Worthy is the Lamb: There Shall be No More Delay

Worthy is the Lamb  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The judgments of God upon a wicked rebellious people are catastrophic, and still the rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands. Now the promise comes ... there will be no more delay. God’s Kingdom is close at hand.

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Text: Revelation 10:1-11
Theme: The judgments of God upon a wicked rebellious people are catastrophic, and still the rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands. Now the promise comes ... there will be no more delay. God’s Kingdom is close at hand.
Date: 07/08/2018 File name: Resurrection22.wpd ID Number:
In chapter 10 we arrive at an intermission between the 6th and 7th Trumpet Judgments. And do we need it. Just reading about the judgments that are coming upon the earth and its inhabitants can leave us breathless. In his wrath God will pour out cataclysm after cataclysm upon a sinful, evil, and an unrepentant humanity. The sounding of the sixth trumpet depicts the unbelievers who refuse to repent from their evil works, even though they have witnessed divine judgment in a series of plagues. But before the 7th trumpet is sounded God tells us that in the sounding of that trumpet the mystery of God will be accomplished. The sounding of the seventh trumpet, which heralds the imminent return and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, will usher in that long-anticipated day: “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’ ” (11:15).
In this interlude God encourages His people in the midst of the fury and horror of divine judgment, and remind them that God is still in sovereign control of all events. During this interlude God comforts His people with the knowledge that He has not forgotten them, and that they will ultimately be victorious. Like the believers of Malachi’s day even God’s people will fear being swept away by the divine judgments that are ravaging the earth. God will comfort and reassure them that He has not forgotten them and that He still controls events and protects His own. “Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. 17 “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.” (Malachi 3:16–17, NIV84)


“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. 2 He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. 4 And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” 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 10:1–7, NIV84)
1. this is the second of three mighty angels we read about in the Book of Revelation
a. the first mighty angel is in Rev. 5:2, and is the angel who asks the fateful question
“ ... “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
b. the third mighty angel is in Rev. 18:21, and is the angle who throws a large boulder into the sea to demonstrate the coming destruction of the great city of Babylon
c. there are those theologians and commentators who identify this “mighty angel” as Christ, himself, but I agree with those who think this is an error
1) in the Book of Revelation, angels are always angels, and Christ is always clearly identified as the Second Person of the Trinity
2. angles play an important role in God’s redemptive ministry—particularly His judgments


1. the bible teaches that there are different types of angles indicating that there is a God-ordained hierarchy of the Heavenly Host
a. there are “ordinary angels” —I use the word ordinary to mean other angels in the Bible that aren't specifically named
1) most angels that are described in the Bible are normally described as tall young men with shining faces and wearing white simple robes
2) and, just so you know, there is no mention of any wings
b. there are Archangels such as Michael
1) the word archangel means chief angel, and seems to indicate a place of special authority
2) while many in Judaism, Islam, and even Christianity consider Gabriel an archangel, he is never referred to as such though he is one of the few angel referred to specifically by name
c. there are unique creaturely-angels such as the Seraphim, Cherubim and the Four Living Creatures of Revelation 4:6-8
ILLUS. These angels sound like something right out of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by Newt Scamander, (Some of you will get that).
d. then we have some unique angels life the three Mighty Angels or Revelation whose description is vivid
1) this mighty angel comes directly from the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ ... he comes down from heaven
2) he is described as mighty—this angel is not only physically powerful, he is also valiant
3) he is robed in a cloud—demonstrating his status and majesty, and the fact that he comes bringing judgment
4) around the angel’s head is a rainbow symbolizing God’s mercy, and His faithfulness to keep his covenant promises with his people even in the midst of judgment
5) his face beams like the sun, yet even that brilliance is but a pale reflection of the Shechinah glory of God, who “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim. 6:16)
6) his legs are like fiery pillars, symbolizing his unbending holiness in stamping out his judgment on the earth
2. the description of this mighty angel is meant to convey the magnitude and magnificence of the angel’s appearance
a. these magnificent spiritual beings were created by God, and will play a significant role in the grand finale of God’s redemptive work


