Revelation 6:l-8 -
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were
the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts
saying, Come and see.
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Who, or what, is this white horse? The God of the Cross returns to earth on a white horse. Revelation l9:ll -
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Many in the church world argue that we are not moving into the "last days", that brutality and barbarism existed is Rome, Greece and other civilizations. Technology makes this age different. As one woman has said, "Computers are the ruination of the world." Much of the world is literally run through a computer. Man has begun "playing God" creating life through cloning, that is producing a human being without sexual action. Technology has changed things.
Could the four horsemen be nations? The first three, not the fourth, necessarily. A horse doesn't conquer, a man doesn't conquer, whether it be the Pope or whoever, nations in history conquer. We only need look at two of the greatest empires of history, Britain and Rome. In both cases they had a bow and a crown and went forth conquering and to conquer. But what nation in the Last Days could this possibly be referring to? A nation that was apparently established as a Christian nation. A nation that won two World Wars and then, after forty years, the Cold War. A nation that rebuilt Europe after World War II - the good guys, the ones in the white hats. The purchase of Alaska, as part of American expansionism, was termed "Seward's folly" (Secretary of State Seward, after the Civil War). A nation whose President said in the l980s that it did not seek a "PAX AMERICANA". In the State of South Dakota a man once said, "If these poor nations cannot govern themselves, they need to be governed." This was said on a cattle ranch in l988. A nation that has its troops stationed in a hundred countries and its fleets scattered all over the world by the year 2000. In a book called The Eclipse of Great Britain, by Anne Orde, she says:
It was during the Second World War that the United States emerged as an
active acknowledged world power, able to develop
and harness enormous productive capacity that had lain idle through the
l930s, raise very large armed forces, and apply this strength all round the world. The Soviet Union (C.I.S. today) too became,
at appalling cost, a major power on the world stage..."If the alternatives were forced on the U.K. I have no doubt that
the overwhelming majority would seek to combine further with the U.S.A. and the Commonwealth. Anti-European feeling is
commonplace in British thought. Everyone has relations in the U.S. and Canada. Most have no one in Europe except the
dead of two wars. (said by Hector McNeil, British Minister of State in the Foreign Office in l949)"
So, in the l950s, Britain began to throw in the towel with the United States, and the British mind of arrogance began to seep into the American mentality.
After the white horse "went forth conquering and to conquer", the red horse takes "peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another". During World War II the Russians had a method of sleeping in the snow: one soldier slept while his buddy stomped the feet. After three minutes this would be reversed. In the l950s, a favorite American saying was, "I would rather be dead than RED," referring to Russia. During World War II the Russian army was known as the Red Army. There is also Red Square. Of course Russia (C.I.S.) is good today, Communism is dead and etc. But down the road it may revert to its old ways, or a new version of Marxism. Minutes before Adolph Hitler committed suicide in l945, his servant asked him, "But when you're gone, who should I serve?" The answer is chilling, "SERVE THE ONE WHO COMES AFTER ME." The one who comes after Adolph Hitler is the Antichrist who is a political leader - the Russian President. Russia, possibly C.I.S., possibly with the help of (Red) China will make war on the U.S.A. after America "does its thing". America loses. When does this happen - the year 2040, or the year 2400 - no one knows. If one studies prophecy in Ezekiel, one finds that when Russia attacks Israel, America is not even mentioned. So Russia (C.I.S.?) triumphs. But Russia is left "holding the bag", stuck with a decaying ecosystem - the moon turning blood-red, the ocean turning blood-red, l/3rd of the fish in the ocean dying, etc. We can already see a sample of this when the sun is a luminous red at sunset on a smoggy day. Men "gnawing their tongues for pain" - THE BIG MESS. America is taken out in the first act, and does not have to go through all this misery.
The third seal is a black horse that speaks of famine. "Black" Africa has always had problems with production of food. Up to today, America, and other countries, have donated tons and tons of food to that "dark continent" and bolstered up the people there. What is going to happen to Africa when the "breadbasket of the world", America, is gone. When famine hits, there is no one to help.
