5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! 7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” ~ Revelation 10:5-7
We return to Revelation 10 where the mighty Angel who has one foot on the sea and one foot on the land raises his right hand to heaven. Here in America, when we take an oath in a court and swear to tell the truth, we raise our right hand and place our left hand on the Bible and we take the oath. This is where that ritual originated. The raising of the hand is a sign that a solemn oath is about to be taken. His hand is lifted toward heaven because heaven is where God dwells.
The right foot, even as the right hand, symbolizes authority. The angel placed his right foot, the foot of authority, on the sea, and the sea symbolizes the multitudes that do not know God. Although they don't know it, they are under an authority that declares they too will receive the message that is in the open book!
His left foot was on the land which represents the Jews who will still be living on the earth at that time. In this vision the mighty angel proclaims that the promise made by God to them will be fulfilled. To Abraham God said, "Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you." At that time the land was inhabited by various nations, but God told Abraham that it was his. He was to possess it, and walk in it wherever he pleased, for it belonged to him. God's promise to Abraham declared that his people, Israel, will possess the land. All of it!
In v.5-6 we read, "5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay!"
The Angel swears by God, the One who created the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and everything in them. This Angel is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator who makes this oath by Himself.
The oath is that there will be no more delay, God will break His silence to the prayer of the Tribulation saints. His final judgment upon sin and evil has come. The last plagues of the day of the Lord are at hand, and there will be no more delay. This is the end; the last series of judgments is about to unfold.
"Delay" was an appropriate response to the question of the fifth seal martyrs. God indicates that His eternal plan is suffering under a self imposed "delay" in punishing wickedness on the earth. We can conclude that the condition for God’s self- imposed "delay," the completion of the predestined number of martyrs, has been met. God is therefore free to begin the final phase of His judgment upon those who love evil on the earth.
Once this happens, God will begin His reign on the earth. Interestingly, God has never reigned on earth up to this point of time. He has been King over heaven and earth and the whole universe, but He has yet to reign on earth. He governs human events, bringing them into being and changing things, but He has done it, in a sense, remotely. He has never taken his great power and openly reigned upon the earth. But when the seventh angel sounds, then He will begin to reign.
In v.7 we read, "But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."
The mystery of God will be accomplished. This word mystery, mustērion in the Greek, means “to shut” or “to close.” Throughout the New Testament the word “mystery” describes certain truths that only God knows. And He reveals them in His own time. Many of them were not revealed until the Lord Jesus Christ came. They are secrets kept from people in the past and revealed in the New Testament.
There are many mysteries in the Scriptures: the mystery of the kingdom in Matthew 13, the mystery of Israel’s blindness in Romans 11, the mystery of the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15, the mystery of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2, the mystery of Christ in Ephesians 3, the mystery of Christ in you in Colossians 1, the mystery of godliness in 1 Timothy 3, and the mystery of God’s will in Ephesians 1.
And here is the mystery of the summing up of all things in Christ, things in heaven, things in earth, the final consummation. This mystery was preached to His servants the prophets. The Old Testament prophets wrote about the promises regarding the final consummation, the final day of the Lord, the final coming of God in flaming fire and judgment, and salvation for His people.
In Amos 3:7 we read, "Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets."
God does not do things that He has not revealed. This means that there are messages from God that are released only by the mouth of the prophet. The ministry of the prophet is to speak the word of God without being presumptuous, or speaking their own mind. The secrets that are revealed are intended to instruct the people to seek God and His righteousness.
Old Testament prophets were feared and sometimes disliked because whatever they said came to pass. We see this in 1 Samuel 16:4-5 when Samuel went to Bethlehem. The elders of the town trembled at his coming. The elders were afraid because Samuel showed up and inevitably had a message from God.
No human has the strength to resist the Lord. Yet because He has given us free will, He speaks through secrets by His servants that causes us to fall on our faces, as we recognize that He has surely spoken.
The love of God for His children is so strong that He chases after us with His word. His word always leads us into His path of righteousness. His hidden mysteries are revealed to draw us nearer to Him. May we never despise the secrets that are revealed by the word of the LORD, even if they seem to be harsh in the moment. Be assured and know that all things work together for our good, because God loves us and we love Him and we are called according to His purpose.