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;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. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.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;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:For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:11-17)
The opening of the sixth seal seems to take us to very the last days of this present passing age. I do not believe Revelation is written with strict chronology in mind, instead it seems that we are shown the events leading up to and including the full Revelation of Jesus Christ to the unbelieving and God rejecting world, from various vantage points.
First of all, at the opening of this seal there is a shattering earthquake. Could this be the same earthquake described in Revelation 16? I think so because in both, the mountains and Islands move out of their places.
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.(Revelation 16:18-20)
Everything solid underfoot is shaken, literally the ground underneath God resisting man is shaken because the time of shaking and upheaval is at hand. No longer can man count on anything, independently of God. Isaiah saw this also, when he described the last day,
The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.(Isaiah 24:19-20)
Why not? Why wouldn’t the earth move and shake underneath the “inhabitants of the earth”? Isaiah gives us the indictment,
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.(Isaiah 24:5-6)
The laws that they have transgressed are the universal laws binding upon all men, not just Jews and Christians. They have “Changed the ordinance” and “broken the everlasting covenant“. The human rebellion against the infinite personal God of the Bible is so profound, even the earth is sensitive to it, and convulses.
The “everlasting covenant” could refer to the primal ordinances that God instituted to undergird the human race, even after the fall. Consider just what God ordained in the first eleven chapters of Genesis,
* Creation as separate from Creator- the Creator/ Creation distinction. (Geneis 1-3)
* Seed bearing after its own kind. (Genesis 2)
*Man and Woman made in the Image of God-(Genesis 1 and 2)
* Marriage between one man and one woman-(Genesis 2)
* The Sexual roles of man and woman-(Genesis 2)
* Be fruitful and multiply- procreation as a blessing, the sanctity of life.(Genesis 2)
* Subdue the earth- dress and keep it, cultivate and make it fruitful.(Genesis 2)
* Man as Lord over the animals. (Genesis 2)
* The necessity of blood sacrifice in religious worship.(Genesis 3 and 4)
* The death penalty for murder-(Genesis 8)
* Permission to eat meat-(Genesis 8)
* The assurance of four seasons-(Genesis 8)
* The separation of the different nation states that they might “Seek God”.(Genesis 10)
These are just a sampling of that which God instituted in the very beginning and formative years of human history. But note how humanistic man in his pride and rebellion, systematically repudiates each one of these!
We live in a topsy-turvy world of inverse values, because of the over all rejection of God. Now modern man has no problem with abortion of human beings in the womb, for man is now seen as his own creator and definer of values.
The beautiful and complimentary Male/Female roles are rejected and twisted into obscene and tortured caricatures of humanity. Marriage, the exalted prophecy of Christ and His Church has been blasphemed, for sodomites hate marriage, thus they clamor for it.
The “Babel effect” has almost completely been reversed by technology and the world is becoming globalised, now nothing they could imagine is out of reach, unless the most high intervene once again as He did in olden times. Even concepts such as seed bearing after it’s own kind, have been tampered with in Genetically modified seed! Four seasons? Not according to the Global warming crowd!
Point by point everyone of these ordinances have been renounced, “Be fruitful and multiply…” …but man says there are too many people to sustain on the earth. “Whoever sheds man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed”…but modern man says that this is too barbaric,(although he has no problem with abortion). A religion of vicarious substitution? No, a new humanistic religion of good works and ecumenism.
It’s no wonder then that God is going to shake the earth. The only wonder is that He has graciously waited so long to do it. Therefore those not saved should take heed to the apostle who gave us the book of Hebrews, who warns us that the One who shook a mountain on Sinai is about to shale the whole earth,
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.(Hebrews 12:26-29)