REVELATION SIX  


 

REVELATION SIX

THE FIRST SIX SEALS

1. The beginning of the week (seal #1).
2. The tribulation period (seals #2-5).
3. The arrival of the Day of The LORD (seal #6).
4. The administration of God's wrath via the 7 trumpets (seal#7).

The sealed book represents the judgment of God on the kingdom of the beast and the earth-dwellers. Before that judgment will be expressed there are 6 things that must occur. These 6 things are represented by the first 6 seals. The 7th seal is the half hour of silence in heaven – a silence that portrays the magnitude of the judgment that is about to be poured on the earth.

THE FIRST SEAL: THE 70th WEEK BEGINS

At some time in the future a man will arise on the international scene and gain world authority and power when he takes control of a ten-nation confederacy. In order to do this, he will conquer 3 of the 10 nations, which apparently will cause the rest to fall in line behind his authority. It is necessary for him to take over 3 of the kings (or nations) in order to demonstrate his political and military genius to the rest of the world, and to make it easier to implement his political plans.

For details see The Political Power Base of the Beast

It is God’s plan to use this man to begin the final 7 years that He has promised to the nation of Israel in order for them to fulfill their evangelistic commission. That 7-year period will begin when this man implements a covenant of peace and religious toleration between all the peoples of the Middle East.
For details see: The 70th Week of Daniel

And it is Satan’s plan to use this man to implement and advance his messianic agenda. Thus at some time shortly before the midpoint of the 70th week, this charismatic world ruler will be assassinated by a fatal head wound (Rev. 13:3a).
Then Satan will heal the fatal wound by bringing this person back to life and presenting him to the world as the historically promised MESSIAH (Rev. 13:3b—8).

This man's satanic ties will be unknown until 3 1/2 years after he implements the covenant. It is at this time, the midpoint of the week, that he will be empowered by Satan in order to accomplish Satan's messianic agenda and his oppressive schemes for the world.

Although ALL the events in The Revelation from this point forward, occur after the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, the first seal COULD represent the initiation of that week, when the covenant is established. To interpret the first seal and the second seal as both referring to the beast at the midpoint of the week, seems unnecessarily redundant. Although it is possible that the first seal represents the first beast, and the second seal represents either Satan or the second beast at the midpoint of the week. Whether the first seal represents the inception of the week or the midpoint is not a major issue. The major point is that it is at this time the world will find itself within the context of the prophesied Daniel’s 70th week

 THE FIRST SEAL

Verse 6:1
And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, Come. And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.

This world ruler will be a very dynamic and persuasive political and military FORCE or man who effectively “conquers,” that is, takes control of, the dominant nations in the Middle East, if not Europe as well.

Will there be nations at that time that need to be “conquered?”
Yes. Everyone will be fighting with each other and of course, with Israel. There needs to be some banging of heads together so that a covenant can be arranged that will establish PEACE (THE peace) in the Middle East. As such, he will appear and function as a benevolent dictator, seeking only what is best for the nations and peoples involved.

Daniel 7:24
And "he" will subdue three kings.

Daniel 8:23
And in the latter period of their rule (the 10 nations), When the transgressors have run {their course,} A king will arise insolent and skilled in intrigue.

When this man takes control, the 10-nation confederation will become the 7th kingdom of the beast's historical pedigree. According to Rev. 17:10-11, when he comes, he must remain a little while as 7th king or kingdom and then become the 8th. And as previously mentioned, he will be a benevolent dictator for the first 3 1/2 years of his reign. The first thing on the agenda for the benevolent dictator, is to resolve the economic, social, religious, military and health problems of the world. This is initiated by the 7 year covenant that is made with "the many," which term usually refers to Israel. However, the peace that is procured by this covenant apparently extends throughout the whole world (or AT LEAST, the European and Mediterranean areas), providing both economic security as well as physical security. This is very strongly suggested when we see at the 2nd seal that "THE peace" is taken from the earth. In the Greek, the definite article (the) is present and should be translated, since it draws attention to the special quality and time of peace that had been procured through the conquering of the first seal.

Dan. 9:26-27,
". . .and the prince who is to come . . . will make a firm covenant with the many for 1 week." (7 years)

This covenant will allow Israel to build a temple (or sanctuary) on Mt. Moriah and begin worship through animal sacrifices. This is based on Dan. 9:27, "put a stop to sacrifice," and based on 2 Thes. 2:4, take his seat in the TEMPLE of God, and Mat. 24:15, "standing in the Holy Place." But what it actually amounts to, is a national apostasy which attempts to realize Messianic promises through a human agency.
See commentary on Daniel 11:34.

From this point we have no scriptural information about events until the mid-point of the week when the world ruler breaks the covenant and begins his oppressive reign over the whole world.

