Secrets of the 7 Seals: the Black Horse and Global Famine
Discussing current events and how they relate to Biblical prophesy. What are some critical signs are pointing to the imminent Rapture of the Church?
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a black horse. The horseman on it had a set of scales in his hand. Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius—but do not harm the olive oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)
One-Third Of Ukraine Farmland May Go Unplanted As Russia Begins ‘Second Phase’ Of War / ZeroHedge, April 20, 2022
About one-third of Ukraine’s farmlands may not be harvested or cultivated this year as Russia begins the second phase of the conflict in the war-torn country.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) noted in a report on Tuesday that the “vast destruction of crops and infrastructure due to the war jeopardizes food production.”
FAO estimates approximately 33% of the crops and agricultural land may not be harvested because of the escalating war.
In March, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged farmers to sow as many fields as possible to protect the food supply, but that appears to be a challenging task considering the displacement of people (labor shortage), bombed-out fields, severely damaged infrastructure, and shortage of everything (diesel, seeds, & fertilizer).
Ukraine is considered the world’s second-biggest shipper of grains and the biggest exporter of sunflower oil. The planting season has already begun — its crop production is vital to the global food supply.
Even if farmers were to sow as many fields as possible, their ability to export crops would be severely impacted during the harvest season due to damaged infrastructure, such as bombed-out rail systems, highways, bridges, and ports. Also, buyers of grains can barely get dry bulk carriers insured to transit the Black Sea to a Ukrainian port because of soaring war risk premiums.
Besides FAO, some private ag forecasters have warned crop harvests could be halved.
Catastrophic for American food supply? Union Pacific significantly cuts fertilizer shipments during spring planting season / LET, April 18, 2022
While the American people are distracted by skyrocketing inflation, record gas prices, and a maniacal madman committing genocide on Ukrainian citizens in Eastern Europe, an even more ominous crisis is bearing down on our country and in fact the rest of the globe.
The convergence of events seems to have set into motion a collapse of food production and crop harvests that spell trouble going forward and may in fact cause a global famine through 2024.
The main reason for this is that crops and plants don’t simply grow overnight…they take time to be planted, grown, and harvested, so if they’re not planted, there’s no way to immediately replace them.
Check out the following reasons for the coming global food crisis:
* Floods and droughts causing sharp drops in crop production in China, Russia, the US, and other nations;
Economic sanctions against Russia are causing a halting of food and fertilizer exports;
* War in Ukraine, leading to a halt to the 2022 planting season for crops such as wheat, corn, soy, and other crops;
* The related war in the Black Sea, which is halting ship movements in ports, such as the Ukrainian port of Odessa, which normally export crops;
* Biden has shut down fossil fuel production in the US, which will add significant costs to fertilizers and agricultural operations;
* Global fiat currency money printing, which is adding to spiking food inflation.
All of this will lead to two issues—food scarcity and food inflation.
Scarcity means exactly what it says, there will be no or very low supply no matter what the cost. One only needs to look at grocery store shelves and that is clear. Inflation means that whatever food is indeed available will be significantly higher in price. Either of these will lead to panic, which will likely lead to civil unrest.
It is reported that farmers have been reporting around a 300% increase in their costs to produce crops such as wheat.
Russia and Ukraine are responsible for 29% of global exports of wheat, 19% of corn and 80% of sunflower oil. The continuance of this war has the experts concerned.
Ukraine war: World Bank warns of ‘human catastrophe’ food crisis / BBC News, April 21, 2022
The world faces a “human catastrophe” from a food crisis arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, World Bank president David Malpass has said.
He told the BBC that record rises in food prices would push hundreds of millions people into poverty and lower nutrition, if the crisis continues.
The World Bank calculates there could be a “huge” 37% jump in food prices.
This would hit the poor hardest, who will “eat less and have less money for anything else such as schooling”.
In an interview with BBC economics editor Faisal Islam, Mr Malpass, who leads the institution charged with global alleviation of poverty, said the impact on the poor made it “an unfair kind of crisis… that was true also of Covid”.
