“1. I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" 2. I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”
After a review of history, one can argue many occasions in history, which could have been the opening of this seal, since the ascension of our Lord. And, when studying the Seals, it is important to remember that Scripture talks about "opening" not "closing" the Seals. This means that once a Seal is open, it remains in effect. So here is the first question.
How many famous leaders in history knew the earth was a sphere, knew there were several continents, and had the means to attempt to conquer the earth?
I believe that the first such Nation to envision domination of the whole world was the British Empire. The first movement though, which had the stated intention to rule the world was World Communism. The creation of this world movement had as its base, the Communist Manifesto of 1847 in which Karl Marx wrote "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win". Their reason for existence was to subjugate all the peoples of the earth to their heathen form of government, denying God and promoting the pre-eminence of man.
So, we may first look at the World Communist Movement as being a force dedicated to World Dominance and World Rule. This culminated in the Cold War, a time when children feared for Nuclear Holocaust and Nations prepared for doomsday.
But, over 2 or 3 generations, Russian Communism has evolved into a largely nationalistic regime. The Soviet Empire imploded and was replaced with Russian Nationalism. The Chinese also are treating modern Communism in a similar way, not for World Rule, but for Continental Dominance and World influence.
What has replaced World Communism as an entity dedicated to subjugate the whole world is Fundamentalist Islam. The extremist and fascist doctrine of Islamic Fundamentalists has the stated and overt objective of converting the World to Islam, and defeating all World Governments by force with a view to replacing them with Islamic governments.
For these reasons, whether you believe the spread of the British Empire, or the creation of the Communist movement of the 20th Century fulfills this prophecy, it is arguable that the 1st seal is open, and has been open during our century or possibly earlier.
I believe the seal was opened earlier than 1917 and more likely in the mid 1800's either before or during 1847. Only God knows exactly when, but arguably, the Seal is open either way.
It can be argued that the objective of World Domination may have started in 1847, come to significance in 1917, continued in Fascism and then the Cold War, but is still alive in the World Islamic Fundamentalist movement.
In all cases, there are individuals who have the vision to "rule the world" whether through political or religious control. The desire for World Conquest is alive and well.
Please note, the following Podcast is also posted under the Second Seal. You may wish to read the 2nd Seal information before listening.