Does anything NEED to happen between the signing of the covenant and the midpoint of the 70th week? NO.

DOES anything significant happen between the signing of the covenant and the midpoint of the week? NO.

So, seal #2 is the NEXT major event to occur between the establishment of the covenant and the midpoint of the week, when the covenant will be broken. It is at this time that some force or person will take THE PEACE from the earth

Accordingly, it is suggested that the first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel will be a time of general peace and safety throughout the world and will then be interrupted by the deceitful world ruler, who through Satanic empowering, will become the oppressive man of lawlessness - the beast..

This covenant of peace is mentioned only one time in the Old Testament, and that is at Daniel 9:27. And yet it refers to a very major point in the end-times events. The “covenant with death” at Isaiah 28:15 and 18 refers to a covenant of trust with Egypt by Hezekiah, the king of Judah (Isaiah 30:1-5; 31:1), in 713 BCE. It has no application to the end-times.
See Commentary on Isaiah 28

Such a major event as the covenant of Daniel 9:27 should certainly be mentioned somewhere in the Book of the Revelation. And the ONLY place where it could be found, if it were mentioned, is right here within the symbolism of the first seal.

 THE SECOND SEAL

Revelation 6:3-4

The rider on the red horse represents a person or force that does something which will remove THE PEACE of the first seal from the earth. As suggested earlier, the rider on the red horse, COULD represent either the first beast, Satan or the second beast, but regardless, it is the same time-point and event that is portrayed.
The benevolent dictator will be indwelt by Satan and will become the oppressive man of lawlessness who takes THE peace from the earth.

And when He broke the second seal,
I heard the second living creature saying, 'Come.'
And another, a red horse, went out;
and to him who sat on it, it was granted
to take THE PEACE from the earth,
and that they (men) should slay one another;
and a great sword was given to him.

When he breaks the covenant, several things will take place.

1. He will appoint a Jew as dictator over Palestine and will make
him a prophet to carry out his religious program.

A. The beast out of the LAND: Rev. 13.11-17
B. Dan the serpent: Gen. 49.16-17
C. The worthless shepherd: Zech. 11.15-17
D. The false prophet: Rev. 19.20; 20.10; 16.13
From Rev. 13.11f we see that he
looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon.

2. He will proclaim himself to be God: 2 Thes. 2.4

3. Through the false prophet he will institute beast worship.
2 Thes. 2.4; Rev. 13.14-15; Dan. 9.27; 8.23-26; Rev. 11.1-2
See Beast worship  and   The Mark of the Beast

4. This then will begin the attack on Israel (Rev. 12:10) and the Christian church (Rev. 13:7), which officially initiates the great tribulation. (Mt. 24:15, 21)

It is thus through the rise of the beast at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, that men will begin to slay one another. These killings will be the result of the policies implemented by Beast Worship as described at Rev. 13:15.

“And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the best to be killed.”

It is what Jesus taught at Matthew 24:9, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you.”

This was also prophesied at Daniel 7:25, “And he will wear down the saints of the Highest One.”

Through operation Beast Worship, there will be very strict economic controls placed upon those who come under the authority of the beast; “and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” Rev. 13:7.

THE THIRD SEAL

These economic controls are represented by the THIRD seal at Rev. 6:5-6.

When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."

The “scales” represents CONTROL over buying and selling.

Concerning the wheat, barley and the oil and the wine, Walvoord provides this helpful information from page 129 of his commentary on The Revelation.

“In order to determine the meaning of this vision it must be understood that the silver coin designated as a penny is actually the Roman denarius, worth about 15 cents. In the wage scale of that time it was common for a person to receive one denarius for an entire day’s work. For such a coin, one measure of wheat or three measures of barley could be purchased in the vision here.

The explanation seems to be this: A measure of wheat is approximately what a laboring man would eat in one meal. If he used his penny to buy barley, a cheaper grain, he would have enough from an entire day’s wages to buy three good meals of barley. If he bought wheat, a more precious grain, he would be able to buy enough for only one meal. There would be no money left to buy other things, such as oil or wine, which were considered essential in biblical times. To put it in ordinary language, the situation would be such that one would have to spend a day’s wages for a loaf of bread with no money left to buy anything else.”

Walvoord then identifies this symbolism with FAMINE. However, he does not address the CAUSE of the famine, and that would be the strict economic controls implemented by Beast Worship.

The result of those controls will be massive food shortages for those who are not under the protective canopy of beast worship.

For those under that protection, the economic system of “buying and selling” will function normally (Rev. 13:17). There will be enough of everything, and the oil and the wine will be readily available. They will be able to buy and sell at will as long as they follow the stipulated guidelines.

