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 Revelation Chapter 6 (Part 43) (Verses 12 - 17)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 6 (Part 43) (Verses 12 - 17)   Sun May 28, 2017 11:47 am

Revelation Chapter 6 (Part 43) (Verses 12 – 17)

Verses 12-13 say, “I [John] watched as He [Jesus] opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, [13] and the stars in the sky fell to Earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.” Before we go any further, it is interesting to note that what we have covered so far is exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 24:4-8 and in the same chronological order that Jesus said that it would happen. Matthew 24:4, Jesus gives an answer to the questions, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” In that passage, Jesus was asked 3 questions, but He answered only the last 2. The disciples also asked Him, “When will this [destruction of the Temple] take place?” Jesus answers their first question in a different passage, but Matthew 24 – 25 are Jesus’ answers to their last 2 questions, of which, verses 4 – 8 include what we have gone over so far in Revelation Chapter 6 and it is in the same chronological order. Jesus says starting in verse 4, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” So far in our study of Revelation 6, we saw the Anti-Christ will conquer peacefully. The nations of the Earth will be pointing their nukes at each other and making threats when the Anti-Christ comes on the scene. He will be the “savior” who promises to end all wars and make peace for the entire Earth. The Anti-Christ will gradually set himself up in God’s temple and claim to be deity—as Jesus calls him the Abomination that causes desolation.

Jesus said that nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. We saw in Revelation 6:4 that the rider on the red fiery horse was given power to take peace from the Earth and to make men slay each other and that he was given a large sword. Next on Jesus list—Jesus said that there will be famines. We saw in Revelation 6:5-6 that the rider on the black horse was given power to make the poor poorer and the rich richer; and, then in verse 8, the rider on the pale horse was given power to kill by famine (along with plague, sword, and tainted food). And then the last thing on Jesus’ list is earthquakes, which occurs in Revelation 6:12, the first verse we are looking at today. Another point of interest is that Jesus said of these things that they are the “beginning of birth pains” and, “the end is still to come.” These all occur within the first 3 ½ years of the 7 year Tribulation period. “The end” that Jesus is referring to is the second half of the Tribulation, A.K.A., “The Great Tribulation.” Some bible readers believe that the words of Jesus we just quoted refer to today’s time period: this Day of Grace period. From Jesus’ day (approx. 33 AD) to today (2017), there have always been famine, wars and rumors of wars, terrible earthquakes, and even evil people claiming to be the Christ. But none of these are as substantial as what will occur during the Tribulation period. Even the evil false Christs that showed up throughout history are only precursors to the true Anti-Christ who will become known only during the Tribulation period. Nevertheless, many people who take Jesus’ words (that we just quoted) to refer to contemporary times do not believe in a 7 year Tribulation period. They think Jesus was referring to from the time He first came to Earth to today, and that things somehow get worse over a period of time.

Back to Revelation—the next things we see are dramatic constellation and stellar events from God. The sun will turn black, the moon red, and meteor showers will clash to the Earth. There is a big focus today on Blood Moons. The reader can do a search and study it more; but basically, occasionally, and rarely, the moon does turn to a bloodish (sanguine) color. If you look it up on Google Images, it looks more like a dark orange than blood to me. It is purported that whenever there is a blood red moon, that some cataclysmic event happens regarding Jerusalem. That may be so, and the phenomenon does make for an interesting study. There are scientific explanations on why the moon occasionally turns red, which I’ll defer such a study to the reader. But I don’t think that when the Bible speaks of a blood red moon that it is referring to anything we have witnessed throughout history. There are several mentions of blood red moons in both the New Testament and the Old Testament and all occurrences refer to apocalyptic, eschatological times. I doubt we have ever witnessed a biblical blood moon before. When we do, it will be truly bloodish looking.

Perhaps we should pause here to see what the rest of the bible says regarding blood moons and the context of those passages. In the book of Joel, occurrences with the moon is mentioned 3 times. The 3 passages are Joel 2:10, 2:31, and 3:15-16. Chapter one of Joel opens with Joel applying his current day famine, due to locusts, to the people of Judah’s sins as a punishment from God, and he calls them to repent. The locusts of Joel’s day destroyed all of the crops, including the grapes (the source of wine); therefore, the Lord’s house was without grain offerings, drink offerings, etc. Even the sheep and cattle relied on the crops of the land, so they were dying off as well (cf. 1:17-18). The drought caused by the locusts had caused fires to burn up the pastures (cf. 1:19).

