During a recent discussion (here) it has come to light that many believe that they alone have the unique revelation given by the divine Spirit of the Living God concerning John’s work. I do not believe that, believing that we will only come to understand them as they passed. Yes, we look for the coming of the Lord, making ourselves ready, but we do not wait with bated breath for this or that to happen. Some years ago, before blogging, I devoted a considerable amount of personal time to the study of Revelation. This is only a small portion of this – since it was introduced during a previous discussion. I will not lay the claim of divine inspiration, but I would like your thoughts.
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17 NKJV)
The Kings of the Earth
Throughout the Old Testament, God refers to Satan as a king of the Earth. We see this in Daniel, Ezekiel, and it is carried over to the New Testament.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)
The angel tells that Daniel that he was delayed because he was fighting the King of Persia. Should we really assume that a mere mortal man could fight an angel with such strength that the angel would have need of calling in Michael? Instead, Gabriel has been fighting Satan. In other parts, Satan is called the Prince of the Power of the Air, and in others, the King of Tyre or Egypt or Babylon. If we apply the same logic here, then these mighty men of the earth what dread the day of the Lord could very well be Satan and his armies, whether of the spiritual or physical kind.
On the same token, they are also the religious leaders and the men of might, such as the centurion (Luke 23.47) which had laboured in some way to crucify Christ – who held kingdoms which Christ brought down. Remember, all power in heaven and earth was now given to Christ (Matthew 28.16-19).
Several times in scripture, Earthquakes are used for a variety of reasons; however, the most significant is to show the presence of the Lord. In this seal, which we hold to still be a-linear, the earthquake is used to show the presence of the Lord and to get people’s attention.
I see this passage, this seal, in concert with the perfection theory set forth in the seventh seal, this seal is represents the most famous of all earthquakes: the earthquake found in Matthew 27:51-54 and at His resurrection. If not, if this is not the meaning behind this passage, then the passage in Chapter 7 decreeing that the angels hurt no man, is either wrong or takes place before the sixth seal, which destroys the idea of a consecutive series between six and seven.
Remember, when a prophet sees the ‘Day of the Lord’, it is always given that it begins with these same signs. We know that there has always been One Day, but Two Advents, a beginning and an ending. The Day of the Lord began with Christ and will end with Christ.
At the opening of the sixth seal “the birth-throes of the Messianic time” appear, as depicted in the following passages:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls. (Joel 2:31-32 NKJV)
This is important in my own understanding of the Sixth Seal – Peter clearly identifies what had just happened with the prophecy of Joel (Acts 2.18; cf Joel 2.28). If this (Christ and the Gospel) was that (Joel’s prophecy) then when did it skip from verse 28 to verse 32?
Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty. (Isaiah 2:10 NKJV)
And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as one withers from the fig tree. (Isa 34:4 NASB)
Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; Thorn and thistle will grow on their altars; Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!” (Hos 10:8 NASB)
For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. (Hag 2:6-7 NASB)
We know that the Desire (KJV) of all Nations is in fact Jesus Christ. This is why so many mythos that seem alike to the story of Christ have sprung up over the time of the Earth and yet are not. Through history, we see the story of Christ often imitated but never repeated.
Fear of the great day of God’s wrath:
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.
“Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts. For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Mal 3:1-6 NASB)
The wrath of His anointed:
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Psa 2:12 NASB)
While we are here, let us visit the phrase ‘The Day of the Lord’. Peter says that a day with God is as a thousand years and vice versa. Many take this literally, but I do not. Is not eternity defined by the absence of Time? If that is so, then the Day of the Lord can very well be the entire span of human history that will intersect itself at the appropriate time, such as the moment on Mt. Calvary and the Final Day of the Lord. The Old Testament prophets never said the second Day of the Lord, or for that matter, the first Day of the Lord, but saw it as one continuous Day.
Take the origin of what Christ spoke in the Synagogue:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (Isa 61:1-2 NASB)
Here, in Luke 4:18-19, Christ stops speaking, but the passage continues
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn:
Here, Isaiah sees the Day of the Lord as one Day, but we now know that it is a two-fold day. This is the sixth seal. What the sixth seal is not:
- 2nd Coming of Christ
Once again, it is the death of Christ on the cross.