During this time, the beast will proffer a false peace to those who dwell on the earth through acceptance of beast worship. For those who accept beast worship and take the mark of the beast, the time will indeed be an occasion of peace and safety. However, it will be short lived for the arrival of Jesus at the Day of the LORD will catch them all by surprise like a thief in the night. And when God's wrath and the wrath of the Lamb are poured out on the world and the kingdom of the beast, there will be nothing but pain and misery for those who have taken his mark.

1Thessalonians 5:1-3

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you, yourselves, know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying (experiencing), "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

The call of "peace and safety" is not a cry in SEARCH of peace and safety, but a proclamation and rejoicing in the peace and safety that they are experiencing through the protection that comes through identification with the beast.

THE FOURTH SEAL

At Revelation 6:8, we learn that during the great tribulation, 1/4 of the earth (that is of the land area of the earth, and not the population) will be placed under the authority of "physical" death and the grave (hades), "to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth."

Notice that this “death” is not assigned specifically to an individual, but to a PRINCIPLE or a POWER – that power being the concept of death.

However, these killing "effects" will still be a result of the beast's attempt to control the world.

1. SWORD:  While many of those individuals who do not willingly comply with beast worship will be killed with the sword (Rev. 13:15), that was covered at verse 4. This is referring to individuals (or groups) using violence to obtain necessary items in famine conditions.

2. FAMINE: Those land areas that are not under the beast's authority will suffer great economic hardship from famine because they will have very limited resources, and many will die from that deprivation.

3. PLAGUE: As a result of famine there will be great outbreaks of plagues.

4. WILD ANIMALS: And as a result of shortages in food and other resources, the wild animals will begin to encroach into the civilized areas bringing violent death.

This strongly suggests that the FUNCTIONAL jurisdiction of the beast will extend to about three fourths of the world, and only fail to reach one fourth. It does not teach that ¼ of the earth’s population will die.

At Revelation 13:3-7, it states that the beast was given authority over the entire earth. However, it will take time for him to implement total control universally. In the meantime, the rest of the world will suffer from the controls that the beast has over the various resources necessary for sustaining human life, and that cannot be procured locally.

If the great tribulation, which the beast will bring on the world, is not interrupted, then the death toll would become worse so that there would be NO ONE left who did not have the mark of the beast. Thus, in order to have people alive who will later become believers (ELECT), and then enter alive into Messiah's earthly kingdom, that tribulation will be cut short by the second coming of Jesus and the time period known as the day of the Lord (Matthew 24:21-22). Of course, all the believers at that time will be removed from the earth through the rapture (Mat. 24:31; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; 2 Thes. 1:6-7). But there will still be plenty of unbelievers left to trust in Christ later, starting with the 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7:1-8). As a result, there will be many Jewish and Gentile believers who will go alive into the Messiah’s earthly kingdom after Christ defeats His enemies at Armageddon.

THE FIFTH SEAL
Verses 9-11

Verse 9
"And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the sols of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.”

The seals are simply teaching aids within the scope of John’s vision.
They refer to things that must take place before the Lord will return and the Day of the Lord will begin. 
The thing in the 5th seal that needs to occur before the Lord returns is the martyrdom 
of “their fellow servants and brethren.”
Within the context of John’s vision, the 5th seal martyrs are ALREADY there in heaven. 
It is not saying that they are being killed.
The issue with the 5th seal is NOT chronological, but rather simply a recognition that believers 
who have been killed for their faith are in heaven longing for justice. 
This mention of martyrs does NOT indicate the start of the tribulation, but simply the presence of martyred 
believers in heaven awaiting the justice of God.
The tribulation started back at the 2nd seal with the removal of THE PEACE from the earth 
and the implementation of the beast’s oppressive policies.
It is most reasonable that this group in heaven includes ALL believers from all generations 
who have been killed for their faith. It does not identify them with THE BEAST’S oppression. 
There is no "intensity" factor mentioned there.
It simply states that there are souls who had been slain for their faith.
It does not see any group as distinct from any other.
Nothing different than what has been going on all throughout history.
Nothing different from John 16:2.
Nothing different from what Saul did at Acts 26:9-11.
Nothing different from Phil. 1:29.
Or 2Tim. 3:12 or Acts 14:22 or 2 Corinthians 4:7-11.
Or the Christian persecutions under Nero or the Roman church.
Or in Russia and China and many other countries today.
And since I doubt that there is a division in heaven between those who were martyred and those 
who died naturally, probably ALL believers are in the group longing for the justice of God 
to be administered in His perfect timing. 
The focus is simply on the martyrs since they were the direct recipients of fatal persecution. 
 
Verse 10
And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, 
will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
 
It is told them that they must wait until others are killed likewise for their faith - 
and THEN justice will be meted out. This then, is what anticipates the martyrs of the tribulation. 
When that is completed during the tribulation, then the end will come when Jesus returns 
and raptures all believers and begins to render justice to the unbelievers left on the earth.
 
