Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Third Angel


i) The Rapture is announced



   I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
   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,
   And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
   Now 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. 
10:1-4   


The Seven Thunders


   This chapter opens with a mighty angel, but it does not start a new woe.  This section is still in the thick of the second woe, announced by the sixth trumpet and brought by the sixth bowl of wrath.  We studied about these before we got mired down in Babylon.

   Even though the description of this angel is reminiscent of Christ in 1:15-16 and in Mat. 17:2 where we read of Christ's transfiguration, this does not refer to Christ, for Christ is not created, whereas angels are.

In speaking of the appearance of the angel, a few things might be mentioned. 
  • It is not a foreign thought that when persons, or angels, move from heaven to earth, or from earth to heaven they are surrounded by a cloud.  Christ at His transfiguration and at His ascension was, so is this angel.
  • Not only is the angel wearing a cloud but, on his head, there is a rainbow. Many prehistory cave drawings show what appear to be spacemen who, are wearing things around their heads, things that look like rainbows; actually, they look more like space helmets.
  • We also notice that his face was like the sun.  This was also said about Christ at His transfiguration; His face shone like the sun. Mat. 17:2.
  • Not only that, but the angel's feet were like pillars of fire.  Pillars of fire would seem logical if the angel was using jet propulsion, as a means of transportation.
    Asimov^ mentions that, even though many warnings have been given, much grace has been shown and judgment is past due, still God is not hastening to end life on this earth. The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9  

  One idea might be that the rainbow on the angels head reminded God of his promise of mercy; I set my rainbow in the cloud. And it shall be a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud And I will remember My covenant which is between Me and youGen 9:13-15.

   It is fitting that this angel should appear immediately after the degradation shown in chapter 9.  And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and golden, and silver, and bronze, and stone, and wooden idols (which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk). And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. 9:20-21; just as the rainbow appeared in the sky immediately after the destruction during "Noah’s flood".

   When he (the mighty angel) had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. That is, they spoke loudly.  According to earlier instructions, John was going to write what he had heard, but he, like Daniel many years before, Dan. 12:9, was told to seal up those things which the thunders spoke.

We still don't know what the thunders said!


The Angel with the Good News


   The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 
   and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 
   but 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. 10:5-7 

The stage is being set for the climatic end to history.  As in a great novel, all the pieces must be in place before the grand finale can happen.  When the end does come, events will transpire quickly, as Paul said, in the twinkling of an eye. 1 Cor. 15:52

   The rapture of the church has been announced with the words, in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished.  In the book of Ephesians, we learn that the mystery of God is The Church of Jesus Christ; This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Eph. 5:32  When the seventh trumpet sounds, the Church will be finished.

   The mighty angel made an oath, swearing by the creator, that there should be no more delay.  Events are moving quickly and Jehovah has been so patient.  He is still waiting for sinners to repent.  In our study, we will encounter three more events, and four more angels, before the seventh trumpet blows.

    
The three events are:
1) John eats the book
2) John measures the temple of God
3) The two witnesses appear.


_______________________________
^ Guide to the Bible, Isaac Asimov

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