Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER SIX:
THE LAMB OPENS 6 SEALS

[“From Christ’s Enthronement to the Day of Wrath”]
Key Word: Seals
Theme Verse: 1

Revelation 6:1-2 – Seal One: the King Reigns!

RV6:1 And I saw when309 the Lamb [Isaiah 53:7] opened one of the 7 Seals.310 I heard one of the 4 Living Creatures with a voice like thunder, saying: “Come!”311
309 When: “When?” may be rightly asked. The scene is in the Throne-Room and it is of a Lamb having been slaughtered. The timing seems to follow right upon the sacrifice of the Lamb. Now the Lamb is seen in the Throne-Room so the Lamb must have made his ascension in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13. Here a “crown” is given the rider on the white horse so Psalm 2.6 must be undergoing fulfillment. In Revelation 1:19 John is told to write down two categories of events: a) things that are; b) future things. The Throne-Room scene at this moment may well be those “things that have already taken place” and therefore “are.” The white horse begins its ride upon the crowning and enthronement of the King. These are events Paul said occurred in 33 AD. (Psalm 2:1-7; Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 1:5; 2:9; 5:5)
310 The Lamb opened one of the 7 Seals: Or, broke the seal to read. Revelation 5:4 uses the Greek BIBLION which is the source of the English “Bible.” Here it means “little book” or “booklet” and since it is written on front and back it must be a true codex or book and not a scroll. (Revelation 5:1) This Little Bible contains all the information to follow in the Apocalypse for the seals lead to the trumpets which lead to the plagues. Perhaps the end of this “book” is Revelation 11:19 but it is likely to continue to the end. It is the Apocalypse the Lamb opens, revealing the unfolding of God’s purpose.
311 A voice like thunder, saying: “Come”: “Come!” must be read like a thunderclap and subsequent rolling thunder.
RV6:2 And I saw, and look! a white horse.312 The one riding it had a bow.313 [Psalm 45:4, 5] A crown was given to him.314 He went forth conquering [Psalm 45:4] so he might finish his conquest.315 [Psalm 8:5, 6]
312 A white horse: Compare Revelation 19:11. It is clear this is the enthroned King, Christ.
313 The one riding it had a bow: Compare Zechariah 1:8-10; 6:1-3; Ezekiel 5:17; 14:12-21; Psalm 45:1-7; Hebrews 1:8, 9.
314 A crown was given to him: It breathes of Christ as king. Using the Second Psalm and the quotes of it by Peter (Acts 4:24-27) and Paul (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5) it ought to be clear that Christ was enthroned as king upon his ascension to heaven in 33 AD. A study of Daniel 7:13 and Daniel’s location in the vision (Daniel 7:10, 16) would argue for an ascension during the Roman period as Acts 1:6-11 portrays. Compare John 6:62; 17:13. Paul shows Christ “crowned” at Hebrews 2:9 and Christ must “rule” until all his enemies are subdued or conquered. (1 Corinthians 15:25) Christ does not wait to rule. He ‘rules… waiting.’ (Hebrews 10:12, 13; Psalm 110:1) Christ has full authority upon his ascension. (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 2:10; Revelation 3:21) Therefore, this white horse begins its run with its victorious rider in the year 33 AD. John’s visionary experience parallels that of Daniel. (Daniel 7:9-16) In Daniel the reign of the King begins during the 4th kingdom of Rome.
315 So he might finish his conquest: Christ’s conquest began with John 16:33 and was confirmed by his victorious ascension to the Throne of God. (Revelation 3:21) This conquest presses on to final and complete victory with milestones at Revelation 19:19, 20; 20:2, 10, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

Revelation 6:3-4 – Seal Two: Wars!

