves right when they are all wrong (Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253).

   Their subscribing to such a practice, moreover, undermines faith in the Bible, for if the Revelator be wrong in one instance, then can he not be mistaken in other instances also?  And if we cannot depend upon the book of The Revelation

 

just as it reads, then how can we put confidence in any of the Bible?  And if inspired prophets cannot declare the positive truth of what they see, then how can uninspired students of their writings declare it?  So, those who learn “to give an answer to every man that asketh…a reason of the hope that is in” (1 Pet. 3:15) them, will have no trouble answering  the question:

Did John See Correctly?

   True, the seer of Patmos was an erring human being like ourselves, but the one who dictated His writings — the great and infallible I Am, Overseer and Proof Reader of the Scriptures — was there to see that John made a faithful record of what he saw, for the exact truth of the symbolism means our very life.  Indeed, it is not possible that the Lord would jeopardize our salvation by displaying the symbolism so far removed from John’s sight that he could not accurately see and record it, and yet expect to save us by it.

   If John failed to see correctly the symbols in the vision, as these supposed-to-be men of learning and experience speciously explain, then does it not imply that God is indifferent as to whether or not He reveals in a misleading way truth which is essential to our salvation?  If not, and if John was wrong, why, then, did not God correct him?  Was it impossible for Him here to correct His prophet?

   “The second angel,” says the Revelator, “poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” Rev. 16:3.

If John could not, as is contended, see exactly where the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone” came from, then how could he see that “every” creature, as he says in the words just quoted, died in the bottom  of the sea?  Which condition is the more difficult to see with exactness?

   The acceptance and the teaching of such interpretations  is signboard evidence that there is today gross darkness throughout the church, enveloping both the laity and the watchmen who claim to be the “men of experience” mentioned in Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 293, and elucidated in Tract No. 4, The Latest News for Mother Revised Edition, pp. 32-35.  These men, though exceedingly “unskilful in the Word,” as is seen from the foregoing observations, forbid that anything new in which they see no light, be brought before the people. 

And despite the fact that such utterly unlawful and light-obscuring restrictions are devised to keep the people forever in their errors, the laity nevertheless accept them without question, and esteem those who devise them as wise and true friends.  And all who refuse to be bound by such restrictions  are “cast out” (Isa. 66:5), while multitudes who disbelieve the Spirit of Prophecy are retained,  and other multitudes of like unbelief are accepted as members in approved standing!  Thus is reenacted the outstanding sin of the Jews, which called forth from the lips of the Saviour the piercing pronouncement:

“If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt. 6:23. (Tract 5, p.7-13)

Ok let us now turn to the truth of the matter —

“Rev. 9:15, first clause. “And the four angels were loosed.”

   The execution of the command, “Loose the four angels,” meaning to set the church free from her captivity in Babylon, resulted in her being liberated from her long bondage to the tyranny of church-state rule, and in the Bible’s being restored to God’s people, so that they might study and worship in fear and in favor of no man, and in accountability only to their conscience and to their God.  In the consequent dissolution of the church-state union, the “four angels” were loosed.(Tract 5, p.81)

   Rev. 9:15, last part. “…which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”….

The marginal rendering gives the preposition “at” for the preposition “for,” making the verse read: “At an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year.”  Still more exactly rendered, it would read: “At an hour, at a day, at a month, and at a year.”  Thus are designated four points in time “at” which the four angels were to prepare “for to slay the third pan of men.”  And as the “third part” in the trumpets represents, as we have seen, those who reject God’s appeals to them to repent and be saved, then, accordingly, the angels’ preparing themselves on four successive occasions for the eventual execution of death upon “the third part of men,” shows that the men are to reject a four-phase (four-doctrine) message, each phase being revealed successively:

   (1) The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at an hour” is the proclamation of the angel’s announcement: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” Rev. 14:7.

   (2) The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at a day” is the warning of “the day of vengeance” (Isa. 63:4), “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” which is to be heralded by the promised “Elijah the prophet.” Mal. 4:5; Testimonies  to Ministers, p. 475.

   (3) The only revelation pertaining to and coming “at a month” is “the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23) — the light of the angel who is to lighten the earth with his glory (Rev. 18:1; Early Writings, pp. 277, 278).  Then “afterward,” says the Lord, “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.” Joel 2:28.  Glorious prophetic promise, it envisages the power that God is to bestow upon His messengers who are to proclaim  the message that is revealed in the time “of the latter rain.”  “At the right time” says the Spirit of Prophecy, “He sends His faithful messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 254. (For further study on the latter rain, see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 256, 257.)

   (4) And, finally, the only revelation pertaining  to and coming “at a year,” and preparing the four angels “for to slay the third part of men” is says the Lord, “the year of My redeemed.” Isa. 63:4.  And this “year” at which His people are redeemed is, of course, the time of the sealing and of the deliverance of the 144,000, — those who are redeemed who escape the slaughter decreed in Ezekiel 9.  Of these, the Lord says: “I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations,…to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations

…to My holy mountain Jerusalem,…in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:19, 20.