In Joel chapter one, the locusts he referred to were real locusts (sent from God) that caused a real drought in Joel’s day. In Joel chapter two, Joel continues to speak on locusts, but the meaning of the locusts change, and also the time period that Joel is referring to changes. Chapter 2, verses 1-2 read as follows: “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come.” The locusts of chapter one is now past tense by the time chapter two begins. And the beginning of chapter 2, Joel says that the “day of the LORD is coming”—so Joel is referring to a different set of locusts that have not yet arrived. These locusts resemble an army. A swarm of locusts can make the sky turn black and can look like a swarm of clouds. In verse 4, Joel says that these locusts resemble horses and, in verse 5, they make noise like chariots. I am aware that it can be argued that chapter 2 of Joel could be referring to real literal locusts; however, if we only had Joel, I personally would conclude that the locusts of chapter 2 represent foreign invading armies of nations; but since we also have Revelation, then I have to conclude that the locusts of chapter 2 of Joel represent demons. First note that Joel refers to this as a future event, and he calls it “the day of the LORD.” Before we go to Revelation, in Joel 2:10 we come to our first moon reference. It reads: “Before them the Earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.” We see here in Joel 2:10 that the moon will be “darkened”; it does not say here that it will be turned “blood red.” Yet, this corresponds with an event in Revelation 9:2, which reads, “When he [Satan] opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.” Interestingly, catch this next verse (verse 3): “And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the Earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the Earth.” These locusts in Revelation 9:3 are demons, unleashed by Satan, after Satan was given the key to the Abyss. And obviously, armies today also have the capability to cause the sun, moon, stars, and sky to darken with their great bombs and even nuclear weapons.

Let’s turn back to chapter 2 of Joel, starting at verse 28, which speaks of the Day of the LORD. Verse 28 reads, “‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days [29]. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the Earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke [30]. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.’” Okay, so now we have a reference to a blood red moon. We see that this is a future event, for the passage started with “And afterward…” The first part is our past tense, but future to Joel, where God poured out his Spirit on all people and Israel’s sons and daughters prophesied and dreamt dreams, notably during the time of the book of Acts. But the second part: that is, the great and dreadful day of the LORD, is still future for us. During that time, God will show His wonders in the heavens and on Earth and will turn the sun to darkness, and the moon to blood red. Christians today who interpret biblical blood moons to refer to contemporary times and past history, often fail to mention any time when the sun turned to darkness concurrently with the blood moons. That is because what the bible is referring to regarding blood moons has not yet taken place. When it does take place, the sun will also show signs: it will be turned to darkness. And we are told that such an event will take place during God’s great and dreadful day of the LORD. So if the biblical blood moons have already occurred, does that mean that we already experienced God’s great and dreadful day of the LORD, but we just all happened to not notice it? Hogwash. Such a day has not yet occurred.

Joel 2:31 was the only mention in Joel of a blood red moon, but we still have one more moon passage in Joel to look at. Obviously, the moon will turn blood red at the beginning of the Tribulation period, but will not stay that way throughout the entire Tribulation period. Instead, it will go from blood red to darkened. Picking up in Joel 3:14, it speaks of the Armageddon event that will occur during the end of the 7 year Tribulation period. It reads, “Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision! For the Day of the LORD is near in the Valley of Decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.” Again, at the beginning of the Tribulation, the moon will turn blood red and the sun will turn black. We read this in Revelation 6:12-13, where “the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair and the whole moon turned blood red.” But at the end of the Tribulation period, the moon will just go dark along with the sun (which was dark at the beginning and seems to still be dark at the end). So we see that when the moon does turn blood red that we ought to expect the sun also to be turned black at the same time, which does not correspond to many blood red moon biblical interpretations that are out today. The Tribulation Period will be a dark time, both spiritually and literally, atmospherically. Isaiah speaks of the Day of the Lord: that is, during the Armageddon, in Isaiah 13:9-10, which reads, “See, the Day of the LORD is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” Jesus quoted this passage in Isaiah when describing the end times. We learn an added caveat from Amos 8:9, which says, “‘In that day,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the Earth in broad daylight.’”

Revelation 6:13 says, “…and the stars in the sky fell to Earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.” The Greek word for “stars” here is the word “aster,” which means “asteroids.” There will be an asteroid shower that will fall upon the Earth at this time during the early part of the Tribulation. Jesus warns in Luke 21:25, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars [regarding the last days].” NASA today is watching for asteroids. There are many blind spots that NASA is not able to account for. In this day, asteroids are going to hit the Earth and mankind will have no defense. Later in Revelation, we will see that God will send a devastating Asteroid that He Himself named whose purpose is to devastate the Earth during the Tribulation period. That will be worse than what the people are experiencing here in Revelation chapter 6.

