The Sixth Seal – Part 1
Praise the Lord, Jesus is coming! In this study, we’ll be examining fascinating passages in the bible that are rarely taught on in evangelical churches including Independent Fundamental Baptist churches. The 6th seal of Revelation was chosen as the title for this study because of its unique prominence in bible prophecy. The opening of the 6th seal triggers a string of major events that directly lead to the coming the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. But if you asked a well-versed Christian, or a pastor, or an evangelist, or even a bible college professor to describe the 6th seal, you’ll likely to receive blank stare. I would know because I’ve asked them. For some reason, this vitally important information falls outside of the scope of most ministries. So I’m going to bring familiarity and due attention to an extraordinary day in bible prophecy, which contains the opening of the 6th seal. Let’s read carefully…
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; 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. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 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; 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: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The great and terrible day of the LORD that is mentioned throughout scripture has arrived. Jesus warned the wicked high priest of this very day when he told him, “nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:64
Now, for the believer, this day is a day of redemption (Luke 21:27). For the unbeliever, it is a dreadful day of vengeance and restitution and wrath. In this great day, the 6th seal is opened, there’s an earthquake, there are major cosmic disasters, islands and mountains are moved, and then you’ve got all men including the rich and powerful rulers of the world cowering in fear. Although, I’m eager to examine this astonishing passage in detail (which we’ll do soon), I brought it up to start our study, for this specific point: Because these events are mentioned so often in the bible, they are useful to establish an accurate timeline by comparing scripture with scripture. This is crucial to understanding bible prophecy. So as we progress, we’ll build a timeline together placing biblical events in their proper chronological order, step by step, straight from the word of God.
Notice in verse 12 that the 6th seal triggers the darkening of the sun and the moon. This darkening of the sun and the moon is mentioned in Isaiah 13:10, 24:23; Ezek. 32:7, Joel 2:2, 10, 31; Amos 8:9, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, Luke 21:25, Acts 2:20, and Revelation 6:12. We’ll call this recognizable event of the darkening of the sun and moon, an anchor point and place it on our timeline.
We know that the opening of 6th seal comes after the birth of Christ (obviously) and happens just before the sun and moon are darkened. Even though we may not know the exact dates of the events, we can determine their chronological order using scripture.
As you become familiar with these anchor points, they also help you to determine if you’re dealing with trustworthy information. Let’s say I told you that Ronald Reagan was the president of the U.S. in 1976. I would lose credibility as a teacher because it’s easily proven to be a false statement. All you’d have to do is consult an encyclopedia and you’d see that his inauguration took place in 1981.
Now, if a preacher claims that Matthew 24:30 is a reference to the battle of Armageddon when Jesus comes in the clouds, his credibility on end-time teaching should also be held accountable. All you’d have to do is consult Revelation to see that Armageddon does not take place when the 6th seal is opened. This error places Armageddon before the 7th seal, before the trumpet and vial judgments, and just after the sun and moon are darkened. That is just as false as claiming that Reagan was the president in 1976. This is just one of many serious errors that thousands of preachers unwittingly accept by trusting the popular end-time doctrine of our day: which is the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Why? Because the book of Revelation is neglected by most Christians, pastors included.
So again it is imperative to know that you’re using a timeline that is scripturally accurate. Without this foundational approach to studying end-times prophecy, you may be susceptible to accepting a teaching that goes against the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ found in Matthew chapter 24 when he taught his disciples on this very matter.