Revealing Revelation – The Sixth Seal

21Feb11

As we now continue to sixth seal we find language that the readers of this blog should have grown accustomed to hearing. they may be odd and terrifying to the uninitiated, but for those who have read the Old Testament and understand it’s usage should have no problems dealing with this normally difficult passage.

Much of the following information was presented during our discussion on the Olivet Discourse. In fact I will include both the Revelation passage and passages from the Olivet Discourse to show the similarities.

Rev. 6:12-17 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, [13] and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. [14] The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Here are Jesus’ words concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD one generation before it happened.

Matt 24: 29 “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 heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Mark 13:24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

The parallel language is unmistakable. Since it was shown beyond a doubt that the description of the events in the Olivet Discourse were related to the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century AD, within the time constraint of “this generation” that Jesus put forth in the discourse.

So, knowing this parallel how best do we deal with this apocalyptic language.

First off please note how sun, moon and stars are presented throughout the Scriptures as representing kings, nations and leaders. It’s not far from contemporary flags of nations and how celestial being are used to represent them as well. But note the passage below and how the celestial beings represent nations, kings and leaders.

Genesis 22:17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven…

Here Abraham is is shown that the nation he would birth would be like the stars.

Genesis 37:9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

Joseph’s dreams of the sun, moon and stars represented his father, mother and siblings.

Judges 5:19-20 “The kings came, they fought; then fought the kings of Canaan, at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo; they got no spoils of silver. [20] From heaven the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera.

Kings readied for battle are described as the stars fighting in the skies.

Rev. 12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

And in Revelation true Israel is shown as a woman with the sun, moon and stars surrounding her. This common metaphor hold throughout Scripture as the heavenly bodies represent things on earth. Even leading Dispensational futurist understand the usage from the Old Testament. Note the following descriptions by the NIV Study Bible and leader Dispensational scholars.”In ancient cultures these astronomical symbols represented rulers”

  • “the dream involved celestial images – the sun, moon and stars being easily recognized for their significance for rulership”
  • “The same symbols appeared in the visions of the Apostle John [Rev 12:1] again probably representing Israel and the twelve tribes”
  • The sun and moon obviously represent Joseph’s father and mother – Ryrie
  • Rev 12:1 The woman represents Israel as the sun, moon and stars indicate – Ryrie

Secondly it’s important to note that celestial beings and their darkness and brightness are used within Scriptures to describe and present both blessing and cursing. When the lights are bright a nation in being blessed, as they go dark the nation is under a curse. Let’s first note the usage of blessing.

Isaiah 30:26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Isaiah 60:20 Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

But the context we are dealing with and the majority of the uses of the heavenly bodies is the negative, cursing side of things. Most importantly I want the reader to see the common usage of the sun, moon and stars as it related to the destruction of a nation. Note three nations listed below and how God described their coming destruction.

BABYLONISA 13:10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

EDOMISA 34: 4 All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall…9And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch. 10Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever.

EGYPTEZE 32: 7 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. 8All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.

Did the above things actually, literally happen? Of course not, but the language depicts the nation’s demise. This common language needs to be understood in this way. In fact, note below how leading Dispensational futurist interpret the passage regarding Babylon.

  • “The statements about heavenly bodies no longer functioning…describe the total turnaround of the political structure in the Near East (Babylon) – John Martin (Dispensationalist)
  • “A judgment here on ancient Babylon” – Ryrie
  • “Representing the Day of the Lord against ancient Babylon” NIV Study Bible
  • “The prophecy concerning Babylon announces the doom of the nation and city at the hand of the Medes” – Scofield Reference Bible

Yet these same commentators try and argue that the events described in Revelation are literal!

To further express the point I will include similar language passages and note in parenthesis those nation in which Futurist argue those passages relate to. The notation of nations come from the Scofield, Ryrie and NIV Study Bibles.

Amos 8:9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord God,” I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. (Assyria)

Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you? … [23] I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. (Babylon)

Jeremiah 4:28 “For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be dark (Babylon)

Isaiah 5:30 They will growl over it on that day, like the growling of the sea. And if one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress; and the light is darkened by its clouds. (Assyria)

Jeremiah 13:16 Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. (Babylon)

Joel 2:10 The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. (Babylon or Assyria or future)

So noting how Dispensationalist interpret the Old testament passage one would hope they would remain consistent, but unfortunately they do not. One argument raised against preterism by futurist is that they claim these events never took place – obviously. All the while the same futurist will argue that when these phrases are used in the Old Testament they should be taken figuratively!

I the follow post we will discuss the second half of this verse that describes the response of those impacted by the coming tribulation.

Advertisements


7 Responses to “Revealing Revelation – The Sixth Seal”

  1. 1 Yeshua the Lord of Glory

    David that was outstanding!

    The way that you tied the whole written word of God together,the Hebrew and the Greek {the Old testament and the New}…

    Now David i have a question for you…

    Does full Preterism,both add and take away from the prophecy of the book of revelation? I Mean what is spoken in 22:18. If your answer is yes…Then is this what you were trying to warn me of couple of weeks ago? That perhaps my thinking of what the fifth seal might be,was indeed getting close to crossing the line of adding or taking away from the prophecy of this book?

    • 2 low5point

      I believe they may, though I think the warning relates most specifically to the purpose of the book, which would be the revealing of jeus Christ as Lord. I don’t think your previous comment would be guilty of that in any way, though.

  2. 3 Yeshua the Lord of Glory

    Thanks David…

    Keep up the great work…I have read G.D.book (Is Jesus coming soon?) I must say and i mean this…He cannot hold a candle to what you and what you have here!

    Btw: dont forget about my autographed copy…Lest i will have to buy eight instead of seven… 😉

  3. 4 Yeshua the Lord of Glory

    Thanks David…

    Keep up the great work…I have read G.D.book (Is Jesus coming soon?) I must say and i mean this…He cannot hold a candle to you or what you have written here!

    Btw: dont forget about my autographed copy…Lest i will have to buy eight instead of seven… 😉

    Man Alive! (a correction)

    five little sentences,you’d think that i could write them without messing up the words,huh?

    • 5 low5point

      I don’t know if you noticed by Pastor Ron removed the links on yours and my comment…

  4. 6 Yeshua is the Lord of Glory

    Yes David i did notice that…I think that i should have probably left him alone after the first comment…I have a feeling that he no doubt read your page nevertheless…

  5. 7 Yeshua is the Lord of Glory

    Btw: His last comment has to do with the other pages of yours that i sent him in my second comment…

    https://low5point.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/the-olivet-discourse-coming-on-the-clouds/

    https://low5point.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/the-olivet-discourse-sign-of-the-son-of-man/

    He deleted those links as well,but said that they were well received,or something to that effect…take a look at mine and his comments…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: