Our study in the 10th chapter of Revelation continues to offer mysteries. Last week we looked at the possible identities for the strong/mighty angel described in verses 1-3. Today we venture further into the chapter and find another mystery.
Before we read Revelation 10:1-7, let me remind you that you can download and print a drawing of the events of Revelation 10 that was done by my friend, Lisa. Click back over to last week’s post to find the download.
Ok, let’s take the time to read this entire section in order to gain context for our discussion today.
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.
2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land,
3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded.
4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”
5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven
6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,
7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
Here is a quick and dirty list of what is taking place in these verses:
- A mighty angel descends from heaven
- He holds a little scroll in his hand.
- He places one foot on the land and one foot on the sea
- His voice causes seven thunders to sound
- John hears and understands what the thunders say, but is admonished not to write it down.
- The angel swears an oath by God that says there will be no more delay
This is where we find ourselves in our study today…focusing on verse 7. Mighty angel declares that in the days when the 7th trumpet sounds the mystery of God will be fulfilled. This mystery was announced by God to the prophets of old (Amos 3:7).
So, what is this mystery of God?
The Greek word used for ‘mystery’ is musterion and it means, “private knowledge; a divine secret. Represents what is hidden, unrevealed, or unknown.” (Zodhiates Key Word Study Bible) This word is used several times in Revelation (1:20; 10:7; 17:5,7), and each time refers to something not yet revealed.
John tells us that the ‘mystery of God’ will be finished (telos) in the days when the 7th trumpet sounds, so we would be wise to find out what happens when the 7th trumpet sounds (Revelation 11:15-19). We have not studied this yet, but it is time well spent to take a quick look. Remember, the 7th trumpet is the third and final woe that will take place. At the 7th trumpet:
- worship in heaven takes place
- the temple of God in heaven is opened and the Ark of the Covenant appears
- lightening, sounds, thunder, an earthquake, and hail all appear
- the dragon begins to persecute the woman
- the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth appear
It seems that the beginning of Christ’s reign takes place at the 7th trumpet, but also there is an increase in the persecution of Israel by the nations. As we move on in our study we will see that the wrath of God also begins at the sounding of the 7th trumpet and ends when the bowls are poured out.
While we cannot know for sure what the mystery of God is, let’s consider some possibilities:
- The coming wrath and judgment of God
- Why God delays judgment
- Why Jesus has not yet come to earth to rule and reign
- Why God allows so much evil on the earth
- God’s completed story of the redemption of mankind
- The full redemption of Israel
Friends, my hope is that, even with all the unknowns of Revelation, our study is whetting your appetite to dig deeper into the book. I also pray that your faith in the sovereignty of our God is growing daily. If we knew every detail about Revelation we would not need faith, so let’s dig into what God has revealed and trust Him with those things that remain a mystery. Until next week….
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Okay, so I love to read. I love to read political thrillers. I also love political thrillers that are Christian based and no one does them better than Joel Rosenberg. He has several series out and all of them are wonderful. Here are links to the first book in each of his three political thriller series.