Do the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ride Today?

 

The four horsemen of the apocalypse appear in Revelation 6:1-8 and correspond to the first four seals of the seven seal scroll. John seems to be drawing on the imagery of Zechariah who also saw riders on colored horses who were sent forth to patrol the earth (Zech.1:8-11). The horses are white, red, black, and pale. They each have a specific mission of judgment to carry out upon the earth. While Hindson argues that the tribulation period commences with the opening of the seals[1], some regard the seals as past, a prelude to the future trumpet and bowl judgments.[2] Not to be confused with preterism, the view I am proposing simply places the seals as historical events culminating at the yet future final seven year tribulation. This idea is compelling in that they parallel the pattern of birth pains given by our Lord in Matthew 24.[3] I still subscribe to the premillennial dispensationalist school of thought in my broader eschatology.

I am theorizing that the horseman are symbols for unseen spiritual entities influencing our space time from an unknown dimension. They parallel God’s past work and the signs given by Jesus in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. A similar sequence of judgment is found in the Old Testament. For example, in Ezekiel 14:21 the Lord says, “How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast!” (ESV) Comparing this verse to Rev. 6, conquest appears to be displaced by wild beasts yet beasts appear as agents of death with the fourth horseman (Rev. 6:8). Other Old Testament references show a similar pattern (cf. Deut. 32:24, 2 Chron. 20:9, Jer. 14:12, Ezek. 6:11–12; 12:16) yet a more concise list of three judgments by combining war and conquest.[4] It is suitable to conclude that the four horsemen parallel God’s historical judgments upon disobedient Israel. Likewise, the birth pains given by the Lord line up with the seals as shown here:

Matthew 24

Revelation 6
False Christ (4-5) False Christ (2)
Wars (6-7) Wars (3-4)
Famine (7) Famine (5-6)
Earthquakes (7) Death / Pestilence (7-8)
Persecutions (9-10) Persecutions (9-11)
Earthquake, solar eclipse, blood red moon, stars falling  (29) Solar and lunar eclipse, stars falling, heavenly bodies shake (12-13)
Tribulation Begins Tribulation Begins

The first horseman rides a white horse, carries a bow, and wears a crown. The white color seems to suggest benevolence and the similarity to Christ riding a white horse in chapter 19 leads some commentators to suggest that this conquest is the spread of the gospel.[5] However, it is unlikely that Christ would take orders from one of the living creatures as we read in verse 6:1. Additionally, it follows that since Christ is the one opening the seals he is not simultaneously inside them and parallelism with the other horsemen suggests a judgment.  As Chuck Missler quips, “He keeps bad company.” Furthermore, he wears a different crown called a stephanos, a victor’s crown, not a diadema, the crown of a sovereign, which is donned by Christ (Rev 19:12). For these reasons, dispensational scholars view this rider as the Antichrist[6]. Alternately, if one chooses to view the seals as the birth pains as I have suggested, this horseman might represent a historical conqueror like Muhammad. He carries a bow as a weapon, suggesting an allusion to Apollo, the bow wielding Greek god who inspired Hellenistic prophecy. Accordingly, the bow probably represents false prophecy.[7]

The second seal unleashes the red horse whose rider is permitted to take peace from the earth. The bright red (pyrros) color suggests divine judgment and bloodshed.[8] Hindson quotes Leon Morris as saying that the conquest initiated by the white horse leads to the conflict related to the red horse.[9] The two do seem to be connected in light of the Old Testament citations discussed above. For that reason, I understand the horsemen to be ongoing and overlapping. The usual dispensational timing places this within the seven year tribulation period. However, I favor it as part of the birth pains like “nation will rise against nation” (Mat 24:7a,ESV) leading up to that phase. In this way John was seeing the culmination of history and one could argue that noteworthy events like World War II are accounted for. Admittedly it is purely speculative but the enormous impact of WWII upon God’s elect Israelites and the consequence of their national reformation on May 14, 1948 is hard to ignore.

