In Revelation 10, there is an obscure prophecy which often gets overlooked as it is so brief and the book of Revelation offers no explanation of it. This post is intended to help readers think seriously about what this prophecy may mean and how it may be fulfilled in a way that believers don’t expect.
At the beginning of the vision that the apostle John received that became the book of Revelation, he was told to write down all that he saw during his vision (Revelation 1:11). In the book of Revelation, believers are familiar with John’s detailed descriptions of what he saw concerning the fulfillment of the “seven seals,” the “seven trumpets” and the “seven last plagues,” and all these revelations had sequences of seven events associated with their latter-day fulfillments. However, there was one exception to John’s writing down what he saw and heard as part of the latter-day sequences of events. In Revelation 8-11 is a description of the events associated with the sounding of the seven angels who had seven trumpets which announced various events on earth or in heaven, but in Revelation 10, there is an inset about “seven thunders” being revealed to John within the sequence of the seven trumpets being fulfilled.
The sixth trumpet sounds in Rev. 9:13 and the seventh trumpet sounds in Revelation 11:15. John witnessed the seven events that were associated with the seven thunders that were fulfilled between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpets and was about to write them down as he had been instructed, but he was given a divine order to omit a description of the events associated with the seven thunders. This is most interesting. In essence, the book of Revelation is like a book about the latter days but God has arranged it so there are several chapters missing in the middle of the book. What is it that John saw that would greatly enhance our ability to understand latter day events if John has been allowed to inform his readers of what he saw? This also should give all believers and religious teachers some pause about thinking they have everything “all figured out,” when God has left some key information about the latter days sequence of events out of his revelation.
I’d like to offer some suggestions which I’ve never heard anyone offer about the possible fulfillment of these seven thunder events. If we view the book of Revelation chronologically, the seven thunders occur between a great war depicted by the sixth trumpet and before the ministry of the Two Witnesses (see my article on the Two Witnesses for a detailed description of their prophesied ministry). We cannot be totally sure about the chronology of the entire book of Revelation as it is, after all, literature, and literature can include flashbacks and inset chapters within a book. However, let us assume that it may be chronological. Revelation 11 describes the ministry of the two Witnesses just after the seven thunder events are fulfilled and it must be noticed that when the Two Witnesses of God are killed by the beast power in Revelation 11:7-10, the world rejoices at their death! Think about this for a minute. If the beast power’s rule was evil, Hitlerian and cruel, the world would rejoice at the plaguing of the world’s beast system by the Two Witnesses, but Revelation 11:7-10 shows the opposite is true. The world rejoices when God’s Two Witnesses are killed by the beast power. This strongly argues that the reign of the beast system is not going to be cruel and Hitlerian. How can this be?
In the book of Revelation, the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven last plagues all accompany very great suffering on the earth so we assume that the seven thunders do as well. However, what if the seven thunders are an exception to the “doom and gloom” aspect of the other parts of the book of Revelation? What if John saw that their fulfillment on the earth was a pause in the sequence of suffering and punishment to give mankind a chance for repentance? It may also be that the seven thunders may have represented some amazing events that will completely throw off the expectations and preconceived notions of Christians about the latter days and about everything they thought they believed. For example, Revelation 13:4 strongly infers that when the beast system assumes global authority, it will reveal previously-unknown military technologies that will cause the world to marvel and say “who is able to make war with him?” In previous posts, I have examined such cutting-edge weapons systems being developed as invisibility technology to “cloak” warplanes, tanks and even people so they appear to be invisible. Other posts have discussed laser weaponry, nanotechnology weapons, genetic warfare applications, quantum and anti-matter weaponry, etc. It may be that all these technologies will be unveiled as being under the control of the beast system and they may even have been developed outside the chain of command of any nation on earth. I will not be at all surprised if the beast system unveils squadrons of aerial vehicles with propulsion and weapons systems not associated with normal warplanes. Such aerial vehicles may currently be seen on occasion and labeled as UFOs. However, I’d like to point out that Revelation 13:1-4 which describes the unveiling of the beast system has to be an inset chapter or a flashback in the chronology of the book of Revelation as the beast system is already described as being in existence and finally killing the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11.
Another thing that may have been in what John saw in the fulfillment of the seven thunders is a kind of “pseudo-millennium” in which the return of Jesus Christ is faked and many Christians fall for it and even the very elect will wonder if this has happened. Paul wrote in II Thessalonians 2:3-11 that the “man of sin” would have a “coming” which would be accompanied with “lying wonders” (verse 9). The word “lying” comes from the Greek word “pseudos” from which we derive the English word “pseudo” which means a phony representation of something. Could there be other prophecies which give us hints as to what the seven thunders might be? I think the answer is yes. II Thessalonians 2 warns about believers being deceived by the “pseudo” miracles of a “man of sin” in the latter days. In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ echoes the same warning about a deception so great in the latter days that even the “very elect” would be deceived if that were possible. In Matthew 24:23-27, Jesus warns that the great deception of the latter days that would almost dupe even the strongest of believers will involve something which includes sources saying (reporting) that a Jesus Christ has returned “in the desert” and retired into a “secret chamber.” Jesus himself warns his latter-day believers to “believe it not.” Why would Jesus warn us about a false Christ coming to a desert location and going into a secret location or chamber unless this is actually going to happen and that understanding this fact ahead of time is the only way to avoid being deceived by this phony event? Let’s consider a way that this could literally happen.
Did you see the movie Jurassic Park? or many other movies that make dinosaurs, bizarre beings or supernatural events appear to be real? Of course. These depictions are common in modern movies. I believe we can assume that the global beast power will have control over the entertainment and media industries in the time of its reign.