Summary of passage: When Jesus opened the sixth seal, an earthquake happened, the sun turned black, the moon red, the stars fell out of the sky, the sky receded, and every mountain and island moved. Everyone hid and asked the rocks to hide them from God and Jesus.
12a) Exodus 19:18: “Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently.” Both have earthquakes.
Isaiah 34:4: “All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall.” Both times the stars fall out of the sky and the sky recedes like a scroll, rolling up.
Jeremiah 4:23-26: The earth was empty and the light was gone from the heavens. The mountains trembled and the hills swayed. Everything was gone. Both have earthquakes and no light in the heavens without stars. Every landform was either moved around or trembled.
Joel 2:30-31: Blood, fire, and billows of smoke will appear in the heavens. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood. Both have the sun blackened and the moon red.
Zechariah 14:3-5: The Mount of Olives will be split in two. Both have mountains moving.
b) Personal Question. My answer: There will be clear physical signs when God/judgment comes.
13a) Caves and among the rocks of the mountains. God’s refuge.
b) Part personal question. My answer: God is our refuge and strength and He is with us in our troubles. We are not to fear for God controls all. God.
14) Personal question. My answer: Again, God is in control. It is for our good. Jesus has arrived to fulfill God’s promises to His people and judge nations.
Conclusions: Started out strong and then petered out. Good point about people taking refuge in the wrong place. How true is that for you?
End Notes: God’s wrath has come loud and clear here. Some scholars say this passage is describing judgment on Jerusalem as seen in Isaiah 2:19-21 and Hosea 10:7-8. Jesus spoke of this in Luke 23:26-31 and Matthew 24:29. The first century Christians would have been familiar with these descriptions. What Jesus once said on earth he now says from heaven. However, all the earth is to observe and learn from Jerusalem’s judgment. It makes sense to say judgment starts with Jerusalem and then spreads to the rest of the world from there; hence, all are judged and need to take heed.
Some scholars say the earthquake itself causes the sun to turn black (dust and dirt) and sun to turn red (volcanic eruptions). Earthquakes are results of divine visitation (Exodus 19:18; Isaiah 2:19). Stars falling is like meteors hitting the earth.
One thing is clear: celestial disturbances in the bible signal the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zephaniah and Jesus Himself all describe similar natural phenomena occurring.
These images were rampant in apocalyptic writings of the time. The members of the seven churches of Asia hearing these words would have grasped the meaning immediately.
Sinners dread most God’s face not death.
These 6 seals is a description of the judgment that will occur before the Great Tribulation and the coming of Jesus Christ. The first seal is the Antichrist and the seventh seal will be God (Revelation 8).
Fun Fact: This is the only time “the wrath of the Lamb” is used in Revelation, referring to the calamities that will come. The first century Christians still see God as the harbinger of wrath. They have yet to fully grasp the meaning of Jesus. Most have probably not heard the New Testament writings.
The wrath of God, or God’s holy response to unrepented sin is a huge theme in the Bible and Revelation has much to say about it. (6:17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15) The people have experienced God’s wrath in the past. His wrath is present (Romans 1:18) and future as well. The Old Testament prophesises it as well (Zephaniah 1:14-18)
Are the seal judgment conditions right before the Great Tribulation or general conditions occurring over a span of time? Opinions differ and either could be true. We see these events happening now with war and famine. However, these will intensify closer to the time of the Tribulation.
Conclusions to Lesson 12: “For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” This is actually a quote from Malachi 3:2. Answer: Well, in Revelation 6 it seems no one can stand amidst God’s wrath, judgment we all deserve. But the true answer: Believers justified through the blood of the Lamb. Jesus bore our wrath with God and paid the price for us. Unbelievers will face His judgment alone. We will see the white robes more fully explained in Chapter 7 of Revelation and see those who will be standing (those with God) when God’s wrath strikes in Revelation 7.
This concludes the judgments known as the seal judgments which occur when Jesus opens the seals. Two more waves of judgment are coming, each worse than the previous. Great connections made here with other parts of the Bible. Overall, I think we all left this week with a greater understanding of the judgments to come.