Rider on the Pale Horse
Death and Hades Followed Him
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 his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell [Hades] followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7, 8)
The rider on the pale horse brings matters to an apex. He is the one seen taking care of all the fallout resulting from the previous three riders coming forth, on the white, the red, and the black horses.
At least one-fourth of the population of the earth (above one and one-half billion by today’s count) will die as a result of that which is seen by and through the actions of the first three horsemen. And the fourth horseman, appearing last, with “Death and Hades [the place of the dead, the underworld]” following in his wake, is seen occupying the role of the Grim Reaper in relation to the end result of the work of these preceding three horsemen — deception, a great sword, famine, pestilence.
This man, as the fourth horseman, now reaps that which he had previously sown (i.e., reaping his preceding work as he had come forth astride the first three horses, for all four horsemen show successive stages of the work of the same person).
And the God-established laws of the harvest, dependent on and governed by this man’s previous work — exactly commensurate with that which he had previously sown — will necessitate that he reap not only that which he had previously sown but far more than he had sown.
(One-fourth of the earth’s population dying during this time could only be all-inclusive — Jew and Gentile alike.
Though the earth’s Jewish population is estimated to be only thirteen to fourteen million [about one-fifth of one percent of the earth’s total population (which is about six and one-half billion; it was “Japheth” who was to be enlarged, not “Shem” in Genesis 9:25-27)], two-thirds of these Jews are going to die during the Tribulation — by today’s count, some 9,000,000 [Ezekiel 5:11-13; Zechariah 13:8, 9].)
It is evident from that which is recorded in the Word that famine, accompanied by plagues and diseases — resulting from the actions of the one carrying the “great sword” — will, with the passage of time, only become worse and worse. Thus, those dying as a result of this man’s actions can also only increase with time, with the world scene at the end of the Tribulation very much in line with that which is stated in Matthew 24:21, 22:
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.
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake [Israel’s sake] those days will be shortened.
A Pale Horse
The word “pale” (v. 8), as seen in the KJV, NKJV and NIV translations (et al) is not a color. Rather, the word “pale” is used as a descriptive adjective to show shades in a color (pale yellow, pale blue, etc.).
The NASB translators used “ashen,” but that’s not really a color either, though perhaps closer to being a color by calling attention to ash (which would normally have a gray or gray-black cast to it).
The word translated “pale” or “ashen” in the Greek text is chloros, and a number of words in the English language use the base or stem part of this word (“chlor…”) to provide a base meaning for English words, such as chlorine, chlorox, chloroform, etc.
The word chloros means “green,” which is the way it is used in the three other appearances of the word in the New Testament. This word is used in Mark 6:39 referring to green grass, and it is used in Revelation 8:7; 9:4 in the same respect — also referring to green grass, or any type of green plant.
In the animal kingdom, one can find white, red, and black horses (color of the first three horses in Revelation 6, respectively); but one can’t find a green horse, though that is the color that the Spirit of God moved John to use describing the color of this fourth and last horse.
And the fourth horse, described by the Greek word for “green [chloros],” is associated with all which will have followed in the wake of the rider’s previous actions as he rode forth at successive times on the first three horses (deception [the rider on a white horse], a great sword in his hand [the rider on a red horse], famine, plagues, diseases [the rider on a black horse]). And the end result — Death, the place that this man will take the world in seven year’s time — is described by the rider on a horse with a very unnatural color, “a green horse.”
The use of the color “green” in the vegetable kingdom is one thing, but using this color in the animal kingdom is another matter entirely.
In the vegetable kingdom, “green” would show a natural, soothing, or pleasing type color; but in the animal kingdom, just the opposite would be true. An unnatural, non-soothing, or non-pleasing type color would be shown.
The use of “green” to describe the color of an animal would have to be thought of more in the sense of pale green or ashen green, not the same shade of green seen in the vegetable kingdom. The thought, contextually, would have to do with a sickly color, or with death itself.
