The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse an 1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov
1887 depiction by Victor Vasnetsov

By COGwriter

Many have heard about the prophecies related to the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

This article will quote the Bible, various writers, and even non-biblical prophecies that may have some reflection on this subject. (There is also a related YouTube video titled Sorrows and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.) It also contains some speculation which tends to be identified as such.

What Does the Bible Teach About the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

In the Book of Revelation we read about many things, including seven seals:

1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" (Revelation 5:1-2)

Here is what the Bible specifically mentions about the four horsemen in the Book of Revelation and ties them in with four of the seven seals:

1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see."

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth (Revelation 6:1-8).

Reading Revelation 5:2 and 6:1 indicate that the seals related to the horsemen had not been opened prior to John’s vision in Revelation (circa 95 A.D.), thus an end time fulfillment (like in the 21st century) is consistent with this prophecy.

It may also be that the horsemen of Revelation 6 could be related to the horses of the four chariots that seem to be the same color in Zechariah 6:1-7. The account in Zechariah may represent the ante-type with also some future application [like geographic starting points] or may not be related at all. The sequence of the horsemen, though, in Revelation 6 is more consistent with the sequence in Matthew 24, than the order shown in Zechariah.

All four of the seals will be opened prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

Either they will be opened over a relatively long period of time (years or decades) and are connected to what Jesus called "the beginning of sorrws" or they are separate from that and only cover a short period of time (days or weeks).

The First Horseman: The White Horse of False Religion

Again, notice the following:

1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see."

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2)

Somewhat paralleling the ride of the first horseman of Revelation 6:2, Jesus warned about false religion:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.  5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

In 1973, the old Worldwide Church of God taught:

A Counterfeit Creeps In

The very first world development Jesus Christ warns about is the advent of many false preachers, misleading and deceiving the many, not the few. This condition began immediately after Christ’s death and resurrection. The Apostle Paul warned that the spirit of iniquity was already working, even as he wrote.

Jude, the younger brother of Jesus Christ, exhorted early Christians to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness” (Jude 3, 4).

In the first century true Christians witnessed a counterfeit Christianity creeping in, deceiving many. Such religious deception has now increased in intensity until the whole world has become deceived about the true message of Christ. By the time of the end, your Bible says that Satan the devil “deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9).

There is no greater sign of this universal ignorance about God than the misunderstanding of who the first horseman of Revelation 6 actually represents.

“Another Christ”

It is true that the white horse represents a Christ, but it is a false Christ. It is true that the first horseman represents a gospel and a church, but it is a false gospel and a false church—all in the name of Jesus Christ, but in truth a deception and a counterfeit. Jesus Christ says so Himself in Matthew 24, and the Apostle Paul amplified Christ’s words very plainly in II Corinthians 11.

“I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted” they might be deceived. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15).

Your Bible identifies Satan’s ministers as being professing Christians! They don’t appear Satanic, of course. They appear as “angels of light.” They look like the white horse of Christ’s return, but they are in truth a clever counterfeit of the true Christ.

Paul isn’t warning us against obviously false religions—such as pagan animism. Eastern occult sects, outright Satan worship, or bizarre semi-Christian cults—but rather against a subtle counterfeit. Counterfeits, like bogus money, attempt to be as close as possible to the original, yet with subtle flaws discernible only to experts.  Counterfeit Christianity is the same. It may appear Biblical or Christ-like, but subtle flaws exist throughout its beliefs.

The horseman aboard the white horse in Revelation 6 is just such a subtle counterfeit ...

All three of the remaining horsemen, however, have their basis in this world’s false Christian religions ...

If you are still part of this world’s religious Babylon, this very book of Revelation warns you to, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). To escape the following three horsemen, come out of the first horseman: counterfeit Christianity—the root cause of war, famine and pestilence prophesied to come on all mankind during your lifetime! (Alexander G. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ambassador College Press, Pasadena (CA), 1973, pp. 14-16,19)

A compromised religion calling itself Christian has been perceived by many as the true and faithful Christian religion. 

Around 1918, a Church of God leader named G.G. Rupert wrote:

Christ ... is king of his people and head of the one true church.  All other organizations are but imitations and counterfeits ... they are left under the influence of Satan to practice every deception under the name Christianity that Satan wishes them to do and teach ... We say that the Greek, the Roman, and the Protestant organizations are all the daughters of modern Babylon, the Baal woman, who is the representative of the work of Satan in every age. (Rupert GG. The Seven Churches. Union Publishing Company, c. 1918, pp. 5,10, 22)

Getting back to that same 1973 booklet, the old WCG also taught:

The long-term condition of false religion described above will culminate in the end-time fulfillment of the white horseman of Revelation 6, in the person of a great False Prophet ... He will signal the beginning of sorrows: the first horseman. (Alexander G, p. 17)

This horseman will work to conquer the truth. A 'white' horse indicates that the message will look good to others. But the Apostle Paul warned about that:

12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

Paul is warning that people will claim to be true Christian leaders and that those leaders will try to come across as ministers of righteousness, but instead be on Satan's side.

The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, taught:

Revelation 6:2 ... 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. That is the picture of the ministers of Satan and not of Christ (Armstrong HW. Times and Seasons. https://www.hwalibrary.com/cgi-bin/get/hwa.cgi?action=getsermon&InfoID=1335184687 accessed 07/01/20)

Why a bow connected with Satan?

One commentator on a television program (Seven Seals of Revelation episode. Nostradamus Effect. History Channel, 2009) mentioned that she felt that the bow was a representing power of the air. In the Bible Satan is called:

2 ... the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (Ephesians 2:2)

Bows also work over a distance and that is consistent with what leaders of the ecumenical and interfaith movements are working for. And what will happen when various laws are put in place associated with the coming Beast and False Prophet.

Getting back to Herbert W. Armstrong, he also taught:

The first horseman is not the coming of Christ; it was the false Christ deceiving the people. For one thing, it was long after Christ had come. John wrote this in 90 AD and Christ had come, and was crucified, and gone to heaven in 31 AD. So you see it's talking of something else, not something that had happened. This is a prophecy for the future. (Armstrong HW. Revelation - Closed Book Until the End. http://www.hwalibrary.com/cgi-bin/get/hwa.cgi?action=getbroadcast&InfoID=1371308958 accessed 09/05/17)

Notice also something the old Worldwide Church of God taught:

Were Christ to return on the white horse of Revelation 6, He would precede the darkest, most troubled time period of the earth's history, known as the Great Tribulation. A quick comparison of Joel 2:31, Matthew 24:29-30 and Revelation 6:12-17 will show that Christ doesn't return until after this Great Tribulation. Christ's second coming ushers in the peaceful period known as the millennium. The white horseman in Revelation 6, on the other hand, is the harbinger of a series of calamitous events that culminate in the prophesied Great Tribulation. (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse-The White Horse-False Religion. Ambassador College Press, 1976)

Many in the old Worldwide Church of God, however, seemed to believe that the four horsemen began their ride in the first century. Yet, the predominant position in its literature was that the horsemen had not began their ride, but it was for the future. And in the latter portion of the 20th century that ride still was for the future.

Then towards the end of the 20th century, there was an agreement between the Roman Catholics and Lutherans made in 1999. Yet little seemed to change from that for a about a decade (see also Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!). In the 21st century, we have seen events suggesting that the white horse is moving about.

This first seal is opened up prior to the Great Tribulation (the “beginning of sorrows” precedes the Great Tribulation, cf. Matthew 24:8,21).

Speculatively it could have officially began as early as the Feast of Trumpets in September 2009; if the first seal, in a sense, was not opened centuries ago. We know that at least its antetype has been around since Simon Magus of Acts 8:9-24--yet since Simon Magus and others were around BEFORE John saw the Revelation, they were not the final ride of the first horseman as the first seal could not be opened before John saw the Revelation!. Furthermore, it will not be until after the beast powers of Revelation 13 are in full control, when the whole world will worship the beast and the dragon (Revelation 13:3-8; 18:23), that this horseman’s conquest will be complete.

