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Reading Tomorrow's Headlines Today

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2024 12:00 am

Reading Tomorrow's Headlines Today

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 10, 2024 12:00 am

In this riveting study of Revelation 6, Stephen Davey reveals the terrifying truth behind the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Explore the biblical warnings about the Antichrist's deceitful rise to power, the devastation of global warfare, and the impending terrors of the Tribulation. Gain insights into how these ancient prophecies offer wisdom for recognizing deception and finding true peace in a turbulent world.

Key takeaway: Discernment and grounding in God's Word are essential for navigating the deceptions that pave the way for the Tribulation. Remember, only Jesus Christ offers true salvation, lasting peace, and hope for the future.

Want to learn more? Head over to Wisdom Online (https://www.wisdomonline.org) for additional resources and deeper exploration into the wisdom of Scripture.

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The most important question is what will you do with the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Here's Steven Davey. John wrote earlier, listen, this is the testimony. Here it is, God has given unto us eternal life. Whoever has the Son has life. Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

As simple as that, how are you related to Jesus Christ now? Listen, I want to warn you, don't hitch your wagon to the wrong horse. Do you ever get so caught up in the daily grind that the big picture fades from view? The Bible warns of challenging times ahead, but God promises deliverance for his people. Today you'll learn the truth behind the four horsemen of Revelation. These figures represent chaos and destruction in the last days, but the Bible has a message of hope and purpose amidst uncertainty. When you're reminded of how the story ends, it challenges you to consider how you're living today.

Are you living with the end in mind? That's the key question Steven explores in today's message. Without a doubt, the four horsemen that appear on the scene in Revelation chapter six represent the most famous horses of all time. These thundering horses and the riders have captured the imagination of artists, politicians and preachers and the church at large, even skeptics and cult leaders among them for centuries. I found it interesting that a young man named Vernon Wayne Howell, known to his followers as David Koresh, was obsessed with these four horsemen. He taught often about them from the book of Revelation. In fact, he claimed to be Jesus Christ, and that was a bit of a problem, of course. He claimed to have been given a task by God to open the seven seals and bring on the end of the world. His world did end, sadly, tragically, as he was killed in a standoff with officials, much of his compound burned to the ground, tragically taking his life and the life of many of his followers. In an ironic way, though David Koresh and all those who claimed to be the Messiah before him and all those who claimed to be Messiah after him do, in a way, fulfill the warning of Jesus Christ in Matthew 22 that false messiahs at an ever-increasing pace will mark the end times, culminating, of course, in the coming of the false, the deceiving, counterfeiting one known as Antichrist.

All right, enough of an introduction. Let's read Revelation chapter six, verse one. Now, I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder. Remember, these four living creatures, angelic beings circled the throne.

Come, one of them demanded. And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering and to conquer his limited, effective victory. This is the opening seal and the thundering of the first horseman, the planet Earth, on a white horse.

Although John saw a white horse and a mute horseman riding him, this horseman represents the culmination of counterfeit messiahs and deceivers. In fact, if you want three words to identify the coming of this horseman who is later described, and we'll look closely at the Antichrist in chapters to come, there are three words that sum up his rise to power. The first word is peace.

The second word is partnership, and the third word is protection. He doesn't come to begin war. According to the events Daniel prophesied and John now sees, this period begins with peace, a peaceful accord. There's no peace today, is there? Certainly not in the world in the Middle East. The world would love to have peace.

Where? I mean, if there's one geographical place on the planet that occupies the thinking and the growing frustration of the civilized world, it is peace in the where? Middle East. Well, this rider comes and actually will broker, Daniel specifies, this peace.

We are literally reading tomorrow's headlines today here in this text. The world is clamoring for peace, and suddenly somebody's gonna come and rise and offer this elusive thing called peace in the Middle East. He will succeed, and the world today is waiting and watching. It's been waiting and watching for peace anyway, and it will only grow as this man eventually surfaces in leadership. The Shiite branch of Islam believes in the existence of a final imam.

In fact, you study what they believe and there are similarities to our gospel account. It's interesting, they believe there is a 12th imam who will come and usher in peace and Islamic justice. The president of Iran recently prayed openly at the convening of the United Nations for the soon appearing of this 12th imam, which is the title.

