OPENING THE SIXTH SEAL
The sixth seal begins in the end time and ends in the great and terrible day of the Lord. Because the first
five seals began centuries ago, I had comments about their end time manifestations. However, the sixth
seal begins in recent times, and much of what needs to be said about the sixth seal has already been
said by V. T. Houteff. I do have comments, however, dealing with God's judgments and plagues. Here is
the scripture.

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun
became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the
earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven
departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their
places. 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: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be
able to stand?" (Rev. 6:12-17).

Houteff said: ""The sixth seal opens with the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755. Following the
earthquake the sun was darkened, May 19, 1780, and the moon appeared as blood the following night.
The "falling of the stars," has reference to the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. Jesus,
looking forward to the fulfillment of these signs, said: "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." (Matt. 24:29.) Therefore, under the sixth seal came the
signs of the time of the end -- the great earthquake in 1755, the dark day in 1780, the falling stars in 1833,
and the beginning of the judgment in 1844."" (V. T. Houteff, "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, 1932, p. 212).

Houteff also expected an end time repeat of the signs of the sixth seal. "Revelation 6:12-17, has a double
application, and it is clear that these verses also refer to the time of the purification of God's church..."
(Ibid).

On the other hand, Houteff expected the end time repeat of the signs of the sixth seal to be symbolic
rather than physical. ""These global disturbances and celestial exhibitions between the years 1755 and
1833, in themselves, however, appear to be forecasts of the things which take place during the great and
dreadful day of the Lord. If this be true, then the earthquake foreshadows the forthcoming shaking,
sifting, among the nations, as predicted by the prophets..."

""The darkening of the sun would bespeak the closing of the gospel, the end of probationary time, the
time when man "shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it." "For, behold, the
darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people." Amos 8:12; Isa. 60:2."

""The moon, associated with the sun, makes a fitting symbol of the church, the agency by which the Word
of God, the light of the world, is reflected. The moon's becoming as blood immediately following the
darkening of the sun, refusing to reflect light, would be an appropriate omen of the church's having
finished her work of salvation, no longer needing to reflect the Light of the gospel. And the church
herself is, of course, at that time imbued with eternal life, delivered from destruction as were the
firstborn in the dwellings where the door posts had been painted with the sacrificial blood on the
evening of the Passover in the land of Egypt."

""The falling stars are suggestive of the great and terrible day of the Lord -- the day in which "the
heavens...pass away" (2 Pet. 3:10), the day in which all their host is dissolved, and in which the Devil and
his host, also the wicked in the church and in the world, "shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the
vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree." Isa. 34:4."

""All these signs stand as faithful witnesses that the sixth seal, the sixth period of time, brings the great
day of God, the wrath of the Lamb."" (Ibid, "To The Seven Churches: The Breaking Of The Seven Seals,"
1947, p. 55,56).

Houteff explained the earthquake as foreshadowing a great shifting and shaking among the nations. The
emerging Kingdom of God causes that shifting and shaking, as some nations allow the Kingdom to be
preached and others try to destroy the message. The signs of the sixth seal also have a physical
manifestation that should lead us to expect nuclear war in the end time, during the great and terrible
day
of the Lord.
All of the signs take place on one day, this is only possible in nuclear war.

The sun is obscured by dense black clouds, which are described as "black as sackcloth," the color of
mourning and a symbol of mourning, "the sun became black as sackcloth of hair." Houteff has associated
the moon with the church, "the agency by which the Word of God, the light of the world, is reflected."
(Ibid). The blood red color of the moon is the symbol of the death of the sinners (tares) in the church,
"the moon became as blood."

The fall of the stars to earth must be explained by a technology which the people of Houteff's time could
not even imagine, our current ability to blow up incoming nuclear weapons in midair. The intercepted
bombs fall to earth burning with the brightness of stars, causing mighty windstorms, "the stars of heaven
fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind."

As the fig is the symbol of the Holy Spirit (see No. 22, "The Holy Family"), there is a suggestion here that
this devastation causes hurt to the church, whose members are the fruit of the Vine (Christ) and the Fig
(Holy Spirit or, like Mother, like Daughter, the Holy Ghost). The casting of untimely figs is the death of
fledgling saints.

The dark clouds obscure visibility, so that after the bombs fall, the stars can no longer be seen for a
while, "the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together." (A rolled scroll can not be read until it
is unrolled again.) When the stars can be seen again, it will be apparent that the earth has shifted on its
axis, "and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."

Additionally, Houteff associated the sixth seal with the sealing of the 144,000 which takes place at the
beginning of Revelation 7. ""Thus it is that while the first four seals carry us through the periods of the
day in which the works of man are made manifest, the last three seals carry us through the day of God,
the day in which His Truth and His works are made manifest."

""That there should be a climax of some kind in the Judicial work at this particular point of the Scriptures
(Rev. 6:14-17), is not a mystery. Its being stamped with the events which end the reign of sin, and this
being realized by even the sinners themselves, is a very good indication that during the sixth seal the
Judgment of the dead closes, and the preparations for the Judgment of the living begin. It is the
"dreadful day" for the wicked."

""Moreover, as the first phase of the Judgment passes with the sixth chapter of Revelation, the second
phase begins with the seventh chapter; that is, it begins with the sealing of the living saints, the first
fruits. It is the "great day" for the righteous."" (Ibid).

