Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Opening of Seals 3 & 4

The opening of the 3rd and 4th seals of the apocalyptic scroll unleashes the symbolic horses of famine, pestilence and death. The Grand Climax commentary, of course, places the start of their deadly gallop across the globe back in 1914. But it seems more likely that the seals have not been unsealed yet. One reason for that view is the fact that that Revelation 6:8b states that horsemen of the apocalypse are given authority over a fourth part of the earth. But the problem is that the combined deaths caused by all the wars of the 20th century, all the food shortages and death by disease, have not even afflicted nearly a quarter of the world’s population. For instance, the combined deaths caused by the First World War and the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 represented only a mere 3% of the world’s population then. (See essay: A Closer Look at 1914)

The Society’s commentary on Revelation 6:8b brushes off the significance of the verse by saying that it is not necessarily a literal fourth of the earth’s population that is affected by war, famine and pestilence, but simply a large part of it. Hence they have rendered the prophecy more or less meaningless. The question thinking Jehovah's Witnesses ought to ask is why God would say the horsemen of the apocalypse will have authority over a quarter of humanity if he merely intended to say that a relatively small percentage of earth’s inhabitants would be laid low by war, famine and disease, as has been the case these past 93 years?

The sobering truth is that the world presently stands poised to be plunged into an unprecedented period of global war, food shortages and pandemics on a scale that vastly exceeds what has taken place since 1914.

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