"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


Bookmark and Share

Sunday, March 1, 2020


~ by James Fire

Introduction: Whenever the judgment of GOD fell upon Israel, it was only after a long duration of warning and pleading through the prophets, for the people to repent and turn from their wicked ways, and the LORD in His infinite mercy would relent of the judgment He was prepared to execute, spare His people and restore His blessings to them (DEUT. 28 and 29; 2 CHRON 7:14; ISAIAH 1:2-18). GOD sprints to show His mercy but drags His feet when He must bring judgment. When once judgment falls, it’s a hard and unbearable burden that people long to be relieved from, and most often it isn’t relieved because of their obstinance and unwillingness to repent and turn to the LORD. Yet judgment in this world knows a termination point, when the full wrath is spent and over with. In the world to come, judgment and wrath will endure eternally for those who find themselves condemned at the Great White Throne Judgment (REV 20:11-15).

We see here, just prior to the sounding of this last of the seven trumpets (which, remember, includes the seven vials within the scope of the seventh trumpet), the promise that the conclusion is near. 

The judgment will have its desired effect: that while those who are righteous and holy will be righteous and holy still and the unjust and filthy will be so still (
REV 22:11), even so, there will be a great multitude of souls who, as a result of this greatest of chastenings and judgments of GOD that will come to a saving knowledge of the truth (REV 7:9-14).

The end of this horrific time is coming to a final closing, the birth pangs are nearly complete – the sorrow will be forgotten, and joy will blossom and grow to unequaled heights when the Son finally arrives (JOHN 16:20-22) to establish His rightful reign – a joy most sublime indeed to those who love Him, and a grievous holy terror on those who would not have Him reign over them (LUKE 19:11-27).

In this chapter we have the anticipation of this seventh trumpet and the Word of the LORD which declared that judgment is coming to an end.

1 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: 2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth

There are those who see this angel, this “mighty angel” as the Person of Christ Himself, and given the description we have of him here, it would seem a proper identification. He is clothed in a cloud (PSALM 97:2); a rainbow is upon his head (REV 4:3); his face shines as the sun (MATT 17:2); and his feet as pillars of fire (REV 1:15). His right foot in upon the sea, his left on the earth, denoting his supreme sovereignty over both, even over the two beasts that rise up out of sea and earth (REV 13:1,11). This angel holds a little book (“scroll”) which is not the scroll we see at the beginning of this Revelation, where the apostle John witnesses the LAMB of GOD taking it out of the hand of Him Who sits on the throne (REV 5:1-7). 

What John sees here is “a little book” and it was already open, with no seals needing to be broken.

Why would the Holy Spirit see fit to describe the LORD Jesus here as an angel – and “another mighty angel” at that, when the LORD is Almighty. We see GOD described as “the mighty GOD” in ISAIAH 9:6, but elsewhere as Almighty as well.
Remember that while the word ‘angel’ in Scripture speaks of these spirit beings, on a more fundamental level it simply means “messenger” and this book we are studying is the Revelation that GOD gave to Christ, Who then revealed it to His servants, “and sent and signified it by his angel”. Christ bore this message to His servants, making Him, in a sense, an ‘angel’ or messenger.

However, this could merely be an angel, an emissary, a representative for Christ and certainly a worshiper of the Son (HEB 1:6). The holy cherubim, who themselves worship Him day and night possess in their make-up representations of Who Christ is: they each have four faces – the eagle (denoting the Deity of Christ); the ox (denoting Christ the Servant); the man (denoting the humanity of Christ) and Lion (denoting the King of Israel, the Messiah).

There is the spiritual principle that you become like that which you worship, and if any is a true worshiper of Christ in Spirit and Truth (JOHN 4:23-24), they will become Christ-like in character and in life.

Whether this is Christ Himself or His representative, what we learn here is that the glory of GOD is so awesome that no man can see Him and live (EXOD 33:20), thus He must cover His glory in cloud – or as the case may be, in flesh as the Son of David (PHIL 2:6-7).

But those clouds will one day be dispersed just as certainly as that flesh has been glorified – and we will behold Him, our Beloved in all of His Majesty and Splendor and Glory! His glory causes the sun to pale in comparison and His Light grants to us understanding and wisdom, guidance and protection (2 COR 4:6).
The rainbow that GOD set in the sky is His covenant of promise to all people that He would never destroy the Earth again by flood; the rainbow of emerald* around the throne of GOD denotes a covenant of grace and peace that are established on Christ Jesus, never to be broken or modified. The rainbow here upon the head of this angel like a crown, is representative of the rule of Christ by covenant which He promised to David and revealed that He Himself will be that ruler, the Messiah.

*- The emerald is the jewel (one of twelve, each representing a tribe of Israel) on the High Priest’s ephod that represented the tribe of Judah.

He has feet as fire, or as brass in the furnace – fire and brass both being symbols of judgment, and we know that the reign of Christ will be wholly just, meting out severe judgment on law breakers (PSALM 2:9; ISAIAH 63:3; REV 12:5), and safeguarding His precious ones with equal tenacity (ISAIAH 40:10-12).

