Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Seven Thunders

“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. . . . [the angel swore] that there should be time no longer: 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 has declared to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:1-7 edited)

The word “finished” (teleo) is the same word which Jesus cried from the cross (John 19:30) which caused the veil of separation to the most holy place to be rent and caused an earthquake which opened graves for the first fruits of the resurrected saints (Mat. 27:50-53). It is a completion and fulfillment, but it will also be the beginning (genomai, which can also mean married) of Christ's millennial reign.

“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done [genomai]. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning; and there was a great earthquake” (Rev. 16:17-18)
“And when he had opened the seventh seal . . . there were voices, and thunder, and lightning, and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:1)

The seven thunders precede the final trump of God which ends the age of grace and begins the Day of the LORD. In conjunction with the seventh vial and seventh seal is the seventh trumpet:
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. . . . and lightning, and voices, and thunder, and an earthquake, and great hail” (Revelation 11:15, 19).

“And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the LORD God shall blow the trumpet.” (Zechariah 9:14)
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:6-7)
It appears that before, during, and after the seventh trumpet there are voices and lightning and thunder which declare aspects of this very tumultuous time. The seven thunders start with a lion's roar.

“Therefore prophesy you against them all these words, and say to them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar on his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, said the LORD. Thus said the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung on the ground." (Jeremiah 25:30-33)

According to Steve Moyise in his book The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation, "Revelation contains more Old Testament allusions than any other New Testament book, but it does not record a single quotation." John, the apostle, alluded to imagery of the major and minor prophets and the Psalms. Could it be that God told John not to write about the seven thunders because it was already written down in the Old Testament?

David wrote a psalm which described “the voice of the LORD” seven times. He wrote this psalm after three years of drought and famine (2 Samuel 21:1) caused by Saul's slaughter of the Gibeonites with whom Israel (through Joshua) had a treaty. When David rectified the situation, the storm clouds came with thunder and lightning and much needed rain, and he began to praise the LORD (who is YHWH when in all caps).

Psalm 29
1Give to the LORD, O you mighty, give to the LORD glory and strength.
2Give to the LORD the glory due to his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the LORD is on the waters: the God of glory thunders: the LORD is on many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; yes, the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion [Mt. Hermon] like a young unicorn [wild ox].
7The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh [sanctuary]
9The voice of the LORD makes the hinds to calve, and discovers [strips] the forests: and in his temple does every one speak of his glory.
10The LORD sits on the flood; yes, the LORD sits King for ever.
11The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

#1 The voice of the LORD was upon the rain as His glory thundered.
#2 The voice of the LORD is powerful, firm and strong.
#3 The voice of the LORD is magnificent, beautiful, excellent, glorious, honourable, majestic.
#4 The voice of the LORD as lightning breaks tall cedars and makes mighty mountains shake.
#5 The voice of the LORD is lightning.
#6 The voice of the LORD shakes the plains and its sanctuaries.
#7 The voice of the LORD causes animals to give birth and strips foliage from the trees.

It seems to me that the seven thunders are full of “natural” devastation to the earth through various storms and earthquakes which might cause people to remember them as “acts of God” so that they repent before the Lion of Judah returns.

THUNDER in order of appearance in Hebrew Bible

1st Exodus 9:23-34 the plague of THUNDER, hail, and fire upon the Egyptians, but not upon the children of Israel in Goshen, so “that you may know that the earth is the LORD's” (v29).

2nd Exodus 19:16-20:18 when the LORD through THUNDERS, lightning and earthquake descended upon Mt. Sinai and declared His ten commandments.

3rd 1 Samuel 2:1-10 when Hannah prophesied upon releasing her miracle son into priestly service, “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he THUNDER on them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (v10)

4th 1 Samuel 7:10 when the ark of the covenant had been captured by the Philistines and then returned. The people repented and returned to the LORD and asked Samuel to pray and ask God to save them from the Philistines. God “THUNDERED” on them, confusing the Philistines so Israel could smite them. Samuel created a stone Ebenezer (LORD helped us), and the Philistines stayed away until Samuel died.

5th 1 Samuel 12:17-18 when God sent THUNDER and rain to destroy crops to show the wickedness of Israel asking for a king, since the LORD was their King.

6th 2 Samuel 22:14-15 “The LORD THUNDERED from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.” This is akin to David's psalm 18 of victory over enemies.

7th Isaiah 29:6-7 “You shall be visited of the LORD of hosts with THUNDER, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel [city of David, Jerusalem], even all that fight against her and her fortification, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.”

From this list it would seem that (1st) plagues of judgment upon the idolators precede the (2nd) LORD's descent to (3rd) judge the earth and (4th) help Israel by confusing their enemies so (5th) Israel will recognize the LORD as their King who (6th) gives them victory over their enemies and (7th) devours their enemies with fire, making them disappear.

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