Or, something even more in line with how the word is used to describe the color of the horse in Revelation 6:8, it could have to do with the color of a sickly, plague-stricken person, or a corrupting body, with death and the place of the dead either awaiting their victim or having already claimed their victim.
Note two sections of Scripture where the word “green” is used in a similar respect relative to God’s instructions to the Israelites concerning leprosy among the people in the Old Testament:
And if the plague is greenish or reddish in the garment or in the leather, whether in the warp or in the woof, or in anything made of leather, it is a leprous plague and shall be shown to the priest. (Leviticus 13:49)
When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give you as a possession, and I put the leprous plague in a house in the land of your possession,
and he who owns the house comes and tells the priest . . .
then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest goes into it to examine the plague . . .
And he shall examine the plague; and indeed if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish . . .
then the priest shall go out of the house, to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days. (Leviticus 14:34, 35a, 36a, 37a, 38)
Thus, as previously noted, the color “green” used relative to people or animals in Scripture simply cannot convey the same image or thought as this color does when used relative to grass, trees, or other type vegetation. In the vegetable kingdom, green is a natural color; with animals or humans, green is an unnatural color.
And, in this unnatural respect, as seen in the previously quoted Scriptures, a greenish color is used in connection with leprosy in the Old Testament, along with a reddish color.
Note the second horseman (riding a red horse). With the “great sword” that he wields, he begins matters that, in a more direct respect, lead into the way that they are seen in their final sense when the fourth horseman rides forth.
Then in this final respect, as seen, matters are depicted by a sickly green color, connected in the Old Testament with leprosy.
So, how does one describe the shade of green seen when the rider on the fourth and final horse appears? The best way would be to do it textually and contextually, from that set forth in Scripture, which, of course, is always the best way to deal with anything in Scripture.
That is, look into the face of that which is seen occurring in Scripture at this point — death itself — and see the skin color and condition of those who are either dying or have already died from famine, plagues, diseases, among other things — man or animal — and shade the color green in Revelation 6:8 with that which could only resultantly exist.
Following the preceding, the guesswork can be avoided; doing it any other way can only result in guesswork.
A Covenant with Death, an Agreement with Sheol
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”
The covenant that many in Israel will make with the rider on the white horse at the beginning of the Tribulation is referred to in Isaiah 28:15 in its true respect, in complete keeping with that which is seen when the riders on the red and black horses come forth. Then, the entire matter is summed up and climaxed in that which is seen when the rider on the mal-nourished, plague-stricken, sickly green horse comes forth, with a statement exactly in keeping with this verse in Isaiah’s prophecy.
In Isaiah 28:15, the Jewish people will have made a covenant with “death,” and the ratifying of this covenant is looked upon as the Jewish people being in agreement with “Sheol” [the underworld, the place of the dead].
In Revelation 6:7, 8, the results of this covenant and agreement are seen in exactly the same fashion. The name of the one making the covenant with Israel, as in Isaiah, is seen to be “Death,” with “Hades” following in his wake.
(The Hebrew word Sheol [Isaiah 28:15] and the Greek word Hades [Revelation 6:8] are corresponding words referring to the same place in their respective languages — the underworld, the place of the dead.)
1) Actions of the Jewish People Past, Future
The Jewish people, making this covenant with the rider on the white horse, will be doing something very similar to that which their ancestors did 2,000 years earlier by rejecting and calling for the crucifixion of their King, then pledging allegiance to a pagan Gentile king:
Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he [Pilate] said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:14, 15)
In that coming day, the Jewish people, having rejected the One who came “in My [His] Father’s name,” will receive the one coming “in his own name” (John 5:43). Those having rejected “the love of the Truth, that they might be saved,” will be sent “strong delusion, that they should believe a [‘the’] lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
The Jewish people, believing the one coming in his own name, believing the lie, and making a covenant with this man, will associate themselves with death, with the underworld.
