Revelation 16:12 - After the sixth angel had emptied his bowl, four angels who had been bound in the Euphrates were set free (see Revelation 9:13). Their release caused a flood-tide of destruction to come upon the earth. These angels are the power emissaries of Satan and are extremely evil in character. Until this point, God had kept them bound for an hour, day, month, and a year. Now, the time has come in the world’s history, the hour of its greatest crisis, for those sinister forces to be set free. They are given the power to arrange the final program, and one third of the world population is slain.
Why were they bound at this particular location? Because, this is where history began, and this is where it will end. Eden was located here and sin began here. The first murder was committed here. Nimrod lived and began his wicked religion here. And finally, the Tower of Babel, which brought God’s judgment, was built here.
Seventh Bowl of Wrath
The seventh bowl of wrath pours forth voices, thunder, lightning, and a great earthquake - the greatest the world has ever known. Jerusalem was divided into three parts. Cities throughout the world were demolished. Both islands and mountains disappeared. Pieces of ice weighing 100 pounds were falling from heaven. Men blasphemed God as a result of this. There was no thought of repentance.
Having said this, the serious student of prophecy would be remiss if he were to ignore the signs that are here being fulfilled before our eyes. When the Lord came to earth the first time, the angels sang, “Glory to God, peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” When He comes to earth the second time, universal glory will be given to God, and there will be peace on earth and good will among men for 1,000 years.
When the Lord returns, the world will be in a disastrous mess. It will be a little more than a pile of rubble. When the Lord comes, things will be at their worst. During the millennial age, He will remove the curse and restore the earth to its original state, which will be paradise. The Lord is coming. He is even at the door, and “I can almost hear His foot fall” (see Luke 21:9-31). The Rapture will precede His coming to the earth by seven years. Revelation 22 says, “Behold I come quickly.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The Opening of the Seven Seals
As each of the seals is broken, restraint is increasingly removed from the earth. The earth will reap the fall harvest for man’s sin.
The White Horse
The first horse, white in color, bursts upon the scene with drumming hoofs. The rider, the Antichrist, wins victories without bloodshed. He goes forth conquering and to conquer (see Revelation 6:2). It is important to note that the rider has a bow, but no arrows. He wages a “cold war.” Nations submit to him grudgingly, but peacefully.
He offers Israel protection for seven years. For three and a half years, as his power increases, an uneasy peace settles on the world. The Antichrist rules unchallenged, disgorging blasphemous philosophies and anti-Christian ideologies, preparing men’s hearts for the devil’s gospel and their ultimate reception of the strong delusion (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).
The Red Horse
The rider of the red horse introduces a war of such magnitude that it will make all other global wars pale in significance.
The Black Horse
The black horse represents famine. The rider had a scale with which he weighed out the staple foods of the working class, namely wheat and barley. Notice that the food of the upper class, namely oil and wine, were not touched. This points to the blighted prosperity of the last days. It represents famine and economic disaster.
The Pale Horse
The pale horse is the color of death. The rider of this horse was Death, and Hades followed him. War and famine have always plagued mankind. At this point, a new horrendous and terrifying element is introduced: pestilence. One quarter of the world’s population will die. To put this in perspective, consider the fact that at the close of World War I, twenty million people died of influenza and six million more died of typhus.
The shadow of the pale horse and its rider will lie like a black cloud across the world. Then there will come the “beasts of the earth.” The most destructive creature on earth is not the lion, tiger, or bear, but rather the rat. Rats are unsurpassed in their reproductive capabilities. Rats carry as many as 35 different diseases. Their fleas have been known to carry the bubonic plague, which, for instance, killed one-third of the population of 14th century Europe. Their fleas have also been known to carry typhus, which in four centuries has killed an estimated 200 million people. Rats also devour and contaminate food supplies.
The Judgment of God
Revelation 19:17-19 describes the “Supper of the great God.” This event is also the end of the “times of the Gentiles.” Daniel depicts this same scene in Daniel 2:34-35. The stone, cut without hands, smites the iron and clay feet of the image and grinds them to powder. This stone, Daniel continues, became a mountain and filled the whole earth. Here, Daniel undoubtedly describes the King of kings and His kingdom.
This event is also a fulfillment of Matthew 22:42 which says, “The Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” This Stone is being rejected today. Both Jews and Gentiles alike reject Him. Should anyone meet the Lord as an enemy, He will “grind them to powder” (Matthew 21:44). “God will not be mocked, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”