Making Sense Of
The Types & Symbols
In Modules 1 to 2 I
presented what I consider to be irrefutable evidence to support the claims . . .
Laodicea's failings (as described in Revelation 3) are high on the agenda of the throne room meeting of Revelation 4; . . .
§ that the white
horse of Revelation 6 does not represent a triumphant church at the beginning of
the Christian era, but an unrighteous agency that exists during the Laodicean
era; . . .
§ and that the
seven seals (including the horses and riders of
Revelation 6) speak primarily of woeful end-time events or judgments that are
going to serve as a wake-up call to the world in general and to Laodicea in
In this module we turn our
attention to the types and symbols of Daniel & Revelation, for herein we will uncover a chain of logic that will
further confirm the above claims, that will furnish the positive evidence that
is so vital if we are to interpret prophecy with any confidence, and that will
provide a solid framework for our interpretation of the apocalyptic horsemen.
In order to lay the
foundation for what follows, we first need to
remind ourselves that . . .
`God claims the whole earth as
His vineyard. Though now in the hands of the usurper, it belongs to God. By
redemption no less than by creation it is His.' (COL301/302)
Our entire planet, therefore, is God's vineyard. But what is the purpose of this vineyard?
The answer, of course, is fruit.
object of the Christian life is fruit bearing - the reproduction of Christ's
character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others.' (COL67)
This is the highest purpose of
the religious life, and ultimately this is the highest purpose of God's vineyard, "fruit" or character - for "a character formed according to
the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the
With these thoughts in mind,
us turn our attention to
the earthly vineyard, and let us take a moment to consider that every natural provision of God in this world contributes, either
directly or indirectly, to the growth and development of fruit. The sun provides
warmth, the sea provides moisture that forms the clouds, the
wind blows the clouds over the land, the land provides nourishment
for plant life, plant life
provides oxygen and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, the grass binds the
land and keeps weeds at bay; etcetera.
We might even go so far as to say
that everything in nature seems to have been designed with fruit production in
mind. We believe that there is good reason for this, for it has ever been in the
all-wise design of God to use the ways of nature to teach us valuable spiritual
the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His
things were the medium for the spiritual; the things of nature and the
life-experience of the hearers were connected with the truths of the written
This being the case, if God has
provided so abundantly for the production of fruit in Nature, we may rest assured that
He has provided abundantly for the production of the spiritual
fruits in our lives - these being "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)
`This was the fruit that God
desired from His people. In the purity of their characters, in the holiness of
their lives, in their mercy and loving-kindness and compassion, they were to
show that "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Ps. 19:7.'
In truth, therefore, all of nature has been
designed to teach us how we may bear fruit to the glory of God - to teach us how
the character of Jesus may be reproduced in our lives; to teach us how we, as
dry old branches, can bear fruit by allowing God to graft us into His True Vine;
to teach us that by living with Jesus, by depending on Him, by trusting in Him,
by learning of Him, by helping Him as He presents Himself in the person of the
poor and the needy, by standing firm for Him in any righteous cause, and by
loving Him, we may bear the glorious spiritual fruits to the honor of His name
and His kingdom.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As
the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither
can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who
abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do
nothing." (John 15:4-5 NKJV)
click here if you are unsure
as to how you can become a fruit-bearing Christian.]
With these thoughts in mind, therefore, let us
take a moment to consider some of the major elements that God has provided for
the production of fruit in the natural economy -
along with their spiritual counterparts.
Before considering the table below,
it is vitally important that we first meditate on the following statement:
"There are great laws
that govern the world of nature, and spiritual things are controlled
by principles equally certain.
The means for an
end must be
employed if the desired results are to be obtained." (5T724)
The Two Vineyards
The End (Goal)
The Natural Vineyard
The Spiritual Vineyard
The grand purpose of the natural vineyard is fruit
The grand purpose of Godís vineyard is the production of the
spiritual fruits in our lives
`We are as
trees planted in the garden of the Lord; and He comes to us seeking
the fruit He has a right to expect.' (5T423)
The Natural Vineyard
The Spiritual Vineyard
"Light has ever been
a symbol of His presence." (DA464). "I am the light of the world."
(John 8:12). "As a flower turns to the sun, that the bright rays may
touch it with tints of beauty, so will the soul turn to the Son of
Righteousness, that heaven's light may beautify the character with
the graces of the character of Christ." (DA468)
Sea, Rain & Streams
Truth (Godís Word) &
Blessings From The Holy Spirit
"As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is
sustained by the word of God." (DA390). "For as the rain comes down,
and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the
earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the
sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth
from My mouth." (Isaiah 55:10,11). `The sap of the vine, ascending
from the root, is diffused to the branches, sustaining growth and
producing blossoms and fruit. So the life-giving power of the Holy
Spirit, proceeding from the Saviour, pervades the soul, renews the
motives and affections, and brings even the thoughts into obedience
to the will of God, enabling the receiver to bear the precious fruit
of holy deeds.' (AA284) See Isaiah 44:3.
