Anchor Secrets Unsealed School of Theology: Revelations Seven Seals

The Third Seal

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ARSS

Program Code: ARSS190011S

00:16 Welcome back.
00:18 I hope everybody had a good lunch today.
00:22 I know that there are different choices
00:25 when I asked Mediterranean,
00:28 Mexican, gringo.
00:34 Lots of choices around here.
00:37 Anyway, we are going to study beginning on page 179,
00:42 The Third Seal.
00:44 And my goal this afternoon is to finish
00:46 the third and fourth seals.
00:49 And tomorrow we will dedicate probably the first two sessions
00:52 in the morning to the fifth seal,
00:55 and the two sessions in the afternoon
00:56 to seal number six.
00:59 Then after that, we still have the interlude
01:01 the sealing of 144,000 in Chapter 7,
01:05 and then we still have the seventh seal,
01:08 plus all of the presentations at the end.
01:11 The five that deal with the Sabbath,
01:14 Sunday seal of God, Mark of the Beast issue.
01:17 So let's have a word of prayer and we'll begin.
01:21 Father in heaven, thank You for the good rest
01:23 that we've been able to enjoy.
01:25 Now, as we gather once again,
01:27 we ask for the guidance of Your Spirit.
01:30 We ask that You will help us to understand
01:32 how history has flowed
01:34 and what things are moving towards
01:37 so that we can be prepared for the great events
01:39 that will soon explode upon the world scene.
01:43 Thank you, Lord, for the promise
01:44 of Your presence and we claim that promise,
01:47 in the name of Jesus.
01:48 Amen.
01:51 All right, page 179.
01:54 The third seal represents the period
01:57 when Constantine favored the Christian church
02:02 and as a result, persecution ceased,
02:05 and the world entered the church.
02:09 Let's read the verses that deal with this seal,
02:12 with the third seal.
02:14 Revelation 6:5-6, we have several symbols here.
02:19 "When he opened the third seal,
02:21 I heard the third living creature say,
02:24 'Come and see.'
02:26 So I looked, and behold, a black horse,
02:30 and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
02:35 And I heard a voice in the midst
02:36 of the four living creatures saying,
02:39 'A quart of wheat for a Darius,
02:42 and three quarts of barley for a denarius,
02:46 and do not harm the oil and the wine.'"
02:51 So we have several symbols in this third seal.
02:54 We have, first of all, a horse whose color is black.
02:58 We have a rider on the horse
03:02 who has scales in his hand,
03:05 and this rider of the horse is weighing wheat
03:10 and barley.
03:11 And we're going to talk about what the wheat
03:13 and the barley represent.
03:16 And then also we find the command not to hurt
03:20 the oil or the wine.
03:22 Now on the next page,
03:24 let's take a look at the historical context
03:26 of what we've studied so far and where we are at now.
03:29 The white horse describes the victories
03:33 of the early church according to what we'd studied.
03:36 The red horse describes the imperial persecutions
03:41 by the Roman emperors in the early centuries
03:44 of the history of the Christian church.
03:46 The black horse,
03:48 which is the third seal represents the infiltration
03:52 of the church by the world.
03:56 Now Satan in the course of history has used two methods
03:59 to try and defeat God's people.
04:02 The first method is by trying to kill them by persecution,
04:08 and we find this method from the very beginning
04:10 of human history.
04:12 Cain killed Abel.
04:15 And, of course, it wasn't Cain by himself.
04:18 Because 1 John 3:12,
04:20 says that Cain was of the wicked one.
04:24 In other words, Cain killed Abel
04:25 because Satan was in charge
04:30 behind the scenes,
04:32 and he influenced Cain to kill Abel.
04:34 So the first method that Satan uses from the very beginning
04:37 is to try and kill those who are faithful.
04:41 When that doesn't work, Satan changes his methodology.
04:45 He says if you can't fight them
04:48 join them because after Cain killed Abel,
04:51 God brought forth another seed, Seth.
04:53 So the devil says, well,
04:55 you know, I can't continue like this,
04:56 you know, I kill one seed and God brings another seed,
04:59 so I have to use a different method.
05:01 So what he did at the time of the flood
05:03 was that he mingled the sons of God,
05:06 which is the righteous with the daughters of men.
05:09 And he was much more successful because the world
05:12 that undoubtedly had millions of inhabitants,
05:15 only eight people were left on earth
05:20 that were faithful to God.
05:22 If God had not sent the flood,
05:24 the righteousness would have been totally uprooted
05:30 from the earth.
05:31 So Satan uses two methods, persecution, and infiltration.
05:36 In the second seal, we have persecution.
05:39 In the third seal, we have infiltration.
05:43 Now in the next section,
05:45 we're going to find that the third seal,
05:47 the black horse is parallel
05:50 to the third church period, the church of Pergamum.
05:56 So Ephesus would be equivalent to the first seal,
06:00 that is the Apostolic Church.
06:02 Smyrna would be equivalent to the red horse,
06:05 the second seal,
06:07 and that's the persecuted church.
06:09 And then Pergamum, the third church
06:11 would be the compromising church,
06:13 symbolized by the black horse of
06:16 Revelation Chapter 6.
06:19 Now, let's read the note at the bottom here,
06:22 because it's very important.
06:25 Satan's throne was in Pergamum.
06:27 That's what Revelation 2:13 says.
06:31 The third seal is the transition period
06:36 between the conversion of the Emperor Constantine
06:40 and the rise of the papacy to supremacy.
06:43 So in other words, it's the hinge
06:46 between the persecuted church
06:49 and the rise of the papacy in the year 538.
06:53 Thus, Pergamum is the connecting link
06:57 between the pagan Roman Empire and papal Rome.
07:03 During this period, the restrainer was removed.
07:07 Who is the restrainer that restrains the man of sin
07:10 from openly manifesting himself?
07:13 It is the Roman Empire.
07:15 As long as the empire is there,
07:16 the papacy cannot rise to dominion,
07:19 because there's already somebody who is ruling.
07:21 And so during this period, the restrainer was removed.
07:26 And I have here that we should study
07:28 Romans 13:1-5,
07:31 so that the papacy could fully manifest itself.
07:35 Now, it's helpful for us to realize
07:38 that the third church has a person
07:41 that is mentioned in that church.