I have suspected that the beginning of sorrows may have begun on September 19, 2009 or shortly thereafter. During the Feast of Tabernacles, in the first week of October in 2009, a sense came over me that something of prophetic import had happened. Like what? Like we were then in the 'beginning of sorrows." I had not been watching the news, but sensed that it either began right then or perhaps it had began on the Feast of Trumpets that year.

After returning from the Feast of Tabernacles, I did some research to look to see if any major ecumenical event could have happened around then.

Could the first seal, for the ride of the white horse of the Apocalypse have began in 2009?

Well, there was a meeting of the Eastern Orthodox back then which seemed to embrace the ecumenical agenda of the white horseman of Revelation 6:1-2. And that seemed to be consistent with the first sorrow Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:4-5.  During the period of September 15-22, 2009, the Eastern Orthodox held a significant pan-Orthodox conference; working towards unity was one of the objectives (World Council of Churches Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Consultation Towards the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) Leros, Greece. 15-22 September 2009). Notice the following from an official Eastern Orthodox website:

1. Responding to the invitation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) to offer a theological contribution to the process leading to the 2011 International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) in Kingston, Jamaica, an Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Consultation was held in the island of Leros, Greece, 15-22 September 2009.

2. The gathering was graciously hosted, on behalf of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, by H.E. Metropolitan Paisios of Leros, Kalymnos and Astypalaia, in the Dodecanese islands, Greece.

3. The meeting brought together twenty-five participants from nearly all Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches, hierarchs, priests, members of monastic communities, university professors, lay persons male and female, and WCC staff. (World Council of Churches. Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Consultation Towards the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) Leros, Greece. 15-22 September 2009. 09/22/09 https://www.patriarchate.org/world-council-of-churches/-/asset_publisher/jSr7xbXp3kBW/content/world-council-of-churches-inter-orthodox-preparatory-consultation-towards-the-international-ecumenical-peace-convocation-iepc-leros-greece-15-22-septe)

By itself, the meeting did not seem like too much, but it was partially in response to the World Council of Churches. Later Orthodox statements and developments have demonstrated that it might have been quite important.

After that meeting. 0n October 15, 2009, the Vatican’s then top ecumenical official reported:

The official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the mainline Protestant Churches — Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed and Methodist — is entering a new phase, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  Cardinal Walter Kasper pointed this out Thursday during a press conference at the Vatican…(Cardinal Kasper on 40 Years of Dialogue Says Catholic-Protestant Relations Entering New Phase.Zenit, October 16, 2009)

Notice this was called “a new phase” in the official dialogue, suggesting that major changes were occurring. On the next day, the Vatican and the Orthodox began a new round of ecumenical negotiations.

The eleventh meeting of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church took place in Paphos, Cyprus, a city with a rich history, having received three Apostles, Paul, Barnabas and Mark. The meeting took place from 16-23 October 2009 ... The Orthodox meeting discussed among other things the negative reactions to the Dialogue by certain Orthodox circles, and unanimously considered them as totally unfounded and unacceptable, providing false and misleading information. (Comminique. JOINT INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH  AND THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. 11TH PLENARY SESSION. Paphos, Cyprus, 16-23 October 2009.  Paphos, Cyprus, 22 October 2009.  http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=1124&tla=en).

The International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church has progressed in its reflection on the role of the bishop of Rome. The meeting was attended by 20 Catholic members; all Orthodox Churches were represented, with the exception of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria. The commission worked under the guidance of two co-presidents: the Catholic representative was Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; and the Orthodox representative was Metropolitan Ioannis Zizioulas of Pergamum. (Orthodox-Catholic Commission Studies Primacy of Peter Concludes 11th Plenary Session in Paphos.Zenit, October 23, 2009)

Furthermore, there was a symbolic show of unity "initiated by the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, with support from the German National Committee of the LWF and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD) and by cooperation with Lutherstadt Wittenberg" and called the Luthergarten (http://www.luthergarten.de/welcome.html accessed 10/31/17). It included a tree planted first by Roman Catholic Cardinal Walter Kasper, the second by Metropolit Augoustinos for the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, the third by Canon Kenneth Kearon for the Anglican Community, the fourth by Secretary General Dr. Setri Nyomi of the World Reformed Churches, the fifth by Bishop Walter Klaiber of the World Methodist Council, the sixth by General Secretary Dr. Ishmael Noko of the Lutheran World Federation, the seventh by Bishop Ilse Junkermann of the Evangelical Church of Central Germany, the eighth by Bishop Maria Jepsen of the North Elbian Protestant Church (Germany), and the ninth by Andreas Flade of the Protestant Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg (Germany)--in time, hundred of trees were planted--and from churches on all the inhabited continents of the earth (the list is at http://www.luthergarten.de/list.html accessed 10/31/17).

Partially because of these actions, I have speculated that the ‘beginning of sorrows’ that Jesus spoke of (Matthew 24:4-8) may have actually began on or near September 19, 2009–during the WCC and Eastern Orthodox meeting. The actions of Patriarch Bartholomew may have triggered this. If four of the items related to the beginning of sorrows are connected to the opening of the four seals (which is the traditional WCG, etc. possession), then they would have to be opened over a period of at least years.

I perhaps should mention that I also told the presiding evangelist of my former church in November of 2009, that the beginning of sorrows may have started on September 19, 2009 or shortly thereafter. Later that church put out several writings (mainly in commentaries, but also in an email directly to me from one of its evangelists) that the beginning of sorrows had begun. Prior to that, its publications normally indicated it was soon. So, there seemed to be at least a tacit agreement on this (though it has inconsistencies in its writings on this and has pulled several of the earlier commentaries it used to have).

Consider that this first seal is to be (or even was) opened around the time when the one who will become the False Prophet successfully works with groups which will re-connect with Rome. At least one significant re-connection happened in 2009 with some of the Anglicans (Messia H, Hanna J.  Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic Church.  CNN, October 21, 2009. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/20/vatican.anglican.church/ viewed 10/25/09). This has been followed by one or more declarations involving the Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, and others related to the Church of Rome. Expect to see more declarations/deals beyond those which have already happened.

Interestingly, on September 20, 2016, a Catholic publication referred to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as a "great ecumenist" (see Patriarch Bartholomew praised as a ‘great ecumenist’–will this end in disaster?). The sun-worshiping Roman Emperor Constantine is considered “great” for his compromising and blending of religions. He claimed to see a vision of the sun-god and then later a cross in the sky. Constantine impacted world history and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople seems to be as well, though a but more subtly as far as the world is concerned. Could Patriarch Bartholomew tipped the scales for many of the Eastern Orthodox to work towards ecumenical unity back in 2009? It certainly seems so.

More on ecumenical unity continues to take place around the world. A related video is available: Ecumenism and the ride of the White Horse of the Apocalypse.

Many events in the past several years suggest that “beginning of sorrows” seems to have begun. The following help demonstrate this:

Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! Compromise has occurred between the Church of Rome and various Protestants.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their 'mother church' in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind's Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN's 'New Universal Agenda' is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.

On January 25, 2020, an ecumenical document was signed by the Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals, the Seventh-day Adventists, and Methodists

A historical "Ecumenical Charter" was signed by Seventh-day Adventists, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals and Methodists on January 25th, in Bologna, Italy. The charter says that "the most important task of the Churches is to proclaim the Gospel together through word and action, for the salvation of all human beings. (Gendron M. Catholics Seek Unity with SDA's and Evangelicals. Proclaiming the Gospel newsletter, March 2020)

Note: While other SDA leaders opposing this (see Seventh-day Adventists’ ecumenical controversies), as the SDAs consider themselves to be Protestant, it is no surprise that many in their leadership are going along with the Vatican’s agenda to bring its Protestant “daughters” back into the fold. Officially, “Seventh-day Adventists … stress the conviction that many Roman Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ” (How Seventh-day Adventists View Roman Catholicism. This statement was recorded on April 15, 1997, by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg). My prayer is for all, including the SDAs, to seek the truth, change, and hold to “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and to come out of Babylon (cf. Revelation 17 & 18).

