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THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH – Revelation 6:12-17

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on March 16, 2016 under AM Bible Study |

AM Bible Study Group; March 16, 2016 from Revelation 6:12-17

Theme: The opening of the sixth seal brings to an end the present order of things, and marks the beginning of the outpouring of ‘the wrath of the Lamb’ upon the ungodly.

(All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version, unless otherwise indicated).

As we have seen, the opening of the first five ‘seals’ will release a full expression of human wickedness upon the earth. God will, as it were, remove His restraining hand and allow the sinful human heart to willingly express itself to the darkest level possible. But the opening of the sixth ‘seal’ marks an end to that time of wickedness, and the commencement of the full expression of God’s judgment of that wickedness upon this earth. This is a profoundly sober passage. And examining it should move us, as followers of Jesus, to share our faith with other so that they may be may turn to the Lamb now—in this, the age of God’s grace; and so that they may be delivered by Him “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).


A. A great earthquake. The great day of the wrath of the Lamb does not come subtly! God’s great acts are often accompanied in Scripture with an earthquake (Ezekiel 19:11; Matthew 28:2; Acts 16:26); and this great day is no exception. It’s interesting to note that, in Scripture, a great earthquake seems often to be the thing that marks some new work of God upon this earth (Exodus 19:18; Psalm 68:8; Haggai 2:6-7; Matthew 27:51; Revelation 8:5; 11:13, 19; 16:18-19). Jesus Himself, in His Olivet discourse, specifically warned that earthquakes would accompany the time of His return (Matthew 24:7-8).

B. The sun becoming black as sackcloth of hair and the moon becoming like blood. What an ominous and dread-producing sign this will be! In His Olivet discourse, Jesus also mentioned these signs in the heavens that would be associated with His second coming:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31).

Elsewhere in Scripture, these very same cosmic signs are also are used to signal God’s impending judgment (Ezekiel 32:7-8; Joel 2:10, 30-32; 3:14-16). They are such that the unbelieving world will not be able to mistake the nature of what is about to happen!

C . The stars of heaven falling to the earth. The Bible often speaks in the same sort of phenomenal language as we are accustomed to speak (e.g., the sun ‘rising’, etc.); and this is an example—not of literal solar bodies falling, but only the appearance of such. This is, perhaps, describing a remarkable meteor shower—one that clearly marks the impending judgment of God upon this earth (Isaiah 34:4; Joel 3:16). It may even be that some meteors strike the earth (see Revelation 8:10).

D. The sky receding as a scroll. This is speaking in language that stretches our imagination. But whatever it is describing, it will be horrifying to behold. It too is an announcement of the judgment about to begin (Isaiah 13:13; 34:1-4).

E. Every mountain and island being moved out of its place. The impending judgment upon earth will be marked by remarkable changes upon the earth’s surface (Revelation 16:20). The maps of the world will be altered. This sign is also used in the Old Testament to announce the coming of Christ (see Isaiah 40:4-5).


A. One would think that these disturbances would move men to repentance. But it will not be so. Note that men of every possible class—kings, great men, rich men, commanders, mighty men, every free man and every slave—all respond to these signs by hiding in the caves and rocks of the mountains. Note that, at the time of the end, there will still be the social divisions that we see today—from kings all the way down to slaves. But note also that they all—whoever they may be—will all equally try to hide on the earth from the eyes of the omniscient and omnipotent One! As it turns out, all men will finally be equal—but it will be the prospect of the terrible judgment of God that will be the great equalizer.

B. Surprisingly, these all pray. But tragically, they send their prayers in the wrong direction. They will cry out to the rocks and caves of the mountains to cover them and hide them from the sight of God. But as it turns out, the rocks and caves will not help them (see Amos 9:2-3). How remarkable that, with all the dread that will characterize them, they still will not repent and turn to God (Revelation 9:20-21; 16:9, 11)!

C. What is most surprising of all is that they all know exactly what is happening; and they know exactly why it is happening. They don’t offer-up ‘scientific explanations’ for the events that are occurring. They know specifically that they are hiding from the One who sits on the throne (Revelation 4:2, 3, 9); and from the wrath of the Lamb (5:6; 16:19). All the pretenses are put away—and man reveals that, all along, he knew that he was in rebellion against his Maker!


A. The combined testimony of rebellious, wicked humanity—at every level—is that the day of the Lamb’s wrath had finally come. It is described in detail in chapters 8-11 and 15-18. The testimony of the hearts of sinful men will, at that time, be fully revealed (John 16:8-11); and they will be without excuse (Romans 1:20).

B. And what’s more, as they gaze upon the signs, they will realize that they are not prepared for what is to come. They will testify that they cannot stand in the great Day of Judgment. But praise God—we’re told in the next chapter who it is that can stand on that day:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).

* * * * * * * * * *

God gives this warning to mankind well in advance. Many will not hear it; and will be among those who desperately try to hide on that day. But the writer of Hebrews gives good instruction on how we who hear should respond:

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:25-29).

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