The 4th horseman is Death, who is closely accompanied by Hell. Power is given to Death and Hell over a fourth of the earth. That could be over the fourth part of the earth's lands which are dominated by Muslims, or it could be one fourth of our now almost 7 billion population, which would be 1.25 billion people. Or it could be a different quarter which I haven't conceived.
I believe all four horsemen have been galloping across the earth since 9/11/2001, and I believe they continue through the Great Tribulation, which will culminate with the Lord's return.
Isaiah 13:9-12 “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.”
After reading the book of Revelation, losing a fourth of the world's population seems very reasonable. But Death and Hell are given four particular methods of killing people: sword, famine, pestilence, and beasts. These same four are also listed in Ezekiel 14:12-19, though first listed as famine, beasts, sword, and pestilence; and concluding in the order sword, famine, beast, and pestilence.
Ezekiel 14:20-23 “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, said the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. For thus said the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth to you, and you shall see their way and their doings: and you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought on it. And they shall comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings: and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, said the Lord GOD.”
Pictures of people being beheaded with swords and starving to death have been in the news the last few years. SARS almost made pandemic status in 2002-2003. The highly fatal bird flu gave quite a scare in 2003 and continues to wreak havoc. But it is the 2009 H1N1 pandemic which still has the potential to come back in the late summer and fall and decimate the population much like its 1918 counterpart did.
The following is from a Wikipedia article on the 2009 flu pandemic.
Nor had federal health officials in the U.S. dismissed the possibility that the worst was yet to come. "Far from it," Ann Schuchat of the CDC says, noting that the horrific 1918 flu epidemic, which killed hundreds of thousands in the United States alone, was preceded by a mild "herald" wave of cases in the spring, followed by devastating waves of illness in the autumn. "That 1918 experience is in our minds," she said.
However, as of early June 2009, Schuchat reported "encouraging news" regarding any mutations to date, by announcing that samples of the virus from points around the globe are "genetically identical" to the strain found in the United States. "We have tested isolates from a wide geographic area, from the Americas, Europe, from Asia and New Zealand and we are not seeing variations in isolates from the genetic testing we do here." Although cases have been relatively mild and patients recover quickly, health officials have warned that the virus could mutate into a more virulent form, putting greater numbers of people at risk.
As of July 4, 2009, there have been three cases of virus resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu). In two of the cases, resistance was developed following a course of the antiviral. However the third case, that of a 16-year-old identified at a Hong Kong airport with no prior contact with oseltamivir, is more concerning to health officials as it indicates an oseltamivir-resistant strain may have begun to circulate.
Please go to www.flu.gov and take necessary precautions. Even moreso, receive the righteousness of Christ by accepting His payment for your sins on the cross.