Revelation Chapter 6: 8-17
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”
We just got a cat, a little kitten really. She is barely a handful. My wife Marny and my daughters Ocean and Saturn were all involved in the acquisition of this little ball of fur. Many people have animals living in their homes. There used to be a show on Television called “Life After People.” I used to watch this, and it was fascinating. Of course, when they dealt with the subject of the pets having to fend for themselves in the area of food and how the former little cuddly pets became the real animals that they are, it was eye opening.
After I mentioned that the rider on the Pale horse would use the animals of the world to kill people, I was encouraged to Google feral dogs. One study by WHO shows that there are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide. In the US, there are tens of millions of feral dogs. These dogs are responsible for the loss of sheep, cattle, and in some rare cases human life. Many of them live off of scavenging food from garbage and the like, but imagine the carnage that they can cause when paired with the millions of domesticated dogs now hungry and fending for themselves once the rapture happens and the worldwide food shortages begin to happen. The earth will become a very, very dangerous place to live.
Today we will look at two more of the seals as Jesus opens them. The first deals with martyrdom, and the second deals with space and some earthly and cosmic disturbances.
I cannot imagine the chaos on the earth during this time:
- The completely disillusioned people who could not wait for the Christians to go so they could bring in the ‘good times’ without God;
- The socialist elite who knew for a long time the chaos that would come by their hands, but they kept telling the masses— especially the youth, a big lie;
- And the ruling class that are now running a rapidly decaying system and trying to find a way to stabilize the ship.
- The worst aspects of people are coming out; murder, deception and mayhem are the norm, and no one is safe.
In the midst of this chaos, for a brief moment, the scene shifts to heaven and a scene at the altar of God in Heaven.
The Martyrs, Revelation 6: 8-11
When I grew up, the word Martyr was always associated with the death of Christians. The word Martyr means to be a witness, in particular a witness of the truth. There have been many religious people who have been killed over the years. But, a true martyr is one who was a witness for the truth in life and then was killed. There is no true martyrdom without the truth. Jesus, we are told in the scriptures, is the truth.
These martyrs were the faithful witnesses of Jesus down through the ages who had been killed because of the truth of Jesus and their refusal to back down from it. This is neither a prideful nor an arrogant thing, rather a simple stance on the venerable truth of the Scriptures. From all the studying I have done and reading from guys way smarter than me, these martyrs represent all the martyrs from the very beginning; those who have stood for the truth and have given their lives for it. A martyr must live publicly for the Lord and must be easily identifiable. One must live for and live out the truths of the Scriptures.
These folks ask God to avenge their blood. This was their right as His children to do, and they are warned that the time for vengeance is coming but that they have to be patient a bit longer.
You see, the first half of the Tribulation is not really God’s wrath, so to speak. It sure seems that way. But really what we are seeing is what happens to people when the restraining power of the Holy Spirit is removed and people are left to their own evil desires, and the true heart of man shows up.
The Bible tells us that the ‘heart of man’ is deceitfully wicked. Romans 3:10-21 tells us that we are wicked to the core, that even our words are like the poison of asps. But the world truly wants to believe that we are all good at the core, that there are just a few bad eggs, and if we can weed them out we will all be okay. But the Christian comes along, he or she opens the Bible and tells everyone that they are sinners – evil as the day is long, rotten to the core and deserving of Hell. And while some will gladly hear and repent, trusting in Jesus, the vast majority reject our message, reject Jesus and eventually kill us to prove how good they are.
As we rush headlong into the last days, there will be a more defined and determined line in the sand for ‘professing Christians.’ We will truly not be able to be undercover Christians any longer. I am reminded of John 19:38 when Joseph of Arimathea could no longer hide his love for Jesus, and he had to come out of the shadows to bury Jesus. When he did so, another ‘shadow worshipper,’ Nicodemus, surfaced to show his love for Jesus as well.
There comes a time when those who have stood by the sidelines have to get in the game; and there will be those pretenders who will show themselves to be frauds like Judas did. They will betray the truth and betray those that they once called brothers and sisters. They will try to bring in false doctrines and try to undermine the Biblical stands on things like Creation, Salvation, the Lordship of Jesus, the veracity of the Scriptures, Heaven and Hell, marriage, and on and on we can go.
Sooner or later the Holy Spirit will call you to stand up and stand out for Jesus. My fear is that – in North America, fundamentally the last bastion of freedom of speech – when the fall comes, it will be swift and immediate. We will wake up to no freedom of speech in very short order with the Bible, in particular, being made illegal. The proverbial line in the sand will be drawn, and we will not have eons of time to get accustomed to it. We will have to deal with it head-on.
