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THE OPENING OF 'THE FOURTH SEAL':  WAR ~ FAMINE ~ PLAGUE... ~ PREPARING BELIEVERS NOW ~ FOR A VERY SPECIAL MINISTRY IN THESE FEW YEARS ~ when 1 in 4 PEOPLE ARE DYING!
 [First written in 2014, updated in 2016, by Suzanna for the Gethsemane Olivet Fellowship]

Main Scripture reading: * Revelation 6: 1 - 7...
A Prophecy of 5 Stages of 'Last Days' of serious world events ~ allowed by GOD ~ as a result of increasing world sin. ~
Coming  judgements held back until Jesus "breaks open the Seals".
These thoughts are offered prayerfully ~ in the light of the very sad effect of these events, with Millions of deaths ~ on any Society,
in any part of the world! It seems we are up to the 4th Seal.'

*"When the Lamb* opened the Fourth seal, I heard the voice of the 4th Living creature say, 'Come!'
I looked and 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, [war], famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the Earth."
 Revelation 6: 6 & 7 NIV.
GOD knew this would happen and He CARES ~ as shown by the Seal being opened: *by the nail pierced Hands of the "Lamb of God" Who suffered for us!  It is possible 'The Scroll' of "Last Days Events" was written by GOD; knowing everything, even before Creation.

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AN UNUSUAL MESSAGE.
In the light of what it is believed are the unfolding Last Days events, the following warning may seem 'different' ~ but the challenge is based on:
a) - the entire Holy Bible; expecting God's people to act wisely in any event,
b) - information on the effect of known, present or expected events,  [from current  world information ~ from very many media sources.]

Please note: to honour the Word of God,
quotations used from the Bible are in bold, purple italics.

This is an unusual message in the mind of the writer, and only offered in loving concern and admiration to those with present ministry experience, such as Medical Professionals and especially those with Human services and Counselling expertise who are Believers in the full Truth of the Bible, God's Word; work to help dying or sick people. [For Non-believers too, if it can be lovingly explained to them.] Would you consider preparing for this ministry?

BACKGROUND BIBLICAL CONCEPTS, from Revelation chapter 6. Please make time to read that chapter now, it is not just for information.
The 'Breaking of the Seals' by the LORD Jesus Messiah, (the once slain "Lamb of God"), are interspersed with other visions given to John the Apostle in his book of Revelation, in the Holy Bible. There are myriads of ideas about the meanings of the 7 'Legal Seals'  (to protect the contents) in the 'Scroll of the Last Days' ~ but we can only share our own prayerfully understood concepts, of GOD'S SOVERIGN PLANS. May God bless them to you.

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WE believe the MAIN MESSAGE of Revelation 6, is to emphasise:
The SUPREMACY OF GOD' S FORE-KNOWN WILL, WHICH ONLY HE WOULD ALLOW
~ IN THE EVENTS OF THE "LAST DAYS" ~
YET ALL BECAUSE OF THE UTTER INCREASING SINFULNESS OF ALL MANKIND.

[It is worth noting that the term "Last Days" is used 9 times in N.T. and many true Believers in the Bible believe we are entering that time now.]

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A> CONSIDERING  WHAT ARE THE FIRST 5 SEALS? 
See Revelation ch 4 - 6, [about the 'Legal Seals' of a Royal Document.]

With the above Concept in mind, we share briefly what the 'meaning and effects' of these announced events from the Bible are ~ along with World developing situations of each of the first five Seals, as God is allowing them...

1. The Breaking of the First seal - "a White horse, Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." Its main meaning: - DECEPTION.
From approx. the year 1750, many new kinds of Teaching arose called 'the Enlightenment' - including 'Evolution, liberal thinking, Humanism, with its ideas about the importance of the rights of the individual even believing "I am a god".
One idea was 'Pre-tribulation Rapture Theology', (a tragic Theory often leading to lack of true Christian Devotion). 'Truth' - no longer accepted.
Therefore: it became fashionable to question all Bible-based Beliefs, and rules of Morality, leading to a turning to 'Nature worship'. Even the issue of 'telling lies' is often acceptable in politics, business and the daily lives of people, now.

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2. The Second Seal: "A fiery red horse. 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."  This began in WORLD WAR, as in the early 20th C. - [1914 W.W.1 and the 1939-45 W.W. 2.]  The modern version of the 'sword' is multiple-effect weapons such as: 'gun-powder', then chemical and nuclear weapons, and all the terrible varieties weapons are now made in.

