What are the mysterious Seven Thunders of Revelation 10? CLICK HERE FOR Q.&A.
of Jesus Christ
Revelation 10 bridges the gap between the end of the Grace Age for the Gentiles and the return of the Gospel to the Jews. This vision of the Apostle John actually falls within the HALF HOUR SILENCE of the Seventh Seal when it was opened. It shows the MYSTERIOUS Coming of Christ for His True Church (at the close of the Grace Age) before He comes physically to take her to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and return the Gospel to the Jews. These are the final events for the Church. There are basically five events:
Mystery of the Marriage of the Lamb (2 Cor.11:2; Rev.19:6-9),
These five events will be discussed in more detail as we study the verses in Revelation 10. In the last of the final events, the Seven Thunders will utter their voices to the Bride-Wife just as John saw and heard in the vision. Contrary to popular belief, this vision is not about the Rapture, neither is it about the Coming of Christ to the Mount of Olives. (Please refer to 1 Cor.15:51-53; 1 Thess.4:13-17; Zech.14:4 and Acts 1:10-12.) The Rapture will be a literal event when Christ Jesus will meet His Bride in the air. Christ's feet will not touch the earth. And in the Coming of Christ to Mount Olives, the Holy Scriptures clearly show us that He shall stand on the mount and not on the sea and land.
The Mysterious Coming of The Christ
To fully understand the doctrine of the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, as Bible believers, we must realize that, before the GLORIOUS PHYSICAL APPEARING (Grk: epiphaneia) of Christ to meet His Bride in the air, there is a SPIRITUAL COMING OF HIS WORD to His Elect. In the First Advent of Christ, the WORD first came to a chosen few for about 30 years before the LITERAL COMING (Grk: eisodos – an entering in [see Acts 13:24]) of God Incarnate. Likewise, the Second Advent also consists of a period of several events in which His PRESENCE (Grk: parousia) and His REVELATION (Grk: apokalupsis) are gradually made known to an elected few before His PHYSICAL COMING (Grk: epiphaneia) for them in the Rapture. This fact can never be over-emphasized. It is this Spiritual Coming of the Word (Logos, the Christ) that has awakened the sleeping virgins of Christ Jesus who, since the beginning of this 20th Century, have received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the meeting with their Lord. However, only the wise, who are well prepared, will see and receive the revelation of the WORD of God and enter into the Marriage (Matt.25). The nominal Christians who are constantly looking for the 'Rapture in the sky' will miss this truth as this mystery is hidden from them.
The utterance of the Mighty Angel that John “must prophesy again” contains a dual prophecy. Though, after his release from exile in 96 A.D., John probably did prophesy for a few years while residing in Ephesus, those prophetic words have a more definite bearing on the Church in the end time. Being the beloved disciple of Jesus, John was given the special privilege of being transported in the Spirit to the Lord's Day to see “the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter”. Prophetically, he types the Endtime Bride, the Beloved of Christ, who will certainly enjoy the same privilege to understand those “things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter”.
The Identification of the Mighty Angel
It is certainly not difficult to identify this Mighty Angel. Though some theologians may teach that he was just one of the many angelic beings doing his job, it is our prerogative, as Bible believers, to establish the truth and maintain an unwavering faith in the Word of God.
The Greek word for 'angel' is 'angelos', and the equivalent in the Hebrew is 'malokh'. The word means 'one who is sent to deliver a message, a messenger', and 'a messenger' can be one who is a spirit being or a human being. However, in this case the Mighty Angel, who was seen coming down from Heaven, was neither a created spirit being nor a human being. He was the very personification of Almighty God in the Person of Jesus Christ Himself.
The description of how the Mighty Angel was clothed clearly shows that He was the personification of God in Christ. In Revelation chapter 1, we are shown how the Son of Man was clothed as a High Priest and Supreme Judge. However, He is described here as being clothed with a cloud and crowned with a rainbow. His face was shining like the sun and His feet were like pillars of fire. These descriptions identify Him as the Mighty Angel of the Covenant.
In the Scriptures, we often read of cloud being used to shroud the Glory of the Lord whenever He appeared before the people. Just as the natural cloud covers and dims the glorious light of the sun so that the eyes of its beholders would not be blinded, the Lord chose to cloth Himself with a cloud to protect those standing before Him from being blinded by His Glorious Light (Ex.24:15-18; 34:5; Lev.16:2). The Pillar of Cloud which was with the children of Israel in their exodus from Egypt was a testimony of His Presence, Leadership, and Strength. It was a Cloud of Blessings. Cloud is also usually associated with His Coming for the Bride (1 Thess.4:15-17) and His Second Coming to earth (Matt.24:29-30; Rev.1:7). Hence, this MYSTERIOUS Coming of Christ, as seen by John also shows His Coming with a cloud. And, other than the elect, no one is able to look beyond the cloud and see the Glorious Light. Amen! Did not God show His Presence to this generation in 1963 in the form of the Face of Jesus Christ in the cloud?
The Living God of the Bible is a Maker of covenants. He is a 'Covenanter' and the rainbow was the first token of an everlasting covenant He made with the man Noah (Gen.9:8-17). Even round about His throne, there is a rainbow to remind us of Who He is (Rev.4:3). The rainbow on the head of this Mighty Angel shows us that He is none other than the Covenant-Maker Himself in angelic form. He is the Angel of THE COVENANT (Mal.3:1). This covenant which was ratified by His Own Blood (Heb.9:11-23) was a firm covenant He made with Abraham. The Old Covenant, which was established at Sinai (Ex.19:5), could not disannul this precious covenant (Gal.3:17-25) within which can be felt God's heartbeat of love for His elect, both Jews and Gentiles (Jhn.17). He is the Redeemer.
[Note: There are some believers who teach that Revelation 10 contains events dealing with the Jews only because they believe that 'THE ANGEL OF THE COVENANT' relates Himself to the people of Israel and not the Gentiles. They trace the Angel of the Covenant only to Abraham who fathered Isaac who fathered Israel. However, the first covenant God made was with Noah (in Genesis 9); and Noah was neither a Jew nor a Gentile. Now, the truth is that 'THE ANGEL OF THE COVENANT' binds Himself to His Own Covenant, not to a people. Read Heb.6:13-20. Jesus Christ is the Mediator of THE COVENANT which is for both Jews and Gentiles. Read Heb.6:16-19; 8:6; 12:24, cf. Mal.3:1. Also, Abraham, the Father who received THE COVENANT concerning THE SEED was neither a Jew nor a Gentile. God keeps His Own Word.]
Notice, though we may not see a rainbow when we see a cloud, rainbow does not appear without the cloud. Rainbow is formed by a spectrum of seven colours produced by the refraction of sunlight. Hence, the Face or Presence of God (Ex.33:14; Isa.63:9; 2 Cor.4:6) refracts the GLORY OF GOD — “His face was as it were the SUN”. Without the Glorious Light shining from the SON of God, God's Blessings (His Presence, His Leadership and His Strength) in the Cloud would not be apparent to His people. As His Glory shines from His Face, Its Light refracts the Rainbow of His Everlasting Covenant through the Cloud.
“His feet as Pillars of Fire.” Fire is another identification of the personality of the Mighty Angel. Fire is not only often used in the Bible to symbolize the Presence of God, it is also used in association with searching, illuminating, separating, cleansing, purifying, and judging (Gen.15:17; Ex.14:24; Deut.4:24; Lk.3:16-17).
The Sequence of the Vision
To have a better understanding of the vision, we should not overlook the sequence of how it was revealed to John. First, John saw the Mighty Angel come down from Heaven. The Mighty Angel did not suddenly appear in his vision standing on the sea and land. He was descending from Heaven. Next, John noticed that He was clothed with a white CLOUD.
As the Mighty Angel continued to descend, His face and other parts of His body became obvious. And He had a little open scroll in His left hand.
The Little Open Book
What was that “little open book”?
The book was actually a scroll. It was the same scroll that John saw earlier in the right hand of the One Who sat on the Throne (Rev.5:1). It was then a sealed scroll, which was sealed with seven seals. And only Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God, was worthy to open the seals. This Seven-Seal Scroll is now an open scroll. It is the Title Deed to the possession of the earth and the Eternal Life that Adam and Eve had lost.
But why did it become a “little scroll” in the hand of the Mighty Angel? The scroll did not in any way shrink. We must realize that the Mighty Angel was a huge figure in the vision. It is obvious from the fact that He had “His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot upon the land”. He was not just a six-foot tall person standing on the seashore with one foot in the sea water and the other on the beach.
One important fact to bear in mind is that the whole vision was centred on the MIGHTY ANGEL Himself and all that He represented. He was THE PRE-EMINENT FEATURE in the vision. Failure to recognize this fact will cause the events in this prophetic vision of the Apostle John to be misinterpreted. Those who teach that this prophetic vision pertains to the RAPTURE have probably focused their attention on the wrong things in the vision. The little book and its Seventh Seal are often over-emphasized. There are two groups who believe that Revelation 10 is about the RAPTURE. One group contends that the Rapture has yet to take place because the Seventh Seal is still unopened, and that Christ will only come for His Bride once the seal is broken. The other group believes that all Seven Seals were opened by William M. Branham in 1963. Based on certain specific year which Brother Branham had mentioned in some of his sermons, this group teaches that the Rapture has already taken place on a certain date.
Three Phases: Open, Reveal, Fulfill
Any Bible believer, who knows the Word of God well enough, should know that God had woven a certain pattern of numbers in His Bible. Many series of three, five, and seven events or things are recorded throughout the Bible. Similarly, there are three phases in each of the Seven Seals found on the Seven-Seal Scroll for the accomplishment of God's purpose. They are the OPENING phase, the REVEALING phase, and the FULFILLING phase.
Let me give an illustration. Let's suppose that you have never read a Bible. You have one in your hand. To you, it is a closed Book because you do not know what is written in the Book. Then you proceed to open the Book and turn to the first chapter of St. John and begin to read the first verse: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. Now, you have just opened and read a part of the contents of the Bible. But, do you understand what you have just read? Do you have the revelation of the verse? If not, what you have read will remain a mystery to you. Hence, the Scriptural contents must be revealed to you or else the open Bible is still as good as a closed Book to you. When they are revealed to you, you will begin to see the contents and the purpose of God as He brings about the fulfillment of His Word.
Now, when was the Seven-Seal Book actually opened, and by whom?
It was certainly not opened in 1963 by William M. Branham. But the majority of the Endtime Message believers believe otherwise. Unfortunately, their belief is contrary to the Scriptures. In chapters 5, 6 and 8, we can see that it was none other than Jesus Christ Himself Who opened the Seven Seals after taking the sealed Book from the hand of the One sitting upon the Throne (Rev.5:5-10; 6:1,3,5,7,9,12; 8:1). The Apostle John was the only earthly witness to that event. When he was in exile on the Isle of Patmos, he was caught up in the Spirit (probably in 96 AD.) to witness the OPENING of the Seven Seals by the Lord Jesus. He was transported (in the spirit) to the future for a preview of the endtime events which will precede the closing of the Grace Age for man. Whatever were shown to John in symbols then are now being revealed in the real form to the Bride of Christ in the Light of the revelation of God's Holy Word. (John is a type of the Endtime Bride of Christ, and the Book of Revelation was written specially to prepare the Bride for that final hour.)
Now, if the Seven Seals were not opened at all, then John would have seen nothing, and he would not have recorded those symbols that were described after the breaking of each Seal. Though the Seven Seals were opened in Heaven by Christ, and the events recorded by John in the First Century, the contents were never fully revealed to the Church until this Endtime Age. Remember, John witnessed the Four Horse Riders, the Souls under the Altar, the Great Earthquake in the Dreadful Day of the Lord, and the Silence in Heaven. But, being in symbolic forms, all these were very little understood by Christians throughout the Church Ages even though some of the events were fulfilled in their time.
However, in 1963, God revealed the mysteries which were hidden in each OPEN Seal to the Church through His Seventh Church Age Prophet-Messenger. Only then did we realize that the events described after the breaking of the first four Seals were historical events. However, the spirits of those four horses and their riders are still living today and will continue to live until their consummation in the Day of the Lord. The Fifth Seal has two parts. The first part was fulfilled in the Second World War, and the second will be fulfilled during the Great Tribulation. The Sixth Seal marks the end of the Great Tribulation prior to the return of Christ on the Day of the Lord.
Since it is recorded that Christ Jesus had opened all the Seven Seals, the Seventh Seal cannot be an unopened Seal. The Apostle John had witnessed the opening of the Seventh Seal. “And when He had OPENED the seventh seal, there was SILENCE in heaven about the space of half an hour” (Rev.8:1). This period of SILENCE in Heaven conceals a GREAT and IMPORTANT event that will take place on the Earth. When will it take place? Has it already taken place? Is it still ahead of us? Or, is it taking place now?
Now, we know that John saw Christ open all the Seven Seals in the vision when he was on the Isle of Patmos at the end of the First Century. As such, how could anyone believe that the Seventh Seal is still unopened and that it will only be opened just before the Rapture when Christ shall come for His Bride?
At this juncture I would like to point out that many ministers and believers have a wrong concept of the Mercy Seat. They believe that once the Seventh Seal is opened, “Christ (or His Blood) will go off the Mercy Seat”. This concept has no Scriptural foundation. It is, at best, only an idea of speculative theology. Some even have the notion that Jesus is literally sitting on a Throne called the 'Mercy Seat' from which He will get up the very moment He has broken the Seventh Seal.
The term 'Mercy Seat', in the Biblical sense, refers to the act, the place, and the accomplishment of the atonement that is in Christ Jesus. The 'Mercy Seat' in the Old Testament was the top of the Ark, a lid of solid gold, where the blood of a sacrificed bullock was sprinkled once a year.
And, as far as the Gospel of Salvation is concerned, it does not necessarily mean that there will be no more mercy for the Jews when God stops showing His mercy to the Gentiles. God's work of redemption will not be over yet even when the Grace Age ends. In God's great Grace and Mercy, the Gospel will have to be preached to the Jews. As such, the Blood is still on the 'Mercy Seat'. Remember, the Seventh Seal will end all things which include the redemption of the earth. Hence, God's mercy will be over only after the Millennial Reign of Christ when He will set fire to this earth to bring an end to all things and to bring forth a New Heaven and a New Earth (cf. 2 Pet.3:10-13).
I must again emphasize that all the Seven Seals had been opened as witnessed by John at the end of the First Century. Certain events described in some of the Seals were fulfilled even before they were fully revealed in 1963. We are still watching prayerfully for those unfulfilled events in the Seals to take place.
Chronologically, all the Seven Seals are rightly placed to end at the Coming of Christ. Each Seal holds certain events which have to take place within a given space of time. Though the Seventh Seal is the last Seal, the time for the fulfillment of this Seal has already begun. But its consummation is not yet complete. THE MYSTERY HIDDEN IN THE SEVENTH SEAL CONCERNS THE COMING OF CHRIST. It is a three-fold mystery. The Coming of Christ consists of several phases, which are the PAROUSIA of Christ, the APOKALUPSIS of Christ, and the EPIPHANEIA of Christ, first to the Bride at the Rapture and then to the world in the Day of the Lord. It began with the COMING OF THE WORD through the prophet (seer) of Malachi 4:6b, who is also the Angel (Messenger) of Revelation 3:14 and Revelation 10:7, to the True Church, and will end with Christ's Epiphany in the Day of the Lord when God shall execute His judgement upon the nations just before setting up His Kingdom on earth. The Seventh Seal shall bring an end to all things. Hence, the vision in Revelation 10 was a preview of the final events.
“The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psm.24:1 cf. Isa.66:1a). Yes, the earth belongs to the Almighty God Who gave its Title Deed to the first Adam. But Adam lost his inheritance when he failed his test. As a result, the Title Deed reverted to its Owner until a Kinsman Redeemer could be found to redeem it. But while the Everlasting God waited for the arrival of the Kinsman Redeemer, the devil continued to further corrupt the world with his evil and so-called wisdom. By his deception, he is even worshipped as the god of this world. When the Kinsman Redeemer, the second Man and last Adam, came forth to redeem, He overcame the devil and his works by laying down His life at Calvary and raising it up again. Hence, Jesus Christ bought the right to take the Title Deed from the hand of the One sitting upon the Throne (Rev.5). He has the right to take back Eternal Life and the earth, and to restore man to the original position that he had fallen from. Furthermore the Seals were opened to show the redeemed Church the things that must transpire on earth before He would literally come to claim the earth and set up His Kingdom. And, Revelation 10 shows that the time has arrived for that fulfillment.
By placing His feet on the sea and on the land, He signified that He had come to claim the earth and all His possessions. Scripturally, the words “sea” and “land” connote “Gentiles” and “Jews” respectively. (See Isaiah 42:5-12; 23:2-11; 24:14.) Notice that He first placed His right foot upon the sea and then his left foot upon the land. (The word “earth” in the K.J.V. version of the Bible is a mistranslation.) John was no doubt provided a picture of the Mediterranean Sea and the Land of Palestine. Placing His fiery right foot first upon the sea shows that He had come to the Gentiles first to claim His Bride. Scripturally, “right” signifies the Grace and Mercy of God whereas “left” signifies His Judgment. (See Matthew 25:31-46.) So, we see that the Grace of Christ is shown to the Gentiles as Christ comes to search for His elected few and reveal His Presence to them. His Presence brings an Illumination (Revelation) of His Word which purges and purifies, and separates the True Believers from the works of the devil in the systems of the churches today. Amen! God is rich in mercy to whom He will show mercy. But judgement is now upon the False Church and all her prostitute daughters. The Fire of God will soon consume them. (See Revelation 3:14-22 and Revelation 18.)
After the Bride is 'caught away' (raptured) to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and when the last of the Church Ages has ended, Christ will turn to deal with the nation of Israel. He will purge her and claim as His own those true seeds of Israel. It will be a time of trouble. That's why the fiery left foot of the Mighty Angel was placed upon the land after He had placed His right foot upon the sea. Although they rejected the Messiah and His Gospel, the Jews have never been forsaken by God. But they will certainly have to suffer great trials and persecutions when they become converts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ which the Two Witnesses (of Revelation 11) shall preach to them. The time of their trouble is known as Jacob's trouble (Jer.30:7). It is the Great Tribulation mentioned by our Saviour in Matthew 24.
It is said that when a lion roars in the jungle, its roar can be heard several miles away. All animals would hush to listen. The environment would become silent as the animals remain still and wait for something to happen because the king of the beasts has sounded his cry. And that was exactly what the Apostle John had observed in his vision. The Mighty Angel, having put his fiery feet upon the sea and land, gave a loud cry like the roar of a lion. Although John did not record what the cry was, we can deduce its significance from verses 5, 6 and 7. The phrase “as when a lion roareth” signifies that the Mighty Angel had proclaimed Himself as the RIGHTFUL KING of the whole earth and had come to claim His rights over it. He had fought well and had paid the price for it. [Note: Contrary to some views, this verse and the whole context of Revelation 10 do not in any way indicate that the Mighty Angel descended as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.]
Now, after the mighty leonine cry, the SEVEN THUNDERS, which were on the earth in John's vision, uttered their VOICES. John heard the utterances of the Seven Thunders. However, a Voice from Heaven forbade him to write down what he had heard. God has a reason for sealing up those utterances. God's Star-Messenger, William M. Branham, said that it was God's purpose to keep Satan from knowing what those utterances were because Satan, being an impersonator, would certainly cause great damage if he knew the secret. It is true that the Elect of God cannot be deceived. But we know what Satan can do when he distorts the Truth. Churches would split and members would fight with one another over the 'teaching'. Some would get frustrated while others would backslide. Those who believe the lie would find it hard to regain their footing. Hence, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour when the Seventh Seal was opened. Satan could not do a thing. Amen!
The “silence in heaven” after the opening of the Seventh Seal (Rev.8:1) contains the revelation of the events of the Coming of Christ. The revelation of the events is hidden in Revelation 10, that is, the Mighty Angel coming down from Heaven to claim His own and everything that He has redeemed! This revelation, though hidden from the world, is being unfolded to the Bride — in phases. Hush and listen! “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).
Now, the revelation of the things which the seven thunders uttered on earth, but was sealed up, is in the Seventh Seal. Brother William Branham said, “There'll be seven voices of these thunders that will reveal the great revelation at that time” [The Seventh Seal, pg.575]. The voices of the Seven Thunders are only A PART of the THREE-FOLD MYSTERY of the SEVENTH SEAL. THE BRIDE NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT THE SEVEN THUNDERS HAD UTTERED AND SHE WILL CERTAINLY GET TO KNOW THEM. Since John, being a type of the Bride, the Beloved of the Lord, had heard the voices uttered by the Seven Thunders on earth, the Bride will certainly receive that great revelation of the VOICES of the Seven Thunders just before the Lord appears in the air to take her away.
The Seven Thunders
However, before the Bride can hear the VOICES of the Seven Thunders, she will have to know what or who the Seven Thunders are. There have been much speculations about the Seven Thunders. Without the spirit of reverence to God's Inspired Written Word and the wisdom to rightly divide the Word of Truth, many Endtime Message believers have merely quoted the statements of Brother Branham to say that the Seven Thunders were the Seven Seals when they were opened, or revealed (depending on their understanding of the two words). But, it is not recorded in the Holy Scriptures that a thundering noise was heard by John when each seal was opened, or when each of them was revealed in 1963. In fact, the Apostle John did not hear Seven Voices of Thunders, he heard only one “noise of thunder” “when the Lamb opened one of the seals” at the close of the First Century (Rev.6:1). This noise of thunder was reflected on earth in February 1963 over Arizona, U.S.A. just before Christ gave the REVELATION of the Seven Seals to the Church through His servant, William Branham. Hence, the voices of the Seven Thunders were not the sounding forth, nor the opening, of the Seven Seals.
There are also some who believe and teach that the Seven Thunders are the Seven Virtues of Christ (2 Pet.1:5-7) which all True Believers of Christ must 'thunder forth' in their lives to manifest that they are the children of God. This teaching is based on some statements quoted from the sermons of the Seventh Church Age Messenger.
Regardless of what have been taught about the Seven Thunders, the Truth can only be found in the Holy Scriptures which form the foundation of our faith. God is in His Word, and whatever is written for His Bride, it will surely be revealed to her. Amen.
The Seven Spirits of God
Now, it is recorded in the Book of Revelation that there was only one group of SEVEN SPIRITS (Grk: Pneuma) of God before the Throne of God. Read Revelation 1:4-5. They were not seven other Gods besides the Eternal “I Am That I Am”. (The number 'seven' refers to spiritual perfection.) Note carefully the three greetings in those two verses. The first is the greeting “from Him which is, which was, and which is to come”, Who is the “I Am That I Am”, the Almighty Spirit Himself. The second is “from the Seven Spirits which are before His Throne”, and the third is “from Jesus Christ”.
When John first saw these Seven Spirits, they were before the Throne of God (Rev.1:4). They were like Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the Throne (Rev.4:5). Before they were assigned any task, the Seven Spirits did not have any specific identity except their divine status and nature. However, in their first assignment, they took the form of Seven Angels (Grk: Angelos) to the Seven Church Ages. They were the Seven Stars in the right hand of the Son of Man, the High Priest and Supreme Judge, Who walked in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks (Rev.1:16,20). Through the earthly Seven Church Age Messengers, the Seven Stars had kept the Lamps (Churches) of Truth and Faith burning for the Word of God to shine in their respective ages. Therefore, being the Seven Lamps of Fire burning before God's Throne, they were also the Seven Golden Candlesticks.
Each time the Seven Spirits took on a different task, they assumed a different identity according to the role of the One (in Whose hand was the plummet of God) Whom they were working with. In Revelation 5:6, the Seven Spirits are identified with the Lamb as its Seven Horns and Seven Eyes. The Lamb of God, as we know, is none other than Jesus Christ in His role as the Saviour. Having Seven Horns and Seven Eyes do not make the Lamb of God a freak. It is merely the language of the Spirit to describe the Seven Spirits as being a part of the Lamb as He works through them throughout the Seven Church Ages of Grace.
The Seven Horns denote the seven-fold Perfect Power (Omnipotence) of the Lamb, and the Seven Eyes show His Perfect Knowledge (Omniscience). Hence, the Seven Horns and Seven Eyes together show that the Lamb is All-Powerful to redeem the household of God, besides possessing Perfect Knowledge to mete out perfect justice to all who dwell upon the earth. The Seven Redemptive Names of YAHWEH (Jehovah God) of the Old Testament (Isa.11:2) are manifested in the Lamb of God of the New Testament as He works throughout the Seven Church Ages. As Revelation 5 shows, the Lamb with Seven Horns and Seven Eyes is truly worthy to take the Sealed Book of Redemption and to break open its Seven Seals. And in 1963, the Seven Spirits, in a constellation of Seven Angels, came to meet William Branham on a mountain in Arizona, U.S.A. and told him to return East to his home in Indiana, where each of them would unfold to him the REVELATION of the SEVEN OPEN SEALS. This REVELATION was then shown to the Church.
Here in Revelation 10 we still find the same Seven Spirits with Jesus Christ as He takes the role of the Mighty Angel of the Covenant descending from Heaven. As Christ changes His role, they too assume a different role. They are now the Seven Thunders. Notice closely — each of them has a VOICE!
In the Book of Revelation, the SEVEN SPIRITS assume a total of SEVEN DIFFERENT ROLES. In their assignments, they have been identified as:
in the right hand of the HIGH
Who walks in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks,
And in two of their seven jobs, as the SEVEN STARS and the SEVEN THUNDERS, their (audible) VOICES are heard by the True Worshippers of God.
