The Sixth Seal Judgment

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”

Revelation 6:12 NKJV

The sixth seal judgment opens with severe cosmic disturbances that affect the earth. Following a great earthquake, the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood (v. 12b). This describes a lunar eclipse, commonly referred to as a blood moon. These eclipses can portend judgments that God is sending upon the world, specifically to Israel.

Let’s look at a definition and explore some history about tetrads.

The History of Blood Moon Tetrads

A Blood Moon Tetrad is a series of four lunar eclipses (minus any other partial eclipses in between) that fall on Passover and Sukkot. Lunar eclipses are warnings for Israel (on a lunar calendar), and solar eclipses are warnings for the rest of the Gentile world (on a solar calendar). Since the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago, this has happened eight separate times, each time with important significance for Israel.

  • In 1493-94, a tetrad appeared after King Ferdinand of Spain ousted the Jews in 1492 from his country. Christopher Columbus, a Jew, left Spain to find a new land where his people could move. That land today is America.
  • In 1949-50, a tetrad appeared after Israel became an independent state in 1948, signifying its miraculous reestablishment after its destruction in 70 A.D.
  • In 1967-68, a tetrad occurred following the Six Day War of 1967. For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem was reinstated as the capital of Israel during a miraculous six-day war.
  • In 2014-15, the eighth tetrad happened with a solar eclipse in the middle. (A solar eclipse bodes warning for the rest of the non-Jewish world. Some predict that it means war is coming to the world.) This coincides with President Trump’s pre-presidency campaign in 2015 and election in 2016. Later, in 2020, the Abraham Accords established peace and diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and potentially, Sudan.

The next tetrad will not happen for another 500 years. The most recent blood moon (not a tetrad) occurred during the midterm election in the United States on November 8, 2022. The next one will fall on March 14, 2025, at the end of Purim.

The Fig Tree in Scripture

And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 

Revelation 6:13 NKJV

What does the fig tree symbolize in scripture? Let’s look at some references.

  • Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to make coverings for their nakedness (see Genesis 3:7).
  • Malachi envisions the universal benefits of the New Covenant by referring to every man “sitting under his vine and under his fig tree” in Micah 4:4.
  • Nahum compares the devastation of Nineveh to a ripe fig falling from a tree that is shaken (see Nahum 3:12).
  • Isaiah compares the destruction of the enemies of God’s people to a fig falling from a tree (see Isaiah 34:4).
  • Jesus uses the cursing of the fruitless fig tree to refer to the Jews’ rejection of Him as Messiah (see Matthew 21:19).

The Wind of Divine Wrath

Some interpret this wind as a symbol of destruction to those who persecute the followers of Jesus. They are symbolized by the falling of late figs from the tree “when she is shaken of a mighty wind”–the wind of divine wrath.

  • Jeremiah prophesied that a “full wind” would come upon Jerusalem, “not to fan, not to cleanse,” but as a judgment to execute “sentence against them” (see Jeremiah 4:11-12).
  • Jeremiah refers to a great whirlwind rising up from the farthest parts of the earth and disaster going from nation to nation (see Jeremiah 25:32).

So, will stars literally fall to the earth like ripe figs shaken by a mighty wind? Perhaps asteroids might fall to the earth, but one thing is clear from the comparison to the fig tree. The corrupt and lawless governments on the earth at that time will be judged and destroyed when this seal opens.

The Heavens and Earth Shaken

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

Revelation 6:14 NKJV

This great earthquake will be so powerful and severe that the sky will appear to tear in two and roll up like two ends of a scroll. The earth will also be torn apart, from the highest mountains to the smallest islands. Some commentaries surmise that this physical destruction will also tear down pagan and false religious beliefs–everything and everyone who deny Jesus and persecute believers. This is evident in the following verses that conclude the sixth seal:

And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves 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 who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?

Revelation 6:15-17 NKJV

One thing is sure: from the richest and most powerful down to the weakest and poorest, people on the earth will understand that God’s judgment has arrived. There will be no place to hide, and they will have to face God’s wrath. The sixth seal judgment will be a terrifying day on the earth for those who are left behind after the Rapture of the church.

One more seal judgment remains. Don’t miss this very important seventh seal in our next blog post.

Dear Father God, we praise You for loving sinners enough to send these righteous judgments to wake them up. On the day when the sixth seal opens, people will still have a chance to be saved. May they repent of their sins and run into the saving arms of Jesus. In Your holy Name we pray, Lord Jesus, Amen.

The Sixth Seal Judgment by Karen Jurgens Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.

The Fifth Seal Judgment’s Cry of the Martyrs

“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.”

Revelation 6:9 NKJV

What happens to martyrs who would choose to die instead of renouncing their faith in Christ?

The fifth seal judgment shows us a very special place in heaven where these people are waiting patiently for God’s justice. This seal reveals God’s abounding love, mercy, and grace toward anyone who has loved their testimony and the word of God more than life.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

Revelation 6:10-11 NKJV

Let’s begin with understanding the term martyr.

Merriam Webster defines a religious martyr as a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion.

Jesus Himself prepares us in Matthew 24:9  for the possibility of facing persecution, hatred, and death for our testimony and our faith in Him. A commitment to follow Christ is a serious decision, and not one to take lightly. As wonderful as the free gift of salvation and assurance of heaven are, wisdom flags us to heed Christ’s warning. In our present day, the church and the world are rapidly falling into Satan’s traps of deception and apostasy, including Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christ sentiments.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.’