An imam is simply a religious leader that's capable of leading a mosque or perhaps being the spiritual leader over the people. And he prayed openly at the United Nations for this man to come soon. While Americans can't pray publicly in the name of Jesus, at least not out loud, without severe repercussions, the president of a growing world power unapologetically prayed for the coming of his spiritual leader.

He opened his speech at the United Nations on September 25th, 2007. Let me read to you a little of his prayer. I quote him, oh God, hasten the arrival of imam al-makhdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers.

Well, there's more to this opening prayer by the way. The followers of the Shiite branch of Islam follow men they believe to be the descendants of Muhammad. Sort of like the Catholic Church's belief in apostolic succession. They believe in literal descendants of Muhammad even though they have difficulty proving it. These imams are the guardians of the Quran and have the right of spiritual leadership over the world. They believe that in the 10th century the 12th and last imam disappeared literally whisked away by God and hidden away, kept alive and he's well until the end of history where he will appear and lead those people and the world into Islamic peace and justice.

The current president of Iran is overseeing the building of a mosque by the way just for the 12 imam to have as his headquarters. The rider of the white horse is going to fit the profile of this man of peace with supernatural power, tremendous intellect claiming divine authority, capable of brokering a peace that will settle the Jerusalem question, in fact even allow the temple to be rebuilt which boggles my imagination. But Israel will finally have peace. Now that's what leads some to suggest that this rider in Revelation 6 is the gospel, it's a metaphor for the gospel. Only the gospel can bring in that kind of peace.

I would agree it's pretty amazing. Others would say no it's Jesus Christ, that his coming will bring about this kind of peace. Now there are similarities. In Revelation chapter 19 Jesus Christ appears riding a white horse. He's also crowned and he when he comes will certainly bring peace to the world. But there are textual reasons I don't believe this is Christ here. I think these four horsemen serve as a unit, in fact they are all bringing judgment.

But I'll give you just a few of these reasons and I'll take time just for a few in this study. First I want you to understand that their weapons are different. Here in Revelation chapter 6 notice again this rider comes and he's carrying a what? A bow. He's carrying a bow in Revelation 19 it is a sword which is used by our Lord to smite his enemies. In fact the rider of the white horse here carries no arrows, just a bow is mentioned which I believe then would symbolize the rise of the antichrist in a series of bloodless victories, diplomatic victories, victories politically as he assumes leadership that Daniel tells us of the revived Roman empire. Now this bow certainly indicates the threat of war but I agree with one author who said that if you look carefully here war is not the result of this seal. Peace is the result of this first horseman. So the antichrist will deceive the world into believing he's a man of peace. He's gonna say look I got a gun but it's not loaded.

He's got bullets in his pocket but the gun's not loaded at this time and the world will fall into the devil's trap. Secondly not only are their weapons different but their crowns are different as well. The text reads in verse 2 and a crown was given to him. The rider on the white horse in chapter 6 is wearing however a Stephanos. This is the victor's crown made of leaves. The athletes would be crowned with these or citizens who've done a good job. The problem with this crown of course is that it withers away and dies.

They might press it in a book to keep it but they wouldn't wear it for very long. In fact the verb edothai was given there in the text. A crown was given to him is a very interesting verb. It appears to speak of divine permission for evil powers to carry out their wicked mission. It's a temporary delegated crown and I want you to mark this point and I stress it for this reason. He is given a temporary position by God. This rider ultimately answers to God.

He might be riding a white stallion but his horse is on a leash and the other end of that leash is in the hand of sovereign God. The crown that Christ wears in Revelation 19 is a diademma from which we get our word diadem. It's the crown of royalty. It's the crown of kings.

Thirdly, another difference, the length of their influence is vastly different. The rider of the white horse will gallop in setting up the peace accord. Daniel 9 specifies which lasts three and a half years until he desecrates the temple beginning the last three and a half years which Christ also dividing the tribulation calls this the great period of trial. This is a false peace brought about by antichrist. Peace before the coming storm and the storm will come. But people won't care to hear about a storm then just as they really don't care now. They won't heed the warning signs then just like you might not be a follower of Christ and you don't heed the warning signs now. It will come but the world will want peace and they will want peace at any what?