“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!” (Revelation 10:6, NIV84)
1. the angels were created by God for one purpose: to carry out His will
“Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.” (Psalm 103:20–21, NIV84)
a. angels protect us, provide for us, proclaim God’s truth and will to us, and they punish and carry out God’s judgments
2. it’s this last ministry that we see the Angels of God carrying out during the Great Tribulation
a. throughout the Bible we see that Angles are instruments of God’s wrath
1) it is an angel who bars the way back to the Garden of Eden in Genesis, (Genesis 3:24)
2) in Sodom and Gomorrah, two angels strike the men of those cities blind because of their evil intent (Genesis 19:13)
3) in the Book of 2 Kings we read that the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kings 19:35)
4) in Acts 12:18-23, we read that Herod Antipas is struck dead by an angel when the crowd worships him as God and he gladly receives the adulation
5) at the Second Coming of Christ it’s the angels who will gather the unrepentant for final judgment
“He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.” (Matthew 13:37–41, NIV84)
3. this mighty angle has one task ... to announce the impending final judgements upon a rebellious, and unrepentant mankind
a. in Revelation, chapter six the saints cry out, “ ... “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”” (Revelation 6:10, NIV84)
1) here is the answer ... There will be no more delay!
b. God has poured out a series of six cataclysmic judgments, and the net affect is, “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent ... .” (Revelation 9:20, NIV84)
c. this mighty angel now gives a loud shout like the roar of a lion, and the voices of seven thunders echo back (vs. 2)
ILLUS. I couldn’t help but think of the explosive echos we heard reverberating off the hills Tuesday night when we celebrate Independence Day at the Schlempers’ farm.
1) John is about to record what these voices say, but is prohibited from doing so
“And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”” (Revelation 10:4, NIV84)
2) there is, of course, much debate over what the content of these seven thunders are
3) I think that John is commanded to seal them up because, if their contents were made known, even the Elect of God would faint away or drop dead from fright
“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21–22, NIV84)
4. with the impending blowing of the seventh trumpet, this mighty angel swears an oath “ ... 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!” (Revelation 10:6, NIV84)
a. the purpose of this mighty angel is clear—to announce the final judgments on the Earth
1) his right foot on the sea and left foot on the land indicate that his words will affect all creation—not merely one-third as in the previous judgments
2) the Seventh Trumpet judgment will usher in the Seven Bowl Judgments which will bring an end to the present world
b. this announcement is frightening to the unrepentant inhabitants of Earth
c. this announcement is an encouragement to the Elect of God on Earth and Heaven because it means the commencement of God’s Kingdom is imminent
“The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, ... .” (Joel 3:16, NIV84)


“He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. ... ,” (Revelation 10:2, NIV84)
“Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.” (Revelation 10:8–10, NIV84)
1. for the first time in Revelation, John becomes a participant in the great drama which is unfolding before him rather than merely an observer
a. he is required to do a very strange thing—one that seems odd to modern readers— but which he would have immediately recognized the meaning of
b. he is to eat the book that the angel is holding in his hand
1) the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah were both commanded to do similarly
2. the little book the angel holds in his hand, and which John is commanded to take and eat, represents John’s prosthetic commission to proclaim God’s word of judgment and woe to a rebellious people
a. the key is found in vs. 11
“Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”” (Revelation 10:11, NIV84)
ILLUS. We have another biblical example of this in the experience of the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel was shown as scroll containing words of lamentation in morning and woe. He was to eat the scroll, which tasted as sweet as honey in his mouth, but became bitter in his stomach. “Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. 1 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. 4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them.” (Ezekiel 2:9–3:4, NIV84)
3. the apostle John’s ministry is similar
a. John is about to see what happens when the angel blows the seventh trumpet
b. just as Ezekiel had to go to the house of Israel and speak words to them, now John has to go to the Body of Christ and speak words to them
1) the words that John must speak contain promises, and reminders to God’s people that God is sovereign, that Jesus is coming again, and that sin and evil will be no more
2) but the words that John must speak also contain reminders of God’s judgments upon all of those who would continue in their sin, rejecting his mercy
a) this will include family, and friends, and neighbors
4. hearing God’s Word, and knowing God’s Word is a bittersweet experience
a. it is a sweet experience in that receiving God’s word and proclaiming God’s word is always a blessing
b. it is a sour experience in that assimilating God’s word into our lives to digest
1) as God’s people, we must understand that prophecy in Scripture, as a whole, is bittersweet
2) there are sweet promises in the Bible, but there are also bitter warnings
3) God’s word can bring joy to your heart, but At times it brings sorrow—it both blesses us and burdens us
ILLUS. I can tell you that preaching on God’s wrath, and His judgment of lost humanity is not something I’ve enjoyed. I’d rather speak the “sweet” words of redemption, or discipleship, or adoption into the family of God, or love and mercy ... even stewardship, rather than what I’ve been preaching for the last several weeks. That said, every preacher who would be a faithful steward of the whole word of God must sometimes speak the “bitter” words which cause the saints to flush and the lost to guffaw.
c. in Genesis 18:17 we read, “And the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do ... ?”
1) shall I hide from you the unfolding redemptive work of God ... even the hard parts?


“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 10:7, NIV84)
1. here in vs. 7 is, I believe, the central truth of the chapter — John refers to the “mystery of God”
a. it’s a mystery that “will be accomplished, just as he announced to the prophets”
2. there are any number of places in the New Testament that refer to a mystery
a. it is one of the apostle Paul’s favorite words; using it 21 times in his Epistles
b. it refers to a part of God’s will that at one time had been hidden, but is now revealed to God’s people through divine inspiration


1. the mystery of God spoken of here in Revelation chapter 10 is the consummation of God’s plan in bringing His Kingdom in Christ to fulfillment
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2–3, NIV84)
“Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16, NIV84)
a. God’s Kingdom has long been prophesied, but the how and the when and the by whom was not clear until the time of Christ
1) it is in Christ that God has been manifested to all of mankind
2) as Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9, NIV)
b. the Apostle Paul said that he had been commissioned to preach “the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.” (Colossians 1:25–26, NIV84)
2. this mystery involves, if you’ll let me use the analogy of a literary mystery, several plot lines
a. there is the mystery of the incarnation (1 Tim. 3:16)—that God became flesh and dwelt among us
b. there is the mystery of the new birth and the indwelling Christ (Col. 1:27)—Christ in you, the hope of Glory; that through the Spirit God chooses to live in us
c. there is the mystery of the unity of the Church (Eph. 3:1-7)—that Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body
d. there is the mystery of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:51-54)—we will all be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, and our mortality will put on immortality
3. the Apostle John has seen God’s wrath poured out in cataclysmic judgement after cataclysmic judgement, and there is more—much more serious judgment—yet to come
a. in the midst of all of this, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, gives us a “time out” so-to-speak to pause and provide God’s Elect with encouragement, reminding us of His covenant promises to us
b. a time is coming when, in Christ, we will experience the full riches of complete understanding, in order that we may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2–3, NIV84)
4. all the things we’ve wondered about will be explained
ILLUS. The mystery spoken of in Revelation 10:7 includes our ultimate understanding behind sin, and sorrow, and evil, and Satan. In Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, Defoe tells the story of a lonely castaway. Robinson Crusoe has set sail on a sea voyage against the wishes of his parents. The ship is en route to Brazil where Crusoe procures a plantation. Years later, Crusoe joins an expedition to bring slaves from Africa, but he is shipwrecked in a storm about forty miles out to sea on an island (which he calls the Island of Despair). Years go by with no rescue, and career so it makes a home for himself on the island. More years go by, and Crusoe discovers that cannibals sometimes come to the island to sacrifice victims. He rescues one of those victims and names him Friday. In time he teaches Friday enough English for them to have simple conversations. Friday becomes interested in the God that Robinson Crusoe worships, and so Crusoe begins to teach Friday about the knowledge of the One true God. He impresses upon Friday that God is all-powerful, a belief that Friday comprehends. “But,” writes Caruso, “I found it was not easy to imprint right thoughts in his mind about the devil.” Caruso writes, “I have been talking a great deal to him of the power of God, of his omnipotence, his dread aversion to sin, his being a consuming fire to the workers of iniquity ... He listened with great seriousness to me all the while. After this, I had been telling him how the devil was God’s enemy in the hearts of men, and used all his malice and skill to defeat the good designs of Providence, and to ruin the kingdom of Christ in the world.” Friday then asked the question, “… You say God is so strong, so great, is he not much more strong, much more mighty as the devil?” “Yes, yes,” says Robinson Crusoe, “God is much stronger then the devil.” Says Friday, “But, if God is much strong, much more mighty then the devil, why did God not kill the devil?” Robinson Crusoe pretended not to hear the question and hastily found some excuse to send Friday on an errand to the other side of the island.
That mystery has puzzled more people than Robinson Crusoe. But not for much longer! The angel has announced, “there will be no more delay.” For the sake of the elect, the days will be shortened. As we read on through the apocalypse, we discover that what has yet to come is to be very sharp, but it is also to be very short. “For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”” (Romans 9:28, NIV84)
How do you need to respond? The Apostle Paul writes, “Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—” (Romans 16:25–26, NIV84). Have you believed on Jesus? If you’ve believed on Jesus, are you obeying him?
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