LandMarks Magazine  
   

July 2011 Table of Contents

 
 

The Mighty Angel of Revelation 10
By Maurice Hoppe

After the end of the 1,260 years, the termination of the 2,300 years and the great increase in the circulation of the Scriptures, we enter the time of the end when Jesus will return to this earth the second time. All of these things are calling the attention of the world to the opening of the great second-advent movement and the final judgment of the world just prior to His return to earth.

 

Prophecy does not identify any dates for events after October 22, 1844. But there is much information, which helps us to understand this period of time—the beginning of the second-advent movement to the end of the millennium.

 

The first text about the great second-advent movement is found in Revelation 10:1–3, 5–7:

 

“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. …

 

“Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore 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 will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.’ ”

 

Notice the mighty angel in verse 1 was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. Compare this description with the one given in Revelation 1:13, 15, 16 at the time when Jesus was inaugurated as our High Priest in the sanctuary in heaven.

 

“Among the lampstands was someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. ... His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace ... . His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

 

The weight of evidence from the comparison of these scriptures says that the Mighty angel in Revelation 10 is none other than Jesus Christ.

 

Another evidence that this is Jesus is found in verse 6: “And he swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens … and said, ‘There will be no more delay!’ ”

 

Only One who was equal with the Creator could make an oath with Him. Jesus is the only One who is equal with the Ancient of Days. The following reference is specific concerning this angel’s identification:

 

“The mighty angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 971.

 

These statements leave us in no doubt as to who is in charge of the whole second-advent movement and guiding it with His supreme power and authority. This is a very comforting message for all true believers.

 

In Revelation 10:2, He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. The book being open means that the contents of the book can be read and understood. Daniel was informed in chapter 12:9 that the words were closed up and sealed until the time of the end. This refers to that portion of the book of Daniel that speaks about the sanctuary in heaven and events transpiring in the last days. The following statement is quite informative:

 

“The book that was sealed was not the book of Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel which related to the last days. The Scripture says, ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased’ (Daniel 12:4).” Selected Messages, Book 2, 105.

 

The most important part of the book of Daniel that was sealed was that part of chapter 8 referring to the attack of the small horn against the ministry of Jesus in the sanctuary in heaven during the 1,260 years and following to the present time.

 

The following is an explanation of the significance of Jesus planting “his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.”

 

“The mighty angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ. Setting His right foot on the sea, and His left upon the dry land, shows the part which He is acting in the closing scenes of the great controversy with Satan. This position denotes His supreme power and authority over the whole earth. …

 

“The angel’s position, with one foot on the sea, the other on the land, signifies the wide extent of the proclamation of the [first angel’s] message. It will cross the broad waters and be proclaimed in other countries, even to all the world.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 971.

 

In Revelation 10:6 it says, “There will be no more delay!” This angel, who is Christ, is announcing that there will be no more delay.

 

“This time, which the angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world’s history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time, which should precede the advent of our Lord. That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.” Ibid.

 

God is telling us that there will be no more time prophecies like the 70 weeks, the 2,300 years and the 1,260 years.

 

“ ‘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 forever and ever, … that there should be time no longer’ [Revelation 10:5, 6]. This message announces the end of the prophetic periods.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 9, 10.

 

These statements have reference to the three great time prophecies of the Bible, the seventy weeks, the 1,260 years and the 2,300 years. The time periods represented by these three prophecies had to be completed before the great controversy between Christ and Satan could be brought to a conclusion. Now that the last of these three time periods was completed, the great controversy could now move on to its conclusion without the restraint of time periods.

 

Here is another statement that gives light on when this phrase was proclaimed.

 

“When the book was opened, the proclamation was made, ‘Time shall be no longer.’ (See Revelation 10:6.) The book of Daniel is now unsealed, and the revelation made by Christ to John is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 105.

 

This means that the book of Daniel is unsealed in the book of Revelation and can be proclaimed with power and understanding, that the message will not be delayed by the waiting for any more time prophecies to be fulfilled.

 

The following statement makes an interesting correlation between the angel (Christ) in Revelation 10 and the first angel’s message:

 

“The message of Revelation 14, proclaiming that the hour of God’s judgment is come, is given in the time of the end; and the angel of Revelation 10 is represented as having one foot on the sea and one foot on the land, showing that the message will be carried to distant lands, the ocean will be crossed, and the islands of the sea will hear the proclamation of the last message of warning to our world.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 9.

 

This statement indicates that Christ, Himself, is directing the proclamation of the first angel’s message. The first angel’s message was given by the early advent preachers in the 1830s and early 1840s; therefore the events of Revelation 10 occurred at the same time before October 22, 1844. It was at this time that the last message of warning began to be proclaimed to the world.

