continue our study of the association between the
bible number four and the work of the Holy Spirit,
we next consider the four horses in the sixth
chapter of the book of Revelation. 6:1
And 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.
2 And 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.
when he had opened the second seal, I heard the
second beast say, Come and see.
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.
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.
6 And 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.
when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the
voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And 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.
In the 5th
chapter of Revelation we read of a book sealed with
seven seals that only the Lamb could open. In
chapter we see the Lamb as he opens the first four
seals and we see four horses and a rider or riders
on the four horses. In Zechariah chapter 6 we
see a somewhat similar set of four horses and the
meaning of the horses is given to us in verse 5:
the angel answered and said unto me, These are the
four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from
standing before the Lord of all the earth.
can conclude that the four horses in Revelation as
well as the four horses in Zechariah represent the
“four spirits of the heavens.” Also we will
note but not now prove that bible colors are also
associated with specific bible subjects. The
color white is associated with righteousness.
The color red is associated with war. The
color black is associated with sin. The “pale”
horse in verse 8 we are told is associated with
Death and Hell. Based on the above we are
brought to understand that the four spirits that the
four horses in Revelation represent are the spirits
of righteousness (white), warfare (red), sin
(black), and death and hell (pale).
While I am not
an experienced horseman (I have spent less that 5
min. on the back of a horse in my lifetime), it
seems to me that there are at least two very
important things that you want to do when you ride a
horse. You want to stay on the horse without
falling off and you want to complete your task(s).
Staying on your horse and completing your task would
seem to make for a successful ride on a horse.
We will now
look at possible riders of the horses. It is
easy to see where Adam rode all four horses,
however, he didn’t ride them successfully.
Adam began by riding the horse of righteousness, for
God made man upright in the beginning. Adam,
in a sense, went forth conquering and to conquer as
he was given dominion of the fish of the sea, and
the fowl of the air, and the beast of the field.
He gave names to all the creatures that God had
made. He was doing okay in riding this horse
for a short time, until the serpent engaged him in
warfare, first, indirectly (thru the woman) and then
When Adam ate
of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he fell
off the horse of righteousness. He went
immediately to the black horse of sin. He,
however, could not complete the task of the rider of
this horse as he could not balance the scale of
justice or keep from hurting the healing ointments.
Thus Adam failed to stay on the horse of
righteousness and he failed to perform the assigned
tasks. Subsequently, none of Adam multiplied
can successfully ride the horses as Rom. 3:10 tells
us, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
Since we all fell under the law of sin and death, we
cannot, in our natural state, ride the horse of
only one who can and did ride all four horses
successfully. That one is the Lord Jesus
Christ. According to the scriptures, Jesus was
holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from
sinners. He was born of a virgin and thus was
born without sin, being conceived of the Holy Ghost.
He kept the law to a jot and a tittle. He
fulfilled all that was written of him. He rode
the white horse of righteousness successfully.
He also rode the red horse of warfare as he was
engaged in the greatest of all wars. He fought
successfully against sin, Satan, death, hell, and
the grave. He successfully withstood the
assault of the devil and his angels in all the
temptations and trails hurled at him. He did this by
taking the great sword of God’s word and yielding it
against all our enemies. He did all this
while successfully continuing to ride the white
horse of righteousness.
mounted the black horse of sin, not that he ever
sinned (he never did), but the scriptures say that
he was “made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that
we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
On the cross Jesus took our sins upon himself and
became sin for us. He rode this black horse
successfully as he maintained the balance of God’s
justice (a measure of wheat for a penny and three
measures of barley for a penny), satisfying God’s
justice on our account. He also “hurt not the
oil and the wine,” that is the healing ointments as
he healed us from our sins thru his atoning
sacrifice. As he mounted the black horse, he
also mounted the pale horse and suffered the
wrathful judgment of God to atone for our sins.
God executed his judgment of our sins on our
sin-bearer, Jesus Christ. Thankfully, our
Saviour successfully rode all four horses on our
behalf and has made us righteous thru his atoning
In our next
installment we will consider the four horses in
Zechariah chapter 6.
reads, “A man that hath friends must show himself
friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer
than a brother.” There are several
characteristics or qualities that go into making up
a good friend. As we study these
characteristics we want to consider that we have one
friend who is above all other friends, that is, the
Lord Jesus Christ. He is that friend that
sticketh closer than a brother. In the
scriptures we see him called the friend of publicans
and sinners. I for one am glad that he is the
17:17 we read, “A friend loveth at all times, and
a brother is born for adversity.” I have
had friends in high school, in college, at the
various work places, and at different locations
where we have lived. In most cases when we
separated ourselves from those institutions or
locations we have, in effect, lost contact with
those who had been our friends. I have had a
few friends, especially amongst the old Baptists who
though separated by distance have continued to be
good friends. Many things can separate friends
such as location, marriage, work environment,
sickness, financial status, social status, and other
interests. A true friend will love at all
times, regardless of our physical or financial
condition, location, status, age, or other
interests. Jesus loved us even when we were
dead in trespasses and sins. He loves us even
though we are sinners and he is perfect. He
loved us before the foundation of the world and he
loved us when he suffered and died on the cross and
he will still be loving us when he comes again to
claim our bodies in the resurrection. He will
never leave us or forsake us. He tells us to
cast our care upon him for he careth for us.
