This post provides scriptural evidence that the four horsemen of the apocalypse appear during the time of birth pangs, which comes prior to the tribulation, along with links to my previous posts, which provide evidence the first three riders have already been released, which means the birth pangs have already started.
Proof the Four Horsemen Are Released During the Birth Pangs
The Apostle John saw four riders on horses released into the earth during the end-times. Their release comes as the first four seals are broken in Revelation 6:1-8. Their appearance releases four different types of trouble. Jesus identified these same four events in the same sequence as the first four seals.
As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24:4-8)
A close comparison of the events listed by Jesus with the events released by the four horsemen in Revelation 6 reveals they are the same events. They are even listed in the same sequence.
- Jesus identified the arrival of false messiahs (Matthew 24:5). John saw the arrival of a specific false messiah, the one called the antichrist. This is breaking of the first seal, which releases the rider on the white horse (Revelation 6:1-2). This rider is a false messiah hiding behind the imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jesus identified wars and rumors of war and said, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:6-7). John saw peace would be removed from the earth, which means world war. This is the breaking of the second seal, which releases the rider on the red horse (Revelation 6:3-4). As a result, men begin to slay one another.
- Jesus identified famines in various places, which are most likely the same places where wars have been fought because historically famines are a natural by-product of wars (Matthew 24:7). John saw scarcity of food supplies causing hyper-inflation, which causes famines. This is the breaking of the third seal, which releases the rider on the black horse (Revelation 6:5-6).
- Jesus identified earthquakes in various places (Matthew 24:7). John saw a rider on a ashen (pale green) horse released after the fourth seal is broken. The rider’s name is death, and Hades follows after him. Hades is the place of departed spirits, which is the grave and hell, which are both located below the surface of the earth. The release of Hades onto the surface of the earth requires the earth to shake and break open, which is why Jesus described it as earthquakes. The Greek word used there is seismos, which means shaking. The earth is going to shake as death and Hades are released. Together they will be given authority over a fourth of the earth to bring death through a variety of ways, including the sword, famine, pestilence, and by the wild animals of the earth (Revelation 6:7-8).
Since Jesus and John are both describing the same events occurring in the same order, and since Jesus called these birth pangs, we can also conclude the trouble caused by the four riders is also the birth pangs. This is truly significant because it contradicts the popular belief that the four riders appear during the tribulation period. In reality they appear prior to the tribulation during the birth pangs.
The four riders release such great trouble that we might think the end has come, but Jesus said “the end is not yet.” In other words, it is not the tribulation period yet. The tribulation begins in the next verse where Jesus said:
Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another (Matthew 24:9-10).
Proof the Tribulation Comes After the Birth Pangs
The Greek word translated as tribulation is thlipsis, which literally means pressure. It is often translated as trouble, affliction, persecution, tribulation, and even torture. The term “tribulation period” comes from this word. It could just as easily be called the “pressure period.” Regardless of what we call it, it begins after the birth pangs have completed.
The tribulation period corresponds with the breaking of the fifth seal. Both Jesus and John identified this period as a time when Christians would be put to death in large numbers. Jesus called this tribulation. The good news is this period is limited to just 42 months (Revelation 13:5). The Bible does not identify how many months or years pass during the birth pangs. Perhaps this is because the trouble comes and goes, so the trouble is much shorter than the total period. The pain stops after each event and we return to normal life again hoping all is well, only to find the trouble returns even more intensely the next time.
The parallel between the events of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 continues with the breaking of the sixth seal, which releases a great shaking of the heavens unlike anything that has ever happened. In both cases, the sun is darkened, the moon does not give its light, the stars fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens are shaken (Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:8-11).
Proof the First Three Horsemen Have Already Been Released
My previous posts documented evidence the first three horsemen have already been released.
- The release of the first rider is documented in my previous post, The Rider on the White Horse is Now Riding Across America
- The release of the second rider is documented in my previous post, The Rider on the Red Horse is Now Riding All Over the World
- The release of the third rider is documented in my previous post, The Rider on the Black Horse Coming in September 2015.
See more End-Time Bible study topics.
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is a blogger, business owner, husband and father of two grown children. In 1982, he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2012, he founded Z3news.com to broadcast the message of salvation by reporting end time news before it happens.
© 2015, Z3 News. The first 200 words of Z3 News articles may be shared online in exchange for a clickable link to our site. Please include the author name and do not make any changes to text or titles. No image files from our site may be shared because we don’t own them. For permission to use our content in other formats, please contact us.