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, which lay 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 the seven thunders 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 to heaven. And he swore by him who lives forever and ever who created the heavens, the earth, the 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, the God's mystery will be accomplished, just as he announced to his prophet servants.'" (Revelation 10.1-7)✞

Cloud Robed Angels

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

Angel's Face

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 red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet colors of the rainbow. The angel's face is radiant like Jesus' face on the Transfiguration Mount. The rainbow is part of the throne of God's glory 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 glory of the Lord's likeness."

Seven Thunders Sound

Open scrollThe cloud robed angel, with a rainbow above 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, unrolled open scroll. The word "scroll" comes from the old French "escroe" as "Money, property, a deed, or a bond." Here, God's angel, or perhaps Jesus himself, steps forward with a little scroll open in his hand. Events written down in the manuscript are about to happen. Here the angel is giving John of Patmos a small revelation about a short period. 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 or archangel raises his right hand to heaven and announces no more delays. A mighty angel appears and 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 appear as Jesus ascends 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 men in white stand beside them as they look intently up into the sky as he was rising. '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 into heaven.'"

No More Time

Clock Showing TimeThe mighty angel, maybe referring to an Archangel like Gabriel, now makes an announcement and swears it with an oath. Sometimes 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 ended, and eternity begins. It is more likely that the meaning here 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.

Purpose of Human History

AntichristHeaven's angel reveals to John of Patmos what tomorrow holds and how God's mystery reveals itself. When the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, "God's mystery will be accomplished." God's whole purpose in human history will unfold. Much in life is difficult to understand, and wickedness seems to hold sway, but as John of Patmos sees it, there will be a showdown. 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 strange word pictures, history moves towards God's inevitable triumph of good over evil and that, 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 for them. They think that if they could see their future, they might feel better about their present circumstances. They may believe they are destined or predetermined to a particular course of events, to inherit a fortune or marry a beautiful wife or 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 for knowing our futures, but quite the opposite!✞

God's Plan Revealed

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 he (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, between you and us, a great chasm has been set in place. So that those who want to go from here to you cannot. Nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" Many people want to know the future and have a misplaced and dangerous fascination with fortune-telling, horoscopes, tea leaf reading, ouija boards, and tarot cards. As in the Lazarus and Dives story, Jesus makes it clear that "between you and us has been fixed a great chasm." Far from being harmless, these things originate with Satan leading people away from God and eventually destroying them. Wikipedia explains, "A séance or seance is an attempt to communicate with spirits." God only reveals what will happen in the future in the Word of God. God prevented 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 voice from heaven say, 'Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.'"

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 which works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. So that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for his glorious praise. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, your salvation gospel. When you believed, you were marked 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 emphasize speculation 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.

"Cloud Robed Angel"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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