RV6:3 And when the Lamb [Isaiah 53:7] opened the Second Seal I heard the Second Living Creature, saying: “Come!” RV6:4 A fiery-red horse [Zechariah 1:8] came forth.316It was granted to the one riding to remove peace from the earth.317 A great sword was given him318 so they will slaughter one another.319
316 A fiery-red horse came forth: Red with mixtures of yellow and orange. The color of burning during war.
317 To remove peace from the earth: This prediction of war parallels Jesus’ own at Matthew 24:6, 7. Christ must rule “among his enemies” (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25) and these can expect centuries and millenniums of war after war. History since 33 AD is replete with the suffering of war. Such a prediction might seem impossible given the current Pax Romana. It has been estimated that in the last two thousand years there have been 200 years of peace during the Pax Romana. In the year 1997 there are an estimated 100 conflicts worldwide. Compare the “war” in Daniel 9:26.
318 A great sword was given him: Christ cannot be blamed for two thousand years of war and slaughter. He does not use his “sword” against innocent victims. He will finally use his triumphant sword on the battlefield of Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14-16; 19:15, 19-21)
319 So they will slaughter one another: 20 million were slaughtered in the Great War and 50 million in WW II. The numbers in all the wars for two millennia must be staggering. This “slaughter” is blamed on Babylon the Great. (Revelation 18:24)

Revelation 6:5-6 – Seal Three: Famine!

RV6:5 And when the Lamb [Isaiah 53:7] opened the Third Seal I heard the Third Living Creature, saying: “Come!” And I saw, and, look! a black horse. [Zechariah 6:2] The one riding it had scales in his hand.320
320 The one riding it had scales in his hand: The “black” of famine’s desiccation. The scales (yoke) are for measuring the scarcity of food and their great expense. This parallels the Nazarene’s own warning. (Matthew 24:7) The earth is to experience food shortages and famine. Recessions and depressions become norms in an atmosphere of war. At the beginning of the 3rd millennium a large portion of the earth suffers under food shortage and famine.
RV6:6 I heard a voice from among the 4 Living Creatures, saying: “A quart of wheat or three measures of barley for a day’s wages! Do not harm the oil and the wine.”321
321 Do not harm the oil and the wine: Staples on even the poorest of tables. It may suggest the need for extreme caution in their use. Or, it may indicate only certain classes will have these. If the price of wheat and barley are those pictured, what must be the cost of oil and wine? During all of this the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” What will happen to food shortages during that coming period when one must have the mark of the Beast in order to “buy or sell”? (Revelation 13:5-7, 9, 10, 17) Will the “goats” refuse to share with their fellows? (Matthew 25:31-46)

Revelation 6:7-8 – Seal Four: Death!

RV6:7 And when the Lamb [Isaiah 53:7] opened the Fourth Seal I heard the voice of the Fourth Living Creature, saying: “Come!” RV6:8 And I saw, and, look! a pale horse.322 The one riding it had the name “Death.” [Hosea 13:1] Hades [Hosea 13:14] followed him.323 There was granted to them authority over one-fourth of the earth324 – to kill with325 a long sword, with famine, with death by the wild beasts of the earth.326 [Ezekiel 14:21]
322 A pale horse: Or, greenish-yellow; the color of jaundice, disease and poor health.
323 “Death.” Hades followed him: These are mentioned finally at Revelation 20:13 when the King destroys the last enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:24-27) This is “death” due to Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) and for which the Devil is responsible. (Hebrews 2:14) These, however, are untimely, not natural, deaths. The Greek HADES means “unseen” and is translated by the KJV as “hell.” “Hell” is a word drawn from hel or the Latin cel meaning cellar. The English stored potatoes in the cellar or hellar and thus the “helin potatoes.” HADES is a temporary place of storage of the dead who await the resurrection and final judgment. (Job 14:13-15 LXX; Psalm 16:9, 10 LXX; Acts 2:31; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:5, 12-14) Those who perish throughout two millennia of war and famine since Christ began his rule in 33 AD go into Hades from which they can expect a resurrection. (John 5:28, 29; Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:5, 13, 14) See the work Where Are the Dead?
324 Authority over one-fourth of the earth: This is the only occurrence of “fourth” with regard to the earth. The whole planet is not affected. While there may be great war, slaughter, famine and plague in one part of the earth, other parts remain untouched.
325 To kill with: This phrase is drawn from their source at Ezekiel 14:21 but in the prophet it is Jerusalem which experiences these. Jesus predicted dire straits for Jerusalem and these came true. (Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 19:43, 44; 21:20-24) Though the King has begun his reign in 33 AD a “fourth” of the earth, including Jerusalem, may well expect a history of bloodshed, famine, and pestilence. The history of Jerusalem is not over and it is unlikely she will escape those future “sore vengeances.”
326 Death by the wild beasts of the earth: People weakened by war, famine and pestilence become subject to the attack of wild animals, also disrupted by these events, seeking food. Dogs and other animals roam wide over battlefields and famine-struck cities.