Thus, the Jewish people in that day will do something once again diametrically opposed to their calling, with dire consequences following.
Their calling has to do with bringing life to a world associated with death and the underworld. In that coming day though, making a covenant with the rider on the white horse, they will not only find themselves separated from life but, as well, associated with death and the underworld.
Their ancestors completely disassociated themselves from their calling 2,000 years ago, and the Jewish people in that coming day will do exactly the same thing through affiliating themselves with this man and his covenant.
The Psalmist has stated the correct position in this matter, or in any other matter, though it will be completely ignored in that coming day by the very nation that gave us this Word:
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1, 2)
In that coming day, Israel — in a time of peril, in need of help — will completely ignore that which is stated in this Psalm (cf. Hosea 5:13). And, in so doing, they will look to man, not to the Lord.
And they will not look to just any man, resulting in just any action. Rather, everything about the matter is not only very specific but deadly. They will believe the lie and make a covenant with this man, which will be associated with death and the place of the dead, the underworld.
In short, they, as their ancestors 2,000 years ago, will act in a manner diametrically opposed to their calling, a manner not only detrimental to the welfare of the Jewish nation but the Gentile nations as well.
And the Jewish people will pay dearly for their actions. They will reap exactly that which they will have sown; and, in keeping with the God-established laws of the harvest, they will reap more, far more, than that which they will have sown.
And the Gentile nations, because of their inseparable association with Israel and with Israel’s actions in this respect, will be caught up in this reaping as well, passing through “the time of Jacob’s trouble” right along with the Jewish people. The Gentile nations will reap that which Israel will have sown right along with the Jewish people.
2) Power Was Given to Them…
In Revelation 6:8, “power was given to them [to Death and Hades] over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
Thoughts of that resulting from the wielding of “the sword” — “hunger” and “death” (famine, resulting in plagues, diseases, sickness in general, and then death) — have been discussed in the previous chapter in this book (Chapter 7).
Then, the thought of “the beasts of the earth” having a part in the matter as well is seen at the end of this verse. And, conceivably, the thought of “beasts of the earth” could have a dual meaning; but, contextually, this doesn’t appear to be the case.
The word translated “beasts” in Revelation 6:8 is a plural form of the Greek word therion, the same word used for the rider of all four horses in Revelation 11:7; 13:1, the one wielding the “great sword” as he rides forth on the second horse, or simply “sword” as seen when he comes forth on the fourth horse. And, except for his actions as they are previously seen in the verse (“to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death”), one could possibly see another reference to his actions and those with him at the end of the verse as well (i.e., the actions of “the beasts of the earth [the actions of the beast and the leaders of his ten-kingdom federation of nations]”).
But, though the book of Revelation does use similar figurative language quite extensively, looking at the concluding words in the verse after this fashion could evidently be no more than a secondary application, for death by these “beasts” (the beast and the leaders of his ten-kingdom confederacy [lesser beasts]) has already been dealt with in the verse.
The reference is evidently to various types of animals, which will, as time goes by, become hungrier, wilder, more unpredictable, and more unmanageable.
And God’s warnings to His people, along very similar lines to that which is seen in Revelation 6:18, appear quite often in His dealings with the Jewish people in the Old Testament:
Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins [not necessarily just “seven times” (a complete number), but an indefinite number of times, completely commensurate with their sins].
I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate. (Leviticus 26:21, 22).
But Jeshurun [a surname used for Israel (Deuteronomy 33:5, 26; Isaiah 44:2)] grew fat and kicked; you grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked Him [Israel provoked God] to jealousy with foreign gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear. . . .
They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also send against them the teeth of beasts, with the poison of serpents of the dust. (Deuteronomy 32:15-17, 24).
O LORD, are not Your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return.
Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the LORD, the judgment of their God. . . .
Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the deserts shall destroy them; a leopard will watch over their cities. Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many; their backslidings have increased. (Jeremiah 5:3, 4, 6).
