Saturday, 30 January 2021
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. Revelation 10:7
The wording of this verse anticipates what is coming in Chapter 11. In verse 11:15, the seventh angel will sound. For now, and in anticipation of that, it says, “but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel.” The words are based upon what was said in the previous verse. There, it said, “that there should be delay no longer.”
The words here are given to confirm that thought. However, there is not a set moment that he is referring to. Instead, it details events occurring over a period of time. As it says, “in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel.” In other words, one might look at the birth of Christ. That happened at a set moment. However, someone may write about the events that were to occur at that time. In this, he would write, “In the days of the coming of Messiah such and such will be the state of the world.”
The sounding of the trumpet is a set event at a set moment, but the events leading up to it actually precede the event. This is then confirmed by the words, “when he is about to sound.”
The way these words are translated will make all the difference in how the events will be interpreted. Some translations to consider –
when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished – NKJV
When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled – NLT
but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled – ESV
but in the days of the sound of the seventh angel, when he will blow his trumpet, then God’s hidden plan will be completed – HCSB
When the time approaches for the seventh angel to blow his trumpet, God’s secret plan will be fulfilled – ISV
but in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, when he may be about to sound, and the secret of God may be finished – YLT
These are but a few variations of these difficult words. In them are a variety of ideas about how the events will occur. However, the main two ideas are that either 1) the events will occur upon the sounding of the trumpet, or 2) the events will occur before the sounding. The verb is present subjunctive. The other two uses of the verb in this same form are found in Mark 13:4 and Luke 21:7. But even there, the words are variously translated.
The idea is that things will happen in a period of time surrounding the sounding. Thus, the words “when he is about to sound” give the right sense. The timing of the sounding of the seventh trumpet completes the set of events that occur. It does not initiate them. It is during this period that “the mystery of God would be finished.”
The word used as “mystery” signifies the things known only to God, but which are revealed by the unfolding of His plans. It is something not knowable except as is revealed specifically by Him. Thus, the mystery here is the consummation of the hidden things of God. It is their final unveiling. With that understood, John finishes the verse with “as He declared to His servants the prophets.”
Here the word signifying the gospel, or good news, is translated as “declared.” God has declared that things will be made right. The world will receive its renewal, and wickedness will be eradicated. In the time when the seventh angel is about to sound, these things will be fully revealed. Matthew Poole seems to be correct when he says of this, “generally, whatsoever God hath revealed concerning the propagation of the gospel, the ruin of antichrist, and the end of the world.”
All of these things will have come to their completion when the seventh trumpet is sounded. John writes about it as if it is already accomplished because God is there at the end, revealing it to him for us to know that He is in control of what is coming.
Life application: A mystery in the New Testament is something that was previously unknown, and which is now revealed. There are several mysteries spoken of by Jesus and the apostles. The Old Testament saints saw, for example, a time when there would be great tribulation on earth and they also saw a time when there would be a reign of righteousness on earth. When these and many other things were declared to them, they wrote them down, but they didn’t understand how these things tied together with the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Peter describes this process in his first epistle –
“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” 1 Peter 1:10-12
We now have a fuller description of these things, and many of the things that were hidden are now more fully explained. However, the actual events still need to be unfolded in the stream of time. We are provided with the outline of those events. These are stated as absolute assurances, or as accomplished facts, thus giving us complete confidence that what is prophesied is as good as done. With this thought, we can then be fully assured that we will be tended to as God has promised. As we who have called on Him through Christ are now “in Christ,” our worries should be behind us. He could no more reject or abandon us than He would do so to His own dear Son, JESUS.
O God! How blessed we are to read the words of Scripture and to see that it is all accomplished in Your mind. We are just watching the events that You have told us about unfold before our eyes. May we handle this knowledge with great care, knowing that it has been given for our understanding of what is to come and for our comfort that You have it all under control. Amen.