For myself, when I view the title of a ‘news’ article, and that title is in the form of a question, then I know that it is not a news article, but rather a propaganda-based opinion piece (which I then promptly ignore)…..please do not stop reading here.
In Revelation 6:9-11, it is written:
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne….Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete...
The fifth seal is rather vague. It is a scene in heaven, where martyrs are demanding that God exact vengeance on those that killed them. We are then told that they will need to wait for their revenge, until sufficient numbers of Believers are killed for their faith.
When I read about the massacre of Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Nigeria by Islamic fundamentalists, the above scripture come to my mind. There have always been surviving pockets of Christians in many parts of the Middle East, and they have survived since the time of Mohammed. However, with much of the Middle East caught up in sectarian bloodshed, the random slaughter of Christians has been an all too common occurrence. Aside from the hundreds of thousands of Christian Armenians killed by the Turks in the early 20th century, I would guess that the current massacre of Christians in the Middle East is unprecedented in modern history.
I will concede that I do not have much confidence in my understanding of the fifth seal, but given the martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East today, I would argue that we should at least be open to the idea that the 5th seal has been opened.
If we concede that Death and Hades have been set loose upon the world, and that it is possible that the 5th seal has also been opened, then it becomes time to focus our minds on the 6th seal. In Revelation 6:12-15, it is written:
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains…
In the past, I have argued that one way for the sixth seal to be manifested would be a major eruption of a supervolcano. The ash and soot from the eruption would be vast, and would darken the sky as described above. The western half of the United States is home to 3 supervolcanos — the highest concentration of any where else on the planet. You can be sure that the President and the generals would scurry to their government underground vaults, just as the top 0.01% would similarly flee to their luxury private bunkers, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves in their basements or subway stations.
If nothing else, the eruption of a supervolcano would surely serve as a wake up call to any Believer who might have doubts as to where we were in the Revelation time line. The countdown to Christ’s return continues.