“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.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ And 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 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 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 6:1-6.
The above is added for context and reveals 3 of the 4 horsemen. The fourth and last horseman is covered below in Revelation 6:7-8.
“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ And 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.
The fourth living creature with the appearance of a flying eagle calls forth yet another horse; Death on a pale horse. The flying eagle represents Christ as God the Son, and death is truly a god on this earth because he has dominion over all the ungodly.
The idea here is one of a deathly pale or sickly pale horse; most appropriate since Death rides upon it. Do you see the typical drawing of the shrouded, skeletal death with a scythe in his hand?
There he is seated on this emaciated pale horse, with a frightful grin as he peers out from under his hood, about to ride out and kill one quarter of mankind.
So, how many is one quarter of mankind? We can only guess, but with a population of about 7.8 billion, let us start there.
If there are an estimated one billion Christians in the world, assuming that they are true Christians, then one billion people plus untold millions of children up to the age of accountability (only God knows what that age is) will be taken from the earth (raptured).
Let us be extremely generous and say that the remaining population would be 5 billion or more. What is one quarter of 5 billion?
This horseman will slay 1.25 billion people, leaving earth with a population of 3.75 billion.
By contrast the present population of India is 1.369 billion (2022 est.), while the population of China is 1,450,281,121, or 1.45 billion.
To carry this further, the population of the earth in 1900 was 1.6 billion people and in 1200 A.D. the dark ages, the population was 360 million.
Remember the quote below when you try to imagine drastic population drops:
“I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Isaiah 13:12.
A population of 3.75 billion is still too large to call rarer than fine gold. In fact the population in 1970 was 3.7 billion, and in 1950 it was 2.5 billion. All of these numbers have been rounded off.
So it is likely that the fourth horseman is the result of the first three and this has nothing to do with the judgments of God carried out throughout the tribulation.
Consider some of the descriptive words used here, the rider’s name is Death which we know, but Hades follows with him. So Hades, which contains the unsaved and is a dark and dismal place in the depths of the earth, is connected to Death.
Death takes them and Hades swallows them up.
The statement, to kill with the sword, does not necessarily mean warfare, it indicates that this killing may be one on one, or gangs, or riots, things other than warfare.
We already have many famines today, and they will only increase during the tribulation, so the words, with hunger means with poor harvest, famine.
The words, with death, have the meaning of the peril of death according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, or it is rendered as pestilence in the New American Standard Bible.
If it means pestilence, it would make sense since disease will be pandemic, and unsanitary conditions will be the norm. Not only is this world now filled with virulent diseases, but governments are constantly working on inventing new incurable ones.
The words, by the beasts of the earth, mean just that. During this chaotic period, dogs which become homeless will start to run free in packs scavenging for food and attacking people.
With the great earthquakes and natural disasters prophesied, zoos will crack open and empty like a raw egg, freeing some of our most feared predators. Yes, the beasts of the earth will become an out of control problem.
Death and Hades are the fourth seal, the number four represents, failure, testing, and the earth. Mankind will always fail the litmus test of righteousness. The sin nature leaves us wanting.
Let us see if we can make some sense of all of this. The Lord will rapture over one billion people out of the world, whether you like Christians or not, they occupy many important places in government, emergency medicine, the police force, army, nuclear power plants, and sundry other critical occupations.
This vacuum will now need to be filled immediately, and since the Lord will also remove His hand of protection chaos will reign.
The beast on the white horse will seize on this opportunity and begin to build his power base, much as Hitler did.
Soon enough, with the reorganization of government and with all the confusion, the rich and powerful will be on the forefront to reorganize it to their advantage.
Because of the disarray men will start to kill one another, since lawlessness becomes pandemic and punishment rare. Warfare will also become a necessity as greedy nations avenge themselves on others and attempt to expand their borders.
Out of this comes famine which is often caused by disruption of farming, and the plagues consistent with starvation and unsanitary conditions.
The rich have their part too when they manipulate the world’s monetary system to benefit themselves alone. This is the third horseman who is the culmination of all that mankind can do to govern the earth. In this we find the fullness, the capacity of evil mankind to care for his own avaricious kind. And the fourth horseman is the evidence of his failure.
There is one other thing to understand before going any further, and that is the term “the day of the Lord”, this phrase whether used in the Old or New Testament always refers to events during and after the tribulation, never anything else and it refers to a period of time, not a literal 24 hours.
“The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.” Zephaniah 1:14-16.
The day of the Lord is a time of wrath poured out upon mankind.
“For they [other churches] themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10.
Christians, all who have accepted Christ as their Savior, are delivered from the wrath to come by Jesus.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
The rapture as described above will be completed before we come to the times described below which describes the day of the Lord.
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.
In the verses above it is stated, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” in effect this means that since you are a Christian, “not in darkness”, you need not worry about the, “sudden destruction” that comes upon them.
We are, however, told to be sober and alert because the Lord can come for us at any time before the tribulation, “For God did not appoint us to wrath”.
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ [the day of the Lord] had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [the beast, Antichrist], who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10.
These Thessalonians had apparently been frightened by someone who told them that the rapture had already happened and they were about to experience the wrath of God. The Apostle Paul reminds them here that the beast could not be revealed without the following event.
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed…” 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8a.
The words He who restrains referred to here is the Holy Spirit, not, as some think, the church or the government.
Scripture tells us the Christian is sealed with the Holy Spirit who is given as a pledge to the day of our redemption. The Spirit cannot leave without taking the Christians with Him. So while we may guess who the man of sin is, the Christian will not see him and know he is the Antichrist/beast.
While thinking of these four horsemen, consider the things that have been going on in this country since 911, and since 2008 in particular, think of the fear and anguish it has caused many men and women including, perhaps, even you.
The things happening in the U.S. and around the world are just a small foretaste of the horrific upheaval that is near; God, in His mercy has allowed these things to happen to warn everyone to flee the wrath to come.
After the rapture, the average man or woman (the aged are the most vulnerable) will be the victim of, not only criminals gone berserk, but a government that will become totalitarian and do only what they deem necessary to enrich themselves.
Many homes and livelihoods will be lost, as it is even today, 401ks will disappear, and the world will be thrown into a depression unlike any other.
I know that you can understand this by what is happening now; it is time to give the gospel to others in the hope of rescuing them from such a fate.
Have you received Christ as your Savior?
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20.
“The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2.
Revelation 6:7-8 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 11-7-16, reposted on 6-25-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.