The Sixth Seal

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, 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, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places" (Rev.6:12-14 KJV).

The sixth seal portrays the violent collapse of the old order of things and seems to follow the general order in which the earth was made fit for humanity's habitation (i.e., the earth, sun, moon, stars, sky, land and sea).

"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who will be able to stand?" (Rev.6:15-17 KJV).

At this time, many of those who have heard the gospel message proclaimed will come to realize that what they have heard about the wrath of God being poured out upon those who refuse to repent is absolutely true and that their days are numbered. Therefore, in great terror and apprehension, they will try to hide from the punishment that they know is imminent.

Between the Sixth and Seventh Seals

"And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree" (Rev.7:1 KJV).

Here, we see four angelic beings holding back the four winds. In this verse, the English word winds is translated from the Greek word anemos, which does not define winds as such; rather, it refers to the four cardinal points from which the winds blow, not necessarily the physical wind itself. It is highly possible that the four winds described as anemos are in fact the four spirit-beings of Zechariah 6:5 who are described as the winds of heaven.

"And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea" (Rev.7:2 KJV).

Here, we see another spirit-being coming from the East, which is traditionally the direction from which divine manifestations come (Isa.41:1-2; Ezk.43:2-3; Mal.4:1-2). This spirit-being instructs the four other powerful spirit-beings to forestall their mission to destroy the earth, the sea, and the unrepentant wicked of earth's population. Moreover, this spirit-being has the seal of the living God with which he and those who are with him are to seal the servants of God as noted in verse 3:

"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" (Rev.7:3 KJV).

It is interesting that it is mentioned two times that these four beings hold back the four winds from harming the earth, sea, and trees (trees are often symbolic of people), and that the earth, sea, and the trees are mentioned a total of three times (Rev.7:1,3).

The number two is often used in the Bible to symbolize division, difference, or separation, and the number three is often symbolic of divine fulfillment, perfection, or completeness. The symbolic meanings of these two numbers fit very well in the prophetic order of the process for the destruction of the earth, the sea, and the wicked people of the earth.

The Great Sealing

"And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel" (Rev.7:4 KJV).

There are two distinct groups of people sealed: a group of 144,000 individuals drawn from among the tribes of Israel and those who come out of the great tribulation. These people are to be protected from the destruction that will come upon the world after the release of the four winds.

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and languages, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;. . . And one of the elders said to me, What are these who are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from? And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev.7:9, 13-14 KJV Para.).

The 'great multitude' will be drawn from among all the other peoples of the earth who will come through great trials and will be found worthy to be granted salvation. They will have repented of their sins and will have been found worthy to participate in the first resurrection and at the return of Christ, they will be changed into spirit-beings.

With the sealing of the servants of God, it is highly likely that the gospel age of salvation will have ended, and the full fury of God's wrath will be poured out upon the earth and will not cease until Christ and his army of spirit-beings conquer the Beast power and the earth.

The Angel With the Inkhorn and Seal

The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of the end of the age in which he saw the abominations that the houses of Israel and Judah and their civil and religious leaders were committing in the sight of God. In this same vision, he also saw the sealing of the elect in Jerusalem against the wrath of God:

"Then he said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them" (Ezk.8:17-18 KJV).

God's patience toward national Israel will come to an end and he will no longer sit quietly by while they commit their abominations and idolatry before him. He will punish them without mercy for their rebellion and wickedness.

Ezekiel 9:1-11 KJV

"He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city [Jerusalem] to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar" (vs.1-2).

Here we see the avenging army of Jesus Christ being gathered to begin a great slaughter among humanity. Notice that, among these six men, there is one man who has a writer's inkhorn.

In the following verses, Jesus Christ calls to the one with the inkhorn and instructs him to go to those in Jerusalem and mark the servants of God who are heart-broken because of the evil that they see. From the description of what the one with the inkhorn does and who he is to mark, it is highly likely that he is the same one spoken of in Revelation 7:2-3:

"And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof" (vs.3-4).

The other five who are standing by are told to follow the one with the inkhorn and begin the slaughter among the inhabitants of Jerusalem who have not been marked for survival by the one with the inkhorn.

"Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said to them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go you forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city" (vs.6-7).

"And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! will you destroy all the residue of Israel in your pouring out of your fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord has forsaken the earth, and the Lord sees not. And as for me also, mine eye will not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head" (vs.8-10).

The question that Ezekiel asked and the answer that he received tell us that, although the inhabitants of Jerusalem are the primary focus of these angels of death, the rest of the house of Israel and Judah who are scattered among the nations will also be slaughtered by these death angels. It is also clear that this slaughter upon the Houses of Israel and Judah will not stop until all those who are to be killed are killed.

From the point in time when the one with the inkhorn who is clothed in white linen reports, "I have done as you have commanded me" (v.11), the servants of God will be separated from the rest of humanity. God's servants will be protected from his wrath as it is poured out upon the earth, sea, and the wicked, which must be done in order to complete the preparation of the earth for the invasion of Christ and his army of spirit-beings.

By B.L. Cocherell         b2w13d