“Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand toward heaven. He swore an oath in the name of the One who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and everything in them, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. He said, “There will be no more delay. When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as He announced it to His servants the prophets.”
Revelation 10:5-7 NLT
We return to the picture of the huge angel standing astride the sea and land. He raises his hand to Heaven and swears an oath in the name of God. And he then made an announcement, that “God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled”. Do we swear oaths in the name of God? I suppose the nearest we get to such an event is in a court of law, when we take the witness stand. And raising a Bible in our right hands, we declare an oath, “I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. There is something significant and solemn about such an occasion. And the angel declared an oath in God’s name, affirming without doubt that “God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled“. This event was to take place when the seventh trumpet is blown.
In Ephesians, Paul wrote about what God intends to happen one day. Paul called it a “mysterious plan” and that description continues in John’s writings. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:9-10, “God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfil his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.” So the angel’s announcement that “God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled” implies that this must be the “right time” referred to by Paul. All those End Times prophecies in both the Old and New Testament are about to be completed.
We all make plans but they are hardly a mystery. We plan our holidays. We plan our lives. We plan the week ahead. And once the plan has been made, we communicate it to those around us, those who will be affected by it. Before the foundation of the world, God made a plan. We read in Ephesians 1:4, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” God could see that one day sin would enter the perfect world that He had made and He needed to make provision for mankind to be reconciled to Him. And the plan was absolutely amazing. Who would have ever thought that the Creator of the Universe would plan to allow His Son to come to this earth as a human being and end up being crucified on a Roman cross, to redeem the sins that had so blighted the world He had created? God didn’t tell anyone about this part of His plan right at the beginning, but instead revealed that the Messiah would come through His prophets, warning the peoples of their times about what was to come. And their prophetic voices continued with what would happen after the Messiah had returned to Heaven. The Book of Daniel is a fascinating read.
Paul revealed more about God’s “mysterious plan” in Ephesians 3. We read “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:10-11). God’s plan didn’t end with the coming of Jesus. As mankind embraced His Son, the plan continued with the creation of the Church, to be His Son’s bride, holy, spotless and unblemished, free from sin and wickedness. And at the Time of the End, the Kingdom of God will finally reign supreme. Jesus spoke much about His Kingdom during His time here in Planet Earth. He taught during His short time here on earth that His Kingdom was near. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” Isn’t it both humbling and amazing that pilgrims like us are instrumental in bringing about the end times through our sharing of the Gospel? Through sharing our messages of hope, our testimonies, with our neighbours and friends. In our communities and nations.
But we look around us in our wicked and war-torn world, and wonder if the End Times have already started? Hmmm..
Father God. We thank You that Your plan for mankind is still in process and that You have graciously allowed us time to become part of Your family. Once again I pray that we would have more opportunities to share Your Good News with those around us, giving them the chance of joining Your family as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.