And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
 And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
 And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.”
 And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Apostle John is now seeing things that will take place after the children of God are caught up into the air.
While they are enjoying the 7 Year Wedding Banquet in the air, the 7 Year Great Tribulation becomes getting worse and worse as the Lord breaks the seals one by one.
With all kinds of conflicts, wars, disasters, soaring prices, and diseases, the world is running toward the end.
As written in tonight’s scripture, when the Lord broke the third seal, there came a black horse. And in the hand of the one who sat on the black horse was a pair of scales. Now, the black horse has two meanings as I told you last time.
First, the color of black means ‘sin.’ Just as we use scales for weighing things, each and every sin of the people who are left in the earth will be precisely measured, and trials and afflictions may come on them according to the measure.
Even though the grace of God is completely gone, and only the disasters are left in this earth, some will suffer more, but some others will suffer less.
According to the precise justice, they will suffer as much as their sin.
Secondly, ‘a black horse’ contains the meaning of huge typhoon and violent storm.
As the end of time comes closer, poverty and earthquakes are everywhere, and natural disasters are getting worse and worse.
In the days of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the calamities of natural disasters will reach its peak, and it will cause great trouble in harvesting of crops.
There will be economical crisis and serious inflation. The verse 6, which reads, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius,” refers this situation.
In the last session, I explained that the price of a quart of wheat would be more than 200 times than today’s price.
Not only the price of wheat but also the price of other crops such as a barley will be skyrocketing.
Even if I tell you the price will be more than 100 or 200 times than today’s price, it may be obscure to you. So, I will give you supplementary explanation.
From the last year, there has been great change in World Trade Market due to an unusual change in the weather. The biggest cause was the decrease of crops resulted from the heat in Eastern Europe and Russia, a heavy rain during the harvest time in Europe, and the drought in Australia.
The price of wheat was almost doubled from the previous year, and the price of other crops such as corns and beans also rapidly rose. Recent articles in many newspapers are concerning about this economical situation.
Let me show you some of them. On the 30th day of September, the Hankyoreh ran a column, entitled, “Grain prices skyrocketing,” the Chosun Ilbo, “Does flour becomes gold dust?” and Yonhap News, “Skyrocketing prices of grains brings worries about economical loss.”
It was not 100 times more or 10 times more of the price.
In just a period of a year, the price was doubled. But they use the word, ‘skyrocketing,’ and they say the price of flour is like the price of gold dust.
In addition, on the 1st day of October, Maeil Business had an article, entitled, “The rise of the grain price threatens your dinning table,” and the Dong-A Ilbo, “The price of grains and oil discourages Korean economy.” Likewise, there are many anxious concerns.
As the price of wheat rises, the price of various foods made out of wheat also rises.
As the price of food goes up due to the price rise of corns and flour, there was even demonstration in Italy and Mexico.
Some may say whether they cannot wheat with other grains. However, not only the price of wheat, but also the price of corns and beans also rise.
As the price of grains rises, so does the price of fodder. As the price of fodder rises, it’s natural that the price of the stock farm products should also rise.
Therefore, the farming industry becomes tense as the price of grains rises.
The price of all the beverages and other groceries also rises, and it causes the consumer price also to rise.
This kind of chain reaction will take place just due to the rise of the price of grains; the whole economy will receive severe damage.
As the price of wheat becomes just doubled, the whole world becomes tense. How chaotic is it going to be when the price becomes 10 times and 100 times?
In the history of the world, there was a time when the inflation was so severe like this.
Especially in Germany during the days of the Great Depression right after the 1st World War, the consumer price went up a couple of times in just a day.
For example, the loaf of bread cost a dollar a few days ago, but the price went up to 5 dollars soon. Now, what’s going to happen if the price becomes 10 dollars in the morning, and 30 dollars in the evening?
Even if you had money, it was hard to acquire food. The price of the necessities such as soap and toothpaste also went up so that it was hard to manage your living.
The value of money became less than that of paper; to buy a pair of shoes, you needed a cart-full of money. Children even played with rolls of bills as if they were toys. They even used them as kindlers.
Fortunately, in the past there was only the rise of the price. But as the 7 Year Great Tribulation begins, there will be terrible typhoons, natural disasters, wars, and diseases beyond the comparison.
When you think of these facts, you may be able to feel how devastated the life of mankind will be, even a little bit.
It’s far from peaceful life. People have to live every day on the edge in panic, troubled and chaotic.
As it may be explained again later, this unstable situation will provide antichrist with an opportunity to justify itself so that it can easily grasp the power over the world.
By the way, as I explained in the last session, the tribulation that begins with the appearance of the black horse will be allowed until it reaches a certain level.
