“And 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.’ And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there shall be delay no longer.” Revelation 10:4-6
In this vision where John hears the strong angel make the proclamation contained in our text for today, the angel was alluding to a statement made by the LORD God as recorded by another messenger of His, Moses. The allusion here recorded refers to the statement made when the LORD was delivering the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai found in Exodus 20. We will provide some context for your edification. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-11)
Creator, creation and cessation
Having redeemed Israel from their bondage to Egypt and consequently destroying their oppressors, The LORD called Moses and the nation Israel to Sinai to deliver the Law. As their Redeemer and Israel now His people, He declared the means by which He would now govern them in both a national and a personal sense. The first step was to get the Ten Commandments in place, those overarching principles which delineated Israel’s duty to their God and to their fellow man.
Number four on that list, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” bridged Israel’s duty to both God and fellow man together in its application. The LORD Himself had set the pattern of resting on the seventh day from His work in creation. This pattern was to be imitated and there was purpose in its observance for the nation.
The design in the Sabbath was so that Israel would acknowledge Yahweh as the Creator, the True God who had brought all things into existence. His creative power and authority over all things were demonstrated in a very personal way to Israel. He delivered them out of slavery from under the great power of the earth at that time, Egypt, from which there was no rest as a slave. In delivering Israel from bondage, He created a new nation and brought it forth from within another. Moses later made reference to this astounding fact to the generation about to enter the Promised Land (Deut. 4:32-35)
Secondly, in His implementation of the plagues upon Egypt, He demonstrated His authority over creation and thus proved Egypt’s so called gods to be false gods.
The cessation of labor and work gave occasion for the Israelites to consider Him who brought forth the fruit of the land which sustained them. And lest the individual forget and become too concerned about his/her own self interests while abusing others to advance them, The Lord made sure all knew that others were to be granted the same blessing. Moses lists seven types of living beings that are to share in this rest (You, son, daughter, male servant, female servant, sojourner and cattle, i.e. animals). The Sabbath rest demonstrated the compassionate character and concern of a truly benevolent God for His creation of all living beings, a distinctive attribute among the pantheon of other “gods”.
The Negator or the Creator
Everything has been recorded and well documented in the Bible concerning the works, miracles, prophecies, and eternal plan of the LORD in order to establish that He is the one True God. The honest individual, upon examining the Bible and all the evidence, will come to the conclusion that “the LORD, He is God.” But we know, not everyone is honest. Many are prideful and refuse to acknowledge anyone as exerting authority over them. The Devil, the embodiment of prideful rebellion against authority, used man’s carnality to lead a worldwide rebellion against God by elevating the creation above the Creator through idolatry. Everyone gets to choose whom they will acknowledge as God. So, the Bible says that rebellious man chose not to have God in their knowledge any longer. The battle on earth since very shortly after creation has been between the Negator (Satan) and the Creator.
The day where there’s no more delay
Since Jesus Christ fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the Messiah, was resurrected from the dead, ascended to heaven, and created the eternal spiritual nation of the saved from among all the nations, the last stages of the eternal plan are being carried out by He who created all things. The only remaining event in His plan is J-Day. This is the day where there will be no more delay. Yet even now, rather than just smoking’ the whole place up, Jesus demonstrates His patient and compassionate character (wanting none to perish but all to come to repentance) by sending trumpets of warning (Rev. chs 8-11) and bowls of wrath (Ch. 16) in an attempt to turn the sons of disobedience to Him. When the earth and its works burn up on Jesus’ return, J-Day, all will see that Jesus is the True God, the Creator and he has authority over all His creation. There shall be delay no longer; all physical activity will cease and we, His church, get to go home to our Sabbath rest and Him who created all things!