These are the people who, at the beginning of the Tribulation, are going to make a covenant with the rider on the white horse, the one who will have deceived them through the use of all types of underhanded and deceptive means (Daniel 11:21ff; 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10). And with their spiritual senses lacking to the point of being non-existent in their unbelieving and unrepentant state, along with probable existing conditions at that time of a nature that will, from a humanistic point of view, appear to necessitate something of this nature being done, is it any wonder that the Jewish people will make such a covenant with this man — “a covenant with death,” an “agreement with Sheol”?
Then there is the matter of the Jewish people, because they had rejected the Truth (their Messiah, at the time of His first coming), being sent strong delusion, that they might believe the lie (the beast, with his deceptive ways). Not having received the former, they will be left to receive the latter (John 5:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
With the ratifying of this covenant, part and parcel with the rider on the white horse coming forth, time will once again begin in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy. And it will be during this time — during the seven unfulfilled years to complete Daniel’s prophecy — that God will use the actions of the man whom the Jewish people will receive to bring His people to the place of repentance.
God will use the actions of the most deceptive and scheming man the world will have ever known to bring his people to the end of themselves — a man whom Scripture refers to as “the beast,” a man to whom Satan will give “his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1, 2), a man who will practice anti-Semitism to a degree never before seen on the earth, a man who will seek to destroy the Jewish people and everything connected with the Jew from off the face of the earth.
This man will seek to do to the Jewish people that which God, millennia ago, did to the Amalekites because of that which they had done — blot them completely out of existence (Exodus 17:14).
The Amalekites were the first of the nations to war against Israel after the Jewish people had come out of Egypt; and, because of that which the Amalekites had done, God, appointing His people as the executioners, literally blotted this nation out of existence.
Archaeologists today cannot find a trace of this once-mighty nation. The Amalekite nation exists on the pages of Scripture alone.
And doing away with Israel and anything connected with Israel to the extent seen in that which God did to the Amalekites is exactly what this man will seek to do.
This is the man whom God will use to effect conditions of a nature on earth as described in Revelation 6:1-8, along with the commentary on these eight verses in following verses and chapters in the book, as well as numerous other places in both Testaments. God will use the most heinous man — heinous in about every conceivable way — that the world has ever known to effect conditions of a nature never before seen on the earth, leaving the Jewish people without a choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance.
God, so to speak, is going to pull out all stops. Why? The answer is simple. It is all because of His plans and purposes regarding Israel.
Everything revolves around Israel, the nation God called into existence to be the channel through which He would bless all the other nations. And until Israel is brought to the place of repentance, everything regarding God’s ultimate plans for Israel and the nations remains on hold.
But things are about to change. God is about to step into man’s affairs once again. And, through His omniscient, sovereign control of all things, God is going to use the man previously described to bring His plans and purposes regarding Israel and the nations to pass.
The Covenant with Death, Disannulled
The Agreement with Sheol, Not to Stand
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.
Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place.
Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand . . . . (Isaiah 28:16-18a)
After Israel pays the price for transgressions extending throughout 3,500 years of Jewish history, after Israel reaps that which will have been sown, the entire matter will be turned around, done away with. But this will not occur until . . . .
One thing stands in the way of God stepping in and acting in this respect relative to Israel. The nation MUST turn back to the God of their fathers. The nation MUST repent. The Jewish people MUST change their minds, turn from ways contrary to the Lord’s commandments, turn to the Lord, and follow in the ways that the Lord has laid down for them to follow — exactly as seen in the typology of Jonah.
When the Jewish people do this, God will “hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14; cf. Leviticus 26:40-42).
But until then, the Jewish people have only one set of inseparably related circumstances awaiting them — curses instead of blessings, unrest instead of rest, enmity instead of friendship, war instead of peace, wishing it were night instead of day, wishing it were day instead of night (Leviticus 26:14-39; Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
The Jewish people in their present state are wanderers in a strange land. They are people without a home. They are a people separate from the nations without a country of their own (aside from the remnant in the land, about to be uprooted). They are a people out of place in practically every conceivable way.