The fourth seal, a pale horse, doesn't really speak of any one area in particular, but of worldwide chaos breaking loose. A "fourth part of the earth" doesn't necessarily mean one area, but in different countries in the world all hell will break loose - small wars like in Bosnia, famine, disease, even the "beasts of the earth" - wild animals attacking people. Why would GOD, if He is so loving not so much allow these things to happen, but make these things happen. Is He some kind of maniac. GOD is a benevolent dictator.
The white horse, the first seal, conquers. There is other evidence that points that America is drifting in this direction. There are three great periods in American history: the "promised land" period, the "my country" period, the "righteous crusader" period. The first period is from l886 to l926, when America rose. This is when the rich immigrant blood came to America, after the Civil War, the rise of merchant princes, the development of the West, and the victory of World War I. The second period is from l94l to l98l, when America stood. This is the fight of World War II, the fight against Communism, and the stand as a bulwark for freedom in the world. The third period is from l996 to 2036, when America moves. This would be Kosovo, as of the year 2000. After this period ends (2036), there may be a forty year transition into Pax Americana. But, the year 2076 has rolled around, the world is at peace. Yet 250 years later, America is pushed into its Pax Americana. The point is just because it did not happen in the 2lst century does not mean that it will not happen.
The United States is today (l99l) the dominant military power in the world. In the reach and effectiveness of its military forces, America compares favorably with some of the greatest empires known to history. Rome reached barely beyond the compass of the Mediterranean, whereas Napoleon could not break out in the Atlantic and went to defeat in the vast Russian spaces. During the height of the so-called Pax Britannica, when the Royal navy ruled the seas, Bismarck remarked that if the British army landed on the Prussian coast he would have it arrested by the local police. The United States has an altogether more formidable collection of forces than its predecessors among the world's great powers. It has global reach. It possesses the most technologically advanced arms, commanded by professionals skilled in the art of war (The Imperial Temptation, by Robert Tucker and David Hendrickson).
The Imperial Temptation gives us much insight as to what was going on in America in the l990s and beyond. The end of the Cold War has changed much.
Whereas a decade earlier, U.S. military intervention in the Persian Gulf
would have entailed a serious risk of conflict with the
Soviet Union, in l990 that risk could be safely excluded. The passing of
the cold war made the war against Iraq possible. Without the former event, there would have been no international coalition
led by the United States and acting under support for military action against Iraq from our major allies...It is striking
that at the outset of the l990s Americans found themselves debating the desirability of a role that only a few years before would
have been scornfully dismissed by those charged with the conduct of the nation's foreign policy. For the authors of the Reagan
Doctrine, America was the crusader for freedom, not the guarantor of international law and order.
There's a lot in this, but basically, America is on a new track. Again, the Imperial Temptation:
We have fastened upon a formula for going to war - in which American casualties are minimized and protracted engagements are avoided - that requires the massive use of American firepower and a speedy withdrawal from the scenes of destruction. The formula is a very popular one, but it is not for that reason to be approved. Its peculiar vice is that it enables us to go to war with far greater precipitancy than we otherwise might while simultaneously allowing us to walk away from the ruin we create without feeling a commensurate sense of responsibility.
The discovery of the New World (America) brought the Old World (Europe) out of the Dark Ages. The New World with its hugeness and its abundance of natural resources, where a small nation like Britain or France or Spain could become twenty times as large, broke the chain of medievalism. Due to international travel, computers, faxes, inner moral decay, America is basically at the year 2000 like any other country. The New World is no longer isolated from the Old. Soccer, a European game, is now the rage in the United States, as an example. The New World is now developed. For five hundred years the New World (in particular America) was the hope of the Old World (in particular Europe). What will be on the other side of the Dark Ages will be the Last Days. Hopefully, this will be like the Dark Ages and last for 400 years. Again, the transition into the Last Days is from l980 to 2020. The greatest enemy of America at the Pax Americana stage is THE HUN, the Russian.
