"In Medina he got more followers and soon acquired an influence that made him a virtual dictator. During the next few years, while Mohammad's following grew rapidly, a series of battles were fought between Medina and Mecca. This war ended in 630 with Mohammad's triumphant return to Mecca as conqueror."

"Unified by Mohammad, the inspired Arabs, though small then, embarked upon one of the most astonishing series of conquests in human history. They soon conquered all of Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine. By 642, Egypt had been taken from the Byzantine Empire and the Persian armies defeated in 637, and Nahavend in 642."

"For a while, it must have seemed that the Moslems would overwhelm all of Christian Europe. However, in 732 at the Battle of Tours, a Moslem army, which had advanced into the center of France, was at last defeated by the Franks. Nevertheless, in a scant century of fighting, these Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the word of Mohammad had CARVED OUT (interesting choice of words for this swordsman in light of the Seal 2 description above) an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean---the largest empire that the world had yet seen."

From the above, it can readily be seen that Mohammad was indeed given a "great sword", one with which he took "peace from the earth". (Go back and read verse 4.) He also, like Constantine, achieved success in two different ways: as a military conqueror and as a religious leader. (There are an estimated 1,000,000,000 followers of Mohammad today and, ironically, about the same number of Catholics.)

Reader, taken together, this is almost 2/5ths of the population on the planet! I ask you, is it reasonable that God would be Biblically-silent about these tremendous, religious (although perverted) fronts, both claiming to be linked to Abraham? To me, it is foolhardy to take such a position.

But, even if he was prophesied to come (as the rider of the red horse), this does not make him a true prophet of God. Mohammad wrote that Jesus, while a prophet, was just a man, not incarnate Deity (still believed by Muslims today). Mohammad believed he was a messenger from God (Allah), and according to him, the last.

Ironically, just recently I saw in a Christian magazine that Islam is the fastest growing religion in America today. The author had photographed a bumper sticker which said, "Prophets of Islam: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad". But all this contradicts Holy Scripture. In 1 John 4:3 we find:

"...and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and even now it is already in the world."

And perhaps even clearer yet, 1 John 2: 22 & 23 says:

"Who is a LIAR but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son (as did Mohammad) does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son also has the Father." (Allah is not God!)



These Scriptures plainly show that it is impossible to know God unless manifested through the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, his denial that Jesus was the Christ unquestionably proves Mohammad could not have been a true prophet from God.

However, Mohammad's sincerity and power of leadership seems undoubtably super-natural. Therefore, we need to ask where his power came from. I'm convinced he was under the direct influence of Satan himself, who the Bible says comes as an "angel of light" (i.e., a communicator of information).

Now, all of us are capable of being tempted by Satan. But at various times and sundry ways, Satan has come to certain individuals who would first give mental assent to his deceptions, later their entire being, at last becoming subject to all the authority and power he has at his disposal to give them. I believe Mohammad and Constantine were perhaps two of the most significant of these in all history.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan, one of the temptations was that he would give Jesus all the kingdoms of this earth if He would but fall down and worship him. Jesus rebuked Satan, and refused to do it. However, Jesus never denied Satan's authority over these earthly kingdoms. Therefore, based on this Biblical account of Satan's ways, and on the historical evidence surrounding their lives, I'm convinced Constantine and Mohammad were chiefly motivated by satanic delusion. What each of them began, would later flourish and in finality become the world's greatest threats to the real Church of God, up to and including this very hour.

Let's look at the Biblical account showing how pride entered the picture leading to the Muslim religion. Mohammad was a proclaimed descendant of Ishmael (Abraham's son by Hagar). Obviously, the descendants of Ishmael would want their lives to be specially blessed of God and they probably think they have this right since Ishmael was a son of Abraham. But notice what God actually said about this situation in Genesis 17:20 & 21:

"And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.

"But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year."

This forever establishes that God's covenanted people would be the descendants of Isaac, later to become the nation of Israel. Clearly, the Bible leaves Ishmael out of this Covenant. He would be "blessed" with many descendants and nations (the Arabic) but he would NOT receive the anointing to be God's messenger. If Ishmael, Mohammad or any of their followers want to know God, it will have to be the same as for other Gentiles, namely faith placed in the Lord Jesus Christ. But unbelief and pride entered into the Arabic world, subsequently their false religion. And again we have it prophesied for us right in God's Word. Genesis 16:12 gives a clear statement of the character of Ishmael:

"He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

Satan knew of Mohammad's point of vulnerability and how to appeal to his pride, convincing him that he had been chosen to declare God's final message to the world. But because Mohammad's teachings were so contrary to the Bible, we can be sure he and his followers know nothing of the true, revealed God of Holy Scriptures. In fact, because of their rebellion, they have bowed (perhaps unawares) to the "god of this world" (Satan), who inspired their false doctrines. Thus, one can only conclude that the Koran, Islam's 'holy book', are the words planted into the mind of Mohammad directly under 'inspiration' from the devil himself.

DOUBLE-SIDED EVIL

Up to this point in Revelation chapter six, we see two riders on two horses, the first white; the second red. There is a very significant point to grasp here. Constantine (the white horse rider) started working on the inside of the Church structure of the Christian era. Clearly, the true Gospel became extremely perverted beginning chiefly at that point in time. And because there is a "form of godliness" associated with the "Holy Roman Empire", the proclamation of the true Gospel would thereafter be conveyed only through greater difficulty. This is a common trick of Satan. It is based upon the Biblical principle---"a small amount of leaven, leavens the whole lump".

On the other hand, we see the rider of the red horse, Mohammad, starting a movement on the outside of the Church. Not only did Mohammad's teachings pervert the truth of the Gospel, he started a religion making no pretenses of a relationship to Christianity, (other than the recognition that Mohammad is traceable to Abraham).