Every Christian knows that God works with, and through, men. God's messengers (both in the Old and New Testaments) were a special breed of men whom God had chosen to carry out certain special tasks. The Word of God was given to them to be voiced to the people of Israel and the Church. Thus, the VOICES of the messengers were the sounding of the MESSAGES of God.
Now, when the VOICES of the men of God are sounded to the people, they do not always deal with teachings or doctrinal truths of God. The Word is sometimes given to correct a certain misconception or to give specific instruction for a certain purpose.
Throughout the Seven Church Ages, the SEVEN SPIRITS ministered as the SEVEN STARS and the SEVEN LAMPS (upon the LAMPSTAND). Individually they represented, and ministered to, each of the SEVEN MEN of God who were chosen to be the STAR-MESSENGERS to the seven successive Church Ages. Their duty was to keep the Church in line with the Truth. Because the SEVEN SPIRITS stood before the Throne of God as SEVEN LAMPS BURNING, the SEVEN MESSENGERS only spoke “WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH” unto the churches (Rev.2-3). Hence, in each Church Age the VOICE of the SPIRIT, which represented that particular age, was heard as his MESSAGE SOUNDED forth through the mouthpiece of the Prophet-Messenger to the Church. And after that Prophet-Messenger was taken off the scene, that same SPIRIT to the age would not only keep the LAMP of Truth BURNING in the lives of the saints who had the Light of God's Life and Love, but would also provide LIGHT through the “Ascension Gifts” ministry for that period of time.
Now, have not the SEVEN STARS uttered their VOICES in their respective Church Ages? And were not their VOICES distinct? Yes. So will be the VOICES of the SEVEN THUNDERS. If the SEVEN STARS were SEVEN ANOINTED MEN of God, so will the SEVEN THUNDERS be. However, the Seven Thunders will utter their voices close together only at the close of the Grace Age after the Mighty Angel of the Covenant has descended to earth with a SHOUT, and just before the SOON APPEARING of the Lord Jesus to His Bride (Rev.10:1,3). Their VOICES will be heard by the Bride of Christ as the FINAL CALL of God within a very short space of time.
[Note: As recorded in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John received three greetings of Grace and Peace which were to be delivered to the seven churches on earth (Rev.1:4,5). These greetings came together to the Beloved Apostle from the voices of the Eternal Spirit, the Seven Spirits, and Jesus Christ in Heaven just before he was given the seven prophetic letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor and also shown their spiritual conditions. At the closing of the Church Ages (Rev.10), John once again heard the three voices uttering together. How appropriate, for the Almighty is truly the Alpha and the Omega. However, the voices of Jesus Christ (Who was seen in the role of the Mighty Angel) and the Seven Spirits (which were seen in the role of the Seven Thunders) were heard (uttered) on earth. This clearly shows that the distinct and audible utterances of the voices of the Seven Thunders, which John heard but were sealed up, will be heard by the Bride.]
Having studied all the relevant portions of the Scriptures, I can say without a shadow of doubt that the Seven Thunders represent Seven Men whom the Seven Spirits will identify with and work through just before the Rapture of the True Church. The voices of the Seven Thunders will be heard by every True Believer of Christ. It will be the sounding of the LAST TRUMP of God to the Word-Bride to bring about a change in her Body for her to meet her Word-Groom in the air, and be whisked home to His Father's House for the Grand Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Remember, there is only one group of Seven Spirits of God, and they are assigned seven different roles. (Note the seven “seven”.) Five roles are played during the Dispensation of Grace and two roles will be played during the 70th Week of Daniel which will begin after the Church is raptured. Their first assignment is to identify with – and utter their voices through – the Seven Angels to the Seven Church Ages. They are called Stars. At the closing of the Seven Church Ages, they will appear as the Seven Thunders to utter their voices which will be heard and understood by the Bride only. No, the Seven Star-Messengers will not be resurrected to appear as the Seven Thunders. The Seven Thunders are not the Seven Stars. As their identities are different, so are their ministries. Each of the Seven Stars has his own specific Message, which deals with the Word, and which is for his respective Church Age to keep the Lamp of God burning in the Church (Rev.2-3). The Seven Stars are Church Age Messengers. The Seven Thunders are not; they are just seven chosen endtime servants of God who are anointed to utter their voices in respect of the Seventh Seal.
[Note: The voices of the Seven Thunders cannot be the voice(s) of the Five-Fold Ministry as some ministers are teaching. They use the number "7" in the Seven Thunders as a quantifying number for the ministry of perfection under the Five-Fold Ministry. Such interpretation is inconsistent with the rest of the other seven "7" in the Book of Revelation. The Five-Fold Ministry is a group of ministers consisting of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Remember the precise number 'seven'. There are Seven voices.]
Over in the Book of Zechariah, we see a two-fold prophecy concerning the House of God, the golden lampstand of seven lamps and the two olive trees. And there were two men who played prominent roles in Israel's return to their homeland to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and their temple. They were Joshua, the high priest and Zerubbabel, the civil administrator (or prince). Both Joshua and Zerubbabel were types of our Lord Jesus Christ in His ministerial works of High Priest and Prince. As the natural types the spiritual, we can see Christ carrying out these roles in the last days as the Spiritual Israel (the Spiritual Church) returns to the Promised Word and is being built up as the Holy City New Jerusalem. But notice carefully the following verses:
Sitting face to face with Joshua were several men — “thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at”. These men were “marvelous men” (Lamsa Translation), “men that are a sign” (Bethel Edition), “men of good omen” (RSV), “men symbolic of things to come” (NIV) and “men who are a sign or omen [types of what is to come]” (Amplified). Translator William F. Beck translated the whole verse as “Please listen, Joshua, O high priest, you and your friends who sit before you. You men stand for something wonderful I will do because I will bring My Servant, the Branch” (An American Translation). And placed before Joshua and the men who sat before him was a stone with seven eyes and having an inscription on it. (Now all these have compound meaning. And there is a play on the phrase “engrave the graving thereof”. Truly, God hides His Truth whilst revealing It.)
Now, what do all these mean prophetically concerning the Church? Simply to show that there is a REVELATION (the stone engraved with an engraving — “engrave (Heb: pathach) the engraving”) placed before our JOSHUA (Jesus Christ the High Priest) and that certain men before him shall be the “eyes” of that REVELATION. God shall open up or loosen (from the same Hebrew word: pathach) the inscription on that stone in the hand of Christ Jesus, not as 'Joshua the High Priest', but as 'Zerubbabel the Adminstrator' or 'Zerubbabel the Prince'. In “the day of small things” (that is, this period of the last generation, not the period of the 2000 years of the Church Age), our ZERUBBABEL shall hold the “plummet” (of that “stone”) and together with “those seven” marvelous men (the “seven eyes”), who shall rejoice to see it in His hand, “engrave (Heb: pathach – open wide) the engraving” and administer that revelation around the world just before God takes the Gospel back to Israel. Amen.
When the Apostle John saw the Seven Thunders in his vision, he also heard their voices but he was forbidden to write down what he had heard. The reason, as we know, is to keep it a secret from Satan who has always been an impersonator and a trouble-maker of God's plan and purpose. As such, this MYSTERY has yet to be revealed. It will be revealed to the elect of Christ in due course. It will be revealed at about the time when the Lord Jesus shall appear to catch away His Bride. When the Seven Thunders shall utter their voices, it will be the final 'reveille' of God to the Bride. It will be the LAST TRUMP of God to her. “And the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess.4:16b-17, cf. 1 Cor.15:52). Amen!
Time Should No Longer Tarry
Now, from the prophecies in the Bible, we know that after the Rapture of the Bride, the Gospel will be returned to the Jews. But according to THE VISION of the Final Events in Revelation 10, John did not see the closing of the Gentile Age after the Seven Thunders had uttered their voices. He was told by a voice from Heaven not to write down what the Seven Thunders had uttered. Logically, the Gentile Age should end then so that the Gospel might again be preached to the Jews by the Two Witnesses (Rev.11). However, he said:
Looking closely at Revelation 10 one cannot help but notice that the Prophetic Time and Events in this vision were sort of 'interrupted' when the Apostle John was told by the voice from Heaven not to write down what the Seven Thunders had uttered. In reality, the Prophetic Time and Events did not stop but in this vision of John they were sort of 'being held in abeyance'. This state of suspension is just like a parenthesis that is being inserted to show the Bible reader something important.
Because of the nature of the events, the whole chapter of Revelation 10 can be divided into two main parts. Verses 1 to 4 form the first part and verses 5 to 11 form the second part.
The vision in the second part actually provides the true believers a bearing on how the Final Events will literally be accomplished in full. This part, in itself, can further be divided into three separate sections — verses 5-6, verse 7 and verses 8-11. The three sections should be correctly understood in order to get the correct revelation of the whole chapter of Revelation 10.
