Revelation 10:1-11 Part 4


1)    Then I saw going down from the heaven another mighty Messenger having been cloud clothed, the bow above His head, His appearance as the sun, His feet as fiery pillars,

2)    and having the little scroll that had been opened in His hand.  Then He placed His right foot on the sea, but the left on the land,

3)    and uttered a great sound as a roaring lion.  And when He cried out, the seven thunders uttered their own voices.

4)    And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from the heaven saying “withhold the things that the seven thunders uttered.  You may not write them”.

5)    Then the Messenger that I saw having stood upon the sea and upon the land raised His right hand into the heaven

6)    and promised in the One living into the ages of the ages, Who created the heaven and all that’s in it, and the earth and all that’s in it, and the sea and all that’s in it, that there would be no more delay,

7)    but that in the days when the sound of the seventh messenger is to be trumpeted, the mystery of God would be fully accomplished as announced to His Own servants the prophets.

8)    Then the voice that I had heard from the heaven speaks with me again saying, “go take the scroll opened in the hand of the Messenger Who is standing upon the sea and upon the land”.

9)    And I did approach the Messenger, telling Him to give the scroll to me.  Then He says to me, “take and eat it all; it will embitter your belly, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.

10) So I took the scroll from the Messenger’s hand and ate it all; and it was as honey, sweet in my mouth.  But when I ate, it made my belly bitter.

11) Then they tell me “it is again necessary for you to prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.


Newly crowned, Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ comes clothed with the glory cloud of the heaven, His feet as fiery pillars, and ready to convene the nations and differentiate between the sheep and the goats.  He places one fiery pillar upon the sea (the nations).  It’s His right foot.  And He places the second fiery pillar upon the land (Israel).  And that’s His left foot.

And the ones on His left are “different” from the ones on His right (which are the sheep of His flock in the nations).  The ones on His left are the ones who have pushed and shouldered and butted the sheep, and they have scattered them into the nations (the sea of humanity).  And now all the sheep have been re-located in all the nations of the vast Roman empire; and what’s left in “the land” is His flock of goats!

And John sees Him coming down from the heaven, clothed in the glory cloud, His appearance as the sun, the bow above His head, and His feet as fiery pillars.

He places His right foot on the sea (the nations in which His separated-out flock are convened), and His left on the land (where now only the he-goats remain).  And He utters the great roar of the Lion of Judah… all of it prophesied in the older Scripture as we’ve read.

His sheep will come – trembling in fear; but His ever-defiant goats will become the obstinate prey.  And then, as Isaiah prophesies, in the new Israel and the new temple in the new Jerusalem the lion and other predators will be of no harm to the sheep… not even the wolves.  They will all lie down together in green pastures; and the Lion of Judah, the great Shepherd of the sheep, will salve their wounds and set a table before them; and His rod and staff will comfort them… even in the “shadow of death”.

We’ve taken note several times of the wonderful animal allegories and representations as we attempt to hear and see things that God has created as He perceives them.

But this is the same One Who John saw (the Lion from the Judah tribe), as we heard back in chapter five of this Revelation as he writes this:


“And one of the elders says to me, ‘Don’t be weeping!  Lo!  The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome to open the scroll and its seven seals.’”


And right after that, the Lamb slain, now standing in midst of the throne, did take the scroll.  And He did open it; and He began loosing its seals.  And at the loosing of the seven seals there were peals of thunder, and lightnings and shakings.  And then, at the loosing of the seventh seal, the trumpeters began sounding the voice of the Lord of Hosts ….six of them heretofore.

But then, here in chapter ten, John hears the “perfect seven”–Word-of-the-Lord-of-Hosts thunder in the heaven directly after the roar of the Lion of Judah:


“(He) uttered a great sound as a roaring lion.  And when He cried out, the seven thunders uttered their own sounds (verse three).”


And we see an “antiphony” here, don’t we?  The Lion of Judah roars; He’s about to “mark out” His prey and pounce (as we’ll see in chapter thirteen).

And the sounds of the thunders from the throne respond to the roar of the One Who had been prophesied to come from the Judah tribe.

It’s a perfect “seven” response to the roar of the Lion as the Thunder-Word of Yahveh of Hosts acknowledges the work of His Strong Right Arm, and gives assent to all that is to take place quickly.

But John isn’t given permission to write the utterances yet (verse four), for the seventh trumpeter has not yet sounded; and so John has not yet seen the two “woes” to come; nor has he seen the seven messengers with the seven bowls filled with the wrath of God.   The letter to the Churches is not yet ready to contain it, but John will hear it; and he will see it – and he will write it all.

But so that we not miss anything, let’s now search the prophetic Word regarding the thundering utterances of The Lord of Hosts.  We don’t want to forget anything that we’ve heard already, either!  It’s difficult to retain so much!