The third seal representing famine is realized by a rider on a black horse carrying a pair of scales. The black (melas) color is rare in the NT and symbolizes sinister, dreadful, terrible, sad, unlucky, sorrow and desolation, a likely consequence of the war and bloodshed.[10] The measures and prices given suggest a day’s work to merely eat for the common man.[11] The reference to the oil and wine suggest luxuries not necessary for survival. Perhaps it hints at inequity as the wealthy would have them while the poor were starving (cf. Prov 21:17).[12] In a first century context, scales were normally used by merchants to weigh coins and goods (cf. John 19:39).[13] This suggests we can also view the famine as an economic consequence. As of March 28, 2010, half the world, over three billion people, lives on less than $2.50 a day.[14] While I agree famine and economic depression are surely part of the tribulation proper, when one considers the plight of the third world today it is not hard to envision this judgment as contemporary.

The fourth seal has the living creature call a Pale horse with a rider named Death. The color is the Greek cloros suggesting a sickly green shade one might associate with a corpse. It is also revealed that this horseman is followed by an anthropomorphic Hades. What this means exactly is hard to say but it aptly illustrates hell on earth. Hindson argues that the contingency of the four riders is in view as the rider Death employs the elements of the previous horsemen to accomplish his task.[15] They all add up to the death of one fourth of the earth by sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts. The sword and famine have already been discussed in connection with the second and third seals. Pestilence is rendered from thanatos, the same word translated “Death” earlier in verse 8. Here it may primarily refer to disease as the cause of death. John MacArthur notes in his commentary that “Throughout human history, disease has killed people on a far more massive scale than war.”[16] He denotes that 30 million people died during the great flu epidemic of 1918–19 which was more than three times the 8.5 million soldiers lost during World War I.[17] This could also help to explain the inclusion of wild beasts as disease is often spread by vermin. Of course we do not have to look far to find contemporary application. AIDS is devastating the third world and particularly Africa.  It is astounding that nearly 7 out of 10 deaths for 2008 were in Sub-Saharan Africa, an area that also has over two-thirds of adult HIV cases.[18] Today we see even more disturbing new pestilences like MRSA and Ebola appearing that have never been known to man.

Clearly the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are not to be taken lightly. If they are unseen spiritual entities acting on the world, current events seem to support their presence and escalating influence. My opinions are offered with a light touch. Many good scholars see these events as proprietary to the seven year tribulation period. While I respect that view and for the most part am in agreement with their conclusions, I believe the riders are active today. I see them as the birth pains listed by Jesus (Matt 24:8) and like birth pains, the phenomena associated with each rider are occurring closer and closer together. Of course this begs the question, “if the first four seals have been opened, then which seal are we on today?” I believe we are at the fifth seal, persecutions, and according to Voice of the Martyrs there have been more martyrs for Christ in the last 100 years than in all of previous history. Also the fifth is necessarily our current position because the sixth is going to be self evident to the world and it is where I place the beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week.  If I am right, the time is near. Maranatha!


[1] Hindson, Edward. Revelation Unlocking the Future. AMG Publishers, 2002, 79.

[2] Keener, C. S. (2000). The NIV Application Commentary: Revelation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 199.

[3] Hindson, 79.

[4] Keener, C. S., 200.

[5] Hindson,  81.

[6] Hindson,  81.

[7] Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Volume 4: Hebrews to Revelation. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 289.

[8] Colin Brown, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 1:657.

[9] Hindson,81.

[10] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vols. 5-9 Edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 Compiled by Ronald Pitkin., ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey William Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-c1976), 4:551.

[11] Hindson, 82.

[12] Alan F. Johnson, “Revelation” In , in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 12: Hebrews Through Revelation, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 474.

[13] Clinton E. Arnold, 289.

[14] Global Issues: World Bank Development Issues. http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats (accessed 06 02, 2010).

[15] Hindson, 82.

[16] John MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 184.

[17] Ibid.

[18]AIDS Around the World http://www.globalissues.org/article/219/aids-around-the-world#ScaleoftheAIDSEpidemic (accessed 06 02, 2010).

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.

Comments

  1. Ashley says:

    Hi Cris! EXCELLENT work! I used to believe the four horsemen would only appear at the trib but not so much anymore. I do believe they will PEAK during the trib but their existence will be felt during the birth pangs era.

    Thanks for your hard work and research.

    -Ash.

