Like any good movie, an audience will speculate in their minds how this story is going to end. Such is the case of Jesus who was sitting on the Mount of Olives when his disciples privately approached. Following a prophetic message about future events, the disciples wanted to know about what signs they should be carefully watching for or expecting. The remainder of Matthew 24 is a glimpse of future events.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place; 8 All this is but the beginning [the early pains] of the [c]birth pangs [of the [d]intolerable anguish], Matthew 24:6-8.
While on the Island of Patmos, one of the oldest disciples receives another vision of the future in the passage below. One current event to closely watch for is a rise in deaths throughout the world. According to a 2017 study, on any given day, nearly 100,000 people die of natural causes across the globe. According to John, when death rates increase due to murder, famine, plagues like the Coronavirus, and animal attacks, the arrival of the 4th seal in the Book of Revelation is at hand.
So I looked, and behold, an ashy pale horse [[a]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 with plague (pestilence, disease) and with wild beasts of the earth, Revelation 6:8.
Black and blue is often associated with bruising that occurs after an accident, fall or contact with another object. Due to the regeneration process, young people tend to heal quicker as bruises vanish over a short period of time. Yet, the older human beings get, bruises may not go over, sticking around for months. According to John, this black and blue colored horse is symbolic of death. When unnatural death rates increase dramatically, this future period of time could mark the beginning of the 4th seal in Revelation.
by Jay Mankus