07:44 And this person is an Old Testament figure.
07:47 And that figure is Balaam.
07:50 Now, we would have to go back to the Old Testament
07:53 to study this story to Numbers 22-24.
07:57 I'll just give you a very brief summary
08:00 of what happened in that time.
08:04 In the Old Testament story,
08:06 this is at the top of page 181.
08:11 In the Old Testament story,
08:12 Balaam did his utmost to curse Israel from outside,
08:17 but he could not
08:19 because there was no iniquity in Israel.
08:22 They had a proper and strong relationship
08:24 with the Lord and God protected the church.
08:27 Satan could not conquer the church from outside,
08:31 or Israel from the outside,
08:33 so he infiltrated it with idolatry and fornication.
08:38 Idolatrous pagan customs came into the church
08:41 as it did into Israel, through the influence of Balak
08:45 and Balaam who was doing the work for Balak,
08:49 so idolatrous pagan accustoms
08:52 came into the church at this time,
08:54 and the church committed spiritual fornication
08:57 by linking up with the state.
08:59 That's what the Bible calls fornication,
09:00 spiritually speaking, and fell also into idolatry
09:05 or idol worship.
09:07 These two sins were the very ones
09:10 that Israel practiced on the borders of Canaan,
09:13 and the church of the fourth century embraced
09:16 when persecution ceased.
09:18 Now I'm going to read you a passage
09:20 that's not in the syllabus.
09:21 This is found in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 451,
09:25 about the Old Testament story.
09:27 So you see that
09:28 because Satan was not able to eliminate Israel by,
09:32 you know, actually battling against them
09:34 and destroying them physically.
09:36 He said, "Well, you know, let's just infiltrate them
09:38 with fornication and idolatry."
09:40 Patriarchs and Prophets, page 451,
09:43 speaking about Balaam, "He immediately returned
09:45 to the land of Moab,
09:46 and latest plans before the king,
09:49 that is before Balak.
09:51 The Moabites themselves were convinced that so long
09:54 as Israel remained true to God, he would be their shield.
09:58 The plan proposed by Balaam was to separate them from God
10:03 by enticing them into idolatry.
10:06 If they could be led to engage in licentious worship of Baal
10:10 and Ashtoreth, their omnipotent Protector
10:13 would become their enemy,
10:15 and they would soon fall prey to the fierce,
10:18 warlike nations around them.
10:20 This plan was readily accepted by the king,
10:23 and Balaam himself remained to assist in carrying it
10:27 into effect.
10:28 Balaam witnessed the success
10:31 of his diabolical scheme."
10:35 So the third church has the doctrine of Balaam
10:38 because that's the period of Constantine.
10:40 It's a period of the black horse
10:42 when darkness comes into the church.
10:44 Now, in Great Controversy, page 42.
10:47 This one is not in the syllabus as well.
10:49 Ellen White is obviously drawing on the story of Balaam
10:52 to describe the period
10:53 when compromise came into the church.
10:56 This is how it reads,
10:58 "Because he was not able to destroy
10:59 the church by persecution,
11:01 Satan therefore laid his plans to war more successfully
11:06 against the government of God,
11:09 by planting his banner in the Christian church."
11:13 Now, listen carefully,
11:15 "If the followers of Christ could be deceived,
11:18 and led to displease God, then their strength,
11:22 fortitude, and firmness would fail,
11:25 and they would fall an easy prey."
11:29 Do you see the parallel?
11:30 Third church, doctrine of Balaam.
11:33 Balaam could not curse Israel from outside.
11:36 So he infiltrates Israel
11:37 so that God takes away His protection.
11:39 And as a result, the church falls.
11:43 Now let's talk about this horse whose color is black.
11:47 By the way, Jesus does not ride all these horses.
11:51 The devil is riding these horses,
11:54 the red horse, the black horse, and the yellow horse
11:57 because Jesus does not persecute the church.
11:59 And, you know,
12:01 Jesus does not bring darkness into the church.
12:03 Jesus doesn't bring death into the church.
12:05 Jesus is the rider of the first horse.
12:08 Now notice the color black.
12:10 This is very interesting.
12:13 We just noticed
12:14 that when the church is persecuted,
12:15 the title of the chapter is...
12:19 What was the title of the chapter?
12:21 Persecution in the early centuries.
12:24 Now notice what the next chapter is,
12:27 an era of spiritual darkness.
12:31 And we're gonna see in a few moments,
12:33 that in the Bible,
12:34 darkness is used synonymously with black.
12:40 Are you following me?
12:42 So Ellen White is following the seals.
12:45 She first in Acts of the Apostles,
12:47 she speaks about the conquests of the church.
12:50 Then she goes to the persecution
12:52 in the early centuries, that's the second seal,
12:54 the red horse, persecution,
12:56 then an era of spiritual darkness,
12:59 which is the black horse.
13:01 She's commenting on the seals,
13:03 even though she doesn't quote the verses.
13:06 So you would never know unless you really look beyond
13:11 the references themselves.
13:14 Ellen White underline
13:15 that the darkness grew ever deeper
13:18 because the papacy undertook a war against the Bible.
13:23 Now, Jesus is the incarnated Word of God, right?
13:27 He's the Word of God in person in other words.
13:30 And where the Word is, there is what?
13:33 Light and life.
13:36 The Bible identifies light with what color?
13:40 We've noticed this.
13:41 Light is identified with white, we already noticed that.
13:45 And here you have the verses,
13:47 the written Word of God is also what?
13:51 Light, so Jesus is light, and the written Word is light.
13:55 During the period of the white horse,
13:58 God's people proclaim the Word of God,
14:01 which is light to the world.
14:03 That's an era of white or light.
14:06 God's Word is the original light
14:09 and when it shines on God's people,
14:11 they reflect the light to others.
14:14 Where the Word of God is absent,
14:16 there is what?
14:18 There is darkness or blackness.
14:22 So what begins to be replaced in the times of Constantine?
14:27 What is the Word of God replaced in the times
14:31 of Constantine?
14:32 Human traditions.
14:35 And what is the greatest of those human traditions
14:37 that's going to be the final controversy?
14:39 Sunday worship came in during that period.