“It’s a human catastrophe, meaning nutrition goes down. But then it also becomes a political challenge for governments who can’t do anything about it, they didn’t cause it and they see the prices going up,” he said on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington.
The price rises are broad and deep, he said: “It’s affecting food of all different kinds oils, grains, and then it gets into other crops, corn crops, because they go up when wheat goes up”.
There was enough food in the world to feed everybody, he said, and global stockpiles are large by historical standards, but there will have to be a sharing or sales process to get the food to where it is needed.
The unwinding of all of this might not be orderly, and could have significant geopolitical consequences.
Earlier this month, the United Nations said that the Ukraine war had led to a “giant leap” in food prices, as they hit a new record high in March.
It came as the war cut off supplies from the world’s biggest exporter of sunflower oil and the cost of alternatives climbed.
Ukraine is also a major producer of cereals such as maize and wheat which have risen sharply in price too.
The UN said “war in the Black Sea region spread shocks through markets for staple grains and vegetable oils”.
The UN Food Prices Index tracks the world’s most-traded food commodities – measuring the average prices of cereal, vegetable oil, dairy, meat, and sugar.
Food prices are at their highest since records began 60 years ago, according to the index, after they jumped nearly 13% in March, following February’s record high.
Food commodity prices were already at 10-year highs before the war in Ukraine, according to the index, because of global harvest issues.
Strange Trend of Food Processing Plant Fires Appears Across the US / Timcast, April 21, 2022
There has been an outbreak of fires in food processing facilities across the nation in the last six months as food prices soar and supply chains are stressed to their limits.
The fires began showing up regularly in the news after a fire closed a Tyson Foods meat processing plant in Kansas. The location was a primary beef processing location for the company and the U.S. supply chain, providing about 6% of U.S. beef.
After the fire, analysts began speculating that the impact could drive up market prices for meat nationwide. Dan Norcini, part of the beef and poultry trading markets, said the cattle market would likely “respond negatively” to news of the fire. He said the long-term impact would depend on how long the plant stays closed.
Just days later, in August of 2021, the Patak Meat Processing facility burned near Atlanta. The media took notice because the family-owned business is beloved in its community locally, and its products are purchased nationwide.
The fire in Georgia barely had a minor impact on the food supply chain nationwide. But, in September, a fire at JBS USA, a meat processing facility in Nebraska, threatened the meat supply for the entire nation profoundly. The plant reportedly processes about 5% of the nation’s beef, and closure would directly impact the supply chain.
The trend has continued repeatedly through the end of 2021 and into 2022.
In February, Shearer’s Food Processing Plant in Hermiston, Oregon, burned down, leaving two employees injured. On April 13, Taylor Farms Food Processing Plant in Salinas, California, burned and prompted evacuations. On April 19, the Headquarters of Azure Standard Food Processing Plant in Dufur, Oregon, also burned.
People are beginning to notice because the fires are threatening an already stressed supply chain of food in the U.S.
The trend continues: on March 16, a massive fire wiped out much of a Walmart fulfillment center in Plainfield, Indiana. The event was severe enough to warrant the ATF to investigate.
Another incident occurred on April 11, at New Hampshire’s East Conway Beef and Pork, when a fire so large broke out that it took respondents 16 hours to extinguish.
At least 16 such disasters have taken place at food processing facilities nationwide. While most of the incidents have shown no foul play after investigation, the trend presents a curious string of events across the country.
It remains to be seen what the direct impact will be. Still, as the nation continues to face soaring food prices and trouble with supply chain operations, there could be a significant impact on the cost and availability of food for Americans.
Are these signs of the End of the Age? Are the 7 Seals about to be opened? Are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse about to be unleashed?
First Seal: The Conqueror – A white horse appears, whose crowned rider has a bow in which to conquer. (6:1-2)
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth – A red horse appears, whose rider is granted a “great sword” to take peace from the earth. (6:3-4)
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth – A black horse appears, whose rider has “a pair of balances in his hand”, where a voice then says, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (6:5-6)
.Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth – A pale horse appears, whose rider is Death, and Hades follows him. Death was granted a fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (6:7-8)
What are we to do? How can we prosper with abundant life in the midst of all of this worry of what is to come?
