The judgments of the seven trumpets clearly fall on the wicked (Rev. 9:4, 20-21), those who have no interest in the gospel and live their lives in rebellion against God and hostility toward those who serve Him. The negative judgments of the seven seals, on the other hand, fall on those who have heard the gospel, may even profess is, but are ultimately found to be in opposition to true faith, and the teachings of the Bible. Their faith in the end is portrayed as sinking into a diseased and dying state. But God has not, at the point of the four horsemen, given up on them. There is still hope.
In the book of Revelation, Satan’s kingdom is described as having three parts (16:13, 19). In light of that, it makes sense that the judgments of the trumpets fall on thirds of the earth (Rev. 8:7-12). The trumpets affect portions of Satan’s kingdom throughout history since the time of Christ. In contrast with the trumpets, the seven seals concern “fourths” of the earth (Rev. 6:8). If three parts belong to the kingdom of Satan, the fourth part would be the people of God. Thus we see the white horse of the gospel in contrast with the red, black and pale horses of increasing opposition to God.
Just as the curses of the covenant in the Old Testament fell on the people of God (Lev. 26:21-26; Deut. 29:15-68), so do the curses of the New Testament covenant. The difference is that Israel in the New Testament is not determined in ethnic or geographical terms, it is determined in relation to Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus chose twelve disciples to follow Him, all who are in genuine relationship with Jesus belong to His New Israel (Matt. 19:28-30). The positive and negative judgments of the four horsemen, recall a passage in the message to Laodicea; those who follow Jesus in name only He rebukes and chastens (Rev. 3:20) for their sake.