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3. The Third Seal: "A black horse, its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard... a voice among the four Living Creatures, saying,  'a quart of wheat for a day's wages, and 2 quarts of barley for a day's wages and do not touch the oil and the wine'!" Clearly seen in the volatile and declining value of the 20th C. ECONOMY... With fears of collapse or 'Failed States' through all kinds of disasters and wars that bring famine.

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4. The Fourth Seal *, "And when the Lamb broke open the Fourth Seal, I heard the 4th Living Creature call out: 'Come!'. So I looked, and saw an ashy pale horse, [black and blue as if made so by bruising] and its Rider's name was 'Death' ~ and Hades, [the realm of the Dead] followed him closely. And they were given authority and power over a fourth part of the Earth ~ to kill ~ with the sword, and with famine, and plague - [pestilence and disease] and with wild beasts of the Earth."  [Amp.Vsn.]

The reference to the wild Beasts such as large animals - could be through the lack of food for them, because of the death of people looking after some, or even unburied bodies! It could also mean unseen viruses or insects such as mosquitoes. The tragic outcome of the spread of the Zika virus could be an example, affecting new-born infants before birth with undeveloped brains.

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THIS 'FOURTH SEAL' * ~ especially 'Plague' ~ seems to us to be a very sad and awful scenario - as a direct result of the previous 2 man-made developments [war and famine] ~ and directly related to the effects of the first 3 broken Seals which have been clearly happening since the 1750's!  [Worldwide Deception, Food Famine and abject Poverty brought by the Symbolic Riders of the white, red, and black Horses of Revelation 6.]

Yet somehow we tended to think of them as happening sometime much further into the future?

However just recently, as I was typing some scripts for another Project, I quietly felt the LORD gave me, a clear realisation: "the intensified events in political protests -  started the M.E. turmoil - just as the Exposing of the Contents of the * Fourth Seal shows - and you will see it progress to a Pandemic." That was in March 2011 ~ 2.5 years before we heard of a new outbreak of the formally dreaded - almost lethal Ebola Viral Fever in West Africa in 2014.

 [Forgive the personal references - these are given for YOUR thoughts... to compare as you study, yourself. Such conclusions must come by prayer.]

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B> CONSIDERING THE TIMING AND INCREASE OF:
"WAR, FAMINE, PLAGUE, and wild beasts..."

Since 2011, if anything ~ there are more tragic, separate WARS, even within many countries; leading to Famine - increasing lack of basic food items, [even in some cases deliberately with-held as another weapon of war], or other causes: like unstable weather patterns, floods and fires, plus natural disasters or lack of resources and money. Sadly, wars cause millions of displaced Refugees [even housed in desert areas] and crowded together with poor sanitation or no good water or food supplies. Famine may make wild animals more desperate - or poor use of water help spread plagues faster?

Very Possibly in the next few years, and of deep concern to the 'World Health Organisation' ~ is 'Ebola' *. Now in 2016 'Zika' disease too.

[We will not comment more on the full implications of the first 3 seals out of 4, but just the serious results of the breaking of the Fourth Seal. It is tragic to imagine it, yet already we see terrible examples via the Media every day!]

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C> DOES GOD HAVE A PURPOSE IN ALLOWING THESE THINGS TO HAPPEN?

A Divine Principle of Scripture is to see 'Mercy even in the midst of Judgement' or even before the Judgements come. God sometimes sends these disasters. Because of man's increasing SIN He allows them. Tragic events are often God's way of allowing great sorrow, in response to increasing wickedness - yet always with a warning of coming judgements!

Maybe right now, God is preparing to show His enormous grace to a generation of Elderly Christians ~ many having served in hard Places at hard times, all around the world, ever since the early 20th Century.
THEREFORE ~  for some time, we have felt this would be seen to fit in with Isaiah 57: 1 & 2, a result of God's kindness to Godly, long-time faithful ministers, missionaries and supporters now in their 60's to 90's

It says: "The righteous perish, (and 'no-one' ponders it in his heart)~ devout men are taken away TO BE SPARED from Evil."  
[The Tribulation] "Those who walk uprightly enter into peace: they find rest as they lie in death."  Whether Christian people die of natural causes or along with many others in disasters it brings peace to those who know their God.
 [In addition:
because we know how these plagues spread and affect whole Communities ~ it is possible many innocent children will also be taken by the Good Shepherd. "Those who could not discern their right hand from their left," were considered in His stay of judgement in Nineveh, as described by God to Jonah in 4: 11! Now, we can be sure babes will go to Heaven.

D> OUR REASONS FOR OFFERING YOU THESE THOUGHTS...