Russia, throughout its history, has been violent. Even after the demise of Communism, when all the world thought that Russia had changed its ways, we see its innate nature asserting itself. In Russia: A Return to Imperialism? editors Uri Ra'anan and Kate Martin comment upon this:
As a result, in August l992 armed conflict with Georgia erupted. By February and March of l993, in the greatest miracle since the loaves and the fishes, backward Abkhaz mountaineers suddenly acquired a high-tech air force, including Russian Sukhoi-25 and -27 planes, that bombed Sukhumi, a major city, and defeated the poorly armed Georgian forces. In the aftermath, most ethnic Georgians were expelled from Abkhazia. The Russian army then interposed itself between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia, effectively preventing the return of the Georgian refugees. Moreover, the Russian navy blockaded Georgia's remaining port and Moscow demanded that Georgia accept Russian garrisons. Frantic pleas, by Georgia's leader Eduard Shevardnadze, for international help were ignored, despite this former Soviet foreign minister's once warm relationship with Western leaders.
Russia has been "THE BEAR".
Russians see things THEIR WAY. In The Russian Question, by Wayne Allensworth, he states:
Lukin (Vladimir Lukin, Russian government official) asks for Westerners to attempt to see the world through Russian eyes: Russia saved the West from Napoleon and Hitler and blocked the path of the Mongols. Russia's attempts to show good will toward the West have gone unrewarded - Western aid has usually ended up in the pockets of the hordes of "advisers" sent to tell Russians how to reform a country they know nothing about. Westerners' condescending attitude toward Russia, a country with a thousand-year history and a people who have produced a unique culture that has spawned some of the world's greatest achievements, may yet bring on a wave of anti-westernism.
The Russian economy, unlike what people think, is not in shambles. In Securing Peace in the New Era: Politics in the former Soviet Union and the Challenge to American Security, a report by the Aspen Strategy Group, they comment:
Interestingly, the focus of such criticism (of street vending) is nearly always the selling. But in order to sell, somebody has to buy, and Russians are buying. Most of the trade is in relative "luxuries" - ranging from Western-style running shoes, jeans, and the like to sophisticated electronics. These are not items people buy because they are on the verge of starvation and cold...
The agricultural structure of the Soviet Union rested on the power of the Communist party. Urban-based and urban-biased, the party did everything to support industrial cities. Investment in the agricultural sector was designed for the purpose of providing cities with food, not that of bettering the lives of the one-quarter of the Russian population that lived in rural areas. With the dissipation of centralized party power, the choices of agricultural producers themselves began to dictate what was produced, how much, and above all, to whom it would be delivered. The collapse of state procurement, which is the real story of the alleged food crises in Russia in the past two years [l992-l994], much more so than any purported collapse in production, is the story of independence (or even revenge) of the countryside.
Clearly the economy in Russia is not in a state of collapse. Russia/C.I.S.
is in reconstruction, similar to America after the Civil War.
Russia has been aggressive in its past. Peter the Great was very ambitious:
But even Peter the Great began his military career in the l690s with campaigns against the Black Sea fortress of Azov. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Moscow had shrunk to the size of a principality; by the century's end, it grew into the largest state in Europe, with encroachments not only into the Polish sphere of influence but also deep into Asia. (A History of Russia, by Paul Dukes)
There was violence in l905:
The first Revolution of l905 broke out on 9 January with the notorious incident remembered as "Bloody Sunday". A peaceful procession of strikers from the Putilov Works and sympathizers was marching to the Winter Palace under the leadership of a priest, Father Gapon, in order to petition the tsar for "justice and protection". The crowd, which numbered about l50,000 and included women and children, carried icons and portraits of the tsar. Suddenly, Tsarist troops opened fire, killing more than a hundred and wounding more than a thousand. The impact of the mass murder was great and immediate. By evening barricades were up in many parts of St. Petersburg. Strikes of sympathy were soon organized in Moscow and other towns. The peasants, their traditional faith in the "little father" strongly shaken, increased the scale of revolt already in progress, the unrest reaching as far as the border provinces (ibid).
