This discussion will require us to
start by answering the question,
"Who was the prophet Enoch?"
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not, for God took him." ~ Genesis 5:24 KJV
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" ~ 2 Kings 2:11 KJV
In addition to being indirectly quoted by Jesus Himself, Enoch is also spoken of in the Bible in several places; Hebrews 11:5, Jude 1:14-15.
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God has translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." ~ Hebrews 11:5 KJV
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with his ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." ~ Jude 1:14-15 KJV
Let's compare these New Testament scriptures with what the Book of Enoch says:
"Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him." ~ BOE, Chapter 2:1
So, we see in the New Testament of God's Word, Enoch is identified as a prophet of God that never died and warned of the impending judgment of the ungodly.
Our Bible is and should be considered inspired text in that it is rightly believed, as scripture says in 2 Peter 1:21, that all scripture is written by men who were inspired by God.
It is not commonly known that there are other writings that, although not accepted by the Roman Catholic Church as scripture, were rejected inclusion in the Bible. One of these extra-biblical text is the Book of Enoch. It is clear that God's Word speaks of Enoch prophesying. Why was this book rejected?
Despite the fact that the Roman Catholic Church chose to reject this book, the wisdom that it contains has been preserved for us today. Although we should not hold it as greater truth than our Bible, the Book of Enoch gives great insight into many of the mysteries of God, including the understanding of the "Four Winds".
I'll paraphrase the basic storyline of the book to give you an idea of what it contains. Enoch was literally taken into heaven and shown all the mysteries of the universe. When he returned, he commissioned his son Methuselah to write this book in order to reveal these mysteries to mankind. It was exactly one year later that he was taken up to heaven. His trip started with being shown the mysteries of the earth, the sun and its orbit, the moon and its orbit and phases, and the winds and how they move on the earth. Enoch was then taken into the "next level" of heaven and shown all the planets and their orbits. He was shown the expanse of heaven and actually saw what is known today as "Jacob's Ladder".
It is in these descriptions [Starting in chapter 72, The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries] that we are introduced to the idea that there are angels responsible for these heavenly bodies. They ensure that they continue in their assigned orbits, etc.
"And in those days the angel Uriel answered and said to me: 'Behold, I have shown thee everything, Enoch, and I have revealed everything to thee that thou shouldst see this sun and this moon, and the leaders of the stars of the heaven and all those who turn them, their tasks and times and departures." ~ BOE, Chapter 80:1
The Book of Enoch goes on to describe the four angels that are responsible for the twelve individual winds that blow on the earth; four bringing prosperity, and eight bringing plaque and destruction.
"And at the ends of the earth I saw twelve portals open to all the quarters (of the heaven), from which the winds go forth and blow over the earth. Three of them are open on the face (i.e. the east) of the heavens, and three in the west, and three on the right (i.e. the south) of the heaven, and three on the left (i.e. the north). And the three first are those of the east, and three are of the north, and three [after those on the left] of the south, and three of the west. Through four of these come winds of blessing and prosperity, and from those eight come hurtful winds: when they are sent, they bring destruction on all the earth and on the water upon it, and on all who dwell thereon, and on everything which is in the water and on the land."
~ BOE, Chapter 76:1-4
Now, does that sound like the Book of Revelation? This is why, when we read of the four angels in Revelation 7, we should not be confused but have the same understanding.
"And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." ~ Revelation 7:1 KJV
Now that you have some understanding, what are these four angels holding back from the earth? Answer: blessings as well as destruction/plague! These are the angels that are holding back the four winds while God's servants (from the 12 tribes of Israel) are sealed. These are the same angels that release the four winds in Revelation 9.
"And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Loose the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, who were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men." ~ Revelation 9:13-15 KJV
As you can see, the four angels are "prepared". They are put into place, prepared to deliver God's will; first to restrain evil and then to deliver it in the form of judgment. These four angels were sent out of heaven after Christ was crucified. They act on behalf of God Almighty and are another spiritual representation of God's Holy Spirit. Simultaneously, God's Holy Spirit is at work in every individual believer, acting as the "light of the world".
