Revelation 6:12-17 / Nowhere to Run

Posted on May 31, 2015

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This is the ninteenth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of May 31, 2015. This message details the sixth seal, as the severity of God’s judgments increase. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

SERMON AUDIO:

Rev. 6:12-17

SERMON NOTES:

v.12:

The effects of the first five seals were the result of the actions of people, specifically the antichrist. With those, God allowed men to bring about their own ruin. The first five seals are precursors to the full fury of the Day of the Lord, which begins with the sixth seal.

This is where we begin to see more direct intervention by God, as He directs the forces of nature against the wicked world. These are natural disasters, that pale only in comparison to the great flood. The sixth and seventh seals bring severe judgments, the culmination of which will be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

  • Luke 21:25-28

First up is a great earthquake. There will have been many earthquakes prior to this (Matthew 24:7), but none on a global scale.
It will be a cataclysmic, global earthquake. We can be sure of this, because of the global nature of all of the judgments we will see in Revelation. There will not be even one localized act of judgment during the tribulation. What happens will affect the entire earth. Just as God’s flood judgment was global, so will be the seven seals.

One can only imagine the clamity as all the earth’s faults begin to fracture simultaneously, resulting in a cataclysmic, global earthquake.  Accompanying the earthquake will be global volcanic eruptions; and large amounts of ash and debris will be blown into the earth’s atmosphere, blackening the sun and giving the moon a blood-red hue.

In reference to the blood moon, it is mentioned two other times in Scripture.

  • Joel 2:31-3:2
  • Acts 2:20

Both of these scriptures refer to this sixth seal event. Unlike the blood moon prophecies being put forth today by John Hagee and Mark Blitz, Scripture speaks of only one blood moon event.

The only blood moon event which Scripture is concerned with, is this one which will happen during the tribulation. As far as Scripture is concerned this is a one time event, on recurring prophetic events throughout history (as Hagee and Blitz would have you believe). 

Scripture tells us nothing of tetrads (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses). According to Scripture, there is only one blood moon which is significant enough to be mentioned. This flies in the face of the teachings of Hagee and Blitz.

This is also the same event which is spoken of by Isaiah.

  • Isaiah 13:9-10 

This massive tribulation event will give way to even more disaster.
v.13:
The word “stars“, here, can actually refer to any celestial body. It is not limited to our normal english usage. It is quite likely a great and devastating meteor shower.

Could this be the event which triggers the massive earthquake, or is it a subsequent event? Either way we can be sure that celestial objects falling to the earth like figs, will be incredibly devastating.

Winter figs that grow without the protection of leaves and are easily blown from the tree. The earth and its inhabitants, without God’s protection, will find itself in a pitiful, and helpless state.

v.14:
This is seen in Isaiah 34:4. 

Something drastic will happen to the earth’s atmosphere. Perhaps, due to volcanic ash and debris from massive earthquakes, the sky will no longer be visible. This would certainly cause many problems itself. Not the least of which would be a true global climate change. Perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree with global warming.

This also gives us a clue as to just how massive and devastating the earthquake will be. The earthquake is such that the mountains will be shifted and moved. The entire crust of the earth will shift. It wouldn’t be surprising if entire continents were realigned.

We have no way to comprehend such a thing, because such a continental shift hasn’t occurred since Noah’s flood.
vv.15-16:
The practical effect of this judgment is fear in unbelievers from all walks of life. Since all kinds of people are included, we cannot say that God’s wrath is directed only at the powerful, at the rich, or at false Christians. His judgment will fall on all who refuse to repent. All who have rejected Christ. For those who reject the Son, their end is already certain.

  • John 3:18

They call on the mountains and the rocks to fall on them and to hide them from God’s wrath. Their fear is so great they would rather be killed by a falling mountain than to face the wrath of the Lamb. The problem with that, is that death is not an escape from God’s wrath. They will still face judgment.

  • Hebrews 9:27
  • Revelation 20:11-15

With all this, they reject the Rock of Ages, and pray to the rocks! What a twisted, upside-down world we live in!
People don’t want to acknowledge God’s judgment, especially on a global scale. That’s because global judgments include everyone! No one can escape it. No one likes to pronounce judgment on themselves, so many simply refuse to acknowledge it. 

In like manner, people today wilfuly refuse to acknowledge a global flood, just as God said they would.

  • 1 Peter 3:5-7

In the same way, people in the tribulation will refuse to acknowledge God’s judgment, even as its destroying them!
v.17:
The contents of chapter 6 should put to rest the false teachings that God, being a God of love, could not judge a wicked world. It also raises the important question “Who is able to stand?”

  • Nahum 1:6
  • Malachi 3:2

No excuse will matter. No amount of strength, money, power, prestige or good works will bolster you before the Lord. The wrath of God is more than anyone can bear.

No one who has rejected God can stand in the day of his wrath, but those who belong to Christ will receive a reward rather than punishment. 
Do you belong to Christ? If so, you need not fear these final days. There has never been a better time to make that commitment than today. For believers, we need to make sure that the non-believers have that opportunity. 

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