Now, after the voice from Heaven had told John to seal up those things which the Seven Thunders uttered and write them not, the Mighty Angel raised His right hand to heaven, and swore in the Name of the Creator of Heaven and the Earth, and said: “There should be time no longer!”
Why did the Mighty Angel do that? And what did he mean when He said that “there should be time no longer”?
The answers are found within Revelation 10 itself. According to the vision, the Mighty Angel had already made His claim of the Earth when He descended from Heaven. But because John was not permitted to record the utterances of the Seven Thunders, the Prophetic Time and Events were sort of 'suspended', and the claim of the Mighty Angel was not realized. Hence, the Mighty Angel swore by the Creator that “there should be time no longer”.
The sentence “THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER” would be better translated or paraphrased as “TIME SHOULD NO LONGER TARRY” or “TIME SHOULD NO LONGER DELAY OR RESPITE”. [Some translations render it as “TIME SHOULD NOT INTERVENE” or “THE TIME OF WAITING IS OVER”.] This would give us a better understanding that the Mighty Angel was proclaiming that TIME SHOULD NOT DELAY THE REALIZATION OF HIS CLAIM OF THE EARTH. Per se, the time allotted for the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation to the Gentiles will have to end first before the Gospel can be returned to the children of Israel. And beloved, we do not have to wait very long for those Seven Thunders to utter their voices and transform the Bride for her homegoing to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. However, a question arises: HOW DO WE KNOW THE TIMES AND THE SEASONS THAT THESE PROPHETIC EVENTS WOULD TAKE PLACE?
Times And Seasons
The oath of the Mighty Angel provides the answer to that question:
Yes, “in the days” of the ministry of the Seventh Angel (to the Laodicean Church Age) when he shall begin to sound forth his voice – his message – the “Mystery of God”, which God had made known to His prophets of old, should (ought to) be finished (accomplished, fulfilled). And when that happens, time shall no longer delay the return of the Lord's Christ.
In his first letter to the Thessalonian believers, concerning the Coming of the Lord (see chapters 4 and 5), Paul said that there was no need for him to write about the precise times and seasons when that event would take place because they were children of light and that that day should not overtake them like a thief coming upon them by surprise in the night. Being sober and watchful they would surely know when it would take place.
Paul's admonition is certainly applicable to the present generation which will see the Second Advent of Christ. This is the very time and season that every true child of God, who walks in the Light of God's Word, will not only witness the visitation of God but also feel His PAROUSIA – His PRESENCE, His COMING – which will hasten the Day of the Lord.
The clear message sounded (uttered) by the Seventh Church Age Messenger marked the beginning of the times and the seasons when the “Mystery of God” would be brought to a close (finished, accomplished, fulfilled). For in sounding forth that Message, the Prophet-Messenger was actually giving forth a SHOUT, a MIDNIGHT CRY — “Behold the Bridegroom cometh! Come ye out to meet Him!” (1 Thess.4:16; Matt.25:6).
“Mystery of God” — “Grafting of the Gentiles”
What is the “Mystery of God” in Revelation 10:7? Many followers of the Message of the hour believe that it refers to all the (prophetic and spiritual) mysteries contained in the Bible. Others believe that it is the doctrine on how God became a man.
The “Mystery of God” is actually hinted in the Old Testament. It has been wrapped in mystery in the prophecies, by the prophets, on how God would show His Mercy to the Gentiles. In the New Testament, Paul revealed that God had made known to him this mystery, which was hidden before the foundation of the world, “that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel” (Eph.3:6). Hence, the “Mystery of God” is the period of time which God had allocated for the grafting of the Gentiles into His Promised Word just “as He had declared to His servants, the (Old Testament) prophets”. Read Romans 9:6-8; 16:25-26; Ephesians 2:11-3:11; Genesis 12,15,17; Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 60:3; Galatians 3:16-18.
Now, the purpose of that precious message of the Seventh Church Age Messenger is to separate the Wheat from the Tares, and the True Believers from the Make-believers and Unbelievers. (Read Matthew 13.) It aims to lead the Elect out of darkness and out of the bondage of the world and its religious systems into God's Divine Word. The religious systems of the Mother Harlot and her Daughters (Catholicism and all 'isms' associated with her — Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Charismaticism, Ecumenism, etc.) have already been judged when they rejected the Truth. By and by, they will become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (Rev.18:2). And as the true elected members of the Body of Christ are being gathered into the WORD, the “Mystery of God” (which is the Dispensation of Grace to the Gentiles) shall be drawn to a close. So, the “Mystery of God” should be (not is) finished. Yes, the grafting of the wild olive tree should be accomplished. And until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, the Gospel cannot be returned to Israel. (Read Romans 11.)
[Note: It is clear that in the “Mystery of God” the Gentile Church has become a part of THE COVENANT which God had made with Abraham, and which He had declared unto His Old Testament prophets. So, would anyone dare to deny that the Lord Jesus Christ, in His role as the MIGHTY ANGEL OF THE COVENANT (of Revelation 10), has no relationship with the Gentile Bride?]
“In the Days of the Voice of the Seventh Angel”
Having established the identity of the Mighty Angel, we have come to understand that THE VISION of Revelation 10 is a vision of the Final Events which would take place at the closing of the Church Ages before the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel, during which time God will deal with the Jews. Besides the revelation that the Mighty Angel is Christ, Who will come and claim His right to the Earth, we also know that the Seventh Angel is the last Church Age Messenger (Rev.10:7). This further proves that the vision relates to the 'last days' of the Church Ages.
We shall now take a look at the Seventh Angel of Revelation 10:7. Those who understand Malachi 4:5-6 would recognize that the 'Elijah' (a Prophet-Seer), who fulfilled the second half of that dual prophecy – “to turn the heart (faith) of the children (of God) to their (apostolic) fathers” – was also the Seventh Angel (Grk: Angelos – Messenger) to the Laodicean Church Age recorded in Revelation 3:14. And the late William Marrion Branham has been identified as that Prophet-Seer and Star-Messenger of God.
However, there are some who have not come to grips with the fact that the Seventh Angel of Revelation 10:7 was also that same Prophet-Messenger. They are confused by the words “to sound” (in the said verse) which give the impression that the Seventh Angel is the Seventh Trumpeting Angel of Revelation 11:15 who is sounding his trumpet. (See also Rev.8:13.) Well, he is not. Though the verb “to sound” (Grk: salpizo – to trump) seems to refer to the sounding of a trumpet, the phrase “the VOICE of the Seventh Angel” clearly points to the UTTERANCE of the Seventh Messenger. The word “voice” comes from the Greek word “phone”. It means “a sound, noise, voice that is uttered; an address, saying or language”. Simply, “the VOICE of the Seventh Angel” is the ADDRESS (or the SAYING) of the Seventh Church Age Messenger. The sounding of his message is likened to a trumpet which is being blown to call for an audience. (See example in Matthew 6:2.) The Seventh Trumpeting Angel has NO voice (Grk: phone), but only a trumpet (Grk: salpinx). The clear sound of a trumpet blast (Grk: salpizo) carries a distinct message (Grk: phone). [Note: Undoubtedly, there is a parallel in the Seventh Church Age Angel uttering his voice and the Seventh Trumpeting Angel blowing his trumpet. The former deals with the Church, while the latter deals with Israel. But, both also wind up an age to usher in the Reign of Christ.]
Personally, I believe that without the ministry of the Seventh Angel-Messenger, William Branham, many Christians today will never know the times and seasons when the Lord Jesus Christ will return. O certainly the denominational faithful could make guesses by looking at certain signs and prophecies of Scriptures. But when we come to realize who he was, we definitely have a clearer understanding of the actual time and season that the Lord will return. As a man sent from God with a message to this generation, his ministry manifested the 'sign of the Messiah' and brought back “one of the days of the Son of man” as prophesied by the Lord Jesus Himself. (Read Luke 17:22-30.)
The Bride of Christ...
This is the third section of the second part of Revelation 10. The Voice which spoke to John from Heaven was that of the Eternal Spirit. Up to that stage of the vision John had already seen and heard all that he was supposed to see and hear. When the Voice from Heaven spoke to John again, there was actually a mystery hidden in all that He was telling John to do.
John was 'transported' in the spirit into the future and shown all those visions. Prophetically, he types the Endtime Living Bride who will not only be raptured but will also see and understand the revelation of what John had seen. John was also told by the Voice of the Eternal Spirit to take the little open book from the hand of the Mighty Angel and eat it. This clearly shows that he types the Endtime Bride who is willing to obey the Voice of the Eternal Spirit and eat of the Book of Life.
