Mystery of God Finished
Notes on Revelation 10:7
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Note 10:7a
Time frame for finishing the mystery

   "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." (Rev. 10:7)

   We noted in Rev. 10:6 1006 that the mighty angel proclaimed that time would be "no longer" (as accurately translated). We connected this with the announcement of specific periods of time in the last chapter of Daniel. These were the 1260 days (3½ times), the 1290 days, and the 1335 days. In the final verse the prophet was told that he would stand in his lot at the end of the days. This point in time would come with the termination of the last of the three time periods in Daniel's book. I explained how I saw the 1260 and the 1290 ending in 1798 and the 1335 ending in 1843-44. See the time-line chart.
   That connection was reinforced by the identification of the mighty angel which John saw, as the man in linen described by Daniel and also by seeing that the solemn oath of the mighty angel holding the opened little book matches the earlier oath at the sealing of Daniel's book when he wanted to understand.
   Am I bending the facts to come up with 1844? The 2300 days of years of Dan. 8:14 end in 1844, based on 457 B.C. as a beginning point da0923. Other beginning dates are proposed but the only the decree of 457 provided for both building and restoring the government of Jerusalem. The government restoration idea is reinforced by the "street" or plaza being built. This was the place in the city where the leaders assembled for making the rules and for judgment.
 

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  (Dan. 9:25)

   Alternative interpretations hold that all these "days" are literal. A number of reasons argue against that idea. Here, a close look at our passage in Revelation shows the time of the opened book as near the climax of history, not some date centuries before the first advent of Christ or related to a rapture. Let's look at the passage:

   "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." (Rev. 10:5-7)

The mystery
   The finishing of the mystery of God is thus what happens as "time" ends. So what is "the mystery of God"? Read about how Paul describes it beginning at co0125.
   In a sense the mystery is the gospel. Specifically, it is the marvel of Christ working in us enabling us to reflect the glory of God. The "Gentiles" see God's glory by seeing Christ in us. God's glory is the holiness of His character ex3318. In 1ti0316, Paul uses the term, "the mystery of godliness." Without Christ we are hopelessly lost in sin. We cannot perfect our own characters. Only by the spirit of Christ working in us (Rom. 8) can we be godly godlike. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ph0413, cf. Jude24. This is the glorious mystery: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Let's look at verse 7 again:
   "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." (Rev. 10:7)

Finishing the mystery
   The beginning of the sound would be just before the full sound. When is the sounding of the seventh trumpet?
   "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)

   So the mystery of God is finished just before Christ comes as king and overthrows the reign of evil. We see this finishing work in the sealing of the 144,000 0704 who will stand before the throne of God singing the song of the redeemed 1401-3. It is the finishing work of the atonement represented in the sanctuary service le1630. It is the demonstration of Christ's power to present to Himself a people without spot or wrinkle ep0525ff, da0713f.
   So in the larger context of our chapter, the bitter book experience comes during this final time, the time of the end. Let's look at our verse again and notice its last clause.

How we know this finishing happens when God is doing something big
   "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." (Rev. 10:7)
   The words "his servants the prophets" are drawn from a significant statement in the book of Amos: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" am0307.
   So the situation with the mighty angel and the little book involves a time when the Lord will do something significant relating to humanity. And if He always tells his prophets, they tell us. The phrase, "days of the voice of the seventh angel," indicates a period of time a finishing time in revealing the mystery. I believe that finishing work began in 1844, but there's lots more evidence than the connection with the "end of the days."

May we each be among those whom Christ prepares to be without spot or wrinkle,

Note 10:7b
Special finishing work a unique experience

   Would you like to learn about how God finishes the mystery? We will see how the process relates to Christ and His bride and how it happens before the final trumpet call. This has been an exciting topic for me to study, and I believe you will find it rewarding, too. Pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance.
   "but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, whenever he is about to trumpet, was even ended the mystery of God, as He preached to His slaves, the prophets."  (Rev. 10:7, Green's Literal Translation)

   In the finishing of the mystery, we have an interesting situation which is not really understood by most Christians. The finishing work happens before the return of Christ. Of course, people coming to Christ ever since the fall have needed to have their hearts opened to the working of the Lord. They have needed to surrender self on the altar of sacrifice. It has always been essential to remember that ". . . he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Phil. 1:6). The beginning is forgiveness or justification. The finishing is cleansing changing our behavior.
   In a special way, however, the righteous ones living just before Jesus comes have a unique experience of preparation. We saw this difference in comparing the 144,000 with the great multitude 0709b.
   Notice in Rev. 12:12, that the devil has come down with wrath knowing that his time is short. Reading on we find him persecuting the woman (the faithful people of God in the symbolism of Eve and Mary). The woman flees to escape persecution. Then at the end of the chapter we find, not the woman, but the remainder of her faithful offspring . It is this group, the end-time remnant, who will be the object of the full wrath of Satan. Their faithfulness represents the full grace of the One able to "save to the uttermost." They are the sealed ones of chapter 7 who become ready before the winds of strife are allowed to blow on the earth. In other words, this finishing of the mystery is a special preparation and a certification, but I'm rushing ahead. Let's read the passage in chapter 12, then look at some other pictures of the same end-time event.

   "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. . . .  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:12, 13, 17)

Note 10:7c
Like being ready for the wedding

   Do you remember Jesus' story of the king who prepared a wedding feast? Let's read it noticing the selection process.

