This Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible study focuses on the sixth seal of Revelation 6.
Here’s a short summary of the fulfillment of the 6th seal of Revelation 6, then a video will give more details, followed by a verse by verse explanation.
Earthquakes in the prophecy represent great political upheavals. Eastern Emperor Constantine defeated Diocletian’s army in 312 A.D., which ended the persecutions. Diocletian (the Sun) was so panic stricken, he died insane. Constantine defeated emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 A.D. The Roman leaders (stars) fell and their power receded as a scroll. The mountains and islands that were moved out of place, were the countries and people that were affected by this political change.
Revelation 6:12-13, “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.
Earthquakes in the prophetic scriptures represent great political upheavals.
Constantine became a great Emperor and Rome had the opportunity to repent. However, this she failed to do and the Roman Empire split into two opposing halves, the Western half and Eastern half.
The sun, moon and stars are symbolic of earthly dignitaries, great political authorities and great lights in the political or religious heavens.
We know this because in Genesis 37:8-10, Joseph had a dream, ..”And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me. So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” It was symbolic of the power structure.
Isaiah used this same terminology when he referred to the judgment of God against the leadership of Babylon in Isaiah 13:10 “For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.“ And indeed, the power of Babylon was destroyed by the Medo-Persian empire.
Not convinced? Read these examples which are clearly not about the literal Sun, moon and stars.
Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isaiah 34:3-5 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
Ezekiel 32:6-8 I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
These are not descriptions of final judgment. They are oracles against Babylon (Is. 13) and against Edom (Is. 34) and Egypt (Ezek. 32) and the northern kingdom of Israel (Amos). Point at issue: We are not dealing with literal events here, but apocalyptic imagery
So in the 6th seal of Revelation, it represents the downfall of Roman leadership, as they used to rule a large empire, but now their power was diminishing.
“Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” Revelation 6:14
The Roman Empire was vast with many leaders overseeing provinces, so the “sky receding as a scroll” represents the Roman Empire losing its power over the nations.
The mountains and islands that were moved out of their places, were all of the nations that were affected by the fall of the Roman Empire
Revelation 6:15-17, “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?”
The Romans had been the kings of the earth for many years. They had gathered the riches of the world, as they conquered. Their military had no equal. The leaders had become spoiled by their conquests, as nobody was able to oppose them.
But in 375 A.D., God sent the Ostrogoths and Huns, who routed the Roman army in the battle of Adrianople.
And in 395 A.D., the Visigoths led by Alaric rampaged through Greece and Italy and captured the city of Rome in 410 A.D..
The once invincible Roman Army was now hiding from the attacks of their enemies, which came because our Lord sent them to execute His wrath.
As the Roman Empire collapsed around them, the kings and mighty men would no doubt remember all the Christian warnings of God’s coming wrath, and also remember their courage to die for their faith.
The 5th seal of Revelation represents the blood of the martyrs crying out for vengeance from our Lord.
So the 6th seal of Revelation represents Jesus exacting justice against the Roman Empire, for shedding the blood of the saints.
David Nikao Wilcoxson
Next Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible Study: Revelation 7 – Sealing of the 144,000