(Catastrophic Earth changes)
General: There are always divisions in understanding when something horrible is described. The question is: is it real or is it symbolic? The rule that generally should be followed is to consider the passages literally unless there is some reason to understand the scripture as symbolic. For example, the terrifying phenomena described here could very well be literal without stretching any part of your imagination. The only difference is in the cause. Normally, the causes of natural catastrophies is natural or the way of the nature of the environment. In this case, the whole point is God directed activities as a last straw to draw people to Himself. If things get really bad, we should be drawn to God. We should not harden our heart and turn farther and farther from God. As we study further, we will discover that most people will turn farther from God because of the persuasion and charisma of the antichrist.
v12-13: Jesus now opens the sixth seal. The seal reveals some pretty distasteful events. The following is a list of the events with some possible causes.
The clouds may roll away so fast and so thoroughly that people will be in horror as they are fully exposed to God and His splendor. The stars falling of verse 13 could cause major earth crust shiftes. Dr. David Jeremiah and Dr. Henry Morris say "thoses living in the regions above such shifting wil lobserve the heavens appearing to move in the opposite direction, as if they are being "rolled up". In this explanation, mountains and islands are similar. Remember, islands are just submerged mountains.
v15: All those "who are anybody" hide form the terrors. If the power people are afraid, one can only imagine how frightened the more common people are. By now, people are getting tired of war, pestilence, lack of food, and bloodshed. All are running away from the world problems, if they can. The "caves and among the rocks of the mountains" could also refer to other countries.
v16: It is finally understood the great day of God's wrath has come. They cringe at the thought. They ask the rocks and mountains to fall on them and kill them. They cannot stand in the face (KJV) or presence (NASV) of God.
v17: The great days of wrath are here. The KJV says "or His wrath" and the NASV and other newer versions says "of their wrath". The Greek is tes orges auton where auton is "their". It is readily understood if one says "His wrath" rather than "their wrath". So what does the plural mean? This means the wrath of God and of the Lamb. It was certainly put there with equality. There are scriptures that use the plural to indicate God and Jesus. (Zeph 1:15, 18; 2:3; Rom. 2:5; 1 Thess. 3:11; 2 Thess. 2:16)
Exod 19-18; 20:18-19; Isa 34-4
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