Verse 11
And there was given to each of them a white robe; 
and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, 
until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, 
would be completed also.
 
Even though these are given white robes, they are NOT resurrected people. 
The SOUL and SPIRIT are a dual entity and constitute a SPIRITUAL type being, just like angels. 
Angels are SPIRITS (Heb. 1:14), and are clothed in garments (Rev. 15:6). 
There is also the theory of the INTERIM BODY, which would certainly allow for 
the wearing of the white robes.
See Topic: The Saints in Heaven
 
Whether the mention of white garments can be an indication of resurrection or not 
depends entirely on the rest of the context. 
At the time of the 5th seal, there has been no resurrection. 
It will not occur until the Lord comes back at the 6th seal. 
Thus, at Revelation 7:9, the resurrected saints from the rapture are seen clothed in white garments, 
but are also STANDING and HOLDING branches in their hands. 
This is in clear contrast to the SOULS under the altar. 
 
Furthermore, it does not tell us that these souls under the altar actually PUT ON the white robes. 
It is very possible that these robes are tokens of God’s promise to resurrect them according to 
His own perfect timing, rather than something they will or ARE wearing.
 
REST FOR A LITTLE WHILE
 
These 5th-seal saints are all the saints from all of previous history. And they have all prayed the same prayer, 
“When O Lord?” And the answer to them all has always been the same. Rest. It is not yet time. 
There are still some more to die, and then will come justice.
These slain saints are told to rest for awhile UNTIL others are killed as they were. 
The justice that is longed for will begin to be meted out shortly after the return of the Lord, 
which is portrayed at the sixth seal.  Accordingly, it is likely that “the fellow servants and brethren” 
would be the ones who are killed PRIOR to the rapture, and specifically during the tribulation. 
And of course, all those “the fellow servants and brethren” who will die DURING the tribulation 
will join these who have died before them to await the perfect timing of God.
 
When the 7th seal is opened at Revelation 8:1, the seven angels prepare to announce the administration 
of God’s justice.
In connection with that preparation, “the prayers of the saints” are brought before God 
with the symbol of incense burned on the golden altar. 
I suggest that these prayers are (1) the prayers of the saints ON THE EARTH that we saw at Revelation 5:8.
Believers all throughout history have been praying for God's justice.
And (2) the cry of the the 5th seal martyrs who are in heaven prior to the second coming and the rapture,
who are likewise crying out for God's justice.
Perhaps the incense that is ADDED to the prayers is the cry of the martyrs. 
Both "fuel" the justice of God so that the fire of divine judgment can be cast upon the earth through the 
7 trumpets and the 7 bowls.
 
God’s justice/vengeance will begin to be administered after the rapture of the church 
and with the opening of the 7th seal which will initiate the trumpet and bowl judgments. 
It is this administration of justice that ANSWERS the cry of the slain saints seen at the 5th seal, 
and the prayers of the saints seen at Rev. 5:8.
 
THE SIXTH SEAL
Revelation 6:12-14
Verse 12

And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; 
and the sun became black as sackcloth {made} of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 
and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 
And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; 
and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 
 
This is the very same event that was prophesied by Jesus at Matthew 24:29.

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, 
AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, 
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” 
 
This is not describing any eclipse type event, but a supernatural act of God that literally and
physically darkens the sun, moon and stars. The image of the stars falling from the sky describes
what we know as meteorites. We know that the actual stars do not fall to the earth.
But both ideas of (1) stars losing their light and (2) "stars" (meteorites) falling to the earth is covered
by the language used in John's description of his vision. The phrase, "the powers of the heavens
will be shaken" is a summary of the heavenly disturbances and the effects these things will have
on the earth. This is indicted by Joel's prophecy in the Old Testament, when he records, "and on the earth."

Joel also indicated that these SIGNS will occur BEFORE the arrival of the Day of the Lord. 

Joel 2:30-31. “And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire,
and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood,
before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”

The “blood moon” indicates a very dark red effect caused by the darkening of the sun.
The moon of course does not have its OWN light, so this indicates just a slight reflection
of light that will be barely discernable.

It is right after the appearance of these signs that Jesus will return IN THE CLOUDS.
Matthew 24:30.

“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth
will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power
and great glory.”

This establishes the fact that the DAY OF THE LORD and the second coming of the Messiah
are basically the same event (confirmed also by 2Thes. 2:1-2).
And both will be preceded by these awesome things;
things of such a nature that they have not been seen before in the same manner,
and will therefore cause great panic, fear and sorrow in those
who are not prepared for the coming of Jesus.

