“Behold a Pale Horse”
Vol: 42 Issue: 31 Thursday, March 31, 2005
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)
Depending upon whom one asks the question, mankind has been on this planet for somewhere between six thousand and six million years. The six million year figure is the extreme end of the evolutionist’s estimates, where the six thousand year period is the time frame generally accepted by creationists.
Allow yourself to dwell, for a minute, on just how long six thousand years really is. Not in abstract, cosmic terms, but rather, in terms of human society. It was only six hundred years ago that conventional wisdom said the earth was flat. Mankind had been on the earth for more than five thousand five hundred years before we learned otherwise.
America, the greatest nation the world has ever known, is only two-hundred and twenty-nine years old. It was just one hundred and forty-five years ago that Americans were willing to kill each other over the right to own other human beings as property.
Only sixty years ago, human beings were being shoveled into ovens in their millions or shot down into mass graves at the hands of citizens of the oldest and most cultured civilizations in Europe.
Even at six thousand years, man has been here a long, long time, when you think about it.
Bible prophecy indicates that mankind’s time on this earth is limited and predetermined. Scripture tells us that God created the earth in six days, and on the seventh, He rested.
According to Psalms 90:4, “For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
2nd Peter 3:8 tells “that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
The prophet Hosea, speaking to the Jews who survived the Babylonian exile, prophesied,
“After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” And approximately two thousand years later (after two ‘days’) the Jews of Israel resumed their place among the nations of the world after a two thousand, five hundred year absence.
Hosea’s reference to the third day, in which ‘He will raise them up and they shall live in His sight,’ takes place a day AFTER their ‘revival’. This correlates to Ezekiel’s vision of ‘valley of dry bones’ that come together, revived as “an exceedingly great army” but, “when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.” (Ezekiel 37:8)
Israel is revived, but not yet ‘alive’ in His sight until their national redemption at the conclusion of the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ that ushers in the Millennial Kingdom.
So, it is safe to infer from Scripture that time, from our perspective, is predetermined, and is running down like a stopwatch that was started ticking at the fall of Adam and Eve. There is a day already determined, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)
Scripture deals with time in a way that is difficult for us to grasp; from the perspective of the One knowing “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10) time is a constant state of ‘now’. It makes following the Scripture’s timeline difficult, which is why God promised there would be signs — or ‘mile markers’ — to let us know when time, as we understand it, is running out.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)
Among the most telling signs that we are approaching Zero Hour are the fears that, after six thousand years, the human race has used up our host planet.
A new scientific study, prepared in Washington under the supervision of a board chaired by Robert Watson, the British-born chief scientist at the World Bank and a former scientific adviser to the White House warns that very thing.
According to the study, human civilization has consumed two-thirds of the world’s resources, most of it in just the last sixty years. Among the study’s findings:
Because of human demand for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel, more land has been claimed for agriculture in the last 60 years than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined.
An estimated 24% of the Earth’s land surface is now cultivated.
Water withdrawals from lakes and rivers has doubled in the last 40 years. Humans now use between 40% and 50% of all available freshwater running off the land.
At least a quarter of all fish stocks are overharvested. In some areas, the catch is now less than a hundredth of that before industrial fishing.
Since 1980, about 35% of mangroves have been lost, 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and another 20% badly degraded.
Deforestation and other changes could increase the risks of malaria and cholera, and open the way for new and so far unknown disease to emerge.
Flow from rivers has been reduced dramatically. For parts of the year, the Yellow River in China, the Nile in Africa and the Colorado in North America dry up before they reach the ocean.
An estimated 90% of the total weight of the ocean’s large predators – tuna, swordfish and sharks – has disappeared in recent years.
An estimated 12% of bird species, 25% of mammals and more than 30% of all amphibians are threatened with extinction within the next century.
This report is stunning, (even though it is sure to be disputed by other, equally qualified environmental scientists).
Let’s revisit the fact we’ve been on this planet for six thousand years. But it is THIS generation that is alleged to have used it up.
It is THIS generation in which men’s hearts have begun to fail them ‘for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.’
Signs in the sun, moon and stars have astronomers baffled; fears of a catastrophic collision with giant space rocks have us scanning the heavens and planning our defense from a threat that a generation ago, we didn’t even know existed.
The ‘distress of nations’ is palpable; witness the panic that ensued after the latest undersea aftershock as millions fled a new killer wave that never arrived.
The study says that we are running out of food sources, out of fresh water, we face the threat of killer plagues and epidemics; we’ve overfished the oceans and destroyed the seabed.
And the study concludes all this damage took place — not gradually over six thousand years of human existence –but within a single generation!
“So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” (Mark 13:29-30)