John MacArthur's commentary stated that this segment was an interlude between sixth and seventh trumpet judgments. I had already used that allusion recently and did not want to sound redundant. The oddity here is that this still falls within the "woes" aspect. As a believer I find it exciting because after a deluge of death there seems to be some finality to it all. Having read the book I know how it ends, and it ends with my life in perpetual relationship with the Father I have waited all my life to see. I am therefore hard pressed to understand how the end could be a woe. Because it is included I have to consider it.
If you are reading along then you may be starting to scratch your head as you try to put what seems like pieces of the puzzle that do not seem to fit into their proper chronological slots. I think we can sort it out, but we have to be opened minded to some degree because although there is a timing to much of the Revelation it does jump back and forth in time and retells the same segment several times over, but from a differing vantage point.
I think an essential aspect is that you remember that the Revelation is of Jesus Christ (and that includes his church), and that multiple authors, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned aspects of the Revelation, as they understood them, long before John did. Perhaps that will help you keep focus.
Some serious problems coming.
If I were one that had chosen to not only reject God but have opted to fight against him as well, then I have some serious problems coming.
Firestorms – Read Ezekiel 38, 39.
A war with God, where his opponents lose hands down.
Following Satan to his judgment and torment, instead of following Jesus to life eternal.
And the last judgment for those who have died without acceptance of God as Lord of their lives. There is mercy conferred during this time that few seem to pick up on. God still shows mercy to those who demonstrated some form of kindness; the extent and the basis I am not clear on, but this just makes me love Him more.
He had in his hand a little book.
Revelation 10:1 KJV 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:
I carry a Dake's annotated bible, and he declares that this is Jesus. What do we have that backs this concept up? Primarily descriptions of the same man/angel. Based on what others had recorded in scripture I would agree.
Daniel 12:7 AMP And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right and his left hand toward the heavens and swore by Him Who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half a time [or three and one-half years]; and when they have made an end of shattering and crushing the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Exodus 34:5 KJV And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
Ezekiel 1:28 KJV As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Revelation 4:3 KJV And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
A scroll or a book, it matters not.
Revelation 10:2 NIV He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,
Think back to how the Revelation began. There was a scroll which was sealed and no one was worthy to open it, until one stepped forth. That one was Jesus Christ the lamb, slain for our payment. He opened the seals and now, after weaving our way through God's dispensation of wrath upon the nations and Israel, he stands here dominant, holding that same scroll, and declaring it is done, time shall be no more. Read Revelation 4:10- 5:1. This may well be the same scroll.
One of the aspects of this book we call a bible is that is a very Jewish book. John was a Jew and he wrote in way that they would understand. Try to think as he might have. He wanted the Jews to come to know the Messiah as Jesus Christ this slaughtered lamb, and the risen Lord; the same Lord that he was seeing in the heavens, spelling out what was to come. The emphasis to come to the risen Lord as God and Messiah were never greater, and an ever-present desire of his heart.
The concept of "a book" having such influence over their lives was not a new concept to John's readers. Look up the word book in a word search of scripture and you will find at least 175 references.
Exodus 32:32 KJV Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Deuteronomy 31:26 KJV Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Psalms 69:28 KJV Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
Like the roar of a lion.
Revelation 10:3 NIV and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.
Proverbs 19:12 NIV A king's rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
Jeremiah 25:30 NIV "Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: "'The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth.
Revelation 5:5 NIV "Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
John had seen the future.
Revelation 10:4 KJV 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.
John, looking into heaven, has seen the future played out to the end of time. Is it possible that there is more and God does not want it revealed? I do not think so because now we are moving into the realm of secrets and God, as I have come to understand him, does not work that way. God has always been straight forward and open in his dealings with man.
Let's consider the concept of God hiding things from those that are his:
Abraham - Genesis 18:17 ASV "And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do;" The idea here is: absolutely not.
