No Donkeys of the Apocalypse


“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” Luke 12:51

Another weird idea James Jordan presents in his Revelation lectures is the premise that the famous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse represent the gospel. As Uri Brito wrote a couple of years ago, first you think Jordan is nuts; then, as you continue to study, you think he is less nuts. Finally you give in and accept his genius, because his premise is vindicated by the similar use of the symbols in the Old Testament, and the literary structure of the event.

Horses mean war. Donkeys (generally) mean peace. Balaam, the false prophet, rode a donkey to disguise the true nature of his mission. The donkey was the true prophet. [1]

But these four war horses also come out of the New Covenant scroll, a scroll that no man was worthy to open until Christ ascended, which is the context of the passage. (At Firstfruits, unlike Passover, the sacrificial animal was limited to lambs.) It is exactly what happens in Zechariah after a new, holy High Priest (Joshua) is installed and given a new (restored) Covenant.

The seven seals follow the Bible Matrix structure. The gospel message, as an ultimatum, brings an end to the Old Order. Jesus seems to predict exactly this in John 16:

Creation: “And when He (the Spirit) has come,
(the White Horse – Sabbath)

…..Division: He will convict the world of sin,
…..(the Red Horse – Passover)

The Covenant Word comes by spirit-horse [2] and immediately divides the crowd, just as Paul did when he dropped the “R” word (resurrection) before the Sanhedrin. Jordan observes that Jesus predicted exactly such divisions. Judah sacrificed Jesus, and now, after His ascension, after Pentecost, Judah herself was being cut in two by the apostles.

The Red Horse is not simply a generic “war concept.” The sword always divides. And the sides of the division then take up swords!

……….Ascension: and of righteousness,
……….(the Black Horse – Firstfruits)

At Ascension, we often find symbols of bread and wine. Here there is a famine which pushes unfaithful men to their limits. The priestly bread grew scarce, but the oil and wine of the Spirit were available free of charge. Jesus starved the Old way and fed the New. The Old Covenant was decaying, old manna, old flesh. The New Covenant was food and drink that is unseen by the world (John 4:32), hidden manna (Revelation 2:17). The true saints always persevere in the wilderness, which is where this process takes us next…

……………Testing: and of judgment:
……………(the Green Horse – Pentecost) [3]

The Greek is chloros. The colours of the horses are drawn from the tribal gemstones on the High Priest’s breastplate. The emerald is Levi.

Levites carried swords, and this terrifying harvest process ends with the Law of Pentecost, with the “cutting off” of the old Judah in the wilderness. After the sin with the golden calf (the image of the beast), Moses called “Who is on the Lord’s side?” and Levites came and despatched the idolaters. The same “Levitical” process of judgment occurs in Ezekiel 9, with the High Priest being the Man in linen.

……….Maturity: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
……….(the OT Martyrs – Trumpets)

The martyrs under the Incense Altar are told to wait until a New Covenant contingent (murdered Apostles and Prophets) are slaughtered and will join them. The testimony of two witnesses was required to condemn the harlot.)

…..Conquest: of righteousness, because I go to My Father
…..and you see Me no more;
 (the Land-quake – Atonement)

Perhaps a reference to Christ’s approach to the Father as High Priest. When the Temple veil was torn at the crucifixion, rocks were also split. The sixth seal shakes the Promised Land. Zechariah saw it broken into two mountains, Ebal and Gerizim, so the martyred saints could pass-through. The writer of Hebrews warned that heaven would also be shaken. The usurper of Adam’s throne would finally be cast down. Blood and sackcloth reference the sacrificial goats.

Glorification: of judgment, because the ruler
of this world is judged.
(fire from the Altar – Tabernacles/Shekinah)

This is interesting. The object of the judgment is Satan, but the literary structure points more to the One doing the judging: Christ as Solomon enthroned on ivory. The Spirit given at Pentecost is seen as fire taken from the Altar in heaven and thrown down upon the Land. This is exactly the context of Jesus’ words in John 16. And, in support of this, as we continue reading John 16, this judgment seems to become the Pentecostal Testing at the centre of the chapter. The first fulfilment of this was the death of Herod on his throne, riddled with maggots like old manna.

(Not only do these verses in John have 1-2-3-4-2-3-4 pattern (the more obvious structure), they also follow the matrix’s 1-2-3-4-3-2-1.)

These Spirit horsemen were the first century Apostolic witness. That’s interpretation. In application, we see the white horse again, followed by many white horses (the saints), as they pass-through the corpse of Herodian Judah. That began the church age (ie head-gospel “seals” became head-and-body-gospel). The gospel still has the same effect wherever it goes. Yes, it is the gospel of peace. But it is the kind of peace ushered in by Solomon through purging out the old leaven, ie. exterminating the enemies of his father, binding the evil one first, and then judging those who refuse to be freed. That is the far side of the two-edged blade that we peace-donkeys rarely present. [4]


[1] See Talking Animals for more on this. Donkeys also represented faithful Gentiles, like Ishmael. Typologically, when the Herodian worship became the curse of the Balaamite “false prophet,” causing a new “adulterous generation” of Israel, and unable to hear the Word of the Angel of the Lord (Christ), the Spirit of Pentecost started speaking to the Jewish leaders through faithful Gentiles!
[2] See Spirit Horses.
[3] See Saved From the Green Horse.
[4] See the same process presented as a harvest in Right as Rain.

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