The Sixth Seal
As I write these words, the Sumatra tsunami that struck on the morning of December 26th 2004 has killed over a quarter of a million people and the aftermath of the lethal event has become widely known. Some are saying the death count will continue to soar up to half a million. Media accounts, including video tape of the enormous waves crashing on the shore as multitudes in its path fled for their lives, have dominated the news for weeks.
As most people know, the gigantic tsunami (a term for a particular type of tidal wave) was triggered by an enormous 9.3 Earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean. Several million people have been dislocated from their homes and their jobs, and vast numbers of people have seen every vestige of their existence wiped away in a single stroke.
Geologists are now saying that many islands were moved, the entire WORLD has been "vibrating" as a result of this megacatastrophe, and scientists are stating they believe the event was only the beginning of a larger series of catastrophes that are now beginning. Although data is still being collected, we now know that the entire PLANET is now rotating just a bit faster than it did. In short, the sheer scope of this unprecedented calamity is completely off the charts.
Although many Bible prophecy commentators are pointing to this event as a significant portent of the future series of judgments commonly referred to as The Great Tribulation, we now believe that with this event, the tribulation has already begun.
While most prophecy teachers are expecting the "rapture" followed by the tribulation, long ago I came to the conclusion that this expectation is Scripturally flawed (Galatians 4:16). Although this view is extremely unpopular, I must bear witness to what I have learned. In this regard, it's important to point out that months ago, Christian Media publicly predicted that a huge Earthquake was most likely the very next event to occur in the prophetic calendar.
On the Apocalypse Chronicles daily prophecy radio broadcast, we have steadily predicted the events that we are NOW seeing - including specific statements that the next event we expected was the "great earthquake" of Revelation's sixth seal. For example, on July 23rd 2003, I stated my belief that the next event that is scheduled to occur is the sixth seal described in Revelation Six:
For the benefit of those that have not been studying these things, Scripture makes it clear that the very first event associated with the sixth seal is a great Earthquake:
As I've continued to intensely study the prophetic chronology, my perspective has been progressively refined. For example, over a year after the previous statement, in September of 2004, I went out on a limb (again) and issued the following projection:
Because the trumpets are part of the sixth seal, this statement, and others made on the prophecy broadcast, amount to a specific prediction that the inaugural event of the sixth seal, a great Earthquake, would occur "before the end of the year." I note that the huge 9.3 Earthquake actually hit on Sunday December 26th 2004 - just before the end of the year.
The Trumpets Are Part Of The Sixth Seal
Because so few people have been taught the truth about Bible prophecy, a few things need to be pointed out. The "seals" may be thought of as something similar to the sealing of an envelope. When you open an envelope, as the breaking of the seal progresses, you can see more of the contents within that 'envelope.'
The "trumpet" judgments of Revelation, as described in chapters 8 and 9, all describe violent events that are initiated as an angel blows a trumpet. The last cluster of tribulational judgments in Revelation, known as the vials (think small vials that hold a potent liquid), further describe events as angels pour out these vials. All the trumpet judgments occur within the 6th seal, and the "vial" judgments overlap with the latter part of the trumpets. This is demonstrated by the text itself and is a prophetic truth that I have taught for many years.
The simple fact is each of these groups of end-times judgments overlap. This is clear from Revelation, because the present world order comes to an end at the 7th of each set of judgments (the 7th seal, the 7th trumpet, the 7th vial). Indeed, unless we're prepared to believe the world ends 3 times, they must overlap.
In the sixth seal, we see various elements of events that occur as part of the trumpets, and part of the vials. For instance, during the sixth seal we see the well-known description wherein "the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood" (Revelation 6:12). This event has been widely predicted in the Bible, including specific prophecies made by Jesus Christ Himself, as well as several of the Major Prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Joel.
The 5th Seal - The Persecution Of Christians
What is particularly interesting is the great Earthquake of the sixth seal inaugurates events that are closely associated with the term the Wrath of God. While most people concede that Earthquakes are Acts of God, few are ready to acknowledge that this terrible judgment is actually a part of the Wrath of God.
Since the fifth seal describes the martyrs of Jesus, I wondered if there has actually been enough Christians martyred to fulfill the description of the persecution seen in that fifth seal. I knew that Moslems were killing Christians in Islamic nations, but I had no idea just how bad the situation actually has become. Many already know that in the various Middle Eastern Sheikhdoms, any Moslem that converts to Christianity is arrested and routinely tortured to try to force them to re-convert to Islam. Communist persecution against Christians is also still very prevalent. In North Korea and China, for example, believers in JESUS CHRIST are regularly arrested, beaten, and frequently never heard from again.