Anyway (other than the judgmental scene in the garden, at the first sin of man against God), the first occasion in Scripture in which we hear the thundering utterances of Yahveh is at the point of the seventh plague on Egypt (Exodus chapter nine).  The vaults and storehouses of God’s hail were opened; and unsheltered plants, trees, animals and people in all the land were destroyed.  Never before, or since, has Egypt seen such hail; and only the area in which the Hebrews were held captive was spared.

And here’s Pharaoh’s response to Moses:


"I have sinned this time; Yahveh is the Righteous One, and I and my people are the guilty ones.  Make an appeal to Yahveh. There has been enough of His thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don't need to stay any longer."


As we all know, this was a false confession, for there were no works of repentance.  Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he didn’t let the people go.  But the thunder-voice of Yahveh is very prominent in that event.

Then later on in the Exodus (chapter nineteen), the millions of Hebrews had been gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai as commanded by Yahveh.  And here’s what Moses writes:


16) On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.

17) Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.

18) Now Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because Yahveh had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.

19) And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.


We’re now familiar with the sights and sounds of the glory cloud of Yahveh; the mountain and the furnace and the smoke and the fire and the lightning and the shaking, and the trumpeting voice of Yahveh waxing louder and louder as all the people trembled in fear.  And the speech of Yahveh to Moses was “thunder”.

Later, Samuel the judge of Israel twice writes of the thunderous speech of Yahveh.  The first is written in First Samuel chapter seven as Israel is encamped in Mizpah.  Samuel is sacrificing to Yahveh as the nation is gathered in that place; and the Philistines sought that opportunity to attack.  But Samuel prayed; and Yahveh thundered at the Philistines.  It scared them so bad they were routed.

The second occasion is found in Second Samuel chapter twenty-two where David speaks the very Word of the Christ to come.  He pours out praise to Yahveh for saving him from all his enemies (as Jesus would later).  Listen for David as he describes the wrath of Yahveh and His thundering speech:


"…The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

3)    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior – from violent men you save me.

4)    I call to Yahveh, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

5)    "The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

6)    The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.

7)    In my distress I called to Yahveh; I called out to my God.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.

8)    "The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was wroth.

9)    Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.

10) He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds under his feet.

11) He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.

12) He made darkness his canopy around him – darkness of waters; thick clouds of the sky.

13) Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth.

14) Yahveh thundered from the heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.

15) He shot arrows and scattered the enemies, bolts of lightning, and routed them.

16) The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of Yahveh, at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

17) "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

18) He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

19) They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but Yahveh was my support.

20) He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.


I wanted to read all of that for you because these words that David uttered in his great distress are (not only) Holy Spirit inspired, but a “pre-vision” heralding of the abandonment-distress of David’s son and David’s Lord.  By Divine apprehension, David was caused to see what was to be the case regarding the suffering of the Savior of mankind.  He spoke the very words of the agony of Jesus the Christ.

Now once again we turn to the sublime insights written in the book of Job.  To be sure, it would be difficult to construct a more profound perception of our God and His providential relationship to all that He has created.

Listen for the thunder-speech of Yahveh from chapter thirty-seven:


1)    "At this also my heart trembles and leaps from its place.

2)    "Listen closely to the thunder of His voice and the rumbling that goes out from His mouth.

3)    "Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, and His lightning to the ends of the earth.

4)    "After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.

5)    "God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend.

6)    "For to the snow He says, 'Fall on the earth,' and likewise the downpour, the torrential downpour.

7)    "He seals the hand of every man that all men may know His work.

8)    "Then the beast goes into its lair and remains in its den.

9)    "Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold.

10) "From the breath of God ice is made and the expanse of the waters is frozen.

11) "Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; the clouds scatter His lightning.

12) "It turns around and around by His guidance that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth.

13) "Whether for punishment for His land or for loving-kindness, He causes it to happen.


I love the fact that in Job it gets right down to the basement, the foundation of the creation and continued existence of this cosmos.  It is; and it continues because God “speaks” it.

Philosophy is the love of wisdom; and this is Biblical philosophy… God’s perception.  We need to perceive as God perceives; we need to love His wisdom and think His thought; our rationale should begin with His original rationale.  Since we’re made in His image, that image is inclusive of His thought.

His speech is thunder; He thunders His commands and the cosmos exists; and it proceeds accordingly.  And it doesn’t proceed if He hasn’t spoken it.  His commands are consistent and perfect (which is what the apostle John hears in our text, isn’t it? … it is a perfect seven thunders).

Now from the Psalmist we hear these following mighty words; first from Psalm eighteen:


“Yahveh also thundered in the heavens, the Most High uttered his sound….”


From Psalm twenty-nine:  The voice of Yahveh is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, Yahveh thunders over the mighty waters.