  2. Riley says:

    I have to agree with you. We are definitely see an escalation in the 4 horsemen areas. I watch with anticipation each day to see what unfolds next.

  3. Scott says:

    Cris,

    I also have always thought that the 4 horsemen were reserved for the tribulation period, but you have made an excellent case for a more dynamic, living history.

    The Word of God truly dose transcend the constraints of our limited, three-dimensional perception of time and space and perhaps the progressive, ever worsening groans of creation and global human suffering is fulfilling bible prophesy – now & in real time.

    Your work is excellent and I will have to research and consider the points you made in the coming days. The culmination of this age will certainly be period of time unlike any that came before it. The flood destroyed all living things (Save Noah’s Ark), imagine a horror that is to come that will exceed that.

    I believe that we are the last generation of the age, the traveling Earth and the iniquity of fallen, sinful man is nearing it’s conclusion. Let us all redouble our efforts to witness to anyone that will listen the urgency of the time and the need repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before time expires. When that last trumpet sounds, it will be too late.

  4. Shelley says:

    Yes, very cool stuff!! God’s word has so much depth to it that we will never be able to consume all that is in it. Your writing has differently peaked my interest in looking into what is happening in our time and how it relates to what God has said years ago. Thanks!

  5. Tinkoneofsix says:

    Good Post. I believe nearly everything in Scripture has dual purpose. After all “There is nothing new under the sun”. What happened before will happen again. We see types and shadows all through the scriptures. It is like we are living in a spiral of some sort where everything repeats itself in various ways. (BTW I love Chuck Missler’s teaching)

  6. Mitch says:

    Hey Thanks for the wonderful article it was very well thought out I believe we are also in the End Times and that more to come—I believe that the Recent Oil Spill in the Gulf was a sign fulfilling the Prophecy in Revelation 8 talking about a Mountain of Fire and a third of the fish in the sea dying and third of the boats broken or something and the Sea turning to BLOOD = Oil……Jesus is coming soon…

    God Bless!

    Bearkiller777/Mitch

  7. John Houk says:

    Chris I don’t have the background to give the proper criticism such a work of writing as this. I can say this though. Your logic sounds valid. It seems a matter of Scripture interpretation about past fullfillment of prophecy and/or the future of prophecy that many has not happened yet.

    Your conclusion about the Four Horsemen being the birth pangs of the coming Tribulation is an interesting thought to ponder.

  8. Excellent article, Cris! I tend to agree with your outlook. What I really appreciated about this piece was your tone, however. I think it’s important when dealing eschatology that we as Christians aren’t quite as dogmatic as we legitimately should be on issues like the gospel. I think Revelation was inspired to have some ambiguity in it which will serve God’s purposes that we don’t fully understand yet. In the meantime it’s important to be able to study and discuss these issues without unnecessary infighting.

    Great job! Thanks again for the video you made!

  9. Kent Bicknell says:

    Chris,
    Thanks for your very interesting work. The paralell between Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 is interesting. I am also wondering if you see the possibility that the Matthew passage is suggesting the preliminary actions that will later be fully implemented in Revelation 6? My reasoning: The Revelation 7:14 passage identifies these persecuted saints as coming from the great tribulation, not from a pre-tribulation experience. Can you share with me how you overcome this passage to reach your position? Thanks

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Well it depends on how you define the great tribulation, it could refer to one great final period of suffering (I think so) , but others take this to represent the sufferings of the church throughout all history. But even if it is only the former, it seems to be an ongoing process in John’s vision so I imagine with the earth quake of the sixth seal and who knows what else there would be plenty of casualties to start the heavenly receiving line. I suspect new folks will continue to arrive throughout the entire final great tribulation period.

      • BILL BLAIS says:

        It seems to there are three harvest of souls, first happen in rev 7:9 after earthquake and stares of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig treedrops its late figs, can’t miss that, second takes place Rev. 14:15 and then 14;17 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

        16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

        17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

        18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

  10. Ernest says:

    Thanks Cris. It is informative. And yes, not to be taken lightly. Revelation is never an easy book to understand. So we seriously need the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and correct interpretation to us. Eish….death, war, pain, disease, etc…. Yes it’s happened in the 20th century and even previous centuries. And now the 21st century.