Now if you have followed my reasoning up to this point you can see Satan had engineered a very clever pair of potentially opposing forces --- perverted 'Christianity' versus the Islamic religion. It is my belief that neither of these movements were under God's Divine inspiration, even though by His sovereign wisdom and control, He allowed it to happen, working through them in spite of themselves.

There have been numerous false religions and perverted 'Christian' movements throughout the Christian age but Islam and the Holy Roman Empire stand head-and-shoulders above all others (together comprising, we have noted, about 2/5ths of the world's population). And, at the end of the age, I believe these two power structures will once again rise to oppose one another. They will be the stars of the 'show' as the final curtain rises. It was so in the Historical Seals and, if I'm right, the pattern will be repeated again, futuristically.



SEAL THREE: Scarcity on Earth

5 "And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.

6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, 'A measure of wheat for a denarius, and three measures of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.'"

The Futurists (those who see Revelation as all-yet-future from Rev. 4:1 onward) regard the above passage as only portraying the hard times of the last half of the coming Tribulation. But what about historical hard times? I am amazed that 20th-century Christians, even Church leaders, have such difficulty relating the extremely tough living conditions of the past to Biblical prophecy. Could it be that soft and easy living has made us (particularly Americans and Canadians) so insensitive that we forget the intense survival problems mankind has already faced?

I am convinced the above prophecy is specifically descriptive of "The Dark Ages". Modern historians say our knowledge of the era is somewhat limited because even the writers of the day were so strongly affected by the awful conditions of the period that little record is available to us. One encyclopedia said civilization almost completely disappeared in much of western Europe during this period and that only a few places, such as monasteries, preserved Latin learning. Greek learning almost vanished and few persons received any schooling. Authors of the period had little sense of style. One might well conclude that it was the desperate poverty which ruined the western provinces of the Roman Empire and may well have caused the Dark Ages.

Now honestly, were you aware of the extent of these horrible conditions? I was not, until the study of Bible prophecy drove me to search out this information. It seems very obvious to me that the "black horse" rider who said "a measure of wheat for a denarius" was prophesying that which both logically and chronologically followed the Constantine and Mohammadan empires, namely the Dark Ages. I suspect the "oil and wine" not being hurt means that the very wealthy still had their luxuries, even in the days of world-wide poverty.

I could go on with a description of the severity of the Dark Ages and perhaps reading and learning of the depth and extent and the long duration of the period might make us more acutely aware of the era. And with that background it might finally impress on our minds sufficiently just how reasonable is this identification of the "black horse" and its "rider". However, if I did that with all the prophecies I plan to touch on in this book, it would end up being a three-inch-thick history book which few would read. My purpose is to make the identifications, sprinkled with just enough historical evidence to show the soundness of the perspective.

What I'm trying to say is that even though God sometimes camouflages, He is not a God Who hides things forever. In fact, He has given us His Word in The Revelation, which symbolically sets forth the whole of the Christian age. The main highlights are here for us to see and understand. The commentary on these first three Seals should provide you with enough information to get a gist of how I approached the prophecies of the Bible. Let me illustrate even further the straight-forward approach I've used in studying prophecy.

A "PRETEND TRIP" FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO ATLANTA

Revelation is a book containing prophetic highlights. Suppose I were to tell you how to drive from San Francisco to Atlanta. Now I could explain every single detail of the journey between the two major cities. But that isn't necessary or reasonable. All you really need is enough information so that you don't get lost. Thus, I hit the high points, listing only the names of major cities, identifying the main highway routes and connections, mentioning where to be especially watchful to make sure you get on that highway, saying "turn left" or "turn right" at such-and-such a place, etc.

So, with only a few sentences it is possible to provide instructions on how to get from San Francisco to Atlanta even though the cities are separated by 2,600 miles. Now along the way you would see many places and things which I wouldn't have mentioned at all, and yet, you would learn that you didn't need to know all that information to be sure that you were still on the right road. Occasionally, you would see a highway number or a particular city which I had told you about, confirming and increasing your confidence in the correctness of my instructions to you.

Now, that little scenario parallels the way I see prophecy. My approach is just that simple! As I said, God is not the author of confusion. For God to leave out long-range predictions in the Scriptures would be like me telling you, "Oh, don't worry, Atlanta is south-east. Drive in that general direction and you'll get there. Just trust me. You don't need to know anything about any major obstacles or anything like that. It would only worry you." Get the idea?

I've taken my point to this extreme to demonstrate how illogical the Futuristic-only concept really is when you think about it. It may seem that I'm being too cynical as well as belaboring the point but this view is so prevalent, I feel that repeated "blows" will be necessary to jar some readers from adhering to the reasoning of the Futuristic-only principle. Thus, I emphasize clarification of my interpretation principles (i.e., Historical and Futuristic), not so much to insist on acceptance of my specific prophetic identifications, but because I believe so strongly that the approach I've taken is both logically and Biblically correctnamely, following the Law of Double Reference.

THE FOURTH SEAL: Widespread Death on Earth

7 "And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and See."

8 "And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

Ironically, as I was in the process of editing this section, I just 'happened' to tune in a television special program about the Roman Empire, the central focus of which was on Constantine. The story graphically confirmed what has already been presented about him in this book, showing conclusively that his prominence in that era was unequalled in terms of 'conquering'. The show also emphasized the ties he brought about between the Roman government and the Catholic Church. (Incidentally, the program was completely secular, therefore with no Biblical connotations. But I found it really interesting that the narrator 'just happened' to include the basic historical facts concerning Constantine's accomplishments in the very same areas I've just been discussing! God's timing is always right on and his sovereign influence in the lives of even unbelievers is truly an amazing thing to observe.)