Revelation Chapter 6 Second Continued
Verses 12-14: The “sixth seal” brings natural disasters of various kinds (compare Matt. 24:7, 29). The earth and the heavenly bodies will go into convulsions. (Joel 2:30-31), predicts many of these judgments in nature as signs of the day of the Lord.
Revelation 6:12 “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;”
“The sixth seal”: The force described in this seal is overpowering fear (compare Luke 21:26). While the first 5 seals will result from human activity God used to accomplish His purposes, at this point He begins direct intervention (compare Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:25). The previous 5 seals will be precursors to the full fury of the Day of the Lord which will begin with the sixth seal (verse 17). The events described in this seal unleash the seventh, which contains the trumpet judgments (chapters 8 and 9; 11:15), and the vial or bowl judgments (chapter 16).
The “Great Earthquake”: There have been many earthquakes prior to this (Matt. 24:7), but this will be more than an earthquake. All the earth’s faults will begin to fracture simultaneously, resulting in a cataclysmic, global earthquake.
Earthquakes generally are God dealing with mankind. This sixth seal has to do with the end of the Gentile age.
This terrible earthquake is told about in; Isaiah 2:19 “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”
This great earthquake is not one we have been acquainted with before. This may even be the one people are expecting when much of California drops into the ocean. Of course, we do not know that California will ever drop. We just know from what we read that an earthquake of that magnitude will occur.
Our cry, if we are Christians, just before this sixth seal is opened is “The Lord is coming”.
“The moon became as blood”: Accompanying the earthquake will be numerous volcanic eruptions; and large amounts of ash and debris will be blown into the earth’s atmosphere, blackening the sun and giving the moon a blood-red hue (compare Zech. 14:6-7).
The first four seals described judgments largely inflicted by man; the sixth seal describes a judgment clearly supernatural in origin. John tells of an earthquake so massive that “every mountain and island was moved out of its place.”
Perhaps John is referring to enormous volcanic activity, for he says “the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.” Particulate matter scattered in the atmosphere after a volcanic eruption has often turned the sky black and made the moon seem to turn red.
This terrible earthquake is told about (in Isaiah 2):
In (Ezekiel 32:7-8), we read about the darkness of the sun, moon, and stars.
In (Matthew 24), we read of this same thing in the heavens.
Matthew 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:”
Notice that this occurs at the end of the three and a half years of tribulation (prior to the start of the Great Tribulation), just before the Wrath of God is poured out upon the earth.
Revelation 6:13 “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”
“Stars of heaven fell”: The word “stars” can refer to any celestial body, large or small, and is not limited to normal English usage. The best explanation is a massive asteroid or meteor shower.
“Untimely figs”: Winter figs that grow without the protection of leaves and are easily blown from the tree.
The fig tree (physical Israel), rejected Jesus and His Holy Spirit. In (Acts chapter 2), we read of the sound as of the rushing mighty wind that came and filled them with the Holy Ghost.
This mighty wind is of God. Many times, when we read of the mighty wind, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit can be beautiful, as we read (in Acts 2), or frightening to those who do not believe.
The Old Testament and the New Testament agree that there will be a time when the heavens will be shaken. (Isaiah chapters 7, 13, 17, Matthew 24), and at least a dozen more chapters in the Old and New Testaments agree that there will be a day, just as this one spoken of that John saw, when the heavens will be shaken.
We read also, of the spiritual shaking that will take place. We read that there shall be a great falling away in the church right before this occurs.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
As you can see, believers will be tried, and many will fall away. (In Luke chapter 21:16), we read about those who will be betrayed by those of their own household and friends.
We read again of the commotion in heaven:
Luke 21:25-26 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
You can easily see that this is prophesied, not just of John, but by dozens of pens throughout the Bible.
Revelation 6:14 “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
“The heaven departed as a scroll”: The earth’s atmosphere will be somehow dramatically affected and the sky as we know it disappears (compare Isa. 34:4).
“Every mountain and island were moved”: Under the stress created by the global earthquake, great segments of the earth’s plates will begin to slip and shift, realigning whole continents.