Daniel, a Babylonian captive, and a man who has the ear of king Nebuchadnezzar, has, to save himself and his fellow Hebrews lives, provided the king with the dream and the interpretation of it.
Daniel 2:28-29 ISV But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he is making known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the latter days. "While you were in bed, the dream and the visions that came to your head were as follows: (29) Your majesty, when you were in bed, thoughts came to your mind about what would happen in the future, and the Revealer of Secrets has made known to you what will take place.
Though we can understand that God is the one who unwraps secrets there have been some things that did not need to be openly announced as they followed God's course of action. Many things that were revealed came in the form of law. Of course the children of Israel balked at that, for it was only a short time ago that they were, in a sense, the children of Egypt, following after the ways of Egypt. And even though Moses had relayed to them how they were to act as they moved toward the promised land they clung desperately to the Egyptian idols and ways that God was trying to save them from. (One of those nasty idols was the god Molech. A half human, half man statue with a hollow body in which a fire would be lit and then a child would be sacrificed on it.)
Deuteronomy 29:29 ISV The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but what has been revealed belongs to us and to our children forever, so that we might observe the words of this Law."
In the garden a secret was revealed and few could see it. How were they to know? God said of Eve's offspring, "he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."1 What did that mean? Throughout time many men have killed snakes and it made no difference. But this statement was different. This was God revealing just enough information about how he would redeem this man and his family back. We call it the plan of salvation. A mystery2 hidden3 throughout the ages, and still hidden to some, partly because the "god of this world" has put a veil4 over their eyes so that they will not see5.
Jesus, speaking to the disciples, answered their question about why he spoke in parables with, "because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,.."6
Seems simple enough.
What does the word mystery (or secret) mean? Seems simple enough. Allow me to pull from Webster's dictionary:
A profound secret; something wholly unknown or something kept cautiously concealed, and therefore exciting curiosity or wonder; ..
In religion, anything in the character or attributes of God, or in the economy of divine providence, which is not revealed to man.
That which is beyond human comprehension until explained.
Here is the essence of understanding. God has revealed his nature and his plan to us through his Word. Mind you many things are suddenly becoming clearer as time has progressed.
For example: Until recently, who would have thought that Islam would rise as a global threat.(i) Guised under the cloak of the religious Caliphate they are bent on becoming a violent super power. As a child I would have never suspected such a thing, and having looked a little at history I know that they were silenced and for many years consider to be dead. So many of the middle eastern countries, where Americans are readily killed, were places of beauty with their architecture and seemingly warmhearted people.
In understanding God and his so-called secrets you have to understand that much of what is veiled to you comes out of, (1.) Satan obscuring your view to keep you snared by the "world" and his wish to prevent you from spreading the truth, and (2.) Your choice to not understand.
King Solomon would write things along this line: The pursuit of God is to pursue his nature and wisdom, and he will give this knowledge freely to those who seek it. I, for one, have desired to know God and understand what is happening around me as this world's system is rapidly collapsing.
Let's just speculate for a moment. Television paints pictures of an apocalyptic world. One in which only the wealthiest control and have leisure, while survivors struggle as they work to keep the rich lavished in goods and commodities. What is the ratio there? Not balanced, nor fair. But then what is fair. Take God out of the picture, and that is what "they" wish to do, and what do you have? A world that was much like Noah's day; one filled with violence and every thought of man was evil. God had to destroy that world and start over. Man cannot live like that for the only one left living will be the bullies of the world, and even bullies will kill bullies.
Paul told us that the mystery has been made known to those who believe.
Ephesians 1:7-10 ERV In Christ we are made free by his blood sacrifice. We have forgiveness of sins because of God's rich grace. (8) God gave us that grace fully and freely. With full wisdom and understanding (9) he let us know his secret plan. This was what God wanted, and he planned to do it through Christ. (10) God's goal was to finish his plan when the right time came. He planned that all things in heaven and on earth be joined together with Christ as the head.