We are writing in a loving, prayerful way, as a means of FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT to what some friends have shared, especially about a big step of Faith they made, to go out and deliberately plan to 'prepare...' (not so much for the Tribulation when helping other Christians will be very difficult), but perhaps for a time like described by this Fourth Seal. 

NOTICE: 'WATCHMEN' are appointed - not for their own entertainment - But to WARN and serve other people!

CONSIDER also ~ the 5th Seal - about increasing PERSECUTION,  of Christians (as in Rev. 6: 9 - 11). It has a challenging description ...
giving clear reasons for their deaths, "because of the WORD of God and the Witness they had maintained."
[Inspite of mysteries woven in... "Souls under the Altar..."?]  Yet we need the same sense of urgency: "Calling in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign LORD, holy and true, until You judge the Earth, and avenge our blood?"]

Their cry and agony was to know of the ending of cruelty of all evil tyrants against God's Believing People all over the world!
We are not sure what it  infers as to where they are, ["under the Altar"] or their sense of time... ["how long O LORD?"] but the response is: "Each of them was given a white (royal) Robe, and they were told to wait a little longer until their fellow-servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been, was completed." Tragically there would be many more!

So while we are glad to read of God's response to them, we must remind ourselves every day to pray for the increasing number of persecuted Christians ~ especially! Many are not only suffering great sorrow and suffering in war situations, in Syria, Lebanon, Mali, Southern Sudan and the Central African Republic, and Iraq, and many more places,

but specifically they are suffering and dying ~ for Believing in Jesus as their Spiritual Savour and LORD!

May we ask you to pray for them ~ as if we were suffering along side of them, in prison, or banished from their homes, or missing a loved family member who has been kidnapped.

Paul in the New Testament had suffered many times, so he has a right to remind us as he does in the last chapter Hebrews (13: 1-3) "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers", [perhaps as refugees or new Immigrants], "For by doing so, some people have entertained Angels without knowing it."[Genesis ch. 18!]
"Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are mistreated [cruelly] as if you yourselves were suffering."

 

E> WHEN THERE IS A WORLD WIDE PLAGUE * WHAT CAN WE DO?

Surely these are issues that Believers in Jesus should be thinking of and even preparing for, already? Historically it is great to know that early in the New Testament times, new Jewish and Gentile Believers started looking after ~ not only each other ~ as never before, [since without the Christian message of 'love' there was little or NO concept of Helpers, Medical Centers, such as Hospitals, let alone transport to safe places!]  So it started with Jewish and Gentile Believers very soon after Jesus' Ascension.
The 'St. John' ministry started about 1030AD, but was still well ahead of genuine organised caring for the sick.

A special commitment of Believers in Jesus in the past and now, also.
Also ~ all through History it was often only Christians who cared for those who were affected by an infectious disease, (Plague) as they were willing to die to do that, as they were assured of being in Eternity with Jesus.
You can read * these things on the Search Engines esp for the 1918 post WW2 'Influenza Epidemic', which killed thousands (as in past ages). 

The 'Avian Flu' - or 'SARS' were only one form of a worldwide plague, as various other known Viruses are becoming stronger and more resistant to any medical treatments. The recent mosquito spread disease of "ZIKA" is one.
The rise and spread of the 'Ebola Virus Infection' * was only known of generally, until a recent serious out-break in West Africa, in 2014.
 [This article was first written in 2011, which we praise God for.]

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F> GOD HAS ALWAYS WARNED OF SERIOUS COMING JUDGEMENTS.

In fact we should humbly look at the Breaking of the 7 Seals as given in Revelation 6 & 8, positively, not in fear, but as opportunities to serve.

The facts are: that GOD ALWAYS WARNS OF COMING 'JUDGEMENTS'  ~ from Noah and the Flood; to Esther and Mordecai in Babylon; and the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by our LORD Jesus Himself, well before AD 66 - 70 when it was fulfilled for the Jewish nation at that time.
This fellowship can see the Fulfilment of the "Breaking of the Fourth Seal" ~ * being the reason for this 'Ebola' event, rather than acts of any one Nation [e.g. USA and their relationship to Israel]. Almost every Nation has descended into terrible Godlessness over the past Century, and actually, those with the knowledge of the Gospel [like Western Nations] could be thought of as even more deserving of God's punishments ~ than some other Nations?
Yet some Preachers covet 'fame' for their personal pronouncements, sometimes taken out of the context of Scripture, as is happening now!

