Continued from previous post:
Philadelphia: Evangelism Sixth Seal: Stirring Up 1798 CE – ? CE
“I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” Rev. 2: 8, 10-12
The Protestant movement withstood the assault from the false church and it began to grow exponentially. On top of that, in 1798 CE General Berthier of the French army removed Pope Pius VI from his papal throne, religiously weakening and politically crippling the Catholic Church. The Protestants had persevered, had kept God’s truth, and now that the Catholic church was in a weakened state, a door had opened and it was time for them to reach the whole world with their message. (see 1 Cor. 16:9; Col. 4:3)
But what is this hour of God’s testing? It is a two-week (see Appendix 2) period of time that ends the Philadelphia church era when the people of the world will be shaken up and tested. (see Jam. 5:9) You see, when you test something, you are trying to determine if it passes a certain criteria; you are making a judgment as to something’s worthiness. For instance, in school we wrote exams so the teacher could judge whether or not we knew the subject matter well enough to pass and move on in our studies. In this passage Jesus is telling his followers during this era that the testing is not for them, it is meant for the world. They are told to simply hang on to the truth. Jesus promised his messengers that they would be with him in the temple of the New Jerusalem when it was set up and that they would be called by His name.
“I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth…The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “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?” Rev. 6: 12-17
This picture is of the Alpha-Monocerotid meteor outburst in 1995. NASA
Earthquake: San Francisco
As the Philadelphia church era ends, the sixth seal will be opened and, within the two-week period time of testing, these signs are going to be given. As they occur, great fear will grip people and test their beliefs – or lack thereof. Jesus, in Luke 21: 25, 26, said the same thing as here in Revelation when he said, “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars…men fainting from fear….” Jesus also said in verse 31 that, “…when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.”
These signs will frighten even the bravest, but we see in Revelation 7:1, the verse that immediately follows the sixth seal and precedes the seventh seal, that John says, “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.” Angels are sent to delay the final calamities that will occur under the seventh seal and fall upon the earth during the era of the seventh church. This is so that the gospel can be preached to the entire world and those shaken up by the hour of testing will have a chance to turn to God and be saved. This is a probation period for Christians living in the end times, similar to the 70-week probation period given to the Jews that ended in 34 CE when Stephan was stoned. (see chapter three) We do not know how long our probation period is going to be, but Jesus’ warning in Luke 21: 31 that says these signs mean that the kingdom of God is near, so we can assume it will be a short time span.