Abbreviated version of Alan Kurschner’s (Eschatos Ministries) article: Revelation 6:16–17 Is NOT a ‘Summary Statement’ of God’s Wrath
KEY VERSE: “They said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?’” Rev 6:16–17
It is the wicked who are exclaiming this! They are running to the caves during the sixth seal—not because the wrath of God is in the past—but because they realise that the day of the Lord is about to come upon them. This suddenness of the day of the Lord is consistent with the apostle Paul’s teaching regarding how the day of the Lord will come upon the wicked: “sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!” 1 Thess 5:3
The sixth seal, the context of Rev 6:16–17 is drawing from Joel 2:31 “The sunlight will be turned to darkness and the moon to the colour of blood, before the day of the LORD comes– that great and terrible day!” Joel 2:31
Jesus’s teaches in Matthew 24 that the wrath of God begins when he returns to raise the saints from the dead and rapture the saints still alive, God separates the righteous and the wicked. This is when Jesus says the celestial disturbances will happen just before the wrath is poured out on the wicked (Matt 24:29–31; cf. Luke 21:25–28).
The fifth seal martyrs cry out to God asking when the wrath of God will begin: “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” (Rev 6:10). Their heavenly answer to them is to wait for the wrath “a little longer” (Rev 6:11). In other words, it is still in the future. . The martyrs understand that they were not killed because of God’s wrath. And they understand that God will pour out his wrath in the near future. They receive their new resurrected bodies depicted in Rev 7
Between the sixth seal and the seventh seal there are two groups of people being delivered (resurrected and raptured saints). Why would they be delivered at a point after God’s wrath? Rather, they are being delivered from what is about to occur when the seventh seal is opened and the trumpet is sounded which introduces the trumpets and bowls of God’s wrath.