"Prayer is the breath
of the soul." (GW254)
The cross is the
ultimate demonstration of God's love. "To remove the cross
from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky."
Wind blows away smog. Trials cleanse away the dross. `The
purification of the people of God cannot be accomplished without
their suffering.' (4T84-85). `The Lord permits trials in order that
we may be cleansed from earthliness, from selfishness, from harsh,
un-Christlike traits of character.' (COL175).
The sun, the rain,
the soil and the wind all play their part in the development of
The Son, the Holy
Spirit, the Word of God and trials all play their part in the
development of the spiritual fruits in our lives.
"It is not enough
that they are trees in the garden of God. They are to answer His
expectations by bearing fruit." (RH 01-10-07.7). "The means for an end must
be employed if the desired results are to be obtained." (5T724)
The moon (reflects the sun)
The church (reflects the Son)
`When the church
takes up her appointed work, she will go forth "fair as the moon,
clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." Song of
Solomon 6:10.' (CH464)
People in various
stages of spiritual growth
of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah
His pleasant plant. As the earth brings forth its bud, as the
garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the
Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before
all the nations." (Isaiah. 5:7; 61:11 NKJV).
Meditational Nuggets: "Our bodies are built
from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the
spiritual economy: it is what we meditate upon that will give tone
and strength to our spiritual nature." (SC88)
`As the flowers
gather for themselves the hidden properties of earth and air, and
develop into things of beauty to delight our senses, so Christians
are privileged to gather from the garden of God's promises, faith
and hope, peace, joy and support. They are to give out again to
others a life fragrant with good works [fruit].' (ST 06-29-88.9)
With reference to the table
above, is it any wonder that Satan has led mankind to pollute every aspect of
Nature - for all of nature teaches us about God, about His copious provision for
our physical and spiritual development, and how we (the lifeless branches) may become fruitful
Christians through an ongoing daily relationship with Jesus (the True Vine).
The Prophetic Vineyard
Having considered how the
principles of God's kingdom are bound up in the objects and the ways of nature, let us again turn our attention to the book of
Revelation and let us take careful note that the objects and the ways of nature
feature prominently in John's message - for he makes mention of the sun, of the moon and
the stars, of grass and trees, of sea and land, of horses
and beasts, of streams and fire, and of wind and hail and earthquakes, etcetera.
Can it be that God is using the objects and the ways of nature to guide us
as we seek to interpret
prophecy? Absolutely! There is no question that the
symbolism of Revelation pieces together into a tapestry of God's vineyard and,
as I have explained below, this tapestry will provide us with the keys, the
links, and the logic that will enable us to confidently interpret the related
So let us take a moment to piece together this
tapestry of God's vineyard. For this purpose, let us imagine that we are standing on a high mountain. Above us is the
sun. A few clouds are scattered here and there. Below us there is an expanse of land nestled in a valley. Beyond this valley is the
sea. The valley is traversed by streams. Grass and trees are
everywhere to be seen in this valley and there are horses feeding on the grass
and on the leaves of the trees.
Here and there we can also see
beasts - these beasts seem to be eating anything that gets in their way - but more about these
beasts in a later module.
In the heart of our valley there
is a vineyard and, as we consider the fruit of this vineyard, we cannot help but
to reflect on how the sea, the land, the grass and the trees, and even some of
the horses, are all contributing either directly or indirectly towards the
production of fruit. We also cannot help noticing that there are other elements that
work decidedly against the production of fruit - such
as locusts, fire, certain of the horses (over-grazing), and hail.
Sea: Isaiah 23:11; Isaiah 44:3-4; Isaiah 57:20; Isaiah 60:5;
Daniel 7:3; Rev 7:1-3;
Land: Ps 68:6; Ps 107:34;
Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 44:3-4; Daniel 7:17; Hosea 2:3; John 3:31; Heb 6:7;
Grass and Plants: 2 Kings 19:26; Ps 92:7; Isaiah 5:7; Isaiah 40:6,7; Isaiah
51:12; Matthew 15:13; 1 Peter 1:24; Revelation 9:5.
Trees: Psalm 1:3; Isaiah 10:18-19; Jeremiah 11:16; Ezekiel 31
(nations); Matthew 7:17; Rev 7:1-3; Rev 9:5.