    But how long is the operation period of the 4 horseman? Many many years? or specific events? Such things. The time element is what confuddles me. Have the been in this world for ye last 400 years, 100 yers, since the days of the Apostle John AD 98??? Or what? How does that work?

    ___ — Ley God reveal the truth. 5th seal- persecution. Yep. Muslims persecute Christians, atheists, antagonists, secular people, Buddhists & Hindus maybe…. Well, the Roman Catholics jeopardize things…oh well. Stuff is happening. We can’t ignore it. 2 guys- one in South Africa, another in Australia. Werid hey? Signs of the times. We must be able to read them. and we need GOD’s help for that of course…

    God bless you in your ministry Cris. I am a theological student in South Africa.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Ernest, thanks for your comment… the time element is a mystery, it is a working hypothesis but I place significance on the reclamation of the Jewish homeland in 1948 so perhaps that is helpful.

  11. Bobby Simser says:

    Dear Cris,

    What do you think about the parallels between Revelation 4:1-5 and 1 Thess. 4:15-16? And also that the Church isn’t mentioned from the VERY last word in Chapter 3, all the way through to chapter 22 of Revelation. (Being mentioned 19 times in the first 3 Chapters, but not again for another 18) I can’t help thinking that we see the Rapture (pre-trib.) taking place here and THEN the 7 sealed book being unsealed. I do believe however that the antichrist is on earth right now but that his “unsealing” to where he gallops onto the earths stage hasn’t yet occurred.

    If the book of Revelation is to be taken chronologically (I believe it is) wouldn’t it make sense that the church gets taken out prior to the 4 horsemen? And that they (the 4 horsemen) would be part of the very beginning of the Tribulation Period? Thus giving way for the Judgment Seat of Christ for the Church, the Marriage and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb…

    Saying all this, I do believe that we can see today and throughout history, False Christs, Wars, Famine, Death, & Pestilence… and that maybe the 4 horsemen (first 4 seals of the seven sealed book) are part of a series of 3 “FINAL & Complete Judgments of God” during the 7 year Tribulation! (1) 7 Seals, (2) 7 Trumpets & (3) 7 Vials…

    Your take Sir?

    Blessing in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Bobby Simser

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Matthew 24 “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” (Mt 24:22) The elect (chosen is always used of the church and never the Jews) and also 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is very clear that the church sees the Antichrist and endures his persecution but not God’s wrath. For that reason, the prewrath rapture is more consistent.

      • Bobby Simser says:

        Blessing Cris!
        So how does Daniels 70th week begin? because I’ve always been led to believe that the 70th week would be towards Israel, while the church who is “no longer here” goes through the Bema Seat and Marriage. If I understand you correctly the Seals aren’t part of the 7yr. Trib. period? because we also see the Wrath of the Lamb in the 6th Seal (God’s Wrath). So how does the “Pre-Wrath” belief work here? There has to be a 7yr. Period (or Shemitah.) When God restarts his Chronological Time Piece for the final countdown why would the Church be nibbling the first part of a period of time that is wholly connected to Israel and the unbelieving world and still allow it to be 7yrs. long? Please don’t think I’m questioning your expertise on this matter as I’m just trying to wrap my head around it all… because as It stands my understanding has some holes and is starting to take on water. 😉
        Ps. If possible could you maybe direct me to a Bible Chart which would show your view? as the saying goes
        “a Picture speaks a Thousand words. GOD BLESS!
        From Bobby.

  12. Hans Georg Lundahl says:

    “The first horseman rides a white horse, carries a bow, and wears a crown. The white color seems to suggest benevolence and the similarity to Christ riding a white horse in chapter 19 leads some commentators to suggest that this conquest is the spread of the gospel.[5] However, it is unlikely that Christ would take orders from one of the living creatures as we read in verse 6:1.”

    But it is not the horsemen who take orders from the living creatures, but St John, who comes and sees them.

    Therefore this explanation of why he couldn’t be Christ is wrong.

    ” Additionally, it follows that since Christ is the one opening the seals he is not simultaneously inside them and parallelism with the other horsemen suggests a judgment.”

    Christ is with the Church every day to the end of all time. This means Christ is involved in any judgement that happens from Ascension to Second coming, somehow, somewhere. The judgement is the white horse = Gospel, for those accepting it, and the other three horses for those rejecting it.