And the ride of the white horseman will worsen from what we have seen so far, particularly around the time the fifth seal is opened.

There are Catholic writings that indicate that some in the future who wear crosses will be persecutors:

St. Francis de Paul (1470): ... From your lordship shall be born the great leader of the holy militia ... These devout men shall wear on their breasts, and much more in their hearts, the sign of the living God, namely the cross ... members of this holy order ...

... the Great Monarch ... He shall be a great captain and prince of holy men, who shall be called 'the holy Cross-bearers of Jesus Christ,' with whom he will destroy the Mahometan sect and the rest of the infidels. He shall annihilate all the heresies and tyrannies of the world. He shall reform the Church of God by means of his followers, who shall be the best men upon the earth in holiness, in arms, in science, and in every virtue ... They shall obtain dominion over the whole world, both temporal and spiritual ...

God Almighty will exalt a very poor man of the blood of Emperor Constantine...who shall on his breast wear a sign which you have seen at the beginning of this letter (a red Cross) ... He will gather a grand army, and the angels shall fight for them ...

This religious order shall be the last and best in the Church: it shall proceed with arms ... Woe to tyrants, to heretics, and to infidels to whom no pity will be shown ... An infinite number of wicked men shall perish through the hands of the Cross-bearers ... most holy Crossbearers elected by the Most High, who, not succeeding in converting heretics with science, shall make vigorous use of their arms ... These holy Cross-bearers shall reign and dominate holily over the whole world until the end of time ...

But when shall this take place? When crosses with the stigmas shall be seen, and the crucifix shall be carried as the standard. The time is coming when the Divine Majesty will visit the world with a new religious order of holy Cross-bearers, who will carry a crucifix, or the image of our crucified Lord, lifted up upon the principal standard in view of all. This standard will be admired by all good Catholics; but at the beginning it will be derided by bad Christians and by infidels...You shall destroy the sect of the Mahomet, and all infidels of every sect. You shall put an end to all the heresies of the world ...

He shall be the great founder of a new religious order different from all the others ... This shall be the last religious order in the Church and shall do more good for our holy religion than all other religious institutes. By force of arms he shall take possession of a great kingdom. He shall destroy the sect of Mahomet...There will be one fold, one shepherd. He shall reign until the end of time. On the whole earth there will be twelve kings, one emperor and one pope. (Culleton, p. 157-161).

St. Bridget of Sweden (died 1373): ... war shall end when an emperor of Spanish origin will be elected, who will, in a wonderful manner, be victorious through the sign of the Cross. He shall destroy the Jewish and Mahometan sects ... (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times, p. 154).

Anne Catherine Emmerich (October, 1820): warriors, led by a rider on a white horse; and … citizens and peasants, many of whom were marked on the forehead with a red cross. As this army drew near, the captives and oppressed were delivered and swelled the ranks whilst the demolishers and conspirators were put to flight on all sides (Emmerich AC. The Life of Lord Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations. Schmöger edition, Vol. II. Nihil Obstat: D. Jaegher, 14 Februari 1914. Imprimatur: A.C. De Schrevel, Brugis, 14 Februari 1914. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 2004, pp. 290-291).

Of course, Jesus (e.g. Matthew 5:11-12; 10:23) taught that Christians would be the persecuted, not the persecutors (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Consider that Bible warns about the rider of the white horse (Revelation 6:1-2), who represents the final Antichrist. It is my view that he is alive now and has had a role for a number of years related to working on and pushing an ecumenical and interfaith agenda (see also Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? and Some Doctrines of Antichrist).

The Bible also warns that those who refuse the ‘mark of the beast’ (Revelation 13:16-17) are subject to be being killed through the direction of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:11-15). The fact that Catholic prophecy points to people who are persecuting wearing a cross and going against “Jewish” sects (which Catholics tend to consider the COG to be) and “heretics” is consistent with the view that a cross may well be a mark or image of the Beast and Antichrist.

The Second Horsemen: The Red Horse of War

Notice the following:

3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Possibly somewhat paralleling the ride of the second horseman of Revelation 6:3-4, Jesus warned about wars:

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Notice some of what in 1973, the old Worldwide Church of God, taught will happen after the first horseman:

As the first horsemen rides forth “conquering and to conquer” in the name of his false religion, the second horseman—war—is quick on his heels as that instrument of conquest. (Alexander G, pp. 23-24)

It should be pointed out that although the old WCG tended to see all the horsemen coming rapidly after each other, the following statements by Jesus suggest a time gap:

8 And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them. 9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." (Luke 21:8-9)

How long the time gap between the horsemen is not specified, but the above suggests a significant gap. A gap that we now seem to be in.

Consider that the opening of the second seal (Revelation 6:3-4) is to result in less peace on the Earth.

While this is commonly called the red horse (or horseman) of war, that is not quite what is stated. Notice that he "takes peace from the earth AND that people should kill one another." Could it be that events in 2019, such as COVID-19 are consistent with taking "peace from the earth"?

Around the world people are AFRAID. The feeling of normalcy is gone for many around the globe. Consider that the travel restrictions are because of fear. The media and government officials are saying everything will not go back to how it was and that we need to accept what they have called "the new normal." Speculatively, could this be related to the opening of the second seal?

Not since World War II have we seen anything affect the entire planet so much. I have had a kind of gnawing feeling that perhaps the second seal was opened the late Spring or early Summer of 2020 that perhaps we needed to better reconsider the opening of the second seal as possible.

The literal Greek here for "peace" (εἰρήνην transliterated as eirēnēn) in Revelation 6 can be interpreted to mean taking away prosperity as well (see BibleHub.com). COVID-19 has, to a degree, done that. People are afraid or at least uneasy to a degree we have not seen around the world anytime in the 21st century.

Barnes Notes on the Bible states:

The power given to him that sat on the horse: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. This would seem to indicate that the condition immediately preceding this was a condition of tranquility, and that this was now disturbed by some cause producing discord and bloodshed. This idea is confirmed by the original words - τὴν εἰρήνην tēn eirēnēn - "the peace"; that is, the previously existing peace. When peace in general is referred to, the word is used without the article: Matthew 10:34, "Think not that I am come to send peace - βαλεῖν εἰρήνην balein eirēnēn - upon the earth."

So, this rider is not just a rider of war, but taking away THE peace.

Consider that this taking peace or prosperity by the rider of the red horse does NOT preclude the peace deal Daniel 9:27.

Nor does it prevent Mystery Babylon the Great from having a time of prosperity (actually according to Daniel 11:39-43, war will bring wealth and prosperity to the King of the North. It is NOT constant physical warfare everywhere, though physical violence and warfare (consistent with Jesus' words in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) will also occur.

But things will get worse.

The old WCG also put out the following:

Where is it all going to end? That was the question the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ posed in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew. Christ's answer, known as the Olivet Prophecy, is quite revealing. "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars," Christ said, referring to one of the prophetic signals that would herald the end of an age (verse 6).

Certainly there have always been wars. And certainly Christ's words had particular meaning for that day and age. Within a few short decades Roman legions under the command of Titus sacked, burned and pillaged the city of Jerusalem.

But Jesus' warning about war was also applicable to another period in history. In the book of Revelation, Christ, speaking through the apostle John, amplified some of His previous prophetic statements. In the sixth chapter, John writes: "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" (Rev. 6:4).

John was not speaking about the fall of Jerusalem. That war was already some twenty years behind him. John was referring to future events that would bring 6000 years of human history crashing to a cataclysmic close. … John is referring to a time yet ahead of us when “peaceful coexistence” will be a thing of the past. ...