14:43 So they started forsaking the Word of God,
14:46 which is light, which is white, and what is the result?
14:50 Darkness or black, are you with me or not?
14:52 Now let's notice several texts,
14:54 where you find darkness and black, synonymous.
14:58 Isaiah 50:3, God says,
15:02 "I clothe the heavens with," what?
15:05 "With blackness,
15:07 and I make sackcloth their covering."
15:10 By the way, sackcloth was black.
15:13 Notice Jude 12:13.
15:17 Speaking about those who are beyond the point
15:20 of no return.
15:21 These are spots in your love feasts,
15:25 while they feast with you without fear,
15:28 serving only themselves.
15:30 They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds.
15:34 Lake autumn trees without fruit,
15:37 twice dead, pulled up by the roots,
15:40 raging waves of the sea forming up their own shame,
15:44 wandering stars, for whom is reserved the what?
15:48 The blackness of darkness.
15:52 So the black horse is a period of what?
15:56 It's a period of darkness.
15:58 Why is it a period of darkness?
16:00 Because there is no light.
16:02 And what is the light?
16:04 The Word of God. Are you with me or not?
16:07 Notice Proverbs 7:9,
16:10 "In the twilight, in the evening,
16:13 in the black and dark night."
16:16 Once again, black and dark are related to one another.
16:20 Jeremiah 4:28,
16:22 "For this shall the earth mourn,
16:24 and the heavens above be," what?
16:27 "Be black, because I have spoken
16:29 I have purposed and will not relent,
16:32 nor will I turn back from it."
16:35 The way of the righteous is what?
16:37 Light, but the way of the wicked is darkness.
16:41 Notice Proverbs 4:18-19,
16:44 "But the path of the just is as the shining light
16:47 that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
16:50 The way of the wicked is as," what?
16:53 "Darkness: they know not at what they stumble."
16:57 Notice this interesting comment, powerful comment.
17:00 Actually, there's several here
17:02 where Ellen White, also in harmony with the Bible
17:05 relates the idea of darkness and the color black.
17:09 God desires His people to be what?
17:13 Light, the white horse.
17:18 God desires to see His people to be light-bearers
17:21 to a world lying in the midnight darkness,
17:25 but if they refuse to go forward in the light,
17:27 which he causes to shine on their pathway,
17:30 the light will finally become to them what?
17:33 Darkness, and now notice,
17:35 and instead of being light-bearers to the world,
17:38 they themselves will be lost in the what?
17:41 In the blackness that surrounds them.
17:43 Do you see once again the idea of darkness
17:46 and blackness together?
17:47 Because where there is darkness there is no light
17:50 and the Word of God is light.
17:51 So at this time, the Word of God
17:53 has been supplanted by what?
17:55 By human traditions.
17:57 Here's another statement from Ellen White,
17:59 Great Controversy, page 20.
18:01 The hour of hope and pardon was fast passing.
18:04 This is for the Jewish theocracy.
18:06 The cup of God's long-deferred wrath was almost full.
18:11 The cloud that had been gathering through the ages
18:14 of apostasy and rebellion,
18:18 now black with woe was about to burst upon a guilty people.
18:22 So what does black represent?
18:24 Apostasy and rebellion, according to this.
18:29 In the Spalding and Magan Collection, page 153.
18:32 Once again the idea of black and darkness are related.
18:37 He calls upon his servants to receive from the Holy Spirit
18:40 his sanctifying power,
18:42 that the light may shine forth in clear distinct rays,
18:46 amid the constantly increasing moral darkness,
18:50 which is becoming what?
18:52 As black as sackcloth,
18:54 of hair all over our world.
18:59 Creatures of the night roam and thrive in darkness,
19:03 bats, rats, roaches,
19:06 germs are in the realm of darkness.
19:10 The black horse stands in contrast to the white horse.
19:13 During the period of the white horse,
19:14 God's people radiated the light of God's Word.
19:18 The black horse represents darkness that came in
19:21 from a rejection of God's Word.
19:24 Where God's Word is not there is darkness or blackness.
19:28 Black represents sin, apostasy, error,
19:32 heresy, and human traditions.
19:34 So far, so good?
19:36 Now, there's another thing
19:37 that is mentioned here in this particular seal,
19:41 not only darkness or blackness
19:44 but also bread is mentioned.
19:49 More specifically, wheat and barley.
19:53 By the way, those were the two grains
19:55 that were used to bake bread in Israel.
19:58 So when you talk about wheat and barley,
20:00 you're talking about making bread
20:02 with the wheat and with the barley.
20:04 The barley was the harvest
20:07 at the time of Passover early in the spring
20:10 and the wheat harvest was at the time of Pentecost
20:12 about 50 days later,
20:14 you had the harvest of the wheat.
20:17 They were the grains that were used to make bread.
20:22 Now let's continue here with this in mind.
20:24 Another symbol for God's Word is bread.
20:28 Man shall not live by bread alone,
20:31 but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
20:35 During the third seal,
20:36 there was not only a scarcity of light,
20:40 in other words, darkness, but also a scarcity of what?
20:45 Of bread.
20:46 We're going to notice that in a few moments,
20:48 two ways of saying the same thing.
20:51 This is the reason
20:52 why wheat and barley during this period
20:54 were extremely expensive.
20:57 When human traditions suppress the Word of God,
21:01 the result is darkness or blackness.
21:04 And the result of the darkness is famine, pestilence,
21:08 which exists in the period of the fourth horse.
21:11 In short, both light and bread symbolize the Word of God.
21:17 Where there is no light and no bread, there is death.
21:21 Amos 8:11-12,
21:22 which we're going to read later predicts a time
21:24 when there will be famine in the land.
21:28 Not famine for bread, but famine for what?
21:32 For the Word of God.
21:34 Let me ask you, was the Word of God scarce?
21:37 Did it become scarce during the times of Constantine
21:41 and intensify as time went on?
21:44 Absolutely.
21:45 Let's notice on page 184.
21:49 Revelation
21:51 6:6, "And I heard a voice in the midst
21:53 of the four living creature saying,
21:55 'A quart of wheat for a denarius,
21:58 and three quarts of barley for a denarius,
22:02 and do not harm the oil and the wine."
22:07 Now, what we're going to notice is very, very important.
