THE SIXTH TRUMPET IS SOUNDED, PART 3
Rev 10:4-7 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.
Continuing the vision revealed to John, we learn of the prophetic opposition that would come from the seven thunders – voices emanating from the seven hills of Rome. These loud roaring voices would come denouncing the New Testament doctrine that was to come when the little book was opened. Who were these “seven thunders,” and where did they receive their authority, and the doctrine they were to speak? Again, historians writing in this era, give us the answer to its fulfillment. It is well known that the city of Rome was built on seven hills. Pope Fabian, in the year 250 A.D., sent out “seven bishops” from the seven hills of Rome to preach the gospel of the Catholic faith to the world. In a like manner these ecclesiastical seven thunders, which represented the papal power of the Roman Catholic Church, would again issue their opposing anathemas, upholding their prohibition of public reading and interpretation of the bible.
“Thunders” have always carried the prophetic meaning of apostate, blasphemous voices of opposition to New Testament doctrine of God. It is well known, historically, that the Reformation – the universal revealing of the New Testament, brought forth the loudest voices of opposition from the Roman Catholic papal leaders. When the mighty angel, who was holding the opened little book, ...cried with a loud voice, revealing the word of God, …the seven thunders …uttered their voices of opposition. The lesson text assures us that the apostle John heard everything these thunderous voices uttered and was about to reveal them in his writing. However, at that moment John said that he heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. A heavenly command required John to seal up, and not reveal what they said in his writings. A definitive reason for this command is not given here, can only be insinuated to a certain degree, and still remains given to much debate.
This we are assured from historical writers: allowing the Word of God to be freely distributed and read by “common” people resulted in a thunderous denunciation by the Vatican. Within the tenets of Catholicism, the Pope is said to be the vicar, or earthly representative, of Christ, and is regarded by those of the Catholic faith to be the voice of God. Therefore it is understandable that Catholics believed any utterance by the Pope would be considered a commandment from God, and to those of that faith, it would be considered an authoritative validation of the Catholic doctrine. Certainly it was not God’s desire for John to reveal this erring message delivered by the seven thunders of Rome, and possibly persuade those having little spiritual knowledge to think their erring message had been ordained by God, and came directly from Him.
Referencing the final three verses of the lesson text we are assured that the time left is very short until the seventh angel was to sound his trumpet of revelation. Before this would take, place the period of Reformation is prophesied to occur, which will restore God’s word, the “little book,” to the world. The restrictions of access to the bible, and the thunderous voices of persecution by the Roman Catholic Church will be met, defeated, and the suffering inflicted on the church of Christ would soon end. The mighty angel, who had in his hand a little book open (Vs. 2), while standing upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven in obedient reverence to God – our God that liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein. Also, this important statement is made: there should be time no longer. Here, the end of time is not meant. Rather it was to be the time when the thunderous voice of Catholicism would be silenced, if for only a season. The things prophesied at the sounding of the sixth trumpet will begin, and be completed, at the sounding of the trumpet of the seventh angel, when the mystery of God will be completely made known.