We can rest assured that regardless of our physical
or financial condition or social status that Jesus
will still be loving us. Paul wrote in Rom.
8:35, “ Who shall separate
us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
or peril, or sword?
36 As it
is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day
long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.
38 For I
am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come,
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be
able to separate us from the love of God, which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In Prov. 27:6
we read, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
It is desirable in a friend that he not just tell us
what we want to hear, but that he tell us the truth
even when it wounds us. A true friend will
tell us when our attitude stinks or when what we do
or propose to do is wrong. He will tell us
when we are hurting his or someone else’s feelings.
He will reprove or rebuke us when we need it.
He will admonish or encourage us when that is
needed. We all at times need to be reproved,
rebuked or admonished. We all need to be told
when we are hurting peoples feelings or when we are
doing something wrong. It is a true friend who
will not be deceitful, but will tell us the truth,
even when it hurts. Jesus is that friend who
will always be honest with us and will reprove us or
rebuke us when that is needed. He will
chastise us because he loves us. He cares for
us and therefore will wound us when we need to be
wounded. Never will he be deceitful toward us.
In Prov. 27:9
we read, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart:
so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty
counsel.” One of the characteristics of
friends is that they will share one another’s
counsel. There have been times in my life that
I needed to know how to do something or what to say
to someone or how to present something, or what am I
doing wrong, etc. A friend will readily and
heartily give you his counsel. Friends are
there to share with one another and to help one
another. Life would be a whole lot more
difficult if it weren’t for friends who have shared
with me their counsel. No one has shared with
us more counsel than the Lord Jesus Christ. He
has given us his word. He has revealed to us
his truths. According to John 15:15 Jesus
said, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for
the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I
have called you friends; for all things that I have
heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Jesus word is a thorough furnisher unto all good
works. There just isn’t anything missing that
we need. His counsel is also always correct
and best for us. Furthermore, we can go to him
in prayer and ask for his guidance and leadership in
our lives and he will give it and it will be the
very best for us. He is indeed our best
In Song 5:16
we read, “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is
altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is
my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
Other than Jesus, the best friend I have had in this
life is my beloved wife. It is indeed a joy
when one is both your beloved and your best friend.
Jesus has taken us to be his bride or beloved and he
is also our best friend. We have the privilege
of telling “the daughters of Jerusalem” what a
friend we have in Jesus and how he has loved us with
an everlasting love. We have the privilege, as
the man who had the legions of unclean spirits cast
out of him by the Lord, to go home and tell our
friends what great things the Lord has done for us
and loved us.
15:13 we read, “Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Perhaps volumes could be and have been written on
this, but Jesus is the greatest example ever of one
who laid down his life for his friends. In
Rom. 5:6 we read,
“For when we were yet
without strength, in due time Christ died for the
scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet
peradventure for a good man some would even dare to
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
According to this passage of scripture Christ died
for us when we were helpless, ungodly sinners.
Jesus not only died for us, but he also lived for
us. He came into the world to save his people from
their sins. He came not to do his own will,
but the will of him that sent him, and this is the
Father’s will which sent him, that he should lose
nothing, but raise it all up again the last day.
Jesus is that great example of how a friend should
love. We should also lay down our lives for
our friends, especially as we live our lives.
There are two ways that we can live our lives.
We can live them selfishly for ourselves or we can
live them unselfishly for others. Jesus
example is total unselfishness.
In John 15:14
we read, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever
I command you.” Abraham was called
the friend of God as was Moses. Jesus has said
that we also are his friends if we do whatsoever he
commands us. I don’t know a better name to be
called than Jesus’ friend. We all should
strive to be the friend of Jesus. His commands
we are told are not grevious. His commands are
all about love. We should love the Lord our
God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all
our strength, and with all our mind. We should
also love our neighbour as ourself. A third
commandment he gave us was to love one another as he
loved us. Lord help us to be thy friends.
church is to be made up of friends. John wrote
in 3 John 1:14, “But I trust I shall shortly see
thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to
thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by
name.” In the church we are to be one
another’s friends. This requires that we get
to know one another, that we share our lives with
one another, that we reprove, rebuke and exhort one
another, that we counsel one another, that we pray
one for another, that we bear one another’s burdens,
that we lay down our lives for one another, that we
love one another at all times, that we show
ourselves friendly to one another. It is much
harder for Satan to destroy or disrupt a church full
of true friends. Lord help us all to be true
friends to one another.
