by Joel Fernandez
The four horsemen of the apocalypse have been the subject of theological debate for thousands of years. Some take the Bible’s book of Revelations’ description of them literally and expect to see giant beings in the sky riding horses. Others think that the words serve as an allegory that foreshadows events that will unfold in a more “realistic” way. Whatever your beliefs, let us try to wrap our minds around the possibility that the world as we know it could come to an end.
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. ( Revelation 6:1-2)
In chapter six of the book of Revelations, the four horsemen are said to appear in order. It has been generally agreed upon that the four represent conquest, war, famine, and death. The first horseman is supposed to symbolize the Antichrist and will supposedly conquer the world. If we look at these Bible verses in context, they were written thousands of years before all of the wars in modern history. That includes both world wars as well as the cold war.
As it stands today, the world order is such that conquering other countries is forbidden. As such, diplomacy before or after military conflict is the only acceptable way to restore the status quo. These are the rules as stated by the United Nations and enforced by NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organization). While the aforementioned organizations are comprised of dozens of nations, it is generally agreed upon that they are led by none other than the United States of America.
Furthermore, the Bible was written thousands of years ago before many of the languages that we speak today even existed. That means that the various changes in the nomenclature within the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages that the Bible was written in originally have to be adjusted for the languages of the modern age. That is a long-winded way of saying that the word conquest has taken on a different meaning in today’s world. At least, it has in a world where the United States leads the world order.
The world Antichrist means either against Christ or false Christ. The United States Government is structured in such a way that it is impossible for one person to wield absolute power. And even at the height of power as defined by the American government, it can only last for one term at a time. That seems to rule out the possibility that the prophesied Antichrist would be an American. But what if the meaning of the word was lost in translation or has taken on a whole new meaning in today’s modern languages? If Diplomacy is the only acceptable way to control the world, that means that the United States government has effectively conquered the world. At the very least, you would get that impression from listening to their daily speeches.
Chapters 16 and 19 of the book of revelations cite something referred to as the “mark of the beast”. The Antichrist and his government will supposedly separate the prosperous from the unfortunate with the so called mark of the beast. While it is important to note the ancient context where branding humans was common practice, perhaps it is simply another word that has evolved over the course of world history. Your first thought may be that this is simply not possible in America. But if you can think of even a single person whose name is banned from the “mainstream”, that would have to be the closest example of someone who does not have the “mark of the beast”.
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come and see!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. ( Revelation 6:3-4)
As for the horseman of war, there may be more to this one than meets the eye. As was previously stated, none of the violent military conflicts in world history so far have brought about an apocalyptic dystopia that is on a global scale. But what if the so called second horseman was a reference to mass shootings? As of today, there is no developed country in the world that has more mass shootings among civilians than the United States of America. And every time a mass shooting is large enough to make the “national news”, the “mainstream” media tries to divine the reason as a means to present a palpable scapegoat. Let’s not forget about the fact that every time a terrorist is killed, innocent civilians are killed because of collateral damage. The truth of the matter is that in war, both sides become evil.
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6)
If we are not mistaken, the number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That means that America has the most generally overweight population in the world. This is what the “mainstream” media would call a first world problem. For the sake of avoiding literary redundancy, we will forgo the debate of whether it would be better to starve to death or die of a heart attack. Instead, we will try to put the word famine into global context.
Even though the United States has (arguably) the world’s biggest economy, there are still people within its borders that go hungry. If the concept of starvation is adjusted for inflation, that would mean that less fortunate countries will naturally have more starving people. The previous verse connotes the exchange rate that would mean the difference between eating well and starving. Coincidentally, so does the first world problems hash-tag.
When economic misfortune occurs naturally, the fact that people will starve cannot be avoided. But what if the world’s undisputed most powerful country decided to impose economic sanctions on another country as a means to coerce that country’s leaders into capitulation? If your first reaction is to say that the notion sounds like something out of a fiction novel, you would be mistaken.
If you want examples of countries that are home to innocent civilians that pay the price for things that their leaders do, look no further than Cuba, North Korea and Iran. You might say that those extreme measures are justified in the name of “democracy”. But try to explain that to the mother of four that has to decide the order in which her children will eat on any given day. Imagine if the roles were reversed and the American people were forced to pay the consequences for the unpublicized atrocities that are committed by the American government. Better yet, don’t imagine.
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine, and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)
Death has been a part of world history from the very beginning. As such, it would be unfair to blame it all on a relatively young country. But perhaps the way in which death is decided arbitrarily is something that is worth noting. Imagine being targeted for assassination by the American government because you decided to repatriate resources that are physically located in a country that you lead. It might sound like fiction to you, but there is in fact a precedent. Just ask the late Fidel Castro, who had to survive hundreds of assassination attempts and even a failed invasion. Castro was not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. But what gives another country the right to try to take his life just for practicing what is supposed to be sovereign immunity? Having to live your life looking over your shoulder is no life at all.
What’s more, the United States government holds territory in Guantanamo bay, but then places economic sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea. That means that there are more unfortunate people who starve in Russia as a result of another country’s government and their geopolitical hypocrisy. Whatever your beliefs are, we should all agree that no civilian in any country should be forced to pay the price for political decisions that they themselves have no control over. Especially if that price is death by either starvation or drone strike collateral damage.
If the so called Antichrist tried to make everyone suffer, no one would follow him. That means that even during the apocalypse, there will be a significant percentage of people who will be on the right side of the world order. Significant enough to dominate the rest of the world. At this point,we should be open to the possibility that the Antichrist is more than one person. Perhaps it is a government that is comprised of a fraction of a percentage of the world’s population. One that arbitrarily decides who lives and who dies. To anyone on the right side of the world order, this all just sounds like theological speculation. But to anyone whose life has been arbitrarily derailed by the biggest government, their point of view might be that of someone who lives in the fourth of the earth that was mentioned in the last verse.
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