1. One example is the 'Hype' around "Red Moons" which is not a Scriptural concept, since an 'Eclipse' is a natural re-occurring part of Nature's Cycle, and red moons are ONLY mentioned in Scripture along with very SERIOUS events in the Sun, the Stars (or Planets) and a 'Cosmic' Earthquake.
Two
main descriptions are of 'Cosmic Quakes' ~ before the Tribulation; [See  Ezekiel 38: 19 - 23 and Rev. 6: 12 - 17. - Four descriptions are about another terrible Earthquake ~ after, probably at the Return of Jesus to Earth. [Isaiah 13: 9 - 13, Matt. 24: 29; Joel 2: 30, 31; Rev 16: 16 - 21] at 'Armageddon'.

2. The above example is similar to the present 'prophecies' by a well known Preacher about the probable cause of Ebola becoming a punishment for the USA?  YET ~ from Rev. 6: 7 about the 'Fourth Seal' it would seem to us to be the result of wickedness spread over the entire Earth, because it says: 'sword, famine and plague and wild beasts: " were given power over a fourth of the Earth."  Probably meaning quarter of the total world population.

3. Just a note in relationship with half of a verse in Joel ch 3: 2. MANY NATIONS have been responsible for "scattering My People among the Nations, and dividing up My Land." So it does not apply - to USA today.

G> THE REASON THAT GOD GIVES WARNINGS IS: ~ SO HIS PEOPLE CAN PREPARE.

Perhaps we as God's People can make preparations for serving God?
These Preparations should be not only for one's self, but family, friends, churches, prayer groups... or any individuals affected, esp by the 'Plagues', * sensible precautions against diseases such as the development of  the spread of the 'Ebola or Zika virus'...
 [Or other tragic or deadly diseases we may not know about yet]

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Here are some possible Ideas: -
1. Written brochures or by TV or Internet with advice, will in many countries, be provided by Government or Local authorities on how to prepare. 
But perhaps distributing these personally or explaining them to elderly or illiterate people maybe needed.

2. Comforting information of various kinds - for all who are very fearful?
> How to prepare for death: wills, investments, business closures, or simply Burial procedures...
Good, clear materials - even if not needed would be a great help to family and friends at a time of some panic.

> Many of those who die (in the West) maybe unaware about the implications of losing so many (esp. Godly) people within a short time?
Some 'Lay' people may have to step in to take over duties in Congregations or Ministries ~ unexpectedly.

> If we are able to store extra long-lasting essential items,
water, insect repellents, or clean linen, or notebooks for writing, extra batteries, some hidden cash, and especially [for ourselves, copies of all our important documents can be useful to refer to] or other items to share with those who cannot get to supply centers or shops, or are short of money.

> Specific 'Christian' literature should be offered and available.
Churches, may be ordered to close and be decimated, or severely disrupted... by the loss of valuable leaders, and so much more. Even attendance at a Funeral may be forbidden. Sadly, people often avoid innocent sufferers.

Perhaps the severe, and tragic Disasters, USA and other places, costing Billions of dollars], are examples of the need to mentally, (at least) prepare for the future, especially for fellow Christians.  Sadly the life saving Gospel was not shared as it could have been... during the aftermath of a serious, widespread Earthquake in my City in N.Z. There are ways of doing this attractively and in a caring way ~ for those facing tragedy.

We found the Churches here - were in the forefront of providing hot meals, and every kind of possibly needed goods, but not one offered any literature
[attractive and specific with the Word of God] to anyone I knew. I was the one who asked for someone to come and pray for the City and hurt or grieving people. Maybe there were others like me?

At times like this in a gracious and tactful way, true Christians can offer to pray with dying, or distressed people. Some will even accept Yeshua/ Jesus as their Saviour, because of His death and resurrection, as the only way to know GOD and be sure they will be in His HOLY Presence.
Do you believe that my friend?
Here is one possible approach to bringing some 'good news' to a Dying person - or other sad or hopeless families or individuals.
It is very important that this is done graciously - where possible with a person's own agreement, or a parent ~ if a child is asking.

First Prepare a card, or clean piece of paper, [typed on Computer or written carefully to copy the words from this red line to the next red line. OR you can print this page to give to someone who wants to go to Heaven.]

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HOW I CAN BE SURE I WILL GO TO BE IN HEAVEN WITH GOD,
WHEN I DIE?

GOD WHO IS HOLY LIVES IN HEAVEN, WHERE THERE ARE ONLY HOLY PEOPLE.
There is no thing or person ~ with even ONE small sin in them ~ in Heaven. See the points below.