It's no wonder that Jeremiah, in referring to these tumultuous times, stated: "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble ..." (Jer. 30:7). (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse - The Red Horse - War, pp. 48, 52; see also Ritter R. The War that could end it all. Good News, December 1975)

There may also be wars in parts of the world that have rarely had them (perhaps, for example, even between some South American nations), as well as wars in areas that have long been especially tense (like Korea, possibly involving other Asian nations). Damascus ultimately will be destroyed and could be a signal for destruction to come for Jacob (Isaiah 17:1-4). There will likely be civil unrest and perhaps rioting in scales not seen before, including within some Western nations (such as in Europe and North America). This will lead to military leaders rising up in various parts of the world. And one European (the final King of the North) will, after making one or more false peace deals/pronouncements (e.g. Daniel 9:26-27; 11:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3), become the final Beast leader (Revelation 13:4) and he will take over many nations (Daniel 11:39-43).

The following prophecy seems to teach that a coming “King of Europe” will be like the Beast of Revelation:

Nostradamus (16th century): As a Griffin the King of Europe shall come, Accompanied by those of Aquila. Of Reds and Whites shall lead a great army ... (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 105)

A Griffin is a mythological creature with parts of other animals like the head a lion, eagle's wings, and a fish (Dupont, p. 105). One variety is known as a “sea-griffin” and tends to resemble a dragon in its appearance, so in a sense, a Griffin could be considered as a beast from the sea (cf. Revelation 13:1) which also has the mouth of a lion (cf. Daniel 7:4; Revelation 13:2). In mythology, Aquila (a constellation) was owned by the Roman god Jupiter and performed many tasks for him (Aquila.  Wikipedia, accessed 02/07/11).

Thus, Nostradamus' “King of Europe” Griffin seems to have a resemblance to the Beast of the Bible. So, does the “Great Monarch” (who is presumed to be the same person; see also The King of the North) that certain Catholics have foretold:

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (died 1658): The Great Monarch will have the special help of God and be unconquerable. (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, pp. 35-36)

Thus, a powerful military leader is expected by biblical and Roman/Orthodox Catholic prophecy--though the Bible shows that the help for this “monarch” will be Satanic (Revelation 16:13), not God.

Since there is rebellion against the Beast/King of the North leader in Daniel 11:40, it should be clear that although this horseman begins his official ride prior to the Great Tribulation (and perhaps began it already), he ends it after it has begun. 

The Bible shows that a European leader will rise up TALKING peace, but that he will be a warring and persecution leader (Revelation 13:1-10; Daniel 11:31-44).

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. (Daniel 11:23-24, NKJV)

So this leader gives people the impression that there will be "peace" and is involved in some type of deal. This is the same leader that confirms the covenant in Daniel 9:27--this leader is a European--he is NOT Donald Trump.

But now consider that Jesus said:

4 "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)

The old WCG published:

Actually the word "SORROWS" means "trials" or "tribulation." So Jesus is saying these are the beginning of "tribulation" {which will lead to} — the Great Tribulation (Antion D. Will You Fall Away? Good News. May-June 1968).

We are in the "beginning of sorrows." What looks like the first horseman of the Apocalypse spreading a false interfaith and ecumenical gospel has been becoming more and more prominent on the world scene the past several years. They claim Jesus is the Christ, but do not truly act like it, and they are deceiving many.

Jesus said this would be followed by wars and rumors of war.

Comments by Donald Trump and the leaders of North Korea and Iran are consistent with that (watch also Donald Trump, Warmongering, and the Red Horse of War).

There are also issues with Israel, Syria, Hong Kong, the Palestinians, and parts of Africa and Asia. East.

If it has not yet started, we may be very near the time of the ride of the red horseman of the apocalypse.


Red Horseman of War

The specter of war is haunting parts of the world right now. And though we expect, after conflict, to see temporary peace in places like the Middle East (cf. Daniel 9:27; see also The 'Peace Deal' of Daniel 9:27), many are preparing for war.

The opening of this seal IS NOT the Great Tribulation, as that does not begin until the 5th seal of Revelation is opened (Revelation 6:9).

Jesus said that before the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), there would that we are to expect wars, rumors of wars, and various sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8).

Anyway, world leaders, other than only the Beast of Revelation 13:1-10, are involved with this red horse.

What leads to the riding of the horsemen, including the one of war?

Satan!

7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:7-9)

12 Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. (Revelation 12:12)

Satan deceives the world, including religiously (2 Corinthians 11:14-15), and is a factor in the ride of the white horseman and then the others.

Satan is stirring up unrest around the world. And this also includes Europe.

The Bible shows that a warring leader will arise in Europe:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:1-4)

That sea, according to Daniel, is the "Great Sea" (Daniel 7:2-8), further identified by other scriptures to be what we now call the Mediterranean Sea (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16). We also have a BNP video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?

Once this Beast decides to make massive war, at first he will be successful.

Before then, he will likely quell unrest (or even civil war) in Europe. Because of his involvement in Daniel 9:27 and his quelling of unrest, he will be considered a peace maker.

Then, he will eventually turn against the USA and its Anglo-Saxon descended allies:

24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power;
He shall destroy fearfully,
And shall prosper and thrive;
He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.

25 "Through his cunning
He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;
And he shall exalt himself in his heart.
He shall destroy many in their prosperity. (Daniel 8:24-25)

39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:39)

This Beast leader, also called the King of the North, will then eliminate lands now dominated by Islam:

40 "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. (Daniel 11:40-43)

He will be successful militarily for a time (cf. Revelation 13:4).

Satan will want to see more destroyed and will encourage nations to gather in Armageddon:

13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:13-16)

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:13-14)

16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16)

This will not turn out well for those who so gather:

14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)

44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44)

8 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:18)

15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:15-21)

Yet, even though we currently a lot of military boasting and posturing--and much more will happen, that ultimately will fail. The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

The Third Horseman: Black Horse of Food Shortages

History, as well of the words of Jesus (Matthew 24:7-8), tends to show that food shortages come after wars, and the third horseman comes after the horseman representing the taking of peace as well as war.

Notice that this horseman results in scarcity and famine. Revelation 6:5-6 indicates that there will be food, but that it will be quite expensive (food-price inflation).

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:5-6)

Consider also that food inflation is associated with the ride of the third horse, the black horse. And while that is commonly called the black horse of famine, the word famine is not in Revelation 6:5-6. That does NOT mean that there will not be any famines--for there will be--but food inflation will be considered as caused by government overprinting of money, crop matters, trade issues, etc. and most will NOT attribute it to the ride of the third horseman or the opening of the third seal.

But yes, some will thus die as they will not be able to afford it, while others will survive but struggle.

The black horseman’s future ride will reduce the proud faces of white America, Europe, and the British Commonwealth into the blackened skin of starvation such as now afflicts the vast majority of mankind. (Alexander G. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ambassador College Press, Pasadena (CA), 1973, p. 31)

Here is something else from the old Worldwide Church of God:

FEEDING THE BLACK HORSE OF FAMINE

Centuries ago the greatest prophet, forecaster, and newscaster who ever lived described in vivid detail the most climactic period in all of man’s existence. The prophet, Jesus Christ, was referring to events immediately preceding the end or consummation of this present era of human history.

His answer came in response to His disciples’ question: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matt. 24:3.)

Jesus spoke of several major events that would signal the beginning of this troubled period. After false prophets and wars came a third significant indicator: “… and there will be famines” (Matt. 24:7).

Some 60 years later, Christ further elaborated on this description when He gave the apostle John the prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the sixth chapter of the ‘book of Revelation. Again the same basic sequence of events is described. Following the white horse representing false Christs and the red horse of war comes the black horse of famine: “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” (Rev. 6:5-6, KJV).