Remember, the “little book” is the Title Deed to the possession of the earth and Eternal Life. And Christ has paid the full price for the right to that book which is now opened in his hand. Spiritually, it is the Book of Redemption, the Book of Life. It is the Original Word of God, the Word of Life, which is NOW fully opened up and being revealed to His Bride as the Age of Redemption quickly draws to a close.
Notice that the open book was in the hand of the Angel of the Covenant. Upon God's instruction John went up to Him and asked, “Give it to me”. And it was given to him. This proves the Truth of God's Promise that He will give to anyone who asks, especially regarding the 'eating' of His Revealed Word. Notice also that the open book was handed to John by the One who is the Life of the Bride. Hence, it is the Mighty Angel of the Covenant, Christ Himself in Angelic form, Who is dishing out the Truth, the Original Word of God, and the Revealed Word of Life for the hour to the Bride. Amen! The WORD OF GOD giving out the Word of God! He said: “Take it, and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.”
Yes, the Word of Life will provide a delightful spiritual manna of Revelation and Truth to the hungry Bride of Christ. It will give her a pleasant enlightenment as she receives It. But when It gets into the inner being of her soul and spirit where It is being digested and assimilated, she will feel totally unpleasant and uncomfortable. The reason is that once the Revealed Word is spiritually assimilated in her life it will bring about a complete work of perfection in her whole spiritual being. The Digested Word will automatically counteract every 'poisonous' thought, deed or belief within her. The purpose of the process is to restore the Bride to the original standing that she had held when she first started off on the Day of Pentecost.
The spirit of 'People's rights' is prevalent in this present age. Like the people of the world, Christians too are going their own separate ways. But the True Believers and Worshippers of God will follow God's Way, God's Leadership, even if it means having to swallow their 'self' pride. Since they have been led out of the man-made systems, by the voice of the Seventh Angel, and placed back into the WORD, they will now have to 'clean house' and get strictly in line with the WORD. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt.4:4). They should now literally live by this verse just as the Mighty Angel had told John to 'eat up the book'. That's right, eat the Whole BOOK!
However, who will be feeding the Bride of Christ with the Whole Word of God when the Seventh Church Age Messenger has already been called home?
The answer lies in the last verse of the third section of the second part of Revelation 10.
...and Her Ministry
As the Body of Christ, the Bride has a Ministry. John was told that he “must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”. This clearly shows that the Bride will manifest her ministry. John is a type of the Endtime Bride who has a True Ministry — the Ministry of the Ascension Gifts of Jesus Christ (Eph.4:1-16).
The statement of Revelation 10:11 is undoubtedly a dual prophecy. The scope of that statement is prophetically for our days though John probably did prophesy for a few years upon his release from exile.
The 'Ascension Gifts' Ministry is commonly called the Five-Fold Ministry. This ministry had not been able to achieve its purpose (as described by Paul in Ephesians 4:12-16) during the past Church Ages because the Church, having fallen deeply into error, had not been restored back to the Original Word. Of course, according to God's plan, it was not time yet for the restoration then. So, until the Church is restored to the Original Word the True Five-Fold Ministry will not be in full operation.
However, now that the Elect is called back to the Original Word, the perfecting of the True Church by the Five-Fold Ministry is now being fulfilled. Christ will perfect His Bride by the gifts He has set in the Body of True Believers.
Answering a question put forth to him during a meeting, Brother Branham said, “Would the Bride of Christ have a ministry before the Rapture? Sure. That's what's going on right now. Certainly! It is the Message of the hour. And the Bride of Christ consists of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers. Is that right? That's the Bride of Christ, she's got a ministry – a great ministry – the ministry of the hour. It'll be so humble…”
Putting the Pieces Together
Now that we have an understanding of each of the three sections of Revelation 10:5-11 we can piece them together with Revelation 10:1-4 and see the overall events that are taking place in this final hour of the closing age of Laodicea.
The Mighty Angel descending to earth is not the Rapture nor the Return of Christ on Mount Olivet but the Mysterious Coming of Christ in Spiritual (Word) form. By divine revelation, we have identified the Mighty Angel as the personification of Jesus Christ in Angelic form.
Again, let me emphasize: Revelation 10 is the MYSTERIOUS COMING of Christ in Angelic form. It is not Christ's return to Israel on Mount Olivet or His coming in the Rapture. The former teaching is based upon the wrong notion that the title 'Angel of the Covenant' relates only to Israel and never to the Gentiles. This teaching is not correct as we have already established. On the other hand, the latter teaching is based upon the 'fact' that the Seventh Seal is first seen opened in chapter 8 before Christ comes bodily for His Church in chapter 10. Both teachings are based on the wrong idea that the Seven Seals are opened in this age. The Truth is that the opening of the Seven Seals took place in Apostle John's days but the Revelation of the (opened) Seven Seals took place in our days. Remember, there is an opening, a revealing and a fulfilling of the Seals.
As I have also mentioned before, the Second Advent of Christ, like His First Advent, will take place within a given space of time. During this period the PRESENCE (Grk: PAROUSIA, sometimes translated as COMING) of CHRIST will be unfolded to the Chosen few as He comes in WORD FORM to make Himself known to them. This REVELATION (Grk: APOKALUPSIS) of CHRIST THE WORD to the Bride will precede His GLORIOUS PHYSICAL APPEARING (Grk: EPIPHANEIA) to meet her in the air. So, in His Second Advent, CHRIST would first DESCEND from Heaven to the Earth in Word (Spiritual) form as He was revealed in Angelic (Word) form in John's vision.
The DESCENT of the Mighty Angel from Heaven to the Earth involved a period of time. And, it was during this period that the SHOUT of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 was first uttered by the Seventh Church Age Messenger to call the Elect out of Satan's worldly and religious systems of deception, 'darkness' and 'bondage'. The SHOUT message is the first of the three phases in the Second Advent of Christ to earth. The other two are the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and the LAST TRUMP.
We have to look into what the late William Branham had said about the various phases of the Second Advent of Christ in order to understand the three-fold mystery that is in the Seventh Seal in relation to Revelation 10. The Seventh Seal deals with the Coming of Christ, and Revelation 10 forms a great part of the Seventh Seal. It deals with the Final Events which will transpire before the Gospel would be returned to the Jews. We shall now make a comparison of what the late William Branham had said with the revelation of the Apostle Paul, the First Church Age Messenger, as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 so that the whole picture can be viewed clearly and correctly.
The Three-Fold Mystery of the Seventh Seal
To the Endtime Message believers the Seventh Seal is commonly known as the 'Endtime Seal' or the 'End of Time Seal' because this is the seal which would bring about an end to all things. As with all the other Seals, this one also covers a period of time.
In his sermon on the 'The Seventh Seal' (see pages 557, 568, 575 and 576), Brother Branham said that this seal had a three-fold mystery, one of which was the mystery of the Seven Thunders. He compared this Seal with the Sixth, and referred to Matthew 24 where he quoted what Jesus said, concerning His Coming of which only God Himself knew, and said, “No wonder, it wasn't even written. You see, they hushed…nothing taken place then. Angels don't know it; NOBODY KNOWS WHEN HE'S COMING. BUT THERE'LL BE SEVEN VOICES OF THESE THUNDERS THAT WILL REVEAL THE GREAT REVELATION AT THAT TIME. So, I believe…if we don't know it, and it won't be known till that time. But it will be revealed in that day, in that hour that it's supposed to be revealed in. So, the thing for us to do is to be reverent before God and serve Him, and do all that we know how to do, and live good Christian lives.”
This is clearly what Brother William Branham had taught, that Revelation 10 deals with the Coming of Christ. The declaration of the Mighty Angel in the same chapter also points to His Coming. And the Seventh Seal is about His Coming.
In his first epistle to the Thessalonian believers, the Apostle Paul wrote that the Coming of Christ would be in three phases. He declared: “For the Lord Himself shall DESCEND from Heaven with a SHOUT, with THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and with THE TRUMP OF GOD…” (1 Thess.4:16). Simply, Christ shall descend from Heaven with A SHOUT to be followed by with THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL and with THE TRUMP OF GOD (or THE LAST TRUMP as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:52). After the sounding of THE LAST TRUMP, the bodies of both the dead and living saints will be transformed before they shall meet the Lord in the air.
Meditate upon this for awhile. If the VOICES of the Seven Thunders are a part of the three-fold mystery of the Seventh Seal, and if the SHOUT of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 is the message of the Seventh Church Age Messenger, while the LAST TRUMP of 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 is the bodily change of the dead and living saints just before the Rapture, then the Seventh Seal, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 must all be related to the same event — the Second Advent of Christ.
