10:7 THE MYSTERY OF GOD
“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 10:7). Chapter seven showed that there will be two groups of people who will be saved (besides those who are resurrected) when Jesus comes. The first group is the 144,000 “of all the tribes of the children of Israel” (Revelation 7:4). The angel commanded that the winds of the earth should not be released until they were sealed on their forehead (vs. 1-3). After their sealing the winds will be released, resulting in the first six trumpet plagues. The sealed 144,000 will be protected from at least some of the damage of the plagues (see 9:4 Protected by the Seal).
But there is a second group: a “great multitude,” from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues”, who “come out of the great tribulation” (Revelation 7: 9, 13,14). One of the major themes of the Book of Revelation is that many of God’s people are in “Babylon,” the false religious system. God, at the very end, will reveal the truth about Babylon (“Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and has become the habitation of devils” Revelation 18:2) and will call His people out of Babylon (“Come out of her my People” v. 4). Their coming out takes place sometime during the time of trouble, because they “come out of the great tribulation.” When the great multitude are delivered from Babyon, “the mystery of God will be finished.”
First of all, the mystery will be finished “in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel.” The seventh trumpet takes place in Revelation 11:15 when “the kingdoms of this world...become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” This verse suggests that a massive change of allegiance has taken place,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> which is what would have to happen for a great multitude to “come out of [Babylon].”
But the verse also emphasizes the importance of the period “when he [the seventh angel] is about to sound,” in other words, the period just before the seventh trumpet. This time is described in Revelation 11:3-13, and involves the ministry of the "two witnesses." Their ministry will be presented in detail in chapter eleven, but briefly, the two witnesses symbolize those who give the last powerful testimony to the world. They are overcome and symbolically "killed" by “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit.” God raises them up again in the sight of “their enemies”, and “in the same hour there was a great earthquake…seven thousand people were killed [this section is highly symbolic] and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13). As we will see, “the rest” are the great multitude, and it is their acceptance of the last message that is indicated by the phrase “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” This is the essence of “the mystery”.
The “mystery” was “declared to His servants the prophets.” This is the same language that is found in Ephesians 3:3-10, “The mystery of Christ…as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel… to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery...to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”
Paul states in these verses that the mystery, which was revealed to the apostles and prophets, was that through the gospel the Gentiles (those not of “Israel”) will become a part of God’s body of believers, and this will reveal God’s wisdom to the rest of the universe. Writing to the Gentiles in the city of Colossae, Paul expounds on “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints...the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”( Colossians 1:26, 27).
We see in this passage that God made known a mystery to the “saints” (those who were the “chosen people”). The mystery was “among the Gentiles.” The “saints” have never considered it to be mysterious that they themselves could be saved. After all, they were “Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came” (Romans 9:4,5). But the idea that Christ could actually save Gentiles who had been “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2: 12) was an incomprehensible mystery.
Peter had to see a vision of unclean animals three times and then see the Holy Spirit fall upon Cornelius and his Gentile servants before he could believe that salvation was for the Gentiles too. (Acts 10). “Those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also” (Acts 10:45). Later when “the apostles and brethren who were in Judea” heard about all that had happened, “they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts 11:1-18). As Paul put it, “in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2: 13).
Today we still have those who grew up with the Bible, the gospel, the law and the prophets, and to them it is a great mystery how God will ever reach the billions of people who are lost in “the world.” But according to Revelation 7:9, before its all over God will win “a great multitude which no man could number” of men, women and children who have been Gentiles “of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues.” Although they were born and raised outside of the knowledge of God, He will “clothe [them] in white robes” which were “made…white in the blood of the Lamb,” give them a place “before the throne” and then present them as His holy church, a demonstration to the universe. Seeing this, “all the angels…fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God” (v.11). Satan has used this world of sin to call into question God’s very character, but when “the mystery of God [is] finished” there will be no more questions about His goodness, love and wisdom.
Continue to next section: THE SHATTERING OF THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>Actually the kingdoms of this World can become the kingdoms of Christ in two ways. One is for the people to repent and change their allegiance, which is what happens with the great multitude. The other way is for them to be overcome and destroyed by Christ, which is what will happen to those who follow the beast at the Second Coming. This verse shows that we will no longer have the situation in which Satan is “the ruler of this world” and his evil kingdom co-exists with God’s kingdom.