Price. Those of you who enjoy history perhaps have read of the appeasement of Adolf Hitler, a man many thought was the antichrist. It's clearly chronicled how the world appeased him as they literally gave countries away the amazing ability of the human heart to blind itself to the truth in an attempt to keep some measure of peace. I read The Last Lie in a large two volume biography of Winston Churchill and I read specifically to refresh my memory because I thought of it as I studied Revelation 6 of how Neville Chamberlain who was the Prime Minister of England made a couple of trips to meet with Hitler to try to appease him, to try to get out of him some promise that he wouldn't hurt Great Britain.

As if to say he can hurt others but just leave us be. He traveled to Germany that one fateful visit and received from Hitler a pledge, a piece of paper and on it a promise from Hitler that he would not harm England. When Chamberlain returned to England he was a hero. Streets were lined with cheering crowds and he stepped out on the balcony in that moment he wished he could take back later but he waved that piece of paper and he shouted to the throngs, peace for our time. Everyone sang his praises except for one man Winston Churchill who said that Hitler and I quote him was simply a snake preparing to strike and later when Churchill rose to speak to Parliament decrying that pledge as nothing more than a sham, peace, he was literally shouted down. A few years later Great Britain would know it was true.

The pledge of peace was fraudulent, manipulative and it came from a man who never meant to keep it. But the world desperately wants peace. When this man signs the accord everybody on the planet is going to breathe finally peace.

There is no doubt that there will be suspicions and wonderings. In fact much of the world very soon after will turn against him. But blinders are going to be put on and the cheering crowds will hail the man who promises peace to Israel and seems to be the first man ever who can broker it in the Middle East. But in a matter of a few years Israel will see this demonically empowered man violate his pledge and unleash suffering and death and horror that they have never experienced in any prior holocaust. This is not Christ here.

This is the false Christ, antichrist. For when Jesus Christ comes he will usher in not a few years but a thousand years of peace known as the millennial reign. The kingdom that will then command worldwide victory until the final battle ushers in the new heaven and the new earth. The first writer promises peace.

It lasts about 42 months. Jesus Christ brings peace and it lasts a thousand years. There is another distinct difference between these two writers on white horses.

Let me give you one more. They are referred to differently in the text. John observes this mute writer in chapter 6. He is coming. He is thundering in on his white horse.

I can just picture nostrils flaring and hoof beats flying. He simply refers to him here as its writer. In chapter 19 the given do deserving of our Lord is provided as he comes thundering on to the world scene and in Revelation 19 he is called none other than the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Finally, let me give you one more actually. What they commence in their coming is totally and drastically different. The first writer comes to commence the tribulation. The second writer comes to commence the millennial kingdom. The false Messiah rides in as the birth pangs begin triggering a time following a brief period of peace of chaos and trouble.

All of it will last for seven years. The true Messiah rides in as the tribulation ends bringing in the messianic age of a thousand years of majesty as he sits upon the throne of David literally fulfilling all of the prophecies of his second coming just as his first coming prophecies literally came true. The only permanent peace, ladies and gentlemen anyway, comes from the true prince of peace. When he ushers in his peace it will usher in such amazing conditions on this planet that we can only speculate and anticipate and with what little we're given and we're going to make a lot out of as we get into the text on what that kingdom is going to be all about. The next horseman to arrive is riding a red horse.

It's fitting because blood is going to flow in the path of its galloping hooves. Let me draw some needed warnings from what the globe is going to experience. Those of us who know Christ I believe will be with him but we can learn from his deceptive ways things about deception even now. Let me give you a couple of observations. First, deception works because it models as much of the truth as possible. It works because it sounds like the truth. It looks like the truth. It smells like the truth. It talks.

It uses terms of truth. Like the man in the news that I referenced earlier, Israel Hawkins, who turned with the reporter to the book of Revelation and announced the coming of a terrible war. He was right about that. War is coming. There is a final war coming. Then he said in his interview it will be a nuclear war.

Now he's guessing. We don't know for sure. Then he said it will start on June 12, 2008. No it won't. Four horsemen have to gallop in first. The Middle East must enjoy something they do not enjoy now, namely peace, and so much more. But he's right on one count.

War is coming. He's wrong on assuming the weapons used. He's wrong on declaring the date. In fact, I replayed the interview.