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. (John 10:10)
This word “abundant” in the Greek is perisson, meaning “exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.” In short, Jesus promises us a life far better than we could ever imagine, a concept reminiscent of 1 Corinthians 2:9:
But as it is written:
What eye did not see and ear did not hear,
and what never entered the human mind—
God prepared this for those who love Him.
The apostle Paul tells us that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, and He does it by His power, a power that is at work within us if we belong to Him.
How do we obtain this abundant life?
Before we begin to have visions of lavish homes, expensive cars, worldwide cruises, and more money than we know what to do with, we need to pause and think about what Jesus teaches regarding this abundant life.
The Bible tells us that wealth, prestige, position, and power in this world are not God’s priorities for us:
Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
In terms of economic, academic, and social status, most Christians do not come from the privileged classes. Clearly, then, abundant life does not consist of an abundance of material things. If that were the case, Jesus would have been the wealthiest of men. But just the opposite is true:
Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20).
So, how did Jesus illustrate abundant life?
After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). And a huge crowd was following Him because they saw the signs that He was performing by healing the sick. So Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with His disciples.
Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near. Therefore, when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?” He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.
Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?”
Then Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
There was plenty of grass in that place, so they sat down. The men numbered about 5,000. Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.
When they were full, He told His disciples, “Collect the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” So they collected them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten. (John 6:1-13)
But the crowds completely misunderstood the purpose of His miracle of multiplication:
Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”
“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked.
Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent.”
“What sign then are You going to do so we may see and believe You?” they asked. “What are You going to perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe. Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:26-40)
Abundant life is eternal life, a life that begins the moment we come to Christ and receive Him as Savior, and goes on throughout all eternity.
The biblical definition of life — specifically eternal life — is provided by Jesus Himself:
This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ. (John 17:3)
Later, Jesus would institute the Lord’s Supper to remind them that He alone is the Source of abundant life:
When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you. (Luke 22:14-20)
We naturally desire material things, but as Christians our perspective on life must be revolutionized.
Just as we become new creations when we come to Christ, so must our understanding of “abundance” be transformed.
True abundant life consists of an abundance of love, joy, peace, and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit, not an abundance of “stuff.” It consists of life that is eternal, and, therefore, our interest is in the eternal, not the temporal. Paul admonishes us:
Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. (Colossians 3:2-3)..
Many of the people who are now suffering through these hard times are Christians. Shouldn’t fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ be free of poverty and hunger?
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith) is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth.
Prosperity theology has been criticized by leaders from various Christian denominations, including within some Pentecostal and charismatic movements, who maintain that it is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to the scripture. Secular as well as some Christian observers have also criticized prosperity theology as exploitative of the poor. The practices of some preachers have attracted scandal and some have been charged with financial fraud.
Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity. The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God’s will for his people to be blessed. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through donations of money, visualization, and positive confession.
It was during the Healing Revivals of the 1950s that prosperity theology first came to prominence in the United States, although commentators have linked the origins of its theology to the New Thought movement which began in the 19th century. The prosperity teaching later figured prominently in the Word of Faith movement and 1980s televangelism. In the 1990s and 2000s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Pentecostal movement and charismatic movement in the United States and has spread throughout the world.
What does the Holy Bible say about it?
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (Matthew 6:31-33)
Mainstream evangelicalism has consistently opposed prosperity theology as heretical, and prosperity ministries have frequently come into conflict with other Christian groups, including those within the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Critics of the movement assail promises made by its leaders, arguing that the broad freedom from problems they promise is irresponsible.
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world. (John 16:33)
Prosperity theology has been opposed for not adequately explaining the poverty of the Apostles. For instance, some theologians believe that the life and writings of Paul the Apostle, who is believed to have experienced significant suffering during his ministry, are particularly in conflict with prosperity theology.