This earthquake will be so strong that mountains will flatten out and islands will disappear. An earthquake of this magnitude would immediately put up a screen of smoke that nothing in the heavens would be visible. We read (in Isaiah 34), a similar Scripture as above.
Isaiah 34:4 “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.” Whatever this is, it is of great magnitude.
I remind you again, that Revelation is not written in chronological order. The happenings in the verses above are long after the believers are in heaven. We Christians should not fear things we see happening that is in fulfillment of these passages. We should look up and rejoice at the beginning of any of these things, because our redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).
Verses 15-17: As a result of these first six seal judgments, many unbelievers will want to die and to hide from God, but will be unable to. “The great day of his wrath” is the Day of the Lord, the predicted time of God’s judgment of the earth and its inhabitants (compare Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31). The day of wrath is contrasted to the present “day of grace”. “Is come”, means God’s day of judgment “is here”. It has finally arrived, having begun with the first six seals.
Revelation 6:15 “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;”
The message in this is, wealth or position will have no influence on God’s decision. He is not impressed with our importance. We cannot even fall back on being underprivileged or poor. None of this will matter. The only thing that will matter is what we did about Jesus. This really is the time when neither silver and gold will be able to save people from the Wrath of God.
Hiding in “dens and in the rocks”, will be of no use because these openings will close up from the earthquake. Men will seek death, but death will not come (Rev. 9:6).
Revelation 6:16 “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:”
“The wrath of the Lamb”: Earth’s inhabitants will recognize for the first time, the source of all their trouble (see note on 5:6). Incredibly, prior to this they will be living life as usual (Matt. 24:37-39).
The people of earth will clearly recognize these phenomena as coming from the hand of God, for they are said to cry out to the mountains where they take cover, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb”.
Suddenly they realize who Jesus is, but it is too late, they have rejected Him.
Now that it is too late, they realize their terrible mistake of rejecting Jesus as their perfect Lamb sacrifice. They would rather die right now, than face Him and be told of their eternity in hell that awaits them. They now even realize that Jesus sits on the throne. What a terrible awakening.
This that John sees is very much like a dream, in that the things he sees are not particularly in consecutive order.
Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
“Great day”: The sixth seal will commence what the prophets call “the Day of the Lord” (see Introduction to Joel).
The answer to that is “no one”. The thing we must do is make sure that we are not left here to face all of these horrors. The way to assure that is by selling out to Jesus NOW. Make Him Lord of your life NOW before it is too late.
The “great day” spoken of above, begins three and a half years of the worst things you could ever imagine. The last day has to be the last judgment. DOOM for the unbelievers.
Remember, Revelation is written to the church, the Christians. It encourages us to look forward to heaven. It also tells us, the terrible things we will be saved from when the Wrath descends on this earth.
And it leads true Christians to witness to their friends and family while there is still time. Knowing what is coming, we certainly don’t want to leave anyone behind.
Revelation Chapter 6 Second Continued Questions
1. What catastrophe happens at the opening of the sixth seal?
2. Describe the sun and moon at this happening.
3. This catastrophe has to do with the end of the ____________ age.
4. In Isaiah 2:9, why did they hide in the rocks?
5. What should the Christians cry out just before the sixth seal is opened?
6. What is told in Ezek. 32:7-8?
7. What chapter of Matthew tells the same thing?
8. In relation to the seven years, when does all of this happen?
9. What heavenly thing is compared to figs falling off the fig tree?
10. What, other than a heavenly body, could the stars be?
11. What do we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 about this?
12. What spiritual meaning does the mighty wind have?
13. Give me three chapters in Isaiah that speak of this time.
14. The falling away in the churches today tell us what?
15. What chapter in Luke gives a story of this end time message?
16. What three heavenly bodies will have signs?
17. The heaven departs as what?
18. What happens to the islands and mountains?
19. What chapter in Isaiah is almost identical and tells of the heavens being rolled together?
20. What does the author keep reminding you about the order Revelation is written in?
21. Name seven types of men who hide themselves in the dens and rocks?
22. What message should we get in that?
23. What did these men cry out to the rocks?
25. What is this called?
26. Whose great anger is this?
27. What is the terrible awakening?
28. What day is this called?
29. What do you believe this lesson is describing?
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