Symbolically, therefore, what do
the sea, the land, the grass, and the trees represent? By allowing Scripture
to interpret itself, we would have to conclude, as we did in the introduction to
this module, that "the whole earth is His vineyard" (COL301-2), and that the sea, the land, and all
plant life represent people in various stages of spiritual
development (see alongside):
§ the fruitful trees representing believers whose lives are adorned with
the spiritual fruits (Galatians 5:22-23),
§ the fruitless trees representing "prominent"
are as yet "fruitless,"
§ the grass and plants representing the
great masses who exhibit at least some measure of spiritual life,
§ the land
representing unbelievers who afford believers an opportunity to develop
below) - "And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow." (Genesis
§ and the sea representing heathen nations - those who exhibit little or no
outward sign of spiritual life, but who nevertheless contribute to the spiritual
In support of this view please again consider
table above as well as the references alongside.
Meditational Nuggets: `All
men are like grass. . . . Surely the people are grass.' (Isaiah 40:6,7). `They
were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any
tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on
their foreheads.' (Revelation 9:5).
who are but half-converted are as a tree whose boughs hang upon
the side of truth, but whose roots, firmly bedded in the earth,
strike out into the barren soil of the world.' (4T155)
The point needs to be repeated that as
it is in the natural realm, so
it is in
the spiritual, the sea (people), the land (people), the grass (people) and the trees
(people) all contribute,
directly or indirectly, to the production of fruit - for all represent fair opportunity for
believers to exercise the Christian graces and to thus develop
the spiritual fruits.
Meditational Nugget: `One
of the divine plans for growth is impartation. The Christian is to gain strength
by strengthening others. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself." This
is not merely a promise; it is a divine law, a law by which God designs that the
streams of benevolence, like the waters of the great deep, shall be kept in
constant circulation, continually flowing back to their source. In the
fulfilling of this law is the secret of spiritual growth.' (ST June 12, 1901)
Turning our attention to our
valley scene once more, we cannot help but to notice a prominent white horse.
The rider on this white horse is extremely majestic. He wears many crowns and He
"is called Faithful and True. His name is the Word of God. On his robe and on
his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
Elsewhere in the valley there are
other horses, the most prominent of which are another white horse, a red horse,
a black horse and a pale horse. All of these horses are eating grass.
(Before continuing, we invite you to carefully consider the significance of the
As we gaze upon the scene before
us, we cannot help but to notice that
the rider on this second white horse
is not nearly as majestic as the rider on the first white horse, for the second rider wears only one
crown, a crown that was "given him (implying that there was a time when he
never had a crown)," while the first rider is obviously
Jesus - the
eternal King - the King of Kings - for He wears "many crowns" and He is "followed by the armies of
[Please take a moment at this point in time to again consider in Module 2 the
comparison between these
two white horses. Then use your BACK button to return to this page.]
Meditational Nugget: `Through
nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God
had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of
Horses - Good And Bad
With the foregoing meditational nugget
firmly tucked away in the mind, and with our valley scene before the mind's-eye,
let us now turn our attention to the horses of Revelation 6 and to what we believe God is
trying to tell us via
the medium of types and symbols.
There is no question that the
Rider on the white horse of Revelation 19 is Jesus - the Lord of Lords - and
that the white horse upon which He sits is His righteous cause on earth - the
Now, because the white
horse of Revelation 19 represents an organization or institution, it is
perfectly logical to assume that the horses of Revelation 6 also represent
But what kinds of
organizations do these horses represent? Do they represent righteous
organizations or unrighteous organizations? What are the characteristics of
By carefully considering the
given types and symbols we can answer these questions with a fair degree of
First Interpretive Key:
Because grass represents people, and because horses eat grass, we may safely
conclude that when prophecy speaks of horses in the symbolic sense, reference
is being made to organizations that "thrive on people"; to
organizations that find their roots, their "nourishment," and their purpose in catering to the needs of people
- or to organizations that at least claim to do so.
In order to confirm that
horses can represent both righteous and unrighteous organizations, let us take careful note
that certain "horses and their riders" are going to be "killed with the sword that comes
out of the mouth of the rider on the [white] horse" of Revelation 19.