Revelation 6:9-11 – Seal Five: Martyrs!

RV6:9 And when the Lamb [Isaiah 53:7] opened the Fifth Seal I saw327 underneath the Altar328 souls329 slaughtered330 because of the Word of The God and their testimony.331
327 I saw: A vision of another heavenly scene. Now for the first time the subject of the martyred Saints is taken up. One may assume this covers that period beginning with Stephen (Acts 7:59) to that of those future martyrdoms to occur during the Great Oppression.
328 The Altar: It also occurs at Revelation 8:3; 11:1; 16:7 and seems always to be the incense altar in the heavenly shrine. It is the place of incense and is highly associated with the prayers of the Saints.
329 Souls: Of the 900 occurrences of the Hebrew and Greek words for “soul” 120 deal with soul mortality. Not once is the Platonic idea of the immortal soul found in the Scriptures. In the Bible the “soul” is the living person. (Luke 12:19, 20) “Soul” is highly associated with “blood.” (Leviticus 17:10-14) Since the high priest splattered atonement blood at the base of the incense altar to ceremonially cleanse it, the “souls” here would appear to be the blood of the martyrs. The metaphor is similar to that of Abel’s blood crying out from the ground. (Genesis 4:11; Hebrews 12:24)
330 Slaughtered: Not all Christian Saints but only those who have been “slaughtered” or executed. These are mentioned several times at Revelation 11:7, 8; 12:17; 13:5-7; 17:6; 19:2.
331 Because of the Word of The God and their testimony: These martyrs died for two reasons: a) the Word of God with which they are associated; and, b) their “witness” or the confession their faith. (Romans 10:9, 10) Because they believed, they speak. (2 Corinthians 4:12, 13) Obviously, some of this speech is about the Bible. They have been unafraid to make public declaration or confession of their faith in Jesus Christ despite any threats from men. The number of Christian Saints burned at the stake with a Bible strapped around their necks is uncountable.
RV6:10 They cried out with a great voice,332 saying: “Holy and Absolute Sovereign,333 [Zechariah 1:12 LXX] until when are you not judging334 and not avenging our blood [Deuteronomy 32:43] upon those inhabiting the earth.”335 [Hosea 4:1]
332 They cried out with a great voice: Like Abel’s blood, their blood cries out for vengeance and justice. Genesis 4:10 LXX uses the same Greek word PHONE used here. Compare Hebrews 11:4; 12:24, the source of this word.
333 Absolute Sovereign: The Greek is DESPOTES and means the absolute Lord, Supreme Being or Ruler. Compare notes on Acts 4:24. The designation is probably from Zechariah 1:12 [LXX].
334 Until when are you not judging: "When", a word often asked by the ancients as well as the Saints. (Job 16:18; Psalm 5:10; 90:13; Habakkuk 1:2; Matthew 24:3; Acts 1:6) It is human nature to want to know “When?” and even here the dead Saints’ own blood cries out in such a loud voice to know “When?” Clearly vengeance and justice have not yet occurred. On vengeance compare Revelation 17:6; 19:2. Where does the guilt lie?
335 Avenging our blood upon those inhabiting the earth: The whole phrase may be a conflate based on Deuteronomy 32:43 and Hosea 4:1.
RV6:11 And each one of them was given a white robe.336 They were told to rest337 for a little while338 until the full complement [is filled]339 of their fellow slaves340 and brothers, those about to be killed just as they were.341
336 White robe: The STOLE (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4749) as a robe of state and symbol of their future immortal kingship and priesthood. Compare Revelation 3:5; 7:9; 22:14.
337 Rest: Rest is a metaphor for the state of the dead waiting a resurrection. Compare the ANAPAUOU in Daniel 12:13 with ANAPAUSONTAI here. (Daniel 12:2; John 11:11-14; Revelation 14:13) Note Eusebius, The History of the Church, “In Asia great luminaries sleep who shall rise again on the last day, the day of the Lord’s advent, when he is coming with glory from heaven and shall search out all his Saints.” (31.5)
338 For a little while: The resting dead are not aware of any passage of time. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Psalm 146:3, 4) This is a “micron of time” (CHRONON MICRON) and different from the OLIGON KAIRON of Revelation 12:12 where it may mean over three and a half years. The prophetic context of this moment would seem to be during the Great Oppression.
339 Until the full complement [is filled]: Or, fulfilled. The Greek is PLEROTHOSIN and is related to the nautical term for a ship’s complement of sailors. Here it may refer to the sum of all those to be martyred including those in the future during the Great Oppression.
340 Their fellow slaves: A term used often in the Apocalypse for the Saints. Compare Revelation 1:1; 7:1-3.
341 Those about to be killed just as they were: There are to be more martyrs so that the sum total of the loud cry will only increase within the celestial tabernacle. Jesus foretold this for his own disciples using the same word. (Matthew 24:9) More saintly executions are to come. (Revelation 11:7, 8; 13:5-7, 9, 10) These all become part of the “dead” of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 awaiting the Return of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23) and the “first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4, 6)

