The 6th seal deals with future only.
Astronomical and geographical curses prophesied in Deut 4, Deut 28, Lev 26 and Isa 66.
Judgments on pause
Revelation chapter 6 ends with the 6th seal. Chapter 7 pauses the seal judgments because some time is needed to seal 144,000 people=groomsmen
The angels in Rev 7:1 are restraining the wind. English and Greek give the impression it’s just regular wind, but actually it’s a Hebrew idiom meaning God holding back His blessing on the harvests as shown in Deut 28 and 29. The Holy Spirit is also called wind. So this verse tells us God is retracting His blessings. The land isn’t harmed by actively destroying is with storm/wind but by letting evil run its cause by removing the blessing. So God punishes by doing nothing. The Holy Spirit that always worked for the benefit of man is restrained from benefiting man. One less opponent for satan. There is just one Holy Spirit but the verse is about four winds. The corners refer to the 'tanaf'; the corners of a prayer shawl. Those corners had special tassels on them that were symbolic of God/God's authority. God and the Holy Spirit are very closely linked so that's the reason one Holy Spirit is called four winds. To take this one step further; when the angles are holding the four tassels they are holding the prayer shawl as a covering over the earth. A covering refers to covenant. The shawl is also called wings.
Mal 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
Wings equal safety
Cloak would better be translated as prayer shawl or wings (because it often waves in the wind. Wings heal.
Restraining the winds doesn’t mean God also stops blessing the righteous people. It’s a punishment for sinners. God no longer covers their sins with grace. Things are getting serious now. Many got the message and turned to God as the verse below shows. There is always time to repent. God's goal isn't to destroy but to chance upon chance to repent...
Rev 7:14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
God often covers several people because of the righteousness of one. A good example of that is Sodom and Gomorrah. God was asked to spare the cities if a few righteous people lived in those cities. God agreed. God covered Egypt because Joseph’s people lived there too. But when God finally decided to stop covering, withhold blessing, restrain the four winds God provided personal instead of nationwide covering. And that's what's happening in this Revelation verse. God is replacing the worldwide covering with a more personal version. So, once again, God doesn’t cause all terrors found in Revelations, He merely stops shielding us from harm.
Only 144,000 receive that personal covering? Are they the only ones saved? As usual the truth is a little more hidden and related to the wedding. Earlier Revelation introduced the Groom and His Father. Now the groomsmen are introduced. That fact alone means many more saved people will follow (bride, bridesmaids, her father, guests). The groomsmen always were virgins from the groom’s direct family. They assisted the groom in many ways. They acted on his behalf. And that is what the seals are about. The seals spoken of here are signet rings given to the 144,000. The signet rings transfer authority. Of course it's the groom's wedding and his to decide what happens. The groom simply delegates his authority to make choices to his groomsmen. Two verses showing authority transfer with a signet ring.
Gen 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in clothing of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
Esth 8:2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
Both Joseph and Haman received authority when they received the signet ring. So do the 144,000 groomsmen. While it's great to be a groomsman it shouldn't be the goal of a believer. The best spot is being the bride. The groomsmen all come from the 12 tribes. Jews. Just like the groom Himself so that's close family as in a regular wedding. Sorry to disappoint some of you but they are not 144,000 Jehovah Witnesses :-
If they are really His groomsmen they have to fit 5 special criteria that regular ancient Jewish groomsmen met:
1] Selected before the wedding – They are present before the wedding starts. Even before the bride.
2] Male. -
3] Virgin. -
4] Trusted. – Rev 14:5 “no lie was found in their mouths.”
5] Assist the groom. -
The multitude before the throne
The second part of chapter 7 is about a multitude standing before the throne. They it’s a quick look into the future as they are the guests of the wedding which takes place near the end of Revelation. There are several things that identify these people as guests. Everyone at the wedding party must wear white robes.
So that excludes many other people and it's not about judgment. They are also holding palm branches which in ancient days were use at weddings, inauguration of kings and thrown in front of the lambs let to the slaughter during Passover. Obviously this is about a wedding and only the guests were waving palm leaves.
Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Here we are clearly told most are not from the Jewish nation. Scaling that down to family level; they aren't direct family as the couple, groomsmen, bridesmaids and parents were. So that also identifies them as guests.
A Chuppah, comes in many shapes. Sometimes very sturdy like a cloth between four trees or metal poles. Sometimes like shown on the picture on the front page. But also as simple as 4 groomsmen holding a prayer shawl over the couple. Under the heading “Blessings end” we saw 4 angles holding a prayer shawl. Around the throne we again see four angels but we aren’t told that they do/hold anything. I do think we can conclude they are holding a Chuppah if we combine all evidence. It’s a wedding scene with guests waiting, the first half hints toward a Chuppah, the Ark of covenant in the Temple’s Holy of Holies was covered by the wings of Cherubim which are angels, once a year during the day of atonement the high priest went into the Holy of Holies acting as a bride. All that combined it’s very reasonable to assume the crowd are wedding guests waiting for the coupe to arrive.
Literal or symbolic?
There are lots of articles on internet trying to prove we have to expect events to happen literally. While miracles of God could cause such events I think they have very little scientific support. Or even contradict the most basic science Article
But even the symbolic interpretation will have literal effect on humanity.
“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Many words in the above verses have a symbolic meaning throughout the Bible.
Which those definitions in mind the verse can be read/understand Revelation 6:12-
The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair,
God’s spiritual light is blocked out by deception and false teachings by Azazel. The Gospel is no longer heard.
the whole moon turned blood red
The moon reflects the light of the sun. With the sun blocked out the moon can no longer ‘radiate the law’.
Daniel 7:25 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time."
The set times (holy days/feasts) and God’s Laws will be changed into Islamic variants. Note: No saints are raptured yet.
and the stars in the sky fell to earth
The angels and satan, all stars, are cast out of heaven by Michael and his army.
Isa 14:12 How thou are fallen from heaven, O day-
The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up
God/God’s power finally becomes fully visible
every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Kingdoms fall, are conquered.
The little rock becomes a global Kingdom.
Daniel 2:35 “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.”
The Hebrew 'Heylel ben Shakhar' can be broken down into:
In islamic writings it's translated as "Morning star, son of the crescent”.
The symbol leads back to Nimrod and his wife Isthar.