Unprecedented Famine

There have always been famines, but there have never been famines the likes of which the world is currently experiencing. Usually famines of the past came in conjunction with droughts, wars, and other natural or man-made disturbances. They were cyclical in nature. Today worldwide famine is built into the structure of world society. Famine is now a way of life for millions of people. Weather fluctuations, wars and crop failures only serve to exacerbate existing conditions.

Today’s famines also differ in both nature and size from those of the past. Never before did multiple hundreds of millions of people suffer from hunger and malnutrition at any given period in history as they do today. As Paul and Arthur Simon wrote in The Politics of World Hunger: “The population explosion has produced stress and deprivation on a scale without precedent, as well as a momentum of growth that boggles the mind” (p. 51).

So Jesus Christ was not merely guessing about future famines. He was describing an age of human existence that was unique from all others in which widespread famine was only one of many interrelated events. In the 24th chapter of Matthew, He made this clear when He said: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (verse 21).

The prophet Jeremiah describes this tumultuous age as follows: “Alas! that day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob …” (Jer. 30:7).

Daniel likewise wrote: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time” (Dan. 12:1).

Today, modern-day prophets have finally caught up with the patriarchs of old. Notice what Robert McNamara says about this era of world history: “We have to see the population problem as part … of a much wider social and political crisis that grows deeper with each decade and threatens to round off this century with years of unrest and turbulence, a ‘time of troubles’ [emphasis ours] during which the forces of historical change threaten our frail twentieth century society with disintegration.”

Also, Georg Borgstrom states: “As a human race we are heading for Supreme Disaster, and the great challenge to our generation is to avert this calamity. It has to be done in this crucial century, or mankind may well deprive itself of both its future and its history.”

And worldwide famine, fueled by an exploding population and future international conflicts, will undoubtedly be a key catalyst in this rapidly deteriorating chain of events.

Old Testament Warnings

Christ, who was the Logos or Spokesman of the Old Testament (see I Cor. 10:4, John 1:1), also gave national warnings concerning famine through many of the prophets of old.
In these passages, famine, along with the 2nd and 4th horsemen, war and pestilence, are shown to be the ultimate result of false religion (the first horseman) and flagrant disobedience of God’s commandments.

Notice some of the penalties for disobedience recorded in the 26th chapter of Leviticus: “If after all this you have not learnt discipline but still defy me, I in turn will defy you and scourge you seven times over for your sins. I will bring war in vengeance upon you … you shall be herded into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be given over to the enemy. I will cut short your daily bread until ten women can bake your bread in a single oven; they shall dole it out by weight [see Revelation 6:5-6], and though you eat, you shall not be satisfied. If in spite of this you do not listen to me and still defy me, I will defy you in anger, and I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. Instead of meat you shall eat your sons and daughters” (Lev. 26:23-28, The New English Bible).

Other passages warn of famine-producing upsets in weather (Amos 4:7, Deut. 28:24); ruined harvests (Ezek. 5:16, Deut. 28:17); blighted crops (Amos 4:9); harmful insect pests (Deut. 28:39, 42); and nonproductive soil (Deut. 28:23).

Israel of old didn’t heed these warnings and suffered the consequences. Today many of the modern nations of the world, including the United States and Britain, are following in the footsteps of the ancient Israelites and are beginning to pay the same penalties as their predecessors.

The Bitter Harvest of Disobedience

And as men continue to flagrantly disregard the laws of their Creator, such conditions will continue to be aggravated. Jesus Christ went on to warn of similar calamities in the future. In the book of Revelation, He depicts an earth whose entire food producing ecosystem will be in jeopardy. …

Perhaps lack of food or resources resulting from these global catastrophes explains why a massive army of 200 million men decides to march on the Middle East in the 16th chapter of Revelation. In any event, Jesus Christ went on to show that unless He personally intervened in the affairs of men during this tumultuous time period, all life would be erased from off the face of the earth (Matt. 24:22).

A Global Surplus of Food

Christ’s intervention will set off a chain of events that will finally bring a halt to the continuous rounds of famine and hunger the human race has experienced down through history. Satan the Devil will be put away (Rev. 20:1-2), and with him will go the centuries—old system of greed and exploitation that has left many a broken, hungry, and destitute person in its wake. The “dispossessed masses” will become a thing of the past as every individual will have a chance to own agriculturally productive real estate (Micah 4:4). Farming methods will be overhauled until lush crops are considered commonplace (Isa. 32:15), and one harvest follows hard on the heels of the previous one (Amos 9:13-14).

The earth’s arable land mass will be greatly expanded as mountains are lowered (Isa. 40:4) and the sands of the deserts begin an unprecedented retreat (Isa. 35:1, 7). Only then will the age-old problem of famine finally be put to rest. (4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Black Horse – Famine. WCG booklet, 1976)

We are starting to see more reports of food shortages and the potential for food inflation. Nations, like the USA, that have been printing up more and more money (at least partially because of governmental COVID steps) are also contributing to the stage of getting food inflation.

But, famine will also happen.

I also suspect that agricultural practices, such as the heavy reliance on genetically-modified crops is helping set the stage for some of this in countries like the USA (see also GMOs and Bible Prophecy; there is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible).

It also should be pointed out that while the northern Babylonian Beast power will prosper for a short while, it too will ultimately succumb to famine according to Revelation 18:2,8:

2 Babylon ... 8 her plagues will come in one day--death and mourning and famine…

Yes, food inflation, food shortages, and famine are coming.

The Fourth Horseman: Pale Horse of Pestilence and Death

History, as well of the words of Jesus (Matthew 24:7-8), tends to show that pestilences and death follow food shortages.  In Revelation 6:7-8 the fourth horseman, the pale horse of death and pestilence, comes after the horseman representing famine:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

A fourth of the earth–that is something in the neighborhood of 2,000,000,000 people–a huge amount. But notice that much of the deaths associated with the ride of the two previous horsemen are placed here. This suggests that there will not be as much death, at first, from the ride of the second and third horsemen that many expect. Because of that, most will not truly understand what is happening--and that includes Christians as only a portion are promised protection from "the hour of trial" (Revelation 3:7-10).

Now consider that, according to Jesus, one or more significant pestilences will begin shortly before the start of the Great Tribulation. It biblically appears to be highly likely that the USA and its Anglo-allies will be hit hard by pestilences (likely worsened by their relatively high dependence upon genetically-modified “foods”) just prior to being taken over (Leviticus 26:21-25) by the Beast power (Daniel 11:39).

And while no pestilence will stop the rise of the Babylonian Beast power, the Book of Revelation indicates that the final effect of the fourth horseman will ultimately affect this spiritual city of Babylon, and apparently result in death (Revelation 18:8) and including by the sword (Revelation 19:14-21).

Notice some of what the old Worldwide Church of God, taught related to the end of the ride of the fourth horseman rides:

In the book of Revelation we find a disturbing vision of four fearsome horsemen (Rev. 6:1-8). Each of these horsemen is a symbol of the four major punishments to be inflicted upon a rebellious mankind -- probably in the not-too-distant future! … In Revelation 6:8, John writes: "And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades [the grave] followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth" (RSV). By today's head count, that would amount to a mind boggling one billion people. And according to the Olivet prophecy, that is only the "beginning of sorrows" (Matt. 24:8). Much more is to follow as the world moves into the darkest moments of its entire history. Jeremiah called it the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7). Christ said there would be "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world... nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). (4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse - The Pale Horse - Disease Epidemics. Ambassador College Press, 1975)

Jesus promised protection to His own elect … Fortunately for mankind, God is not only going to save these “elect,” but millions of others will be protected “for the elect’s sake.”  God will stop the death stroke of the fourth horseman before it sweeps all mankind from the earth. (Alexander G, p. 39)

God will intervene to save human life from human destruction for the elect’s sake (Matthew 24:22) and Jesus will win (Revelation 19:14-21).