THE FIRST SEAL: The King reigns!

#148. Consistent with what we have already reviewed, the First Seal of chapter 6 begins with the vision of a rider on a white horse. This rider is a crowned king with a martial golden bow. He has already conquered in some manner and is to ride on to future conquests or subjugation. Apropos to the context of matters, this Small (Apocalyptic) Bible begins with the enthronement of Christ. We have already seen that Jesus begins his rule upon his ascension to the Throne-Room of God Almighty as described in Daniel 7:13, 14.

#149. We have already read how Peter and Paul applied the Second Psalm to the execution and ascension of Jesus in the year 33. The imagery of a crowned rider on a white horse going forth to subdue and conquer reminds us of another Psalm. Psalm 45:3-7 is quoted in part by Paul at Hebrews 1:8, 9 and applied to Messiah. Psalm 45:3-7 reads, ‘Warrior, strap your sword at your side, in your majesty and splendor advance, ride on in the cause of truth, gentleness, and uprightness. Stretch the bowstring tight, lending terror to your right hand. Your arrows are sharp, nations lie at your mercy, the king’s enemies lose heart. Your throne is from God, for ever and ever, the scepter of your kingship a scepter of justice, you love uprightness and detest evil. This is why God, your God, has anointed you with oil of gladness.’

#150. In Hebrews, after Paul quotes Psalm 45:6, 7 he goes on to quote Psalm 110.1 (Hebrews 1:13) and then Psalm 8:4, 5 with its “Son of Man” (Hebrews 2:6-8) after which he states: ‘But as yet we do not see everything subjected to (Jesus), but briefly he was something less than angels, and now we behold Jesus, by suffering death, crowned with glory and honor.’ Paul uses a combination of Psalms 8:4, 5 and 110:1 to show that Christ must ‘reign waiting for his enemies to be made subject to him.’ (1 Corinthians 15:24; Hebrews 10:12, 13)

#151. Does it seem reasonable and fair that we understand this rider to be Christ himself after his enthronement in heaven in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13, Psalm 2:6, and Psalm 110:1? The white horse and its rider here parallel so strongly that Rider in Revelation 19:11-16 that it is difficult to see how chapter six’s rider of the white horse is none other than Jesus Christ.

#152. One of the most quoted and referenced verses in the Hebrew Bible is Psalm 110:1. Paul applies this to the time Jesus takes up his heavenly kingdom rule upon his ascension to the Throne-Room of God Almighty. In 1 Corinthians 15:25, Paul writes, ‘For it is a necessity that (the Son) reigns as king until God has put all his enemies under (the Son’s) feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is Death.’ Again, this idea is taken from Psalm 110:1, ‘Yahweh said to my Lord (Messiah),342 “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. Go forth conquering and subduing in the midst of your enemies.”’343 Thus, the Messiah begins his rule while his enemies still exist and then a process of subjugation begins until the final enemy Death is brought to nothing. According to RV 20:13 this will not occur until “the end”344 of the 1,000-Years.
342 MESSIAH. Compare the Nazarene’s own reference to Psalm 110:1 at Matthew 22:41-46. (Mark 12:35-37; Luke 10:25-28)
343 PSALMS 110:1. See Hebrews 1:5, 2:9, 5:5, 10:13.
344 THE END. Both Paul and John use the Greek word telos to describe that historical moment when death traceable to Adam is finished. (1 Corinthians 15:24 (to telos) and Revelation 20:5, 7 (telesthe).