`And I saw an angel standing in
the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come,
gather together for the great supper of God,
so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of
horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and
great." Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies
gathered together to make war against the rider on the [white] horse and his
army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had
performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded
those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of
them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them
[including the abovementioned horses and their riders]
were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the
[white] horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.' (Revelation 19:17-19)
Meditational Nuggets: " `At my
table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and
soldiers of every kind,' declares the Sovereign LORD." (Ezekiel 39:20)
"You are My battle-ax and weapons
of war: for with you I will break the nation in pieces; with you I will destroy
kingdoms; with you I will break in pieces the horse and its rider; with
you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider." (Jeremiah 51:20-21)
"I will sing to the Lord, for He
has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the
sea." (Exodus 15:1; 21)
horses can represent unrighteous organizations - organizations that will be
found working against the best interests of humanity at the end of earth's
history. These organizations are going to be destroyed by the Rider on the white
horse of Revelation 19.
This being the case, let
us carefully consider the relative imagery with a view to uncovering as much as
we can about the characteristics of these unrighteous organizations.
Second Interpretive Key:
When too many horses are grazed on a pasture, they will eventually kill all the
grass. When overgrazing is avoided, however, the horses will keep the soil
fertilized and will actually contribute to the growth of the grass - even though
they eat grass. In the symbolic sense, therefore, horses can represent righteous
organizations - those that promote the best interests of people (grass), as is the case with the
white horse of Revelation 19, or they can represent unrighteous organizations -
these being rapacious (covetous)
organizations that "overgraze" on God's pasture and
that ultimately work against the best interests of God's children.
Third Interpretive Key:
Because horses are large and powerful, we may conclude that when prophecy speaks
of horses, it could well be speaking of large and powerful organizations.
Interpretive Key: Because horses are stately, likeable, and
admirable, we may conclude that when prophecy speaks of horses, reference might
well be being made to organizations that are generally admired and that are highly regarded.
Because horses are utility animals that can carry a heavy load over long
distances, there is good reason to believe that when prophecy speaks of horses,
reference could well be being made to organizations that fill a widely felt public
need (carry us).
While horses are stately, likeable and admirable, they can inflict harm and they
can kill. Thus we should not be surprised to discover that when prophecy speaks of
horses, she could well be referring to organizations that enjoy great public
support, but that nevertheless conduct their affairs in a manner that is contrary to the best interests of humanity.
Individually, horses are dangerous, but when a pack of horses stampedes,
they are extremely dangerous. Thus, when prophecy speaks of horses, we should
not be surprised to discover that reference could well be being made to
organizations that work synergistically (in "corrupt harmony") against the best interests of
Eighth Interpretive Key:
Because horses are swift, and because they can easily traverse long distances, we can expect to discover that our prophetic horses have a global presence
and a world-wide influence.
It is our studied conviction that
these organizations have already formed themselves into a "pack" and that they are
already in "stampede mode" - but the only way that we can prove this to you
is by taking you backstage - by helping you to see what is going on behind the
righteous facade that these organizations have skillfully erected for themselves
- and this all in the name of public relations.
In order to further identity these
organizations, let us continue to allow God's Word to guide us.
We all know too well that horses
do not look anything like locusts, yet in two instances Scripture tells us
that . . .
(1) `The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle.' (Revelation 9:7)
(2) `They [the locusts] have the appearance of horses.' (Joel 2:4).
(Please read this latter passage in context starting from Joel 1:1 and consider carefully
that the word "nations"
in Joel 1:6 could have been translated "swarm of locusts." To confirm this,
please refer to Strong's Concordance - ref. 1471)
Because horses look nothing like
locusts, we have to conclude that the similarity that is here being referred to
applies more to character than it does to
physical appearance. Strong's Concordance supports this conclusion in that the words
"looked like" in Revelation 9:7 (see above) are translated from the word "homoios, - meaning
similar (in appearance or character)." (See Strong's ref.
Now if horses have a similar
character to locusts, then if we can better understand the characteristics of "locusts," we will have a good indication as to the
characteristics of these organizations that are
symbolically represented by horses.
Scripture leaves us in no doubt
as to the probable identity of "locusts" and, as such, to the probable
identity of our prophetic horses . . .
`You have increased the number of your
merchants till they are more than the
stars in the sky, but
like locusts they [the merchants] STRIP THE LAND (significant?
overgrazing?) and then fly away.
Your guards are like locusts, your officials like
swarms of locusts that settle in the walls on a cold day.' (Nahum
Merchants - like locusts?
Guards or guardians - like locusts?
Officials - like locusts?
And horses are similar in
character to locusts? As such, there is no question
that we can expect horses to conduct themselves as locusts do . . .
The similarity between horses and
locusts becomes even more significant when we consider that both horses and
locusts eat plant life (grass)?
More than this, while
both the individual locust and the individual horse are rather likeable and
relatively harmless creatures, their collective or "swarm" action always
translates into destruction and extreme danger.
These thoughts will
become more and more significant as we proceed.
