The Great Throne Visions ~ The Fourth Seal ~ War!
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Jurisdiction was given them over a fourth of the earth, to destroy with the sword, and with famine, and with pestilence, and with the wild animals of the earth.”
Although the symbolic image of this dreadful duo is terrible to behold, their mission is even more terrifying – they are to be given control over a fourth part of the earth. This is a quantitative, rather than a geographical division, and indicates a serious depopulation of the earth. If we assume that the world population at that time will be equal to, or greater than, it is today (7.3 billion) we are speaking of the destruction of almost 1.8 billion people. And these are only the beginning of the judgments!
In the face of such serious catastrophes, it is important to remember that the judgments have been limited, and will not exceed certain fixed boundaries. They will, at all times, be under the control of the Deity. I would point out, in this regard, that the means used to achieve this great slaughter were considered to be special agents, operating directly under the control of God, since the time of the Mosaic Covenant. Ezekiel called them “the four sore judgments” and described them as “the sword, and the famine, the evil beast, and the pestilence.” The weepy Jeremiah referred to these particular judgments as the four “kinds”, by which term he meant a “circle of relatives”, or a “family.” And they are quite closely related. War, followed by famine that breeds pestilence, is a series of events quite familiar to mankind. Taken together, these “four sore judgments” describe the string of events that will inaugurate the Great Tribulation period.
War and Famine
Some of the commentators have attributed the beginning of these terrible wars to a worldwide famine. Futurist Robert W. Prehoda a contemporary of mine, in his bestselling book, “Your Nest 50 Years”, agrees with this scenario, and predicted long ago that 1994 would be the year of the Malthusian crises. At this time, according to Prehoda’s prediction, the earth will have overreached its carrying capacity, and the rapidly expanding population will have finally outstripped the productive potential of the planet.
“There were one billion people in 1830. Only 100 years later, in 1930, the second billion was reached. 30 years later, in 1960, the earth held three billion humans; and it took only another 15 years, until 1975, for mankind to add another billion people to an overcrowded planet. World population was growing at an 84-year doubling rate in the 1950’s, and that pattern has continued without significant change for the past four decades.
This growth has continued in the face of spreading cities and highways, the polluting of the world’s rivers, streams, and fields, the destruction of its wildlife, the exhaustion of vast underground reservoirs that are irreplaceable, the loss of over 900 million acre of farmland to erosion during this era alone, and the depletion of the world’s fishing reserves. All of these things, and more besides, are happening in America, the most blessed of all nations, and they are happening now. Since North America is the world’s granary her fate will determine, to a great extent, what will happen to the rest of the planet. Add to this desperate picture the dislocation of food production centers because of the changing weather patterns, and the vulnerability of our high yield, genetically cloned, “Miracle” grains to genetic erosion, and the hand writing looms large upon the wall. The Specter of Famine is haunting the world.
Prehoda thought that these conditions would peak in 1994, at which time great areas of the world would face starvation. Food riots would break out in the cities, followed by martial law, coups, revolution and religious warfare. Nations faced with these kinds of problems will quickly export them, and international warfare will result. Prehoda places the outbreak of this warfare in India, a place where these conditions already exist, at least in embryo. Eventually, a nuclear exchange becomes inevitable.
At this point Prehoda’s scenario takes an interesting twist. Faced with the twin terrors of mass starvation and nuclear annihilation, the frightened nations of the world will surrender their weapons and a world-government will be established. Sanity has somehow prevailed “over the apocalyptic forces of chaos and doom.” How contemporary the Apocalypse of John has become. The fact that the monetary system, the food distribution network, the communications media, and the military-industrial complex will all be under the control of a single individual does not seem to have occurred to Prehoda. Perhaps the fate that mankind is saved “to” will be worse than the fate it is saved “from.” 1994 has come and gone and Prehoda’s prophecy has not been completely fulfilled. But all the elements he described are alive and working at the present time. Most futurists feel that the really serious problems Prehoda predicted will not arrive for another twenty years. But they will come!
Other commentators believe that the outbreak of war will precede the onset of famine. This conclusion, for the most part, is based on fact that famine always follows war in the prophecies of the Olivet Discourse. This is certainly a plausible possibility, given the irrational behavior of a good many world leaders. Consider the fact that the Libyan/Pakistani nuclear coalition placed atomic weapons in the hands of a madman named Quaddafi. Once such a transfer has been affected nuclear terrorism, in some form, will become a distinct possibility.
We bought Quaddafi off, replacing him with the mad mullah’s of Iran. The nuclear materials we have given them will not be surrendered so easily.
In the face of such terrible judgments it seems relatively unimportant whether war precedes or follows famine. Perhaps they will erupt simultaneously. Whatever the case, this will be a period that will try the souls of men.