Rom. 8:14, “For
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are
the sons of God.” It is evident that this
verse teaches us that being led of the Spirit of God
is not the cause of one being a son of God, but is
the evidence of one being a son of God.
To the elect
child of God there are two types of leadership of
the Holy Spirit. There is the “effectual”
leadership and there is a timely guidance of the
All of the
elect of God are drawn of the Holy Spirit in
regeneration or the new birth. We read in John
6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come
to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise
There are some who will argue that this coming to
Jesus is something the sinner must do thru his
efforts. However, John 6:44 tells us, “No
man can come to me, except the Father which hath
sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the
last day.” The word “draw” in this verse
comes from a Greek word meaning “to drag.”
This would be similar to a horse drawn carriage.
The carriage does nothing to move itself. The
horse does all the work and puts forth all the
effort to move the carriage. Similarly, we
come to Jesus in regeneration, because the Father
draws us to Jesus. The Father in the person of
the Holy Spirit draws or drags us to Jesus thru the
new birth. In this work of God we are
completely passive. God does all the work.
As Spirit born
children of God we need something in our lives that
can only come thru the timely guidance or leadership
of the Holy Spirit. We are all faced with
problems, trials, tribulations, persecutions,
failings, and shortcomings and often have not the
knowledge or understanding on how to deal with our
problems. These problems can be relationship
problems, workplace problems, church problems,
family problems, or health problems. Thanks be
to God that he has not left us comfortless.
of Israel were led throughout there wilderness
journeying. Ex. 13:21 reads,
“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of
a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a
pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and
Whenever, the cloud came and abode above the
tabernacle the children of Israel made camp and
rested in their tents until such time as the cloud
removed from above the tabernacle and went forth.
Then the children of Israel broke camp and followed
the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
This continued for the 40 years of their wilderness
are not led by a cloud or a pillar of fire, but the
leadership of the Holy Spirit that we have today is
even better than what the children of Israel had.
God’s people are each led by the Holy Spirit.
A wonderful illustration of that leadership is found
in Gen. 24:12, “And he
said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee,
send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto
my master Abraham.
Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the
daughters of the men of the city come out to draw
let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall
say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may
drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy
camels drink also: let the same be she that thou
hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby
shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold,
Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of
Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.”
The servant had the experience of his prayer being answered even before
he had finished his prayer.
There are several
ways that we can see the leadership of the Spirit in our
lives. Before we explore those ways, we need to
remember to ask for that leadership. The Lord
said, “Seek and ye shall find, Ask and it shall be
given you, and Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
“Ye have not because ye ask not.” One of
the great reasons that we don’t see more of the
leadership of the Spirit in our lives is because we fail
to ask for it. James also said, “Ye ask and
have not, because ye ask amiss, that ye might consume it
upon your lust.” Often we ask for things
selfishly and don’t receive the leadership of the
Spirit. If we ask for things unselfishly, but for
the benefit and furtherance of service in the kingdom of
God, then the Lord has promised he will give it to us.
Thus it is important that we pray that the Lord’s will
One of the ways we
see the leadership of the Spirit in our lives is thru
the circumstances of life. We need to remember
that the Lord opens doors and no man can shut and he
closes doors and no man can open. Young people
should remember this when seeking a spouse. We
should also remember this when we are seeking employment
or where the Lord would have us live or what Primitive
Baptist church the Lord would have us attend. Many
of God’s people have found that when seeking a job and
praying that God would direct them, that all job
possibilities but the one that the Lord had in mind for
them was closed and the one was opened especially for
Next, we find the
Spirits leadership in the preaching of the gospel.
I know of no preacher that knows what each member of the
congregation needs. However, God knows what we
need better than even we know. How many times I
have experienced and I am sure many of the readers have
experienced that when I have had questions or problems
that I was seeking answers to that the preacher was led
to preach on the very thing that I was needing help
with. This happens many times with the Lord’s
people and is an assurance of the leadership of the
Spirit in their lives.
The most common
way that many of God’s people are led by the Spirit is
thru the word. Ps. 119:105 reads, “Thy word is
a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Also Ps. 73:24 reads, “Thou shalt guide me with thy
counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”
David believed so strongly in the leadership of the
Spirit through the word of God that he said in Ps.
119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I
might not sin against thee.” Job believed in
this principle also as he wrote in Job 23:12 “Neither
have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I
have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my
necessary food.” It has been my experience
that when faced with the problems and troubles of life
and when needing to make decisions that I was uncertain
of that often after I had prayed about the problem or
decision that the answer has come to me thru the Spirit
directing my mind to a verse of scripture.
Obviously the more that we know of the word of God the
more that we will experience the Spirit’s leadership
through the word in our lives.
There are means by
which we see people in the scriptures led by the Spirit
such as through dreams and trances, etc. These,
however, would seem to be the exceptional cases and not
the rule. There are, therefore, several ways that
the Spirit leads us and we should be thankful for each
one and for each time the Spirit has led us, for it is
indeed a blessing to us to be led of the Spirit.