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The Loud Shout – A Sign of the End

 

“And he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.” When Jesus descends from Heaven to meet the 144,000, He will give a loud shout – like the roar of a lion. I believe this shout will be heard throughout the Earth. (See Acts 9:7) For the rest of mankind, this thunder will be seen like a scary phenomenon. Heavy thunder will boom and roll throughout Earth, but nothing will be found in the Heavens or on Earth to produce such an awesome sound! (See Job 36:26-37:5.) This shout serves as a signal. Jesus Christ has planted His feet on land and sea. He has taken control of Earth away from mankind. John does not reveal what is said about this shout, but I think that Jesus will say, “Prepare the earth to meet its Creator!”

(Amos 4:12)

 

You may recall that the Father spoke openly to Jesus from time to time when Jesus was on Earth. Consider this situation that occurred a few days before Jesus was crucified: “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, Glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ The crowd that was there and heard it [but some did not understand the words] said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’” (John 12:27-32, italics and insertions mine)

 

The Seven Thunders

 

After Jesus roars like a lion, John hears seven thunderous voices speak. “And when the seven thunders spoke, I [John] was about to write [down the things I heard the thunderous voices say]; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down [because they are for an appointed time, for those who ‘have ears to hear’ what I have to say].’” (Revelation 10:4, insertions mine)

 

The seven thunders are seven announcements that Jesus will speak during the Great Tribulation. We know the 144,000 will speak the “testimony of Jesus,” but the seven thunders are not messages conveyed through human beings. Jesus Himself will speak seven times during the Great tribulation in a way that is reminiscent of how He spoke seven times while hanging on the cross. Although this time, John is not permitted to write down each announcement – even though he heard them an understood them. Jesus wants each person who receives the seal of God to hear his Master’s voice with his own ears. Can you imagine the joy of actually hearing the voice of Jesus? Can you imagine the joyful assurance the seven thunders will bring to those who are standing firm in their faith?

 

Consider this: If you hear a thunderous voice from Heaven and you understand the words that were spoken, your own ears will confirm you have been sealed! In other words, the seven thunders are seven messages of assurance, hope and encouragement. These seven thunders are for the benefit of the people who have been thoroughly tested and proven faith-ful. As the Great Tribulation progresses, more and more people will be sealed and more and more people will hear and understand. I believe almost everyone who receives the seal of God will hear and understand at least one thunder! (I say “almost everyone” because the sealing process occurs over a period of 1,260 days and it is possible that some who are sealed could die before the next thunder occurs.)

 

This is a guess on my part, but it seems likely that the seven thunders could occur at seven moments of greatest anxiety and discouragement during the Great Tribulation. If so, the following potential scenario is offered for your consideration:

 

Thunder 1   When Jesus says, “No more delay” and the censer is cast down (possibly during a nuclear exchange?) The 144,000 will hear and understand this thunder because they have been sealed.

 

Thunder 2   During the first angel’s message (when persecution begins?)

 

Thunder 3   During the second angel’s message (just before the fifth trumpet?)

 

Thunder 4   During the third angel’s message (while the devil masquerades as God?)

 

Thunder 5   During the martyrdom of the saints (when a third of mankind is killed?)

 

Thunder 6   At the close of salvation (during the 3.5 days when the Two Witnesses are considered dead?)

 

Thunder 7   Just before the Second Coming (during the seventh bowl?)

 

Regardless of when the seven thunders occur, I believe those who have received the seal of God will hear and understand the seven thunders simultaneously all over the world and their courage will be renewed.

 

The Oath

 

“Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he [made a solemn promise] by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘There will be no more delay.’ But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God [the sealing] will be accomplished, just as he announced to his [144,000] servants the prophets.”

(Revelation 10:5-7)

 

We briefly considered the importance of this oath when we were discussing the identity of the mighty angel. There are two more points about this oath that need to be presented, so please bear with me.

First, we already know that Michael swears by Himself because He is God – just like the Father is God. As the Creator of everything that exists, there is no higher power.  (See also Isaiah 45:23, Jeremiah 22:5, Colossians 1:16, Ephesians 1:9,10) Do not confuse the divinity of Jesus with the voluntary submission to the Father’s authority for the purpose of man’s salvation. Even though Jesus surrendered His prerogatives to the Father to save mankind, Jesus is just as much God as is the Father. (Revelation 11:17) So, the question rises, why does the command, “There will be no more delay,” require a solemn oath?

