Here are three reasons why I believe the sixth seal is the beginning of the day of the Lord, but not the beginning of the wrath of God.
When the sixth seal is broken there is a great earthquake and the sun becomes black as sackcloth and the moon becomes like blood. The stars of the sky fall to the earth and the sky is split apart like a scroll. When the inhabitants of the earth see these things they try to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord saying,
“Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand” (Revelation 11:17).
They mention the wrath of God, but this does not mean this is the beginning of the wrath of God, as explained in the following three points.
First, the people do not say the wrath has come. Instead, they say “the day of their wrath has come”, which is very different. The events of the sixth seal let the whole world know the day of the Lord has arrived, which is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, but the wrath does not start yet because the angels briefly hold it back until God’s people are protected. First, the 144,000 are protected by the seal of God (Revelation 7:1-8). Then the great multitude is protected by being raptured and taken to heaven (Revelation 7:9-17). Then the wrath begins to be poured out with the first trumpet in Revelation 8.
Second, although there is a lot of shaking and other unusual events, there is no mention that anyone is harmed or killed during the sixth seal events. When the wrath of God finally begins in Revelation 8 we see many people are harmed and killed.
Third, according to both Jesus (Matthew 24:29-31) and the Apostle John (Revelation 6:12-17) the events released by the sixth seal precede the rapture. In John’s account the raptured church is found in Revelation 7:9-17. Since the sixth seal precedes the rapture it must also precede the wrath because God has promised to deliver his people from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
The sixth seal marks the beginning of the day of the Lord and the beginning of the great tribulation. The 42-month tribulation has ended by that time. The purpose for the terrible events of the sixth seal is to notify all of the inhabitants of the earth that this is their final chance to repent because the wrath of God is about to be released. It is their final warning. The wrath begins very soon afterwards.
The order in which these events appear in the scriptures reveals the sequence of events. The final warning is given in Revelation 6, the saints are protected in Revelation 7, and the wrath of God begins in Revelation 8.
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is a blogger, business owner, husband and father of two grown children. In 1982, he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2012, he founded Z3news.com to broadcast the message of salvation by reporting end time news before it happens.