The typhoon that ruins the harvest of wheat and barley will stop before autumn, the harvest season of the olive and the wine, just as the verse 6 says, “do not damage the oil and the wine.”
In Europe, the harvest season of grapes is from September to October, olive is from mid of November till the end of December.
Dear brothers and sisters.
There are two meanings in the saying, “do not damage the oil and the wine.”
First of all, ‘the oil and the wine’ refers to the place where the olives and the grapes are grown.
In other words, the place includes Israel, its neighboring area, and some part of Europe.
Therefore, ‘do not damage the oil and the wine’ means that these areas will be protected even in the worldwide serious storms and typhoons.
Since these areas are protected, it will be beneficial to the people in the area. But it doesn’t mean that they will enjoy some sort of great wealth and prosperity.
The fact that God protects them doesn’t have any meaning of blessing. Until the time comes, until EU seizes power, they are just allowed to increase their strength.
Secondly, the oil and the wine has also a spiritual meaning.
The oil refers to the people of Israel. And the wine refers to those who confess they believe in the Lord but don’t live proper believing lives so that they fall down in the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
In the 11th chapter of Romans, there is a verse which compares the God-chosen people of Israel to an olive tree.
Among the olive tree, in other words, the people of Israel, those who will reach salvation even though it’s a little too late are described as ‘the oil.’
Among the people of Israel who deny Jesus Christ, there will be some who will realize that Jesus is truly their Messiah, and then repent while witnessing the Rapture and the things after.
Also John 15:5 says, “I (Jesus) am the vine, you are the branches.” The Lord explains that those who believe in the Lord and who are in the Lord are the branches of vine.
Branches that are well attached to its vine will produce good fruit. But ‘the wine’ here refers not to the wine of good fruit, but to running juice.
Just like the running juice of grapes after picking, it refers to those souls who fall to the ground.
James 2:26 says, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
Even though people go to church and say that they believe in the Lord, if they don’t live by the word, their faith is dead faith. Since their faith cannot be considered true faith, they cannot be caught in the air when the Lord comes back.
How much will they be surprised that they find themselves not caught in the air but fall to the ground?
Among these people, some will try to reach salvation through martyrdom by all means according to what they heard before.
Likewise, since there will be people who will reach salvation among those who say they believe but are not caught up into the air and among those people of Israel, God protects them until the Lord breaks the third seal, and gives them an opportunity to reach salvation through martyrdom.
That’s why it says ‘not to damage the oil and the wine,’ in other words the people of Israel and those who fall to the ground even though they say they believe in the Lord until the time comes.
But it doesn’t mean that every of them will be protected from disasters and saved.
It rather means that there will be severe persecutions in the flow of history, and that they will be exempted from all these until the actual martyrdom begins.
Dear brothers and sisters.
The verses 7 and 8 say, “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Here comes the ashen horse.
The ashen horse means the things that will be accomplished by EU in the future.
It says, “He who sat on the ashen horse had the name Death; and Hades was following with him.” He who sat on the ashen horse refers to the master of the darkness and antichrist.
Just as I explained in the previous sessions, the current of the world history will have an aspect of a heated triangular fight over the world.
The States which is not as powerful as it used to be by far the most dominant country is one, old communism countries such as China and Russia is the second, and EU is the third.
The Middle East countries will try to seize power by using oil as weapon, but they are weaker than those three powers.
What Apostle John is seeing is when many things of countries are chaotic after the children of God are caught up in the air.
Those children of God disappear suddenly so that even those who don’t believe in the Lord also hear about the Rapture of Christians.
They will realize that what those children of God said was true, and they are panic-stricken out of fear. In addition, because of wars, disasters, diseases, and serious inflation, the whole world will be unstable as explained.
In this panic situation, each of those three powers will try hard to suppress such trouble and to make their situation favorable.
Especially EU among them will have more and more power. EU will be superior to other two powers, and they will be controlled by antichrist.
Of course, EU doesn’t seem to get together and become one easily.
According to each members’ interest, sometimes EU may seem to make progress, but other times they delay. Repeating this process, they don’t practice their leadership in the history of the world yet.
But as the 7 Year Great Tribulation comes closer, EU will all the more get united. And when it’s about to break the 4th seal, and when the 7 Year Great Tribulation starts, they will have great power just as it says, “Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth.”
With the justification of stabilizing the panic situation, they will rapidly grasp the power, and they will eventually be able to govern the lives of countless men.
As I explained about the Great Depression after the 1st World War, if you think of the situation in Germany in those days, you can more easily understand the situation how EU grasp the power.
When the inflation became very serious, those unemployed overflowed, and it was hard to make living in Germany, it was the dictatorial Nazism that rapidly gained power.
