Do you ever wonder if God is sick of what goes on down here on earth, I know I am?
In an effort to answer a question like this, perhaps you need to ask; have you ever heard the shriek of someone who has just lost their child to some bloody car accident or a murder?
Maybe that is what we are witnessing here.
Revelation 10:3 NASB “and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.”
Often, after looking up a simple expression such as “cried out,” I find its meaning to be far beyond what I imagined. An example of what I am talking about comes from the idea of a town crier. This person does not weep or scream, they merely call out at an elevated tone that it was a particular time or they delivered a message for all to hear. The town crier walked about doing this until he felt that most had an adequate chance to hear.
The word used here in Revelation 10:3 is not such a word. It is the Greek word krazō and means to scream or shriek.
In my previous post, this angel was established to be Jesus and intends for everyone to hear. But note something about this piercing voice, it is “as when a lion roars.” This terminology is consistent through most translations.
When and why does a lion roar?
I do not know all the reasons a lion might roar, but it seems they do so when they have had enough of a situation, or the pride has made a kill and they are taking their fill, or they are in a fight for their life with another lion and they are trying to intimidate. There may be more reasons but the one that dominates my thinking is where the lion has had enough.
If you are inclined to ask why Jesus would roar like a lion; perhaps I should ask you why you have never read the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis?
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Jesus Christ is presented to us as Aslan the Lion.
“when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.”
Psalm 29:3 has several descriptions of God’s voice. One of those tells us that The God of glory thunders. To go along with that, the apostle John described the moment when God spoke over His Son. In John 12:29, we are told that when God spoke all but Jesus heard thunder.
There is little to define who or what is speaking when we get to Revelation 10:4.
Revelation 10:4 NASB “When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write, and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”
I told you a moment ago how that NO ONE understood what God was saying to Jesus, and how that all who stood about heard thunder, quite possibly on a clear day.
How then did the disciples, and by extension, us, come to know what God said to Jesus that day, when He was baptized?
Obviously the disciples asked, He told them, and they shared it with us.
Give some thought to this idea; is it possible that the Spirit of God has revealed these things to us and we don’t know it?
The Spirit, in speaking to Israel through Isaiah said,
Isaiah 29:6 NASB From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.
The method and means are varied and include a multitude from all the nations. God begins to equate the punishment to a bad dream where you cannot tell what is real.
The Message translates Isaiah 29:9-10 in this manner.
“Be shocked and stunned, you prophets! Refuse to see. Get drunk and stagger, but not from wine. The LORD has made you drowsy; he put you into a deep sleep and covered your head.” (Isaiah 29:9-10 CEV)
Pay attention to the terminology in verse 11.
Isaiah 29:11 NASB “The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”
While Isaiah’s prophetic words talk of the vision is like the words of a sealed book. This is in contrast to Revelation 10:4 in which a voice from heaven says, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”
I am not saying that we, through faith, much like we did when I was involved with the “faith movement,” pry open the pages of scripture in an attempt at gaining belief for the understanding of the sealed things. But it is possible that God is making His secrets known to those who love Him and pursue His heart. Then again, some things are for us to know, while other things are God’s secrets, which for the moment don’t need to be known.
Daniel 12:4 NASB “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
Ask yourself, do you know with precision what life on earth, during the thousand years, will be like?
If you are honest, you would have to say you are not sure. Some insist that we will have jobs; the problem with this idea is that we are back to managers and corporate executives, along with the graft and theft that we have always known. There is NO WAY that system will be re-instituted on earth, because the corporate system is a part of the Babylon system that emerged out of our brokenness and sin, and God will never allow that again.
Doesn’t Revelation 10:4 indicate that John understood what these voices of thunder said?
Most would never speculate the John understood the words, and yet, there it is, do not write it down, presumably because it is for another time. If all John heard was thunder, what would be the point of writing a detailed description of the thunder; unless he understood the words.
Revelation 10:5-6 CJB Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted his right hand toward heaven (6) and swore by the One who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: “There will be no more delay;
The prophetic relationship for the Jew is pattern and repetition. We have that here with Daniel’s words.
Daniel 12:6-7 NASB And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” (7) I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.
The Complete Jewish Bible relates verse seven like this:
“that it will be when the the power of the holy people is no longer being shattered that all these things will end.”
The CJB intrigues me because it defines how the end will come, “when the power of the holy people is no longer being shattered.”
Who are the holy people?
The answer is Israel/the Jews.
What would it have to look like, so that we could determine that the shattering of Israel is over?
That shattering could only happen when Jesus comes back as the warring Messiah, which we see in Revelation 19:11 through 20:3 give or take a few extra passages and that is because Jesus will end all warfare – for a thousand years
Revelation 10:6 and Daniel 12:7, both infer that these things will be completed and that there will be no more delays.
Ah, but when can this take place?
Only here: Revelation 19:11 through 20:3 give or take a few extra passages.
The angel has not changed; it is Jesus. Fascinating how this angel is now swearing by Him who lives forever and ever; and “who created heaven and the things in it. This is the kind of statement that the doubtful and disparaging use to shut people like me up.
What did John tell us about Jesus?
John 1:1-3 NASB In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being.
Kind of confusing, isn’t it?
And yet, it is NOT so confusing if you accept the fact that the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit there have always been; that and the fact that you ARE made in the image of the three, and they are a part of your very being.
At this point, Jesus announces, there will be NO FURTHER DELAYS. A little chronological timekeeping is in order. In Daniel chapter nine Daniel is given an explanation.
Daniel 9:24-25 NLT “A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven (469 years) will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. (That anointed one is Jesus.) Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times.
With Jesus’s death and resurrection the world reached the 469th year of a designated 470 years. The understanding is that Israel, and we who follow after Jesus and long for the catching away of the church and the unleashing of God’s wrath, have all been put on hold.
If Jesus is saying there will be no further delays, then where are we in the sequence of events?
We are going to let scripture answer this question. Revelation chapter nine defined the sixth trumpet.
The sixth trumpet unleashed the four angels bound in the Euphrates, who in turn unleashes two million demonic Calvary, which kills one-third of the earth’s population.
Revelation 10:7 NLT When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants, the prophets.”
Let me review a teaching point. In each of God’s judgments, there have been seven events. The first six bring the pain, the seventh announces the next string of events. So we have had: seals, bowls, and trumpets.
Get this idea out of your head. NO ONE will be standing around waiting for the next phase of God’s fury to be unleashed. It seems that those alive during this time of judgment will barely recover from one thing when the next comes. And though God’s fury has death associated with it; there is no stopping the acts of violence that humans will perform upon each other.
As the Douay-Rheims Bible puts it, “the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets.”
Dr. J. Vernon McGee tells us, this brings us to the conclusion of the Great Tribulation.
Did you notice that part of the scriptural statement indicates that God has defined all these events to His servants, the prophets.
If that is the case, then why do we act like this is a great mystery, that NO ONE can understand or figure out?
Revelation 10:8 DRB And I heard a voice from heaven, again speaking to me and saying: Go and take the book that is open, from the hand of the angel who stands upon the sea and upon the earth.
One more time, this angel is Jesus.
“Go and take the book that is open, from the hand of the angel.”
How many books does God have?
None of us has a legitimate answer to that question, but I want you to see something that will challenge your judgmentalism if you are so inclined to act that way.
Revelation 20:11-13 NASB (11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. (12) And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which was in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which was in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 is the path of salvation through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. Ephesians 2:8a CEV “You were saved by faith in God,” And yet in Psalms 62:11-12 (GW), the psalmist exclaims …”God has spoken once. I have heard it said twice: Power belongs to God. Mercy belongs to you, O Lord. You reward a person based on what he has done.” The religious assumption is that these deeds are all bad, but you cannot logically pull that kind of response from the sentence.
So, are everyone’s deeds rewarded, regardless of impact?
The short answer is yes, some to glory and some to eternal punishment, and this is exactly what you see in Matthew 25.
“ a great white throne and Him who sat upon it,”
In Matthew 25, we see this, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.”
Is there any distinction between Jesus and God?
NO! So this, then, is the Son of Man upon the great white throne, isn’t it.
“ And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne.”
Now you have to challenge your thinking. We understand that the church is supposed to get caught up to the clouds to forever be with Jesus.
Since we know that the dead in Christ shall rise first, then who are these people?
Hmm, Good question. For all intents and purposes, for all time, these have died outside of an understandable relationship with Jesus; or, so we think. It becomes rather obvious that Jesus sees their acts of kindness as a move toward a relationship. When you get to Matthew 25:31-40 that will become clear.
“and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life.”
Did you know there were other books?
What kind of cruel joke would God be playing if He laid out many books before Him, knowing full well that the only book necessary, to those standing before Him would be the book of life?
When you look at the judgment from this perspective it does not make sense unless those other books hold out hope for these dead now standing before Him. Religion offers no help, as some “Bible teachers” are willing to condemn all those before the great white throne to hell. If Matthew’s account is just another telling of the great white throne, then there certainly is hope.
What role do these other books play?
We see no definition here in Revelation 20. But if we compare this to Matthew’s account perhaps we can figure out that these other books hold the accounting of our days.
By the way, in Matthew’s account, we see NO books.
Does the fact that we find no books in Matthew’s account diminish the idea that Jesus is seated on the throne of judgment in Matthew 25?
NO, and I say that because you can see the similarities between Matthew’s account and Revelation 20:11-13; in judgment – in that those before the throne are both judged according to their actions, and it is the dead that are being judged.
I want you to see Matthew’s account here.
Matthew 25:31-40 NASB “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (32) “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; (33) and He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. (34) “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (35) ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; (36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? (38) ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? (39) ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ (40) “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Here is where the ugly side of judgment comes into play.
Matthew 25:41-46 NASB “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (42) for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; (43) I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ (44) “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ (45) “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these; you did not do it to Me.’ (46) “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Sadly I have sat under teachers who cannot see past the word punishment in verse 46, as these teachers send everyone before the great white throne to hell.
The reality is that at the end of the seven years of wrath, only two persons are thrown into eternal punishment, the antichrist and the false prophet. So no, not everyone is sent to hell, even though they were missed in the rapture and not considered among the martyred saints (a very rough way to go if you ask me.) There is only one other place where we see humans sent to hell and that is at the final judgment where Jesus sits on the great white throne, the same glorious throne that we see in both Matthew’s account and in the Revelation.
If you were to ask me to explain how or why God chooses to act this way I can only convey what I have found in the Word.
Psalms 62:11-12 AMP God has spoken once, twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God. (12) Also to You, O Lord, belong mercy and loving-kindness, for You render to every man according to his work.
Jeremiah 17:10 AMP I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
When you read about this judgment in Matthew 25 you can see that the recipients of His mercy are shocked. He replied, “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”