The act of observing most prophetic events as they are occurring is done so with what I refer to as the “rear view mirror effect.” This simply means that you don’t really see them unfold, unless you are paying attention to the Holy Spirit, until they have already begun. Almost like traveling down the road and missing something new. You didn’t see it as you were traveling but then you look in your rear view mirror and notice that it was clearly there.
The example of the events of the first four seals of Revelation 6 are a good reference. The first seal is a rider on a white horse. There is much speculation by many scholars as to who this rider is and what this portion of scripture means. There doesn’t seem to be much of a consensus, however, it is probably one of those things that we will understand as we progress in setting the stage for the last days and we see more of this event (and others) looking back through the rear view mirror.
The example of the third seal is a little more understandable because it involves another rider, this time on a black horse, proclaiming that there is a famine coming, or what I call a “black-letter event,” or an event that will be easier to see when it is happening because it doesn’t require much, if any, interpretation. But, this too will be something that is seen as you travel down the road of prophecy looking back through the rear view mirror because it is more likely that the famine talked about in the third seal won’t happen overnight. It will have a beginning somewhere. And as we progress in time then we will see that the worldwide famine prophesied in Revelation 6:5-6 had a beginning and then at some point it was, or should have been, evident that this was a prophetic event spoken of by the Apostle John in the book of Revelation.
Looking at prophecy through this “rear view mirror” effect is just common sense. But it is not for everyone, only the ones that are called by the Holy Spirit to understand. Those that put themselves in a position to truly understand will be in a much better position than most to see these events as they actually occur and in some cases before they occur. Which do you want to be?