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“The Messenger’s Message” – Revelation 10:1-7 (Note: To hear intro, please go to our FB page under our “Watch Live” link.)

Jul 18, 2021

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Introduction

...but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

Revelation 10:7

"...the mystery of God"

What is it?

Biblically, "mystery" is an important concept whose primary meaning is not something secret, but a divine purpose revealed to men in God's timing and plan.

Found in God's Word are many mysteries:

          - The nation of Israel

          - Judgment/injustice

          - Suffering

          - The silence of God

          - The coming kingdom

But the main mystery of God that we want answered --

Why has God permitted evil, and why has He tolerated it for so long?

I believe in this passage we may receive a glimpse of the answer.

The "mighty angel" and "seven thunders" will give us some hints. (Vs. 3-4)

But no man has all the answers to God's mysteries.

As this passage of Scripture indicates, there are many truths of God He has not yet revealed:

 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."

(Rev. 10:4)

We will never have all of our questions answered until we find ourselves in His presence.

But then will we care?

I don't have all the answers, but I know the one who does.

Trust in Him alone, and hear His voice:

"My child, walk with Me through the dark. It is going to be alright. We will come out in the light, and then you will understand."

Put your hand into the hand of the one "who created heaven, and the things in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things in it." (Vs. 6)

He who is our Creator and Redeemer --

The of Son of God

The Son of man

Exposition

The Messenger's Description

I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

Revelation 10:1

"I saw still another mighty angel..."

          * "Another" - Of the same kind, clearly an angel (Rev. 5:2), not Christ as some teach.

          * John had walked with Christ in the flesh (1 Jn. 1:1-3), transfigured (Matt. 17:1-2), had seen Him crucified (Jn. 19:25-27), and resurrected (Jn. 20, 21) as well as glorified in heaven (Rev. 1:10-18).

          * If anyone would have known the difference between "Christ Jesus" and a "mighty angel" it was certainly John the apostle.

Nowhere in Revelation does Christ appear as an angel as He did in the Old Testament (Gen. 18, 22:11-18, 32:22-32, Josh. 5:13-15) where He was seen as the pre-incarnate Christ (Christophany).

After He died and was resurrected, He is now seated in glory at the right hand of the Father. (Mk. 16:19)

Therefore, He is revealed in the book of Revelation as the glorified post-incarnate Christ. (Rev. 1:10-18)

Remember the title of this book - The Revelation of Jesus Christ:  Revelation or apocalypse or unveiling of Christ.

"...coming down from heaven..."

          * Remember that "angel" best translates as "messenger."

          * When Christ comes down from heaven it will be to judge, remake and rule the earth in righteousness (Rev. 11:15, 19:1-2, 11-16), not simply to bring a message.

Matthew 24:27-31

"...clothed with a cloud..."

          * Clouds were the vehicle by which heavenly beings ascended and descended (Gen. 28:12, Ps. 104:3-4).

          * This cloud is his clothing or uniform, designating his purpose -- to deliver a heavenly message, he is coming soon! (Vs. 6)

          * Angels announced Christ's first coming (Lk. 2:9-13) and they will His second.

"...a rainbow was on his head..."

          * The "rainbow" is a reminder of God's promise to never destroy the world again by water. (Gen. 9:11-14)

          * The "rainbow" around the throne in heaven (Rev. 4:3) is the picture of God's authority -- "the mighty angel" has been sent in God's authority with His message.

"...his face was like the sun..."

          * This is his badge of identification; this is the signature and commission of the glorified Christ. (Rev. 1:16, Dan. 12:3)

          * Moses' face shone after he was in God's presence (Ex. 34:29), as well as Stephen’s (Acts 6:15).

"...his feet like pillars of fire..."

          * Not "feet like fine brass...refined in a furnace..." - John's description of Christ's feet. (Rev. 1:15)

          * "Pillars of fire" - Gods leading in the wilderness:

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

(Ex. 13:21)

All of these descriptive features prove what he is - "a mighty angel" identifying and connecting him to the person of Christ as His special messenger and our minister.

Hebrews 1:13-14

****

He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,

Revelation 10:2

"He..."

          * Might "he" be the archangel Michael?

          * Michael in Hebrew means: "One like God."

Daniel 12:1-3

"...a little book..."

          * "Little book" - Bibliaridion (Gk.), not a scroll.

                   - Biblion (Gk.) as "the scroll," the title deed to the earth which only "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" and the "Lamb who was slain" were able to take and open its seals and reclaim God's fallen creation. (Rev. 5, 6)

"And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land..."

          * This speaks of his gigantic size as well as his mission/message; that it involves the whole world. (Vs. 11)

This angel now claims the creation belongs to the Lord Jesus:

The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.

(Ps. 24:1)

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

(Matt. 28:18)

As He is the Creator and Redeemer, the world belongs to Him!

****

...and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.

Revelation 10:3

"...as when a lion roars."

          * God's voice is likened to the roaring of a lion:

A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?

