Like a scroll
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." (Rev. 6:14)
scroll is significant in discussing the seals. Do you remember?
"And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book [scroll] written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals." (Rev. 5:1)
The great significance I see in the scroll is that it is the record of human lives. Satan has claimed that we all deserve to die but Jesus breaks his seals. See on 0501.
The righteous who claim Christ's name are vindicated in the preadvent judgment 0610. Now it is over and the record is closed. The sign in heaven (where the judgment took place) indicates this as the scroll is rolled up. I assume that this sign will be literal as well as figurative. In some way those living at the time will see it. We must wait to find out.
Mountains and islands displaced
What do mountains generally
represent? Jerusalem is on top of a mountain which is sometimes called
Zion. The mountain is often a symbol of the nation. The Lord declared that
the holy mountain would be above the other mountains and hills, extending
the metaphor is0202f;
Even now (1998) the nations of our world are becoming unstable. When the spirit of the Lord is fully withdrawn at the end of human probation and the four winds are allowed to blow (Rev. 7:1-3), we may expect total chaos as represented by every mountain and island moved out of its place. We may expect physical movement, too, and be thankful for divine protection.
Running from God
"And the kings of the earth,
and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty
men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens
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 that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:" (Rev. 6:15, 16)
What a terrible scene. Violent death is preferred to facing judgment unprepared after probation has closed! This is hard to imagine. We may pray not to need to experience it. This whole scene may represent the time just before the punishment of the end-time wicked or the time of trouble. See on the fifth and sixth seals. On this particular verse see re0906 and on is0219 where we find more details of the situation. Compare ho1008.
Being seated on the throne
implies judgment ps00907.
The wicked do not want to hear the sentence! Again, this scene concludes
the one in chapter 5. "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne
and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as
it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven
Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the
book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne." (5:6, 7)
Link to a table showing roles of Father, Son, and angels in the preadvent judgment.
Who can stand?
" . . . Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:16, 17)
God does not lose control
of His temper as we sometimes do. In fact His love is abounding and always
will be. " . . . As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the
death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. .
. ." (Ezek 33:11)
Justice and mercy at this point demand the punishment and destruction of the wicked. In chapter 19 we will see this destruction which occurs at the second coming. The wicked will be raised again at the end of the thousand years to experience final judgment, but this we will study later, so just accept it as my idea for now. Also see je2527; ps14405.
It's easy to get the idea that God is just trying to get us on His side by fear. This is not the case. He gives us the freedom to make our choice without pressure: "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." (Eccl. 8:11) All flesh is as grass is4006.
In His mercy, God warns us of the natural result of our course of action will granting the freedom to choose.
An angry lamb
The sheep who becomes the shepherd to the righteous is seen here as the meek and lowly lamb who is ready to punish the wicked.
Who then can
Chapter 7 answers the question for us. I am renewing my pledge to be faithful in the strength and grace of Christ, and I invite you to yield Him your heart, too.