About ten million people died at the hands of Stalin:
Among those arraigned (in the mid-l930s) were every member of Lenin's Politbureau except Stalin and Trotsky, two heads of the political police department, ambassadors, generals and other high functionaries. All were accused of attempting to assassinate Stalin and wreck the Soviet Union in collusion with various foreign powers...No level of society or area of the Soviet Union was left untouched, and, according to various calculations, from four to sixteen million people died, and at least as many more were kept in concentration camps (ibid).
Russia (C.I.S.) is of great latent power. The BEAR has gone into hibernation. Russia chose voluntarily to walk away from its control of Eastern Europe. No one made war on Russia. The future home of the "Antichrist" is governed by no one but themselves. However C.I.S., 2000 A.D., is doing the best it can with the resources it has.
Russia has already experienced an Antichrist system - i.e. Communism.
For the appeal of Communism, it seems to me, is essentially religious. It purports to offer not merely a political program but a road to salvation for all the world. Although its ritual is couched in materialistic terms, it demands a mystic devotion surpassing all other loyalties. Moreover - and this is the central point - it preaches an authoritarian theology. The Kremlin, a sort of Red Vatican, is the sole fountainhead of the faith, claiming supreme authority on all questions of doctrine (Why They Behave Like Russians, by John Fischer).
This was written in l946. What is amazing is that today Russia is even trying democracy.
Africa, from its inception, has had problems with food production. In the past few years, this has been brought to the public eye.
In the l980s, as in the l970s, images of starving cattle and starving children became publicly symbolic of the African condition...However, there is a growing consensus that sub-Saharan Africa has been left behind in the global push toward food sufficiency...These signals of a complex crisis in African food systems are now well documented. They include disappointing agricultural performance, increasing foreign debt, increasing food imports, growing population, environmental degradation, and persistently high rates of malnutrition and infant mortality. (African Food Systems in Crisis, by Rebecca Huss-Ashmore)
Going back to 2000 B.C., famine has been a problem in Africa.
Both Africa's history and its prehistory show a record of recurring social, economic, and climatic disruption, accompanied by food stress. The record is of course clearer and more detailed for the colonial and post-colonial periods. However, archeological, geological, and historical evidence suggests periodic difficulties with food supply over the last several thousand years. While unpredictable climate is frequently implicated in these episodes, it is increasingly clear that major famines and epidemics of malnutrition are linked to political and economic change. While problematical, the Nile flood chronologies and Old Kingdom records present probably the earliest evidence of African famine linked to rainfall failure and political discontinuity. Beginning with the third millennium, B.C., periods of economic and political decline in Egypt can be linked to significantly lowered levels of the Nile flood. These episodes frequently coincide with accounts of increased grain prices, uprisings and food riots by the poor, and when government did not intervene, outright famine. This documents the nutritional risk associated with early systems of intensified agriculture. Such risk has been observed archeologically in societies from many geographic locations. The shift from mobile foraging to sedentary agriculture is associated with an increase in skeletal indicators of infection and nutritional stress. While data from Africa are sparse, agricultural intensification in Sudanese Nubia appears to have led to both population growth and declining health. As agricultural technology improved during the Meroitic phase (350 B.C.-A.D. 350), there was an increase in dental caries, iron deficiency anemia, growth retardation, and premature osteoporosis. The concentration of these problems in children and in women of childbearing age agrees well with patterns of malnutrition still seen in the area. One of the more complete such chronologies has been constructed for the Sudano-Sahelian zone. Watts, for example, documents a series of food shortages in Hausaland and the Central Sudan, going back to the mid-sixteenth century. Fourteen local famines are recorded between l543 and l795 alone, associated with drought, epidemics, and warfare. Using climatological data and early geographical chronicles, Nicholson pushes the record of fluctuating climate and economic activity in this area back to the eight century. While earlier