Reading through Revelation – Chapter 10, Part 2 – The Seven Thunders


Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 024v The SixthTrumpet

Revelation 10:1-4


1 I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”


In studying this chapter I had a lightbulb moment. My posts on Revelation should be shorter. I need to give brief quotes or summarize, having pity on my readers who have a lot else to read. So from now on my somewhat historical treatment of this glorious book will be a kind of digest. Happier reading! 

Similar views of two Historicists
The Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 025v Angel With Little Book - 11th Century

The Bamberg Apocalypse Folio 025v Angel With Little Book – 11th Century

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

“Mr. Daubuz is of opinion, that by these seven thunders are meant seven kingdoms which have received the Reformation, and established it by law within their several dominions, whereby the doctrine and worship of the reformers are become the established religion there; and the laws by which it is established are the voices uttered by those supreme authorities; and they are these, 1. The German princes, making one republic. 2. The Swiss cantons. 3. Sweden. 4. Denmark, with Norway. 5. England and Ireland. 6. Scotland. 7. The United Provinces of the Netherlands.  And whereas John, who represents the first reformers, and other faithful men, was for writing what these thunders uttered, this denotes the zeal and earnest desires of these good men to push the Reformation further, and make a thorough work of it, as well as their expectation that now was the time in which the mystery of God was to be fulfilled, in which they were mistaken; wherefore John is bid to seal up these things, and not write them, which shows that the progress of the Reformation was to be stopped from doing fully what the first reformers were prompted to. . .’’

Horae Apocalypticae by E. B. Elliott

Volume II., Chapter IV. Commencement of the Reformation

In essence, this very learned gentlemen believed – as others did – that this vision portrays the Bible being given back to us at the time of the Reformation and the thunderings of Rome, in encyclicals and anathemas, etc., against this priceless gift. The thunderings then were sealed because they were imposture thunderings from Heaven.

a Dispensationalist and an amillennialist agree

Dr. John F. Walvoord

“This illustrates a divine principle that while God has revealed much, there are secrets which God has not seen fit to reveal to man at this time.”

Dr. William Hendriksen

Hendriksen’s view about Heaven’s prohibition against revealing what the seven thunders said is this: some things are beyond our ability to understand or describe – that is, all the things that work together to determine the prophetic future. 

~ More than Conquerors, Baker Book House 1992

14 thoughts on “Reading through Revelation – Chapter 10, Part 2 – The Seven Thunders

  1. Although I agree that we do not yet know all mysteries, it appears from the wording to follow that by the time of the blowing of the 7th trumpet, that these mysteries will have all been revealed (Rev. 10:7). It will be interesting to see how the commentaries handle this? But one of the mysteries contained here was in the prophecy to John that he would eat this book, apparently digest it, and prophecy again, supposedly about what he had digested from it? So the mystery here is when did he do this, or will he do it?
    Revelation 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (KJV)
    If this has already been done, then its message is contained in the Bible, and we now know it’s content thus it’s no longer a mystery. But as we continue through Revelation we find that this cannot be the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerry, about “the mystery of God,” here is more from Gill’s commentary (premillennialist, historicist):

      the mystery of God should be finished; that is, the angel not only swears that time shall be no longer, but that also then shall be finished the mystery of God; by which is meant, not the resurrection of the dead, and the change of the living, which is called a mystery, 1 Corinthians 15:51; for though when this angel sounds, and has done sounding, and Christ comes, the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the dead in Christ, will be finished, yet not the whole resurrection; for the rest of the dead will not live again till the end of the thousand years: but rather the Gospel is designed, which is often called the mystery, and the mystery of the Gospel, and contains many mysteries in it, which are styled the mysteries of God; which respect him, his being, persons, operations, and grace; and are revealed and made known by him; and the finishing of this may respect the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, which will be before the end of the world, and whereby the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and multitudes of souls converted; wherefore it may be best of all to understand this of the church of God, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, even all the elect of God, whose number will now be finished and completed in the conversion of the Jews, and in the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles, both which are called ‘mysteries’, Romans 11:25; and now as the antichristian church is called ‘mystery’, ‘Babylon’, Revelation 17:5; and ‘the mystery of iniquity’, 2 Thessalonians 2:7; so the true Christian church, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, may bear the name of the mystery of God; and this may also take in the mystery of all God’s providences and promises, and prophecies, respecting the state of his church and people on earth:”

      About John prophesying again, Gill wrote:

      thou must prophesy again before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings; which is to be understood not of John’s preaching again to many people, and nations, after his return from his exile at Patmos, as he had done before his banishment thither; and much less of his prophesying along with Enoch and Elias, towards the end of the world, grounded upon two fabulous notions, the one that Enoch and Elias will appear in person before the coming of Christ, and the other, that John died not, but is still alive somewhere, and will continue till Christ’s second coming; but rather of his delivering more prophecies out of the open little book; not ‘before’, as we render it, but either ‘concerning’ many people, nations, tongues, and kings, as the Syriac version renders it: or ‘against’ them, that is, those people, multitudes, nations, and tongues, over which the whore of Babylon reigns, or has reigned, and the ten kings, and kings of the earth she rules over, Revelation 17:12. Moreover, this may not so much design John’s prophesying in person, as the prophesying: of the witnesses or ministers of the word in the several periods of time, whom John personated and represented; and of whom mention is made in the next chapter, to which this seems to be a transition.”

      Jerry, about John prophesying again, my view is that it seems plain that after his vision of the strong or mighty angel John simply goes on to prophesy more.

      In regard to “the mystery of God” Hendriksen wrote (amillennialist, progressive parallelism):

      “The angel, whose glory again is emphasied, now raises his right hand to heaven (cf. Gen. 14:22, Dan. 12:7) and swears by the eternal and omnipotent God who created the entire universe that there shall be delay no longer. No more delay! The final judgment is about to come. The mystery of God — mystery not because it is something entirely unknown but because it would have remained unknown if God had not revealed it — this mystery of God’s decree with respect to the history of the world is about to reach its culmination in the final judgment. Then God’s people will receive their full salvation as promised to His servants, the prophets.”

      A word must be said here about his view, which I’ve just read about in a chapter called “Progressive Teaching On Final Judgment.” He believed this as a principle:

      “The seven sections of the Apocalypse are arranged in an ascending, climactic order. There is progress in eschatological emphasis. The final judgment is first announced, then introduced and finally described. Similarly the new heaven and earth are described more fully in the final section than in those that preceded it.”

      Basically, he believes in something similar to what I’ve heard called “recapitulation”, that is, kind of going over the same ground again, with each of the seven sections ending with the final judgment.

      Liked by 1 person

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