You can read Part 1 here. All quotations here are from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) unless otherwise noted.
In the last part, I explored the possibilities for what events can categorize the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the events described when the Fifth Seal was opened. If you haven't read the first part, go read it! Now I'll explore more of the potential candidates that could be signs, and part of the end. Please note that these are all speculations, and as such should not be considered fact.
The Sixth Seal
Revelation 6, verses 12-14 paint the picture of great calamity and unprecedentedly powerful acts of God and natural disasters. An eclipse that makes the moon glow red, "a violent earthquake," and a black (hole) sun are listed among the calamities resulting from the seal being opened.
I failed to find any events that meet the requirements of this sheer calamity, especially not repeats. If I counted repeats, the coronavirus pandemic could qualify for this position.
Whatever the result is puts the whole world in awe. As verse 15 states, this includes "the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person [who] hid in the caves and [...] the mountains." In verses 16-17, they wished for death because they knew they were doomed. God's wrath upon the unrepentant had come. Since I can find no candidates in 2020 for this, nor in known history, we know the world is not ending quite yet. But the fact that there is a meme about this (which sparked my interest to do this) could qualify...
Revelation 7:1-3 is foreshadowing the events once "the sealed" have been, well, sealed. I'm not sure what the seal is, or if it's even a visible mark.
Verses 4-8 state that some, but not all, from the tribes of Israel, 12,000 from each and 144,000 total, will be "sealed." I've hypothesized this could be proportionally related to the worldwide Jewish population today.
The Great Tribulation
The "After this" in verse 9 causes me, for some reason, to relate those who were sealed to the "vast multitude" described in this verse. With this interpretation, I'm strongly convicted the Great Tribulation is the Holocaust, which targeted 6 million Jews and affected many, many others. Of course, there is no stated correlation and my interpretation is probably wrong.
My interpretation is certainly wrong because the vast multitude is stated to be from "every nation, tribe, people, and language." After re-examination, the holocaust may still qualify under technicality, but not under the "general sense" of the verse, which depicts a mixture of everyone. I don't have any guesses at what the Great Tribulation could be, especially in 2020.
Unless the Great Tribulation is life itself.
Verse 14 narrows down the possibilities for who is included in the crowd to Christians, because they have "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb [Jesus]." As John earlier stated, he was whisked away "in the Spirit" to Heaven. So of course, this is the qualification to get into Heaven: letting Jesus's blood wash your sins away. See the Gospels for more details on this.
As verse 14 is the qualification, Revelation 7:15-17 describe the blessings of Heaven, including:
- "Serve God day and night in his temple": I'm not sure what this means.
- God's protection: Satan has no influence.
- No hunger, no thirst. Several other natural needs may be similarly abolished.
- The sun will not "strike." No sunburns!
- Jesus's guidance (which, if I'm correct, we have, at least to an extent).
- God's care (which we have, at least to an extent).
God's glory is put on display in Revelation 7. Being in the Lord's presence sends those who went through the Great Tribulation into deep reverence and worship to Him on high. In the next part I will explore the seventh seal and start trying to explain the consequences. While we don't know exactly when this will go down, or what "this" is, be warned, and don't take it lightly: the end is not far away.