22:11 The purpose of scales in the third seal
22:15 is to weigh grain, right? Because
22:17 it's grain that's mentioned.
22:19 Elsewhere in Scripture,
22:21 the scale or balance can represent what?
22:25 Can represent judgment.
22:27 But remember that symbols are what?
22:30 Flexible, they don't always mean the same thing.
22:34 So every time that you find the word scale
22:37 in the Bible doesn't mean judgment.
22:39 Here it means that the grains are being weighed
22:43 and they're very scarce,
22:44 because the Word of God is becoming scarce.
22:48 So the purpose of the scales in the third seal
22:50 was to weigh grain.
22:52 Elsewhere in Scripture, the scale or balance
22:54 can represent judgment, but not in the third seal.
22:59 Barley, the early spring harvest and wheat,
23:02 the late spring harvest were staple crops
23:06 that Israel used to make bread.
23:08 These grains were very scarce
23:11 during the period of the third horse,
23:12 during the dark period.
23:14 The famine during the period of the third horse
23:16 will intensify and bring about even worse famine and death
23:21 during the period of the fourth horse,
23:23 because the fourth horse is a pale horse.
23:26 It's the horse of death.
23:28 And when there is famine, there is pestilence,
23:31 and where there is famine and pestilence,
23:33 there is death.
23:36 Now, the next paragraph, Revelation 6:6
23:40 describes scarcity of bread
23:44 because the wheat and the barley
23:45 were extremely expensive.
23:48 A denarius was the daily wage of a common laborer.
23:52 Thus, a laborer was only making enough to purchase
23:57 one quart of wheat and three quarts of barley.
24:01 Wow, that would lead to starvation, wouldn't it?
24:04 Especially if he has a family.
24:06 According to the Roman historian Cicero,
24:09 who lived around that same time,
24:11 the price mentioned by John
24:14 would have been 8 to 16 times higher than normal.
24:19 So it was very expensive to make bread,
24:21 there was a scarcity of bread.
24:24 During the third seal,
24:25 there was famine for bread in the land.
24:28 Barley was a staple used to feed the very poor and animals.
24:33 It is no coincidence that the fourth horse is pale
24:37 because the result of famine is what?
24:40 Death.
24:41 J. A. Seiss,
24:43 who wrote a commentary on Revelation,
24:45 he's not a Seventh-day Adventist.
24:47 It's a very, very interesting commentary,
24:49 lots of good insights.
24:51 Of course, lots of things that Adventists
24:53 would not agree with, but it's a good commentary
24:56 that has many insights, wrote this.
24:59 In ordinary times, a denarius would buy
25:03 twenty-four choenixes of barley,
25:06 but here a denarius will buy only three,
25:10 the scanty allowance for a day's subsistence
25:13 for a slave.
25:15 The arrival of things at such a pass,
25:18 accordingly argues a severity of hard times,
25:22 distress, and want,
25:24 almost beyond the power of imagination to depict.
25:28 So the Word of God is becoming scarce.
25:31 Darkness, blackness is coming into the church,
25:34 because the church is no longer sharing the light,
25:37 darkness is entering the church.
25:39 The Word of God is scarce, very expensive.
25:43 Notice Amos 8:11-12.
25:46 Once again,
25:47 bread is related to abundance or famine.
25:53 It says there, "'Behold, the days are coming,'
25:54 says the Lord God.'"
25:56 And Ellen White applies these verses, incidentally,
25:59 to after the close of probation
26:01 when people are going to seek the Word of God,
26:03 and they're not going to find it.
26:05 "'Behold the days are coming,' says the Lord God,
26:07 'That I will send a famine on the land,
26:10 not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
26:14 but of hearing," what?
26:16 "The words of the Lord.
26:19 They shall wander from sea to sea,
26:21 and from north to east, they shall run to and fro,
26:26 seeking the word of the Lord,
26:28 and shall not find it."
26:31 So where there is a scarcity of bread, famine ensues,
26:37 and when the famine intensifies,
26:40 the result is death.
26:42 You have a living example of that in Venezuela right now.
26:48 Now, what about the oil and the wine?
26:51 The wine or libation was a symbol
26:55 of the blood of Jesus
26:56 and the oil is a symbol of what?
26:59 Of the Holy Spirit.
27:01 Ellen White makes the following important statement.
27:05 In order to secure a man to himself,
27:08 and ensure his eternal salvation,
27:11 Christ left the royal courts of heaven
27:13 and came to this earth,
27:14 endured the agonies of sin and shame in man stead,
27:18 and died to make him free,
27:21 in view of the infinite price paid for man's redemption.
27:25 How dare any professing the name of Christ
27:29 treat with indifference, one of his little ones?
27:35 How carefully should brethren
27:36 and sisters in the church guard every word and action,
27:40 less they hurt the oil and the wine?
27:45 How patiently, kindly and affectionately
27:48 should they deal with a purchase
27:51 of the blood of Christ?
27:53 To hurt God's people is to despise what?
27:58 To despise the blood of Christ and to offend whom?
28:03 And to offend the Holy Spirit
28:04 who might be working upon that human heart.
28:08 Luke 10:34,
28:11 speaks about the parable of the Good Samaritan.
28:13 What were the healing agencies
28:16 in the story of the Good Samaritan?
28:19 Oil, and why?
28:21 Did the Good Samaritan treat this individual properly
28:26 the way he should using these remedies?
28:29 Did the priest do it?
28:31 No, the priest didn't do it.
28:32 Did the Levite do it?
28:34 No, no, they mistreated.
28:36 Who were they really mistreating?
28:38 They were mistreating Christ,
28:40 and there were mistreating the Holy Spirit.
28:42 So it says there, so he went to him
28:45 and bandaged his wounds pouring on oil and wine
28:48 which are the healing agencies,
28:50 and he set him on his own animal
28:52 brought him to an end and took care of him.
28:55 Now notice on the next page, all of the verses that say
28:57 that whoever touches one of Christ's children
29:00 actually is touching the Lord.
29:02 Zechariah 2:8,
29:05 "Whoever pokes the eye of one of God's people
29:07 is poking God's eye."
29:09 I'm now, I'm paraphrasing.