(Amos 3:8)

Again, this "mighty angel" speaks with the authority of God!

"...seven thunders uttered their voices."

          * The Lord's voice is likened to thunder:

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LORD is over many waters.

(Ps. 29:3)

Is this God's "amen" to the mighty angel's claim of Christ's ownership and return?

The Messenger's Declaration

Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."

Revelation 10:4

"...I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven..."

          * Undoubtedly, God's voice.

"Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and to not write them."

The command is emphatic, telling John not to write, or record, what "the seven thunders" spoke.

The idea of "sealing" a book means to conceal its contents. (Rev. 5:1)

"And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future."

(Dan. 8:26)

"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."

(Dan. 12:4)

The only "hint" as to the message of "the seven thunders" is that elsewhere in Revelation when "thunders" occur, it's a premonition of a coming judgment of divine wrath. (Vs. 8:5, 11:19, 16:18)

This fits, but why is John told to "seal up" the message? Since this is a book of "Revelation," why conceal a part of the message?

 "The mighty angel" is about to tell us.

****

The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,

Revelation 10:5-6

"...raised up his hand...and swore by Him..."

          * "Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven."  (NIV)

The penalty of perjury here is most severe -- the wrath of God (Deut. 32:40, Dan. 12:7), so, he swears an oath to the Most High!

"...Him who lives forever...who created heaven...the earth...the sea..."

          * The Creator God, the Lord Jesus:

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

(Jn. 1:3)

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

(Col. 1:16)

"You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."

(Rev. 4:11)

He who created creation owns His creation and has sovereignty over it.

"...that there should be delay no longer."

          * The mighty angel's oath announces the imminent "end of all things" in the Name of the eternal God and Lord of creation!

In other words, the imminent end will occur because our God is the eternal and sovereign One who ultimately rules, and overrules, all things in His universe.

This is repeated again:

Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

(Rev. 16:17)

All of the judgments (seals, trumpets, bowls) run concurrently.

All have six plagues or wraths of God, an interlude and then the seventh announcing completion, the end is at hand. (Vs. 7)

Essentially, what the angel announces is that there will be no more time intervening before the coming of the end, and the return of Christ, "the righteous Judge."

The consummation of the kingdom will no longer be delayed, the prayers of the saints (Matt. 6:10) as well as the martyred saints will be answered (Rev. 6:10-11), and the saints still on earth will be comforted:

And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.

(Matt. 24:22)

****

...but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

Revelation 10:7

"...but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel..."

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

(Rev. 11:15)

          * "But" - Instead of further delay, the end is about to come (Vs. 6), the seventh trumpet brings us to the conclusion of the "Great Tribulation."

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

(Matt. 24:21)

"...in the days..."

          * Signifies a period of time, not a simple act, a single event.

We will see that this period, "in the days," of the "seventh angel sounding" are the six bowl judgments that lead up to the final judgment of "Babylon," rebellious mankind, and the consummation of the kingdom at the seventh bowl. (Rev. 16:1-20)

"...when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished..."

          * Mystery in this context is the eschatological purpose of God as revealed first to King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel (Dan. 2:29-30).

          * But we understand it better as Paul wrote:

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith--

(Rms. 16:25-26)

Here "mystery" clearly points to God's plan for our redemption.  In this passage, "the mystery of God" is His total redemptive purpose, including the judgment of evil, and the final salvation of His people.

"...as He declared to His servants the prophets..."

          * "Declared" - Is better translated in the original Greek as "announced" or "proclaimed" the usual word for preaching the Gospel.

"...as He announced the good news...to the prophets..."

(Rev. 10:7  LRV)

"...prophets."

          * Prophets were those in the Old and New Testament that God used to speak to His people, giving us the divine purpose of His of His plan for our redemption.

...by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:

(Eph. 3:4-5)

Conclusion

God's people will never completely enjoy the blessings of salvation and fellowship with God until all that brings pain, suffering, oppression and death is purged from the universe.

This will not happen until Christ's return.

Why has He waited so long?

This is the great mystery to us.

"The mystery of God" is a "sacred secret," a truth hidden from unbelievers, but revealed to us in God's good time.

He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

(Matt. 13:11)

I believe "the mystery of God" is the age-old problem of evil in the world:

          - Why is there evil?

          - Why do You allow it God?

          - Why don't You do something about it?

He has!

For love He went to the cross at Calvary, He was made sin for us, He suffered punishment for our evil, by His blood we are made holy and reconciled back to the Father.

But we have free will, to choose Him or reject Him, and suffer His righteous judgment.

He wants us to choose Him from love, that is free will.

But above all, He is merciful:

And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth...

(Ex. 34:6)

He has desired that all be saved, especially those that do evil, and He waits patiently for them.

"The Lord is...longsuffering (patient) towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 

(2 Pet. 3:9)

That's why He has allowed evil for so long.

BUT

“Surely, I Am coming quickly.” 

Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus!

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