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Global Warning – Rev. 6:12-17


The Final Deconstruction of the Cosmos

This is a terrifying passage. It is meant to be. The people to whom John is conveying this heavenly vision are living in fear for their lives in the Roman Empire. They need to know that the day will surely come when the tables will be reversed, and all the wrongs that have been done on them will be put to rights, in God’s time. This horrific passage was to comfort persecuted believers. 

1. The Sixth Seal. Revelation 6:12  

We have reached the point where the sixth seal is opened by Jesus, the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah, the one who holds all of history and the destiny of the entire universe in his hands, for only he is worthy to do so. It is the seal of the last judgment, on the last day.  See v17  To understand this sixth seal, which is about the final destruction of the universe at the end of this age, as the wrath of God is poured out in judgement, we have to remember something of what we have already learned in passing about the Book of Revelation. For example…

  • We learned that Revelation is packed with symbolism. We’re going to see more of that in this passage. Please don’t fall into the trap of the literalists, and indulge in speculation regarding the ‘four blood moons!’
  • We learned that Revelation is not chronological history. It is a series of parallel scenes, each scene spanning the history of the church each scene teaching us a different aspect about the unfurling of God’s plan. Revelation chapter 4-7 is one such scene. It takes us from the visions of the universal church, through the ongoing judgements of God upon this sinful world, the vision of the martyrs in heaven, to the very last days of this present age, when the trumpet of God shall sound, when Christ will come, when the terrible Day of God’s wrath on this world will have come, and God’s enemies will be put to flight forever.  

2. The Six Effects of De-Creation. …V12-14 

It was God who created the universe, and the world and everything in it. Just as he created it he can destroy it, for the whole creation itself is fallen, and ruined by sin. God had given Adam dominion over creation, so when he fell, the whole creation suffered.  Remember that we interpret the symbolism of Revelation with the help of the OT. READ Isaiah 34:4  These verses, Revelation 6:12-14, describe in symbolism, the effects of the terrible judgment of God upon the world. Let’s see them…

  1. A mighty, worldwide earthquake. The whole earth shaking under the impact of God’s judgement.
  2. The darkening of the sky as the sun dies. 
  3. The melting of the moon.
  4. Stars falling from their orbit. How can stars fall to the earth? Stars are huge heavenly bodies, they wouldn’t fit on the surface of the earth, – but remember that this is symbolism. 
  5. The sky seemingly fleeing away. Perhaps the ungodly, realising that everything Godly is being taken from this earth, is fleeing away from them? Remember that this all happens in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.
  6. Physical landscapes changing. Mountains crumbling down, the built environment falling, the seas raging and foaming…

Now notice that this terrible day will have a universal effect on all of creation. Not just upon the earth, the whole universe will be destroyed, as God’s wrath falls upon a creation destroyed and ruined by Adam’s sin.

3. The Six Ranks of Christ Rejectors. V15 

So far when have seen the effect of that terrible day on Creation, but what about the people who will fall under God’s judgement on that day?

* Their completeness. Let’s see just how comprehensive this awful judgement will be. It will encompass:-

  1. The monarchs, the kings and queens, the dictators of this world.
  2. The high and mighty, important people.
  3. The wealthy classes.
  4. The military commanders and officers,
  5. The business classes, the wealth generating capitalists and bankers.
  6. The proletariat, the working classes and labourers.

From the highest to the lowest, everyone on this earth, who is outside the saving mercy and grace of God, will be judged by God. 

* Their terror. Look at their terror, as they witness the whole earth melting beneath their feet. V15-16But how much greater will our horror be when that day actually comes, when we realise that it is too late, that we are still living in our sins, that we really should have been praying, asking God for mercy and forgiveness.   2 Peter 3:10  There are many people in this world who worry about the troubles of this life when they should be worried about falling under the judgement of God. Hebrews 10:31 

Have you noticed an interesting combination of numbers in this passage? It’s the 6th seal, and there are six elements of nature that will be de-created, and six ranks of humanity that will cry out with terror on that day. The number of fallen man. Revelation 13:18  It is God’s judgement falling upon all of sinful mankind. In that there is a practical warning for us. We all fall short of God’s righteous standards, and in one sense, sin is just that, ‘falling short.’ Romans 3:23 But Christ, who was himself inherently righteous, died to pay the fine for my sin, bore my punishment, and thus completely satisfied the righteous justice of God for me, and at the same time, imputed his righteousness to my account, so that before God I am declared NOT GUILTY, and sealed by God the Father as his, for ever and ever. On that awful judgement day, I will be safe, because I am hidden in Christ! And next lesson, that is exactly what we shall see…

© Bob McEvoy July 2022

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