Have you considered that the Sixth Seal could be man's doing and that some of the events might be a result of nuclear weapons?
I read with fascination your commentary "The Chronology of Revelation" and believe that you have a better understanding than most clergy.
Your explanation of the first five seals indicates, to me anyway, that man is responsible for inflicting punishment on his fellow man. But the Sixth Seal is described by you as a "cosmic disturbance," something supernatural and of God. But have you considered that the Sixth Seal might also be of man's doing?
A few decades ago, Hal Lindsey wrote in his book "The Late Great Planet Earth" that he believes the Sixth Seal was a nuclear exchange between powers. I have maintained that belief, since it seems to me that John's first century writing of some of the events could describe a twenty-first century use of nuclear weapons.
Thanks for your positive comments about my commentaries. I have heard the suggestion before that the Sixth Seal events could be the result of nuclear weapons or could be due to some other manmade cause. Yes, nuclear weapons would make the ground shake, smoke from them could darken the sun and moon, and ICBMs re-entering the atmosphere might look like stars falling.
However, it sounds like you may be picturing nukes going off worldwide, not just one or two of them. Even if thousands of nukes were going off, though, it would not explain (to me) how every mountain and island on earth could be moved (Revelation 6:14). I feel that the latter will happen because the entire earth will be shaking all at once, due to a gigantic, colossal earthquake.
Yes, a great deal of swirling fire is seen when a nuke goes off, if that is what you mean by "a massive scroll rolling together." But Revelation 6:14 describes the sky appearing to roll up like a scroll. This would seem to be on a considerably greater scale than a nuke, or even many nukes, exploding.
Isaiah 2:19,21 and Job 9:5-7 parallel the Sixth Seal events of Revelation 6:12-16. When Jesus appears in the clouds, the whole earth will shake due to the splendor of His majesty, and terrified people will be running to hide in caves and among rocks, anticipating His imminent wrath (Revelation 6:17). I certainly do not see this being limited only to Israel, as you seem to have suggested (which might follow if Iran nuked Israel).
The next thing we see happening is all the horrified people of the earth seeing the face of Him who sits on the throne (Revelation 6:16). I see this as a literal, supernatural appearance of Jesus in the sky (paralleling Matthew 24:30 and Mark 13:26). Since Jesus is God and can do anything, He could manifest Himself visibly in the sky, all over the entire globe, if He chooses to do so.
People everywhere will know that God's wrath is imminent (Revelation 6:16,17), which I believe will commence after the opening of the Seventh Seal (8:1). There is no doubt in my mind that the seven Trumpet Judgments will be originated by angels in heaven (8:2-6) and will be caused supernaturally.
Also, when I look at the Fifth and Sixth Trumpet Judgments (Revelation 9:1-21)ówhich are the first two of the three woesóI feel that the scorpion-like locusts stinging people for five months and the horses and riders killing a third of mankind will be evil, demonic supernatural beings. I realize that many people try to explain these creatures in other ways, perhaps because they need to have natural or conventional explanations for such things.
Thus, I feel that soon after the Sixth Seal is opened, the earth-shaking quake and the disturbances in the cosmos (darkened sun and moon and appearance of what seems to be falling stars) will be the initial stage of God's supernatural intervention into this dimension. People all over the earth will perceive Jesus in the sky soon thereafter. Furthermore, they will know that God is causing all of these things to happen and that His wrath is imminent.
I have considered the possibility that, at that time, this solar system could be doing something like passing through the equatorial plane of our galaxy, resulting in a tremendous cosmic upheaval around the earth. I do acknowledge that something like this potentially could happen at some point, maybe sooner than later.
If so, the entire earth could wobble and shake violently. Objects from space could fall to earth like fiery streaks, appearing to look like stars falling. With the whole solar system involved, the sun and moon could take on an eerie appearance. Since God is in control of everything, all of this would be caused directly by Him to get the attention of every person on earth, just prior to His vengeance and wrath being poured out upon the world (beginning with the opening of the Seventh Seal).
Just prior to the opening of the Sixth Seal, God will have been asked to "avenge" the blood of His martyred saints (Revelation 6:9,10). The very next thing we see, after the Sixth Seal is opened, is a host of extraordinary events on and around the earth, on a gigantic scale, followed by the appearance of Jesus in the sky. Then all the terrified people of the earth (remaining after the Pre-wrath Rapture) will acknowledge that God's wrath/vengeance is at hand. I believe this will signal the onset of God's "day of vengeance," which Isaiah seemed to indicate will last for a year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4).
All of the Sixth Seal phenomena may not be explainable by the specific things I have suggested; however, I do not feel that they will be explainable by natural, man-caused causes. That is, there very well may be nuclear detonations near the end of the age, but I do not believe that they will account for Sixth Seal events.
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