Is Scripture here telling us that
the collective action of certain of the merchants of earth, that the collective action
of certain of the so-called "guardians" of our nations, and that the collective action of the
"officials" of our nations are "stripping the land" of grass and trees
(people)? Are they operating behind a righteous facade and yet keeping the peoples of earth from reaching their
full potential and, more specifically, from reaching their full spiritual potential?
Are they actually oppressive and/or unrighteous agencies?
Interpretive Key: If horses "look like" locusts, in
other words, if horses have the same characteristics as
locusts, and if locusts represent merchants, the "guardians" of our nations,
and the officials of our nations, then it follows that horses could well
represent . . .
§ merchants -
trading organizations that have profit as their primary motive (material
§ guardians -
organizations that purport to safeguard the needs and interests of society in any of many ways
(spiritual, physical, mental, and social interests),
§ officials -
organizations that fulfill a public function and/or that have a political agenda
In this light, the following
statement is of special significance.
`Kindred heresies, and the
rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon. Kings [officials?],
and religious teachers [guardians?]
are all in corrupt harmony.'
It is fitting at
this point in time that we take special note of the fact that the merchants of Babylon trade in
all manner of wares - and that their wares include "the bodies and souls of men." (Revelation
Now, with the similarity between
horses and locusts still in mind, let us consider yet another very significant passage
`Locusts have no king, yet they
all advance in ranks.' (Proverbs 30:27 NKJV)
Interpretive Key: If horses
have the same
character as locusts, and if locusts advance
in ranks despite the fact that they have no king, then we should not be
surprised to discover that our prophetic horses represent powerful organizations
that work in corrupt harmony and that are pretty much a law unto themselves.
And so the plot thickens - and as
the plot thickens, we cannot help but to wonder if prophecy is not fulfilling
all around us? Could it be that these organizations already exist? Could it be
that we are just not seeing beyond the facade that these
organizations have erected around themselves?
In Modules 1 and 2, we presented
in support of our claim that Revelation 4, 5 and 6 find their fulfillment at
some time after
1844. In this light, and in the light of the above, the following statement
relevant to Revelation 18 is
`This Scripture (Rev 18:1,2,4) points forward to a time when the announcement of
the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14, is to be
repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions that have been entering
THE VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSTITUTE BABYLON, since that message was first
given, in the summer of 1844.' (GC603)
As we seek to identify these unrighteous organizations (horses) we should expect
to discover that they existed prior to 1844, but that they became especially
corrupted after 1844.
The Merchants of Babylon
Bearing in mind that Babylon is made up of "various organizations,"
and that locusts and
horses could well represent merchant organizations, it is important to note that
Ezekiel refers to Babylon as . . .
`Babylonia, a land of merchants'
(NIV) . . . or . . . `the land of the trader.' (NKJV).
Interpretive Key: In the light of the foregoing, we should not be
surprised to discover that some of these organizations or
industries or commercial in nature (merchants).
And so the plot gets even
thicker . . .
In the book of Joel we read about locusts that
devour the earth and that leave behind them a wake of total devastation. In
other words, they leave behind them a land
that is denuded of grass and plant life.
Is there any reason why
we should not believe that these locusts are symbolic of destructive elements
and/or of organizations that "eat grass" and that "strip the land?" Bearing in
mind once more that our prophetic horses have the same character ("look like")
as locusts, the following comment relevant to the book of Joel is of
`If this prophecy of Joel met a
partial fulfillment in the days of the apostles, we are living in a time when it
is to be even more evidently manifest to the people of God.' (4BC1175)
At this point, we invite you to
study the book of Joel with the following meditational nuggets in mind.
`"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the
Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit . . .
For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The
kings of the earth (officials?) committed adultery with her, and the merchants of
the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." (Revelation 18:3)
`Your (Babylon's) merchants were
the world's great men.' (Revelation 18:23)
`For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers
against the authorities (officials?), against the powers of this dark world and against
the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.' (Ephesians 6:12)
`The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against
the Lord and against His anointed One.' (Psalm 2:2)
`The kings of the Gentiles
exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are
called "benefactors." But not so among you . . .' (Luke 22:25 NKJV)
`Days of temptation and trial would come, when they
[God's children] would be brought into
conflict with the rulers of this world (officials?), and the leaders of the kingdom
of darkness.' (DA277)
`God's faithful, praying ones
are, as it were, shut in with Him. They themselves know not how securely they
are shielded. Urged on by Satan, the rulers of this world are seeking to
destroy them; but could the eyes of God's children be opened as were the eyes of
Elisha's servant at Dothan, they would see angels of God encamped about them,
holding in check the hosts of darkness.' (PK590)
Proceed To Module 4