Furthermore, the context strongly suggests that these SIGNS are DIRECTLY
connected with the second coming so that the TWO are actually the SAME event.
That is, when the SIGNS occur, there is no DELAY for the arrival of Jesus
in the clouds of the sky.
This is supported by the warning that Jesus gives in the following verses -
Matthew 24:32-44.
The point of His words is, that we can know the season, but not the day or the hour.
And WHEN that day and hour occurs, it will be TOO LATE to get right with God.
Thus, it is at the time the SIGNS occur that is THAT HOUR of Christ's arrival.
That is why the "unbelieving" tribes of the earth will mourn and panic.
They will see the SIGNS, they will see the arrival of Jesus, and they will KNOW t
hat it is now time for God's wrath to come, and will therefore TRY to hide from His presence.

These signs on the earth were also mentioned by Jesus but were only recorded by Luke. 
Luke 21:25-26. “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars,
and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the seas
and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things
which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

However, they are indicated by Matthew’s account that indicates the stars (meteors) will fall to the EARTH.

Here at Revelation 6:12, six things are mentioned.
1. a great earthquake: Joel's blood, fire and smoke could result from earthquake.
2. Sun grows dark: Matthew, Luke and Joel
3. Moon loses light: Matthew, Luke and Joel
4. stars lose light: Matthew and Luke
5. sky rolled up like a scroll: Luke
6. Islands and mountains moved: Luke

THE DAY OF THE LORD

All these prophecies point to the event that will occur at the SIXTH seal of Revelation 6:12-14. “And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was moved away like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved out of their places.”

The sixth seal mentions the great earthquake which is also described at Isaiah 13:13.
Most of the other passages mention only that there will be great things happening on the earth,
which are clearly the result of the massive earthquake, and from the meteorites falling to the earth.

The fire and the columns of smoke mentioned by Joel will be caused by the meteorites hitting the earth and by the massive earthquakes and volcanic activity that will be felt around the world. The roaring of the sea will also be caused by the earthquakes producing tsunamis all around the world.

The statement, “and the sky was moved away like a scroll when it is rolled up,” describes what Jesus said about the powers of the heavens being shaken.
The verb for “moved away” (separated – in the NASB) is apochoridzo, as an aorist passive indicative. It means to SEPARATE from or to part, in the sense of move away from as at Acts 15:39. “they separated (moved away) from one another.”

At Mat. 19:6, "what God has joined together, let no man separate," indicates a separation of one thing from another or a DEPARTURE.
At Acts 15:39, Paul and Barnabas SEPARATED from one another - thus, also indicating a departure.
At Rev. 6:14, the passive voice means that the subject (sky) RECEIVES the action of the verb. Thus, the sky is separated (from something) like a scroll that is rolled up.
Ie, the scroll is "separated" from contact and eyesight (it is hidden) by being rolled up. It thus, RECEIVED a departure. There is no lexical basis for translating this as "split apart," (Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich - Lexicon; Strong’s; Young’s) and it does confuse the meaning, what does "split apart like a scroll" mean? Accordingly, the problem is solved by translating it as "the sky will be separated (or caused to depart) like a scroll when it is rolled up."
Thus:
NIV = receded

NLT = rolled up
KJV = departed
NKJV = receded
RSV = vanished
KJ21 = departed
WE (World English) = taken away
YLT = departed
DARBY = was removed

Here then, it indicates that the sky was moved away or REMOVED just like a scroll when it is rolled up. That is, it disappears so that it is no longer visible to the human eye. This communicates the darkening of the sun and the moon and stars, as well as the meteorites falling to the earth.
The idea is that there will be total darkness - but just for a very short time.

This correlation with the sixth seal also indicates that the first 5 seals correlate with
the events described in Matthew 24:9-28, and therefore occur during the tribulation.

There is an additional SIGN of the second coming that is mentioned only by Jesus.
Matthew 24:30, “and then the sign of the Son will appear in the sky.”
What this sign actually IS has been debated for years. But it is something that will be seen
all around the world as it permeates the total darkness - so that every eye will see it and
the immediate appearance of Jesus coming in the clouds of the sky in power and great glory.
There is really no TIME GAP between the SIGNS and "the sign."
They follow one upon the other, or rather, AS the SIGNS are occurring, amidst the total
darkness, THE SIGN will appear. Likewise, there will be no time gap between "the sign"
and the arrival of Jesus.

Thus it is at this point - DURING and after the signs and specifically AFTER
the sign of the Son of Man - that the unbelievers of the earth will begin to panic
and mourn as Jesus indicated by the next sentence recorded at Matthew 24:30.
“And then all the tribes of the earth will mourn.”
Luke also describes this panic at Luke 21:26,
“men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things
which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

But as soon as these unbelievers begin to panic and mourn,
Jesus will actually arrive in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory,
manifesting Himself to "every eye" all around the world.
The result of this will be even greater mourning and a physical attempt
to hide from His presence - an attempt, which of course, is quite useless.
Revelation 1:7 indicates that it is AFTER Christ's arrival that "all the tribes of the earth will mourn."