And from that magnificent Psalm sixty-eight:


“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to Yahveh, to him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice.”


And then here’s the prophecy of Isaiah from chapter twenty-nine:


“…and in an instant, suddenly

6)    you will be visited by Yahveh of hosts with thunder and with shaking and loud rumbling with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.

7)    Then the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel (Jerusalem), all that fight against her and her stronghold and    distress her, shall be as a vision of the night as a dream.


And from Isaiah thirty-three:


1)    Woe to you, O destroyer, you who have not been destroyed!  Woe to you, O traitor, you who have not been betrayed!  When you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; when you finish betraying, you will be betrayed.

2)    O Yahveh, be gracious to us; we long for you.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.

3)    At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter.


The waters of the “sea of humanity” scatter and flee at the thunder-voice of Yahveh of Hosts.

Then, as we come close to the end of our review, the lamenting prophet Jeremiah, at chapter twenty five; and this is where we begin to put everything together that John sees here in our Revelation text.  I’m going to read a good portion of the chapter for you; and you listen carefully to all that God says to the prophet.  Then John’s text will come clear to us:


28) But (Yahveh says to Jeremiah) if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, 'This is what Yahveh Almighty says: You most certainly will drink it!

29) Lo, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name; and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the land, declares Yahveh Almighty.' ”

30) "Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:  'Yahveh will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling, roaring mightily against his land.  He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the land.

31) The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for Yahveh will then bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all flesh and put the wicked to the sword,' " (The declaration of Yahveh.)

32) This is what Yahveh Almighty says:  "Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the remotest parts of the earth."

33) At that time those slain by Yahveh will be everywhere – from one end of the earth to the other.  They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground.

34) Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.  For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall and be shattered like fine pottery.

35) The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape.

36) Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for Yahveh is destroying their pasture.

37) The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of Yahveh.

38) Like a lion he will come out of his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of Yahveh's fierce anger.


 First the roar, then the thunder; and the Lion of Judah exits His lair, His eyes red with blood and His teeth as white as milk, ready to pounce on His prey.  And the false shepherds of Israel will have nowhere to hide.

In support of Jeremiah’s prophecy, and in further clarification, listen to a small portion of Joel chapter two:


10) Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

11) Yahveh thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command.  The day of Yahveh is great; it is dreadful.  Who can endure it?


The army of Yahveh, drawn from the sea of humanity by His thunders, is as many as the dust of the ground; and at its head is the Lord of Hosts – Yahveh is His Name.  And Luke, in his Gospel of Jesus Christ, calls this army’s mission “The Abomination of Desolation”, right out of the prophecy of Daniel.

His army will leave dead bodies all over the land as carrion for all the vultures and jackals of the wilderness; and the slaughter will occur not only in the land of Israel, but in all the nations in which they have been dispersed.

His army will be composed, not only of Roman legions, but legions of conscripted troops of the countries and tribes and tongues of the empire, as all the nations are drawn from the sea of humanity against the harlot Israel.  And Yahveh is at the head of this army!  He is the One drawing them out of the sea by His thunderous speech.

And, as always, the ones He draws out for violence against His covenant nation He punishes with a similar fate, for He holds them in contempt for their vicious and barbarous natures.  And, as prophesied in Daniel, the Roman empire, the fourth great kingdom of history, is broken up into pieces and collapses in on itself under the “rod of iron” of the Fifth and eternal Kingdom of our Lord.  And since that collapse there has been no earthly ruler of all the world’s nations.

Every attempt in history has fallen prey to the roar of the Lion of Judah and the thunder of Almighty God; for the Strong Right Arm of God will not allow a competitor to His Kingship over all the nations.

Lastly I refer you back to the text in Revelation chapter eight.  Here it is again:


1)    And when He loosed the seventh seal, silence was in the heaven for half an hour.

2)    Then I did see seven messengers which had stood before God; and seven trumpets were given to them.

3)    Then another messenger did come, and he was poised before the altar having the golden censer.  And much incense was given to him in order that he would present the prayers of all the holy ones before the golden altar in front of the throne.

4)    And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the holy ones arose before God out of the hand of the messenger.

5)    Then the messenger took the censer and filled it from the fire of the altar of whole burnt offering and poured into the land.  And there were thunders and sounds and lightnings and shaking.


All the blood of the righteous from Abel to Zechariah is about to be set to the account of the princes, priests, elders and scribes of Israel.  In this generation (the generation in which John is writing) they are about to reap all that Israel has sowed in its long, promiscuous history.  (That’s what Jesus said, as recorded by Matthew in chapter twenty-three of his Gospel.)

And as John looks on, the Mediator of the Covenant offers the prayers of His persecuted people; and then He pours out the wrath of The Father upon the land… as prophesied in the prophets!  The Mediator does both, you see.