    This also deals with Chuck Missler’s quip. Moses “kept company with” the ten plagues of Egypt – the judgement on those rejecting his message.

  13. Hans Georg Lundahl says:

    “Furthermore, he wears a different crown called a stephanos, a victor’s crown, not a diadema, the crown of a sovereign, which is donned by Christ (Rev 19:12 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ).”

    Christ owns both crowns : he is Sovereign in Heaven, and victorious, through Cross of Calvary first and through Church then, on Earth. The protomartyr St Stephen was called – stephanos.

    Here is Haydock on the verses referring to the white rider:

    Ver. 1. I saw that the Lamb had opened one of the seven seals, or the first seal. The interpreters are much divided in expounding what is to be understood by the sealed up contents, and in applying them to such and such persecutions, persons, and events, by all which it appears that there is no certainty as to such applications and expositions, even of particular ancient fathers; though at the same time it is both certain and evident that many pretended interpretations, (that is, arbitrary inventions, from the private spirit of heretics) are both false and groundless, contradictory to the unexceptionable authority (to use Dr. W.’s words) of the primitive fathers, and inconsistent with the doctrine and belief of the Catholic Church, as I may have occasion to shew that the ridiculous fable is of this number, of so many popes being antichrist, and the beast of this Apocalypse. I shall, for the satisfaction of the Christian reader, as I hinted in the preface of this book, give a short account of those expositions that are not improbable. (Witham)

    Ver. 2. A white horse, such as conquerors used to ride upon at a solemn triumph. This is commonly understood of our Saviour, Christ, who, by himself and by his apostles, preachers, martyrs, and other saints, triumphed over all the adversaries of his Church. He had a bow in his hand, the doctrine of his gospel, piercing like an arrow the hearts of the hearers; and the crown given him, was a token of the victory of him who went forth conquering, that he might conquer. (Witham) — He that sitteth on the white horse is Christ, going forth to subdue the world by his gospel. The other horses that follow represent the judgments and punishment, that were to fall on the enemies of Christ and his Church: the red horse signifies war; the black horse famine; and the pale horse (which has death for its rider) plagues or pestilence. (Challoner) — White horse; viz. Jesus Christ, who came to subdue all nations to the faith. The bow signifies the gospel, and the word of God, those powerful arms, of which St. Paul so often speaks, as being so necessary for all who are engaged in bringing souls to the faith of Christ. The crown marks the sovereign power of Jesus Christ, and the assurance of conquest. (Cornelius[Cornelius a Lapide?]; Bossuet; Du Pin)

    http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id292.html

  14. Terry says:

    I just found this article, but had come to the same conclusion in 2010. I do have a few additional thoughts.

    I also hold my positions very lightly, as I agree with Michael Heiser, that the details of eschatology were intentionally written as vague and unclear so that the fallen higher-ups would not be tipped off. That said, my added thoughts on the 4 horsemen:

    The White Horse Rider – Represents a spirit of world conquest that has migrated from Rome, eventually moved to Great Britain, and now influences the United States. This spirit’s resident nation always poses as the benevolent leader of all nations to justify it’s huge military buildup, but underneath it all is deception and a will to subject all others.

    The Red Horse Rider – Represents a spirit of irrational violence and bloodshed. Every era since the cross has had it’s version, but Islam has dominated this role since the 700s. Not represented by any one nation, but easy to identify as centered in the Middle East. I don’t see the antichrist arising out of this mayhem.

    The Black Horse Rider – Represents a spirit of economic inequality and failure. I’m not as clear on this one, but see it centered geographically in Northern Europe and Russia. Monarchies and Communism/Socialism are both failed models. No matter how ideal the beginnings, it always ends up with a few corrupt haves and a multitude of have nots.

    The Pale Horse Rider – Represents a spirit of death and disease. The African continent is now ground zero. Ancient Egypt was obsessed with death. In Africa we see a continent that is perpetually dying from diseases demonically spread by ignorance. We also see unending death by tribal retributions.

    The second part of the fourth horse description is the culmination of all four spirits at their most far-reaching devastation. The Fifth Seal reveals how God’s people are faring at this time. I believe this is where, as in the days of Noah, heaven-ordained judgements begin… with the Sixth Seal.

