The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
11. Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
Between the sixth and the seventh trumpet we find chapter 10, as we have seen already, chapter 7 has been placed in between the sixth and the seventh seal. With chapter 10 we shall be concerned more thoroughly. It is very important to know the course of time and also the events to be placed into their proper successive order. Most essential are the key-words from which the actual subject or event can be understood.
"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 though it were the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire." (10: 1).
In the original text we only have one and the same word for angel and messenger (aggelw). If the Lord appears as the Angel or is shown as the same, then it is always in connection with a message or an announcement, something to convey to the people. Also His servants who do bring a special message are called in the Holy Scriptures "angels" or "messengers" (Hag. 1: 13; Mal. 3: 1; Lk. 7: 27; Heb. 13: 2; Rev. 2 + 3 a. o.). In the second part of Mal. 3: 1, we are told that the Lord of hosts would come as the Angel of the covenant to His holy temple. Also of the one who prepared His way it is said, "I will send my angel before me " The rainbow seen round about this mighty Angel, shows Him in connection with the covenant. From the very ancient times the rainbow was the sign of the covenant between God and the people (Gen. 9: 8-17).
The visible form of appearance of the Lord God is known since the garden of Eden. On Mount Sinai He came down in the same form to establish His covenant with Israel. Since then He is called the Angel of the covenant and also Angel of His countenance (Isa. 63: 9). Of Moses it is recorded:
"And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight; and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,
Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Acts 7: 30-32).
"This is he (Moses) that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him in Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received the living oracles to give unto us" (v. 38).
In the last book of the Old Testament, in Mal. 3: 1, we find the following text: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger/angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." The first part of this Scripture was fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist as we find confirmed in the New Testament (Mt. 11: 10; Mk. 1: 2; Lk. 7: 27). The second part with the Angel of the covenant will be accomplished with Israel as can be seen from the context.
It is noteworthy that the Lord is not spoken of even a single time in direct reference to the Church of the living God using the terminology of the Angel of the covenant, but only and exclusively in connection with the people of Israel, and that is because of the covenant He made with His covenant people (Rom. 9: 4 a. o.).
The establishing of the New Testament covenant with the New Testament Church was not made by the Lord appearing as an Angel but rather by the Son of God, the Word which was made flesh. When the New Covenant was made in His blood with His people (Mt. 26: 26-28 a. o.), His countenance did not shine like the sun. When He bore the sins of the world, there was no beauty that we should desire Him (Isa. 53). On Mount Calvary there was no rainbow over His head, but rather a crown of thorns upon His head.
Such facts are most important to understand Revelation 10 properly. Then the Lord is not spoken of as Son of man, Son of God or Son of David, but rather as the mighty Angel Who is veiled within a cloud. The rainbow all around Him speaks about a covenant. His countenance is like the sun shining with all her might (Mt. 17: 2; Rev. 1: 16). We also notice that the Lord at this occasion is not accompanied by the heavenly hosts or angels or even the Redeemed. At that time He comes alone, roaring as a lion. His cry will penetrate everything. When Joseph made himself known to his brethren at the second time no one else was present (Gen. 45; Acts 7: 13). So the Lord will leave His Bride at that moment in heaven at the Wedding Supper, descend the second time alone and reveal Himself to His brethren, the Jews.
At this time the mysterious book which was to be shut and sealed until the end time (Dan. 12: 4; Rev. 5) was already opened and seen in His right hand. This in itself signifies that the event spoken of in chapter 10 must of necessity occur after the seven seals book is already opened.
"And he had in his hand a little scroll open; and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth." (10: 2). The Lord is the original owner. Through Him and for Him all things were created (Col. 1: 17). He is also spoken of as the One Who would inherit the nations (Ps. 82: 8). Now He comes to claim His possession before commencing His Millennial Reign. Already with Joshua we saw the symbolic significance of the fact putting the feet upon some ground, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses." (Josh. 1: 3).