Mark 8:35 NKJV

Have any of us suffered as martyrs for our Christian beliefs?

Although not yet common in the United States, martyrs exist in other places around the world, such as the Middle East and Communist countries. This topic is unfamiliar in America and one we don’t often hear preached from the pulpit. Although we pray for innocent Christians around the world who are captured and killed for their faith , we can hardly grasp making a choice between renouncing Christ or losing our own lives. We can’t because we haven’t taken a walk in the shoes of these precious martyrs. However, a day may soon be coming upon the entire world where martyrdom becomes commonplace.

What would we do if we found ourselves in this situation?

Only God knows the number of martyrs who have been killed for their testimony and the word of God. Probably millions fall into this category, beginning with Abel in Genesis, to prophets and all of the apostles, and continuing down the centuries to 2023.

Let’s look at the biblical account of a well-known martyr for powerful inspiration.

Stephen’s Witness

Stephen, one of the most famous Christian martyrs, was stoned to death by a synagogue who claimed he had blasphemed. After delivering a defense that cut them to the quick, Stephen summed up their resistance to the Holy Spirit:

‘You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.

Acts 7:51-53 NKJV

Upon Stephen’s witness of the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of God in heaven, the brutal crowd cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. Stephen’s response as he died was, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (see Acts 7:54-60).

Jesus’s witness

Jesus predicted His own suffering on the cross. His blood had to be shed to forgive our sins. When God looks on a believer washed in the blood of the Lamb, He sees us through the blood of Christ’s righteousness (see Colossians 1:13-14).

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Matthew 16:31 NKJV

The Apostle Peter’s encouragement

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.

1 Peter 3:14 NKJV

Future martyrs will join those waiting under the altar in heaven. God will give each one a white robe and encouragement to wait patiently for that day when He will avenge the blood of all who have been killed for their testimony and the word of God. What a wonderful promise!

For more stories on Biblical martyrs, click HERE for Jewish Martyrs for Christ.

Let’s conclude with the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to Timothy.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

2 Timothy 1:8, 12 NKJV

Dear Father God, thank you for your promise to avenge the blood of every Christian martyr. Let us follow in Your sufferings and glorify Your Name in all the earth. Give us courage and boldness to never be ashamed of the gospel and the Name of Jesus. In His Name we pray, Amen.

The Fifth Seal’s Judgment Cry of the Martyrs by Karen Jurgens copyright ©2023 All rights reserved.

A Thrill of a Lifetime

Who wouldn’t be enticed to experience a thrill of a lifetime?

That’s how former thrill-seekers described plunging two-and-a-half miles under the Atlantic to view the remains of the ship Titanic. Unfortunately, this enticement for a look at the ghostly grave recently resulted in catastrophe for the five men aboard.

The submersible, Titan, was about the size of a mini-van with cramped quarters. Previous adventurers described it as over two hours of diving into freezing black darkness that grew icier as it descended to the ocean’s floor.

After reaching Titanic, the submersible coasted for about three hours, allowing each person to take turns to look through a front porthole at what was left of that once-luxurious vessel. For the last one hundred eleven years, the salt water has eaten away at the famous ocean liner like termites. Now only rusted steel and gossamer blanket the haunted-looking skeleton yawning from its ocean grave.

In spite of extreme danger to their safety, everyone who has made the voyage agrees it is a thrill of a lifetime. Perhaps danger, only one step away from utter catastrophe, is the enticing lure.

How does this experience apply to our spiritual lives?

Satan baits us with the promise of a thrill of a lifetime that leads into sin and separation from God. If we sign up for a trip on Satan’s submersible, we’ll dive into deep, icy darkness. The dives may be short, falsely assuring us that flirting with sin isn’t dangerous after all–it’s thrilling. Each trip takes us a little deeper until we reach the bottom where death extends its skeletal hands in a welcoming embrace.

Is it too late to surface to the Mother ship and escape Satan’s kingdom? If we run out of oxygen or our submersible cracks and explodes, we’re doomed.

It may be too late for Titan, but it’s never too late to be rescued from Satan’s slick lies and deception. All we need to do is call on the Name that is above every name—JESUS.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;

Joel 2:32 NIV

How can we be rescued from spiritual death?

‘…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’

Luke 19:10 NKJV

Like the Mother ship, Jesus sits atop the ocean waves and calls us to safety. If we’re lost, He conducts a search and rescue operation to find us in the icy-black waters.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
‘This is the way, walk in it,

Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

If we call out to Him, He will rescue us from sin, hell, and the grave.

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.

Isaiah 55:6 NKJV

He teaches us how to walk in righteousness and watches our steps.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 32:8 NKJV

Jesus warned us about deception and to not follow false Christs.

He replied: ‘Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am he,” and, “The time is near.” Do not follow them.’

Luke 21:8 NIV

Whether you a deceived Christian whose ears have been tickled by false gospels or a person who wants to find salvation in Christ, Jesus is waiting with open arms. We need to repent of our sins and receive the forgiveness He freely gave us at the cross.

Rise up and out of the freezing black ocean of sin.

A true thrill of a lifetime is finding salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life in Christ.

The Sinner’s Prayer: Dear Father, I am a sinner, and I’m sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and come live in my heart. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Thank you for washing me in the blood of the Lamb and writing my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and for sealing my eternity in Your kingdom. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

A Thrill of a Lifetime by Karen Jurgens copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.