In Canada we have a Prime Minister who is voraciously opposed to the Bible, and bolstered by a move in the USA, will sweep in even greater reforms than down south. We must live for the truth, we must practice the truth of the scriptures, and we must bear the consequences of obedience. No one asks to be a martyr; we simply live like one and let the chips fall where they may.
Falling Stars and Earthquakes, Revelation 6:12-14
We have had earthquakes over the years. In 2011 we saw what a serious earthquake can do. A 9.1 earthquake hit just off the coast of Japan and destroyed that nation for many months. The ensuing tsunami was 133 ft. tall; and in the end, the death toll was over 15,000 persons. To us this was a disaster. But the earthquake that is going to hit in the sixth seal will make this look like a mere hiccup – a practice run, if you will, for the real thing. In Zephaniah 1:14-16 we see this dire warning:
“The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.”
And again, in Joel 2:10-11: “The sun and moon grow dark, and stars diminish their brightness… for the day of the LORD is great and terrible; who can endure it?”
The question ‘who can endure it’ is a rhetorical question; the answer is no one. We endured the earthquake in Japan, the country was rebuilt, commerce came back, and the event is just a blip in history. But this earthquake in the sixth seal is the mother of all earthquakes. One writer suggests that ‘all of the earthquake faults’ actually erupt all at once.
In just a few minutes of research, I was able to find out that the earth is a hotbed of faults. We are aware of the San Andreas Fault that stretches over 800 miles along the west coast of the US and into many of the Asian countries. The state of Alaska is one of the most earthquake-prone states; the Asian continent is rift with fault lines; and in parts of Africa, we have the western and eastern rift valleys. This is a valley that reaches as far as Lebanon, some 3,700 miles in length.
When these begin to erupt, the death toll will be unparalleled, and the destruction of the earth’s crust along with the nations and just about every boundary we know will cause immeasurable destruction. The very earth that the world’s peoples and governments worshipped instead of the Creator will become their greatest enemy.
One of the side effects of this series of earthquakes is that the gases released will partially block out the sun and the moon. When viewed, this looks red.
We have had a series of ‘blood moons’ over the past few years; and just a few nights ago, the moon over our home was a beautiful red as well. I will admit that I got caught up in the whole ‘red moon’ thing and read up on it for a time. I realized that a lot of ‘date setting’ was taking place or implied, and we were strictly forbidden from this practice.
Blocking out the sun will have side effects on the temperature of the earth. This will affect weather patterns, affect evaporation, affect people’s moods, and on and on we can go.
And, if the earthquakes were not enough, the stars begin to fall from the sky. Their falling is similar to the falling of ripe figs. These late figs grow on the tree without the protection of the leaves and are easily blown off the tree. This idea of the stars falling may refer to a meteor shower that strikes the earth. The sky will change and the atmosphere will be altered somehow.
The next one is near and dear to me. I was born in Barbados, a little island in the Caribbean. Here the Bible tells us that every island and every mountain were moved out of their place. Wow! Can you imagine Mount Everest moving or Australia, an island continent, moving from where it is? This is going to be catastrophic, and the end will leave us with a planet that cannot be navigated by air or sea. No one will know where anything is; all maps and GPS systems will be rendered obsolete forthwith.
The People React, Revelation 6:15-17
The people of the world come to face to face with the wrath of God. They understand that this is God’s handiwork, and they hide themselves in caves and in the rocks of the decaying mountains. They ask for the rocks to fall on them. The one thing they do not do is repent. I want to say that again: they hide, they cry out for death, BUT they refuse to repent. They know that God is God and they still refuse to repent. The hardness of men’s hearts is a scary thing to see.
I have just begun to read the book of Exodus for the umpteenth time, and we all know how Pharaoh simply refused to humble himself before the Living God. It took God killing all the firstborn of Egypt to get Pharaoh to release the Jews. And even then he pursued them to the Red Sea and died trying to get them back. The one thing Pharaoh did not do was repent and humble himself before the Holy God of Israel. He would rather die, see his sons die, and see his land ravished than repent.
The kings, the leaders, the rich men, the mighty men, and the free men would rather have died under an avalanche of rocks than repent and humble themselves under the Mighty hand of God. But they have no doubts that this is from God. That question has been asked and answered, and the resounding answer is— God is in control. God, not man, is the captain of this ship. All the schemes of the earth have come to nothing; and from here on out they are at God’s mercy. No one will be able to stand up to God, and they know it.
So many are like this today. We teach the truth of God’s great love; it is on the radio, the television, available on XM, Bibles can be had for free, and the Gospel is offered all over the world for free. Jesus, the Son of God, has given his life as a ransom for us sinners—the Holy dying for the sinner, God dying in the place of man and offering us the promise of salvation. Yet, so many reject Him and refuse to humble themselves. It is not for ignorance; simply these are acts of rebellion and the rejection of God’s free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Today is the day of salvation. Stop rejecting Jesus.