THE FOURTH SEAL
"And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death and Hell 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." Rev. 6:7, 8.
Since the pale horse falls in the same period as does the non-descript beast of Daniel 7:7, 8 (see pp. 16, 17), the period subsequent to the third seal, they consequently resemble each other. Indeed, its color being faint, wanting, not having a specific or definite hue or character, the horse is in the last analysis non-descript, too. Very evidently the rider of the pale horse is synonymous with him who spake against the Most High, with him who was to wear out the saints, "and think to change times and laws." Dan. 7:25. He is seen to represent the climax of idolatry. The ancient Roman government is fittingly symbolized by the non-descript beast, because in truth its administration was an admixture of civil and religious laws, of Pagan and Christian doctrines. No one could actually tell whether the Roman government was Pagan or Christian, Jewish or Gentile.
The rider's name, "death," also perfectly fits the then persecuting spirit and cruelties of both the Jews and the Romans. History and prophecy alike confirm that the Roman subversive power "devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet." Dan. 7:19.
The truth concerning the "fourth part of the earth," over which power was given unto them "to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth," is easily discovered: Dividing 6,000, the years from creation to the commencement of the millennium, into four equal parts, gives 1500 years ("the fourth part"), in the end of which time the power was to wane. Again, it being true that the slaying of the saints began with the crucifixion of Christ, this "fourth part of the earth" therefore began at that time and ended with the "Augsburg Confession," a document compiled by Luther and presented at the Diet of Augsburg to the Emperor, Charles V, in 1530, -- exactly 1500 years after the resurrection of Christ (considering that the Christian era is 3 1/2 years pre-dated), the time the Roman power did wane.
These deductions become even more impeachable in the light of the historical fact that the Protestant clash against despotism, finally caused the persecution to cease. So it is that this part of the scripture under discussion, was fulfilled in 1530 by the weakening of the Jewish-Pagan and Christian-Pagan powers' killing with sword, hunger, death, and beasts.
(This part of the prophecy, incidentally, overthrows the erroneous idea that the earth has been in existence for longer than 6,000 years.)
At this point it is well to note that while the number of horses, four, represents the four corners of the compass, the number of seals, seven, denotes the completeness of the gospel, the sealing of the saints.
Having seen the truth of the first four seals unveiled, we are now to explore THE SYMBOLIZATION OF THE FIFTH SEAL.
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