The King And I (Part 3) Opening The Third Seal -- By: Gordon Franz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 13:1 (Winter 2000)
Article: The King And I (Part 3) Opening The Third Seal
Author: Gordon Franz

The King And I (Part 3) Opening The Third Seal

Gordon Franz

This is the third and final article in a series on the background to Revelation 1:9. This article examines some modern prophetic interpretations of events related to opening the Third Seal. Drawing on ancient and modern agricultural practices in the region, the author offers some fresh insights into the phrase “do not harm the oil and the wine.”

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hands. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Rv 6:5–6 NKJV)

This is how the Apostle John describes opening of the third seal, and it has led to a number of interesting interpretations by end-time prophesy teachers. In Days of Hunger, Days of Chaos, Tex Marrs (1999) suggested the third seal judgment will be a worldwide famine caused by government and corporate manipulation of the seed supply. He calls it the “Global Seeds Conspiracy.” Interestingly, he did not touch the phrase “do not harm the oil and wine.”

In Paranoia, a conspiratorial-type magazine, the phrase “do not harm the oil and the wine” was suggested to be fulfilled in November 1992. This was when President George Bush “announced that he would not triple the tariff on rapeseed oil and Chardonnay wine” (Wallace 1995:1). The author suggested this was the only time in history that oil and wine, and only oil and wine, received the attention of the international market.

J. R. Church (1997: 327) observed:

At the opening of the “third seal,” in Revelation 6:6, basic food staples will be meted out in small amounts and sold at rates that make possible only a bare subsistence. This is the fate of the common man. Note that the wealthy will still have access to their “oil and. .. wine.” As always, during hard times, the division between rich and poor grows wider. Not only the Bible, but the population figures themselves, point to a future global famine.

Yet, does a straightforward reading of Revelation 6 credibly lead to any of these observations: 1, that the third seal judgment spoke of a global conspiracy to control the seed supply; 2, that the t...

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