REVELATIONS SIXTH SEAL
The final part of the 6th seal had its historical fulfillment in 1833, as we shall show, and the seventh seal is the second coming of Christ. It is most significant that 1833 is just 11 years before the call of Ellen White, God’s end-time messenger for these last days before Jesus comes to rescue His church and grant immortality to the faithful who died throughout the 6000 years of earths history, and the 144,000 living saints who will be translated without seeing death.
The 6th Seal in Revelation
Rev 6:12: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood”(AKJV).
Rev 6:13: “And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”
The Great Earthquake
The great earthquake had its historical fulfillment on November 1, 1755―just 25 years before the dark day of the sun, which means it is the only earthquake fitting the specifications of the prophecy
“Although not the strongest or most deadly earthquake in human history, the 1755 Lisbon earthquake's impact, not only on Portugal but on all of Europe, was profound and lasting. Depictions of the earthquake in art and literature can be found in several European countries, and these were produced and reproduced for centuries following the event, which came to be known as "The Great Lisbon Earthquake"(1).
“The earthquake began at 9:30 on November 1st, 1755, and was centered in the Atlantic Ocean, about 200 km WSW of Cape St. Vincent. The total duration of shaking lasted ten minutes and was comprised of three distinct jolts. Effects from the earthquake were far reaching. The worst damage occurred in the south-west of Portugal. Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, was the largest and the most important of the cities damaged. Severe shaking was felt in North Africa and there was heavy loss of life in Fez and Mequinez. Moderate damage was done in Algiers and in southwest Spain. Shaking was also felt in France, Switzerland, and Northern Italy. A devastating fire following the earthquake destroyed a large part of Lisbon, and a very strong tsunami caused heavy destruction along the coasts of Portugal, southwest Spain, and western Morocco”(1).
“The oscillation of suspended objects at great distances from the epicenter indicate an enormous area of perceptibility. The observation of seiches as far away as Finland, suggest a magnitude approaching 9.0. Precursory phenomena were reported, including turbid waters in Portugal and Spain, falling water level in wells in Spain, and a decrease in water flow in springs and fountains”(1).
“The extensive number of renderings of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake found throughout Europe demonstrate the traumatic effect the disaster had on the continent. Depictions of the Lisbon earthquake were created, copied, and widely distributed and discussed throughout all of southern, western and central Europe. Whether created by the new desire to investigate, record, and understand the earthquake in natural rather than strictly metaphysical terms, or created by the more sensational desire to report on human calamity, these depictions indicate that the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 represents a watershed event in European history” (1).
The Dark Day of the Sun
“…….and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair…..” (Rev.6:12). Other Bible texts verify and speak of this same event as well as the other prophecies in the 6th seal
Joel 2:10: “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.”
Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.
"The Dark Day, May 19, 1780—so called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day extending over all New England.... The obscuration began about ten o'clock in the morning, and continued till the middle of the next night, but with difference of degree and duration in different places.... The true cause of this remarkable phenomenon is not known"(2).
“The first volume of the "Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," published in Boston in 1785, contains a paper entitled, "An Account of a Very Uncommon Darkness in the States of New England, May 19, 1780. By Samuel Williams, A.M., Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy in the University at Cambridge [Massachusetts]."
“Of the extent, duration, and degree of darkness on that occasion, this scientific observer said:”
"The extent of this darkness was very remarkable.... From the accounts that have been received, it seems to have extended all over the New England States. It was observed as far east as Falmouth [Portland, Maine]. To the westward, we hear of its reaching to the furthest parts of Connecticut, and Albany. To the southward, it was observed all along the seacoasts. And to the north as far as our settlements extend....”
"With regard to its duration, it continued in this place at least fourteen hours: but it is probable this was not exactly the same in different parts of the country. The appearance and effects were such as tended to make the prospect extremely dull and gloomy. Candles were lighted up in the houses; the birds having sung their evening songs, disappeared, and became silent; the fowls retired to roost; the cocks were crowing all around as at break of day; objects could not be distinguished but at a very little distance; and everything bore the appearance and gloom of night" (See pages 234-246) (2). This event of May 19th 1780, also fits the specifications of this prophecy―and the moon turns to blood that night!