And that’s the signal for the trumpeter/messengers to make ready to sound the very voice of God from His throne; for there are now thunders and lightnings and great sounds and shaking in the heaven, for the prayers of Christ’s people are heard at the throne, and Yahveh of Hosts is wroth.  And mighty things are about to transpire as the sanctions of the covenant are initiated by the Mediator of the Covenant – The Christ.

As at Jericho, the trumpets are the voice of God, just as He was heard at Sinai when the exalted trumpeting was heard from the glory cloud, waxing louder and louder all day as all Israel was put on notice of the Presence of Yahveh of Hosts over His cherubim and over the myriads of His messenger/creatures.

These trumpeter/messengers “sound” the voice of God as John hears them; and he sees God’s decree take place in the heaven as each sound occurs.

And each decree, as it is sounded by the trumpeter, is that which has already been spoken by Yahveh, and written as prophetic Word!  In other words, Israel has already heard these things spoken by Yahveh, for they were previously spoken to them by the prophets.  Should Israel not repent and obey the terms of the covenant, these things will come upon you, said Yahveh through His prophets.

The seventh seal has been loosed.  And it begins.  The thunder-speech of God draws His armies from the great waters – the sea of humanity; and He leads them.  And the trumpeters now sound the voice of Yahveh Lord of Hosts.  And as the voice of God is sounded, things begin to occur in space and time in the land of milk and honey.

The first trumpeter brings the drought and pestilence in Israel, which lasts for years and brings destruction to the land and death to many.

The “seven” decrees of God, trumpeted at the loosing of the last seal; they are the perfect seven (that means “complete”), the perfect seven judgments upon this apostate nation, which occur over the forty year period between our Lord’s ascension and His Parousia.  The prophesied “seven” all occur together, and in increasing intensity, culminating in the final holocaust in 70AD.

But the termination of the covenant nation has its inception at the decree from the throne in the heaven.  It occurred at the loosing of the seventh seal when God the Son offered the prayers of the saints out of His hand, and then poured out the fiery wrath of God which is mixed with the blood of the saints.  And the mighty Lord of Hosts thunders in His great wrath and gathers His armies from the troubled and turbulent waters of the sea of humanity.

And since Israel has murdered David’s son and David’s Lord; and has continued to make sacrifices to other gods; and has continued to burn incense on other mountains and to other gods; and now has scattered our Lord’s sheep and shed their blood, that which was prophesied – the sanctions of the covenant – will now be carried out by the Mediator!  He is the Executor of the Covenant; and He will now bring the terms of the covenant.  He has brought the faithful to the Father in prayer at the golden altar; and now He will bring the wrath of the Father to the unfaithful.  It’s His work, you see.  He’s the One Who pours it out from the throne into the land.  And it is a covenantal event that Yahveh Himself said has never before happened and never will again!

This event of seventy years is the covenantal “center” of all of God’s creation history.

You see, the Mediator is the Mediator of the Covenant.  The Christ doesn’t just stand for His people.  He is our Mediator, and the only One between man and God; but He is Mediator of the Covenant.  And the Covenant promises blessings for the faithful and horrible sanctions for those who aren’t faithful.

And since God the Son is Mediator of the Covenant, He is Mediator of both, you see!  Blessing the faithful and sanctions for the defiant are covenant promises.  Both are His work!

The covenant isn’t at the root of fundamentalist theological musings, is it? The individual is.  It’s almost always preached that once I believe and accept Him, He becomes my Savior and Mediator.  And it very well may, indeed, be true that He is your Mediator!  But He is always Mediator of the Covenant, which has “peace with God” for the faithful, and horrific sanctions for those who are in rebellion.  So, whether the individualist believes has no bearing whatever on our Lord Jesus Christ’s Mediatorship!  He is not limited to being the Mediator for the Father’s elect and faithful people.  He is the entire creation’s Mediator!  Its only One!

He was completely faithful to the Father; and He shed His Own blood as a sacrificial atonement for the sin of His Father’s elect; and He promised to resurrect the Father’s people out of death, and return the creation to its pristine edenic condition; and all for the glory of God in the heaven!

This is all the work of the risen, ascended Christ of God – the Mediator of the covenant. 

And as John looks on here in Revelation ten, the One Who is cloud-clothed, and Whose face shines as the sun in its power, and Who has the bow above His head, places His right pillar on the sea of nations, and His left on the land of Israel, the Lion of Judah – the Great Shepherd of the Sheep – roars as He exits His lair, intent on His prey.  The Mediator/Executor of the covenant prepares to bring the covenantal sanctions against the great harlot; and from above the throne of the Lord of Hosts come the perfect seven thunders of approval of the Mediator’s work.

The seven thunders are the perfect storm from the raging sea of the nations; for Yahveh Lord of Hosts gathers His armies at the roar of the Lion of Judah.