4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Pale Horse – Disease Epidemics

In the book of Revelation we find a disturbing vision of four fearsome horsemen (Rev. 6:1-8). Each of these horsemen is a symbol of the four major punishments to be inflicted upon a rebellious mankind — probably in the not-too-distant future! …

Over the entire course of history, disease has undoubtedly been man’s greatest enemy in terms of sheer loss of life. According to Folke Henschen, a leading Swedish pathologist: “Infectious diseases… have probably been the most dangerous enemies of mankind, much more so than war and mass murder. …

Hans Zinsser, writing in Rats, Lice, and History, like wise explained: “Swords and lances, arrows, machine guns, and even high explosives have had far less power over fates of the nations than the typhus louse, the plague flea, and the yellow fever mosquito…. War and conquest and that herd existence which is an accompaniment of what we call civilization have merely set the stage for these more powerful agents of human tragedy.” …

Infectious disease is neither a respecter of men nor nations. No part of the world is immune. For example, in the United States malaria cases have cropped up in California, Alabama and Texas in the last few years. Tuberculosis is widespread among Latins and Asians in Los Angeles County, and a strain of typhoid fever currently resistant to antibiotics is being imported into the United States by illegal aliens from Mexico. …

The Roman Empire also had its share of pestilential woes. During the first century B.C., a severe attack of malaria resulted in a drastic drop in the native birthrate. Rome was forced to augment its armies with foreign mercenaries. …

But by far and away the most devastating disease ever to hit the human race was the Black Plague. It was the greatest of all pandemics and was perhaps the worst single disaster the world has experienced since Noah’s Flood. The exact toll it took remains a mystery, but various estimates place it at anywhere from 40 to 60 million souls. …

Disease, rather than superior numbers or generalship, often decided the outcome of many a battle. In 1528, during the pivotal siege of Naples, the French army was destroyed not by the enemy, but by an outbreak of typhoid fever. Thanks to this timely epidemic, Charles V of Spain was able to be crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. …

The world has yet to see the last of widespread disease epidemics. That, in effect, was what Jesus Christ told His disciples in the pivotal Olivet prophecy recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Right along with wars and famine came pestilence: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matt. 24:7). These were some of the prophetic signs that Christ listed in answering the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?” (Verse 3.) Granted, pestilence, famine and war have been ongoing problems that have plagued mankind ever since the dawn of history. But the main thrust of Christ’s message is futuristic. The overall context of the Olivet prophecy readily attests to this fact. In verses 21 and 22 of Matthew 24, Christ referred to a time when the total annihilation of human life would be a distinct possibility. Only with the recent development of multiple-megaton nuclear weaponry could such an event have become a reality. (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Pale Horse – Disease Epidemics. Worldwide Church of God (c) 1975, Ambassador College Press)

Since the above booklet related to the fourth horseman was published, human beings are known for directly causing antimicrobial resistance.

For example, because of overuse of antibiotics, many now realize that the USA and many other parts of the world are setting themselves up for the possibility of getting infections from bacteria that are resistant to various antibiotics (yet, the Europeans and their animals are not quite in the same situation). I have warned about this for some time, and even made a YouTube video about this: Are Americans & Asians setting themselves up for destruction from antibiotic use?

The Bible teaches that famines and pestilences will initially happen PRIOR to the start of the Great Tribulation:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)

Since this fourth horseman’s ride also begins prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, it is likely that the USA and at least some of its Anglo-Saxon dominated allies would be affected–which are end time descendants of Israel, and also sometimes prophetically referred to as Israel (cf. Genesis 48; see also Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel). They will also be affected AFTER the start of the Great Tribulation.

Ezekiel was inspired to write the following:

2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:

‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. 3 Now the end has come upon you, And I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, And I will repay you for all your abominations. (Ezekiel 7:2-3)

15 The sword is outside,
And the pestilence and famine within.
Whoever is in the field
Will die by the sword;
And whoever is in the city,
Famine and pestilence will devour him. (Ezekiel 7:15)

12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. (Ezekiel 5:12)

Why should Ezekiel’s warning to ‘Israel’ include the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies?

Well in addition to prophecies in Genesis 48 & 49, consider that Ezekiel 7:2 points to problems in the “four corners of the land.” While some may point to the tiny nation called Israel, consider that the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are spread around the corners of the earth.

It is apparent, that like others in the past, the USA and at least some of its Anglo-Saxon allies will be weakened by pestilences before they are finally taken over (cf. Daniel 11:39; 8:24-25; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses) by the final ‘revival’ of the old ‘Holy Roman Empire’ (watch also Europe and the ‘Holy Roman Empire’).

Humans may actually cause part of the pestilences through research into pathogenic agents for biological warfare and other purposes.

50 years ago, the old Worldwide Church of God published the following by the late Raymond McNair:

THE DOOMSDAY BUG

There is — this very instant — a feverish international search for the ultimate “dooms-day bug.” The purpose? — to wipe out whole nations overnight by disease germs and chemicals. Will man’s unrestrained scientific search for more horrifying weapons of mass destruction prove to be his undoing?

WHAT I have seen here at Porton Down has convinced me of the awful potential of modern Chemical and Biological Warfare (called CBW for short). Few realize its frightening possibilities! Sensational news headlines from time to time reveal details of CBW development world-wide. …

History of CBW

Chemical and Biological Warfare is not new to mankind. For thousands of years man has used various CBW agents to overcome his enemies. But… it is only recently that he has seriously considered the idea of using CBW on a grand scale — to erase whole populations! Thousands of years ago man discovered the diabolical use of poison. He learned to use poison to dispose of rulers, dignitaries, or large numbers of his enemies by poisoning their food or water supply. Poisoned arrows were also used in warfare. Millenniums ago man learned that he could throw the corpses of plague-infected humans over the walls of besieged cities which he sought to overthrow — thereby causing terrible plague to ravage the entire city. Early American settlers traded plague-infected blankets to American Indians in times of frontier hostilities. There have been virtually no limits to man’s diabolical, inventive genius in the realm of destructive weapons of war. CBW’s

Awful Potential

We can see the awful potential of rampant disease organisms by observing what did happen during the Dark Ages. The BLACK DEATH of 1348-50 was the worst natural disaster to befall man in the last 4000 years. This terrible plague swept over all Europe — killing at least one third of the population! In certain areas nearly three fourths of the population was killed by plague! Three fifths of all Britons succumbed to the Black Death — reducing Britain’s population from 5.1 million in 1348 to 2.1 million in 1374.

Many, believing they would certainly fall victims of the Black Death, gave themselves over to reckless abandon — drunkenness, sexual orgies, violence, crime and general lawlessness. “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die of plague,” they reasoned. But biological warfare is potentially much worse than plague.

Colonel Adam Mikovich of Moscow Institute understands the full potential of Biological Warfare. He said: “It is believed today that Biological War would have the greatest effect of all” (Post, Jan. 30, 1965). …

An Ounce of Doom!

Many scientists right now are searching for new plagues with which to decimate the human population. And they are diligently seeking deadlier strains of old viruses with which to destroy whole populations. Of course, these scientists justify their CBW research by saying it is done for defensive reasons. Just how lethal are these viruses? Do you grasp the deadly potential? “In theory one gram of chicken embryo tissue inoculated with the Q-fever organism would be sufficient to infect more than one million people” (We All Fall Down, Robin Clarke). It has been estimated that one fourth of an ounce would be sufficient to infect every man, woman and child living in the British Isles! That’s about 55 million! Britain is especially vulnerable to chemical or germ warfare. She is thickly crowded and normal weather conditions in Britain are favorable to that type of warfare!

Botulinus, which was developed during World War II, is so deadly that it could wipe out all human life in a given area within six hours — yet leaving the target area habitable immediately after the attack. But some diseases would have a more lingering effect. …

Few realize that far more people have died from pestilence — from sickness and various plagues — through the course of human history, than have died in actual warfare.

