And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. (Revelation 14:15)
At this point in the Revelation account, we have come to the last half of the Tribulation. We have seen that in the midst of the terrible judgments coming upon the earth, God in His mercy continues to reach out to a lost and rebellious world by way of the 144,000 witnesses, the two Old Testament prophets brought back to earth to testify by way of wonders and miracles so that no one on earth will have an excuse for rejecting God. At the midpoint of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem by claiming to be God and demanding that he be worshiped as God. At this time, the Antichrist is fully possessed by Satan, and God allows him to kill the two prophets, and the 144,000 who, up until this point have been protected by God. In the previous verses, we see the 144,000 in the heavenly Mount Zion with Jesus. However, God continues to show His mercy by sending His angels to proclaim the Gospel all around the earth so that all on earth (who have not yet accepted the “mark of the beast”) will have the opportunity to turn to Christ. Of that time Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14, emphasis mine).
Now we arrive at the final one year and nine months that remain in the Tribulation (as I understand the chronology). John gives us a quick summary previewing what is to come; the details will be revealed in the chapters that follow.
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle” (Revelation 14:14). Undoubtedly, “the Son of man” refers to Jesus, and He wears a golden “stephanos” – a victor’s crown, not a “diadēma” a royal crown. Although the final battle between the forces of Satan and Christ is yet future, the victory is sure, and Jesus is the Victor. He carries a sharp sickle in His hand prepared for the harvest. Larkin points out that “This is not the ‘Harvest of the Church.’ … This is the ‘Harvest’ of the Gentile Nations … The ‘Harvest and Vintage’ are JUDICIAL. That is, they are for the purpose of Judgment. The account here is anticipative.” We can look forward to the details of that judgment when the seven bowls are poured out in Chapter 16.
“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Revelation 14:15). Again, this looks forward in anticipation of the end when the final battle takes place at the battle of Armageddon.
“And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:16). At that time, He returns to the earth on a white horse followed by His saints on white horses. His sickle will be the “sword,” which is His Word, that proceeds out of His mouth. The battle, if one can call it that, will be no battle at all, for the victory will be decisive and instantaneous.
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God” (Revelation 14:17-19). There is great excitement in heaven. The end is here and Jesus will soon take His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. However, for those with the mark of the beast and those who have rejected God despite all of His efforts and offer of salvation, this is very bad news. On the other hand, for those saints who have managed to survive the seven-year Tribulation, their “blessed hope” is about to be realized.
“And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Revelation 14:20). The “winepress” is “without the city,” i.e., outside of Jerusalem. It is the Jezreel Valley, a.k.a. the Valley of Megiddo, a.k.a. Armageddon. This valley in northern Israel extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Joran River south of Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee). It covers an area of roughly 380 square kilometers or 146.7 square miles. The blood of Jesus’ enemies will fill this “winepress” as high as a horse’s bridle. It is “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15).
In a Messianic passage, the Prophet Isaiah sees the coming Lord like this. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come” (Isaiah 63:1-4, emphasis mine). John records it this way. “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13, emphasis mine).
For those who reject Christ, the end will not be nice. That is putting it mildly. Reader, if you do not know the Savior, do not wait any longer. The time is short. Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)
Jesus warned, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:15-22, emphasis mine).
Jesus’ Olivet Discourse is often misinterpreted and misapplied to include all followers of Christ. However, one must consider the audience Jesus addressed. It was His disciples who asked, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). The question was prompted by Jesus’ remark concerning the Temple they were admiring. “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). The disciples were Jewish, and their concern was from a Jewish perspective. They were not yet “Christian.” They believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They knew He was destined to reign in Jerusalem and that His reign would culminate at the “end of the age.” Their twofold question requested two specific answers: when will He come to set up His kingdom, and when will “the end of the world” (Gk: aiōn – age) be?
Jesus’ reply addressed Jews, and the events outlined in His discourse were directed to Jews. “The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet” was intended for Daniel and his people and his holy city, i.e., the Jews and Jerusalem. Jesus warned that they should pray that their escape from Jerusalem would not be on a Sabbath Day. Such a warning can only apply to Jews; Christians observe the Lord’s Day (Sunday), not the Sabbath (Saturday). Jesus’ discourse on the last days described the events of the seven-year Tribulation prophesied by Daniel. Its primary purpose is “to finish the transgression [of Israel], and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24). The prophets all speak of the scattering and regathering of Israel into their own land in the “latter days” with the promise that God will restore the nation forever (sealing up “the vision and prophecy”). Hence, the Tribulation is for that purpose and to bring God’s judgment to bear on a rebellious and sinful world.
In my previous article, I focused on Revelation 13 which deals with “the beast” (i.e., “the abomination of desolation, a.k.a. the Antichrist) and his false prophet, who shows his true colors at the midpoint of the Tribulation initiating the final 3½ years, or what Jesus called the “Great Tribulation.” Of that time Jesus said, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
It is at this point that John once again changes the scene. “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). The Lamb he sees is Jesus standing on Mount Zion. Zion sometimes refers to Jerusalem and at other times it refers to the Temple Mount or “the mountain of God.” However, it almost always refers to the dwelling place of God. God established Jerusalem as His city forever and the Temple as His dwelling place forever. Even so, Solomon rightly concluded, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” (1 Kings 8:27). Obviously, God cannot be confined to a single place; therefore, Zion goes beyond an earthly temple or city. Zion is the habitation of God in heaven.
Now we see Jesus, the Lamb, in Zion, His heavenly home, and there with Him are the 144 thousand “having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” We have seen them before in Chapter 7 of Revelation and as a result of their evangelistic efforts, millions on earth are saved. Now, here they are in heaven. What happened? Either they were Raptured about the same time as the two witnesses, or they paid with their lives for their evangelistic zeal.
“And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:2-3). Clarence Larkin sums this up better than I can, so I will include his commentary as follows:
What the “voice” said is not told us, but it was followed with the voice or singing of the “Harpers” accompanied by their harps. These “Harpers” sung a “NEW SONG” before the Throne, and the “Four Living Creatures,” and the “Elders.” As the “Elders” represent the Church, these “Harpers” are not the Church, for they sing before the “Elders.” Who these “Harpers” are we are told in chapter 15:2-4. They are those who stand on the “Sea of Glass” before the Throne, Rev.4:6. The “New Song” they sing is a “double song,” the “SONG OF MOSES” and the “SONG OF THE LAMB,” and we are told that no man could learn the Song but the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth. This is further evidence that the 144,000 “Sealed Ones” are in Heaven, either having been translated or died a Martyr’s death and from Rev. 14:4 we learn that they are the “FIRST-FRUITS” of the restored nation of Israel, not the “First-Fruits” of the Church, for that is represented by the “Elders,” and was gathered out long before.
“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4-5). Larkin suggests that the idea that they were “not defiled with women” may mean that they were celibate like the Apostle Paul who did not marry. However, since “the word translated ‘virgins’ means persons of either sex, they are ‘virgins’ in the sense that they kept themselves clean of the crowning sin of that day—FORNICATION, for the crowning sin of the Tribulation Period will be fornication (Rev. 9:21; 14:8), or looseness and laxity of the marriage tie of which ‘free-love,’ and the doctrine of “affinities,” and multiplied divorce in these days are but the opening wedge to the looseness of morals of those Anti-Christian times.” This allows for the possibility that this number includes women and not just men. The defining characteristic is chastity or sexual purity, faithfulness in the bond of marriage, and fidelity to the Lord’s leading “whithersoever he goeth.”
What is remarkable to me, but not surprising, is the mercy God extends to a fallen world even at this time of judgment. He sends the 144,000 Jewish converts to spread the Gospel around the world, and they are so effective that millions of people on earth reject the Antichrist and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation even at the cost of their very lives. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10). Along with that, He sends two witnesses, who could be Moses and Elijah. As a result, many millions are saved during the first 3½ years of the Tribulation.
Chronologically, in the Revelation account, we are at about the midpoint of the Tribulation. The two witnesses have been killed. They are allowed to lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three days in full view of the entire world. Then God resurrects their dead bodies and calls them up to heaven to the shock and dismay of the watching world. It is possible that around this same time the 144,000 are taken out of the world, either by martyrdom or rapture, but they seem to be in heaven now according to the text. However, God still continues His outreach efforts. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11)
God’s outreach options are not exhausted. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:6-7). Just because the 144,000 and the two witnesses are gone from the scene does not mean that the message of the Gospel has ended. Surely, there are many Tribulation saints that have survived to this point and many will survive to the very end when Christ returns. They will continue to spread the Gospel by whatever means they have available. In the meantime, God sends angelic help by way of what I call the “Gospel Angel.”
John sees another angel flying in the “midst of the heaven.” This “heaven” is the atmospheric “heaven” of the earth. The Gospel historically has been the responsibility of humans. Now, with severe persecution and limited resources, God sends an unstoppable angel to preach “the everlasting gospel” to all people of every language. No one will be able to say they never heard the message of redemption. No one will have an excuse for rejecting the Gospel. It will be preached everywhere, in every language, non-stop. And Antichrist will have no power over this angel to stop him. However, it is not just one angel. Two more follow.
“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). This message is not of an actual event. It is a promise of an event that is coming, and it is such a sure thing, that it is proclaimed in the present tense.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11). For any rational person, this warning should serve to scare the hell right out of them. Receiving the mark of the beast is the unpardonable death sentence. No one on earth will be forced to take the mark of the beast. They will take it willingly as a sign of fidelity to the Antichrist, the beast, and they will be eternally doomed for that choice.
No one will be able to plead ignorance. Three angels are sent by God to warn the earth dwellers of the judgments that are coming and provide them with the message of salvation. To take the mark of the beast may spare one’s life for a brief time, but in the end, the eternal fires of hell await. To reject the mark of the beast and choose Christ may mean physical death, but in the same instant that they close their eyes in death they will awaken in the presence of God, the Lamb, and all of the hosts of heaven.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:12-13).
There exist scoffers today that reject this message thinking that they will be able to survive the Tribulation. They think “if” that time ever comes, they will reject the mark and accept Christ. That sounds very self-assured, confident, and arrogant. However, if one will not accept Jesus now when it is relatively easy to do so, what makes one think that one will have enough courage in the midst of the worst economic, climatic, and environmental disasters the world has ever seen to stand up for Jesus when doing so means certain death? Reader, if you do not know the Savior, do not wait any longer. The time is short. Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (Revelation 13:1)
At this point, John’s interlude continues as we anticipate the judgments that follow the seventh trumpet. In the last chapter, we saw the great celestial sign of the woman, representing the nation of Israel, giving birth to the male child, representing Jesus who would rule the nations with a rod of iron, and the dragon, representing Satan, who attempts to destroy the male child. However, the male child gets taken to heaven, so the dragon turns on the woman. John’s vision is both historical and futuristic. From the time that Jesus ascended into heaven, Satan has attempted to destroy God’s people – the Church and Israel. When the Church is removed at the Rapture, Satan will focus and intensify his efforts against the nation of Israel in order to thwart God’s plan to fulfill His covenant with the nation of Israel.
John now sees another vision. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1, emphasis mine). Most teachers of end-times prophecy generally agree that the “sea” here refers to the “sea of humanity.” Also, as viewed from Israel’s perspective, the “sea” probably refers to the Mediterranean Sea; hence, “the beast” comes from the people around the Mediterranean Sea. Daniel the prophet gives us a clue as to the origins of the beast when he says that “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26, emphasis mine). The people that destroyed “the city and the sanctuary” (i.e., the Temple) were the Romans in A.D. 70. Most end-times prophecy teachers agree that this “prince” is from the Roman empire, which included all of Europe.
Daniel’s description of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream included the feet made of a mixture of iron and clay representing the final kingdom that the Messiah would destroy. The feet of iron and clay, composed of ten toes, represent an incohesive confederation of nations. In light of the current world conditions, the European Union (EU) makes a good candidate for this end-times kingdom. Considering that the World Economic Forum (WEF) is mostly made up of European leaders or leaders with European ties. While these nations are loosely connected to one another, there is no solid unity among them like the feet made of iron and clay. While this may still be speculative, it is not implausible.
The beast John saw had seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns. Both the heads and the horns represent kingdoms or nations. But why the discrepancy? Why seven heads and ten horns? For that, we need to look to Daniel for elaboration. Daniel had a dream similar to that of Nebuchadnezzar where he saw four beasts representing four empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The fourth empire especially caught Daniel’s attention.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:7-8)
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:23-25) (Emphasis mine)
To be clear, this “beast” is the Antichrist. John first introduced him as the rider on the white horse, who carried a bow but no arrows. His conquest is through diplomacy as Daniel records: “And through his policy … and by peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25). The fourth beast Daniel sees is the Roman Empire. All the empires that came before were conquered by the subsequent empires, but not Rome. It seemingly melted into the Holy Roman Empire – individual kingdoms ultimately controlled by the Roman Catholic Church. Most of the EU nations have roots in the Holy Roman Empire, which seems to confirm the possibility of these morphing into the kingdom of the Antichrist.
Notice that Daniel’s beast has ten “horns” or “kings.” John’s beast has seven heads and ten “horns” Daniel sees a “little horn” rise who “plucks up” three horns leaving seven. Now we can see both visions merge. Daniel’s beast has “a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8) “and he shall destroy wonderfully” (Daniel 8:24). “Wonderfully” translates the Hebrew word pâlâ’ meaning “to be beyond one’s power, be difficult to do; to be difficult to understand” further confirming his diplomatic abilities so that he is able to do what no one else has been able to accomplish, i.e., bring peace to the Middle East. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27).
This beast will come “in the latter time of their kingdom” i.e., the kingdom of the “ten horns.” By the time John sees the beast, he is no more “Mr. Nice Guy.” “His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power;” his power comes from Satan. John confirms that the dragon (Satan) gives power to the beast. At the midpoint of the Tribulation, after three-and-one-half years, the mask comes off, and he exposes himself for who he really is. “[In] the midst of the week [i.e., seven years] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27 emphasis mine). Jesus confirmed this would happen. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16, emphasis mine). Paul also pointed to this event. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, emphasis mine).
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). Much ink has been spilled examining the nature of beast described by John. For the sake of brevity, let me just suggest that this beast seems to be an amalgamation of the four beasts seen by Daniel the Prophet. As stated earlier, this beast is the Antichrist. Here John gives us the source of his power: “the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Recall that in the previous chapter, Satan has been expelled from heaven and cast down to earth along with a third of the angels who follow him.
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast” (Revelation 13:3). Some interpret this as the Antichrist being mortally wounded and somehow miraculously coming back to life. Some suggest that a sham is foisted upon the world to make it appear as if Antichrist has been killed and later comes back to life. The deception meant to mimic the death and resurrection of Christ causes amazement throughout the world so that “they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4, emphasis mine). This may indeed be the case; however, notice that it is “one of his heads” that is wounded, not the beast himself. The beast has seven heads and only one is wounded. Since the heads represent kingdoms, it seems to me that this is one of the kingdoms that disappears and miraculously comes back to life.
In Revelation 17:9-10, John speaks of seven kingdoms: five are fallen, one is, and one is to come. The five fallen are Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The one that is, i.e., existing at John’s time, is Rome, and the one to come is the “Revived Roman Empire.” It seems to me (and I could be wrong about this) that Rome is the wounded head that seems to have died, but it miraculously comes back to life in the form of the Revived Roman Empire, i.e., the kingdom of the Antichrist. However, the notion that this is the Antichrist himself has strong scriptural support in this same chapter. “And he [the False Prophet] exerciseth all the power of the first beast [the Antichrist] before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12, emphasis mine).
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Revelation 13:5, emphasis mine). This fits the description of Daniel’s “little horn.” “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25, emphasis mine). In both instances, he is given three-and-one-half years – forty and two months; time (one year) and times (two years) and the dividing of time (½ year), 3½ years total.
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:6-7). Antichrist will speak evil of everything pertaining to God. His hatred toward God manifests in his hatred toward the “saints” of God. These are God’s chosen people during the Tribulation whether they be Jews or followers of Christ. The Antichrist will persecute them with a vengeance. Satan, the dragon, knows his time is short and in order to prevent Christ’s return, he must eliminate all for whom He would return. Having read the end of the book, I know that will not happen!
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:8-10, emphasis mine). Note the specificity of those who will worship the Antichrist – those “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.” “The patience and faith of the saints” comes in knowing that God will vindicate them for their persecution.
John then sees a second beast. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). This second beast comes out of the “earth” rather than the “sea.” Often, in the Old Testament (OT), “the land” or “the earth” refers to the land of Israel. (Just to avoid confusion, this second beast is the “False Prophet” that is identified by the role he plays.). The Greek word translated “earth” is gē and could also be translated as “land” and specifically, “a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region.” Therefore, the False Prophet could be a Jew since he comes “out of the earth,” or “the land.”
This second beast also has “two horns like a lamb.” Because Jesus is often referred to as “the Lamb of God” in the New Testament (NT) and particularly in the Book of Revelation, some, like C.I. Scofield annotator of the Scofield Reference Bible, have taken this as referring to the Antichrist. However, as we continue through the passage, it is evident that this second beast is the “mouthpiece” for the first beast. “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12). We have already seen that “first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” refers to the Antichrist. Satan is the dragon that gives power to the beast (13:2), and he does not manifest himself by visible means. No, this “lamb” is not the Antichrist.
So, what is the significance of the “two horns”? I consulted several good commentaries and no one provided a good explanation. In fact, except for the explanation above, none of the others even made an attempt. So, here is my feeble attempt at an explanation. The False Prophet is the leader of the coming one-world relation (which is already developing in the form of ecumenicalism and earth worship – “save the planet”). As we have already seen, “horns” represent kingdoms or leaders, and since the False Prophet is a religious leader, his horns may represent two ecclesiastical kingdoms. This brings me back to Rome. In A.D. 313, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, made Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire. He later moved his capital to Constantinople (Istanbul). At that time, Rome had only one religion. Then in A.D. 1054, the Catholic Church split into the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Roman Church maintained its seat of authority in Rome (The Vatican) while the Eastern Orthodox Church was headquartered in Constantinople. Thus, we had two religious “kingdoms.” It is noteworthy to point out that only the Roman Church has a Pope; the Byzantine Church or Eastern Orthodox Church never had a Pope although, in its practices, it is basically Catholic. Based on this, I conclude that the “two horns” represent the two Catholic “kingdoms.” That is not to say that the coming one-world religion will be Catholic. However, it is interesting to note that the current Pope is working feverishly to bring all religions, not only Christianity, under one fold. He is also a globalist, a climate-change activist, and is in favor of baptizing aliens when they show up. Hear me clearly. I am NOT saying that this Pope is “the” False Prophet. As old as he is, he may not be around for the Tribulation. However, the ideology is firmly in place within the Roman Catholic Church. There is also the possibility that the False Prophet could be Jewish. However it plays out, I know I will not be on Earth to observe it at ground level!
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (Revelation 13:13-14). Satan is not omnipotent, as God is, but he is very powerful; and he gives power to the Antichrist and the False prophet to work “miracles” that mimic the miracles of God. These two imposters will deceive earth dwellers into worshiping Satan, the dragon. Jesus warned about such things. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24, emphasis mine). The “very elect” are the Tribulation saints that survive the intense persecution of that time.
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:15). This reminds me of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue that he built and required all of his subjects worship. However, his statue had no ability to move or speak. The Antichrist’s image will have the ability to speak and to kill anyone – worldwide – who does not worship it or “the beast” that it represents. Just as little as perhaps thirty years ago (maybe less) the thought that the entire world population could be monitored to such an extent that such an edict could be carried out seemed like a farfetched idea. Not so today! We have cameras everywhere with facial recognition that can track our every move. Even our cell phones “listen” to us for marketing purposes. China monitors all of its citizens for compliance with government-imposed social norms with a social-credit system that controls behavior through a system of merits and demerits. Many of the global leaders of the WEF, WHO, UN, EU, and even many in the government of the good ol’ USA think that is a great idea! The technology is out there, and with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), the implementation of such a system is here already and rapidly improving.
The “image” could be a statue, like the one Nebuchadnezzar built except this one can talk, and with the help of AI, can execute those who do not worship it, the Antichrist, and the dragon. Recently, such a statue was created (watch the video linked below). The only thing this statue lacks is the AI connection, but it’s coming.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:16-18). Much time has been wasted trying to calculate the identity of the Antichrist based on the number 666. For me, as a Christian, the identity of the Antichrist is unimportant since I will not be here when he makes his debut. I am not looking for the Antichrist; I am looking for Jesus Christ. However, it is apparent to me that Christians living during the Tribulation will have the “understanding to count the number of the beast” so that they will be careful to refuse the mark.
The “mark” (Gk: charagma) is “a stamp, an imprinted mark,” probably something along the lines of a special tattoo like those given to Jewish holocaust prisoners during WWII. Because of advances in modern technology and the advent of the RFID chip with which many are voluntarily being implanted, some have suggested that the “mark of the beast” will be an implanted RFID in the right hand or forehead. This is certainly plausible since part of the purpose of the mark is to control commerce so that “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.” Again, with the advent of AI and facial recognition everywhere, such controls would not be difficult. However, the language indicates that it is a visible mark. RFID chips are implanted under the skin so that they are invisible, a tattoo is not. So, a combination of both a tattoo and RFID could be used together. The tattoo would allow facial recognition to identify the person without needing to read the RFID chip.
The mark must be taken voluntarily, and those who take it have permanently allied themselves to Satan forever forfeiting any hope of eternal salvation. Those who refuse it will pay with their lives; however, the instant they die, they will enter the presence of the Lord, so there is no need to fear. Together, the dragon, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet form an unholy trinity that counterfeits the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In all things, Satan tries to imitate God. He is a deceiver and the father of lies. Therefore, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the end-times, His first warning was, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).
Antichrist has not made his appearance. No one knows who he is, but from the looks of things, he is in the wings waiting. I am not looking for the Antichrist; I am looking for Jesus Christ! The time is drawing near. The pieces of the end-times puzzle are falling into place and Christ’s return is closer now than at any time in history. Reader, are you prepared to meet Him? If not, check out my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3)
In the previous chapter (Revelation 10), John introduced us to a “mighty angel” carrying a Little Book who instructed John to eat it. There is a debate as to the identity of this “mighty angel.” I am in the camp that believes this “mighty angel” is none other than Jesus Christ, and the chapter that follows supports this claim, I think.
As you may know, John did not write his Apocalypse with chapter breaks, paragraphs, verses, or sentences separated by periods. Scholars added modern formatting schemes centuries later for ease of reading and locating book, chapter, and verse. John’s was one continuous writing. Therefore, Chapter 10 flows right into Chapter 11.
“And he [the “mighty angel”] said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the [mighty] angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein” (Revelation 10:11; 11:1). Angels do not command men to “prophesy” without the qualifier “thus saith the Lord.” That this angel gives such a direct command argues in favor of this being Christ. Immediately, John receives a measuring rod with which he is to measure the Temple. “What temple?” one might ask. Since the destruction of Herod’s Temple in AD 70, no physical temple building (of God) has existed on earth nor in Jerusalem in particular. This is not the “temple” in heaven, as we will see in the verses that follow.
Presently, there is no temple for John to measure, nor did one exist at the time of John’s writing, so this must still be future. However, it is not too far in the future. Devout Jews in Israel, known as the “Temple Mount Faithful,” are labeled as “an extremist Orthodox Jewish movement, based in Jerusalem, whose goal is to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and re-institute the practice of ritual sacrifice.” That description takes a very antisemitic point of view; however, the goal is real. As far as I know, everything is ready for the third Temple to be built. “Today, of course, radical Islam holds sway over the Moslem [SIC] world, and until this phenomenon is defeated, the likelihood of a peaceful preparation for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple remains nil.”
John is given instructions to measure this future temple, but he is told not to measure the outer court “for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Forty-two months is three and one-half years representing the remaining three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation and which is known as “Great Tribulation.” Chronologically, this starts at about the time that the first trumpet sounds. This is also when Antichrist defiles the Temple setting himself up to be worshiped as God. Right now, however, we are in a “parenthesis” as John provides some “behind-the-scenes” details.
The “mighty angel” continues, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth” (Revelation 11:3-4, emphasis mine). Another reason for concluding that the “mighty angel” is Jesus is because He “will give power” to His “two witnesses.” No normal angel would make such a claim. He identifies these two witnesses as “two olive trees” and “two candlesticks.” The prophet Zechariah saw these two olive trees, and he asked the messenger, “So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? … Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:4,14). That they are anointed signifies that they are set apart for a special purpose and they “stand by the Lord of the whole earth” awaiting their assignments. Now comes the time for the “mighty angel” to give them their assignments.
These two will prophecy (i.e., preach) for 1260 days or three and one-half years (based on a 360-day year). Earlier we saw that the three and one-half years referred to the last half of the Tribulation. Remember, we are in a parenthesis at this time and this three-and-one-half-year period refers to the first half of the Tribulation; the time when the six seals are opened. During this time, the 144,000 sealed servants of God are preaching all over the world protected by God. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, these two witnesses are preaching proving again that “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, emphasis mine).
They are given supernatural power for their mission. “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” (Revelation 11:5-6). The identity of these two prophets has been a topic of debate over the years. Some suggest that they are Enoch and Elijah because the Bible records that neither of these men died. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27); therefore, these two are good candidates for the role since neither experienced death; however, we see later that they do indeed die.
Still, there are others that suggest that the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah. They conclude this from the miracles they are said to perform – fire to devour their enemies (Elijah), shut up the rain (Elijah), turn water into blood (Moses), and smite the earth with plagues (Moses). Another point they argue is that these two are the two that met with Jesus at the Transfiguration, and together they represent the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah), which are the Word of God. Of the two views, I think the latter offers greater substance; however, I am not ready to make a dogmatic stance either way. For all we know, from John’s description (who, by the way, was present at the Transfiguration), it could be two totally different characters.
Regardless, they minister for the first 3½ years of the Tribulation. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:7-8, emphasis mine). We are introduced to “the beast” in Chapter 13; however, he has already been on the scene since the opening of the first seal. Prior to this, no one could touch the two witnesses, but this is their appointed time to go, which is the only reason “the beast” has the power to kill them. Their bodies are left to rot in the street of the “great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt.” We conclude that the city is Jerusalem because we are told that it is the city where “our Lord was crucified.” Why Sodom and Egypt? Currently, Israel boasts a large homosexual population. Tel Aviv is listed as one of the top gay-friendly cities in the world. Aside from a minority of practicing and orthodox Jews in Israel, the majority of the population is mostly secular of which many are atheists having come out of Communists countries. One might say they are in “spiritual bondage.” So, Sodom and Egypt are apt descriptions for Jerusalem.
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” (Revelation 11:9-12, emphasis mine).
The whole world witnesses this amazing event. Many years ago, even within my lifetime, eschatology students wondered how it would be possible for the whole world to witness this event. Today, there is no question. We see events take place in real time from around the world. So, the world will see and hear the preaching of these two prophets. They will witness fire proceed from their mouths when they are attacked. The world will know who is stopping the rain and who is bringing the plagues. And when they are killed, the world will celebrate. For three and a half days they will see their dead bodies in the streets of Jerusalem. Then suddenly, all the world sees life return to their lifeless bodies, and they will rise. Then the microphones that are aimed at the revived figures will pick up the thunderous voice commanding, “Come up here!” The two will slowly lift off of the ground and slowly ascend until they disappear into the clouds. We have been here before! More than three and a half years before millions all over the earth heard the same command and instantly vanished from the face of the earth. John heard the same command and was transported into heaven to record these events. “And their enemies beheld them” (11:12). This time, the Rapture is no secret.
“And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13). I suspect that “the remnant” are Jews that recognize the significance of what they have witnessed. They heard the message of the two prophets along with the message of their brothers, the 144,000, and they believe, “and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6) and that applies to both Jews and Gentiles. In the end, Israel will be saved, but it will be a remnant, and it will be through faith in Christ alone, Who is the Only Way.
“The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly” (Revelation 11:14). Close parenthesis.
The time is drawing near. The pieces of the end-times puzzle are falling into place and Christ’s return is closer now than at any time in history. Reader, are you prepared to meet Him? If not, check out my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
 The first Temple was Solomon’s Temple. The second Temple was Zerubbabel’s Temple built after the return from Babylonian captivity and later expanded by Herod the Great. The third Temple is the Tribulation Temple that will be defiled by Antichrist (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
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. (Revelation 10:10)
The sixth angel has sounded his trumpet releasing a horde of demons upon the earth. One trumpet remains to sound, but at this point, John shifts our focus to events in heaven.
“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” (Revelation 10:1).
John has observed angels performing mighty tasks to this point. In Revelation 5:12 John describes a “strong angel” announcing the worthiness of the One who can open the six-seal book. In Revelation 7:2, John introduces us to an angel with the authority to seal the 144,000 servants of God. In Revelation 8:3-5 we have an angel with a golden censer filled with incense taken from the altar before God’s throne, and he casts it upon the earth in preparation for the sounding of the seven trumpets. Then, from Revelation 8:6-9:21, there follow seven angels sounding seven trumpets of judgments.
Now, John sees “another mighty angel” whose description excels those who preceded him. John does not identify this angel, but the description he gives reminds us of Jesus Christ. Could this angel be Jesus? The late and respected end-times prophecy teacher, Tim LaHaye thinks not.
The Lord Jesus Christ does not appear in the book of Revelation as an angel. In fact, we will look in vain for a presentation of him as an angel after the incarnation. Ever since Jesus took on flesh, died for the sins of men, was crucified, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven, He has always appeared as the Son of God in His essential deity. Although this angel possesses some Godlike characteristics, he is not God. Part of the problem could well be a failure to understand the nature of angels. Although far beneath the character of God, they are created beings of unusually high order.
I am not prepared to take a dogmatic stance on this view, but from my perception of John’s description, this could be none other than Christ. In the first place and with deference to Brother LaHaye, Jesus often appears to Israel in the Old Testament as “the Angel of the Lord,” and we recognize Him because He takes credit for what “the Lord” is going to do. No angel of God would dare do that. Note too that I said He appeared to “Israel.” The prophet Jeremiah calls the Tribulation “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” “Jacob” is another name for “Israel.” The time of Tribulation has a twofold purpose: (1) to bring judgment on a God-rejecting world, and (2) to cause the redemption of Israel and fulfill God’s covenant with Abraham.
Tim LaHaye could be right. However, let us examine carefully John’s description of this “mighty angel.” He comes down from heaven “clothed with a cloud.” After His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven and was taken up in a cloud. The angels that stood by on that day told His disciples that He would descend to earth in like manner. When Jesus returns for His Church at the Rapture, Paul says that we will be “caught up” (raptured) together with the resurrected saints “in the clouds” to meet the Lord in the air. So this image of the angel “clothed with a cloud” certainly fits Christ.
There is a rainbow upon his head which reminds us of the rainbow surrounding the throne of God. His face shone like the sun harkening back to John’s first encounter with the risen Christ. Also, “his feet as pillars of fire” reminiscent of John’s first encounter where he records, “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace…” (Revelation 1:15). The angel carries a “little book” or scroll not unlike the seven-seal scroll whose seals the Lamb opened.
Furthermore, this “mighty angel” places “his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth” (10:2) showing his authority over the earth. This, after all, reveals the content of the seven-seal scroll. It is the title deed to the earth and this “mighty angel” claims possession by placing His feet on His property.
I certainly could be wrong. I am far from infallible; however, I am not alone in this view. Clarence Larkin, from whom Tim LaHaye patterns much of his thinking on Revelation, takes the position that this “mighty angel” is Christ.
Who this “MIGHTY ANGEL” is we do not know unless he be Christ Himself. In the Old Testament the Son of God was called the “ANGEL OF THE LORD” (Ex. 3:2-18), and as we are now in that part of the Book of Revelation that deals mainly with Israel it is nothing less than what we should expect to hear, Christ spoken of as a “MIGHTY ANGEL.” Then the description of this “MIGHTY ANGEL” seems to point to the same Person that John saw standing amid the “Lampstands” in chapter 1:12-16, or Christ Himself. The “ANGEL” was clothed in a CLOUD, there was a RAINBOW upon His head, His face was as it were the SUN, and His feet as PILLARS OF FIRE. No mere angel was ever before or since described in the Scriptures as appearing like that. Then He is described as crying with a loud voice, as a lion roareth, and Christ is spoken of in this Book (Rev. 5:5) as “THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH”; and in the chapter that follows the same “MIGHTY ANGEL” speaks of the “Two Witnesses,” as “MY WITNESSES,” which is further indisputable evidence that this “MIGHTY ANGEL” is no other than Christ Himself. This interpretation makes clear what follows. For when this “MIGHTY ANGEL” places His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, and swears that there shall be “TIME NO LONGER,” or “NO LONGER DELAY” (margin), it is Christ taking formal possession of the Earth and Sea, and declaring that there shall be no longer delay in dispossessing the false claimant Satan.
I have another advocate in Henry M. Morris Jr., Ph.D. and contemporary of Tim LaHaye. Dr. Morris also sees this “Mighty Angel” as the Lord Jesus Christ.
This mighty angel can be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Both in the Old Testament and in the Book of Revelation, in His preincarnate state and in His postresurrection [SIC] state, respectively, Christ is presented a number of times as a glorious angel (or “messenger”) of the Lord.
That this angel is not one of the created angels (not even one of the seven powerful angels that stand in God’s presence) is evident from the context in general and from His appearance in particular. John saw Him coming down from heaven, and this to reach the earth itself. He is Creator, Redeemer, and Heir of the earth and now is symbolically coming down to lay claim to His possession. Whether or not He is ready yet to take possession, He must at least let those in heaven and on earth know His claim.
That He is the same glorified Son of man seen by John at the beginning of the Apocalypse is clear from three striking marks of identification. As He descended from Heaven, He was arrayed in a glory cloud, His face was like the sun (it was not the sun, but “as it were” the sun), and His feet were “as pillars of fire.” Those are precisely the characteristics noted by John in the first chapter of Revelation.
“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” (Revelation 10:3-4). Regardless of one’s view of this “Mighty Angel,” one cannot deny that he wields great authority. Since I can be just as wrong about this as the next man, I will go with my understanding that this “Mighty Angel” is the Lord Jesus Christ for consistency. When He speaks, His voice resounds like the roar of a lion. He is, after all, “the Lion of Judah.” Then when He roars, seven thunders echo His voice. John begins to write as instructed in the beginning, but he is stopped from recording what he heard. I wonder what it was that he heard. It reminds me of what Daniel experienced. He records, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:8-9). John may have heard something reserved for the Millennium or beyond that would be too awesome for us to comprehend at this time.
“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: 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” (Revelation 10:5-7, emphasis mine). Some may see verse 6 as evidence in opposition to this angel being Christ because he swears “by him that liveth forever and ever” showing deference to God. However, we can find many examples in the Gospels of Jesus giving deference to God the Father for all His actions, so this should not seem strange to us. The “Mighty Angel” declares “that there should be time no longer.” This does not mean that time will end, but rather that it should “delay no longer” as Larkin suggested above. Albert Barnes, who preceded Larkin, concurs.
This is a very important expression, as it is the substance of what the angel affirmed in so solemn a manner; and as the interpretation of the whole passage depends on it. It seems now to be generally agreed among critics that our translation does not give the true sense, inasmuch:
(a) As that was not the close of human affairs, and
(b) As he proceeds to state what would occur after that.
Accordingly, different versions of the passage have been proposed. Prof. Stuart renders it, “that delay shall be no longer.” Mr. Elliott, “that the time shall not yet be; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, whensoever he may be about to sound, then the mystery of God shall be finished.” Mr. Lord, “that the time shall not be yet, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel,” etc. Andrew Fuller (Works, vol. vi. p. 113), “there should be no delay.” So Dr. Gill. Mr. Daubuz, “the time shall not be yet.” Vitringa (p. 432), tempus non fore amplius, “time shall be no more.” He explains it (p. 433) as meaning, “not that this is to be taken absolutely, as if at the sounding of the seventh trumpet all things were then to terminate, and the glorious epiphany – ἐπίφανεια epiphaneia (or manifestation of Jesus Christ) – was then to occur, who would put an end to all the afflictions of his church; but in a limited sense – restricte – as meaning that there would be no delay between the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the fulfillment of the prophecies.” (emphasis mine)
That “mystery of God” that “should be finished” must have been what the thunders voiced and that John was prohibited from writing down. It must be too wonderful for words!
“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. 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. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:8-11, emphasis mine).
John experienced what the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel experienced almost 600 years before. The “little book” is the Word of God that to the believer is sweet and nourishing, but sharing it with an unbelieving world can cause heartburn. It is not easy to confront a sinner with his sin and declare to him what awaits him unless he repents. Eternal life in hell is a message no sinner wants to hear and they will often attack the messenger because of the message. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19).
The time is drawing near. The pieces of the end-times puzzle are falling into place and Christ’s return is closer now than at any time in history. Reader, are you prepared to meet Him? If not, check out my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
 Tim LaHaye, Revelation Illustrated and Made Plain, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1981) p. 144.