Revelation 6:12-17
(Rev 6:12 KJV)
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;

We now see the sixth seal open and with it is the first rendering of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who hold to the false notion that the book of Revelation is a chronological book will truly have difficulty explaining this section. How could the return of the Lord Jesus Christ be in chapter six if it is a chronological book?

What we see here is the beginning of the events which will culminate in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first event is going to be a great earthquake. This earthquake is not being revealed as one which is local but it appears that this earthquake is going to be one which is universal in range. The entire earth will be affected with this earthquake because the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to affect the entire earth and not just a part of it. We read some passages in Joel which show us that when the day of the Lord occurs, then there is going to be some mighty signs accompanying it.

(Joel 2:1 KJV) Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

(Joel 2:9-11 KJV) They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. {10} The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: {11} And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Joel shows us that there is going to be a great quake before the Lord returns and we read in other passages in Scripture that a great quake will occur at the time that the Lord Jesus Christ returns.

(Isa 2:19 KJV) And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

(Hag 2:6-7 KJV) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; {7} And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

(Nahum 1:5 KJV) The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

We see how many prophecies of the Old Testament are aimed at the time of the return of Christ. Now the question at hand, is it going to be a literal earthquake or is it a description of something else? In the book of Exodus, when all Israel was by Mount Sinai, they feared greatly because the Lord had descended on to the mount to speak to the people of Israel. Their fear was so great that they begged Moses to speak to the Lord for them because of what they saw.

(Exo 19:18 KJV) And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

Then the earth is going to quake mightily at the voice of the Lord on the last day when He comes to bring home His Elect and to begin the judgment of the unsaved. His voice will be mightier than on Sinai since the whole world will hear Him.

Then we are told that in addition to the mighty earthquake, the sun is going to become black and the moon is going to become red as blood.

(Acts 2:20 KJV) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Peter is quoting a prophecy by the prophet Joel.

(Joel 2:31 KJV) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Both the sun and moon are given as signs and for seasons. When the sun becomes black, it means that the sun has been extinguished and the moon becoming blood gives us an indication that judgment has come. The sun and moon are important to the earth because the sun gives life giving warmth and the moon controls the tides. This means that the universe is beginning to disintegrate because judgment day has come.

(Gen 1:14 KJV) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

(Rev 6:13 KJV)
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Continuing the thought from verse 12, not only will the sun and moon be affected, which is in our solar system, but now we read the stars will also begin to fall as the outer universe begins to collapse. This is total collapse of everything which man holds dear. He counts on the hope that the earth and universe will continue indefinitely. Evolution has given unsaved man false hope. They think that the universe has been here for billions of years and it will remain for billions of years. The truth is that the universe is less than fifteen thousand years old.

(Gen 1:14 KJV) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Then the collapse of the universe is compared to a fig tree which loses her figs when a great wind comes up. Probably what was in view here was a sirocco which was known in Italy and Sicily and other parts of the desert. It is a mighty wind of cyclonic nature which would cause things in its path to be destroyed. This verse is telling us that the return of Christ is going to be similar in nature. A great sirocco is going to come and blow the figs off of the trees before their time. This gives us an inkling that the return of Christ is going to come at a time when no one expects it. Hence, the word “untimely.” The word in the Greek can refer to an “unripe fig.” The Bible tells us that the return of the Lord Jesus is going to be like a thief in the night. Many will be surprised at His coming because no one knows the day nor the hour. Even the believer is told to watch because we will not know the hour of His return. Those who set dates are nothing but deceivers because they have no knowledge and they are in disobedience trying to delve into what God has kept secret for Himself. We must be patient as our brethren in heaven must be patient because God’s plan must be fulfilled before it can end.

(Mat 24:42-43 KJV) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. {43} But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

(Luke 12:40 KJV) Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

(Rev 6:14 KJV)
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

(Isa 34:4 KJV) And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

Isaiah gives a look at the final day when the universe begins to collapse. We saw the sun, moon, and stars collapse and now we are seeing the heaven depart. The word “depart” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “separating or parting.” It is like the scroll when it splits into two. With the parting of the heavens also comes other cataclysmic events which could tie into God speaking and causing the mountains and the islands to be moved out of their places. This means that the earth is beginning to radically shift and it too will begin to fall apart as God will remake it new again.

(Rev 6:15 KJV)
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;

The day which the unbelievers had mocked and eschewed has now come to pass. Every tract and church which taught the truth and was mocked by the unbelievers has now come upon them. The final day of man’s history has come and judgment day is here. The history of man is now history. With the Lord returning, it seems here that all the groups mentioned do not seem to be concerned with gold and treasures, instead they seek to hide themselves in anyplace they can find. No one will escape the judgment of God. The rich, the poor, the middle class will all stand before the Lord and give account of themselves before they are judged.

(Rev 6:16 KJV)
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

All those religions who denied the deity of Christ and have mocked Him are now cognizant of the fact that it is He who is now returning to earth to take vengeance on those who obeyed not the Gospel and who cause tribulation in the lives of His Saints.

(2 Th 1:7-10 KJV) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, {8} In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; {10} When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

These unbelievers know that judgment day has come because they mention the wrath of the Lamb and God the Father. These unbelievers think that death is going to solve all their problems and that is why they want the mountains to fall on them. They have believed things like annihilation and they are hoping that it is true but deep down they know that their day of judgment has come and they must give an account to Him whom they have mocked and spurned.

(Rev 6:17 KJV)
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

(Isa 13:6 KJV) Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

(Isa 13:9-11 KJV) 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. {10} 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. {11} And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Isaiah gives a pretty grim picture of what judgment day is going to be like. It is going to be absolute destruction of the universe and world and the final judgment of the unsaved where they will be cast into the lake of fire forever. No unbeliever will be able to stand in the judgment. If they do not have a Savior, they must answer for their own sins which means they must pay for their sins eternally. The only ones who will not face this terrible wrath are the true believers whom Christ had died for as we saw in Revelation 3:10.

(Rev 3:10 KJV) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.