Verse 14 of chapter 6 says, “The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Wow, the sky receding like a scroll and rolling up?!?! I’m not sure what that looks like, but I heard from one preacher that a continental drift would cause the sky to appear to recede like a scroll. It also tells us that every mountain and island was removed from its place. This is likely not only caused by the great earthquakes, but also the pounding of the asteroids. Verse 15 says, “Then the kings of the Earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” We were told in verse 14 that the mountains fell, and verse 15 says that everyone hid in caves and the among the rocks of the fallen mountains. God’s atmospheric judgment is unbiased as both rich and poor will try to find refuge from God’s wrath. Sin often causes us to “hide” from God. When mankind committed the first sin, they, that is, Adam and Eve hid from God. When God unleashes His wrath and judgment, where are we able to hide? Verse 15 mentions the rich and the poor. They will all have one thing in common: they all rebelled against God and rejected Him. And note that the rich will have to leave their mansions and fortifications and join the poor in the caves and rocks.

Isaiah speaks of this time in Isaiah chapter 2. Beginning in verse 9, it says, “So man will be brought low and mankind humbled—do not forgive them.” Verse 10: “Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the dread of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty!” Note that the majestic rich will have to hide in the ground and rocks from the Majestic God. Verse 11: “The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” I believe we covered several reasons for the Tribulation earlier in our series. We see one here. The Tribulation will serve to humble the proud who reject God. God will be exalted in His judgment against the wicked. Verse 12: “The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled…)” Verses 13-16: “for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel.” The theme here is God humbling the proud. Man attempts to build taller and taller sky scrapers because of his pride, but they will all come tumbling down one day. I believe that the “high hills” and “towering mountains” not only refer to their literal depictions, but also to man’s ego and power. “Lofty tower” likely also represents man’s technology. The “trading ships” and “stately vessels” refer to man’s commerce and wealth. The rich who got richer at the expense of the poor earlier in Revelation 6, will be reduced to poverty themselves when God strikes down their means to wealth.

Continuing, Isaiah 2:17 says, “The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day…” That is almost a verbatim quote of verse 11. Verse 18: “…and the idols will totally disappear.” Of course money is mankind’s big idol today (along with self and fame). What can money do for anyone when asteroids are pounding the Earth and everyone has to flee to caves? Verse 19: “Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty when He rises to shake the Earth.” “Shaking the Earth” here alludes to the great earthquakes that we studied in Revelation 6. Isaiah 2:20: “In that day men will throw away to rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship.” Caves are where bats and rodents dwell. Verse 21: “They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, when He rises to shake the Earth.” We saw that men will flee to caves from Revelation 6. Note how many times Isaiah mentions that in his second chapter. In Isaiah 2:10, 19, and 21, he mentions this. Jesus also mentions this. In Matthew 24:15-16, Jesus says, “So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Jesus even goes on to say, “Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.” Well, when an asteroid shower and great earthquakes pound the Earth, one shouldn’t go back to his house to get his cloak. The last verse of Isaiah 2 reads, “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” Man is not only prideful, but man also trusts in man over God.

The people in the caves in Revelation have an interesting response. Revelation 6:16 says, “They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’” Wow, instead of praying to God to save them, they pray to the rocks to kill them. These people during these end times will be so callous and hardened against God that they will know who is causing their problem, but will still shake their face at Him instead of turning to Him and repenting. Even more interesting is that they know precisely who is causing their problem. These people do not cry out, shaking a fist against Mohammed. They are not shaking a fist at Buddha, or even the Jehovah Witnesses’ Jehovah. These people precisely acknowledge (through a rejection) that Jesus Christ is the one causing their terror as they call Him “Lamb”. These people are responding like Pharaoh. Pharaoh knew by first hand witness and experience who the true God of the universe is, yet he hardened his heart to God incessantly. I am often impressed by how much of the bible atheists often know. They are able to quote lots of verses even when they are defending their atheistism. They know who Jesus is. They just reject Him.

The narrator, that is John, chimes in in the last verse of chapter 6: “For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” John says that the Day of the LORD, mentioned many times in both the Old and New Testament, has finally come. The Tribulation period is the Day of the LORD and the second half of the Tribulation is the Great Day of the LORD.

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Revelation Chapter 6 (Part 43) (Verses 12 - 17)
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