One good indicator that a theory is true is that as more facts are found, the facts further reinforce and substantiate the theory. Following publication of Daniel Revisited in early 2014, more items backing the theory are coming to light, strengthening the Signpost theory.
Admittedly one of the more difficult points of Signpost theory for some people is the connection between the four horsemen of Revelation 6 and the four beasts of Daniel 7. One reason I see for this is people have been taught that the four horsemen are associated with the first part of the Tribulation and so the first horseman is most likely the Antichrist. It takes a big change in thinking to say that these four horsemen are associated with the time before the Tribulation.
In my book, Daniel Revisited, I show that each of the horsemen – first through fourth – heralds each one of the Signposts, first through fourth. However, the three reasons I give may not satisfy some:
(1) the horse colors match the colors of Islam and the Arab League;
(2) the horsemen are given authority over one quarter of the earth which is also the size of the realm of Islam, and
(3) each horseman is associated with a condition that matches quite closely with the events fulfilling the beast prophecies of Daniel 7.
Praise God for we now have a fourth and even more remarkable link between the Revelation horsemen and the Daniel beasts. I wish I had put it in the book, but it was not discovered until after publication. So it will have to suffice for now that it is presented here. One of my readers (Nelson, actually) had asked what I thought about the horses in Zechariah 6, and how they compared to the horses in Revelation 6. It got me thinking. Nelson and I realized they were probably the same thing.
We all know (at least I hope) that scripture interprets scripture. And it is shown here that Zechariah interprets Revelation regarding the horsemen, and with that new knowledge it sheds light on Daniel 7:2. What follows is the explanation.
THE SPIRITS OF GOD GO THROUGHOUT THE EARTH
Revelation 5:6 says of the Lamb of God,
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (NIV, emphasis mine)
Not much is said about these seven spirits of God in Revelation, other than the fact thta they exist. However, in this verse we are told that they are part of the Lamb, and that they go out into all the earth. Keep this in mind.
Then in Revelation 6:1-8 we are told of four horsemen that come out from the four creatures standing next to the throne of the Lamb (Rev. 4:6). There are four horsemen who ride out in Revelation 6:2, 4, 5, 8 on four horses colored in order, white, red, black, and green. (Note: The “green” is not pale or pale green, it is vivid green, the same green that is the holiest color in Islam – the Greek word used is chloros. Jesus told the people to sit down on the chloros grass just before he divided the fishes and loaves.) Revelation, though, does not tell us who these horsemen are. By this I mean not what they represent, but who they in nature really are.
THE HORSES ARE THE SPIRITS OF GOD
Zechariah was given a series of visions which are written down in Zechariah 4, 5, and 6. There is a golden lampstand, two olive trees who are witnesses, a scroll written on both sides, a woman going to Babylon, and four groups of horses. It all sounds very much like the symbols in Revelation, and I believe Zechariah was seeing the same things in visions that John the beloved saw. Remarkably, in Zechariah 6:2-4 we are shown four groups of horses – white, red, black, and dappled. Three of the four colors obviously match the horses in Revelation 6. Of course, “dappled” isn’t “green”, but who is to say that that a green horse can’t also be dappled? Let’s assume for the moment that the dappled horse is green.
In Zechariah 6:4-5 we are given a peek into who the horses are:
“I asked the angel who was speaking to me, ‘What are these, my lord?’ The angel answered me, ‘These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.’” The Hebrew word behind “spirit” is ruach (Strong’s #7307, roo’-akh). In the Old Testament, ruach is the word behind “spirit” and “wind.” Whichever English word is used depends on the context of the passage. Zechariah 6:5 could just as easily read “the four winds of heaven” but the translators thought “four spirits of heaven” was more appropriate.
It would also not be a stretch to call the “four spirits of heaven” the “four spirits of God” just as Matthew and Luke do, where the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God mean the same thing.
In Zechariah 6:5 we are also told that these horses, the spirits of heaven, go throughout the earth, just as the spirits of God in Revelation 5:6 go throughout the earth. (Note: I do find it interesting too that the references of Revelation and Zechariah are mirror images of each other.)