Moon turns to Blood
“….. And the moon became as blood…..” (Revelation 6:12), “and the moon shall be dark”(Joel 2:10), “and the moon into blood”(Joel 2:31), “and the moon shall not give her light,” (Mat 24:29),“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come” (Acts 2:20).
After the dark day of the sun on May 19,1780, that very night the moon had the appearance of blood. “May 19, 1780, stands in history as "The Dark Day." Since the time of Moses, no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration has ever been recorded. "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come." Joel 2:31.The moon became as red as blood on the night of the "dark day," May 19, 1780. Milo Bostick in Stone's History of Massachusetts says, "The moon which was at its full, had the appearance of blood" (3).
The Stars Fall from Heaven
Rev 6:13: “And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind: “and the stars shall withdraw their shining” (Joel 2:10), meaning as they fell to the earth they disappeared. “And the stars shall fall from heaven” (Mat 24:29).
“On Nov. 13, 1833, came the wondrous celestial exhibition of falling stars, which is listed as one of the most remarkable phenomena of the astronomical story” (4).
“Meteoric displays, swarms of shooting stars, have been observed at various times all through the ages; but this phenomenon, coming in the order given by the prophecy, that is, following the darkening of the sun, constituted the sublime display answering to the pen-picture of the Apocalypse,—as if all the stars of heaven were falling to the earth” (4).
“The essential thing about a sign is that it shall be seen, that the circumstances of its appearance shall fasten attention. Not in America alone, but equally in all the civilized world, as a topic of study, this sign in the heavens commanded the attention of men” (4).
“An English scientist, Rev. Thomas Milner, F.R.G.S., wrote:”
"The attention of astronomers in Europe, and all over the world, was, as may be imagined, strongly roused by intelligence of this celestial display on the Western continent."—"The Gallery of Nature" (London, 1852), p. 141(4).
“This writer called it "by far the most splendid display on record."—Id., p. 139.
Another English astronomical writer of more recent date says:
"Once for all, then, as the result of the star fall of 1833, the study of luminous meteors became an integral part of astronomy."—Clerke, "History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century," p. 329.
“This same work describes the extent of the display as follows:”
"On the night of Nov. 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the earth. North America bore the brunt of its pelting. From the Gulf of Mexico to Halifax, until daylight with some difficulty put an end to the display, the sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs."—Page 328 (4).
The Spectacle Described
“The closest scientific observations were made by Prof. Denison Olmsted, professor of astronomy at Yale, who wrote in the American Journal of Science:” (4)
"The morning of Nov. 13, 1833, was rendered memorable by an exhibition of the phenomenon called shooting stars, which was probably more extensive and magnificent than any similar one hitherto recorded.... Probably no celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with so much admiration and delight by one class of spectators, or with so much astonishment and fear by another class. For some time after the occurrence, the “meteoric phenomenon” was the principal topic of conversation in every circle."—Volume XXV (1834), pp. 363, 364 (4).
The 7th Seal
Directly after vs.13 when the stars fall, here is depicted the second coming of Christ:
Rev 6:14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Rev 8:1: And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. This verse, if it were in chronological order, would come right after vs. 6:13. 7th Day Adventist expositors agree that “silence” means all of heaven has come for the saints―others hold the view that the silence is awe that the end has come. A “half hour” some hold to be a week coming from the year day principle, (Numbers 14:34, Eze. 4:6) and others say it’s just a short period.
Bible Prophecy is a mirror reflection of history, and the historical records validate Bible prophecy―”We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place” (2Pe 1:19), and: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). The 6th seal is one that Jesus Himself, the greatest prophet, spoke in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. The study of Bible prophecy along with its historical verification show us that the Bible is the Word of God because only God can predict the future not being restricted to time and place. Moreover, by the fulfillment of the stars falling from heaven in 1833, 177 years ago, we know that soon Jesus will come and take us home.
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1. “National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering”: University of California, Berkeley: Web: retrieved from: http://nisee.berkeley.edu/lisbon/
2. “The Dark day of 1780:” Web: retrieved from: http://www.web-books.com/Classics/ON/B0/B897/09MB897.html
3. “The Final Events of Bible Prophecy:” The Moon Turns to Blood: Web: Retrieved from: http://www.finalevents.com/Event1/Sign05.asp?p=O
4. “THE FALLING STARS OF 1833:” Web: Retrieved from: http://www.web-books.com/Classics/ON/B0/B897/10MB897.html