There are two significant observations that can be made of the Sixth Seal:
1. Of all the seals, trumpets and bowls that result in something happening on earth, this is the
only one where there is no mention of an angel carrying out God's judgment.
Whenever God does something to earth, He either does it Himself
(Gen 1:1-31), or uses an angelic mediator
(Gen 19:12-13) or human agent (Ex 4:1-9, 17).
2. The catastrophic events of the sixth seal appear to be very similar, if not identical,
to the events caused by the seventh bowl (Rev 16:17-21). This
particular observation has been noticed by many other scholars.
Of the sixth seal (Rev 6:12-17) and seventh bowl
(Rev 16:17-21), the apostle John reports a "great earthquake" where
"every island and mountain" moved such that they could not be found in their original location. The apostle's
report of the seventh bowl's earthquake as being the greatest that the earth has experienced since the
existence of man indicates that this catastrophic event was a one time event.
In consideration of these two observations, the sixth seal lacks an angelic mediator and the events of the
sixth seal are identical to the seventh bowl, it suggests that the breaking of the sixth seal encompasses all
of the events from the seventh seal to the seventh bowl.
When Jesus Christ breaks the sixth seal, the apostle John records the resulting consequence.
With this understanding, there are two significant implications:
1. The book of Revelation can be read naturally as a continuous historical narrative including
each interlude in its place; God's unfolding plan of judgment can be understood in a continuous sequential manner.
There is no need to take apart and rearrange the sequence to make sense of the apostle John's recording.
2. One might object to the perceived redundancy of the effects of sixth seal and the seventh
bowl; however, there is good reason for this. God's work of judgment is completely done after His Son breaks the
sixth seal and its consequence fully realized (Rev 15:1;
16:17). Just as He completes Creation in six days
(Gen 2:2), God completes His work of judgment in six seals and recovers what
was lost from the Fall, which was the image of God (Dan 9:24). The writer
of Hebrews refers to what follows after, when glorified Believers will enter into His Sabbath rest which is the
eternal Sabbath (Heb 4:1-11).