We give no opportunity for stumbling to anyone, so that the ministry will not be blamed. But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything:
by great endurance, by afflictions,
by hardship, by difficulties,
by beatings, by imprisonments,
by riots, by labors,
by sleepless nights, by times of hunger,
by purity, by knowledge,
by patience, by kindness,
by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
by the message of truth,
by the power of God;
through weapons of righteousness
on the right hand and the left,
through glory and dishonor,
through slander and good report;
as deceivers yet true;
as unknown yet recognized;
as dying and look—we live;
as being disciplined yet not killed;
as grieving yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)
In fact, the history of Christianity is not of prosperity, but of martyrs, according to the Bible.
It begins in Acts with the stoning of the apostle Stephen. Later in the book of Acts, the apostle Paul calls Stephen Jesus’ martyr. It says in Acts 22:20, “And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.”
However, the history of Christian martyrs does not end with Stephen’s death. During the first century after Jesus’ death nearly all of his disciples suffered martyrdom for His sake. James the son of Zebedee was beheaded in approximately 44 A.D. Philip was crucified in 54 A.D. Matthew was killed with a halberd, an ax-like weapon, in 60 A.D. James, who is thought to be the brother of Jesus, was beaten to death, Matthias was beheaded, Andrew was crucified, Mark was torn to pieces, and Peter was crucified upside down. Jude, Bartholomew, and Thomas were also martyred. Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome where he was beheaded. Other early apostles Luke, Barnabas, Timothy, and Simon were also killed for the sake of Christ.
The history of Christian martyrs does not end with the death of the disciples. Thousands willingly gave their lives under Roman persecution by the emperors Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Maximus, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, and Diocletian. The Roman persecution lasted well into the fourth century A.D. and did not end until Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of his empire. During the same time period, in Persia, where the Gospel had quickly spread, many others were also martyred for their faith.
Unfortunately, the history of Christian martyrs does not end with Constantine. Throughout the following centuries and up until present time, Christians have, and continue to, suffer martyrdom. This persecution has come by means of other Christians, other faiths, and political powers. This martyrdom gives testimony to the verse in John 15: 20-21 where Jesus tells His disciples, “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”
Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs – “Under the altar”, appeared the souls of martyrs for the “word of God”, who cry out for vengeance. They are given white robes and told to rest until the martyrdom of their brothers is completed. (6:9-11)
Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances – There occurs a great earthquake where “the sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon like blood” (6:12). The stars of heaven fall to the earth and the sky recedes like a scroll being rolled up (6:13-14). Every mountain and island is moved out of place (6:14). The people of earth retreat to caves in the mountains (6:15). The survivors call upon the mountains and the rocks to fall on them, so as to hide them from the “wrath of the Lamb” (6:16).
Seventh Seal: Prelude to the Seven Trumpets – “Silence in heaven for about half an hour” (8:1). Seven angels are each given trumpets (8:2). An eighth angel takes a “golden censer”, filled with fire from the heavenly altar, and throws it to the earth (8:3-5). What follows are “peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake” (8:5). After the eighth angel has devastated the earth, the seven angels introduced in verse 2 prepare to sound their trumpets (8:6).
During this prelude to the opening of the 7 seals, where is our hope?
At some time in the near future, Jesus will come in the clouds with great power and glory to gather his believers into his Kingdom. Those who have already died in Christ will rise first. Then, the believers who are alive on the earth at the time of his coming will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.
For those who know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he sent, there will be no more death, no more sorrow, and no more crying or pain. God will be with his people and he will wipe away all tears from their eyes. The former things will pass away and all things will be made new. This will continue forever.
Those who continue rebelling and reject this sacrifice for their sin will remain spiritually dead for all eternity, and will be sent to the bottomless pit along with Satan and his evil angels.
Your decision – – Take this time to be guaranteed salvation and a place in heaven today. Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of heaven is coming. You can accept the Lord’s plan for saving you by praying like this:
Father God, I thank you that you sent your son Jesus Christ to come to earth and show us by his example how to live. I know that He was my Passover lamb – He suffered and took my rebellion and sin upon himself, and died and then rose again. I ask you Jesus to forgive my sins, help me to live for you and stop rebelling, and to be the Savior and Lord of my life. I invite you Holy Spirit to live in me and guide me away from sin and teach me the Word of God in the Bible. Amen!
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