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1. GOD is 100% HOLY, HE has NO SIN OR BADNESS IN HIM AT ALL! OR EVEN NEAR HIM IN HEAVEN.

SO ~ Please think about these questions ~

2. Some people might be very, very good, and pray and read the Bible and do good things for other people
     So they might be 90% holy. 
Tick here if you think you are like that......... 

3. Maybe you don't pray much, or read the Bible, but you ALWAYS tell the TRUTH.
That person might be 70% holy.   
 Tick here if you are like this.......

4. Maybe you were a very good child, then you started to do some lying or stealing ~ but NOT NOW.
So you might even be up to 50% holy.
Tick here if this is something like what you are?...............

SO DO YOU SEE THAT ~ NO ONE CAN BE 100% HOLY ENOUGH BY THEMSELVES TO BE IN HEAVEN?
EXCEPT~ IF SOMEONE  CALLED JESUS ~  HAS TAKEN ALL YOUR SINS AWAY!

SO I AM SO HAPPY THAT THERE IS A WAY TO GET TO BE HOLY ENOUGH TO BE WITH GOD IN HEAVEN!
But WE have to do two things.
First we have to say "SORRY" for all our sins. This means *'REPENT'.
Second we must ask God to forgive us because we BELIEVE Jesus died to take away ALL our sins.
This is called  'TRUSTING'  in God's Word now and always.

You can talk about the sentences above in your own words, but here are the Bible verses about these questions, all from the book of Romans, in the New Testament of the Holy Bible:

1. "There is no one holy; there is no one who is wise, all have turned away..." [from God].  Rom. 3: 11 & 23.

2. "All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory [or Holiness] of GOD ~ BUT we are justified* freely by His Grace* ~ through the payment that comes through Jesus Messiah. GOD gave Him as a sacrifice* of payment* through our faith in His blood -
[His 'blood' means His 'death' - because His blood flowed out of Him.]
Meanings of words with *

* 'Repent' ~ means honest sorrow for all the ways we have disobeyed God
* 'Justified' ~ means made just as if I had never sinned - totally clean & holy!
* 'Grace' ~ means mercy - forgiveness - which we do not deserve - but it is God's GIFT to us.
* 'Sacrifice' ~ means that if a person wanted to be forgiven they had to get an animal or a holy person to die instead of themselves.
* 'Payment' ~ means Jesus own death in a cruel way was instead of us, so it was like a payment to make me free.
.
3. Please read more Bible verses next time you talk to your friend, to assure them they can go to Heaven!
You can stay reading verses from the book of Romans, as it is a way of learning about each step to be a 'Believer'. Ch. 4: 7, then rejoice in ch 5; vs 1& 2! Verse 1 of ch. 8 is great ~ with verse 11 explaining about resurrection!
Of course as the person recovers, we must always teach the need to go on, being committed to God through living for God, in every way, by His Word.

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WE NEED GOD TO GUIDE US...

This study may also be a word from our Loving LORD GOD, or for those who may not have thought of THIS specific situation, but you would like to be a Helper -  just as a genuine Follower of our Saviour  in our own neighbourhood; OR you are already training as Doctor, Nurse, or other types of medical professional. The secret is to PREPARE NOW. God is always looking for People He can rely on. Many new mothers of deformed babies from the Zika virus will need caring women to help them, and the entire family...

Being a 'Watchman' is an important Christian responsibility!
It is a solemn responsibility to watch what is happening and match it to the WORD of God so we can prepare! God needs me and you to be prepared!

There are very many articles and prophecies these days warning, and spelling out the evil - even sinister, prophecies and satanic concepts behind events or explaining how this Group or that president or Government are responsible; implying we can make political or other changes - tho' not likely!
Ezekiel has written in ch. 3 & 33 ~  the serious message of responsibility for 'watchmen'. "I have made you a watchman... so hear the word that I speak ~ and give them warning from Me... Say to them: 'As surely as I live' declares the Sovereign LORD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked ~ but rather that they turn from their ways ~ and live'!" From Ezekiel 33: vss 7 & 11 NIV.

By His warnings in Matthew, [24] Mark, [13] Luke [21] and Revelation; Jesus Himself made us 'watchers' who also "must warn". Please read about it.
But these warnings must be given closely with the total WORD OF GOD, and where possible in a spirit of love, or even costly forgiveness to loved ones.

Our prayer is that this study will bless you and all you love.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could say like the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2: 14: "But thanks be to GOD, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Messiah, and through us, spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of HIM..." Read to verse 17!

You may print or share the article freely by the
GETHSEMANE OLIVET FELLOWSHIP of N.Z.

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