 

In Revelation 10:7 we read, “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished.” What is the “mystery of God”?

 

I believe that the mystery of God is the same as the gospel of salvation. In Colossians 2:2, 3 and 6, it says, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. … So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him.”

 

The mystery of God could be called the gospel. Look at Romans 16:25: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” KJV Also read Ephesians 6:19: “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” KJV

 

This is the message contained in the little scroll which lay open in his hand. Other names used for the gospel or new covenant include the following:

 

·         New covenant, Abrahamic covenant, Second covenant, Covenant of grace, See Patriarchs and Prophets, 371

·         Everlasting Covenant, See Genesis 17:7 and Patriarchs and Prophets, 370

·         Covenant of redemption, See The Signs of the Times, August 24, 1891

·         Covenant of peace, See Isaiah 54:9, 10 and Education, 115

·         Plan of salvation, See Patriarchs and Prophets, 63

·         The gospel and plan of redemption, The Signs of the Times, August 24, 1891

                       

What is very interesting is that the new covenant is another name for the gospel. The mystery of God is the new covenant made by God the Father and His Son Jesus from times eternal. This is the subject of the first angel’s message that is to go to all the world.

 

Christ has come down to this earth, represented as a mighty angel to announce to the world that the time has come for this covenant to be completed.

 

Let us read in Revelation 10:7 what the angel (Jesus) said had already been done concerning the mystery of God: “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

 

Jesus is saying in this phrase that He has already given the prophets information concerning the finishing of the gospel or the new covenant promises. Actually, in Bible prophecy we find that there are at least ten announcements explaining the accomplishment of the mystery of God that Christ has already given through His servants the prophets. This is probably the most widely publicized event in the whole great controversy between Christ and Satan.

 

The vision of the angel and the scroll in Revelation 10 is the first of these announcements. The angel (Christ) coming down to this earth and placing his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land is the first announcement about the finishing of the mystery of God which is the gospel or new covenant.

 

We need to remind ourselves that the new covenant, the mystery of God, also called the gospel, is the very foundation of all Christianity.

 

We have already noticed that this angel came down to direct the proclamation of the first angel’s message in the 1830s and early 1840s. The first angel’s message, then, is the second announcement that we will study.

 

There are many angels mentioned in the Revelation. Let us turn in our Bibles to the first angel’s message in Revelation 14:6, 7. It is referred to as the first angel because in verse 8 a second angel is mentioned, and in verse 9 a third angel is seen with another message for the world.

 

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ ”

 

There are three points in this message that we want to consider at this time:

 

1.         he had the eternal gospel (the new covenant) to proclaim

2.         the hour of His judgment has come

3.         he calls upon the people to worship their Creator

 

This first angel’s message was to be a part of a great religious awakening.

 

“A great religious awakening under the proclamation of Christ’s soon coming is foretold in the prophecy of the first angel’s message of Revelation 14. An angel is seen flying ‘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.’ ‘With a loud voice’ he proclaims the message: ‘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’ [verses 6, 7].” The Great Controversy, 355.

 

This is the angel that is being directed by the angel (Christ) in Revelation 10:1. Notice the character of the messenger and the message that is described in the following statement:

 

“The fact that an angel is said to be the herald of this warning is significant. By the purity, the glory, and the power of the heavenly messenger, divine wisdom has been pleased to represent the exalted character of the work to be accomplished by the message and the power and glory that were to attend it. And the angel’s flight ‘in the midst of heaven,’ the ‘loud voice’ with which the warning is uttered, and its promulgation to all ‘that dwell on the earth,’—‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,’—give evidence of the rapidity and world-wide extent of the movement.” Ibid.

 

There is also evidence in this statement concerning the time it is to be given.

 

“The message itself sheds light as to the time when this movement is to take place. It is declared to be a part of the ‘everlasting gospel;’ and it announces the opening of the judgment. The message of salvation has been preached in all ages; but this message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come.” Ibid., 355, 356. [Emphasis author’s.]

 

Remember that this gospel was also called the new covenant along with eight other names. Two times in this statement it comments on this message being part of the gospel. We learned in previous studies that the gospel is about the new covenant and the new covenant sanctuary in heaven in which Jesus carries on His ministry of removing the confessed sins of God’s people.

 

The weight of evidence is that the judgment was a part of the new covenant plan from the very time it was formed by God the Father and the Son. Both Revelation 10 and Revelation 14 make reference to the finishing of the gospel.

 

In Revelation 10:7 it says, “The mystery of God will be accomplished.” This means that the new covenant plan of redemption will now be completed.

 

The first angel in Revelation 14:7 says, “The hour of His judgment has come.” The judgment is the last event in the new covenant plan of salvation to be completed. The announcement of the judgment is also a part of the first angel’s message.