  15. Robert Lee says:

    Cris, I see one reason why the Four Horsemen can’t be riding today:
    In the days of the fourth horseman (Pale Horse), 1/4 of the earth’s population will die, Rev 6:8. We aren’t seeing that yet.

    Also, the White Horse’s rider is not the Antichrist for four reasons:
    1 – In parallel with Matthew 24, “MANY shall come in my name saying I am Christ”. Many, not one.
    2 – The Antichrist does not appear until after the seventh Trumpet Judgment, Rev. 11:15. The seven seals are opened, then the seven trumpets sound, THEN the Beast rises out of the sea, Rev. 13:1.
    3 – The Antichrist will be revealed by standing in the Holy Place, claiming to be “God”, 2 Thess. 2:4. The Temple hasn’t even been rebuilt yet.
    4 – Daniel’s 70th Week cannot begin until “the covenant” has been made with Israel, Daniel 9:27. Hasn’t happened yet.

    In my opinion, we are not yet in the days of the Beginning of Sorrows/Seven-Sealed Scroll, we are simply nearing the end of the Laodicean period of the Church Age.

    • John Houk says:

      Robert that is some solid insight. Thanks for sharing.

    • Bill Blais says:

      Robert it seems to me the 4 horseman are given power to do these things , but do they need to happen immediately or over a period of time, I believe someone suggested the pale horseman, or green represents Islam.

  16. Robert Lee says:

    Bill, that depends.

    First, please believe that I love you as a brother and respect your opinions, which surely are just as valid as mine.

    Do a few cultists who claim to be Christ fulfill the White Horse prophecy? Jesus said, “Many will come…”
    Does a handful of uprisings fulfill the Red Horse prophecy? Rev 6 says its rider will “…take peace from the earth”.
    Does isolated economic trouble/famine fulfill the Black Horse prophecy? No indication is give in the Bible as to how widespread it must be.
    I don’t see widespread death – at least any more than the earth has always seen – anywhere at this point. I can’t believe this would fulfill the Pale Horse prophecy.

    In addition to the Four Horsemen, there are other aspects to the Beginning of Sorrows which, if that time is upon us, we should be seeing –
    The Fifth Seal indicates widespread Christian persecution and martyrdom. I don’t think we’re seeing that quite yet. Nor do we seem to be undergoing the violent natural disasters of the Sixth Seal. The kings of the earth haven’t gone into hiding yet.

    To be sure, I think the time is very near. The necessary conditions for widespread war, economic turmoil, pandemic disease, Christian persecution and an exceptional, mighty earthquake seem to be in place.
    But at this point, I personally don’t see any of the necessary conditions which are more extreme than what we have always seen. I especially don’t see any outbreak of widespread death – more than usual in our fallen world.

    I think it’s obvious that we are in the last or latter days – of the Church Age. Daniel’s prophecy of increased knowledge (not increased wisdom or understanding) is surely fulfilled in the internet, which disseminates knowledge to the entire world. Israel has returned to its homeland. Russia/Persia are on Israel’s northern border (in my opinion, to fulfill Gog/Magog). But there are still key features of the Beginning of Sorrows which seem, to me, to be lacking.

    Again, this is just my opinion, but I believe that the characteristics of the Seven-sealed scroll, once it’s opened, will not be slow in coming or drawn out over a long period of time. I believe that they will be sudden and intense, throwing the earth into a level of chaos like we’ve never seen. As it stands today, people are still getting up and going to work, going on vacations, having birthday parties etc. The great mercy of God is – in my opinion – delaying the onslaught of the trouble which is to come.

    I do not believe that the current situation can last much longer. In his book “The Israel Omen”, David Brennan describes how each attempt to divide the land of Israel removes us a little further from the “umbrella” of God’s mercy. And there is now a new attempt coming to divide the land. I personally believe that this new effort will result in “the covenant” spoken of by Daniel. We should soon see the Temple rebuilt and Temple worship/sacrifices restarted.

    In my opinion, the trigger for the opening of the Scroll MAY be the invasion of Israel by Gog/Russia, Persia/Iran and “many others”.

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