It has been estimated that over 20,000,000 perished from influenza in just a few months at the close of World War I — and 50 times that number became ill. In the autumn of 1918, over 12,500,000 died in the flu epidemic which swept the undernourished nation of India. And over one-half million died in the United States. …

Destroying the Economy

Another terrifying aspect of CBW is that an enemy nation could destroy the economy of a nation — before actually attacking its civilians. This could be done by first attacking some of the main crops of the intended victim nation.
In 1942, 90 percent of India’s rice crop was destroyed by a natural strain of rice fungus.

And the highest award ever given to a U.S. civilian was awarded to a woman for developing another very deadly type of rice-blast fungus — which could, of course, be used against rice-eating nations like China or North Vietnam.

A Russian scientist has reportedly discovered a very deadly wheat rust — a type to which America’s wheat would be especially susceptible.

Thus, one can see how an enemy could greatly undermine the economy of a nation by first destroying the main crops through bacteriological warfare.

As a further example of the effects of this type of warfare, consider the terrible economic effects which the Irish potato famine of the mid-1800’s had on Ireland. That particular potato famine was caused by a peculiar potato blight or fungus which completely wiped out Ireland’s potato crop!

Previous to the famine, Ireland was one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Yet it was a country stricken with the most unbelievable poverty. “There never was,” said the Duke of Wellington, a native of County Meath, “a country in which poverty existed to the extent that exists in Ireland.” “Nearly half of the families of the rural population,” reported the 1841 census, “are living in houses of the lowest state” — windowless mud cabins of a single room. …

CBW weapons are cheap to manufacture, and are comparatively inexpensive to deliver to enemy targets. A small nation could develop a whole arsenal of CBW agents and deliver them with very little strain on its budget. …

Scientists must bear their full share of responsibility for their part in developing more deadly and virulent microbes which could unleash horrifying disease epidemics upon this world.

But where does this leave us? Will scientists cease their horrifying work? Hardly.

It leaves us precisely where the world’s most noted newscaster — Jesus Christ — said it would leave us! Speaking of our very day, he warned: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:21, 22).

But how?

The Only Solution

Make no mistake about it — man does not have the solution to his ever-accelerating arms-race problem. But God does!

We can be very thankful that the God of the universe is about to put an end to man’s hellish insanity toward his fellowman. His government will “rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they LEARN WAR any more” (Micah 4:3).

Mercifully, God Almighty will not let man destroy himself! If God didn’t keep His hand firmly on the controls, man would annihilate himself.

We can rejoice that total disarmament is very near. The day is soon coming when the nations will close down all of their chemical and biological establishments — and their munitions factories!

Then all of man’s scientific efforts will be directed toward construction — not Destruction. Toward saving lives — not destroying them! (McNair R. The Doomsday Bug. Plain Truth, August 1969)

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following video for our Bible News Prophecy program:

17:01

Biological Warfare and Prophecy

Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Biological Warfare and Prophecy.

Consider further, that according to Jesus, one or more significant pestilences will begin shortly before the start of the Great Tribulation. Biblically, it appears to be highly likely that the USA and its Anglo-allies will be hit hard by pestilences just prior to being taken over (Leviticus 26:21-25) by the Beast power (Daniel 11:39).

The fourth horseman of the apocalypse will result in death of a quarter of humankind (Revelation 6:8). This will cause MASSIVE FEAR around the world. Fear will be a factor in the rise of the prophesied totalitarian beast power who will be given power after a reorganization in Europe (Revelation 17:12-13; see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).

Consider that in March of 2020 the World Health Organization and Iran warned people against using physical cash because of then coronavirus called COVID-19 because of fear of contagion. How much worse will it be when a quarter of humanity dies? Notice that the Bible prophesies the following:

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18)

The above prophecies were written over 1900 years ago, and the control of buying and selling was not possibly able to be fulfilled until the 21st century. A century where cash is being replaced by electronic currency that can be fully tracked. And that prophesy is clearly telling of tyranny in such a society.

Consider that in Matthew 24:7-8, Jesus warned of pestilences as part of the “beginning of sorrows.” Later in that same chapter, He prophesied the start of the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). Pestilences are also associated with the fourth horseman of Revelation 6–which will cause many to die. Since the “great tribulation” comes AFTER the “pestilences” that start during the “beginning of sorrows,” and the control of buying and selling is in full force DURING the great tribulation (Revelation 13:16-18), the FEAR of the threat of paper cash spreading diseases looks to be part of the justification for the type of ‘Orwellian control’ that 666 will implement (Revelation 13:16-18).

Related to that, we produced the following video:


13:55

COVID-19 Leading to 666?

The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the Old Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: COVID-19 Leading to 666?

Expect FEAR to be a motivator to move towards cashlessness and the prophesied totalitarian control.

As far as physical steps related to pathogens, check out the following links: COVID-19 and Vitamin C: The truth, the myth, and the hype and VOA: Trump: US ‘Totally Prepared’ for Coronavirus’ AP: Vexed by how to contain virus, countries take tough steps’ WT: Natural Protection and ZH: How The Super Rich Are Preparing For The Coronavirus; COGwriter: What physical steps can others take? and ‘Coronavirus: Steps to stay safe,’ ‘How To Avoid Getting Infected By The Coronavirus,’ ‘Italy Shuts Down North in COVID-19 Fight,’ ‘Every EU member except Cyprus has infections,’ and COVID-19 Leading to 666?

Just like bodily exercise can benefit for a little while, physical hygiene steps may also benefit some for a little while, yet turning to God and living His ways are what we need to do:

8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:8-10)

Yes, it is possible that those who take certain physical precautions will fare better than those that do not (see also Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians and ZH: How The Super Rich Are Preparing For The Coronavirus; COGwriter: What physical steps can others take?). Yet godliness is profitable in all things (see also What is the Meaning of Life? and The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil).

That being said, pestilences will be a factor in 666!

From the Beginning of Sorrows to the Great Tribulation

With increasing reach of the ecumenical and interfaith movements and all of the natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, related food shortages, and emerging pestilences in the past few years (and human-made problems such as war, civil unrest, and persecutions), this may be a good time to clearly show that these types of events are foretold to occur prior to the Great Tribulation (with some in it and/or in the Day of the Lord).

Notice what Jesus taught:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:4-21).

The sequence of end time prophetic events in Matthew 24 that Jesus provided is the same sequence as was listed for the four horsemen of the Book of Revelation (and similar accounts are listed in Mark 13:5-8 and Luke 21:8-11).

Jesus does NOT have another set sounding like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse between verse 8 and verse 21, which is when the “great tribulation” begins. That happens after the fifth seal of Revelation 6 is opened. 

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Revelation 6:9-11)

And while “tribulation” is involved in Matthew 24:9, this at least partially seems to be referring the persecuting tribulation that true Philadelphia Christians will face just prior to the great tribulation (apparently toward the end of the beginning of sorrows).

Jesus’ words undoubtedly were intended to give comfort to His followers throughout the entire church era. Various false religious leaders, wars, famines, and pestilences have occurred since Jesus came, and hence they could perhaps be considered as an ante-type related to these prophecies.

Yet, the final time Jesus referred to as “the beginning of sorrows” technically may not be considered officially to have begun until the first of the seven seals is opened. While it seems likely that this has occurred (as the False Prophet is undoubtedly alive now), it may not actually officially begin until the False Prophet gets more prominence (cf. Alexander G, p. 17).

Thus, this first seal may be opened when an antipope is about to take control and/or starts with lying wonders (presuming a pontiff is the False Prophet of Revelation 13:13-15; 19:20) to get the attention of those even without a Greco-Roman background.

Consider that this first seal was to be (or even already was) opened around the time when the one who will become the False Prophet successfully works with groups which will re-connect with Rome. At least one significant re-connection happened in 2009 with some of the Anglicans (Messia H, Hanna J. Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic Church.  CNN, October 21, 2009. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/20/vatican.anglican.church/ viewed 10/25/09).