Houteff did not have the message of the Battle of Jericho as the link between the seven angel messages
of Revelation 14 and the seven angels sounding their trumpets of Revelation 7 to 11. (The Battle of
Jericho is the pattern for the overthrow of the nations by the Kingdom of God. The angel message are
like the instructions for the Battle of Jericho, the seven angels sounding their trumpets are a repeat of
the seven angel messages (as seven trumpet blasts) during the battle itself.) That message was given to
me by the Holy Spirit. I was also told that there were two groups of 144,000 sealed, one during the
Judgment of the Dead, and a second during the Judgment of the Living.

Lacking these two messages, Houteff failed to report that the Holocaust was a fulfillment of Revelation
14:9-11, (it is the
instruction of the great and terrible day of the Lord, rather than the great and terrible
day itself). He also did not mention that the 144,000 sealed by his church and the churches of his
predecessors were the 144,000 sealed during the Judgment of the Dead. Finally, he did not have the
fourth, fifth and sixth angel message, nor the judgment of David Koresh and his followers, which was the
instruction of the fulfillment the judgment found in Rev. 14:14-16.

The subject of judgments is quite complex. There are three judgments in Rev. 14 (the most horrible
being that associated with the seventh angel message, a judgment which is still pending), and unless
God is very merciful, all of these three judgments will be
repeated during the actual battle. The first
judgment in Rev. 14 fell on those with the mark of the beast (Rev. 14:9-11). Fifty million people died, six
million of them were Jews, and Ezekiel 7 was fulfilled. When it is repeated in the time of the trumpets,
this judgment will encompass the whole world and certainly devastate the population of the earth.

The second judgment of Rev. 14 was done using a sickle, a symbol of the grain harvest, and the angel
instructs the man on the white cloud to reap (Rev. 14:14-16). This points to the judgment of the wheat and
the tares, who are found among the Feast and Sabbath keeping Christians. The instruction of this
judgment is seen in the destruction of Koresh's flock. The 144,000 sealed servants of God being
gathered now, teaching the blood of Christ, the Law of God and the Kingdom of God were the wheat.
Koresh's flock were the tares.

The judgment of Koresh's flock was a warning (instruction) of the coming judgment on all Feast and
Sabbath keepers, either Christians or Messianic Jews. The repeat of this judgment in the time of the
trumpets will fall on the same group, the Jewish Christians (from whom the 144,000 are mostly called) and
the Messianic Jews.

The third judgment of Rev. 14, which has not happened yet, falls on the whole Christian church, the
grapes, the fruit of the True Vine, Christ. Because this judgment is still pending, let's review the
scripture.

"And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him
that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the
earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the
vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was
trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space
of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." (Rev. 14:18-20). The ripe grapes are saints. They testify of
Christ and He is the center of their lives. The vine represents those nominal Christians who go to church
for business reasons or social reasons, they hardly give a thought to being like Christ.

The Jews of Europe refused Christ and Houteff both, God judged them for it. (See No. 39, "The
Judgments of Ezekiel 7.") David Koresh sought to defile the end time church, and its message, with his
abominations. God judged his flock for it. (See No. 37, "The Great Trumpet Of Isaiah 27.") God will fulfill
this prophecy of judgment of the Christian church (Rev. 14:18-20), the only question is when.

If the earth is very blessed, and God's work of setting up His Kingdom is not thwarted, and the Saints
pray every day for another day of peace, the last judgment of the angel messages and the repeat of all
three judgments during the time of the end time trumpets, may be delayed or some judgments may be
combined. Nevertheless, Satan will not give up easily and the last plagues must be fulfilled.

Prophetic indications of the timing of these judgments and/or plagues do exist, but are inconclusive.
The last plagues are associated with the rapture of the harpers. "And I saw another sign in heaven, great
and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast,
and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass,
having the harps of God... And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the
testimony in heaven was opened: and the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven
plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of
the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for
ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no
man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." (Rev.
15:1,2,5-8).

The harpers go directly to heaven without seeing death. There are two patterns for men going directly to
heaven without seeing death. First, Enoch just disappeared. "And Enoch walked with God: and he was
not; for God took him." (Gen. 5:24). Second, Elijah went to heaven in a whirlwind. "And it came to pass, as
they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted
them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 Kings 2:11).

Because the harper's visit to God's throne room is so closely associated with the plagues, it would seem
that their rapture would be accomplished in a whirlwind, accompanied by a judgment on the wicked. "For,
behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a
whirlwind, to render His anger with fury,
and His rebuke with flames of fire." (Is. 66:15). "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth
from nation to nation, and a great
whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth." (Jer. 25:32).
"Behold, the
whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain
upon the head of the wicked." (Jer. 30:23).

On the other hand, the plagues actually seem to start
after the rapture of the living harpers. (See Rev.
15, quoted above.) Further, the rapture of the dead, which took place with Christ's resurrection (see
Matt. 27:52,53; John 20:16,17), was so quiet that in must be inferred from the wave sheaf offering of the
ceremonial law and Christ's assurance to Mary that He must ascend to His Father on Resurrection
Sunday.

The rapture of the living harpers thus has two quite different patterns. It can happen accompanied by a
great judgment (whirlwind) on the Christian church (Rev. 14:18-20, blood to the horse bridles) in the
manner that Elijah went to heaven. Alternately, the rapture of the living harpers can happen quietly, as
Enoch went to heaven, in which case Rev. 14:18-20, the judgment of the Christian church, would happen
in the time of the plagues. And only God knows how long the prayers of those He loves can delay the
plagues.

As you see, this is a complex subject. I am not going to deal further with these issues now. Suffice to say
that Houteff opened the sixth seal.

Amo Paul Bishop Roden