#153. Just hours before his victorious death, Jesus had told his Apostles, ‘I have conquered the world.’ (John 16:33) So, upon his ascension to heaven, Jesus was already a conquering victor. Crowned in heaven within the magnificent Throne-Room in fulfillment of Daniel 2:44 and 7:13 as well as Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:1, the glorified Nazarene could begin his ride on the white horse, not only in fulfillment of Psalm 45:3-8, but also as envisioned in RV 6:2. That ultimate victory to which the words ‘to complete his conquest’ refer (RV 6:2) are pictured further in RV 19:11 describing his victory over the kings of the earth at Armageddon. However, what conditions would prevail on earth during this long Messianic rule?345
345 LONG RULE. See Matthew 25:19 and Luke 19:12.

THE SECOND SEAL: War!

#154. Revelation 6:3, 4 describe the next horse as fiery-red and it receives authority to take peace away from the earth with the result men slaughter one another. It is very interesting that Messiah’s rule does not immediately bring the peace some would suppose. Rather, the earth can expect virtually continuous war throughout the centuries until the King comes for Armageddon. It is of great interest that the last period of general peace was called the Pax Romana --- two hundred years of life without war under Roman rule. Historians agree that in the last 2,500 years there have only been these 200 years of the Pax Romana.346 This so-called “peace” was to end with disastrous consequences to the earth.
346 PAX ROMANA. Interestingly, when a form of the old Roman empire is revived as the Sea-Beast of Re ch 13 there will apparently be a period of peace because none are able to challenge the Beasts military power.

#155. Some Bible students and religious interpreters have applied this fulfillment of the second horsemen of the Apocalypse to only that period since 1914; others would apply it to yet some future moment. However, there had already been continuous war in Europe and Asia for decades before 1914. How could it be said of the year 1914, ‘and it was granted the horseman to take peace away from the earth,’ when no peace has existed since the First Century?

THE THIRD SEAL: Famine!

#156. Revelation 6:5, 6 describes the third horseman of the Apocalypse as riding a black horse and declaring enormous inflationary prices for food grains. The last 2,000 years have been filled with great food shortages and famines. Hardly is there a period in history when these famines have not accompanied wars and revolutions which criss-cross the world. Even the Americas, Oceana, and Asia have been plagued by ongoing food shortages, much of it caused by war or plague. Since Christ began his reign in 33 AD the Lamb’s Small (Apocalyptic) Bible with its seven seals predict war and famine for mankind in general.

THE FOURTH SEAL: Death and Hades!

#157. Revelation 6:5-8 describes in these famous words, ‘Behold, a pale horse.’ This horseman is named Death and either Hades rides with him, or as another horseman, follows close behind. The masses of humanity since the enthronement of Christ in 33 AD have gathered to Hades or gravedom in ever increasing numbers. Though many have died what may be called ‘natural deaths,’ millions upon millions have ended their lives prematurely by four kinds of death: the long sword of war and oppression, famine, plague, and wild carrion.347 Despite the way these millions have died, the Apocalypse assures us they have entered Hades.348 According to Revelation 20.13 these great masses of humanity will come out in the resurrection on Judgment Day349 on “the last day.” (Daniel 12:13; John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 7:37; 11:24; 12:48) Then Hades will be destroyed along with Death. (1 Corinthians 15:25; Revelation 20:14)
347 SWORD, FAMINE, DEATH, BEASTS. These words are drawn from their source at Ezekiel 14:21, ‘And if I even send upon Jerusalem my four sore vengeances, sword and famine and evil beasts and pestilence, to destroy from out of it man and beast.’
348 HADES. This is the Greek word used to identify gravedom or mankind’s common burial place. Hades means un + seen or the place of the dead out of sight, buried in the ground. It is equivalent to the Hebrew Sheol. (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27) It is that place to which the Lord spent three days. (Acts 2:31) Hades occurs about 40 times in the Christian Bible and 73 times in the Jewish Septuagint (LXX). Hades occurs four times in the Apocalypse. In Revelation 20:13 it seems clear that one is judged after getting out of Hades and not before. Hades is finally destroyed as an abstraction in the “lake of fire.” Job viewed Hades (or, Sheol) as a place of temporary rest, held in God’s memory, until that time of a new genesis. (Job 14:10-14, O, that you would hide me in Hades and set a time when you would remember me. ... I will wait until I exist again.’ (LXX palin genomai; compare the Nazarene at Matthew 19:28, palingenesia) Death and Hades are mentioned finally at Revelation 20:13 when the King destroys the last enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:24-27) This is the ‘death’ due to Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:22) The Greek hades meaning unseen is translated by KJV as “hell.” Hell is a word drawn from hel or the Latin cel meaning “cellar.” The English stored their potatoes in the cellar or hellar and thus “helin potatoes.” Hades is a temporary place of storage of the dead who await the resurrection in an unconscious state of sleep. (Ecclesiastes 9:4, 5, 10; John 5:28, 29)
349 JUDGMENT DAY. This subject is one any Bible student with an exhaustive or comprehensive concordance can research using the word group “judge(ment)” and determine what the Bible generally teaches as one of the “primary doctrines of Christ.” (Hebrews 6:1, 2) The word “judgment” occurs about 40 times in the Christian Bible and the phrase “judgment day” occurs only in Matthew 4 times.

