(Read Part 23)
We remind ourselves again that the four main categories of tribulation judgments are the seal judgments, the trumpet judgments, the thunder judgments and the bowl judgments. The judgments become progressively harsher during the seven-year tribulation period. Jesus discussed the progressive nature of the tribulation judgments in His powerful, prophetic instruction to His disciples in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25).
Remember that you can review the progression of these judgments by studying the chart found below. We are currently in the midst of expanding upon this distinctly dispensational doctrine of the birthing process of Jesus Christ’s theocratic millennial kingdom.
This chart reminds us of the importance of the first four seals, in particular, which we began to study last time:
Third Seal: Black Horse—Famine/Exorbitant Food Cost
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. 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.” (Rev. 6:5-6)
A denarius in Jesus’ day would pay for 10 quarts of wheat or 30 of barley. The same wage, during the famine in the tribulation, will pay for one quart of wheat or three quarts of barley. This amounts to a 90 percent reduction in food availability that will result in hunger, which always leads to violent crime.
Fourth Seal: Pale Horse—Death/One Quarter
of the Earth’s Population Dies
The massive amount of death that will result from this one catastrophic judgment extends beyond the imagination of most people—especially those living in America. Prepare yourself for a mind-numbing reaction as you read God’s severe judgment on a world that will refuse to follow Him during the opening period of the seven-year tribulation.
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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.
Let us take a somewhat speculative look at what the numbers in this judgment equate to in real time. The earth’s population is approximately 7.4 billion people. An important factor is determining how many Christians God raptures before the tribulation starts. There is no accurate way to determine the number. Therefore, a probable conservative number of five percent of the world’s population will be used, or 370 million people. With a total of 7.4 billion people, minus 370 million, that equals 7.03 billion remaining people. The fourth seal judgment results in the death of one fourth, or 1,757,500,000, people who die—leaving 5,272,500,000 people.
Stop and meditate for a moment about the number of people who will die in this one judgment: one billion, 757 million and 500 thousand PEOPLE. This is a staggering number of PEOPLE who will die.
Think back to where you were when you first heard the news of the airplanes flying into the twin towers in New York, which resulted in the murder of 2,996 PEOPLE. The terrorist act stunned the world. America, the major world power, felt the horrific sadness and heartache of losing each and every one of those precious people. Compare that horrific event to nearly two billion people dying during the first three-and-a-half years of the tribulation.
We will expand upon this mind boggling horrific period in the coming articles.
Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.
(Read Part 25)
Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2017 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.