It was actually on YouTube. I replayed it several times to listen to what he said. He made a brief statement that told me a lot. He said, June 12 is in the hidden codes. Then he referred back to the Bible. That told me a lot. He's getting his information not from a clear understanding of scripture, but from the torturing of letters and the combinations of letters to come up with all sorts of fancy and fanciful prophecies. You know what's amazing to me? What's amazing to me is this man has already announced that nuclear war would begin twice before. Why don't people read the resumes of prophets? Huh?

He's already announced it would come. He's also facing a trial in Texas for bigamy. Soon after this date comes and goes, he's charged with having multiple wives among his followers, as many as 30 he's involved with.

From what I researched about this false teacher, there were hundreds of people, by the way, in Kenya who believed him in his last prophecy that nuclear war would begin September 12, 2006. They sold their land, their pets, quit their jobs. They moved into basement bunkers.

All of them wore gas masks. They waited with their barrels of grain to something that didn't come. Those who believe the Bible gained one more black eye to our watching skeptical world. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, there are about 100 trailers on this man's compound stocked with food and supplies, which his company, by the way, produces from which his followers purchase.

Stocked with all of this, where they await the end of the world right now. Seeds of truth, but bushels of deception that leads to distraction, the loss of focus and integrity, even immorality as blinded people ignore the cover up of other delusions and greed and worse yet, worse yet, this affects me. This affects you. Worse yet, a public disgrace on Bible believers everywhere who claim to believe the book of Revelation is true.

It's embarrassing to me. Deception works because it uses biblical terminology, biblical concepts, but look underneath and you'll find pride and immorality and greed covering up the true motives of these who lead people astray. Not only, secondly, does deception model as much of the truth as it can, but it's always been a choice weapon of Satan. This goes all the way back to the garden.

It was his first weapon of choice. Soft words, appealing lures, deceiving statements. Now, maybe you'd be the last person on the planet to leave Raleigh, carry our apex, garner wherever you live and head to Abilene, Texas. Buy a couple buckets of grain and join this Israel Hawkins and change your last name and you're thinking there's absolutely no way I'd ever do that. But maybe for you, it's a different kind of deception. A deception that is just as distracting and potentially dangerous if not deadly to your testimony and integrity and purpose in life. Here's one of his favorites.

Here's one of his favorite deceptions that might be affecting you and me today. It goes like this. The grass is greener over there. No, over there. No, no, over there.

No, it's over there. And we spend our lives spinning our wheels searching for this elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Here's another popular one, especially among churchgoers. God wants you happy first and foremost. All that stuff about holiness and discipline, that kind of talk is going to hold you back and hold you down.

He wants you happy. Or how about this one? Believe in yourself.

All the answers you need are in your heart, which is deceitful, depraved, like everything else. Or here's one that's always popular. Whatever you want, you should have.

Just name it. You know, place your faith to it. And don't hang around people that rain on your parade by saying maybe you shouldn't have it. You go for it.

One more. Don't get so hung up on guilt and sin. You're only human. I know earlier I told you you were divine, but when it comes to sin, you're only human. That's very convenient, isn't it?

So don't worry about it. Listen, ladies and gentlemen, deception is so powerful in turning our eyes on others or on ourselves, our things, our path ultimately away from Christ. That's why it's so critical for the believer in Christ to daily surrender to the authority of the word and will and worship of God. Today you've seen how the four horsemen of Revelation symbolize events foretold in the Bible.

It's a reminder that while the world may be filled with deception and turmoil, God remains in control. Don't be fooled by false promises. Instead, root your life in the unchanging truth of God's word and the hope of Christ. Visit wisdomonline.org for resources to deepen your biblical understanding.

And remember, never give up hope. True followers of Christ have a glorious future. Please continue to pray for Stephen and for this ministry. Like you, Stephen desires to finish well and our ministry is empowered by your prayers.

We'd enjoy learning what God's doing in your life. You can send us an email if you address it to info at wisdomonline.org. If you prefer using the postal service, our address is Wisdom International, P.O. Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. Again, it's info at wisdomonline.org or Wisdom International, P.O.

Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. Thank you for listening. May God's sovereign plan and unwavering love bring you peace and resilience. Join us next time to discover more wisdom for the heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-10 00:09:02 / 2024-05-10 00:17:57 / 9

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