THE FIFTH SEAL: Christian martyrs!

#158. Not only have the masses of mankind suffered but history bulges with the accounts of the untold numbers of Christian martyrs which exceed all those deaths in the Holocaust. These Christian martyrs, many of them Jewish, sealed their confessions of Christ with death by imprisonment, torture, or execution. Fox’s Book of Martyrs recounts many of these. This ongoing persecution of Nazarene Saints has continued unabated down to our own time. Even in these enlightened years in the beginning of 21st century, Christians are still martyred for their faith in one place after another around the globe. The greatest Christian Holocaust lies ahead in the future Great Oppression.

#159. With this Fifth Seal the Lamb’s Small (Apocalyptic) Bible covers those many centuries since the enthronement of Christ down to our own day. From here on in the Small (Apocalyptic) Bible or the Apocalypse, the main subject under consideration in the various visions will be those Christians alive in those critical years before the Return of Christ. There is yet a Great Oppression which will be the single greatest example of a Christian Holocaust without parallel since the days of Nero!

#160. The Fifth Seal (RV 6:9-11) has the blood of the martyrs crying out for vengeance much as Abel’s blood called out to God. (Genesis 4:10; Hebrews 12:24) Some feel the martyrs are here resurrected to their place in heaven. However, the word “rest” generally means an unconscious sleep in death waiting the resurrection. (Daniel 12:13; John 11:11-14; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 18, 20, 51) In RV 6:11 these martyrs are told to “rest” until the final tally of all others who would seal their faith with death, ‘Rest a little time until the number is fulfilled of your fellow slaves and brothers about to be killed as you.’ There is to be many more martyrs and judging from RV 13:5-10 many of these Saints will perish in the Great Oppression.

Revelation 6:12-17 – Seal Six: the Day of Wrath!

RV6:12 And I saw when the Lamb [Isaiah 53:7] opened the Sixth Seal a great earthquake occurred.350 [Isaiah 2:19] The sun became black like sackcloth hair.351 The full moon became like blood.
350 A great earthquake occurred: Compare Isaiah 2:10, 19.
351 The sun became black like sackcloth hair: Comparing this and the following with Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 these events follow immediately after the Great Oppression. On the subject of “the Day” compare Romans 2:5, 16; 1 Corinthians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6-10; 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:2; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7, 10, 12; 1 John 4:17; Jude 6. On the subject of celestial darkness compare Isaiah 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:31; 3:15; Amos 8:9; Micah 3:6; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25; Acts 2:20; Revelation 8:12; 9:2. The prophetic moment is following the Great Oppression with the killing of end-time martyrs and just before the Return of Christ.
RV6:13 The stars352 of the heaven fell into the earth like unripe figs falling from a fig tree353 by the great shaking of a wind. [Isaiah 13:13]
352 Stars: The word “asteroid” is also drawn from this word.
353 Like unripe figs falling from a fig tree: Compare Isaiah 34:4 and 2 Peter 3:10. Wind and earthquakes are associated. Note Revelation 16:17, 18
RV6:14 The sky was separated354 like a scroll being rolled up. [Isaiah 34:4] Every mountain and island was shifted from its location.
354 The sky was separated: Or, departed, withdrawn, disappeared, passed away. Compare Isaiah 34:4 LXX. The similarities of the above phrases with the context of Matthew 24:29 place this “after” the Great Oppression of three and a half years leading up to the Return of Christ.
RV6:15 Then the kings of the earth, the greatest men,355 the military commanders, the rich, the strong, and every slave or freeman, they hid themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.356 [Isaiah 2:10-13, 19]
355 The greatest men: Compare Revelation 18:23; 19:18 for similar descriptions. The reaction of humanity with all of its social strata is also expressed in Matthew 24:30 where all earth’s tribes groan in lamentation at the sight of the celestial phenomena.
356 The rocks of the mountains: The many phrases here are compound paraphrases and interpretations of Isaiah 10:13, 19; 13:10; 34:4.
RV6:16 To the mountain rocks they cried: “Cover us and hide us357 [Hosea 10:8] from the face of the One enthroned [Isaiah 6:1] and from the wrath of the Lamb. [Isaiah 53:7]
357 Hide us: This phrase is similar to Isaiah 2:10, 19; Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30.
RV6:17 Because the great Day of their wrath has come.358 [Zephaniah 1:14] Who is able to stand?”359 [Malachi 3:1]
358 The great Day of their wrath has come: Compare Joel 2:11; 3:4. (Revelation 16:14) Note the “great day” has come but it does not necessarily begin immediately as there is a call for hesitation and restraint in the next verses. This Great Day must be held back until the sealing of the 144,000.
359 Who is able to stand: Or, escape, survive. The phrases may be a conflate of Zechariah 1:14 and Malachi 3:2.