29:12 "For thus says the Lord of hosts,
29:14 He sent me after glory to the nations
29:17 which plunder you, for he who touches you,
29:22 touches the apple of his eye."
29:25 In other words, to touch one of the children of Jesus
29:29 is to touch whom?
29:31 Is to touch Jesus.
29:32 You know, Matthew 25:40,
29:35 and the king will answer to them.
29:38 This is the parable of the sheep and the goats.
29:42 "Assuredly I say to you,
29:44 inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least
29:48 of these my brethren, you did it to whom?
29:52 You did it unto me."
29:54 Mark 9:41,
29:56 "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name,
29:59 Jesus says, because you belong to Christ.
30:03 Assuredly, I say to you,
30:06 he will by no means lose his reward."
30:09 And, of course, you all know about Saul of Tarsus.
30:12 He was on his way to Damascus.
30:14 I've been to the place where supposedly this occurred.
30:17 It was in May of 2001, just a few months
30:22 before the twin towers came down.
30:24 So now you can't go over there because it's a war zone.
30:27 But we went to Damascus,
30:30 I preached, I didn't preach in Syria,
30:32 because it's forbidden for foreign pastors
30:35 to preach in Syria.
30:36 I preached in Lebanon, and also in Jordan.
30:38 I went with Sarkus Kanablian from the Fresno Central Church.
30:41 And it reminded me when I was there,
30:44 of this particular episode, where
30:46 Saul is on the way to persecute the Christians,
30:49 and suddenly a voice comes from heaven,
30:51 knocks him to the ground, says "Saul, Saul,
30:53 why do you persecute Me?"
30:55 And he's probably wondering, I'm not going up.
30:59 I'm going to Damascus.
31:02 "Who are you that I'm persecuting?"
31:05 And what was the answer?
31:07 "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
31:11 So to persecute a follower of Jesus is to persecute Christ.
31:16 It's to hurt the wine,
31:19 the blood that Jesus gave for the salvation of souls.
31:24 And also, it hurts the Holy Spirit
31:25 who is working upon human hearts
31:27 to woo them and bring them to Christ.
31:31 Now let's read
31:32 what Ellen White has to say about the third seal.
31:36 As noted before Ellen White
31:38 described this period in the chapter
31:40 The Great Controversy titled an era of spiritual darkness.
31:45 In several statements in the chapter,
31:47 she refers to the darkness that came into the church
31:50 after Constantine's conversion in quotation marks
31:55 to Christianity.
31:57 Let's read some of those statements.
31:59 The accession of the Roman church to power
32:03 marked the beginning of the Dark Ages.
32:07 As her power increased, what happened?
32:11 The darkness deepened.
32:14 Great Controversy, page 57,
32:15 the darkness seemed to grow denser.
32:20 Great Controversy, page 60,
32:23 but the noon of the papacy was what?
32:25 The midnight of the world.
32:28 The Holy Scriptures, why were they in darkness?
32:32 Notice, the Holy Scriptures which are light, by the way,
32:36 were almost unknown, not only to the people,
32:39 but to the priests.
32:42 In Great Controversy, page 79,
32:44 the world has passed its midnight.
32:46 This is talking about John Wycliffe,
32:49 who is the morning star of the Reformation.
32:53 The hours of darkness were wearing away
32:58 and in many lands appeared tokens of the coming dawn.
33:03 Now, it's significant that Ellen White dedicates
33:06 three pages on the issue of the change
33:09 of the Sabbath during this era of spiritual darkness
33:13 because Sunday worship entered the church during
33:16 the period of whom?
33:18 During the period of Constantine.
33:21 1 John 2:8-11
33:23 explains that those who are in darkness,
33:27 they hate their brother.
33:29 So the result of darkness is what?
33:32 Persecution.
33:34 Those who are in darkness hate their brother.
33:36 Let me ask you,
33:37 when the darkness enters the church,
33:39 did the nominal church begin persecuting
33:41 those that didn't agree with the church?
33:43 Absolutely.
33:45 So those that are in darkness hate their brother
33:48 and want to kill them.
33:50 The darkness of a third horse leads
33:52 those who are in darkness
33:54 to want to kill those who are in the light.
33:56 The darkness and famine of the third seal
33:59 leads to death and the grave in the fourth,
34:02 which we're going to talk about later.
34:04 Now Ellen White has several statements
34:06 where she describes
34:09 what happened during this period,
34:10 very perceptive what she writes.
34:14 The spirit of what?
34:16 Compromise and conformity
34:21 with a world that is was restrained
34:24 for a time by the fierce persecutions,
34:26 which horse would that be?
34:28 The red horse, right before,
34:31 was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions,
34:34 which the church endured under paganism.
34:36 But as persecution ceased,
34:39 what horse would that be?
34:42 That would be the black horse, right?
34:44 The persecution is the third horse,
34:47 but when it ceases, that is the black horse,
34:52 and Christianity entered the courts
34:54 and palaces of kings.
34:56 She laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ
34:58 and His apostles for the pomp
35:00 and pride of pagan priests and rulers.
35:03 Listen carefully now,
35:05 and in place of the requirements of God.
35:08 Where are the required requirements of God revealed?
35:12 In the Bible,
35:14 she substituted human theories and traditions.
35:19 And then she refers to Constantine.
35:21 The nominal conversion of Constantine
35:24 in the early part of the fourth century,
35:25 that's a period of the black horse
35:28 caused great rejoicing,
35:30 and the world cloaked with a form of righteousness
35:35 walked into the church.
35:38 Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed,
35:41 paganism, while appearing to be vanquished.
35:45 What would vanquish mean?
35:47 Defeated, overcome, right?
35:50 So in reference to the first horse,
35:56 the church went out conquering and they conquered, overcome.
35:58 But now darkness comes into the church and it says
36:01 paganism while appearing to be vanquished
36:04 became the conqueror.
36:07 Her spirit controls the church, her doctrine, ceremonies,
36:11 and superstitions were incorporated
36:14 into the faith and worship
36:16 of the professed followers of Christ.
36:21 So did Satan change his strategy
36:23 under the third seal?
36:24 Yeah, it says persecution.
36:27 By the way, did persecution, decimate the church?
36:31 Did the persecution against the church,
36:33 did it make the church smaller?
36:34 Are you kidding?