Therefore the three-fold mystery of the Seventh Seal is actually the three-fold mystery of the Coming of Christ for his Bride as revealed by Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. The mystery of the SHOUT, the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and the (LAST) TRUMP OF GOD in this passage of Scriptures will always remain a mystery to the nominal Christians who have always believed that Jesus will suddenly appear, without any warning, to give an angelic shout and a trumpeting sound, and take them to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. But the Bride knows that the Coming of Her Bridegroom covers a period of time (as in the Ancient Oriental Marriage Customs and Traditions), when the Word would first pave the way for the Bridegroom and prepare the Bride, to make her ready, for the Bridegroom to receive her in marriage. Then after a period of nuptial bliss, the Bridegroom would take His Wife to His Father's House for the Grand Wedding Feast. [Note: Each phase of Christ's Coming for His Bride is “with” a Spoken Word Ministry — “with a shout” – Ministry of the Seventh Church Age Messenger, calling the saints out of Babylonism; “with the voice of an archangel” – Ministry of the Ascension Gifts (Five-Fold Ministry), perfecting the saints in the Word; and “with the trump of God” – Ministry of the Seven Thunders, transforming the saints for the translation.]
Ancient Wedding Customs and Traditions
In order to have a clear picture of Christ's Second Advent, we must have an understanding of the Ancient Oriental Wedding Customs and Traditions. In Ancient Oriental Wedding, a Betrothal would normally precede the actual Wedding itself. After the Betrothal, a date would be fixed for the Marriage. The Wedding Ceremonies would vary depending on the distance between the homes of the couple. The Ancient Oriental Wedding was an elaborate affair which normally lasted for many days. It was usually conducted in three phases. The following is a brief description of a Marriage of a couple living far apart from each other.
i) On the appointed day the groom would put on his best garments and a beautiful headdress (not a crown) and set off from his home in a Wedding Procession led by the friend of the bridegroom. The procession, comprising musicians, friends and relatives, some bearing gifts and firebrands, would usually take place after sunset at EVENING TIME. The friend of the groom would arrive at the vicinity of the bride's home ahead of the procession, with a message, to herald the coming of the bridegroom. He would be carrying a firebrand (torch) as the surrounding would be in semi-darkness by then. Upon reaching the vicinity of the bride's home, he would announce the arrival of the bridegroom: “Behold! The bridegroom cometh! Come ye out to meet him!” Amidst the noise, gaiety and brightness (caused by the torches) of the procession behind him, his message declared the PRESENCE of the bridegroom. Even though the bridegroom might still be way back in the procession, his PRESENCE would inevitably be felt. The SHOUT of the forerunner was an announcement and a sign to the bride to get ready and be prepared to meet her beloved. By then, she should have been beautifully dressed up in the Wedding Garments provided by the bridegroom and be eagerly looking forward to the meeting.
ii) The Wedding would take place with a renewal of the Marriage vow. There would be much feasting and gaiety throughout the evening and night. Later in the night the couple would then be escorted to their Nuptial Chamber. Here, in the privacy of the chamber as well as in the 'canopy' of the groom's love, the bride, heavily veiled throughout the wedding ceremony, would be unveiled by her beloved. Intimacy between them would follow and end in physical union to consummate their marriage. In the process, the bride's virginity would be uncovered and a proof obtained. The Bride would then become the Wife. The Marriage Feast and Nuptial Love of the bridegroom and his bride-wife might continue for several days.
iii) After the Wedding and Nuptial Ceremonies, the groom would take his wife home to his father's house. They would be dressed up in Fine Linen. In the house of the groom's father, the Marriage of the couple would culminate in a Grand Wedding Feast.
Remember, the vision of the final events consists of the following:
the Mystery of the Marriage of the Lamb (2 Cor.11:2;
All these can be seen in the types of the Ancient Oriental Wedding Customs and Traditions.
The First Phase — The Shout
Now, the SHOUT is the message of the Seventh Church Age Messenger. Being the last of the Seven Messengers to the Grace Age, Brother Branham was also a Forerunner of Christ's Second Advent (Christ's Return) just as John the Baptist was a Forerunner of Christ's First Advent. The Second Advent of Christ consists of Christ's Coming to claim His Bride in Spiritual Marriage and His Physical Appearing in the 'Rapture' to take her home to his Father's House.
As a type of the Ancient Oriental Marriage Customs and Traditions, this Spiritual Marriage of the Lamb of God also takes place at the evening time. And, the time that we are living in is the 'evening time', not because it is the closing of the Grace Age but because these 'latter days' had been predestinated of God for Christ to come and take His Bride in Spiritual Marriage. [Note: 'Darkness' existed in every Church Age. Hence a STAR was sent to each age to light up the Way of Truth. But only in the Seventh Church Age do we have the 'evening time' setting. 'Evening time' and 'evening light' are necessary for the Wedding ceremonies to be conducted. And then the 'Morning Star' (Rev.22:16) will come dawning upon His Bride and take her in Wedlock.] The Prophet-Messenger, a Friend of the Bridegroom, was sent ahead of the Mighty Angel's descent to earth to meet His Bride. Notice that the Mighty Angel, as the Word-Groom, was seen wearing a beautiful 'seven-colored' wedding headdress rather than a crown of gold. (Read Song 3:11; Isa.61:10b.) As a STAR, Brother Branham was sent to pave the way. He carried an EVENING LIGHT message for the Bride to get her ready for the Marriage. (Read Psm.45:13-14; Jer.2:32.)
This herald of Christ's Coming in Angelic form took place during the years 1956 to 1963. It was about that period that the Voice of the Seventh Angel began to sound: “Behold! The Bridegroom cometh! Come ye out to meet Him!” The SHOUT of the VOICE of the Seventh Angel caused a stir among the churches. Practically everyone hushed to listen but only the Elect truly “hath an ear to hear what the Spirit saith to the churches”. The Truth set the Elect free. Their denominational shackles were broken and they walked out of the religious traditions and dogmas into the Original Word and Light of God. (This 'evening light' message is still ringing to gather in the last few staggering Elect.)
When the Seventh Church Age Messenger (Rev.3:14) proclaimed his Message, he was to achieve two things. Firstly, as the Endtime 'Elijah', his message was to turn the heart of the children of God to the faith of their Apostolic Fathers, according to Malachi 4:5-6. Secondly, as his ministry was placed in the period of the Coming of Christ (Rev.10:7), he was also given the REVELATION of the Seven Seals to show to the Endtime Bible believers so that they might be able to discern the time and the season that they were living in. These two things were done by Brother Branham. In so doing, he was proclaiming the Coming of Christ. He sounded the MIDNIGHT CRY (Matt.25:6). His message pointed to the Word-Groom's ARRIVAL and PRESENCE (Grk: PAROUSIA). The various supernatural signs and gifts marked His PRESENCE. His PRESENCE then brought the REVELATION (Grk: APOKALUPSIS) of THE WORD Itself. The times and seasons were made clear to the Elect.
When the members of the Bride came out of denominationalism to receive the WORD(-Groom) they also received many blessings and gifts from the Lord. Among them was the REVELATION of the Book which was sealed with Seven Seals. She was given the understanding of the REVELATION, even as the Seals of the Book were opened to the Beloved Apostle John. However, the Elect should not focus their attention on the “little book”. They should now cast their eyes steadfastly on the eminent MIGHTY ANGEL Who is their Beloved WORD-GROOM.
The Second Phase — The Voice of The Archangel
After the churches were indicted for rejecting the PRESENCE of the WORD, the Word-Groom and His Bride entered into the Spiritual Marriage. It took place approximately during the period 1963 to 1965. The Bride 'renewed' her vow to her Beloved. There was much feasting of the Spiritual Manna spread on the table of God. There were also much rejoicing and dancing in the Spirit of the Lord. Now, as long as the Friend of the Word-Groom was around, the GROOM and the BRIDE could not have any intimacy yet. The reason being that he was an 'important' person who was chosen as a Steward to ensure the proper conduct of the whole event. He was not only a Friend of the Groom, but also His Companion, His Messenger, and His 'Governor' of the wedding feast. And as 'Governor' of the feast his duty was to see to it that the guests were adequately provided with 'food and drinks'. All these were commissioned by his Master. (Read John 2.)
Having finished his work as a Steward of the WORD-GROOM, the Seventh Angel-Messenger's presence was no longer necessary. (He then left the scene.) Then the WORD-GROOM and His BRIDE entered into the Spiritual Nuptial Chamber of the WORD OF GOD. They have been in there since around 1966.
Since then the Bride-Wife has gradually become mellowed. However, it will be many more days before she finally makes herself ready to be a WIFE. And as long as the Marriage upon this earthly home of the Bride-Wife lasts, as predestinated by the Groom's Father, the Spiritual Nuptials (feasting and love-making) will continue. (Read Gen.29:27; Jdg.14:12.)
The Nuptial (Marriage) Chamber in Hebrew is called CHUPPAH. It means 'COVERING, PROTECTION and DEFENCE' (cf. Matt.23:37; Phil. 1:3-21; Eph.6:17), and represents the BRINGING HOME OF THE BRIDE. It is the HOME of the Word-Groom. And THE ORIGINAL WORD is the 'CHUPPAH' OF GOD. The Word-Groom takes His Bride into It and she is safe for what It provides. It is in here that the Bride (the True Church) is identified as the Word-Groom turns on the (SON)LIGHT of the FULL REVELATION of Himself. And the Invisible Union of the Heavenly Bridegroom and the Earthly Bride begins. (Read Gen.29:21-25; Deut.22:13-21; Matt.25:10.)
The VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL is the VOICE of our BELOVED. He is now speaking to the Bride! And whatever goes on in the 'Chuppah' of God between the Word-Groom and His Word-Bride is hidden from the eyes of the world.
Notice. WITHIN the 'CHUPPAH' OF GOD the BRIDE is being mellowed by the SON-LIGHT (Morning Star or Daystar). She is locked in deep Spiritual Embrace with her Beloved in her new relationship with Him as His WIFE. Consider the words of this song:
And on the OUTSIDE, the EVENING LIGHT is still brightly lit as a flurry of activity continues.
Pause for a moment here. Do you recognize the significance of the activities that are taking place now? If you are a member of the Bride of Christ, where are you now in the final events? Are you now inside the 'Chuppah' of God being mellowed by the SON-LIGHT, or are you still outside the 'Chuppah' and clinging on to the EVENING LIGHT (with all the blessed events and things that had accompanied it)? In this hour of time, are you standing upon the WORD and walking in the SON-LIGHT of God, or are you standing upon the words of a man, an organization or a church? Has the DAYSTAR arisen in your heart, or are you still in the EVENING LIGHT, away from the 'Chuppah' and feeding upon the words of the historical Evening Time Messenger, William M. Branham, and trying to figure out what he had said as you mess around with his sermon tapes and books? (Read and ponder what John the Baptist said in John 3:27-36.)
Yes, this is the EVENING TIME. This is the Laodicean Age. But the Bride is not in it. She is not in that realm. She has been lifted up into another dimension which is parallel to the Laodicean Age. She is in the Token or the Eagle realm. It is a dimension where the BRIGHT AND MORNING (DAY-)STAR shines ever so brightly for the Bride. The SON has arisen in her heart. The FULL LIGHT is in the 'Chuppah' of God to mellow and perfect her. The VOICE of the ARCHANGEL (Strong Angel, Chief Angel, Mighty Angel) is the VOICE of the Word-Groom to the Bride. He is the ONLY ONE Whose FACE the Bride is NOW BEHOLDING! As the ARCHANGEL of the COVENANT His VOICE (WORD) is sounded through His Own Ascension Gifts (Eph.4) which He has given to certain members of His Bride. Hence, the Bride is not just eating THE WORD to enjoy Its sweetness in her mouth, she is also willing to accept Its bitterness in her belly to be perfected. She, too, has a Ministry. Amen. Her Ministry is to declare the Truth to the world, both in words and in deeds. Both the Bride and the Ministry are one. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
The Third Phase — The Last Trump of God
When this prophecy comes to pass, the Earthly Bride-Wife will have gone through the stage of being a true Wife to her Husband.
There is clearly a difference between a bride and a wife. However, in the Ancient Oriental Marriage Customs and Traditions, when a bride had made herself ready as a wife, she would be given A CHANGE of dress made of Fine Linen. Then she would be taken to the house of her husband's father to be presented as WIFE of the man who would also be dressed in fine linen. She would then sit as a 'queen' next to her 'king' at the head of the supper table. (Read Esther 2.) [Note: This is very similar to another custom in which a male child has to be tutored and trained before his father would accept and positionally place him as a son before the people.]
“The WIFE hath made herself ready” for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! Yes, without a doubt, the Word-Bride of Christ must now make herself ready. In the 'CHUPPAH' of God and in the PRESENCE of the Word-Groom she must now strip off all the carnal ideas and man-made garments which are still with her. She must submit herself completely to the desires of the Word-Groom as her Husband, in order to be perfected and be presented as WIFE at the HOME of the Groom's Father. The secret of that home-going will be made known to her here when the LAST TRUMP of God takes place. It will be the final phase of the Seventh Seal. “Then there is coming forth seven mysterious thunders that are not even written at all! That's right! And I believe that through those seven thunders will be revealed in the last days in order to get the bride together for rapturing faith; because what we got right now, we wouldn't be able to do it. There is something that has got to step forward for we can't have enough faith for divine healing hardly. We have got to have enough faith to be changed in a moment to be swept up out of this earth, and we will find that after awhile, the Lord willing, find where it is written.” [The First Seal, pg.128].
The Seven Thunders will appear on the scene and utter their voices. Although the voices will be heard around the world only the members of the Bride-Wife will have the ears to hear what the voices shall utter. The Bride-Wife will receive a revival in the power of the Word of God in the Last Trump. Brother Branham said, “Wait 'til them seven thunders utter their voices to that group who really can take the Word of God and hand it there!” [The Fourth Seal, pg.304]. It is during this short period of revival that the members of the Body of Christ will receive their rapturing faith. They will have a change in the body. They will receive complete healing and they will be made whole physically before the translation takes place.
Yes, the REVELATION of the VOICES of the Seven Thunders will be a secret to the world but it will be known to the Bride-Wife who will have made herself ready for her CHANGE by then. It will be around the time just before the Word-Groom shall appear in all His Beauty, Power, and Great Glory in the air and say, “Arise, My Love, My Fair One, Come away! Come up hither, and let us return to My Father's House!”
Then shall come the CHANGE, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor.15:52-53). Amen. “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev.19:8). The Word-Wife of the Word-Husband will be changed and be dressed in Fine Linen, Clean and White, to testify of her righteousness in her Husband. And He will bring her to His Father's House to receive her reward (Rom.14:10-12; 1 Cor.3:8,14; 2 Cor.5:10). With a Crown of Life upon her head she will sit as a Wife and Queen beside her Husband and King, the Lamb of God, at the head of the Final Grand Marriage Supper Table in the presence of the holy angels. The Marriage of the Lamb will culminate in this great event.
When this grand final event takes place in Heaven, the Gospel of Christ will be 'off the mercy seat' for the Gentiles on the earth. It will be returned to the Jews through Two Witnesses whom God will send (Rev.11; Zech.4:2-3,10-14).
[Note: According to the parable of Jesus, in Matthew 25:1-13, there are “foolish virgins”. They are foolish because they lack the common sense perception of what they should do as they yearn for the arrival of the bridegroom. Their failure in not carrying oil in their vessels, except in their lamps, testifies of their imprudent ordering of their lives in regard to something as important as meeting the bridegroom. Is this not the condition of the Christians today? No, I am not talking about the Ecumenists, Modernists, Hollywood Evangelicals, 'Jezebels', etc., but those who claim to be born again and those who claim to believe in the Endtime Message. What is their perception of the reality of things spiritual? Are not their reckless and inconsiderate habit of mind to the Truth manifesting the folly of their lives as 'virgins' in regard to their faith? Are they not truly foolish?
Friend, what about you? If you fail to enter into the Marriage of the Lamb now, like the “foolish virgins”, one of these days you too will find it too late when the 'door' is shut. And you will find yourself cast into the “outer darkness” of the Great Tribulation that will soon come upon this world.]
Utopia and New Heaven and New Earth
After the Great Tribulation, Christ and His Saints will return to earth. They will come riding on white horses. They will mete out vengeance upon the wicked and judge the world (Zech.14:4; Rev.19: 11-18; 20:4). Then the earth will be cleansed of all sins and wickedness as God brings about a restoration of the earth to its Edenic condition. It will be like an Utopian World (Isa.65:18-25). This age is known as the Age of Regeneration (Matt.19:28), an age in which Christ and His Wife will reign over the earth. And the long awaited event — the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD — will be fulfilled in this age. All the members of the Bride will be manifested as sons and daughters of God (Rom.8:18-23). They will all be positionally placed by God Who, in His Infinite Power and Knowledge, has predestinated according to His Own Will and good pleasure before the foundation of the world (Eph.1:3-14).
Beloved, whatever we have potentially right now — as sons and daughters of God — shall become a reality. Spiritually, we are right now having a foretaste of the reality of that age when our true ADOPTION will be declared. And that Age of Regeneration will be a preliminary stage of the TRUE STATE OF UTOPIA when this present earth and the heavens around it will be burned up to be replaced by a New Heaven and New Earth in a re-creation (2 Pet.3:10-13).
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation…” (2 Pet.3:14-15a). Amen.
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Revelation 10: The Vision [Chart] The Book of Revelation Chapter List