But one simple act on the nation’s part can change all of this. One simple act can reverse everything.
And that is what the Tribulation, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” is all about. It is about bringing the nation’s present state of affairs into such anguish — inconceivable suffering and death within their present state of affairs — that the nation will be left without a place to turn other than to cry out to the God of their fathers.
Then, and only then, will God act with respect to effecting a change. The entire matter is all conditioned on bringing the Jewish people to the end of themselves.
This is seen time after time after time throughout Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets (e.g., Leviticus 26:1ff; Deuteronomy 28:1ff; Psalm 83:1ff; 126:1ff; 137:1ff; Isaiah 1:2-2:5; Ezekiel 36:17ff). And this is seen not only in direct statements but in the numerous types and signs (e.g., Genesis 21-25; Exodus 3:2ff; Daniel 3:19ff; 6:16ff; Jonah 1-3).
This one thing is so prevalent in Scripture that it is a wonder anyone misses it; but numerous Christians seem to do just that!
1) A Problem, but Not Really a Problem
Within Christendom today, when it comes to the things taught about Israel, one can find some semblance of almost every type ism or false teaching under the sun — extending from God being through with Israel (the Church seen replacing Israel in God’s plans and purposes) to God presently restoring the Jewish people to their land in accordance with His numerous promises in the Old Testament (i.e., the present Israeli nation in the Middle East seen to be the result of God’s past and continuing work of restoring His people in accordance with His numerous Old Testament promises to do so).
Either of these ideologies, from a Scriptural standpoint, could only be looked upon as very detrimental to any sound biblical teaching on the subject.
The former would have God doing away with the one nation around which all of His plans and purposes center.
The latter would have God doing something that He has specifically stated that He would not do (i.e., remove Israel from the nations, where He had driven them because of their disobedience, prior to repentance [prior to bringing to pass that which He drove them there to effect]).
Both of the preceding ideologies are very widely held and taught in Christendom today, though both are so shot through and through with error that neither is really worth spending time discussing.
Then, again, spending time discussing error is not the way to study Scripture anyway. Error can take any number of forms, and a person doesn’t really need to know any of the various forms which error takes. The person though does need to study and know one thing, which takes only one form . . .
That which the person does need to study and know is the Truth, found in the Word alone.
Note Isaiah 8:20 in this respect:
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them [or, ‘no dawn to them’].
That sounds plain enough! And it not only sounds plain enough, it is plain enough!
The Hebrew language has a way of often repeating the same statement or truth in different words, allowing the text to say the same thing twice. The opening part of Isaiah 8:20 is a case in point. Both “Law” and “Testimony” point to the same thing, the complete Word (the Old Testament at the time Isaiah was written, but including the New Testament as well today, for there is nothing in the New that cannot be found after some fashion in the Old).
And everything with the Lord in His Word is either black or white; there is no gray area in the Word (e.g., one is either for or against the Lord, he either scatters or gathers; in between actions of any type, within the confines of the Word, do not exist [cf. Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23]).
Thus, study the Truth, and study the Truth after the manner in which God has laid it out in His Word. And, if one does that, coming into the knowledge of this Word, it will matter little what type ism or false teaching appears. It will be looked upon and dealt with in the light of the Truth, the Word, wherein no error exists.
2) Deriving Scriptural Clarity on That Being Taught
To provide a clear example of the preceding, let’s look “to the Law and to the Testimony,” ignoring that which man may have to say about the matter and see how the Word will shed light on one of the two major false teachings previously mentioned, apart from even knowing anything about the false teaching.
Solomon, in his prayer at the time of the dedication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 6:12ff), dealt rather extensively with that which Israel, if the nation departs from God’s precepts, MUST do prior to God acting on their behalf — prior to God sending a Deliverer, restoring them to the land, and providing healing for both the nation and their land.
