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Chapter 10

The Mystery of God is Finished


And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things that are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Re. 10:1-7) In this scripture we see another mighty angel descending from heaven in a cloud. There are several things about this scripture that seem to imply that 110

this mighty angel is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord is mentioned seven times in conjunction with a cloud, or clouds, in the book of Revelation. The angels face is described as being like the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire, which is very similar to the description of Christ in Revelation 1:14-15 and 2:18. He has in his hand a little book that must be related in some way to the book that the Lamb (Christ) took in Revelation 5:7. He comes to announce the reclaiming of the earth, and He roars as a lion roars in victory, as over a vanquished foe. He sets his right foot upon the sea and his left on the earth, which seems to be symbolic of the fact that both sea and land are about to be reclaimed. On the other hand there are several arguments against this angel being Christ. The use of the word another, in verse 1, seems to imply that this angel is like other angels that have brought messages and released plagues prior to this time. In addition, in verse 6 the angel seems to swear by Christ, for he swears by Him who lives forever; by Him who created the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein; and the sea and all that is therein; that time shall be no longer. Revelation 10:7 seems to imply that this mighty angel could be the seventh angel who is about to sound, but refrains from doing so until later in Revelation 11:15. He could also be the same strong angel in Revelation 5:2, who proclaims with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the book, and loose the seals thereof? I do not believe that the strong angel of Chapter 10 is Christ, but he must be one of the most important and mighty angels in all of heaven.

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Understanding the content of the little book in the strong angel's hand, is difficult if not impossible. We know that the Lamb (Christ) took the book of Gods judgment of the earth from the hand of God the Father in Revelation 5:7, and it does not appear that the little book of Chapter 10 is that book. John is later told to take the little book and eat it, so that he might prophesy before many people, nations, tongues, and kings. When John eats the book in Revelation 10:10-11, it is sweet as honey in his mouth and bitter in his belly. The little book of Chapter 10 could possibly be the last book in the Bible: the book of Revelation. The words of this great prophecy were sweet in Johns mouth, but the terrible catastrophes to come upon mankind, and God's beautiful creation, made his belly bitter. John was told to eat the book so that he could prophesy to many people, nations, tongues, and kings. This certainly fits the description of what has happened with the book of Revelation. When the strong angel cries in a loud voice, seven thunders utter their voices. He is about to announce the most significant event of all time: the end of this age. The seven thunders must be heavens response, acknowledging this momentous occurrence, and the end of Satans rule on the earth (Joh. 12:31; 2 Co. 4:4). Psalm 29 provides a vivid picture of the thundering power of the Lords voice: it breaks the cedars of Lebanon and makes them skip like a calf, it divides flames of fire, it shakes the wilderness, it causes the deer to calve, and it strips the forests bare. John was about to document these utterances when a voice from heaven told him to seal up those things that were uttered and write them not. 112

In this scripture the angel vows to Christ that the end will no longer be delayed. At the beginning of our commentary on the book of Revelation we noted that God was waiting for the cup of transgression to be filled to initiate Daniels seventieth-week prophecy. Here the announcement is made that the end of time has come, and the angel adds the statement that the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. When the seventh angel is about to sound the trumpet the mystery of God will be finished. God has finished His judgement of the earth, and all that is left is His wrath, which He is about to pour out. The mystery of God may refer to the scripture in Colossians 1:26, which indicates that the mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory (see also Eph. 3:8-9). An additional argument supporting this interpretation relates to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-6, in which Paul explains to the Thessalonians that the rapture will not occur until a falling away occurs first, and the man of sin (antichrist) is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:6 says And ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his own time. This scripture refers to some power that restrains Satan from revealing antichrist in his full fury until the proper time. Since only God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit has the power to restrain Satan, I believe this refers to the Holy Spirit within believers that will be removed from earth at the rapture. We receive Christ when we are spiritually born again, as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:35. We receive Christs Spirit (the Holy Spirit) as the earnest (or witness) that we belong to Him, and are a child of God (Ro. 8:16; 1 Joh. 5:10). Several OT

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scriptures also refer to God giving believers a new (human) spirit, and Ezekiel 36:26-27 adds that He will give us His Holy Spirit, as well. For the above reasons, Revelation 10:7 is thought to apply to the time of the rapture, when believers (still alive), who have the Holy Spirit within, join Christ in the clouds. With the church no longer on earth, the Holy Spirit's ministry within believers, initiated by Christ after He ascended into heaven, would seem to be finished. We know that Christs body (the church) is His presence on earth. When this body of Christ is removed from earth nothing is left to restrain Satan from revealing his man: antichrist. If there are any that receive salvation after this time they will apparently not be blessed with the internal ministry of comforter (the Holy Spirit). They may be like the redeemed from the OT: they are persuaded by the promises, embrace them and confess that they are pilgrims and strangers on earth (Heb. 11:13). When Christ returns to earth for the battle of Armageddon, His bride will accompany Him. Those remaining on earth that have come to believe after the rapture, and have refused to take the mark of the beast, will not have the Holy Spirit within, but they will have the actual presence and comfort of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as He reigns during the millennium.

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