A Time of War
With the opening of the first seal, the kingdom of darkness began laying the ground work that will lead to the acceptance of the man of sin by the masses. Their ultimate goal is to deceive people into worshiping him as God. There will be a specific time of war that they orchestrate solely for that purpose. That time of war begins when the second seal is opened.
When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. Revelation 6:3-4 NASB
This sign follows the warning about deception that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24.
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 24:6-8 NASB
Jesus refers to this time of war as the beginning of birth pangs. When it begins, the rest of the end time events will begin to come to pass quickly. It will be a widespread war that engulfs the world and it will appear as if the end of the world has come but Jesus assures us that it is not the end. He also mentions that there will be food shortages which corresponds to the third seal.
When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like 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 damage the oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5-6 NASB
The food shortage of the third seal is likely a consequence of the time of war. Given the concentration of people in the cities, a food shortage can happen very quickly and affect a large portion of the world’s population. I see this as a call for the prudent to be prepared for this eventuality.
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. Matthew 24:7-8 NASB
The time of war will not exceed the constraints of what God has authorized in the fourth seal. When we look at what takes place in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 & 17, we get a glimpse into how the time of war comes about and how it catapults the man of sin to the center stage.
There will be ten leaders who work behind the scenes to establish a new world order. They will have gained control of the world’s economies and plan to use that control as leverage. What they don’t realize is that someone has “hacked” their control mechanism and plans to use if for himself.
It all starts off when the ten leaders decide that it’s their time to become the new rulers of the world. They absolutely loathe the old order so their coronation includes the destruction of the city that embodies it (Revelation 17:16-18). I’m sure that they expect their new order to become the new normal but their reign only lasts for one hour (Revelation 17:12). The reason it’s short-lived is because the man of sin hacks their economic control mechanism and denies them access to it. He usurps their means of control and plans to use it for himself.
This is the time that Jesus talked about when nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. Three of the ten leaders plan to retaliate against the man of sin since he derailed their plan so they come against him with an overwhelming force. The world descends into chaos and it seems like all hope is lost. This time of fear and despair is exactly what the kingdom of darkness has planned for the sole purpose of having their man rescue humanity from the brink of disaster.
We know from Daniel 7 that the man of sin destroys the three leaders that come against him and that his status becomes more powerful as a result. We know from Revelation 13 that he performs amazing signs and wonders and can even call down fire from heaven. The way in which he defeats his attackers gives him an air of invincibility. He capitalizes on the moment and demands that all wars cease. He is perceived as the savior of the world which was exactly the plan all along and he affirms what the people believe by declaring himself to be God.