The Nazis had illogical idea that would have been impossible to be agreed by public in a normal situation. In the beginning there was few who support it.
However, when the situation in Germany continued to be chaotic and gloomy in its society and economics, German people became tired of it, and they eventually wanted to overcome it even by extreme means. In the end, the Nazis acquired the power and brought about the 2nd World War.
The situation in Italy was the same in those days.
The Italian people were tired of anarchy which was resulted from never-ending strikes and demonstrations due to its insecure economics.
Then, Mussolini seized power and practiced dictatorship in Italy. When Mussolini’s policy seemed to bring stability to its society and economics, even though he repressed freedom of politics, his approval rating went up to 65%.
Likewise, in such a chaotic situation, people tend to desire security and strong leadership.
In the chaotic situation during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, EU can take power much more easily due to such need of people.
Of course not all the European countries will become united and take part in it.
While United Kingdom, Germany, France, and other few strong countries take the lead in EU, there are also other countries that don’t want to be a part of EU.
Even though they are physically in the same Europe, they have different culture, and conflicts may arise where their interests are not agreeable each other.
However, a just and great cause that the whole Europe should be united as one to take the lead in the world will come to the fore so that it won’t be easy for a country to stand against it.
Therefore, they will appear to be united all together. But when examined carefully, those relatively weak countries will rather be subordinate to EU.
Since they are forced to be subordinated, there will be a break and crack in them.
But this symptom of cracks will be revealed at the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation. In the beginning, EU will become a very powerful influence due to its well-structured system and wealth.
Its military strength be become stronger and stronger.
They don’t get united only in the boundary of Europe, but they gradually submit other parts of the world to its own system and structure.
Apparently EU will claim that everything will be stable and people will enjoy many benefits when they follow EU. When other countries don’t follow the idea, it will make those countries and their people difficult and impoverished.
Eventually they will put the dealing of food and small necessities under strict supervision and control.
“With authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth” explains how great influence they will cause over the world.
‘Sword’ means military strength.
In order to put their system on a firm footing, they will pay greater attention to its military strength. Their investment will increase and they will build up great strength.
Also, the word ‘famine’ explains how strong their stored power of wealth will be.
Even in a difficult situation of serious inflation, there are people who seize a chance and pile up great wealth in a flash.
Likewise, even though there are famine everywhere and inflation is unyielding during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, EU will rather take the opportunity and store up great wealth.
And based on their military strength and wealth, they will enjoy great influential power over the world.
For example, when a strong country blockades a weak country economically and oppress it, the weal country will soon face great difficulties.
Despite the blockage and oppression, however, it doesn’t drive the people of the weak country to the extreme situation where they have to starve.
But, if EU concentrates its power to oppress a certain country during the days of the 7 Year Great Tribulation and difficulties, the most of people of the oppressed country will become starved to death; EU will have such strong influential power.
“With pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth” means that they will apply various sanctions against those who don’t submit themselves to EU, and that they exercise influence until they reach death.
‘The wild beast of the earth’ refers to computers.
EU will construct its system using computers. They collect every information of all people and they watch and control each and every individual.
In order to make all the people come under their control, they will make people to receive the mark of the beast, or barcode on their right hand or forehead. But they don’t force it greatly in the beginning.
Until the mid of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, they will in the process of build up their system, they will just encourage people.
But when all the system becomes stable and when it’s over the mid of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, they will force all the people to receive this mark of the beast. They don’t allow people to refuse to take the mark.
Those who don’t receive the mark will be recognized as antisocial and impure who stand against the security of the community.
It is this time around that the actual martyrdom of those who refuse to receive the mark will start.
Regarding the martyrdoms, I’ll explain them when I talk about the fifth seal.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Every account recorded in the book of Revelation will surely be accomplished.
Those who prepare the oil well will be caught up into the air and enter the Wedding Banquet so that they will have nothing to do with the things that will take place in the earth. But those who don’t believe in the Lord along with those who don’t get caught up in the air due to their improper believing lives will experience them.
Even though they themselves believe that they diligently live a believing life, if they don’t live by the word of God, commit unlawful things, and fall down to the ground, it will be useless to regret it, gnash their teeth, and lament.
They will have just a ray of hope to escape from the punishment of hell only if they die a martyr through suffering of terrible persecution.
However, it is too scary to imagine.
Not anyone from you should be on the point of this situation.
Before the Lord comes back when there is a chance, please stay awake all the time, and live by the word to manage a true believing life, and adorn yourself as a beautiful bride of the Lord.
May all of you be caught up into the air when the bridegroom, our Lord comes back with the trumpet sound, and be in the arms of the Lord, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray!