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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

Do You Know When the Time of Rapture Is?


< Revelation 10:1-11 >

"I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, 'Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.' The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, 'Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.' So I went to the angel and said to him, 'Give me the little book.' And he said to me, 'Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.' Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, 'You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.'"



Exegesis

The highlight of this chapter is found in verse 7: "but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets." Rapture, in other words, will happen at this time.


Verse 1: I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

The mighty angel that appears in chapter 10 is God's executor who bears witness to His works to come. The appearance of this angel is to show just how great God's majesty and power are. It is also to show that God will destroy the seas of this world, and resurrect and rapture the saints up to heaven.


Verse 2-3: He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.

God does all things according to His plans. He will destroy both the land and the sea when the last day comes. Our Lord, in other words, will destroy the first sea and the first land.

This passage shows God's indomitable will to fulfill all things as He has planned, and the completion of His works. In the Bible, the number seven carries the meaning of completion. God used this number when He completed all His works and rested. Likewise, this passage tells us that God will, in the end times, deliver many from their destruction, but destroy this world for sure, on the other hand.


Verse 4: Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."

God commanded John not to record what the seven thunders uttered, to hide the rapture of the saints from the unsaved. At times, God hides His works from the unbelievers, because they, as the enemies of God, hates and persecutes His saints.

In Noah's time also, when God destroyed the world with water, He revealed the coming flood only to Noah. Even as now, God preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all over the world, and gives the Kingdom of Heaven to those who believe in it. But apart from these who have the true faith, He has not revealed to anyone else when the rapture is coming. For the righteous, God has created a new world in His Kingdom, and He desires to live in it with them.


Verse 5-6: The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,

All these things can be sworn by the name of God, as the last vow in everything is taken not by one's own name, but by the name of someone greater. As such, God is the last guarantor for both the saints of the last times and all those who have already become His saints.

Here, the mighty angel swears by the Almighty that the rapture will come for certainty. This vow tells us that God will create the New Heaven and Earth and live with His saints in this new world. It shows that God does not delay His creation of the new world, but will shortly complete it for His saints.


Verse 7: but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

This verse tells us that when the last seventh trumpet sounds in the final tribulations, all the saints will be raptured. What people on this earth wonder the most is when the rapture of the saints will come.

Revelation 10:7 tells us, "but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets." What does the phrase "the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets" mean here? It means that just as the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true gospel, and as whoever believes in it receives atonement and the Holy Spirit into his/her heart, the rapture of the saints will likewise surely come when the seventh trumpet sounds.

After the plague of the sixth of the seven trumpets is over, the saints will be martyred as the Antichrist, having made his appearance in the world and established his dominion over it, demands everyone to receive the mark of the Beast. Shortly after, when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, both the martyred and the surviving saints who defended their faith will be resurrected and raptured simultaneously. Then the plagues of the seven bowls, the last plague on the mankind, will begin. By this time, the saints would no longer be on the earth, but in heaven with the Lord after their rapture. The saints must know that their rapture will happen when the seventh angel sounds the last trumpet.

The Apostle Paul, too, tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4 that the Lord will descend from heaven with the trumpet of an archangel. Many Christians think that the Lord will come down to this earth when the rapture happens, but this is not the case. When the rapture happens, our Lord does not come down onto this earth, but to the air. He completes the rapture, in other words, by lifting the saints up to and receiving them in the air.

As such, these Christians who mistakenly think that the Lord would come down to this earth when the rapture of the true saints comes should discard their wrong understanding, and they should know the truth and believe in it properly by remembering that the rapture of the saints will come when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

"The mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets." You must realize that the mystery of God here refers to the rapture of the saints that will come with the sounding of the plague of the seventh trumpet. Now, in short, God destroys the first world, and founds the second world. This is for God to dwell and live with those who, while on this earth, have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and also to faithfully fulfill all the promises that the Almighty has made to His people. This is the will of God, the Creator of the whole universe, which He set in Himself for the saints.

When the angel sounds the seventh trumpet, the plagues of the seven trumpets will be over, and the final plagues of the seven bowls will be ushered in. The Word tells us, "in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets." The mystery of God here is that the saints will be raptured with the sounding of the seventh angel's trumpet.

The saints are now living on this earth, but for them to live in a new, better world, they must be martyred, resurrected, and raptured. Only then will they be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb with the Lord and reign with Him for a thousand years. After this millennium, the Antichrist, Satan, and all his followers will receive the eternal judgment of God. And from then on, the saints will be blessed to live with the Lord in His Heaven of eternal blessings. This is the mystery of God. We can only thank God for having revealed this mystery to those of us who have the true faith. God tells us that He will fulfill all these promises when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.


Verse 8: Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth."

God tells us that the saints and the servants of God must continue to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit until the last day comes. This gospel is about the truth of the remission of sins, martyrdom, resurrection, rapture, and the marriage supper of the Lamb. For the saints and God's servants to preach the gospel until the end, they must first feed on the Word of God with their faith before the advent of the Great Tribulation. God demands two kinds of faith from us. The first is the faith to be born again, and the second is the faith to embrace martyrdom to defend our true faith.


Verse 9: So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."

The saints and the servants of God must first feed on the Word of God and then spread it to many others. This verse teaches us that although the hearts of those who believe in the Word of God are sweetened, preaching this Word of faith to the lost souls is not such an easy task, accompanied by sacrifices. This is what God is showing us here.


Verse 10: Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.

When John ate the Word of God in faith, his heart was filled with joy. But in preaching the truth testified by the Word of God to those who do not believe in the truth, John faced many hardships.


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Verse 11: And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

The saints must prophesy again to everyone that God's blessings come through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They must prophesy again that the purpose of our Lord for this world in the end times is for everyone to come into God's blessings by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What God commanded John to prophesy is to preach the Word of truth—that a new world is coming soon, brought by God, and that whoever wants to enter it must be justified by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For this work, the saints and the servants of God must preach the Word of God from the beginning all over again, so that everyone in this world will have the faith that will allow them to enter and live in the Kingdom of our Lord.

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