Summary: An overview of the next event on God’s program
The next event on God’s Prophetic Program is the sending of Elijah the prophet to ‘restore all things’ (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11) and then the beginning of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. This seven year period will be initiated by the Antichrist confirming "the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate". (Daniel 9:27)
This verse defines the seven year period "one week" and also reveals the "abomination of desolation" that Jesus later spoke of in Matthew 24:15 which occurs at the mid-point of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.
However, prior to the Seventieth Week, the Antichrist will be slowly but surely rising to power. He will have a 3 nation confederacy formulated from the east-European area described in Daniel 7:8 as "three first horns" and more specifically in Ezekiel 38:2,3 as "Gog (Antichrist), the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal".
Genesis 10:2 confirms these three to be from the lineage of Japheth, Noah’s son whose descendants populated the east-European region or "north parts" (Ezekiel 38:15). This gathering of nations from the same general area where the last two world wars were initiated should be no surprise to the student of history. The present-day fighting and upheaval in this very land region should hold the interest of every student of prophecy.
The Antichrist, with his three nation confederacy in place, will then use his political clout to convince the majority of Israelites of the necessity to sign/confirm/reconfirm an agreement or covenant guaranteeing peace to Israel during this time of world trouble and confusion, for this will be the era of "wars and rumors of wars... the beginning of sorrows" which the Lord described as a time of world turmoil in Matthew 24:5-8.
This perfectly agrees with the events surrounding the opening of the First Two Seals of Revelation 6:1-4. The one sitting on the white and red horses is the Antichrist himself! The opening of the third Seal demonstrates the continuing effects of the Antichrist’s influence on world conditions.
The black horse and rider holding balances symbolize famine which oftentimes follows war. This too agrees with the Lord’s account of Matthew 24:7 "there shall be famines". The fourth seal reveals a pale horse and rider with Death and Hell following with the horrifying result of death by the sword, hunger, death and beasts of the earth. The authority given to the Antichrist over 1/4 of the earth’s population will result in the killing of multitudes of innocent people!
These events are authored by men and Satan and must not be confused with the wrath of God which we as Christians will not experience. This opening of these Seals is only the "beginning of sorrows" referring to the first 3-1/2 years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, and although the Lord controls the timing of these events, He is certainly not the author of the turmoil, tribulation and martyrdom of believers that follows and intensifies as each individual Seal is opened.