THE HORSES ARE TIED TO THE SIGNPOSTS
Even more remarkably for additional confirmation that the horses of Zachariah are indeed the same spirits of God, the same horses of Revelation, we are shown in Zechariah 6:6 in which directions the horses run,
“The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”
Remember the Four Signposts and the Four Horsemen of Revelation connected to each Signpost. At the time of this prophecy, early in the rule of Darius, Zechariah would have still been in the region of Susa, just as Daniel was at the time of Darius. Starting in Zechariah 9, the prophet would have been in Jerusalem. So from the perspective of someone in Susa what is the significance of the directions that those horses run, the directions in which they go throughout the earth? The white horses of the First Signpost run west in the direction of Iraq. The red horses are not mentioned, as they are already in Iran. The black horses of the Third Signpost run in the direction of the lead country of that Signpost, Turkey. And finally, the dappled horses which could also be the green horses, run south in the direction of Arabia which is the representative country of the realm of the Fourth Signpost, Islam.
THE FOUR SPIRITS OF GOD CHURN UP THE BEASTS
As remarkable as all this is, we still need to look at the final step of the argument to complete the connection. Daniel tells us at the start of his vision in Daniel 7:2-3,
“Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.”
Astonishing! Revelation tells us of four horses, and of the spirits of God that go throughout the earth. Then Zechariah tells us of four groups of horses with the same colors going in the same direction as the Four Signposts. Zechariah is told these are the spirits of heaven which can also be called the winds of heaven. And finally Daniel sees these four winds of heaven churning up the sea to produce the four beasts of Daniel 7 which are the Signposts!
The passages of the Bible from Revelation 5-6, Zechariah 6 and Daniel 7 strengthen the argument that the horsemen and the beasts are closely associated with each other. But seeing this phrase “winds of heaven” got me further thinking – do they appear anywhere else in the Bible? We see “wind” in many places in the Bible and so we need to separate out the physical winds versus the spiritual winds of God. However, our god could have also created the Middle East – its location, sea and land configuration, and its environment – so that the physical winds also act like these four winds of heaven.
THE FOUR WINDS ELSEWHERE IN THE BIBLE
Remember the Four Signposts and what they are related to. As Nelson points out, each of the Signposts is related to what Christ said in the Olivet Discourse. The Four Signposts are spoken of by each of the four things Christ tells us to do and to see – The First is “do not be led astray”, the Second is “you will hear of wars”, the Third is there will be “famine” and the Fourth is that there will be “seismos” which are earth-shaking events. Daniel 8:24 speaking to the Fourth Signpost talks about “astounding devastation. (NIV)” So in summary the four winds would be associated with deception, war, famine, and destruction.
Indeed, we find passages in the Old Testament speaking of the winds and what they do.
First = West = Deception: Exodus 10:19 speaks of the west wind in the only place in the Old Testament, which plays a central role in Pharoah realizing he had sinned (Exo. 10:16) and asking Moses to remove the locusts. The west wind removed them in Exodus 10:19, but in Exodus 10:20 Pharoah’s heart had hardened again. Pharoah was being deceived.
Second = East = War: In the same passage as the west wind, Exodus 10:13 says the east wind brought locusts to Egypt. Locusts may be associated with famine but more likely with war as the prophet Joel speaks about the locusts being an army. Psalm 48:7 speaks of the east wind shattering ships of Tarsus. Isaiah 27:8 says, “By warfare and exile you contend with her— with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows.” Jeremiah 18:17 says, “Like a wind from the east, I will scatter them before their enemies.” The east wind is associated with war.
Third = North = Famine: Proverbs 25:23 makes a comparison to the north wind – “Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.” Typically when the Bible talks about famine it is because there is no rain.
Fourth = South = Destruction: Psalm 78:26 says, “He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow.” Though God’s power makes any wind blow, “power” is used here with the south. Job 1:19 says, “when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” The Bible says Job lived to the east of the land of Israel. A desert wind would have swept in from the south – destroying the house.
We now have a direct Scriptural link between the horses of Revelation and the horses of Zechariah. We see that the spirits of God in Revelation and the spirits of heaven in Zechariah both go throughout the earth. We see that the horses of Zechariah go in the respective directions of the Signpost countries, in which the horses of Revelation are involved. Finally we see directly that Daniel saw these same winds of heaven, the spirits of God, stirring up the beasts of Daniel 7.