 

There are three phases of a judgment or trial. They are:

 

1.         investigative phase

2.         executive phase (sentencing)

3.         execution phase

 

In the United States court system, a jury trial consists of these three phases.

 

1.         First there is an investigation of the charges filed against the individual on trial. The jury is apprised of all the evidence in the case and then presents a verdict of innocence or guilt. If innocent, the individual is released and set free. This is the investigative phase of the trial.

2.         If the individual is found guilty, then the trial moves to the second phase. In this phase the jury evaluates the severity of the crime and assigns a just punishment. This is known as the executive or sentencing phase of the judgment.

3.         The third phase in the trial is the execution of the sentence assigned—that is, applying the sentence to the individual.

 

The Bible judgment has these three phases. In the great judgment conducted by the God of heaven, which is in progress at the present time, these three phases of the trial are followed as in a jury trial.

 

In the book of James it says that the standard in the judgment will be the law of liberty or the ten commandments. “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.” James 2:12.

 

In Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, Solomon gives counsel concerning our preparation for the judgment and the standard to be used. He said,

 

“Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

 

The Day of Atonement services were conducted in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary on earth. The Most Holy Place is also called the second apartment.

 

“In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites. When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat.” Leviticus 16:16, 20.

 

“Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the Most Holy Place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration.” The Great Controversy, 419.

 

In the heavenly sanctuary, the cleansing is a counterpart to the Day of Atonement in the earthly sanctuary. That is the removal of sin from the Most Holy Place in the sanctuary in heaven. This is the first part of a jury trial, the determination of guilt or innocence.

 

The counterpart of the Day of Atonement in the earthly sanctuary began in the heavenly sanctuary on October 22, 1844, when Christ moved from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place in heaven to begin the investigative judgment. (See Daniel 7:9, 10, 13.)

 

“This is the service which began when the 2,300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work—to cleanse the sanctuary.” Ibid., 421.

 

In order to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary, an examination of the books to determine who is entitled to the benefits of His atonement must take place.

 

“There must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment.” Ibid., 422.

 

The eternal destiny of those who are found innocent in the investigative judgment is a wonderful place. Revelation 22:14 says,     

 

“Blessed are those who wash their robes [keep the commandments], that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”

 

Those who are found guilty in the investigative judgment are destroyed in the battle of Armageddon during the second coming of Jesus. Then they are subject to the second and third phases of the judgment. Revelation 20:5 says, “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.”

 

All the wicked are destroyed at the commencement of the 1,000 years. It is during this time that the saints are determining the sentences of the wicked.

 

The saints are taken to heaven at the beginning of the millennium and the earth has no human life on it for the next 1,000 years. The sentencing (executive) phase of the judgment takes place during this 1,000 year period.

 

“During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place.” Ibid., 660.

 

The Bible says that the judges are the ones who are pronounced innocent in the investigative judgment.

 

Revelation 20:4, 6 says, “They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. … They will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”

 

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth reminding them that they would at some point in time be judges. In I Corinthians 6:2, 3, it says, “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? … Do you not know that we will judge angels?”

 

“In union with Christ they [the righteous] judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” Ibid., 661.

 

The third phase of a jury trial is the execution phase in which the sentences are carried out or applied.

 

“The wicked will be raised from the dead and appear before God for the execution of ‘the judgment written.’ Thus the revelator, after describing the resurrection of the righteous, says: ‘The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.’ Revelation 20:5.” Ibid.

 

All of the wicked will be raised at the end of the 1,000 years for the execution of the judgment. The third phase of the judgment in the Bible is recorded in Revelation 20:7–15. These verses are not written in the order the events take place; therefore they may seem a little confusing to some. These verses in chronological order would read as follows:

 

Revelation 20:7–9, first part: “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth … to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.”

 

Verses 11–13: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.”

 

Verse 9, last part: “But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”

 

Verses 14 and 15: “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

 

Verse 10: “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

 

In summary, the three phases of the proclamation of the eternal gospel and the judgment announced by the first angel are:

 

1.         The investigative phase – October 22, 1844, to the close of probation

2.         The sentencing (executive) phase – during the 1,000 years

3.         The execution phase – the handing down and executing the sentences after the 1,000 years are ended.

 

This has been a brief review of the three phases of the judgment as announced by the first angel and as directed by the mighty angel of Revelation 10:1.

 

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New International Version.)

 

Maurice Hoppe is retired and volunteers at Steps to Life. His primary responsibility is working with the Training Program for Ministers and Church Leaders and the Training Program for Lay Workers. He also conducts a Bible Correspondence School from his home with emphasis on Bible prophecy. He may be contacted at: mauricehoppe@stepstolife.org.

July 2011 Table of Contents

 

       
 

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