revelation 6, the first six seals
revelation 6, the second seal
revelation 6, the third seal
revelation 6, the fourth seal
revelation 6, the fifth seal
revelation 6, the sixth seal: the great earthquake
revelation 6, the sixth seal: sun and moon in eclipse
We have been looking at the symbolism of the sixth seal. The earthquake, we are postulating, is a complete shaking of all established worldly and earthly order: political, societal, cultural, religious, economic, and worldview. The sun and moon refers to the rulers of that world order (Gen 1:16); that they are in total eclipse means that they have experienced a total loss of influence and power.
stars of heaven
Stars have already been defined for us as angels in Revelation (Rev 1:20), the stars that the Risen Lord holds in His hand, anyway, are angels. I believe they can also more broadly represent other spiritual powers, such as principalities and rulers of wickedness in heavenly places. Accompanying this symbol, is the sky being split apart like a scroll being rolled up. The symbolism of the stars, the sky, and the heavens have to do with spiritual powers and the heavenly realm, as opposed to earthly powers and the worldly or natural realm.
The symbolism of the sixth seal is that of the established heavenly or spiritual powers so shaken from their places that they fall to earth; i.e., completely lose their authority or influence. The spiritual powers that have reigned up until that time were rent asunder as a scroll being rolled up. It is interesting that the events we have been seeing with this seal, the end of Diocletian’s reign and the complete dismantling of the political system he established, also include Constantine’s vision of the sky being split by a shining cross.
Religion in the Roman world, and since the establishment of Babel by Nimrod, had been paganism. Nimrod had exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. He elevated the heavens and earth itself to divinity, calling it Father Heaven and Mother Earth. All life on earth was supposed to have arisen from their union, as well as the rest of the pantheon of the gods; this is the root of the concept of the sacred feminine which is so central to paganism. Feminism is the same philosophy as paganism wrapped in a secular cloak. Even darwinism is from the same philosophy as paganism, wrapped in a secular cloak, because darwinism clings to paganism’s tenet, that nature is the creator of life.
The pagan gods of all the peoples were essentially the same, for the peoples had taken the pagan system with them upon leaving Babel: Ishtar in Babylonia was Ashtoreth in Israel and Astarte in Canaan and Carthage and Isis in Egypt and Aphrodite in Greece and Ostara in Norway and Eastre in Saxony. The religious system of the emperors and the peoples was paganism, until Constantine called on the God of the Christians in 312 AD, and first Licinius, then Maximin, followed suit.
Constantine ended Christian persecutions in 313 AD, and in 325 AD, when he was secure and had ceased from wars, he sponsored a great council of the church elders at Nicaea, to unify the church in matters of doctrine. The Nicene Creed is the result. Although paganism had not been outlawed, so great a number of people became Christians and joined the church that the pagan temples were converted to churches or went to ruin. So much so that in 331 ad, all the pagan temples in Rome, which had not been converted to churches, were destroyed.
Now Julian, a nephew of Constantine, came to the throne in 361 ad. He had been raised a Christian, but so much admired the Greek philosophers that he gave up Christianity and reverted to Greek paganism. He is known in history as Julian the Apostate. Thus when he became emperor, he ordered that all the Christian churches and schools should be closed, and the old pagan temples reopened, and the old pagan gods worshiped again. The soldiers in the army were forced to give up Christianity under penalty of being dismissed, and he sent a vast team of architects and builders to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the Temple, to disprove Jesus’ prophecy that the Temple would not be built again (Joh 2:18-21). An earthquake frightened the workers from continuing, however, and the work was abandoned, but Julian would have begun the project again, had not war with Persia, and then death, claimed him.
Once Julian was dead, the attempt to return to paganism was swiftly discarded, and the next emperor, Jovian, a devoted Christian, restored the Christian churches and schools, and undid as much as he was able all the harm to the Church that Julian had inflicted upon it. Paganism had been so far abandoned, in fact, that in 380 ad the emperor Theodosius banned pagan worship altogether and made Christianity the state religion.
Thus we see that Christianity had made such gains from 313 AD to 361 AD, a span of less than 50 years, that all the efforts and authority of the emperor could not restore paganism, the system which had been in place for over two millennia. Traditionally, the church has called the earthquake of the sixth seal, the fall of paganism. Truly, the stars in the sky fell to the earth like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when shaken by a fierce wind.
Christine’s book The Revelation of Jesus Christ Revealed, based on these studies but greatly expanded, is now available at Revelation Revealed Online. You may also be interested in reading the Book Extras and joining in on the Discussion.