Summary of Seals One and Two
The events so far in the Tribulation include Antichrist rising to power in the world as the leader of end-times Babylon, controlling the European Union, establishing some form of control over the nations of the world and establishing a seven year treaty that protects the nation of Israel.
For the First Seal opened by Jesus in the Tribulation, Antichrist uses Babylon to attack and destroy the nation of Egypt; the details are described in The Burden of Egypt. It's military strength will be destroyed and the economy will be in shambles. Many Egyptians will somehow understand that the destruction of their nation will be ordained by God and these will turn to Him for forgiveness and become faithful followers of God.
In Seal Two, several Muslim nations around the nation of Israel attempt to attack and destroy it; Almighty God then miraculously destroys these nations: Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. After this destruction, Antichrist will step in and control Iran, Libya, Turkey, and the Muslim nations around the Black and Caspian seas and the Persian Gulf; he will also probably control Afghanistan and Pakistan. The oil reserves of the middle East will then be under Antichrist's control. The only nations that could potentially present a threat to his control will be the nations of the far east, including China and Japan and possibly India. During the first half of the Tribulation they will obey his commands but during the second half of the Tribulation he will lose some of his control over them because Babylon will be destroyed at mid-Tribulation and he will lose much of his military might (Destruction of Babylon).
Seal Three: Hyperinflation
Revelation 6:5 And when he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, Come. And I saw, and behold, a black horse; and he that sat thereon had a balance in his hand.
It is announced to John that Seal Three will produce severe inflation, threatening the economic welfare of nations of the world. The balance in the time of Jesus was used to very accurately weigh out a given amount of food or other item and to be paid by the buyer with a set amount of money per ounce. Food will be so precious at this time in the Tribulation that food will be weighed out in very precise amounts.
Note that the opening of the third seal is announced by the third living creature. We believe that the four living creatures of the Book of Revelation are representative of the Bride of Christ. These are the most faithful of Christ's saints of today and the 2,000 year Church Age and are described in detail in: Revelation Chapter Four. Jesus opens the first four seals of the seven seal scroll, and His most faithful saints announce to the Apostle John the judgments that follow. Thus, the Bride of Christ has been given great responsibility by Christ and assist Him when He initiates His judgments upon the nations of the world during the Tribulation.
Revelation 6:6 And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A measure of wheat for a denarius, and three measures of barley for a denarius; and the oil and the wine hurt thou not.
At this point in the Tribulation, basic grain foods are very expensive. The barley is a lesser grain and is representative of the food of the less-affluent people of the world. The wheat is a more desirable grain and is the food for the middle class. As we can expect, the oil and wine will be food for the rich people of the world; they always seem to live well even when other people don't. The measure of grain mentioned is most likely only a day's worth of food. A denarius was a day's wage for a worker of the first century. The money spent by the poorer people of the world will most likely be an entire days salary, so not much will be left over for anything else. The money spent by the middle class people of the world may not be an entire day's wages, but a considerably larger amount of money will be spent by them on their food than before the start of the Tribulation. Perhaps some vegetables and other foods will be available to purchase or grow, but the grains that are the main staple for many peoples of the world will be very expensive. Only the rich will be able to afford olive oil, spices, meats, wine and fruits.
We know that much wheat and barley is currently being grown by Russia, China, Brazil, Australia, France, Canada, USA and other countries of the world and are being imported by several countries of the world. Prices of these grains are currently rising because of internal demand for them plus smaller crop yields because of droughts and/or flooding.
Today, in many countries of the world, unemployment is at high levels. During the Tribulation, unemployment will be even higher and food, even from charity, will probably be minimal. Even those with employment will have a very difficult time affording enough food to stay healthy. During the Tribulation, there will most likely be few overweight people.
Note that the stable grain of rice is not mentioned. Perhaps the Asian countries will not be effected as much by the high cost of barley and rice. This may also help them to be somewhat less under control of the Antichrist than western and African countries will be. They will still have to pay large amounts for any barley or wheat they may import.
Just before and into the Tribulation, could there be great droughts in the world that could allow little to be grown of the staple grains in the countries of the world? Is it possible that Babylon will be the primary exporter of these grains, thereby making huge profits by selling their grain to the rest of the world? If so, that might be one of the factors leading to Babylon being extremely rich and will import many luxurious goods from various countries of the world during the Tribulation; see Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation for details. We know that the economic conditions in Babylon will be much better compared to the rest of the world, because this great country will still be importing large quantities of automobiles (carriages), hardwood flooring, perfumes, jewelry, granite counter tops, wines, exotic spices and meats and other luxurious merchandise up until it is destroyed at mid-Tribulation.
You need oil to drive industry, but you must have food, so the priorities of the world will change once Babylon starts charging very high amounts for its grain products because not much grain will be possible to obtain from other countries of the world; such as is done now. Seal Three will be yet one more reason that the ten nations of the European Union will hate Babylon because of the high prices that it will charge for its grain that it exports to Europe:
Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her utterly with fire.
To summarize, the reasons that the world will hate Babylon are:
Seal Four: War, Disease and Attacks by Wild Animals
Revelation 6:7 And when he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, Come.
