We tried to examine something about the mighty messenger last time. Now I want focus on the message that we have here.
THE MESSAGE OF THE MESSENGER. (verse 2-3)
In verse 2 the Bible says that the mighty messenger has an open book in His hand. We know that our Lord took the book from the hand of the Father back in chapter 5. It has been opened earlier as the seals were being opened. It reminds us of who is in charge of all things. He has the book for He was the only one worthy to open the book and loosen the seals thereof.
Notice His act of possession. He sets one foot on the sea and the other on the land, verse 2b. He is about to take possession of it all. John sees Him as He puts one foot upon the land, and He puts another foot upon the sea. We have to ask the question, what does this symbolize? It symbolizes taking possession. This claim has already been acknowledged in heaven but is now asserted on earth. He claims His right of dominion over all the earth both land and sea. It declares His authority over the earth because it is in His hands. This is an act of formal possession. What a picture! Christ, crowned with glory and power, the book in His hand, and the world at His feet. Someone put it this way, ‘From pole to pole, from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth, every drop of water and every grain of sand belongs to Jesus.’ It’s all His. I say praise His holy name!
There is a startling message. In verse 3 John hears His cry as when a lion roars. We must keep in mind here that there are two sides to the character of Christ, and you’d better not neglect seeing the Lamb side. Without seeing the Lamb side, you’ll never be saved. But you’d also better understand the Lion side of the Lord Jesus. Not only is He the Savior; He is the King of kings, and he is the Lord of lords and He will roar as a mighty lion. Do you remember, in Revelation 5 and verse 5, Jesus is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”? The Bible says that He was as a lamb before her shearer is dumb, and He openeth not His mouth, Acts 8:32. Our Savior suffered in quietness as the lamb. But one day He’s coming to roar as the lion.
There is a sealed message. John was about to write what he heard, and the mighty angel told him not to write it down. What was said that John was about to write? We are not privileged with that information.
There is a sure message. It says then the mighty angel lifted His hand to Heaven and swore to the Father and Creator of all that there should be time no longer. The idea of that statement is that there would be no longer delay and the judgments of God would be fulfilled on the earth. Things will take place rapidly, bringing to an end the judgment of God.
There is a sweet message. Verse 7 is where I want us to finish up. There is coming a day when the mysteries of God and of life will be ended. The word mystery here means things previously hidden or hard to understand. The word finished means brought to a designed goal. There’s not a single one of us, but what we have wondered about things in this life that we do not understand. It has been well said that, “Sometimes life does not make sense. We often wrestle with hard questions:
Lord, where were you when my child died?
Lord, why do the wicked seem to sail through life so easily?
Lord, where were you when life was so unfair?
Lord, why do bad things happen to good people?
Where is God when heaven seems silent?”
As the Bible says, now we see through a glass darkly. At this moment there are so many things we do not know. Right now, there are so many things we do not understand. We see so much suffering; we see so much heartache, and we say, “Why doesn’t God do something?” But He’s promised us something. There is coming a day when God will reveal the reasons why. One of these days, mystery will turn to manifestation. One day, we will know as we’re known. One day, we’ll understand. One day, we’ll no longer ask, “Why?”
What are we to do till then? Realize that we may never know why in this life but trust Him that He has a purpose and plan, and one day He will unfold the mysteries and we’ll understand then what we could never understand now. It isn’t so much that we understand why, but how we respond now to the mysteries of God. We must respond with trust.
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