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.
When interpreting this passage we have to understand who the rider of this horse is and what it represents. The dispensational or futurist view interprets this pale horse as a symbol for Death as the passage itself states "his name that sat on him was Death".
The dispensational view has this rider appearing during a seven year period of time known as "The Tribulation". The Pale Horse rides as a result of the actions of the first three horses of the Apocalypse. The White Horse symbolized the rise of antichrist who came to power through diplomacy but his actions resulted in war symbolized by the Red Horse. This war resulted in famine and hyper inflation symbolized by the Black Horse.
The seeds of death have been sown. Now the grim reaper, symbolized by the Pale Horse, comes along to reap the harvest. The souls of the people that are being taken by death have one way tickets to hell. They have no relationship with Jesus Christ and have rejected His offer of salvation. This is explained by the phrase, "Hell followed with him."
How is the rider on the Pale Horse reaping his harvest? He is killing with sword. This is connected to the rider on the Red Horse who brings war to the world. He is killing with hunger and with death. This is tied in with the rider on the black horse who brings famine and disease as a result of the famine. The interesting phrase here is the killing "with the beasts of the earth"
This is probably a reference to animals who have lost their fear of man and are killing man for food. Millions of animals are killed by motor vehicles every week. There is a possibility this could be the payback for that atrocity. Another possibility is that animals also carry diseases and have brought a plague upon mankind. For example, Aids was originally known as the "green monkey virus". We also have flus that originated with birds and pigs.
What happens to the population of mankind as result of the ride of the Pale Horse? And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth. One quarter of the world's population dies. The current world population is about 7 billion people. As a result of the opening of the first four seals, 1.75 billion people would die and their souls would flood the gates of hell.
One thing to keep in mind when studying these seal judgments. They are judgments from God. The reason for these judgments is that the world has rejected God, specifically His son Jesus Christ, and have accepted an impostor as God.
This does raise some questions. Are these seal judgments confined to the tribulation period? Is there both a long range fulfillment of these prophecies and a short term fulfillment?
We have already identified the rider as being symbolic of death. Could this rider be symbolic of something else as well? The riders of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse have a parallel in the Old Testament prophetic book known as Zechariah in Chapter 6. 1 And I turned , and lifted up mine eyes, and looked , and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth
An angel identifies these horse riders as being "the four spirits of the heavens" This brings up the possibility that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse could represent four world belief systems. Approaching this prophecy with this viewpoint in mind, we have identified the belief system represented by the white horse as Catholicism, the red horse as Communism, and the black horse as Capitalism.
Which brings up the question, what belief system could be represented by the pale horse? The original Greek word that was translated into "pale" was "Chloros". The name "Chlorophyll" has its root in the world "Chloros". "Chloros" means "green".
This means that the original Greek text would read, "Behold a green horse" or possibly "a pale green horse". What world belief system is represented by the color green? The answer is Islam. You seen green everywhere in the world of Islam. Most modern day Islamic flags have the color green prominently displayed.
Let's examine the prophecy again as representing the world belief system of Islam. The Pale or Green rider represents Death. According to Islamic beliefs, the only sure way to reach heaven is to die the death of a martyr. According to the Bible, the only way into heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified , whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders , which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved . Acts Chapter 4.
The Muslims who blow themselves up as martyrs believe they are going to heaven but instead they end up in hell. "and Hell followed him". It does not matter if you are sincere in your faith. If your faith is misplaced, the end result will be the same.
Notice the passage said "power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth," The world of Islam has about 2 billion adherents which is about a fourth of the world's population. Although Islam claims to be a religion of peace, it is written in their holy book, the Koran, that if a Christian or a Jew cannot be converted to Islam then you would be doing Allah a favor by killing them. When they are not persecuting Christians and Jews, they are fighting amongst themselves as the current unrest in the Mideast illustrates. Noticed the passage said "to kill with sword' The preferred method of execution in the world of Islam is beheading which requires a sword.
There are many starving people in African nations. These nations are Muslim controlled. The prophecy stated the rider would kill "with hunger"
Islam is a culture of death and the prophecy states the pale rider would kill "with death" How does the phrase "beasts of the earth" fit in with an Islamic belief system?
Ishmael is the father of the Arab people and a son of Abraham. Since most Muslims are Arabs, you could say Ishmael is the father of Islam as well. What did God say about the type of man Ishmael would be? 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
God said Ishmael and his descendants would be "wild" or beastly in nature. So the phrase "beasts of the earth"could refer to the beastly nature of the Islamic people.
In conclusion, the rider of the Pale Horse could refer to the belief system of Islam as well as having a fulfillment in the coming period of time known as the Tribulation.