The events of Seal Four are announced by one of the four living creatures, the Bride of Christ. As we previously mentioned, they have important roles in God's plan for the Tribulation.
Revelation 6:8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse: and he that sat upon him, his name was Death; and Hades followed with him. And there was given unto them authority over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with famine, and with death, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Insurgencies and the rule of Lawlessness
The killing by the sword will most likely be by armed rebel groups within the various countries of the world. They could be like the massacres that are now taking place in Africa for nations that are poor in resources and the warring factions are taking whatever money, food, people, resources and land whenever they can and the major casualties are usually the innocent women and children. The killings could also be by rival gangs that now fight in some of the Central and South American countries. They take whatever resources they can because they have the manpower and weapons to do so. Some of the countries of the world might just attack and attempt to take over the resources of neighboring countries. This insurgency will take place beginning with seal Four and continue until Mid-Tribulation; then The Lord will pronounce His judgments upon the unsaved people and unrepentant nations of the world and initiate The Day of The Lord. The people of the world will be so desperate for food and other resources that they will even attack their neighbors and possibly even their own relatives so they can survive. Anarchy will rule in many places in the countries of the world.
Attacks by wild animals
Here are some of the wild beasts that now exist in the various countries of the world:
We know that in the Book of Genesis, God placed the fear of man in the various animals that He created:
Genesis 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the heavens; With all wherewith the ground teemeth, and all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they delivered.
And we know that generally the wild animals of the world will stay away from attacking mankind unless they are attacked by man or are possibly starving. Attacks by lions in Africa and tigers in India have happened, but happen infrequently. If there is little food for mankind then there will also not be much food for the animals of the world, so mankind could be viewed by the animals as an available sustenance.
Remember the hornet in the Book of Deuteronomy?
Deuteronomy 7:20 Moreover Jehovah thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves, perish from before thee.
The countries that have hornets and other bees could experience stings and perhaps be unable to plant and gather grains in the gardens of the world; fire ants could also cause great suffering in the Americas.
The following verse applies to the unfaithful nation of Judah during Old Testament times. I believe that it could also apply to many nations of the world that undergo the testing of Seal Four:
Joel 1:4 That which the palmer-worm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the canker-worm eaten; and that which the canker-worm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.
After the devastation by these insects, the fields of vegetables will be empty. Little will be left to feed the nations of the world.
These attacks by the wild beasts of the world I have mentioned are only a few of the possibilities that could happen. Perhaps Almighty God will remove from the various animals and insects the fear of man and allow them to be attacked after seal four is opened by Jesus.
There will be pandemics of various diseases in the world and could include: west-Nile virus, various avian and swine influenza, cholera, perhaps even man-made diseases such as were created in labs in the old Soviet Union and several countries of the mid-east such as anthrax. Perhaps these diseases will somehow get out of the labs and effect great groups of people in various regions of the world. It is possible that several new diseases will arise similar to HIV, Ebola and Avian influenza that have arisen over the past 30 years. Because of the increase of resistance of many bacteria and viruses to anti-biotic medicines, once you get a disease, it may just take you down.
Which countries will be most effected by Seal Three and Seal Four?
My personal belief that poorer countries such as in Africa, Central and South America and several countries of Southeast Asia will be the most effected by the high price for food, insurgencies and anarchy and attacks of wild animals and various disease pandemics. There is already war in several African countries, at least at the tribal level. Many people there are dying from attacks, rapes, AIDS and in-fighting. There will be many wars fought in these countries so the small amount of food that will be available will be fought over; many people will die during these conflicts.
One-fourth of the world's population will die as a result of Seal Four. If there are 7 billion people residing on planet earth when seal four is unleashed, then about 1.75 billion people will die; what a gruesome thought.
Seal Five: Persecution of Main Harvest Christians
Before the Tribulation Begins. Have you noticed that over the last 20-30 years that the media has tried to reduce the importance of Christianity in the United States? On some of the television programs Christians are discussed as fanatical and as wanting Armageddon and thus the destruction of civilization to take place. On some of the websites they state that the Holy Bible consists of fables and Christians are just delusional by thinking that there is a God. On many public buildings the Ten Commandments have existed for decades and they are now being forced to be removed from these buildings and Christmas Nativity scenes are being forced to be removed from town squares. Have you also noticed that the greetings from the various TV stations in many cases have changed from "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays?" In state and local meetings an opening prayer has been ridiculed by the media. I wonder if the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives will sometime soon stop having their opening prayers and their chaplains?
Where is this repudiation of Christianity leading us? What will happen to this country when all forms of ties to God are removed and Christians will have no say in what happens in the USA? What will happen to the Christians that want to continue in their faith?
I'd like to give you my opinion of what will happen to Christianity in the USA in the near future and into the Tribulation:
Will this happen? Well, no it will not. I'm sorry, but too many Christians of today are living their lives just like the rest of the world does. Almighty God knows our actions and our attitudes and He is sickened by some of us avoiding faithful service to Him. Now there are many Christians today that are living a sanctified life for Jesus Christ and I commend you, but I'm afraid that too many aren't. Hence, God will allow the persecution of today to increase and some Christians may fall away because of the persecution. They are still saved, but if they are not counted as faithful by Jesus, they will be left behind to be tested during the first half of the Tribulation: Christians Left Behind.