#161. This opening of the Lamb’s Small (Apocalyptic) Bible’s Sixth Seal covers much more information, running from chapter 6, verse 12 to chapter 8, verse 1, and then beyond under the heading of the Seven Trumpets. The first five seals have covered that period from Christ’s enthronement until that future moment when “the Great Day of Wrath” is about to burst forth upon humanity. The Sixth Seal is contemporary with that moment in the Gospel accounts of the Nazarene’s answer to his disciples’ question when he describes the celestial darkness, sign of the Son of Man’s coming, the global lamentation of fearful mankind, and the gathering of the Saints from the four winds.

#162. In language exactly like that of the Nazarene in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, this “seal” begins with that celestial darkness foretold by Christ. (RV 6:12; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25) This helps us place what follows in the context of Jesus’ earlier prophecies recorded in the Gospels. There is a similar method used here which has caused some confusion in understanding those events regarding the Great Oppression in Matthew 24:21, 22, 29. The Lamb’s Small (Apocalyptic) Bible, which he has been progressively opening one seal at a time, covers the centuries from the first to beyond our own time --- to the 21st century and beyond. Though the Great Oppression is not mentioned directly, certainly it can be alluded in the Fifth Seal when it says, ‘Rest until the role was completed of their fellow servants and brothers who were still to be killed as the martyrs had been.’ (RV 6:11) Thus pointing forward to those terrible days during the Great Oppression of three and a half years foretold by Daniel 7:21, 22 and 12:1 as well as the Nazarene. (Matthew 24:21, 22)

#163. So, by way of a summary: the opening of the first five seals of the Lamb’s Small (Apocalyptic) Bible take us from Jesus’ enthronement in 33 AD to that moment just before Matthew 24:29. The Sixth Seal begins, then, after the Great Oppression. As we will see the Apocalypse will come back to this moment prior to the celestial darkness with a more thorough coverage of the Great Oppression upon the Saints or “chosen ones” who come out of, survive or escape, those 1,260 days. (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21, 22; RV 7:14)

#164. Here, in the first part of the Sixth Seal, we have the reaction to this celestial darkness by what Jesus had called ‘all the tribes of the earth.’ (Matthew 24:30) The things stated earlier regarding all of this can be reviewed. All cross sections of peoples on this planet, including all social strata, are just as Luke 21:25, 26 describe them: they are frightened to death and make every effort to hide themselves, as it were, in the very caves of the mountains. Judging from RV 6:17 they are aware of “the One” on the Throne, and the Lamb. They acknowledge that ‘the great day of their wrath has come.’ (RV 6:17)

#165. Still part of the Sixth Seal, John now sees matters as they pertain to this precise moment: just before the Day of Wrath gets started and global winds blow with destructive force. A special angelic work must occur first in harmony with the Nazarene’s parable of the Wheat and Tares: ‘The harvest is a Synteleia of the Age and the angels are reapers. The Son of Man will send off his angels. ... Then the Righteous will burst forth in brilliant illumination as bright as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.’ (Matthew 13:39-43; 24:30)

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved