Sunday, June 25, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon Apocalypse 10 ]

Lonnie Branam

Revelation 10 is an interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpet. . Revelation 9 ended with the 6th trumpet and the seventh and final trumpet does not sound until Revelation 11:15. The 7th trumpet does not immediately follow the sixth trumpet as might be expected. There is an interruption and may indicate a change of subject matter. Most likely it signifies that one set of visions have come to a close, and an entirely different set is about to begin. My viewpoint is that the first six trumpet messages from God described the punishment and downfall of the pagan Roman Empire as the persecutors of God's people in the Christian religion. The Western Roman Empire ended in 476 A.D. I suggest that the first six trumpets is a memorial of honor to the Christians of the first three centuries who stood fast to Christ and preserved the story of Jesus and His love for all generations to follow. The world has forgotten those Christians, and I am afraid that many Christians have forgotten. But God has not forgotten them, and the first six trumpets is God's testimony to their faith and love. God has honored them in the book of Revelation. How they held fast to the faith will be a part of the inspired writings until time comes to an end. There is a drastic change in the events relevant to the church after 476 A.D. Revelation 10 seems to be a transition chapter from the persecution under Political Rome to another persecution under the new Roman Empire that followed shortly. . This new event begins to unfold in Revelation 11. It is my view that pagan Rome is the first major historical event mentioned in the Revelation, and it ends with chapter 9. Chapter 10 introduces us another affliction that would befall the church..

Next, permit me to present a brief resume of chapter 10. John sees a mighty angel descend from heaven majestic and awe-inspiring in appearance. He is so gigantic that he straddles the earth and the sea. His right foot was in the ocean, and his left foot was on the earth. His face shined like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire. There was a little book in his hand, and it was open and readable. He cried out a loud voice that sounded like the roar of a lion. Just as he spoke seven thunders were heard uttering voices. John began to write what he heard, but he was stopped by a voice from heaven which said, “ Seal up those things the seven thunders uttered and do not write them.” Then this mighty angelic giant, with one foot on land and the other far out in the ocean swore by Jehovah God that there should be time no longer. The New King James version translates the words of the angel, “There shall be delay no longer.” Both translations mean the same thing. This angel announces the end of the world, but the world did not end


announcement. He simply states that this world is going to end, but he did not say when. Standing on the earth and in the ocean, it was a message to the entire earth, to all mankind. The message was that solar time is going to end. The clock is grinding down, and it will end.

Next, he made this fascinating statement, “In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to his servants the prophets.” Then a voice from heaven commanded John to go and take the little book out of the hand of the angel. John took the book from the angel, and the rainbow angel told him to take the book and eat it. He added that it will taste like honey in his mouth, but would make his stomach bitter. It would be both sweet and bitter to him. This vision comes to an end with these words of a voice from heaven to John, “You must prophecy again about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings.” John does this in the rest of the book of Revelation, chapters 11-22. The world will not come to an end until sometime after the events in Revelation 11 to 20 transpire. The angel in chapter ten simply says the clock is moving toward the end, and let the world take warning.

All commentators on the book of revelation have found chapter ten extremely difficult to interpret. There is little agreement among the expositors, and I will not confuse your mind with all the differing opinions. This is an independent study of the Revelation, and on this chapter I disagree with most of my historical colleagues on their general interpretation. My viewpoint on the chapter may be new approach, and I present my humble opinion for your consideration and study. First, what shall we make of this gigantic angel with a rainbow around his head, straddling earth and land and making a frightening announcement to al l people on earth? With a loud shout that could be heard from one end of the earth to the other, he made the announcement that time will be no more. He clearly announced the end of the world, the end of earthly time or solar time. The world did not come to an end with this announcement. It was just a warning and a reminder to a careless and unbelieving world that it is drawing closer to the end. He did not say when it would end. I would suggest the significance of the statement is that the clock of earth time is ticking, and the hands of the clock have moved closer to the end.


The apostles clearly taught that the Christian Age of the world is the end period of human history, and when it comes to a close the world will end. When the Christian religion began about 33 A.D., the apostle Peter said it began in “the last days” of human history, according to Joel's Prophecy(Acts 2:17). The apostle John said about 90 A.D., “Little children it is the last hour.” This was not a literal hour of the day. The first hour was from Adam to Moses; the second hour was from Moses to Christ, and the third hour is from Christ to the end of the world. The apostles themselves lived in the closing period of human history, and all of us today are living in the same end period. So far as the end time is concerned, the clock began to tick in 33 A.D. and the hands of time have moved closer with every day, month and year. We are 2,000 years closer to the end than were apostles. Thus, I would suggest that the message of the rainbow angel is that much time has advanced toward the end, and it continues to advance; and let mankind take the warning. Jesus warned us that when the end comes, it will be like the end came in the flood of Noah. He said they went about unconcerned with their daily living until the flood came and took them all away. Then he added, “So will the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:27). So the message of the rainbow angel is just another warning to an unbelieving world that the end draws near.

Another matter of interest in this chapter is that when the angel began to speak, seven thunders uttered their voices. These were seven messages from God, possibly about events and happenings closer to the end of the world. John started to write these messages down but heard a voice from heaven saying that he should seal up those messages, and he was forbidden to write them down. They were to be kept secret. Hence, they are not in the book of Revelation. No one knows when Jesus will return. Any preacher who sets a date for the coming of Christ makes a foolish mistake, and time has proved all of them wrong, and will prove wrong all of the so-called prophecy preachers of our day and time. . It is not given to man to know when Jesus is coming back(Mark 13:32). No one but John knew what the seven thunder messages revealed. As we do not know the subjects of the seven thunders, neither can we know why God decided they should not be revealed to us. However, it might well be that something might be proper to be revealed to the apostle John and yet not communicated to the church. The Holy Spirit has concealed the thunder messages from us, and that settles the matter.


The third matter of interest in this vision is the fascinating statement the rainbow angel made in verse 7. After making the statement, “there shall be time no longer,” he made this interesting statement, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.” There is considerable obscurity in the statement, and probably the Holy Spirit intended it to be so because it has to do with the end of the world. But in my humble opinion I think there are some things we can understand about it. We have learned that the book of Revelation has seven divisions, called seven seals. The sixth seal ended in Revelation 9, and just one more remains. The seventh angel sounds in Revelation 11:15. .

We can rightfully conclude that everything else in the book of Revelation from chapter 11:15 to the last chapter takes place under the seventh and final seal. We can also conclude that the seventh seal could possibly last for many, many centuries. Please note what the rainbow angel said, “In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished....” The words, “when he is about to sound,” makes the time and events to happen under the seventh seal very indefinite. It would seem reasonable to conclude that when the seventh angel sounds, the hands of the clock of time on earthy will have moved even closer to the end of the world. I will say one more thing about thi s verse. In chapter 10 the seventh angel has not sounded, but he does sound in chapter 11:15.. If you will carefully read between Revelation 10:10 and Revelation 11:15, apparently some terrible calamity is to take place on earth. You can be certain it was about some grievous affliction that was to happen to the New Testament church, and it could embrace thousands of years. Furthermore, after that event takes place, only then does the seventh angel sound and that could embrace other long periods of time. In my considered judgment, that event, whatever it is, between Revelation 10:10 and Revelation 11:15 will be the subject discussed in the remainder of the book of Revelation. When that event takes place, the hands on the clock of earth time will draw even closer to the end. of the world. That event wil l be discussed in chapters 11-20.

One other matter remains to be discussed in chapter 10. The rainbow angel had a little book in his hand, and it was open. That seems to indicate that it could be read and understood. John is commanded to go and take the book out of the hand of the angel, and he did so. The rainbow angel then said to John, “Take this book and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, and it will be as sweet as 5

honey to your mouth.” John ate it and found it to be so. Of course, no one can eat a book. This is figurative language and simply means to read the book and understand what it says. In one sense it will be sweet to the taste because it is the word of God, and His word is always good for His people. However, it was very bad news for the church, and that is why it was said to be bitter to John's stomach. John felt bad about what was written in that little book. What is bad news for the church is also bad news for the world in general. This commentator can see nothing good in that little book. It doesn't sound good to me. It is bad, bad news for the church, and the church is in store for some great falling away from the true church. The Lord wanted the church to know that it was coming. The church went through one calamity brought on them by the Western Roman Empire, and now it appears that another is about to fall on the Lord's church. In my opinion, this calamity is foretold in the first 15 verses. of Revelation 11, but it is told in very figurative language in order that the power that caused the calamity would not understand the reference is to them. If the enemy knew they were pinpointed in this book, it would have brought more suffering and death on Christians, and this book may have been destroyed. This is the only reason this book is difficult to understand. It had to be a secretive revelation and prophecy. The prophecy in Revelation 11 is written in code language, and it must be deciphered to understand it. If you try to understand it literally you will never know what was in that little book. John ate the book, and it made his stomach bitter. The last verse of the chapter says the angel told John that he must prophesy again to many peoples, nations, tongues and kings. He prophesied once in chapters 4-9, and now he must prophesy again to all nations on earth about another coming event that will dangerously affect both the church and all people on earth.. He does this prophesying in chapters 11-20. Such are my thoughts on Revelation 10.

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