Israel, should they go astray (which they have done), MUST do that which God stated in His response to Solomon’s request in his prayer (“humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways”). Then, and only then, would God hear the cry of His people and act (“then [when they have done that previously stated] will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” [2 Chronicles 7:12-14; cf. Deuteronomy 30:1-3; 2 Chronicles 6:24-27, 38]).
Now, knowing what the Word has to say about the reason for Israel’s dispersion and that which Israel MUST do prior to the nation’s restoration, note how simple matters become to ascertain the truthfulness or non-truthfulness of that being taught when this is dealt with in Christian circles today. As previously stated, it is widely taught in Christian circles today that the Jews presently in the land of Israel (some 6,000,000) form God’s beginning and continuing work (an on-going work) of restoring the Jewish people to their land, in accordance with His numerous Old Testament promises to one day re-gather them, placing them back in the land.
Is this teaching correct? Note something about the Jewish presence in the land today. The Jews presently in the land are there in unbelief; they have returned under a Zionistic movement prior to the nation’s repentance.
But what does “the Law” and “the Testimony” say about this?
Note again Solomon’s prayer, along with the numerous related Scriptures in both Testaments. God has driven His people out among the Gentile nations to effect repentance, and He clearly states that He will remove them from the nations only following repentance.
Further, when God restores His people in accordance with His numerous Old Testament promises to do so, the Jewish people will never be uprooted from their land again (Ezekiel 37:21-28; 39:25-29; Joel 2:27; 3:17-21). But the remnant present in the land will be uprooted in the middle of the Tribulation by the actions of the rider on the red horse (Matthew 24:15; Revelation 6:3, 4).
Then, further yet, the time seen in Scripture when God will restore His people to their land occurs following the Tribulation, not before the Tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31). And this, of course, is perfectly in line with the purpose for that which will occur relative to Israel during the Tribulation.
In short, according to the latter part of Isaiah 8:20, the teaching that God is presently restoring the Jewish people to their land in accordance with His many promises has “no light” connected with it, for such a teaching is not according to “the Law” and “the Testimony.” The teaching is completely removed from the light of God’s Word and seen in a completely opposite sphere — darkness.
And that’s the way anything being taught or anything that has been taught is to be dealt with.
If it is being taught correctly, it MUST be according to “the Law” and “the Testimony.” The individual MUST proclaim the Word, not what he thinks, but what the Word states (2 Timothy 4:2).
Thus, if something taught is to be seen as Truth, that which is taught in Scripture, it MUST be in accordance with “the Law” and “the Testimony.” If it is out of line with this Word, then it is associated with error, not truth. It is associated with darkness, not light.
Again, there is no middle ground; it has to be one or the other.
3) Conditions Following Israel’s Repentance
During the Tribulation, the Jewish people will be bound by a covenant associated with death and the place of the dead, the underworld. During this time, they will be associated with a man who will have deceived them, as one who could lend aid, help them. This man though will prove to be the worst enemy that the Jews will have ever seen in the 3,500-year history of the nation.
This is the man who will be directly responsible for the death of over one billion people, which will include most of the earth’s Jewish population, through his efforts to remove from the face of the earth anything and everything associated with the Jewish people.
But this is also the man whom God will use in a completely opposite respect. And, in God’s omniscient, sovereign control of all things, this man will be unable to do anything at all about God’s control over his actions as he goes about seeking to destroy the very people who, in the end, will bring about his destruction.
God will use the actions of this man to force Israel into a position where the Jewish people will be left without a choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers for help. And when the Jewish people do this, the God of Israel will respond.
At that time, the things seen when the fifth and sixth seals of the seven-sealed scroll are broken provide a graphic description of conditions that will exist when the rider on the pale, sickly green horse makes his appearance.
When the fifth seal is broken, deceased individuals are seen crying out to the Lord in “a loud voice,” asking how much longer are the existing conditions upon the earth going to be allowed to continue, seemingly unchecked. And they are told to “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 6:11b).