Every believer should understand that the spirit of Anti-Christ, referred to in scripture as the "Spirit of Iniquity", has also been at work in the world since Christ's crucifixion.
Folks, I am trying to help you understand that the Spirit of Iniquity AND the Holy Spirit, in the form of earthly believers and the Four Angels of the Four Winds, have all been at work on the earth since Christ's crucifixion. The following verse helps us understand that the first horse rider (deception) has been riding through the earth, working against all the good that God desires for His children. This horse rider has only been restrained by the Holy Spirit.
"And now ye know what witholdeth (Holy Spirit/Four Winds) that he (The Anti-Christ) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (Spirit of Anti-Christ): only he who now letteth (Holy Spirit/Four Winds) will let, until he be taken out of the way (Revelation 9:13-15). And then shall that Wicked to be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 KJV
Zechariah saw them also
The prophet Zechariah had nine visions that give us great insight into numerous seemingly mysterious sights that the Apostle John saw in his account. In the verses below we can gain additional understanding about the four horsemen of Revelation, starting with the red horse.
"I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest." ~ Zechariah 1:8-11 KJV
In the verses above we see that the red horse, representing war, is also speckled with white, representing deception. The fact is that deception always accompanies war, most often being its cause. These horses have returned from "walking to and fro" upon the earth, creating chaos as a judgment from God. Despite this fact, it seems as though mankind is not heeding the warning by the fact that they are described as being "at ease". If we continue reading we see the evidence of this in verse 15.
"And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction." ~ Zechariah 1:15 KJV
Later in Chapter 6, Zechariah sees a representation of all four horses.
"And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grizzled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? And 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. The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them (west); and the grizzled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country." ~ Zechariah 6:1-8 KJV
Here, Zechariah is told that these are four spirits that roam the earth, delivering judgment from God. He is given some vital information about the direction, from Jerusalem, that these four spirits travel. We see the black horse traveling north, the white horse going out after him to the west, and the grizzled horse traveling to the south. It these verses we are not given a specific direction for the red horse but the only remaining direction is east. It is easy to look at history and see these horses at work.
White Horse (Deception) ~ Traveling west, the effects of this horse can be seen in the false representations of Christianity that have taken root. They deceive and lead many people astray.
Pale or Grizzly Horse (Plague & Death) ~ Traveling south, the effects of this horse are easily seen in the continent of Africa. This continent has been plaugued with famine, death, and disease.
Red Horse (War & Conflict) ~ Although scripture does not dictate a specific direction, the pattern is easily identifiable. The effects of this horse can easily be seen in the east through the fruit of Islam.
Although the direction of the east shows the direct result of the red horse, it appears that the red horse has roamed throughout the entire earth, evidenced by Zechariah 1:8-11.
When we read through the first four seals of Revelation (Chapters 5&6), we can very easily see that Christ spoke of these same events as ones that would take place over time, but in limited measure. He outlined them in the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24.
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many." ~ Matthew 24:4-5 KJV
Second Seal ~
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." ~ Matthew 24:6 KJV
Third Seal ~
"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." ~ Matthew 24:7-8 KJV
Fourth & Fifth Seal ~
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity will abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that endures unto the end shall me saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
~ Matthew 24:9-14 KJV
These events that will and have taken place over time are a partial fulfillment of these four seals. The first four seals will have an ultimate fulfillment in the actions of the Anti-Christ at the sixth trumpet, Revelation 9:13-15 (See above).
Let's continue in Matthew 24,
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand). Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains." ~ Matthew 24:15-16 KJV
In case you missed it, Christ DID say that believers WILL see the Anti-Christ revealed through the abomination that brings desolation!
For the reasons that we have discussed here, when you see Revelation timelines that attempt to list the first four seals as specific, identified events, you know they are incorrect. These Four Horsemen rode out upon the crucifixion of Christ and have been working in the world, allowing measures of evil but restraining the fullness of their fulfillment.
At this point the reader should understand that the first clearly identifiable earth event that pertains to the Book of Revelation will be the sixth seal in the form of a great earthquake, accompanied by the sun turning black as sackcloth of hair, the moon becoming as blood, and stars falling from heaven.
If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me...God bless.