periods are generally agreed to have been wetter than the present, major cycles of prolonged drought evident from the early nineteenth century. Records for Southern Africa show a similar pattern of short-term wet and dry cycles, superimposed on a long-term pattern of increasing desiccation. Dendrochronology and oral histories show a record of periodic drought and migration extending back to the fourteenth century. Populations moving into the Lake Malawi littoral for refuge during dry periods appear to have come from as far away as Ethiopia, Natal, and Central Africa. For the historic period (l550 on) detailed records from Angola show repeated episodes of drought, disease, agricultural pests, and political disruption, many of which resulted in famine and more-or-less permanent migration. The most severe of these episodes gave rise to institutionalized banditry and kidnapping, disturbances exploited by the Portuguese in establishing the slave trade in the area. In East Africa, the chronicle of famine extends with certainty back to the thirteenth century, and by inference, beyond. Degefu records eight drought or famines in Ethiopia prior to l800, and 20 since that time. Several of these involved the whole of Ethiopia, and extended into neighboring areas of Somalia and Kenya. Drought and food shortage became particularly visible in Somalia and Tanzania in the twentieth century. Despite higher average rainfall from l860-l890, frequency of reported famine and food stress rose from the middle of the nineteenth century in all areas studied. This is partly due to an improvement in record-keeping, but also reflects locally unstable climate and changing political-economic patterns. In Angola, increasing European demands for ivory, wax, and cash crops changed local pattern of production, resulting in food shortage and epidemic disease. (ibid)
Rebecca Huss-Ashmore aptly concludes the matter.
In much of Africa, decades of inept economic policy based on centuries of European extraction have been superimposed on millennia of unstable climate and worsening cycles of drought. (ibid)
Historically, Africa has an habitual problem with famine. Modern technology has not alleviated the complaint. The comment is made that "millions of dollars and tons of food have been funneled toward the affected area (ibid)," yet the situation has not improved.
Why would God unveil the seals and the plagues. Why would God do things that are so horrible. First, Man becomes disgusting; second, God becomes disgusted; third, God "fires" Man (much as an employer fires an employee). The seven last plagues are given to us in Revelation l6:1-4,8,l0-l2,l7-l8,21 -
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels,
Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of
God upon the earth.
And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth, and there fell a foul and painful sore upon the men who had the "mark of the beast", and upon them who worshiped his image.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood.
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast, and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.
And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river, Euphrates, and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague was exceedingly great.
There sure will be a lot of profanity going on at this time. Revelation 8:l0-ll -
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
This apparently is referring to a meteorite or asteroid striking the earth.
God, from l692 to l942, was doing things
with America. After l942, God simply left the country, so much so that
in the l960s people said that
"God is dead". For centuries Russians regarded their country as "Holy
Russia". Moscow was regarded as the third Rome, meaning, the first Rome
the second Rome (Constantinople) passed, and Moscow was the third.
The "Antichrist" will seat himself in a nation that once regarded itself
"holy", in a capital that once regarded itself as being the place of
the true head of the church. In the l960s much of the world accused America
"imperialistic". Whether "Yankee Imperialism" will surface in the 2lst
century remains to be seen. Communism was a "dry run" for the Antichrist.
nothing to panic over. This Last Days period of time could easily last
four hundred years. We have already seen the birth rate dramatically reduced
in the 20th century. A period of stability wherein it is buildings and programs,
prosperity and health, could reign worldwide for hundreds of years. There
is no telling how fast the seals and the plagues will come. But the nuclear
cloud will overhang world society from now on. Western civilization will
not crumble overnight. What took l500 years to build does not vanish. The fact
remains, world society will find ways to safeguard itself from annihilation.
But it cannot
safeguard itself forever.