RAMONA LOWE
THE BOOK OF REVELATION ARTIST
   The Book of Revelation with commentary by Dr. Henry M. Morris and paintings by Ramona Lowe
The paintings are a work in progress and the finished pieces are highlighted in red on Page 2


Page 75

Time No Longer 

     And now this same Christ, seen by both John and Daniel, is also identified plainly as the mighty angel, claiming ownership of earth and ocean (having already, as the slain Lamb, purchased it with His blood), lifting up His hand to heaven, swearing by the Eternal One on the emerald throne.

Revelation 10:6.     And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that herein 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.

     The one who “liveth for ever and ever” is, of course, the Creator on His throne (Revelation 4:10, 11), and also the Lamb (Revelation 5:13).  There can be none greater.  “Because He could swear by no greater, he sware by himself” (Hebrews 6:13).

     Although the final judgment has been deferred, as it were, for yet a time and times and half a time, there will be no delay beyond that.  This is the meaning of the statement that “there should be time no longer.”  The space/time universe has been established forever, and there could be no ending of time as such without the annihilation of space as well.  As a matter of fact, time will still be measured by months in the new earth (Revelation 22:2).  It is just that the time when “the mystery of God shall be finished” is near at hand.

     The identification of the Creator is very explicit, and carries us back to Genesis 2:1.  “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”  Even more explicitly is there a reference to the wording of the fourth commandment.  “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11).

     It is significant that the sworn assurance that there will soon be a consummation of all things appeals to the fact that there was a creation of all things.  A universe without a creation would necessarily be one with no purpose.  Since it did begin in creation, however (and creation means special creation, of course.  Natural creation is a vacuous concept, since the laws of nature are conservative or destructive, never creative), and since the Creator, by definition, cannot be capricious, therefore the universe does have a divine purpose, and that purpose will surely be consummated.

     God indeed is long-suffering.  He has accomplished a wonderful and winsome plan of redemption, and desires all men to come to repentance and salvation (2 Peter 3:9).  He has waited year after year, and century after century, for lost men to accept their Savior, but He will not compel them against their will.  Finally, He has, against His own will, it almost seems, reluctantly initiated the terrible judgments of the day of the Lord.  But even in these, many are saved, and He will joyfully receive those who come to Him out of the great tribulation.

     But those who have persisted in hardening their hearts throughout the successive waves of chastisement for three and a half years are surely beyond hope, it would seem.  Nevertheless, our “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) will endure such vessels of wrath yet another three and a half years, exhausting every last drop of His cup of patience.  But that will be the last delay; then cometh the end.

Revelation 10:7.     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.   

     John receives the promise that there will be no more delay.  The seventh trumpet will echo for three and a half years, as the same Christ had told Daniel in his preincarnate state, but that would be the end.  That this final trumpeting is to be prolonged is suggested by the reference to “the days” of the voice [Greek phone, meaning “sound”] of the seventh angel.”

     The word for “begin” actually means “about.”  In the same way that John was “about to write” (Revelation 10:4) the seventh angel is “about to sound.”  He is not yet quite ready, however.  The second “woe” has not yet quite run its course (Revelation 11:14) and only then will the seventh angel sound his trumpet (Revelation 11:15).  The mighty angel has assured John that, even though the final devastations proclaimed by the seven thunders have been delayed, it will only be for a brief time.  The seventh trumpet is almost ready to blast forth, and while its sound is still echoing throughout heaven, specifically for three and a half years, the mystery of God “shall also be completed.”

     But what is this “mystery of God?”  This word (Greek musterion) is used commonly to refer to the secrets imparted to the initiates in the Greek mystery religions.  Even though a precisely equivalent term does not appear in the Old Testament, the prophets are said to have been assured of the ultimate completion of the mystery of God.

     Although there are a number of mysteries referred to in the New Testament, the context here seems strongly to indicate that this mystery of God refers to the whole purpose and plan of God.  Why has a holy God allowed evil to thrive for so long?  Why do the righteous suffer?  What is God’s ultimate purpose for Israel, for the Gentiles, for the Church?  These and many other such questions pertaining to the ultimate reconciliation and accomplishment of God’s many purposes in creation will someday all be answered, and it is perhaps the combination of all these that is called here “the mystery of God.”  In any case, all such mysteries of God’s dealing with men will finally be resolved and understood during these days of the sounding of the final trumpet.

     The prophets had, indeed, received such promises long ago.  To Daniel had been promised that “all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7).  To Zechariah had been promised: “In that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).  The Psalms had prophesied: “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed” (Psalm 72:17).

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