Four Chariots in
We continue our
series of essays on the relationship of the number four
and the subject of the work of the Holy Spirit as found
in the scriptures.
Zec. 6:1 “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.
2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the
second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third
chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled
and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto
the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
5 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. 6 The
black horses which are therein go forth into the north
country; and the white go forth after them; and the
grisled go forth toward the south country. 7 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.
8 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."
It will be noted
that the horses in this passage are somewhat different
from the horses in Revelation. First the order of
the horses are different. In Revelations the
horses are in order, white, red, black, and pale.
In Zechariah the horses are in order, red, black, white,
and grisled and bay. Second, there is no pale
horse in Zechariah, but rather grisled and bay horses.
In studying the horses in Revelation we noticed that
only the Lord could successfully ride the horses there.
In Zechariah there are multiple horses in each chariot,
suggesting that many people could ride the horses.
The four chariots
came out from between two mountains of brass.
Brass is indicative of affliction and suffering.
When God’s people in their experiences first get a
glimpse of God’s holy law they see themselves under the
affliction and suffering of the commandments contained
in that law. The two mountains of brass would be
typical of the law and the prophets.
Red is used in the
scriptures to represent the shedding of blood in
warfare. After that a child of God is born of the
Spirit of God he begins to encounter a warfare, whereby
the flesh lust against the spirit and the spirit the
flesh. Paul described the warfare this way in Rom.
7:15 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I
would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the
law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I
that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I
know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good
thing: for to will is present with me; but how to
perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the
good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would
not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do
good, evil is present with me.”
This warfare takes
place because of the two-fold nature of a born-again
child of God. He has a carnal nature that Paul
says “dwelleth no good thing.” He also has a
spiritual nature that John says “whosoever is born of
God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him
and he cannot sin because he is born of God.” Thus
these two natures are at war within the child of God.
There is an inward longing within the child of God to
get right with God. But with all of his efforts to
do so, sin keeps dragging him down and showing him that
he has failed to satisfy the laws demands.
This leads to the
second chariot in which there are black horses.
Black is used in the scriptures to represent sin. The
more we fight to get right with God, the more that we
see our sins under God’s just and holy laws keeping us
from accomplishing our goal. We end up saying as
Isaiah said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I
am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a
people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the
King, the LORD of hosts.” We are as the
publican who came to the temple to pray and said, “God
be merciful to me a sinner.” As we engage in
this warfare we become more and more aware that we are
sinners under the law. Paul wrote in Rom. 3:19
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it
saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth
may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no
flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the
knowledge of sin.” This knowledge of sin and
the exceeding sinfulness of sin, eventually leads us to
the third chariot.
In the third
chariot are white horses. White is used in the
scriptures to represent righteousness. In the
second chariot as the publican we have concluded
ourselves to be devoid of any righteousness of our own,
and thus cry out for God’s mercy. It is when we are
deeply convicted of our sins that we begin to see the
need of a Saviour. The scriptures tell us that
Jesus came to save sinners from their sin. But to
be able to save sinners from their sin, it was necessary
that he be without sin. As he was born of a virgin
by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, he was holy,
harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. It
was also necessary that he keep the law that we could
not keep. He said in Matt. 5:18 “For verily I
say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one
tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be
fulfilled.” Thus Jesus fulfilled the law to
the very jot and tittle. Next, it was necessary
that he make an atoning sacrifice for the sins of his
people in order to deliver them out from under God’s
wrathful judgment of sin. This he did on the tree
of the cross. He suffered the just for the unjust.
As it is written in 2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him
to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made
the righteousness of God in him.” Thus all for
whom Christ died are made to ride in the third chariot
of white horses.
The fourth chariot
had grisled and bay horses. The word grisled means
spotted and the word bay means deep red. The word
spot in the scriptures is associated with sin.
However, we have been redeemed from our sins as stated
in 1 Pet. 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not
redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation received by tradition from
your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
While we walk in this life we know that we are sinners
still, but we also know that we have been sprinkled by
the blood of Christ in the new birth as the following
1. Heb. 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true
heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed
with pure water.”
2. 1 Pet. 1:2 “Elect according to the
foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification
of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the
blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be
Thus we go forth
in this life with the knowledge that we are sinners
(spotted) and that we are cleansed by the sprinkled
blood (bay) of Christ.
Next , look to the
essay “four winds.”