The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things which are therein, the earth, and the things which are therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:5-7).

The prophet Daniel gave a parallel passage in Daniel chapters 10-12, apparently delivered by the same mighty angel. John and Daniel used slightly different language, expressing what they saw in their own words, but it is obvious that they were seeing the same thing.

DANIEL 10-12


“A certain man clothed in linen” (10:5).

“Another angel…clothed with a cloud” (v. 1).

“His face like the appearance of lightning” (10:6).

“His face was like the sun “ (v. 1).

“His arms and feet like burnished bronze in color” (10:6).

“His feet as pillars of fire” (v. 1).

“The man…was above the waters” (12:6)

“He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth” (v. 2).

“He held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven” (12:7).

“Lifted up his hand to heaven” (v.5).

“Swore by Him who lives forever” (12:7).

“Swore by Him who lives forever and ever” (v. 6).

“The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (12:9).

“Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered” (v. 4).

It is obvious that both Daniel and John saw the same messenger, and the message must also be closely related. It is from Daniel that we learn what the message was about. In vision Daniel had seen terrible things happening to His people during the long war between the “King of the North and the King of the South” (Daniel 10:19-11:45). But the angel had assured him that there would be a good ending—“Michael shall stand up…your people shall be delivered…many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake…those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." (Daniel 12:1-3).

As Daniel looked on in wonder he heard someone ask, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” The answer was, “It shall be for a time, times and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7). Daniel still did not understand and asked for clarification—“Then I said, ‘My Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” Daniel was told, “The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end…none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days” (Daniel 12:8-13).

This message is packed with information about prophetic events and time periods—the shttering of the power of the holy people, the abomination of desolation,m time, times, and half a time, 1,290 days and 1,335 days. The “words” concerning them were to be sealed at the time they were given “till the time of the end when "knowledge shall increase.” This implies that at the time of the end they would be unsealed, and “the wise shall understand.”

In Revelation 10, the same angel Daniel saw appears, holding “a little book open in his hand. Apparently this is the same book whose “words [were] closed up and sealed till the time of the end” in Daniel 12. Sealed in the book is the revelation of the meaning of the end-time prophetic periods and associated events, information that is vital for God’s people at the end of time. Daniel was told to “seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4). This verse does not refer to the rapid advances in communication, transportation and technology, impressive as these are. The context[1] shows that it is knowledge of the sealed prophecies that will increase. Much of this “knowledge” is found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Significant insight is also found in Jesus’ discourse about the last days in Matthew 24 (and its parallel passages Mark 13 and Luke 21).

Matthew 24 has important links to Daniel 12 and to Revelation 10. According to Daniel 12:11, a key to understanding the final events and time periods would be “the time that... the abomination of desolation is set up” (Daniel 12:11). Jesus in Matthew 24 also urged his followers to understand and respond to the “abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel” (Matthew 24:15).

Moreover, the mighty angel” with the “little book open in his hand…swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are therein, and the earth, and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things that are therein (Revelation 10:6). This is a clear reference to Exodus 20: 11, the Sabbath commandment: “In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the Seventh Day.” Matthew 24 also mentions the Sabbath in the context of the emergency brought on by the abomination of desolation,[2] and we will see in chapter 13 that the Sabbath will be an exceedingly important issue during the time of trouble. Because of these links (the abomination of desolation and the Sabbath) as well as a need for understanding all of the end-time prophecies in order to “unseal” the messages of the seven thunders, a study of Matthew 24 will now be presented.

Continue to next section: CLUES IN MATTHEW 24

[1] The context of Daniel 12 is the events and time periods of the last period of earth’s history when there will be “a time of trouble such as never was“ and when God’s people “shall be delivered.” There is nothing in the chapter, and particularly in Daniel’s questions, that would be answered by a delineation of last-day advances in technology and transportation. Moreover, the Hebrew for "knowledge" uses the article ("the knowledge"), showing that it is specific, not general knowledge, and the specific knowledge that has been mentioned is the understanding of the prophecies.

[2] “When you see the abomination of desolation…flee to the mountains…and pray that your flight may not be…on the Sabbath” (Matthew 24:20). Even those who believe that Matthew 24 refers only to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 must admit that Jesus expected the Sabbath to be important to Christians long after His crucifixion and resurrection.