   "The kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man, a king, who made a wedding feast for his son.  And he sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, but they did not desire to come.  Again, he sent other slaves, saying, Tell the ones invited, Behold, I have prepared my supper; my oxen, and the fatlings are killed, and all things ready; come to the wedding feast.  But not caring they went away, one to his own field, and one to his trading.  And the rest, seizing his slaves, insulted and killed them.
  "And hearing, the king became angry. And sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers and burned their city.  Then he said to his slaves, Indeed, the wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  Then go onto the exits of the highways and call to the wedding feast as many as you may find.  And going out into the highways, those slaves gathered all, as many as they found, both evil and good. And the wedding feast was filled with reclining guests.
   "And the king coming in to look over those reclining [at table], he saw a man there not having been dressed in a wedding garment.  And he said to him, Friend, how did you come in here, not having a wedding garment? But he was speechless.  Then the king said to the servants, Binding his feet and hands, take him away and throw him out into the outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of the teeth.  For many are called, but few chosen."  (Matt. 22:2-14, Young's Literal Translation)

   This story must have made an impact on Jesus' immediate audience Jewish leaders who had rejected His invitation and were plotting to kill Him. But it also reveals principles of the kingdom of heaven which help us understand the finishing of the mystery.

   Notice the selection process:
      (a) Those who had been invited [the chosen Jewish nation] refused and mistreated the king's slaves. The murderers were destroyed and their city was set on fire.
      (b) The call was made to everyone (the Gentiles); and many of them came.
      (c) The king then entered the filled room to look over the guests (a time of inspection or judgment before the wedding began).
      (d) He found a man without a wedding garment (the robe of Christ's righteousness).
      (e) He asked why, and the man was speechless (Had the garment not been made available the man would have had an excuse).
      (f) The man was consigned to outer darkness (the second death no resurrection to eternal life).
      (Conclusion) Many are called but few chosen. Many accept the invitation, but only a few of them put on the garment of Christ's righteous life.

   Did you notice the inspection time just before the wedding feast? At the end of the preadvent judgment, the seventh trumpet angel sounds!  The last seal of Satan is broken and the righteous are found to have been sealed by God (7:3, 4).  Then God's work of making sinners righteous is seen.  The distinction between righteous and wicked is revealed mal0317f!  The mystery of godliness is finished!

The garment
   We should take a moment to clarify why the garment would have been Christ's righteousness. In the story, He was the one getting married the one the guests at the wedding feast were to honor (Rev. 21:1, 2, 9, 10). Jesus drew the garment idea from an Old Testament passage:
   "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness." (Isa. 61:10)

   We have looked closely at this story to see two things that happen before the wedding feast: the guests are prepared by putting on the garment, and they are inspected or judged. The judgment is not God's way of keeping us out of heaven, but only His acknowledgment of whether or not we have accepted the preparation He provides.

The story's interesting source
    The parable in this commentary is at Matt. 22 (as well as above). You can read a few comments there. More interesting is the source. Jesus often drew on the Old Testament in telling His stories. This one is based on a prophecy of Zephaniah. See the comparison chart at the bottom of chapter 1 zp01-mt22-chart.

Let's look at the same wedding and preadvent judgment in Rev. 19.
   "may we rejoice and exult, and give the glory to Him, because come did the marriage of the Lamb, and his wife did make herself ready; and there was given to her that she may be arrayed with fine linen, pure and shining, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." (Rev. 19:7, 8, Young's Literal Translation) 1907.

   In the story of the wedding garment, we saw people making individual choices. Here we see the united righteous people in the symbol of the bride. Notice a few things:
She got herself ready. I have heard the expression, "Let go, and let God." We need to allow God to work in us, but we have a responsibility our work grows out of our faith. We need to "let God" but the idea of letting go seems to give the wrong message. We must persevere in His strength. (Matt. 24:13).
"It was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen." (KJV) or in another translation, "it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen." (NASB). Ah, her salvation is not by her works. The wedding dress is a gift. And what does the dress represent?
"for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
Also notice that before the marriage, (1) the bride had made herself ready (by accepting and applying strength from God). (2) She was then granted to wear the white linen.
She represents the holy ones distinguished by their righteous behavior. A pattern of behavior is character. In giving us His robe of righteousness, Christ gives us His own character!
   Thus we have preparation through the grace of Christ and certification (or judgment). All this in the bride who is ready, but not yet married.

Bringing all this back to our verse in chapter 10.
   "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished. . . ." (Rev. 10:7)
 

   The mystery of Godliness will be revealed as God's end-time people face the fiercest trials of their faith and yet remain true. This experience comes during the time of the end. It is the cleansing work (Lev. 16:30) of the preadvent judgment.

   During the time just before the final trumpet, the bride (God's people) will fully demonstrate the mystery of His marvelous grace. She will be ready for the marriage. In the marriage, she is the New Jerusalem. Her righteousness is seen. She becomes Christ's royal crown a demonstration of  His power to save. These are thoughts from Isa. 62:1-3 which follows shortly after the verse about the robe of righteousness which we quoted earlier. I'll let you read the Isaiah passage in context.
   The wedding feast is also discussed in connection with chapter 16 1615.

   We live in awesome times. May we each be preparing for that wedding.

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