Those echoing this cry would be only a part of the multitudes slain during this time (only part of the numbers exceeding one and one-half billion), for only the slain among the saved are in view when the fifth seal is broken.
And the answer to the question asked — “How much longer…?” — can be easily answered: “Until Israel repents!”
The subsequent breaking of the sixth seal shows how the government of the earth will exist near or at this time. The breaking of this seal shows the government of the earth at the time of Christ’s return, which will follow Israel being brought to the place of repentance.
That which is seen when this seal is broken depicts a complete breakdown of the entire matter — the government of the earth and that which is connected with the government. The fabric holding the system together unravels, apparently quite rapidly. Disorder, in that day, will reign supreme.
And when everything unravels and disorder reigns supreme, the place occupied by those on the earth will come into view. All — “the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man” (Revelation 6:15a) — will be affected by this total collapse of the government and all the things that appertain thereunto, resulting in utter chaos.
Then, the breaking of the seventh seal reveals things that will occur immediately following Christ’s return, seen in the corresponding seven trumpet and seven bowl (KJV: vial) judgments (both dealing with the same judgments, seen from two different perspectives), bringing matters to a full and complete end.
When the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, time in relation to Man’s Day will be over, the mystery of God will be brought to completion, and the kingdom of this world will have become that “of our Lord and of His Christ” (Revelation 11:15-19).
Then, the same scene is dealt with from a different perspective in the pouring out of the seventh bowl. When an angel pours this bowl “into the air,” a loud voice will come out of the temple in heaven, saying, “It is done [a perfect tense verb in the Greek text, indicating action completed in past time and existing during present time in a finished state]” (Revelation 16:17-21).
The full measure of God’s judgment will have fallen upon the final form of the kingdom of Babylon; and the full revelation of God (Revelation 10:7), made known through a full revelation of the Son (Revelation 1:1), will be realized at this point.
Israel will have previously been brought to the place of repentance and belief, the inheritance will have been fully redeemed, and the kingdom will have become that “of our Lord and of His Christ.”
(For additional information on the breaking of the fifth, sixth, and seventh seals of the seven-sealed scroll, refer to Chapters 14-28 in the author’s book, The Time of the End.)
A rainbow appears in connection with a mighty angel at this time, evidently referencing the actions of God’s Son. The Son, clothed with a “cloud” (evidently the Glory of God), will place one foot on the sea, the other on the land, and then hold the opened scroll — with all seven seals broken — up toward heaven for His Father to see (showing total control and a completed redemption of the inheritance [Revelation 10:1-6]).
A rainbow is seen two times in the book of Revelation (4:3; 10:1). The rainbow, as first seen in Scripture in Genesis 9:13-16, appeared following the storm. And the rainbow is used after a similar manner, in relation to judgment, in the book of Revelation. It is seen surrounding God’s throne in chapter four in connection with a past judgment of Christians (chapters 1-3); and it is seen in chapter ten in connection with a past judgment as well.
In both instances, judgment will be over. By and through the first judgment, the bride will have been made known (chapters 1-3); and, by and through the second judgment, Israel will have been brought to the place of repentance, the inheritance will have been redeemed, Israel will have been restored as the wife of Jehovah, and the bride will have become the Lamb’s wife (John 2:1-11; Revelation 6:1-19:21).
God will then make “a new covenant with the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 36:24-31), disannulling their previous covenant with “Death,” their agreement with “Sheol.”
Everything will then be reversed, the curse will be lifted, and peace will prevail.
Note the description of these days in Isaiah’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
For thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. . . .
I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them-My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd.
And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.
I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:11, 23-26)
These days are coming. But before that time, Israel and the nations are going to have to pass through the darkest time in man’s 6,000-year history. And, aside from effecting the inseparably related redemption of the inheritance and the two previously mentioned marriages (God and Israel, Christ and His bride), this will occur for one central purpose alone: to effect Israel’s repentance.