Many years ago I asked Hal Lindsey on his weekly radio program what method of exegesis he uses to determine what is literal in Revelation Chapter Nine and what is not, and why he thought the army in chapter nine was the same as the one in chapter sixteen.

Hal confessed that he understands the number of horsemen (200 million) to be symbolic as well as the description of them. He clarified his position with an explanation of who the four angels are that lead this mighty army.

The "deadly angels" are so "lethal, so venomous, that they had to be restrained" at the Euphrates River which is the dividing line of the East and the West. They "had something to do with holding off a great all out war of the hordes of the East on the West, otherwise we would never have had the development of Western civilization that we have." These angels have wanted to lead an army of Eastern troops to conquer the West, but have been restrained by divine intervention.

Hal went on to explain that the creatures cannot be animals that exist on Earth and must be symbolic. John merely described 20th Century weapons as best he could. The greatest weapon of the First Century was a horse so that is what he calls the 20th Century weapon that he sees. The men riding this weapon are wearing gold crowns which obviously are helmets. Whatever the weapon is, it is highly mobile for "they rush into battle." He went on to explain that "the army that he sees coming from the East, across... from the Euphrates, is 200 million soldiers." [Ed. note: Notice that he contradicts himself by claiming the army is 200 million soldiers?]

Hal went on to explain why he believes the armies mentioned in chapters nine and sixteen are the same. The first seal, the rider on the white horse (Rev. 6.2), starts the Tribulation and the second seal is not broken until the mid-point. It "starts the Great Tribulation, the last three and one-half years, and all of these other judgments, the following judgment of seven trumpets which opens up the judgment of the seven golden vials. All of those happen in greater and greater... uh, intensity and frequency as it draws toward the end of that three and a half years. So one of the final things is the arrival of this terrifying army that comes from east of the Euphrates. So that's how I would say it, and that's what I believe."

Hal concluded by saying, "So I hope that helps a little bit. Obviously you have a problem with it. So that's your privilege, and we hope that you do some real study and investigation. We'll all try." (Hal Lindsey's radio program, June 15, 1996)

Contrary to what he said to me, Hal believes the army in chapter nine is made up of 200 million soldiers from the Oriental countries. He has made this clear myriad times. During his conference in Seattle in May, a woman asked why the army was made up of men and not demons as many Bible scholars believe. Grant Jeffrey answered the question and said, "They appear to be real soldiers." He added that the army of the horsemen "is going to be 200 million."

Grant went on to explain that Red China could field an army of 200 million soldiers, especially with the help of other Oriental nations such as India. He concluded with the statement, "It sounds very literal to me."

Hall added that he "agreed with everything that Grant just said." He also noted that he just "received official figures from a report on China that they now have 360 million men of... that are in their army or in the reserves. So that means they could send 200 million soldiers to the Middle East and still have 160 million in reserve."

Hal clearly contradicted himself concerning the army of 200 million in this answer and the one he gave at the Seattle Conference. He can't agree with Grant who believes the number is literal and also believe the number is symbolic as he told me. He is either terribly confused and changes his mind from day to day or he can't remember what his position is on a given passage. I think Hal is not confused and knows exactly what his position is on the 200 million army. He believes it is literal, but said it was symbolic because I had nailed him to the wall.

Hal knows that you cannot make one part of a passage symbolic and another part literal unless the Bible makes that distinction or it is physically impossible for everything in the passage to be all literal. In this case if the passage is literal the army consists of demonic creatures rather than men. Since Hal wants the army to be men he must hold that it is symbolic. Yet he takes the number 200 million to be literal. His exegesis of this passage would get him an F in any legitimate seminary or Bible college in the world. I doubt that Hal, Grant, Jack or many of the so-called prophecy experts could pass a course on the book of Revelation in any legitimate seminary or Bible college in the world.

Hal's explanation of who the four angels are is true, but it has nothing to do with the question. He talked about it because he thinks it is important for people to know what the deal is with these angels.

His explanation that John described 20th Century weapons as best he could doesn't cut the mustard. The horses can't represent weapons (tanks, APCs, motorcycles, etc.) because the Oriental nations couldn't build that many mobile weapons in a million years. They can't even put a functional rifle in the hands of 200 million soldiers. Unfortunately Hal's explanation doesn't make much sense.

The four angels are fallen angels who are imprisoned near the Euphrates river. They could be imprisoned under ground or in another dimension. The army of 200 million demons are also imprisoned with them. The horse-like creatures are the product of genetic engineering by satan and his gang prior to the flood. The horse-like creatures could be a hybrid of the immortal horses that the fallen angels took with them from Heaven when they rebelled or it is quite possible that they are centaurs (half-man and half-horse). They were not destroyed in the universal flood, but rather imprisoned near the Euphrates River before the flood to await their time to go into battle. The legend of the centaurs is based on real creatures that existed in the Antideluvian Age.

The armies of chapters nine and sixteen cannot possibly be the same. For them to be the same army the seventh seal would have to be broken during the last year of the Great Tribulation and the sixth trumpet in the last few months. This is impossible for the army in chapter nine (v. 12) and the ministry of the two witnesses is the second woe (11.14). They begin at the same time. The third woe also begins at the mid-point of the Great Tribulation (12.6-9,12).

To argue that the two witnesses, which are the second woe, begin their ministry at the mid-point, and the 200 million calvary which is the also part of the second woe begins during the last week of the Great Tribulation is feeble to say the least, especially since the third woe, which chronologically follows the first two woes, starts at the mid-point.

Most so-called prophecy experts have the sequence of events mixed up. Hal and others believe the first half is a time of peace while the second half is a time of great tribulation. This is not so. The Great Tribulation begins with a bang and gets worse with every day. The first six seals are broken in the first year causing the death of one-fourth of the mankind (6.8). Two comets strike the Earth (8.7,10,11) along with a meteor (8.8,9). Things get worse as the demonic creatures come out of the abyss to torment mankind (9.1-11) and the 200 million demon calvary wipes out one-third of mankind bringing the combined death toll to one-half by the mid-point of the Great Tribulation.

Another point that Hal and others miss is that the Great Tribulation does not start at the mid-point, but at the beginning. Millions of believers who are saved during the Great Tribulation are slaughtered at the start (7.14). This first half is called the "great tribulation" and so is the second half (Matt. 24.21). The entire seven year period of "Yaaqob's Trouble" is the Great Tribulation.

Those who do not understand that the events in the apocalypse occur in chronological order can make it say anything they want it to. The events in the apocalypse take place in the order they are listed. There are passages such as chapters 12,13,15, and 17 which give background information and fill in the details, but the events described in them take place or begin in sequence.

Chapter 12 gives an historical account of the birth and ascension of YAHSHUA, but the war in heaven takes place at the mid-point of the Great Tribulation (v. 6). Everything before chapter 12 must take place prior to the mid-point, including the attack of the 200 million demon calvary.

The rise of the beast in chapter 13 also takes place at the mid-point (v. 5). Even though he comes on the scene at the start of the Great Tribulation (6.2) he doesn't rule with authority until the second half of the Great Tribulation. He shucks off the control of "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS" (17.5) when satan empowers him to rule (13.2).

Sadly, many self-proclaimed prophecy experts have made mistakes which they cannot see or are unwilling to correct due to pride. They will have to give an answer to YAHSHUA as to why they did not correct their mistakes (Rom. 14.12).

Every Bible student and teacher should constantly examine their doctrines relying on the teaching of the HOLY SPIRIT (John 14.26) to lead them into all the truth (Johh. 16.13).

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