Ephesians 1:9 NIV he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
The mystery, though rather developed, is wrapped up in God's plan to regain us, his creation, back. Jesus, his death and life are central to this plan, and there is an end.
All that we have seen
From Revelation chapter 6 on has been cataclysmic destruction and for the most part, nothing short of confusing to most.
There is a purpose though and it has little to do with the church (defined as those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ.) From chapter 6 through chapter 10 has been wrath and judgment being poured out upon the nations (those that have rejected him) and the Jews.
I won't be here to do exit interviews but I am sure that there will be many religious folk ducking for cover during the tribulation years. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 25. 50 percent will be ill-prepared and will not leave with the church in the rapture.
No more delay!
A second aspect of Revelation 10:6 that I want to look at is: "that there should be time no longer:" This only happens when Jesus returns to reign on this earth.
Does wrath end and then Jesus comes striding forth? No! He comes with a sword and the armies of heaven come with him. Those that attempt to contend with him will be slain and they immediately follow their master, Satan, to his place of torment. Once this is accomplished Jesus sits, once again, as King, Messiah, and God. True the thousand-years thus begins, but who is counting. The way I see it: if God that there is time no longer, then as far as I need to be concerned eternity with the Father has begun.
The little book. Verses 8-10
The little book may be the Revelation itself. The word used for book here is the same as scroll and we should know at this point that Jesus opened the sealed scroll.
You must prophecy against
Revelation 10:11 KJV And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
The word before in this sentence is the Greek word epi, and it can also mean toward or against. John was not done. It makes more sense to say against, especially if you are declaring judgment and wrath.
When you imagine the impact that John would make all these years later, and as knowledge and understanding have increased, we should be able to better understand some of the analogies that Revelation throws at us.
Revelation 10:5-6 NIV Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. (6) And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay!
"...And the angel – which I saw stand upon the sea and the earth ....
The prophet Daniel tells us that four beasts come up out of the sea.7 In Daniel's case it is not literal, unless we are dealing with fallen angels (demons) but out of the sea of peoples on the earth. This is another way of saying the nations. Here in Revelation 10:5-6 it may well be literal as Jesus demonstrates his global dominance over all aspects of this earth. I feel confident in speaking of Daniel's vision for Daniel himself was troubled by it and asked for the meaning. The meaning was given as four kings that would rise to power on the earth.8
"...and lifted up his hand to heaven, and swear by him that lives for ever and ever, .."
Backtracking for a moment. If this is Jesus, and it is, then who is in heaven? The obvious answer God, but then it becomes more confusing. God lives for ever and ever; we know this because he told us so.9 We continue.
"... who created heaven and the things that are there in, and the earth, and the sea, ..."
Who did this creating? Our minds tend to drift off track as though distracted by an illusionists (magician) so that we do not realize where the object went or came from. But there is no illusion here, merely ambiguity. This same John, the one who wrote the gospel of John said,
John 1:1-3 AMP IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [Isa. 9:6.] (2) He was present originally with God. (3) All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.
There is no ambiguity in what John spoke about Jesus and the creation. He was and is God, no less than the son of the king is royalty and carries the authority of the throne, but yet he is more and our minds may not wrap around it. I will merely accept it until the day I see him, but I know without a doubt that He is more than just a man. As he stands here, in this verse, he is magnificent. Men have toyed with and mocked him but not this day. Is there any doubt about who he is? Not in my mind, and yet scripture tells me that many still reject him.
"... that there shall be delay no longer:"(ASV)
Nothing, no judgments against the nations or wrath against a rebellious people will stand between Christ's wrapping this up and moving into the millennial reign.
All that we have read about in Revelation, from chapter 6 on, has been cataclysmic destruction and for many, nothing short of confusion. There is a purpose though and it has little to do with the church: those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ.
I will not be here to conduct exit interviews but I am sure that there will be many religious folk ducking for cover during the tribulation years. Just look at Jesus words in Matthew 2510. 50 percent are ill prepared and will not leave with the church.
A second aspect of Revelation 10:6 ".... that there should be time no longer:" The King James version and the Greek seem to define this statement to John like this. If the sentence ended with merely, "there shall be delay no longer" that would mean nothing is left to stand between this moment and the end. But to say, "there should be time no longer:" implies not only, no hindrances, but the finality of time.
Why would we possibly have a problem with the end of time. Not that I should care but someone is keeping track of the thousand-year reign for there is a judgment that happens at the end (that is a plus for those that God will show mercy too). Personally, I will leave that to God, but it certainly does imply that someone is keeping track of time. Aside from that, apparently the Jewish feasts are still observed during at least the thousand years, for those that survive the war against God are forced to come to Jerusalem and take part in the feast of tabernacles every year. Again, someone is keeping track.
So are we talking about time as it relates to the conclusion and then the kingdom restored under Christ's rule? I think so, but I am not sure I see any reason to dwell on it for as far as I am concerned my eternity with the Father has already begun.
the plans he had revealed
Revelation 10:7 NIV But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."
The mystery is accomplished. I suppose that is the way the world sees it; God is a mystery, all of it. And yet it was not, at least now, looking back, I see that he laid it all out before them in symbols, types and parables, the plan was all there, right down to the serpent on pole.
Paul, in Ephesians 3:8,9 AMP tells us,
"To me, though I am the very least of all the saints (God's consecrated people), this grace (favor, privilege) was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable, and exhaust-less) riches of Christ [wealth which no human being could have searched out], Also to enlighten all men and make plain to them what is the plan [regarding the Gentiles and providing for the salvation of all men] of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in [the mind of] God Who created all things by Christ Jesus."
You probably figured out that I am just regular guy like yourself. The huge difference might be that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and wait eagerly for his return. I am confident of his return for many reasons but history alone proves that this man Jesus was real and that the things he did and said came to pass and were verified by witnesses. Paul even wrote that many of those men who walked with him were still alive, at the time of his writing, and could verify what Paul wrote.
God has demonstrated a consistent pattern that is believable, and therefore I place my hope in him and feel confident speaking about the direction of future events.
He is coming again to collect his church, and though the tribulations of some people are already great, it will get worse, and do so immediately. Remember pattern is the key word here and we already have a pattern to follow with Noah and Lot. Upon their "escape" from the trouble that was coming the onslaught was immediate.
If you do not think you know this Jesus Christ then I suggest that you ask him to make himself real to you. He will. Ask him into your life and accept you into the family that belongs to God. He already paid the price for your pardon and release, and he did this to show his love at a time when no one loved Him back. There is nothing you can offer or give him that will change his heart of love toward you. You merely need to come to him. He will change you and give you a hope that you have never known before.
References: (1) Genesis 3:15; (2) Colossians 2:2; (3) Ephesians 3:9,10; (4) 2Corinthians 3:14; (5) John 12:40; (6) Matthew 13:11; (7) Daniel 7:3; (8) Daniel 7:16-28; (9) Isaiah 43:10; (10) Matthew 25:1-13;
(i) Armistice of Mudros - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Armistice of Moudros (Turkish: Mondros Ate?kes Anla?mas?), concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I. It was signed by the Ottoman Minister of Marine Affairs Rauf Bey and the British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, on board HMS Agamemnon in Moudros harbor on the Greek island of Lemnos.
As part of several conditions to the armistice, the Ottomans surrendered their remaining garrisons outside Anatolia, as well as granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus; and the right to occupy "in case of disorder" any Ottoman territory in case of a threat to security. The Ottoman army was demobilized, and all ports, railways, and other strategic points were made available for use by the Allies. In the Caucasus, the Ottomans had to retreat to within the pre-war borders between the Ottoman and the Russian Empires.
The armistice was followed with occupation of Constantinople and subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920) followed the armistice, but this treaty was not enacted due to the outbreak of the Turkish War of Independence.