And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered 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

His roar is as a lion – certainly this may be said of the LION of the Tribe of JUDAH; He Who is also the LAMB of GOD (REV 5:5-6).

The Lion is portrayed in contrast to the Lamb, expressing the dual roles of Christ:

ROMANS 11:22
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off
These seven thunders are a mystery – that is, unrevealed to us. We know that there are seven (meaning perfection or completion) and that they uttered comprehensible words, because John was about to write them. When we see thunder in these passages, they occur at last in the sevens of judgment GOD being pouring out. We see them at the seventh seal being broken (REV 8:5) and at the seventh vial as well (REV 16:17-18) and we see them here in our current chapter. I suppose when once we are gathered together in glory as the body of Christ, His holy bride, we will hear these seven thunders for ourselves, and understand them.

The LORD in His mercy doesn’t burden us with things that we cannot bear but waits until some point in the future when we will have been prepared and enabled to receive them. The LORD Jesus mentioned this Himself to His disciples (note vs. 12):

JOHN 16:7-13
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whats
oever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come
For everything else we read in this Revelation, the book is open, not sealed, for the time of the end is at hand; this was not the case in the days of Daniel the prophet:

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer

This angel here lifts up one hand; in Daniel the prophet sees another angel (DAN 12:7) who extends both hands up and also swearing “by Him that lives forever” that this time of judgment will be for “a time, times and half a time (three and a half years)”. That period of time, which the Bible speaks about more than any other, is at this point, at hand – “there should be time no longer” that is, the waiting is over with! This time is also expressed as “in the midst of the week” (DAN 9:27) – a week here being a prophetic week of years, seven years (in the midst therefore is three and a half years); it is described as forty-two months as well (REV 11:2; 13:5) and 1,260 days (REV 11:3).

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

The judgment of GOD will know its completion at the sounding of the 7th Trumpet and all that this entails (again, this includes the seven vials in the coming chapters). This is the last and most severe contraction in the labor pangs that Scripture talks about (ISAIAH 13:8; JOHN 16:21; 1 THESS 5:3) before the arrival of the Son, the LORD Jesus Christ Who at that time will dispatch the two Beasts to the lake of fire (REV 19:20), will judge the nations comprised of sheep and goats in their relation to how they treated Israel during the tribulation period (MATT 25:31-46); and establish His reign over Israel and all the Gentile nations (REV 19; 20).

And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. 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. 10 And I took the little book 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

John hears the voice from heaven Who instructs the apostle to take the little book from the angel and he obeys; when taking it from the angel, he tells the apostle to eat it, and further that it will be sweet in his mouth but bitter in his belly. The apostle then consumes this little book and it was exactly as the angel told him.

This little book seems to be associated with this last, final aspect of this terrible time that this world will find itself in shortly. It is a time period of such suffering, turmoil, tribulation and sorrow like no other time before or afterwards (MATT 24:21-22).

For any and all such times as these, we find solace, comfort, strength and encouragement in the Scriptures – in the vast wastelands of woe, the expansive deserts of dire anguish, the Word of GOD is our anchor, our refuge and our compass. No storm can dislodge our faith when we have GOD’s Word as the faithful anchor; no enemy can successfully assail and bring us down when we reside in the refuge of the Holy Word; no disorienting and confusing terrain can cause us to wander aimlessly when we have the sure compass of the Scriptures and the Spirit that instructs us through it.

During such times of trial, we find that the Word ministers to us with a sweetness unequaled, while that same Word works holy havoc to our sinful flesh, crucifying it in the bitter business of the cross of Christ. Nevertheless, we must take the bitter along with the sweet, for that sweetness will eventually be all that lasts, while the bitterness is but for a season.

11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings

The Greek word epi is what we see for the word “before” in this verse; in the context of the verse and how epi is used, it’s best translated as “about” as in, ‘speaking in regards to’ “many peoples and nations and tongues and kings”, which would indicate the various prophecies that are yet ahead in this book. Even though we are nearing the end of this seven-year period, we are less than half-way through this book; there are many verses that focus in particulars that occur within this seven-year period.

Particulars such as the temple, the two witnesses, the visions of the woman in the heavenlies and the contest with the red dragon, the two beasts (commonly referred to as the anti-Christ and the false Prophet) and the one world system, and by the time we get to chapter 15, we’ll finally witness “the last seven plagues” contained in the vials (or bowls); there is a focus in Ch. 17 and 18 on Babylon, and from there, it’s a wrap in chapters 19 through 22, what with the LORD confronting the two beasts, and the kings of this world, the judgment of nations, the consignment of Satan into the abyss, the inauguration of the Millennial Reign of Christ, the release of Satan and the Last Rebellion and Final Reckoning upon it. This is followed by the Great White Throne Judgment and the obliteration of the old heavens and earth by the Word of the LORD, and the creation of new heavens and new earth and the descent of New Jerusalem and the commencement of the Eternal Kingdom!

And THAT is when life will REALLY begin saints! May the LORD keep our eyes upon Him and His Kingdom, having lasting eternal vision!

No comments: