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The Seven Thunders of Revelation 10: Part 1

The Seven Thunders of Revelation 10: Part 1
As promised, I hereby present my humble perspective on "The Seven Thunders" of Revelation 10.
 
It will be necessary to read through Chapter 10 - please read it now - in a modern translation - preferably the New International Version or the New Living Translation.
 
Why would John be allowed to hear the Thunders only to be told not to write them down? John was ready with pen in hand - and it is evident that he had been writing what he was seeing and hearing all along. Then, for some reason, he is told to stop. Again, why?
 
As we read the Revelation, there are continual "echoes" and allusions to the Old Testament. One book which is relevant to our understanding is Exodus. In Chapter 19:18-19 of Exodus we read that as Moses and the people stand before the mountain of God some astounding sights and sounds occur:
 
"On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled." It was a clear and overwhelming demonstration to Moses and to Israel of Yahweh's transcendence. This is a God like no other God.
 
The NASB is more graphic in it's translation:
 
"Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. (19) When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder."
 
Don't miss this..."Moses spoke and God answered him with THUNDER." In Revelation 10 - God has also "thundered" - seven times. God speaks fully and completely - and John hears it. I believe that these thunders represent a progression of prophetic revelation that will unfold as the Church Age progresses. I believe they were meant to encourage John, who at this time was most likely the last living Apostle. It was God's way of encouraging him. God is saying to him - "don't lose hope John...here's what is going to happen" - and most of it probably not in your lifetime!
 
I believe there are some very good "hints" in Scripture that might provide an answer as to the nature of the "seven thunders." Before I move ahead, I feel obligated to state clearly that there are things which are not for us to know or understand fully. This is why our walk with Christ is "by faith." We are called to trust God and His word even when we don't have full understanding.
 
The command to "seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder spoke" in Revelation 10:4 echoes Daniel 12:4 and Acts 1:7.
 
  • "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."
  • [Jesus] said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority"
I believe the 7 thunders represent things which could not be understood, embraced, and handled by the people of John's churches.
 
So my purpose in seeking meaning here isn't coming from mere curiosity or a desire to speculate about such things. My thoughts here are based on a firm conviction that the Revelation not only speaks to the things to come, but also to the things which are. Revelation is a book for every Christian at every moment throughout Church history - and it is always relevant - and always necessary. When we embrace the imminent relevance of answers the question I posed at the beginning. We are not supposed to know the words that God spoke - but we are to know that He spoke.
 
Before I continue, there is another place in the Scriptures where the "seven thunders" are mentioned - namely Psalm 29. As I mentioned on Sunday - John, as a first century Jew was well acquainted with the Psalter. He probably had memorized many of the Psalms as songs which he had been taught since childhood. We know that the Angel of 10:1 - which I believe to be the Lord Jesus Christ (see previous post) - "spoke." The Greek word for "spoke" in verse 4 is used to describe human speech.
 
What does Psalm 29 reveal? I see Psalm 29 as a key to understanding the nature and power of the "seven thunders" of Revelation 10.
 
Here is the Psalm - from the very literal New American Standard Bible:
 
"A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
(2) Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array.
(3) The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters.
(4) The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic.
(5) The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
(6) He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
(7) The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.
(8) The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
(9) The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, "Glory!"
(10) The LORD sat as King at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever.
(11) The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace."
 
7 times - in Psalm 29. 7 times in Revelation 10. 7 times God's voice thunders powerfully on the earth.
 
Here is the meaning of this message in my view.
 
David is calling upon the most powerful heavenly beings who surround God's throne to "ascribe" or to give God glory because as His voice thunders (verse 3) - God's purposes upon the earth are fulfilled. God's voice is compared to his glory. As God speaks, his will on earth is done - upon "the waters", across the land, the "wilderness," the vasts "forests of Lebanon." David has seen how Jehovah God has empowered him, an insignificant shepherd from the back country of Israel. God's voice thundered through the Prophet Samuel "your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever!" 2 Samuel 7:6.
 
Chapter 10 carries the same message. Although we are not given details and specifics of how God will subdue His enemies - John is allowed to hear what the powerful Angel speaks as He "cries out in a loud voice" (Revelation 10:3) - 7 words proceed from his mouth - "uttered by [the] voices of the thunders." I believe these represent the fullness and completeness of the Lord's judgments against the kingdom of darkness of the beast that is preparing to rise "out of the sands of the seashore" (13:1). God is letting John know that He is mightier than the "Dragon who stands on the sand."
 
There is so much here....and a vital connection to Chapter 11. It is very interesting the WAY that Chapter 10 ends - John is told "you must prophesy again"...the Angel of the Lord (who I believe to be a metaphorical representation of Jesus Christ - thundered as He held the scroll in his hand. Could it be that John is now, after he ingests the "small scroll" being called to do some of his own thundering? And is this not the very nature of prophetic ministry - speaking out what God has given us?
 
More tomorrow....but you have to come to church to hear about it.

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