36:36 The church became larger and larger,
36:37 more and more people joined the church,
36:39 because they said, hey,
36:40 if people are willing to die for this,
36:43 then it must be worth living for.
36:47 These people really believe this.
36:49 If they were willing to die for it, well,
36:50 there's something in this, let's check it out.
36:56 Ellen White wrote in Great Controversy, page 42.
36:59 Satan therefore laid his plans to war more successfully
37:02 against the government of God
37:04 by planting his banner in the Christian church.
37:07 If the followers of Christ could be deceived
37:09 and led to displease God, then their strength, fortitude,
37:13 and firmness would fail,
37:15 and they would fall an easy prey.
37:18 Did they fall easy prey?
37:20 Yes, they most certainly did.
37:22 Listen to this statement,
37:24 the great adversary now endeavor to gain by artifice,
37:29 that's under the third seal the black horse,
37:31 what he had failed to secure by what?
37:34 Force, that's the second horse.
37:37 Persecution ceased.
37:39 In other words, the persecution under the red horse ceases,
37:42 and in its stead were substituted
37:44 the dangerous allurements of temporal prosperity
37:47 and worldly honor, which is which seal?
37:51 The seal of darkness.
37:52 Idolaters were led to receive a part of the Christian faith,
37:56 while they rejected other essential truths.
37:58 They professed to accept Jesus as the Son of God
38:01 and to believe in His death and resurrection.
38:04 But they had no conviction of sin and felt
38:06 no need of repentance or a change of heart.
38:09 With some concessions Now listen carefully
38:11 to the terminology,
38:13 with some concessions on their part they proposed
38:16 that Christians should make concessions
38:18 that all might unite.
38:21 Oh, this was an ecumenical age,
38:23 that all may unite on the platform
38:26 of belief in Christ.
38:28 Let's set aside the doctrines
38:29 and just come together on what we had in common.
38:33 Nothing new under the sun.
38:37 In the book, Christ Triumphant,
38:38 but this is not in your syllabus,
38:40 you might want to write it down,
38:41 Christ Triumphant page 319.
38:44 Ellen White describes the period of the persecution
38:47 of the church.
38:48 In vain were Satan's efforts to destroy the church by violence.
38:52 The Great Controversy in which the disciples of Jesus
38:55 yielded up their lives did not cease
38:57 when those faithful standard-bearers
38:59 fell at their post.
39:00 By defeat, they conquered.
39:03 God's workmen were slain,
39:05 but his work went steadily forward.
39:07 The gospel continued to spread
39:09 and the number of its adherents to increase.
39:12 Said a Christian expostulating with the heathen rulers
39:16 who were urging forward the persecution.
39:19 He said, you may torment, afflict, and vex us.
39:24 Your wickedness puts our weakness to the test,
39:27 but your cruelty is of no avail.
39:30 It is but a stronger invitation to bring others
39:33 to our persuasion.
39:35 The more we are mowed down,
39:37 the more we spring up again.
39:39 The blood of the Christians is seed.
39:43 Tertullian, one of the Church Fathers said that.
39:45 So Satan says, hey, the more I persecute,
39:47 the more they grow.
39:49 I got to go to plan B,
39:51 because the whole empire is becoming Christian.
39:53 Paganism is being defeated.
39:56 Here's another statement. This
39:57 is also on page 188, Great Controversy, page 43.
40:02 Others were in favor of yielding
40:05 or modifying some features of their faith
40:08 and uniting with those who had accepted
40:11 a part of Christianity.
40:13 Does that sound familiar?
40:16 Urging that this might be the means of their full conversion.
40:20 That was a time of deep anguish
40:23 to the faithful followers of Christ.
40:26 Under a cloak of pretended Christianity,
40:29 Satan was insinuating himself into the church,
40:33 to corrupt their faith,
40:34 and to turn their minds from what?
40:37 From the word of truth which leads to darkness.
40:43 Great Controversy, page 45.
40:46 But there is no union between the Prince of light
40:49 and the prince of darkness.
40:50 The Lord says no union between white and black.
40:55 And there can be no union between their followers.
40:58 When Christians consented to unite
41:03 with those who were but half converted from paganism,
41:07 they entered upon a path
41:09 which led further and further from what?
41:13 Further and further from the truth.
41:16 Now, I want to read you
41:17 some statements that are not in the syllabus.
41:19 I can actually copy this off if you want me to.
41:23 These are from authors that are not Seventh-day Adventists.
41:27 They're not Seventh-day Adventists.
41:28 I'm going to read three of them.
41:30 One is Dave Hunt, Global Peace, pages 106 and 107.
41:35 Let me tell you something about Dave Hunt.
41:37 Dave Hunt was an evangelical, he died a few years ago,
41:41 an evangelical writer
41:43 who believe that the harlot of Revelation 17 is the papacy,
41:47 but he believed that the little horn
41:49 is a future Antichrist,
41:50 he believed in the rapture of the church, et cetera.
41:53 But he believed that the seven churches
41:55 represent seven periods just like we do.
41:58 And he describes the third period
42:00 of the Christian church in the following way.
42:04 Global Peace, 106 and 107.
42:06 So you see that it's not only Ellen White
42:08 that has seen this in the times of Constantine,
42:10 there are other Christian writers
42:12 that also have seen that
42:13 happen in the course of Christian history.
42:16 He's speaking about Constantine,
42:18 and he wrote a brilliant military commander.
42:21 Constantine also understood
42:24 that there could be no political stability
42:27 without religious unity.
42:30 Yet to accomplish that feat would require a union
42:35 between paganism and Christianity.
42:38 How could it be accomplished, he asks?
42:42 The empire needed an ecumenical religion
42:45 that would appeal to every single citizen
42:48 in a multicultural society.
42:52 So what became the way
42:57 in which everybody could come into the church,
42:59 not what the Word of God says, culture.
43:04 Wow, that doesn't sound familiar today.
43:06 That culture dictates what the church should do.
43:09 You know, if LGBT is accepted in the world, you say,
43:12 you know, the church needs to accommodate to that.
43:15 You know, if the world says gay marriage.
43:17 Well, you know, if the world says that,
43:19 that women in the church should occupy
43:21 the same leadership positions as men,
43:25 we need to just go along with culture,
43:27 we need to follow.
43:30 He's writing here about this period of the Christian church.
43:33 The empire needed an ecumenical religion
43:36 that would appeal to every citizen
43:38 in a multicultural society.
43:42 Giving Christianity official status was not enough
43:45 to bring internal peace to the empire.
43:48 Christianity had to undergo a transformation
43:52 so that pagans could convert
43:54 without giving up their old beliefs and rituals.
43:58 Constantine himself exemplified this expediency.
44:03 Isn't that a telling statement?
44:07 This next statement is from Henry Cardinal Newman,
44:11 a Roman Catholic Cardinal.
44:13 Catholic Church doesn't hide the idea
44:15 that many of the things that are in the Catholic Church
44:18 actually come from paganism.
44:20 They don't try to hide it.
44:21 They say, you know, wherever we go,
44:24 we just baptize the heathen customs
44:28 and let people continue practicing
44:30 their heathen customs
44:31 as long as they become members of the Roman Catholic Church.
44:35 They don't try to hide that.
44:37 Notice what Henry Cardinal Newman had to say.
44:41 We are told in various ways by Eusebius.
44:45 You know who Eusebius was?
44:47 He was a historian of the Christian church
44:49 that lived in the times of Constantine.
44:51 He was actually Constantine's historian.
44:54 We are told in various ways by Eusebius,
44:57 that Constantine, in order to recommend
45:00 the new religion to the heathen,
45:03 transferred into it the outward ornaments
45:07 to which they had been accustomed in their own.
45:12 In other words, he says, well, you know,
45:13 if they worship the sun,
45:15 let's just say that they're worshiping
45:17 the SON instead of SUN.
45:21 And you know, instead of saying
45:23 that they're supposed to keep Sunday because they're honoring
45:26 the sun god, let's just say
45:28 that they're honoring Jesus' resurrection.
45:35 He continues writing, it is not necessary to go
45:37 into a subject,
45:39 which the diligence of Protestant writers
45:42 has made familiar to most of us.
45:45 The use of temples and these dedicated to particular saints.
45:50 Let me see if I have the rest of this statement.
45:55 Okay, here it is.
45:57 The use of temples and these dedicated
45:59 to particular saints,
46:01 and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees,
46:06 incense, lamps and candles,
46:09 votive offerings on recovery from illness, holy water,
46:13 asylums, holy days and seasons,
46:17 use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields,
46:21 sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure,
46:25 the ring in marriage, turning to east,
46:28 images at the later date,
46:30 perhaps the ecclesiastical chant are all of pagan origin,
46:35 and sanctified by their adoption
46:38 into the church.
46:41 That happened during the period of Constantine.
46:44 And what was the result? Darkness.
46:48 What was the result? A scarcity of what?
46:50 A scarcity of bread,
46:52 which will lead to famine and to death
46:55 under the fourth horse.
46:57 I want to read now from Philip Schaff.
47:01 Great church historian.
47:02 You can still get his Encyclopedia
47:06 of the History of the Christian Church.
47:09 This is in volume three, page 93.
47:13 But the elevation of Christianity,
47:15 this is interesting that he would say
47:16 the elevation of Christianity.
47:19 Do you know what the word Pergamum means?
47:22 The word Pergamum means elevation.
47:27 See from the valley of persecution
47:29 under the second church Smyrna,
47:32 the church is now
47:33 at the heights of prosperity.
47:38 So he states, but the elevation of Christianity,
47:41 as the religion of the state
47:44 presents also an opposite aspect to our contemplation.
47:48 It involved great risk of degeneracy to the church.
47:54 The Roman state, with its laws, institutions,
47:58 and usages was still deeply rooted in heathenism,
48:04 and could not be transformed by a magical stroke.
48:08 The Christianizing of the state
48:11 amounted therefore in great measure
48:13 to the paganizing and secularizing of the church.
48:18 Once again, the Christianizing of the state led
48:23 to the paganizing and secularizing of the church.
48:27 The world overcame the church
48:29 as much as the church overcame the world.
48:32 And the temporal gain of Christianity
48:34 was in many respects, canceled by spiritual loss.
48:40 The mass of the Roman Empire was baptized only with water,
48:44 not with the spirit of the gospel,
48:47 and it smuggled heathen manners
48:49 and practices into the sanctuary
48:51 under a new name.
48:54 The very combination of the cross
48:56 with the military enzyme by Constantine
49:00 was the most doubtful omen portending an unhappy mixture
49:06 of the temporal and the spiritual powers.
49:11 Interesting, isn't it?
49:13 So are you catching a glimpse here
49:15 of what's involved with the black horse?
49:18 See, we're following the course of history.
49:20 This is historicism.
49:23 Historicism is simple, not complicated,
49:26 it's the best way to interpret.
49:28 You know, the evangelical churches,
49:30 they say, well, you know, you have the rapture,
49:32 and then you have all of these disasters
49:34 in the seals.
49:36 You're gonna have the Antichrist riding
49:38 on the white horse, and, you know,
49:39 you're going to have all kinds of bloodshed with the sword,
49:43 and you know, you're going to have famine,
49:44 and they usually consider it literal famine,
49:47 and then you're going to have death in the grave.
49:49 And then you're going to have the martyrs crying out
49:51 because they've been killed,
49:52 all after the rapture of the church.
49:56 And preterists, they say all of this was fulfilled way back
49:59 then during the period of the Caesars.
50:03 So none of this, they say applies to us today,
50:05 because preterists say it all happened in the past,
50:08 futurists say, it all is going to happen in the future.
50:11 So it has no significance and no meaning for us.
50:15 But when you use historicism as the method,
50:19 it's beautiful,
50:21 because we can see the trajectory,
50:24 we can see that God has given the entire history,
50:27 from the times of apostolic times,
50:30 through the period persecutions of the Roman Empire,
50:34 to darkness entering the church,
50:38 and a scarcity of bread,
50:40 leading to death and the grave through persecution
50:43 by the papacy and also by a lack of the Word of God,
50:47 which leads them to the martyrs to cry out
50:49 until when O Lord,
50:51 do You not judge and avenge our blood
50:54 on those who are shedding our blood in the earth.
