When the "SIXTH SEAL" was broken John tells us that there was a "GREAT EARTHQUAKE," and the "SUN BECAME BLACK AS SACKCLOTH OF HAIR," and the "MOON BECAME AS BLOOD," and the "STARS OF HEAVEN FELL TO THE EARTH," and the "HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL," and "EVERY MOUNTAIN AND ISLAND WERE MOVED OUT OF THEIR PLACE." It will not do to say that these things prefigure and symbolize the overthrow of the Powers of the Earth by great social and political convulsions. These are nothing more or less than great physical convulsions that shall shake the earth, and that have been foretold by the Prophets and by Christ Himself. Such physical phenomena and changes have happened before. We must not forget the "GREAT DARKNESS" that for 3 days overspread Egypt in the days before the Exodus (Ex. 10:21-23), nor the "DARKNESS" that settled over Jerusalem and Calvary on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ. Matt. 27:45.
The Prophet Zachariah speaks of a day that shall not be "clear" or "dark," and he associates it with an earthquake at the time of the return of the Lord. Zech. 14:1-7. On May 19, 1780, there was in New England what is called in history the "Dark Day." It was not an eclipse of the sun, and yet it was dark enough to make the stars visible, and the chickens went to roost. The cause of that darkness has never been explained. In the prophecy of Joel we read--"I will shew wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be TURNED INTO DARKNESS, and the moon into BLOOD, before THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD COME." Joel 2:30-31. In Isa. 13:9-10, we read--"Behold the 'DAY OF THE LORD' cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 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." In Isa. 34:4 we read--"All the host of heaven (the stars) shall be dissolved and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf
falleth from the vine, and as falling fig from the figtree." This corresponds to the "stars of heaven" of this "SEAL," and probably refers not to the constellations and heavenly bodies (stars), they are too far away to be affected by judgments on the earth, but to our own atmosphere, and to "meteors" and "shooting stars," similar to the "shooting stars" of November 13th, 1833, when they fell for 3 hours during the evening, and so terrified the people that they thought the end of the world had come. These physical convulsions will be the earth's "TRAVAIL PAINS" as she labors to bring forth the NEW CREATION of the Millennial Age. Christ refers to this period in Matt. 24:29, where He says--"In those days shall the SUN BE DARKENED (that is, its light obscured), and the MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT, and the STARS SHALL FALL FROM HEAVEN, and the POWERS OF THE HEAVENS (the Principalities and Powers of the Heavenly Places (Eph. 6:12), not the Powers and Kingdoms of the Earth), SHALL BE SHAKEN." All these startling physical changes and convulsions will cause a great fear to fall upon all classes and conditions of men (7 classes are named), who will no longer attribute such changes merely to natural law, but will see the "HAND OF THE ALMIGHTY" in it all. To them the "DAY OF JUDGMENT" will become a reality, and in their fear and terror they will hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and say to them--"FALL ON US, AND HIDE US FROM THE FACE OF HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE 'WRATH OF THE LAMB,' FOR THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME, AND WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND?" What a prayer? Instead of repenting and crying for Salvation, they will call on the mountains and rocks to bury them from the sight of the Almighty.
At this point it will be interesting to compare, as on the next three pages, Christ's "Olivet Discourse" (Matt. 24:1-30), with the "Six Seals" of Rev. 6:1-17. The similarity between them is most striking, and proves that the author of the "Olivet Discourse" foreknew, in the "Days of His Flesh," in their exact order, the things that shall come to pass in the "Day of the Lord." This is indisputable evidence of the Deity of Jesus.