 

When the perfect time arrives for the administration of God’s wrath, Jesus will make a solemn promise to the Father to faithfully and completely carry out all the objectives which the Father embedded into the plan of salvation. For example, Jesus will have to administer the Father’s wrath (seven redemptive judgments and seven destructive judgments); Jesus must ensure that the gospel will be presented to every person, and that every soul will be tested. Jesus will have to release the devil from the Abyss and execute vengeance on the wicked – all this without any deviation from the plan which the Father gave Jesus. Most of all, Jesus promises to seal every person who is willing to obey the gospel. In other words, when Jesus declares there will be no more delay, Jesus promises the Father that His plan for salvation will be carried out without the slightest deviation. Therefore, one God (Jesus swears to fully carry out the will of a second God (the Father). Jesus loves each person (saints and sinners alike) beyond human comprehension, to the point that He would gladly give up His eternal life to save each person. Consequently, this assignment will be more difficult in some ways than going to the cross! It will crush Jesus’ heart, full of love and grace, to do what He has to do. In spite of this heavy burden, He promises to faithfully discharge His duties.

 

The second point that comes from this oath may seen oblique at first because we are not presently studying the book of Daniel, but is important nonetheless. Daniel and John saw Jesus take the same oath and Daniel view of this scene adds some details that are very helpful: “The man clothed in linen [Jesus], who was [standing] above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, ‘It [the gospel] will be [preached throughout the world] for a time, times and half a time [1,260 days]. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken [that is, when the 144,000 are slain], all these things [that I am required to do] will be completed.’ I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, ‘My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?’ He replied, ‘[you don’t need to be concerned about this] Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.’” (Daniel 12:7-9, italics and insertions mine)

 

The oath in Daniel 12:7-9 and the oath in Revelation 10:6 align and through this alignment we learn two things. First “the power of the holy people” will be broken. This is Daniel’s way of describing the slaughter of the 144,000. When the empowering of the Two Witnesses is terminated, most, if not all, of the 144,000 will be killed. (Note): 1,260 days equals a time, times, and half a time.) Second, the oath recorded in Daniel 12:7 forces the fulfillment of Daniel 11:36-12:13 to occur during the last days of Earth’s history. In other words, the oath in Daniel 12 aligns with the oath in Revelation 10 and this forces the prophecy in Daniel 10-12 to cover twenty-six centuries.

Daniel 10 begins during the time of the Persians and Daniel 12 ends at the Second Coming. These chronological matters were discussed in detail in Chapter 8 of my book, Daniel: Unlocked for the Final Generation, and they are mentioned here to refresh in your mind that the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation operate in a lock-step. When Daniel and Revelation are properly put together, they form a precise matrix of events that shows us what happened and what will surely come to pass.

 

The Scroll

 

The apostle John is treated in Revelation 10 and 11 as though he is one of the 144,000. Remember that God uses this literary device so that much can be said about the experience of the 144,000 using very few words. “Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me once more: ‘Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.’ So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, ‘Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’ I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You must prophesy again about [before] many peoples, nations, languages and kings.’”

(Revelation 10:8-11, italics and insertion mine)

 

After His resurrection, Jesus was given authority as the Head of His Church. (Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18) On the basis of this authority, Jesus gave the gospel commission to His disciples just before He left Earth (Matthew 28:19,20), and the gospel of Jesus has been proclaimed for about 2,000 years. Over the past twenty centuries, the gospel has been contaminated with the traditions and opinions of men. Today, there are hundreds of variations on what actually constitutes the gospel of Jesus! During the Great Tribulation, the 144,000 will be solely responsible for the gospel commission. One gospel that perfectly aligns with the plumb line of God’s law will be delivered and it will be free of traditions or opinions of men. The written Word (the Bible) and the spoken Word (the testimony of Jesus) will work together. The Bible will be studied and Jesus will be heard! (Revelation 1:9, 19:10) The Holy Spirit will be pounding on every heart – demanding that every sinner submit to the law of God!

 

John representing the 144,000, was told, “You must prophesy (preach the gospel) again.” The eternal gospel of Jesus has not changed (Revelation 14:6), but after 2,000 years of “man-handling,” today’s versions of the gospel are badly distorted. Therefore, the gospel must be corrected and given again. The little scroll that John receives contains the pure gospel – the words of God that 144,000 prophets will speak.

 

Jesus warned His disciples, “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:17-20, italics mine)

One last, but emphatic point to remember: Theologians, scholars, pastors, priests, clergy, teachers, etc. will not be speaking for Jesus during the Great Tribulation unless they are among the 144,000, because no one else receives the scroll!       

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