50:56 And then the martyrs, which is the group of martyrs
50:59 that died during the Roman Empire,
51:01 and during the period of the papacy,
51:03 they're told,
51:05 no sweat, rest a little while,
51:09 you got your white robe, don't worry about it.
51:12 You're okay, you're saved,
51:14 you died for the sake of the gospel,
51:16 just rest a little while,
51:18 until in the future the papacy
51:19 resurrects from its deadly wound and persecutes again,
51:23 and then you have all the rest of the martyrs.
51:26 And then both groups will be rewarded.
51:29 Are you with me or not?
51:31 And then you have the signs,
51:35 you have the great earthquake.
51:37 And you have the sun darkened of the moon
51:40 that looks like blood and the falling of the stars,
51:43 which are announcing that the judgment
51:45 is about to begin,
51:47 then it's going to set things straight.
51:50 The cases of the martyrs are going to be looked
51:52 at in the heavenly books.
51:54 That's Daniel 7.
51:56 And the cases that were decided wrongly on earth
51:59 are now going to be rectified in the heavenly sanctuary.
52:04 Are you with me?
52:05 And then you have after that,
52:08 during the period of the sixth seal,
52:09 you have those signs.
52:11 And then between the signs
52:13 and the last part of the sixth seal,
52:16 you have the interlude,
52:17 the sealing of 144,000 right before the last part
52:21 of the sixth seal.
52:25 You have a sealing of the faithful
52:28 to enter the time of trouble,
52:30 to be protected in the time of trouble.
52:32 And then they go through the time of trouble.
52:36 And you come all the way to page 641
52:39 of Great Controversy.
52:41 And Jesus is descending from heaven.
52:44 He's already begun a second coming
52:46 when He's part of the way down.
52:49 Oh, all of God's people who are on the earth,
52:52 they still feel unworthy,
52:54 they say, who shall be able to stand?
52:59 And there's an awful period of silence in heaven.
53:04 Are you with me?
53:07 And after that long period of silence,
53:11 the voices heard saying,
53:14 my grace is sufficient for you.
53:18 And Ellen White says that their faces light up
53:23 and the burden is removed.
53:25 And then Jesus descends from heaven.
53:28 He comes the rest of the way is above the earth.
53:31 And He says, "Arise, arise you who sleep in the dust
53:34 of the earth."
53:36 And the dead in Christ rise first
53:38 in glorified form,
53:39 the 144,000 have been glorified before that,
53:42 those of the special resurrection are there.
53:45 Then all of God's faithful followers are caught up
53:49 in the cloud to meet the Lord in the air.
53:52 And then they're taken to heaven for 1000 years.
53:56 We're just following the order
53:57 of the Book of Revelation, folks.
54:00 Taken to heaven for 1000 years
54:03 and there will be a millennial judgment to reveal
54:07 to God's people and for God's people
54:12 to pronounce sentence on the wicked
54:15 that stayed behind based on what is found
54:18 written in the books.
54:20 And then, after the millennial judgment,
54:23 Jesus returns with all the saints,
54:27 holy city descends after Jesus' feet
54:31 fall upon the Mount of Olives.
54:33 Everything opens into a great plain
54:35 for the New Jerusalem to rest there.
54:37 According to Zechariah 14:4-5, the holy city descends,
54:41 Jesus and the saints enter the holy city,
54:44 the gates are closed, the wicked resurrect.
54:49 Satan goes among them
54:50 saying they're less in there than we are.
54:53 We can conquer them, we can overcome them.
54:56 And everybody gets ready for battle.
54:59 Isn't this an exciting story?
55:00 That's better than Hollywood.
55:03 You know why it's better? Because it's the truth,
55:05 it's not imaginary, it's going to happen.
55:08 Many times I've wondered whether it would be nice
55:11 for some studio to do a movie on this.
55:15 A movie based on what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say,
55:18 not just imaginary stuff
55:20 because they add a lot of stuff that that isn't in the story.
55:23 And so then
55:27 all of the wicked resurrect.
55:30 They prepare for battle
55:32 when they're about ready to attack.
55:34 The panoramic view shows all of them while they were lost.
55:38 And after they see the cases of their lives,
55:41 they say God is right or wrong.
55:46 Just and true are your ways, O God, and they kneel.
55:51 Satan kneels, his angels kneel before the majesty of God.
55:56 For the first time, since sin came into the world,
56:00 the whole universe is agreed that God is right
56:05 sin and Satan are wrong.
56:07 And only at that moment can sin,
56:10 and Satan and sinners be destroyed,
56:13 without any questions remaining.
56:15 And fire descends from heaven and fire destroys the wicked,
56:20 destroys Satan and his angels.
56:22 And after they burn out,
56:25 God is going to make a New Heavens
56:27 and a New Earth like existed at the beginning
56:31 where righteousness dwells,
56:34 and thus the great controversy is ended.
56:40 And the whole universe will see that God is love.
56:42 Do you know how the Great Conflict series begins?
56:46 God is love. Do you know how it ends?
56:49 God is love.
56:51 So the whole universe will see that God was right,
56:53 God is justice, but God is also love.
56:56 Isn't that an exciting story?
56:58 We need to make sure that we're inside the city,
57:00 not outside.
57:01 Don't let anything in this world
57:03 keep you from being inside.
57:05 You know, we think that we're going
57:07 to live forever in this world
57:08 and we have all these nice things.
57:10 Folks, that's only to get us from point A to point B.
57:13 That's only to survive until we get there.
57:16 The food that we eat, and the house that we live in,
57:18 the car that we drive,
57:20 that's only a temporary thing that kind of bail us over
57:23 until we get there.
57:25 But our focus needs to be on heaven.
57:28 You know, as the song says, Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
57:32 look full in His wonderful face.
57:34 And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
57:38 in the light of His glory and grace.
57:41 Some people say as I was mentioning before,
57:44 that you're so earthly-minded, you're no heavenly good.
57:49 And when I say
57:50 is that we're so earthly-minded sometimes,
57:54 so we're so heavenly-minded sometimes
57:56 that we're no earthly good either.
57:58 So we have to have a balance.
58:00 We have to be focused on this life,
58:02 doing the work of God,
58:04 but our focus on eternal life in heaven with Jesus.


Revised 2022-01-06