   These four messages prepare the four angels “for to slay the third part of men” — all who fail to receive into their lives the saving truth of the gospel as revealed in the four messages.  They are, to recapitulate, (1) those who close their ears to the proclamation of the judgment, which is revealed “at an hour”; (2) those who heed not the solemn warning of the day of God’s vengeance, which is revealed “at a day”; (3) those who receive not the latter rain, which comes “at a month”; and (4) those who do not join “His redeemed”  (the 144,000), who are sealed “at a year.”  All these who fail to make the needful preparation for gloryland after the truth is proclaimed to them, shall perish at the command of the angelic horsemen whose army numbers “two-hundred thousand thousand.” (Tract 5, p.87-89)

Rev. 9:16-19. “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.  And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.  By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.  For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.”

   These verses immediately evoke the question Who are these “horsemen” and “horses,” numbering  200,000,000 each, “the army” which is to “slay the third part of men”?

   In answering this question, it is to be remembered that likewise the “four angels” were to “slay a third part of men,” also that they symbolize the fourfold message brought to view in preceding  paragraphs.  Unmistakably, therefore, the “army”  of “horses” is figurative of the workers who proclaim the final message.

   That the symbol, horses, is correctly interpreted to represent gospel workers is further borne out by Zechariah 14:20.  There, horses are used to symbolize preachers, those who sound “the bells” — the alarm of warning, the message of salvation.  Like the “locusts,” therefore, they represent the messengers of God, but under different  circumstances. (For more ample treatment of this  symbolical meaning of the horses, read Tract No. 2, The Warning Paradox of Zechariah 6.)

   So as the horses are representative of gospel messengers, and as they are controlled and guided by their riders (divine beings), then the “horsemen,” it automatically follows, are figurative  of the angelic host who lead and direct the saints in their work of proclaiming the message and, subsequently, in killing the third part of men who reject it.  But since riders, not horses, do the killing when engaged in battle, these supernatural beings, the angelic horsemen, are the ones who actually do the slaying.  Hence, their having “breastplates of  fire [protection of the Spirit], and of jacinth, and brimstone.”

   What, then, we may ask, is the “power” of the horses?  These 200,000,000 horses, we have learned, symbolize a great army of gospel workers, from whose lips go a message which means life or death.  That, therefore, must be the power in their mouth.  Consequently, the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone,” which issue “out of their mouths,” are figurative of the message which they proclaim: the power of the Holy Spirit (the “fire”), the sacrifices of Christ (“the smoke”), and the destructive judgments of God (“the brimstone”).  By this three-fold message “was the third part of men killed.” Rev. 9:18.

“The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:12.

   “Lift ye up a banner,” saith the Lord, “upon the high mountain [God’s holy church], exalt the voice [the proclamation of the gospel] unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.  I have commanded My sanctified ones [the ministry — “two hundred thousand thousand”  “horses”], I have also called My Mighty ones [the angelic host — “two hundred thousand thousand horsemen”] for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness.  The noise of a multitude [the army of Revelation 9:16] in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.  They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land.

   “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.  Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: and they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.  Behold, the day of the Lord  cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 

For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.  Therefore, I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.” Isa. 13:2-13.

   “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17.

   If our eyes were opened as were the eyes of “the young man,” we, too, would see an angelic host round about the “Elishas” of today.

   And now as to what swelled the number of preachers from 144,000 to 200,000,000, the Lord says: “I will also take of them [of those whom the 144,000 shall bring from “all nations,” after the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:16 — the purification of the church] for priests and for Levites.” Isa. 66:21.  The very fact of such a multitude of workers speaks for itself that they are engaged in reaping the harvest of the world.

   Here in pledged word, God foretells in clearest tenor that many of those whom He brings into the church after the purification, will join the 144,000 in proclaiming the message to the whole world, when the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1).

Then shall “the sons of strangers,” says the Lord, “build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee…. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel…. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders;  but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.  The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Isa. 60:10, 14, 18, 19.

   “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” Zech. 13:8, 9.

   Two parts lost and one part saved make three parts in all.  The “one third” (Rev. 9:15) shall be slain by fire, smoke, and brimstone (Rev. 9:18), before probation closes.  The remaining wicked who are slain by the seven last plagues (Rev. 16) and by the brightness of His coming (2 Thess. 2:8), after probation closes, make the other third. The saved, the last third, are “the third…left therein.” Zech. 13:8. (Tract 5, p.89-95)

So there we have it the two hundred million horses are gospel workers. The horsemen, the riders, are the angelic host, divine beings, guiding them in proclaiming the message and then executing God’s judgment upon the wicked. Wow, this packs a “truth punch” doesn’t it? The Loud Cry of the 144,000 will soon produce 200 million gospel preachers!

Although we now have a little over 7 Billion people on our planet, the 144,000 and the gospel workers will reap a harvest known as the “Great Multitude” which no man could number (Rev. 7:9). What a time to be alive and witness what God’s full Spirit poured upon His vanguard the “first fruits” and His “great army of gospel workers” can do.

Let us thank the Lord for our understanding of this most mysterious and long-held confusing topic. His promise to restore “all things” including the full truth of the Scriptures is a real blessing for those of us interested in prophecy.

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One Response to “Two Hundred Million Horsemen”

  1. rene Says:

    Amen.. Powerful army indeed…

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