This is it! This is where the fun really begins! The Sixth Seal is the first place in the book of Revelation where four of the seven stories begin to overlap and brings us fresh insight and understanding to the events of the last days. As a reminder to what I have taught previously and is taught extensively in my book: Tell Them to Prepare – A New Look at the book of Revelation, the book is not one long story as has been taught by our traditions, but is a collection of seven shorter stories, of which four overlap telling the same story from different perspectives and when brought together provide a clear description of what is happening. A technique used repeatedly throughout the Bible. Due to the depth and detail of the events found in the Sixth Seal, there is no way I could put everything into one post on this blog. Instead I will present a summary of one or two events at a time in its own post.
Event Sequence # 13-21
The sixth seal brings with it not only great sorrow but also great joy as well. This is going to be a time of testing for both the Christians and non-Christians. It is the prelude to the Tribulation but for those Christians who are prepared there will be a glorious escape.
The Sixth Seal introduces overlapping events linking the different stories found in the book of Revelation. Many of the events happening here in the Sixth Seal will occur at the same time or very close together.
At some point during these events, the 144,000 Jews are sealed and the Church Raptured from the earth. The Christians will be experiencing these things but this is not yet the beginning of the Tribulation period, but it will set the stage for the Tribulation. The events in the sixth seal occur as outlined:
All of these events relate to the Sixth Seal, because all the links start and end with the 2nd Story, but the actual timing and duration of these events cannot be separated from each other. The Sixth Seal is the only place within the book of Revelation where such flexibility exists. All other scriptural links are very tight and do not give any room for such flexibility. I believe in part because God wants to keep us alert and prepared up to the last moment when the Rapture of the Church would actually occur.
1st – Cosmic Disturbances
The sixth seal brings a great outpouring of the glory and manifest presence of God into the earth, causing all men to experience the fear of God. The word for earthquake (6:12) here is “seismos” and can mean a shaking, a commotion, a tempest or an earthquake. This is not just a physical earthquake on the earth. It is also a disturbance in the sky, which will include a black out of the sun and make the moon to appear like blood. Some teach that these falling stars (6:13) as figs from a tree could be a meteor shower or that this is a nuclear exchange (6:14), but being a worldwide event would be unlikely. Others point to a meteor shower of immense size and quantity hitting the earth could move mountains and islands, and the resulting impacts would look like nuclear explosions. While these theories may sound plausible and we have other scriptures throughout the Bible that agree with these events, the actual timing of this event would devastate the earth before the Tribulation events of Revelation could occur and weaken and/or remove the need for the Tribulation itself.
Another possible and much more likely explanation would be the entire earth is shaken and everyone comes under the influence of the fear of God, not because of some physical event but more likely a spiritual one. Remember, everything in the book of Revelation happens in a logical, progressive flow of events. In the Fifth Seal we had prayers going up before God. Now in the Sixth Seal God is answering those prayers with a might outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Glory of God in response to those prayers. This entire cosmic disturbance is the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit the earth has ever seen. Every nation, island, king and common man will experience the manifest revelation of the glory of God and be moved by it. They will be moved either to repentance or to fear and flee from it. False religions (the sun, moon and stars) will grow dark, fall, and hide from the glory of the manifestation of God on the earth (Rom 8:19-23). This is not the Rapture of the Church, that will come shortly, but it is the midnight shout that is mentioned in Matthew 25:6 as this is the manifestation of the sons of God that must occur just before that event. The entire worldwide Church is alerted by what is happening and realizes that the time of the Rapture is near. They scramble to prepare themselves, but for those who are foolish and not prepared it may already be too late.
Through this event (6:15) everyone both great and small hide from this event, however, hiding and seeking death is not because of the events that just happened, but because of seeing the Lamb of God on the throne (6:16). They know the wrath and judgments of God is coming (6:17) on the earth and want to escape it. This event is a revelation of God himself in the earth, a move of God that is a physical demonstration of the power of God as He creates one last opportunity for those who do believe in God to repent and follow Christ. This revelation gives all men the opportunity to not only know Christ, but to turn to him before the last great judgment of the Tribulation. It is also the removal of the last excuse for accepting Jesus, for all men will know of him and who he is. After this no one can use the excuse that they do not know who Jesus Christ is at the judgment seat of Christ.
* This is an excerpt from the book: Tell Them to Prepare – A New Look at the book of Revelation.
Next Time – 144,000 Jews Sealed
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