By Pastor Malcolm Harrison

In Alan Dean Foster’s bestselling western novel “Pale Rider” the main character {a role later reprised by actor and director Clint Eastwood} is portrayed as gun slinging whiskey drinking preacher ‘Gabriel’ who mysteriously comes to the rescue of poor downtrodden gold claim miners who are oppressed by a gold greedy land baron. Set with ominous background music and winter sky backdrop there is even a scene where someone reads part of Revelation 6:8 “And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him…”.  As if this wasn’t ridiculous enough, Clint Eastwood directed this tragic Biblical blunder on the “big screen” in the 1985 “Pale Rider”.  Apparently Foster hadn’t read too much of Revelation chapter 6 so let me set the record straight on “The Four Horsemen” of the Revelation. First things first, get this settled in your head: If you are really a “born again” [John 2:3] “saved” [Acts 16] “believer” [John 1:12] of the gospel of the risen Lord Jesu Christ [I Cor 15:1-4] – In other words if you are really saved, baptized by faith on the inside in the blood of the Lamb of God – watch this – You Won’t Be Here when the Horsemen are released on their terrible mission. What mission? Turn in the Bible to Revelation chapter 6 {which gives us a Panoramic view of the period known as ‘The Tribulation’ or “The Time of Jacob’s” [Jeremiah 30:7] pictured in ‘Daniel’s Furnace of Fire’. So here we are in “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” chapter 6, which is interestingly AFTER the church {the bride of Christ according to Paul in Ephesians 5} has been removed / taken / in what many call “the Rapture” and make no mistake friend – that IS A FACT.  if yere Jews by the way} and they were all mystified and confused that Jesus {the Messiah or Mashiach or Hamashiach in Hebrew} was getting more famous and baptizing more converts than John [John 3:26]. So John reminded them that they’d heard him say plainly “I am not the Christ” [Christ is simply Greek for Messiah].  Then John says in verse 2jo“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”  This and many other verses identify Jesus as “The Bridegroom”. Ephesians 5:25-32 tell us who the bride is! She is the church! Who is the church? Well if you’re a born again washed in the blood saved person – you are part of the church! So there’s John saying “I am not the bridegroom…he’s coming after me…I am just supposed to get things ready for the marriage”! So we find as Jesus comes into his ministry John’s ministry begins to diminish and conclude. Now watch this and see if you don’t get goosebumps and a blessing from it!!  In Jewish marriages the groom entered into a BETROTHAL period with his bride…but the date was a surprise. It was kept secret from all but the anize a ‘contemporary Christian music concert’. God didn’t send Jonah to Nineveh to set up a roadside healing tent or a prophecy banquet at the Inn. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to do what many churches are NOT DOING – God sent him TO PREACH!  Why is it in these days that we find so many who are against what God is for? Why it is that God chose ‘the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe’? [1st Corinthians 1:21]  Why is it that God sent the apostle Paul to say “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” [1st Corinthians 1:18]? I’ll refer you to 1st & 2nd Timothy for the answer. He said to Jonah, not only do I want you to go and preach, but I want you to preach unto it “…the preaching that I bid thee”. Those of us who still ask that old question “…is there any word from the Lord?” are finding it harder and harder to find those little country churches where a ‘Fire & Brimstone” Jeremiah will lift up his voice like a trumpet [Isaiah 58:1] and shout “…there is”. There is all the world of difference between this man-made theological theorizing and ‘that preaching’ that God bids His servants to preach! Nineveh had collapsed into the same idolatrous sin that America has adopted. It was filled with decadence and moral decay. It was wicked. The only thing that will turn a wicked people from their wicked ways is preaching. As such God sent no Biblically ignorant Christian celebrity. He called on no winking smiling televangelists to deliver a message of a more prosperous personal journey…NO! A.W. Tozer once said “If I see clearly, the cross of popular religion is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old cross slew men, the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it”.  So God sent Jonah with eight simple words.