This is the same order of events that we find here at the 6th seal.
The difference here is that the actual ARRIVAL of Jesus is not mentioned. It is UNDERSTOOD by the
reaction of the unbelievers. They KNOW that the wrath of God is now to come upon them.
POINT OF ORIENTATION
I must remind my readers that the visions shown to John contain SYMBOLS that portray future events.
The symbols WILL NOT occur when the future reality occurs. The events that the symbols portray
will certainly occur, but the IMAGES used in the symbols to portray those events will not occur.
Jesus is portrayed as a lamb, but he is not a lamb. He will not come as a lamb.
He does not actually exist in heaven now AS a lamb. There is not an actual BEAST
that will come out of the ocean, but is symbolic of a man who will wield great
power and influence.
In this vision of the 6th seal, John is shown symbols. Many of these symbols
describe things that will actually occur AS portrayed 
(the cosmic signs for example). But when Jesus actually returns, the people
of the earth will NOT see the Father on His throne. But in the context of
the vision, they are aware that it is GOD who is about to judge the world.
Thus, when they say, "Hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne,"
this is ONLY within the context of the vision. When it actually occurs, 
they will not see "him who sits on the throne." However, as established by
the other passages involved, they will indeed SEE the arrival of Jesus in 
the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And they will indeed,
attempt to hide from Him in their vain attempt to escape His wrath.

Revelation 6:15-16
“And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong 
and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 
And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him 
who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; 
and who is able to stand?"
 
It is clear that these people NOW KNOW that it is time for judgment to come - judgment that is 
the wrath of God.
But it is too late for them to trust in Christ and to be taken out of the earth before the judgment comes.
That is the point that Jesus makes in the following verses of Matthew's account.
Verse 24:42, "therefore be on the alert."
Verse 24:44, "for this reason you be ready too."
 
So, the ARRIVAL of Jesus should be placed right after Revelation 6:14, for the unbelievers in verses 
15-17 are AWARE of His presence - "Hide us from the PRESENCE (the face)" of God.
 
This is the same arrival mentioned by Jesus at Matthew 24:30.

“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, 
and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”
 
And as Revelation 1:7 indicates, "every eye will see Him . . .  and all the tribes of the earth will mourn."
Revelation 6:15
The group of people mentioned here, “the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders 
and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man,” indicates the UNIVERSAL 
appearance of Jesus so that EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM.

This is not referring to His arrival in the Middle East for the battle of Armageddon, 
for that is a localized appearance.
This is a universal appearance and arrival. Only God can so adjust the laws of physics in order to make
the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky, a UNIVERSALLY observed event.
 
The term, “the great day of their wrath” corresponds with THE DAY OF THE LORD at Joel 2:31 
and thus with Matthew 24:29-30 as well.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE SIGNS

The second coming event - Christ's arrival in the clouds, the rapture of the church, and the start of the Day of the Lord - is ONE EVENT (2Thes 2:1-2) that is preceded by the signs in the heavens and on the earth as recorded at Joel 2:30-31,

And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
and the moon into blood,
before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes.

At Mat. 24:29, Jesus refers to the Joel passage when He says,

But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,

Luke 21:25 records that Jesus also mentioned "roaring of the seas and the waves" which would be the natural effects from the heavenly disturbances, and correspond with Joel's words, "and on the earth."


A DAY AGAINST THE ARROGANT ONES

Isaiah 2:12-22
For the LORD of hosts will have A DAY against everyone who is proud and lofty, And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased.

This is the general exposure of the arrogance of mankind.
The spiritual and moral rebellion that reaches a peak during the 70th week of Daniel.

And {it will be} against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, Against all the oaks of Bashan,

Trees are symbolic of people. Here we see the "personal" arrogance and rebellion of man exposed and neutralized by the arrival of Jesus to judge the world.

Against all the lofty mountains,
Against all the hills that are lifted up,

Mountains are symbolic of nations. Here we see the arrogance and rebellion of the world's nations exposed and neutralized.

Against every high tower,
Against every fortified wall,

This picture speaks of military arrogance. The pseudo strength and reliability of physical might as represented by the world's military powers is exposed and neutralized at the Day of the Lord.

Against all the ships of Tarshish,
And against all the beautiful craft.

This picture symbolizes the economic prosperity of the nations. The pseudo security in material wealth is exposed and neutralized when Jesus returns to judge the world.

And the pride of man will be humbled, And the loftiness of men will be abased, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. But the idols will completely vanish. And {men} will go into caves of the rocks, And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the LORD, And before the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats Their idols of silver and their idols of gold, Which they made for themselves to worship, In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, Before the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble.

