We have been looking at the events of the sixth seal, which historicists name the fall of paganism:
Then I looked when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and a huge earthquake took place; the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became blood red; and the stars in the sky fell to the earth like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when shaken by a fierce wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the very important people, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?” Revelation 6:12-17
So far we have seen that the earthquake is a complete shaking and revolution of all earthly order: government, society, religion, economy, and worldview; we have seen that the sun and moon depicted in total eclipse represent the dual emperorship of Diocletian; the next symbol is the stars of the sky falling to earth.
Stars, we have seen already, represent angels or, more broadly, can represent other spiritual or heavenly powers. The symbolism is that of the established heavenly powers so shaken from their places that they fall to earth; i.e., completely lose their authority or influence.
The next symbol is of the sky being split apart. In Revelation, symbolism of the earth has to do with earthly matters or the inhabitants of the earth, or the unsaved or adherants to the world system; symbolism of the heavens has to do with heavenly matters, or spiritual powers, or events in the spiritual world. The sky is another symbol for heavenly powers or authority, and here it is being split asunder.
Next is the symbol of the mountains and islands. Historicists have equated mountains with governments or principalities, and islands with nations. According to the vision, every mountain and every island is removed from its place. So we can expect a great change in the boundaries or situations of governments and nations in the fulfillment of this seal.
Those who dwell in the earth are the unsaved; those who dwell in heaven are the saved, whether still living in the earth or not. Those who dwell in the earth — the unsaved, whether of kings or slaves, it matters not — flee to hide from the wrath of the Lamb.
Now that we see what picture of events the vision is painting of this time, we can look at the history following the end of Diocletian’s reign, and see if there are any parallels …
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 6, the great earthquake: sun and moon in eclipse