Cloud Robed Angel
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42. Cloud Robed Angel
Revelation 10.1-7

"Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was cloud-robed, with a rainbow above his head. His face was like the sun, and his legs like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like a lion's roar. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. And when they sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a heavenly voice say, 'Seal up what the seven thunders said and do not write it down.' Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and the land raised his right hand heavenward. And he swore by him who lives forever who created the heavens, earth, sea, and all that is in them. He said, 'There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, God's mystery will be accomplished, just as he announced to his prophet servants.'" (Revelation 10.1-7)✞

Sixth and Seventh Trumpets

Cloud Robed AngelThis passage is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpet blasts. The sixth trumpet sounds in Revelation 9.13, and the seventh occurs later in Revelation 11.15. Terrible things happen between them. The description of the mighty cloud-robed angel with a rainbow above his head in this passage indicates that he comes straight from Almighty God and the risen Christ's presence. The clouds, which are God's chariots, robe him, for according to Psalm 104.3b, "God makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wind's wings."

Angel's Face Shines

Mighty AngelThe light from the angel's face may cause the rainbow to shine through the cloud. Like white light passing through a prism, it splits into the rainbow's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet colors. The angel's face is radiant like Jesus' Transfiguration face. The rainbow is part of God's glorious throne from which the angel comes. Ezekiel 1.28a says, "As the rainbow's appearance in the rainy day clouds, so was the radiance around him. It was the appearance of the glorious Lord's likeness."

The Angel Roar

Open scrollThe cloud-robed angel, with a rainbow over his head, comes from heaven. When he shouts, the seven thunders sound. The angel's voice is like a lion's roar. In Joel 3.16a, we read, "the Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem.". Some think that this angel is none other than the glorified Christ himself, coming from God's very presence. The angel has "one foot on the sea and one on the land." In his hand, he holds a little open scroll. The word "scroll" comes from the old French "escroe," meaning "a deed, or a bond." Events written down in the manuscript are about to happen. Here the angel gives John of Patmos a restricted revelation. The seven thunders sound when the angel speaks. The "thunders" most likely refer to God's voice, as in Psalm 29.3, "The Lord's voice is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters."

Mighty Heavenly Angel

Angel StatueThe mighty heavenly angel raises his right hand heavenward and announces no more delays. He comes to affirm the earth's final judgment. Dr. William Barclay (1907-1978), an eminent Bible scholar, writes, "Clearly this angel has come from God's very presence." He sets his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, for his words deal with all creation. A cloud wraps this mighty angel. John seems to be on earth, for he sees the angel coming down from heaven. Angels also appeared as Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1.9-11, "After Jesus said this, he arose before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. Suddenly, two white-clothed men stand beside them as they look intently up into the sky as he rises. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has raised from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go.'"

End of Time

Clock Showing TimeThe mighty angel, maybe referring to an Archangel like Gabriel, now makes an announcement and swears it with an oath. This announcement, "There will be no more delay!" may mean "time shall be no more." That is to say, time as we know it is at an end, and eternity begins. It is more likely that the meaning is "there is no time left" and that there will be no further delay. The Antichrist, a concentrated evil figure, is about to burst upon the scene in all his destructive terror.

Human History's Purpose

AntichristHeaven's angel reveals to John of Patmos what tomorrow holds and how the future will unfold. When the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, "God's mystery will be accomplished." God will reveal the whole purpose of human history. Much in life is difficult to understand, and wickedness seems to hold sway, but as John of Patmos sees it, there will be a reckoning at the end. God's angel army and the Antichrist, with his forces, will face each other. When God settles the final, total victory, he will answer all questions, right wrongs, and solve great mysteries. Beyond all the seemingly strange word pictures, history moves towards God's inevitable triumph over evil. Though sin may temporarily flourish, it cannot triumph. God will then reveal his mysteries.✞

What Tomorrow Holds

Road to Life's DestinySome people would love to know what tomorrow holds. They think that if they could see their future, they might feel better about their present circumstances. They may believe they are destined to a particular course of events, to inherit a fortune, marry a beautiful wife, or a handsome husband. They imagine a crack in heaven and the all-knowing God somehow leaking out information. Wiser people understand, however, that events will only appear when God chooses to reveal them. I do not believe we would be any happier knowing our future, but quite the opposite!✞

God's Plan

Lazarus and DivesIn the story of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man Dives, Jesus' words clearly describe the impenetrable gulf fixed between them in heaven and earth. Luke 16.22-26 tells us, "The time came when the beggar died, and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where Dives was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip his fingertip in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.' But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that you received your good things in your lifetime, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, there is a huge barrier between you and us. So that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" As in the Lazarus and Dives story, Jesus makes it clear that "between you and us has been fixed a great chasm." Many people want to know the future and have a misplaced and dangerous fascination with fortune-telling, horoscopes, ouija boards, and tarot cards. Far from being harmless, these things are Satan's way of leading people away from God and eventually destroying them. God only reveals the future in his Word. God then prevents John of Patmos from recording some future details. In Revelation 10.4, we read, "And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a heavenly voice say, 'Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.'"

A Time Machine

Time MachineGod's plan is predetermined. Ephesians 1.11 reads, "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to his plan working out everything in conformity with his will's purpose." "You also were included in Christ when you heard the true message, your salvation gospel. When you believed, God marked you in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. He is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession to his glorious praise." The phrase "chosen" may also mean "made heirs." God's plan will eventually reveal everything but not just yet. God has told us all we need to know to live for him today. In our desire to be ready for the end, we must not overly speculate about the last days rather than living for God in the present. The scriptures reveal God's plan for all human history's completion. At that time, prophecy will all finish. The end of the age will have arrived.

"What is a cloud-robed angel?"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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