Even the "religious" images of idol worship will be rejected initially when Jesus first arrives to judge the world.
But for those who will not trust in Christ at this time, their initial reaction will pass away and men will become much more aggressive in their rebellion against God. Even in the midst of the Day of the Lord judgments, men will still choose to curse God rather than humble themselves and worship Him (Revelation 9:20-21).

        
Stop regarding THE man, whose breath {of life} is in his nostrils;
         For why should he be esteemed?


Notice that I have added the definite article. It is present in the Hebrew and has special significance here. It focuses our attention on the one who will have prominence during this time just before the Day of the Lord return of Jesus. The beast, the man of lawlessness, is the one everyone will be looking to for peace and safety. Thus, the exhortation given in what is very clearly an "end times" context, is to stop looking to this "world ruler" for he is only a man and why should he be esteemed as honorable?

DESTRUCTION FROM THE ALMIGHTY

The arrival of the Day of the Lord is also described by Isaiah at chapter 13:6-13.
Verses 1-8 describe the invasion of the king of the North, which will occur DURING the Day of the Lord judgments.
Verse 6 describes the NATURE of the Day of the Lord events; “destruction from the Almighty.”
The cry to “wail” indicates the hopelessness and helplessness (“Who is able to stand,” Rev. 6:17) of those who have refused to trust in Christ as their Savior.
This is the first place in Isaiah that the term "Day of the Lord" is used. Chapter two does not use that term but “For the Lord of Hosts will have a day,” very clearly refers to the same period of time.

Verses 7-8 describe the fear and panic that will be expressed by the unbelievers who witness the SIGNS of the impending judgments from God.
Verse 9 again states the destructive nature that will characterize the Day of the Lord.
Verse 10 describes the SIGNS that immediately precede the arrival of the Day.
“For the stars and their constellations will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark in its going (NOT, “when it rises”), and the moon will not shed its light.”
(This corresponds with Matthew 24:29, Luke 21:25, and Rev. 6:12-13.)
Verses 11-12 describe the judgment on the world through the Day of the Lord judgments.
Verse 13 repeats the SIGNS that portend the arrival of the Day of the Lord.
“Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble,
And the earth will be shaken from its place (earthquake as at Rev. 6.)
At the fury of the Lord of hosts
In the day of His burning anger.”
(This corresponds with Matthew 24:29 and Luke 21:26; “the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” And with Rev. 6:14, “the sky was moved away like a scroll.”)

REVELATION 6:15

So when the SIGNS of the Day of the Lord occur, it will be evident to the earth dwellers that the coming of Jesus is at hand. And they will know that when He comes, it will be with the WRATH of God.
The “cry” of these people is provided to John in vision format. Their plea to the rocks to fall on them is hyperbole for emphasis within the vision. This is not REALLY what will be said or attempted. John is watching a scene from this prophetic “movie” and is simply shown a dramatic picture of fear and panic expressed by the unbelievers upon seeing the arrival of Jesus and in anticipation of the pouring out of God's wrath.
Within the “movie-vision” the people make a proclamation. It is an accurate proclamation because it is the intent of the vision to portray a precise picture of what is about to come upon the world.
The phrase, “For the great day of their wrath,” refers to the Day of the Lord which has been discussed in the preceding paragraphs.
The verb, “has come,” is an aorist active indicative of erchomai, and indicates that the day of wrath has NOW arrived. It does not refer to what has been happening in the first 4 seals, but is spoken IN VIEW of the signs that have just occurred. It could be translated as “came,” but that would still indicate something that occurs AFTER the signs.
1. The first 4 seals are not God’s wrath. There is not one hint that they are expressions of God’s wrath.
2. The 5th seal is certainly NOT God’s wrath since it shows the saints who have been killed by the wrath of MAN.
3. The NATURAL understanding of the context is that the earth dwellers are fearful of what the SIGNS and the ARRIVAL of Jesus indicate is about to occur rather than what has occurred prior to the signs. This is also consistent with Luke 21:25-26, “men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world.”
4. Revelation 7:1-3 logically indicates that the harming of the earth and the sea is the anticipated wrath of God which will be delayed until the conversion of the 144,000 bond servants.
5. Revelation 8:1-5 likewise logically indicates that the judgments of the trumpets constitute that anticipated wrath of God.