It was the original will of God that humanity should reign on earth. Through the cunningness of Satan by the means of the serpent, the first human beings were deprived of this high order. And not only did they loose their original stand, but they also submitted to the influence of Satan and with them the whole earth came under Satan's rulership. When Christ was on earth, Satan offered all the kingdoms of the world to our Lord. But He rejected, because He knew that first He had to redeem humanity and then include the whole creation. That is why His Blood was shed here on this earth for our redemption and reconciliation with God. We then shall be placed into our original position as heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ.
The Lord is the owner of land and sea, therefore He set one foot on the land and the other one on the sea before starting His reign.
"And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth; and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." (10: 3).
The seven thunders do not sound now, as some claim, but will do so in the precise moment, as we are told in this chapter. Also the word lion in reference to the Lord in this connection is very important. Not a single time is our Lord during all of the New Testament or in connection with the New Testament Church spoken of as the Lion. It is only at the opening of the mysterious book that He comes forth as the Lion of the tribe of Judah Who has prevailed (Rev. 5: 5). The many passages in the prophetic scriptures show unto us the significance of the key-word «roar», as described in Rev. 10. Such scriptures throw much light on the event we are dealing with in connection with Israel.
"The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, like those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth." (Jer. 25: 30b).
"They shall walk after the Lord; he shall roar like a lion; when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west." (Hos. 11: 10).
"The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." (Joel 3: 16).
"And he said, The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither." (Amos 1: 2).
After the ministry of the two prophets is accomplished, the Lord will put His feet upon land and sea, and that is the moment when He meets His brethren, the 144,000, who are standing sealed on Mount Zion (Rev. 14: 1).
It is only at that moment, that the Lord will roar as a lion, that is precisely when the seven thunders - not seven preachers - will utter 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." (Rev. 10: 4).
What the seven thunders uttered nobody knows and does not concern us, it was sealed right after it was heard and not written. Therefore, it did not become part of the Holy Scripture - God's Word, which we must read, preach, listen to and believe (Rev. 1: 3). Amen. Those who preach are duty bound to stay only with the written Word of God (2 Tim. 4: 1-5). Also the revelation of all the mysteries is only in reference to the written Word of God and all the hidden truths therein which were not known until now. Those things which are not written remain a secret with God Who at the appointed time will do what He purposed (Dt. 29: 29). At the law-giving (Ex. 20), in Job, in the Psalms and in John 12, the Voice of God is spoken of as a sound of thunderclaps.
Those who add to the complete testimony of the Scripture, even to the book of Revelation, are threatened by the Word of God that they will have to go through the great tribulation and endure the plagues according to Rev. 22: 18-19. Every speculation about the seven thunders remains what it is: an assertion. Everything that is preached about the seven thunders is absolutely null and void and derives from the imagination of the preacher. In reality, there is no man on the face of the earth who can claim to know the mystery of the seven thunders. The Lord God has been pleased to hide it until the time comes, because it will be a total surprise. Also in this connection God will be His own interpreter. Everything will take place according to God's order and develop at the appointed time.
Another key-word in connection with this great event spoken of in Rev. 10 is the word «swore».
"And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
And swore by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, and the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things which are in it, that there should be delay 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." (10: 5-7).
According to chapter 8 and 9 six angels had already blown their trumpets. The sounding of the seventh angel is especially announced, because something extraordinary takes place. The Old Testament formulation "His servants, the prophets" points very straight and strictly beyond the church age and therefore directly to Israel. In the New Testament, the terminology is used "His apostles and prophets" (Eph. 3: 5 a. o.).
The Prophet Daniel saw the end time. He also informs us about the Angel Who swore by Him Who liveth for ever. He was cautious and asked, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven and swore by him who liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished the breaking up of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." (Dan. 12: 6b-7).