When Jesus returns for the First Rapture, just before the beginning of the Tribulation, He will personally somehow appear to all Christians and let them know if they are faithful or not. If faithful, He will take them to Heaven and they will thus not have to face any more persecution. If not faithful, He will tell them that they will be left behind. He will then instruct them on what He expects them to accomplish during their 3 1/2 years in the Tribulation: The Last Days of the Church Age. They will then have the choice to be severely persecuted in the Tribulation and receive a great reward at their judgment, or take it easy and receive a terrible judgment from Jesus.
Christians Left Behind to endure the first half of the Tribulation. The Tribulation then begins and includes the severe persecution of Christians. In the USA Christianity will be outlawed and legislation at the national, state and local levels will be passed making Christianity illegal. Those Christians that have administrative, technical or constructive skills will be forced to provide long hard hours working on various projects at the national or local levels. They will be watched during their time on the job and receive little or no salary and poor food. If they say anything about God or even attempt to pray, they will be severely punished. They will work seven days a week and possibly dawn to dusk. They will literally be worked to exhaustion:
Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.
These individuals: The elderly and the disabled, whether Christian or not, will probably be murdered, such as Hitler did in Germany to the disabled or mentally handicapped individuals in the 30s and 40s. Those younger Christians that have few skills will probably used for manual labor but they will not last very long.
It is possible that the False Prophet will give Christians the opportunity to disavow their faith. Most will remain faithful to Jesus Christ but one group of Christians will not (The Five, Two and One Talent Christians). The unfaithful one Talent Christians of today will understand the persecution that is coming and many will disavow their faith or at least not stand up to be counted as a Christian that follows Jesus Christ. All peoples, Christian or not, will know of the severe persecution that will be inflected on left behind Christians. The unfaithful Christian will want no part of it and will be afraid and remain silent regarding his faith.
Revelation 6:9 And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
The fifth seal of the seven seal scroll will be opened by Jesus just before mid-Tribulation. At this point in the Tribulation, Antichrist has literally worked the faithful Christian to exhaustion and they are of no further worth to him and he will then direct their extermination. They have been faithful to Jesus and witnessed to the guards and supervisors that controlled them. They have prayed in public not only for themselves, but even for those that persecuted them. They studied the Holy Bible whenever they could, perhaps from memory of some of the verses. They were very faithful.
The Antichrist will allow no more of their testimonies and will have guillotines brought into the various detention camps and will murder these faithful believers in Jesus Christ. Immediately upon their death, God will have angels take their souls to Heaven to be with Him. At this point they do not have their eternal, holy bodies and their souls will be somehow stored underneath the altar that is in the Holy Place in the Heavenly temple.
Revelation 6:10 and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
The faithful Main Harvest Christians suffered through 3 1/2 years of brutal work camps and were murdered with great pain by the guillotine, causing much blood to flow. They then want justice to take place upon those that murdered them. They then ask Jesus Christ: "When will you judge and punish those that persecuted and then murdered us?"
Revelation 6:11 And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled [their course].
At this point in the first half of the Tribulation, there are few Main Harvest Christians that are still alive. They will be so beat up by the persecutions and hard work that they are totally spent. They are probably at this point near starvation and are beckoning for Jesus to return and take them to Heaven in The Main Harvest Rapture. Those that have already been murdered will not have long to wait for justice to take place, for all those Christians that Jesus expects to die for Him, their testing is just about complete. Only a few more will be murdered by the False Prophet. Jesus lets His saints that have already died for Him know that the major player in this terrible crime will soon be destroyed at mid-Tribulation: The Destruction of Babylon. After their prayer to God, this destruction may happen in only a few days or weeks.
Jesus gives His faithful a literal white robe and it outwardly shows that they have had good works that glorify God during their time in the Tribulation; they will be able to wear this white robe as soon as the Main Harvest Rapture takes place at mid-Tribulation. All those Christians that have died and are under the heavenly altar as well as those Christians that are still alive on the earth will be taken to Heaven and all will receive their immortal holy bodies and stand before Jesus for the judgment of their works (The Judgment Seat of Christ).
Watch and Pray
I suggest that you pray to God and let Him know that you don't want to be left behind to experience the persecution and destruction that will take place during the Tribulation:
(KJV) Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
So those Christians that are continually serving Jesus and are watching and praying for the His return for the First Fruits Rapture will escape all seven years of the Tribulation. This is guaranteed by obeying this command of Jesus! Here is my prayer:
Lord, I don't want to be left behind to be persecuted by Antichrist and to experience the suffering that will happen to the unfaithful Christian of today. I am watching for the return of Jesus and beckon for His soon return: (COME LORD JESUS. Revelation 22:20). I pray that I am counted worthy to escape all seven years of the Tribulation and to be taken to Heaven by Jesus in the First Fruits Rapture (The Coming Rapture) as a member of the Church of Philadelphia. I will then stand before Jesus for my Judgment. At that time I pray that I am counted as a faithful son of Yours. Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.