According to Matthew 24:29-30 and Luke 21:25-27, Jesus will not arrive in the clouds of the sky until AFTER the signs occur; after the SIGN of the Son of man occurs, and AFTER the unbelieving earth dwellers begin to fear and mourn. However, His arrival will be immediate once those signs occur.
John’s vision does not show the arrival of Jesus. It shows the RESULTS of that arrival. The result on the earth will be (1) the mourning and panic of the unbelievers, and (2) the conviction and conversion of the 144,000 Jewish bond servants as recorded at Revelation 7:1-8.
The result in heaven as recorded at Revelation 7:9-17, will be the presence of a multitude of saints who were taken out of the great tribulation. This of course shows us the end result of the rapture; the gathering of the saints into the sky and from there into heaven. The rapture will occur after Revelation 6:14 in conjunction with the SIGNS in the sun, moon and stars. But John is not shown the EVENT of the rapture, but the after-effect of the rapture - the saints ALREADY gathered in heaven.

With the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory, the Day of the Lord will officially begin. But the divine wrath and judgment of the Day of the Lord will be delayed until (1) the saints are removed from the earth, which is instantaneous, and (2) the conversion of the 144,000 bond servants, which is not instantaneous, but could be completed very quickly.

THE NATURE OF THE DAY OF THE LORD

Joel 1:15

Alas for the day!
For the day of the LORD is near,
And it will come as destruction
from the Almighty.


Joel 2:2

A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.


Joel 2:11

The day of the LORD is indeed great
and very awesome, And who can endure it?


Amos 5:18

Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose {will} the day of the LORD {be} to you?
It {will be} darkness and not light;


Amos 5:20

{Will} not the day of the LORD
{be} darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?


Ezek. 30:3

"For the day is near,
Even the day of the LORD is near;
It will be a day of clouds,
A time {of doom} for the nations.


Zeph. 1:18

Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD'S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.


Zeph. 1:8

Then it will come about
on the day of the LORD'S sacrifice,


Zeph. 1:18, On the day of the LORD'S wrath;

Zeph. 2:2, the day of the LORD'S anger

The details of this Day of the LORD wrath is provided by the 7 trumpets and bowls recorded in the book of Revelation.

 
Thus we see that while the world is seeking peace and safety through beast worship, all of a sudden, a great darkness will envelop the heavens, meteorites will begin plummeting to the ground; earthquakes and tidal waves will begin shaking the very foundations of the earth; and mankind will be dismayed and shake with fear about the physical calamities that are coming.

For those who have not prepared for the return of Jesus by accepting Him as personal savior, it will be TOO LATE to get "right with God," and be removed before the judgments begin. The arrival of the Day of the Lord will thus be a time of great panic and fear. And yet, even then, although it is too late to be taken up at the rapture, it is not too late to be saved, FOR “whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Joel 2:31).
And there will be many converts after the rapture - both from among the Jews and the Gentiles.

For those who had previously trusted in Jesus (before the occurrence of the signs), the arrival of the Day of the Lord will be a moment of great joy and anticipation. Luke 21:28, “But when these things (the SIGNS) begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Immediately after the SIGN of the Son of Man appears, Jesus will physically and visibly arrive in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory and every eye will see Him. At that moment all the believers from all ages will be resurrected and join together for a meeting with the Lord in the sky (1Thes. 4:17; Matthew 24:31).

Once we recognize that the 6th seal and Matthew 24:29 both refer to the DAY OF THE LORD that is mentioned at Joel 2 and the other places in the Old Testament, it is a simple and logical step to recognize that when the apostles use this term, they are referring to the very same event.

1Thessalonians 5:2, "the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night."
Paul uses the language introduced by Jesus to teach the unknown factor concerning the day and the hour. This refers to the occurrence of the cosmic signs and the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky.
2Thessalonians 2:1-2, "The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him . . . that the Day of the Lord has come."
The context indicates that these three terms are synonymous, or rather, refer to the very same event that occurs when Jesus arrives "in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory."
2Peter 3:10, "for the Day of the Lord will come like a thief."
Like Paul did, Peter uses the language introduced by Jesus to refer to the second coming and the promise to the church.
1Corinthians 1:8, "who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
There is no basis for making this term refer to anything other than the Day of the Lord, that has been taught throughout the Old Testament and referenced by Jesus at Matthew 24:29.
Philippians 1:6, "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
Once again, this refers to the one and only DAY OF THE LORD.
Philippians 1:10; 2:16; 2Cor. 1:14; 1Cor. 5:5. These all refer to the same event - the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory, at which time He will gather the saints for a meeting with Him in the sky.

As indicated earlier, the 6th seal does not actually describe the arrival of Jesus. 
It simply records the fact that His arrival has occurred. 
 
As the signs in verse 12-14 occur, the people of the earth will panic and mourn 
as was seen at Matthew 24 and Luke 21. 
Then they will SEE His arrival and attempt to hide from Him. 
In this case, the vision portrays it as, “hide us from the FACE of Him who sits on the throne 
and from the wrath of the Lamb,” because He has JUST arrived 
and they understand that judgment is now to occur.

 
 

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