This has been followed by one or more declarations involving the Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, and others related to the Church of Rome. Expect to see more declarations/deals beyond those which have already happened. Signs and wonders are expected (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11) and this may be what helps drive other religions without a Greco-Roman background to be “conquered” by the first horseman (cf. Revelation 18:23).

While there have always been false teachers, wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, as the seven seals of Revelation begin to be opened, these will intensify in a way never before seen.

After the first four seals are opened, persecutions will apparently intensify (Matthew 24:9-10), numerous false prophets who perhaps will support the False Prophet as well as false declarations of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3) will arise and deceive many (Matthew 24:11), some will fall away from the truth (24:12), others will endure to the end (24:13), the gospel message will be preached to the world as a witness (24:14), the end will come (24:14), the abomination spoken of by Daniel will be established (24:15), and soon afterwards the Great Tribulation will begin (24:21).

Consider that since most end time Christians are NOT Philadelphian, that the open of the seals and aspects of their rides will NOT be accepted by most Christians until AFTER the start of the Great Tribulation.

If most Christians did recognize the four seals, they would be more willing to 'gather together' (Zephaniah 2:1-3) and flee when they should. But most will not--but instead have to deal with the wrath of Satan (Revelation 12:14-17).

A Prince and a Greek Orthodox Prediction

Sometime during the beginning of sorrows, a prince will start to rise up (Daniel 9:26-27) who will be the final biblical King of the North. Interestingly, some of the Eastern Orthodox seem to realize that he may be identified around then. Near the end of the 4th century, there was an exchange between two important Orthodox leaders pertaining to the beginning of sorrows:

Epiphanius: When will come the end of the world?  What are the ‘beginning of sorrows’ and when shall they take place?  From what signs and events shall humanity be able to know that the end of the world is near and what signs will be manifest?...

Andrew the Fool-for-Christ: Now son, how can I relate to you without tears the events of the beginning of sorrows and the end of the world?  During the End Times, God will reveal as King a certain poor man ... This king will rule ... Happiness will reign in the world as it did in the days of Noah.  People will become very rich ...

Later on this King will turn towards the East and he will humble the Hagarenes ... for their blasphemous religion ... many among them will be baptized ... the remaining ones will be annihilated ...

The entire world will fear this king ... he will pursue all persons of the Jewish religion out of Constantinople ... and the people will rejoice like in the time of Noah until the deluge came. (Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenika Press, Rock City (SC), 2000, pp. 111, 113,114)

So, some ancient Orthodox writings indicate that a man will rise up during the time of the beginning of sorrows, who will ultimately become a king—and that is correct. He is commonly called "the Great Monarch" (The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies).

The comment about “persons of Jewish religion” may refer to persecution of the true saints (cf. Daniel 7:25) as Orthodox and Roman Catholics have often indicated that those with original Nazarene practices are actually Jews pretending to be Christian.

The statement about this King going against the Hagarenes (a term that can refer to Arabs/Muslims as it comes from being a descendent of Hagar of Genesis 25:12) may be a reference to the King of the North going against the King of the South (Daniel 11:40) and/or him fighting against Muslims off and on.  It also needs to be understood, that while the above Orthodox discussion indicates that having things as they were in the days of Noah is a positive thing for a while, the Bible warns that this occurrence comes after the tribulation has began and is a sign that Jesus is about to return (Matthew 24:37-44).  

Thus, some of the Orthodox Catholics are looking for a major leader to rise up during the beginning of sorrows. The truth that this King will apparently be the Beast of Revelation and basically start the Great Tribulation seems lost to them, however.

The End of the Age is Getting Close

In the 20th century, the old Worldwide Church of God correctly taught that the ride of each of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse would be in the future.

We in the Continuing Church of God believe that the rides of the horsemen are for the 21st century.

While it is true that because humankind since Adam (Genesis 3:6), has rejected living the way of give as God’s commandments and statutes teach, that humankind has been deceived by false religions which result in curses such as war, famine, and pestilences. We also believe that God gave humankind 6,000 years to live apart from Him, so that humans would be better able to appreciate the coming millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Either the ride of one or two horsemen began with the last eleven years, so it their rides will not be clear in time, for most OR they will start quickly just before the start of the Great Tribulation and because of that, they will be unclear to most.

Jesus taught about sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8) that coincided with the seals being opened for the four horsemen that would begin prior to the start of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21)--the opening of the fifth seal.

The Bible further shows that at the end of this human age under Satan's sway (2 Corinthians 4:4: Revelation 16:13; 19:20-20:3), it will mainly be a modified false Greco-Roman form of Christianity which will bring the world to the point of utter destruction, but a destruction that God will prevent from being complete. We are seeing steps for such a religion taking place today!

As Jesus taught:

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:22).

Notice what else Jesus taught:

36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).

People everywhere need to watch and pray that they may be counted worthy to escape these things and stand before the Son of Man. All four horsemen will complete their rides. And the end of the human-age under the sway of "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) is coming soon.

And then what happens:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-6)

The old WCG taught after this:

Peace at Last

Jesus Christ will then go about the business of establishing real world peace. With Satan the Devil bound (Rev. 20:2), his destructive church-state combine out of the way, and with the nations no longer governed by fallible men, remarkable things will begin to happen. Isaiah writes: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [government] of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall

After 6,000 years of human misrule, world power is finally restored to its rightful owner — Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears in to pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:2-4; see also Micah 4:1-4).

For the first time the vast majority of people will learn what it means to live according to God's laws. No longer will they be motivated to fight and quarrel, but will learn to love their fellowman. There it is — the final solution to war.

For the sake of all humanity, the sooner it arrives the better. (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse - The Red Horse - War, p. 52)

Despite the opening of the seals of Revelation and the related plagues and wars, ultimately, there is good news as God’s kingdom will come and those issues will be gone (Revelation 7:16).

Thiel B. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. http://www.cogwriter.com/four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse.htm COGwriter (c) 2013/2014 2017 2019 2020 0922

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2027 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God's Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2020, 2021, or 2022? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the "beginning of sorrows"? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020? Here is a link to the Spanish version of that video: ¿Podría la Gran Tribulación comenzar en 2020?
Sorrows and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Revelation 6:1-8 shows the opening of four seals and discusses the rides of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each of which appears to be associated with aspects of the "beginning of sorrows" that Jesus mentions in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. What do each of the horsemen represent? Did the old Worldwide Church of God teach that these rides were still in the future in the late 21st century? Could any have began in the 21st century? Does the rider of the white horse represent Jesus or false religion? Are there ties to the interfaith and ecumenical movements? What might the bow the horseman has represent? Could this be a tie to Satan the Devil? What about the Beast and False Prophet? Has the "beginning of sorrows" started? Could the first seal be opened? Could COVID-19 have anything to do with the second seal? Has "the peace" been taken from the earth? Could the rider of the red horse have began with an opening of the second seal? What about riots, looting wars, and rumors of war? Are food inflation, food shortages, and famines associated with the opening of the third seal and rider of the black horse of famine? Could human actions such as evolution teachings, genetically-modified crops, and viral research be factors in the rides of the four horsemen? Is more than death related to pestilences associated with the rider of the pale horse, the fourth seal? Why might this be a factor in 666? Will most people fail to recognize the rides of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse until it is too late to take action? What about the fifth seal and the start of the Great Tribulation? Are there problems with Roman and Eastern Orthodox prophecies concerning the end and the Great Monarch? What about prophecies related to Noah, the King of the North, Armageddon, and Antichrist? Dr. Thiel covers these issues and also includes some speculation and analysis. This is a video.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here? A related sermon is available: Prophecy and the Two Witnesses. Here is a related link in Spanish/español:¿Quiénes son los dos testigos?

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