The similarity of these two Scripture passages cannot be overlooked and must not be ignored. At the time of Daniel the Angel could raise both hands toward heaven, because the book was not yet open, and therefore, not yet in His hand, when He swore by Him that liveth for ever. In Rev. 10 He only raises His right hand towards heaven, because in His other hand is the mysterious book which is already open, and swore by Him that liveth for ever. Perfect. The Prophet Daniel received the revelation that from the moment of this mentioned swearing until the direct end, when the power of him who destroys the holy people will reach its end will be three and a half years. John was told, " there should be delay no longer." Both is right. From that moment the countdown is on right to the end of this civilisation.
The Lord comes down as the Angel of the Covenant and roars like a lion. But right after this He reveals Himself to the 144,000 as the Lamb which signifies their redemption. Already at the opening of the book both are mentioned, the Lion and the Lamb (5: 5-6). At that time the elect in Israel will look upon Him Whom they have pierced (Zech. 12: 10). After the completion of the ministry of the two prophets, the elect from the twelve tribes will all gather on Mount Zion. At the same time when Israel recognises their Messiah, they will also come to the understanding of who the antichrist is, and therefore, the covenant made between Israel, him and the neighbour Arab countries will be broken at that time (Dan. 9: 27).
After this there are the last three and a half years of the great tribulation to the end of this present civilisation. The reference to the announcement of the sounding of the seventh angel in chapter 10 already points to the moment, when the reign actually is being proclaimed (11: 15). Therefore, it speaks of the "voice" of the seventh angel. The first six trumpets contain only judgement, no announcement, no voice.
Just as certain as through the voice of the seventh angel to the last church age all the mysteries of God's Word are made known and the Bride Church reaches her completion, hearing and giving forth the midnight cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh! Let us go out to meet Him!", similarly, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the announcement of the Kingdom Reign is made.
The seventh church angel according to Rev. 3: 11-22 gives the last message of restoration. Through his ministry all the hidden mysteries in the Old and New Testament from what happened in Genesis right to the last chapter of the Revelation are made known. In Revelation, chapter 10, nothing is said about many mysteries of God's Word which should be made known, but the Scripture only speaks in this connection about one special mystery, " when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished " According to Col. 2: 2, Christ is this unique mystery of God in human form. In Christ the whole plan of salvation starts and is being completed, as He has revealed it to His servants, the prophets of the Old, and also to His apostles and servants of the New Testament.
The New Testament Church was acquainted with the mystery of God from the very beginning, as Paul writes, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh " (1 Tim. 3: 16 a. o.). Only Israel could not see and does not see this mystery until now. At that time this incomprehensible mystery of God in Christ, namely, that Christ is their Messiah, will be made known to them. Until that time the cover of Moses is still upon their hearts (2 Cor. 3: 15-16), but then this cover will be taken away and Christ will be unveiled before them. When the seventh angel, as predicted in chapter 10, will according to Rev. 11 blow the trumpet, it will happen. At that moment the announcement goes forth and therefore, the mystery of God will find its completion.
"And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke unto me again, and said, Go and take the little scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little scroll. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
And I took the little scroll out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey, and as soon as I had eaten it my belly was bitter.
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again about many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." (10: 8-11).
From the context, the matter of eating this little book is very clear. Similar experiences were made for instance by the Prophet Ezekiel (2: 8 - 3: 3). Both times in symbolic form we are shown that those men of God first have to eat the scroll, that is to say, they had to take God's Word into their own heart before they could announce the same to others. After this the seer states that the prophesying will be upon nations and upon kings. Please note, here it is not spoken about the proclamation of the Gospel, but rather about prophesying over the nations. That is a great difference. The two prophets will not preach to the nations, they will preach to Israel but prophesy over the nations (Rev. 11). The everlasting Gospel is now being proclaimed to the nations as a testimony (Mt. 24: 14). During the ministry of the two prophets, the thus saith the Lord goes forth over the nations which will be struck with terrible plagues.