One report recently stated that Christians have been murdered in about 40 countries in the last 4 years! In fact, the more I looked for Christian persecution, the more I found it. In Haiti, gunmen recently killed a popular Christian radio personality even as the Iranian government just arrested 80 Christians in a "religious raid." Believers are in jail for the "crime" of being Christian in Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Myanmar, North Korea, Laos, China, Sudan, and other far away locales.
In India, a human rights watch group says 3 believers were recently kidnapped by a militant anti-Christian group where the hostages were "severely beaten and tied to a sacred tree�." The kidnapping and murder of Christians has also recently occurred in Nepal, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Kazakhstan. Last year, we saw that terrible hostage crisis in Russia where dozens of people that were being held in a gymnasium included numerous Christian children that were murdered by Chechen Moslem terrorists. Ultimately, over 150 people were murdered in cold blood in that evil action, and a Russian minister has reported that about 50 children taken from a local Christian church were among those killed in the massacre in Beslan, Russia.
Meanwhile, the Sudan is the scene of a mass genocide in the Darfur region where well over 50,000 have died - many of which were African Christians murdered by Arabic Moslem zealots in league with the government. A similar wholesale persecution is underway in Iraq where Arab Christians are fleeing to Kurdish controlled areas in the North. At the same time, Christians are being arrested in Laos, Nigeria, and Chad.
The Sixth Seal And The Wrath Of God
After realizing that the persecution of Christians was so widespread that the fifth seal could very well have been 'opened,' I began to consider the possibility that the next significant event would be the opening of the sixth seal - the beginning of the tribulation.
Over the last 18 months, I slowly came to the conclusion that the sixth seal, which I had already determined included the trumpets and vials, was about to begin. In my various prophecy writings, and on my daily prophecy radio program, I began to warn all who would hear that the sixth seal with the trumpet judgments was about to open, and the next big event would be of a geologic nature:
"About the actual mortality rate that's about to occur�..a great terrifying event is about to occur and a lot of people are going to die�..the trumpets look to have what would be described as geologic aspects. When the trumpets blow, the operative word is geology." (The Apocalypse Chronicles radio broadcast, 01/26/2004)
Over the course of 2004, I repeatedly referenced "the great earthquake" that is the first element of the sixth seal. A year ago, on the Apocalypse Chronicles radio program, I extensively discussed what was coming in the form of "the great earthquake" that begins the tribulational cycle:
After the deadly 9.3 undersea Earthquake struck and the true extent of this judgment began to sink in, I realized that the LORD was showing me this great shaking was the inaugural event of the tribulational judgments that we have expected for so many years. In fact, realizing that the sixth seal is essentially the LORD's response to the fifth seal martyr's cry "how long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth," I can see that this event is also associated with the beginning of the vengeance of God.
As I had been studying the list of nations that have persecuted the Christians, I also compiled the list of nations with people that were killed by the great Earthquake and tsunami. I was stunned to realize that of the 12 nations with casualties, every single one of the countries with a significant death rate have populations where a majority of the people follow a non-Christian religion - and with the exception of many Buddhists, they are heavily Islamic.
Furthermore, two of the worst offenders were Burma and Indonesia, where Christians have been experiencing particularly nasty persecution. The worst offender was Indonesia, which "coincidentally" had the highest death rate of all - well over 100,000 people died in Indonesia alone. As I stated before, this and many other facts which space precludes covering in this brief update, have convinced me that the tribulation has now begun.
Fire From On High Is Next
In accord with this prophetic truth, the next significant prophetic event should be the fiery events that are to occur as the trumpet judgments commence - the first being "hail and fire mingled with blood [that will be] cast upon the earth" (Revelation 8:7) -- with a tremendous defoliation the inevitable result.
I already know that most Christians will reject these conclusions as previous prophecies I've issued that have been fulfilled have been deceitfully explained away, or simply scoffed at. Experience has taught me that the majority that receive this writing will also reject these things based on their prophetic traditions (II Timothy 4:4) - and some will angrily write in and demand they never hear from me again. I can't help that, for all I can do is be faithful to the prophetic call the LORD has placed on my life, and to send it as a word of warning to as many as possible. With this writing I've done just that (Hosea 4:6).
February 23 2005 - James Lloyd
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