Friday, August 8, 2014



The Big Picture:  Exploring the Biblical answer to “Why does something




The Right to Raise a Ruckus and Other Stories

Bible version abbreviations: 
KJV:  King James Version; NASB:  New American Standard Bible; NIV:  New International Version; ESV:  English Standard Version; NRSV:  New Revised Standard Version; Young’s Literal Translation (not abbreviated)
Scripture quotations that are not identified are from ESV.
Page references for the commentators:
Rist:  438-443
Metzger:  67-68
Tasker:  136-146
Ladd: 140-148
Russell: 417-423
Pentecost:  187-190
Introduction:  The commentators are consistent in noting that chapter 10 is an “interlude” and should not be considered a part of the sixth trumpet.  The interlude continues into chapter 11.  They note that an interlude was also incorporated into the narrative of the seven seals.  The interlude of 10-11 provides a dramatic pause before the seventh trumpet.  Tasker considers this device is more than dramatic; it reflects life itself.  Judgment is delayed so that we can repent.  It is noteworthy that all of the commentators consider the “little book” and John’s “commission” to be the most important part of the chapter, rather than verse 7, which announces that there will be shortly a completion of the “mystery of God.”  The structure of the chapter is consistent with this conclusion, for the narrative of the little book begins and ends the chapter.
Verse 10:1:  The commentators note that John’s vantage point is now earth and not heaven.  He watches as the might angel comes down from heaven.  The descriptions of the angel have many similarities to those of the glorified Jesus.  However, the commentators, with the exception of Russell (see below) all deny that it is Jesus.  The angel is not worshiped, whereas Jesus’ presence always commands worship.  He also swears by the Creator, which does not seem consistent with what Jesus would do.  (God swore by Himself—see Hebrews 6:13-14—and we would expect something similar from Jesus.) The description enhances the angel’s glory (Rist) and shows him to be wrapped in God’s power and mercy (Metzger).  I think his might and immensity give gravity to what takes place.  This is an interlude, but that does not diminish its importance.
Verse 10:2:  Most of the commentators refer the narrative of the little book to Ezekiel’s experience in Ezekiel 3:1-3.  Rist especially believes that Ezekiel should guide our understanding of chapter 10 of Revelation.  Ezekiel’s “book” contained a description of doom, so this is what we are to understand the little book for John contains.  Ladd, on the other hand, believes the particular contents are not the focus.  Rather, the little book symbolizes John’s prophetic calling:  he is to deliver the Word of God.  Tasker notes that the mighty angel holds the book because the Word of God is not puny.  “It towers above all the affairs of men.”  The commentators note the stance of the angel on sea and land symbolizes that the message to and from John is relevant to the entire world.
Verse 10:3:  The angel cried out with a roar like a lion.  When he did, he was answered by seven thunders.  These thunders “spoke.”  At first, one might think this was simply a poetic way of describing the rumble of thunder.  But verse 10:4 makes it clear that the thundering sounds were actual voices speaking words.  The use of the article “the” indicates that these thunders were known, but commentators are at a loss to identify them.  Ladd says they are known to someone, but not to us.
Verse 10:4:  John seems to have kept a “notebook” with him as he experienced vision after vision.  He was being faithful to the command in 1:11 to “write in a book” what he saw.  So, he was about to record the words that the thunders spoke, but he was commanded not to do so.  Why?  Perhaps, they described something that is being kept back as a surprise.  Tasker believes that these words were for John and not for us.  He says that some, like John and Paul, are more mature than most of us and therefore are able to receive more than we.  He compares this to date setting, which is speculative and is from those who are unwilling to recognize the limitations of our insight.  Ladd compares this experience to Paul’s experience of the “third heaven” where he saw things that were not lawful for him to tell.  (II Corinthians 12:1-4)
Verse 10:5:  Jesus taught us not to swear, but to be people of our word (Matthew 5:33-37).  The angel swore for our sake, so that we might understand the solemnity of the occasion. Rist compares this scene to Daniel 12:7, where a man clothed in linen swears.  Rist believes this oath was in regard to the Syrian oppression under Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes. 
Verse 10:6:  The angel swears by the Creator.  The KJV translates the beginning of the oath as:   that there should be time no longer.”  This is a possible translation, rendering “chronos” as “time.”  However, modern translations translate this:  “that there will be no more delay [or delay no longer]” or similar wording. (NIV, ESV, NASB, NRSV)  Ladd and Tasker point out that the KJV rendering has given rise to the idea that in the afterlife or in the Resurrection, time will cease to exist.  Ladd refers to Cullman, who explains that the Hebrew understanding was that the age to come will be unending time.  Ladd also mentions the great old hymn “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.”  “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more…”  Related to this idea is the understanding that God is not subject to time.  One wonders to what degree that understanding has come from the KJV translation of a single verse.
            Tasker also refers (without approval) to an obscure theory that the “time” (as KJV renders it) refers to the “time, times, and half a time” of Daniel 12:7.  This does not seem likely, since the singular “time” is used and it is without a context to tie it to the expression in Daniel.
Verse 10:7:  There are three issues of interpretation in this verse.  I shall delay consideration of the first, and jump to what there will be not be delayed (the second issue).  The “mystery of God” will be accomplished (or finished or completed or fulfilled).  So, without delay, this mystery will be accomplished.  What is the “mystery of God”?  “Mystery” is used in the New Testament as a religious or spiritual term only.  It is never a “who done it” or “where are my glasses” or “how does gravity work” kind of mystery.  It, rather, referring to deep spiritual things.  For example, those who speak in tongues speak mysteries to God (I Corinthians 14:2).  In several cases, a “mystery” is something that had not been revealed, but had been kept secret, until it was revealed to a servant of God, especially to Paul (Romans 16:25, I Corinthians 15:51, Ephesians 1:9, 3:2-11, Colossians 1:24-27).  It also refers to the secrets of the Kingdom of God/Heaven (Matthew 13).  Considering that all of these uses more or less refer to the gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom of God, we can safely say that the “mystery of God” in Revelation 10:7 relates to God’s purpose in Christ to bring about salvation for both Jews and Gentiles.  Rist simple calls it the end of the age.  Tasker says it is the purpose of God to bring His people to salvation.  This purpose will culminate with “the judgment of evil, but also the deliverance and vindication of the people of God.  John’s readers are to reflect that the mighty world forces they saw, far from being triumphant, are about to be overthrown decisively.”  Similarly, Ladd says:  “The ‘mystery of God’ is his total redemptive purpose, which includes the judgment of evil and the eschatological salvation of his people.” 
Since we know what God will accomplish without delay, we need to go back and understand the time frame that is given.  The three major commentators and I each have a different take on this.  I think the crux is how to deal with the “in the days,” which is a period of time and the word “mello,” which usually means “is about to” with an infinitive following.
1.       I believe that the “mystery of God” will be completed during the days when the seventh angel is about to blast his trumpet.  Perhaps, for wiggle room, I could say that the accomplishment takes place up to and including the trumpet blast.  This is based on the Greek construction.  A literal translation (being a bit wordy) is as follows:  “But in the days of the voice (or “sound”) of the seventh angel, at such a time when he should be about to blast his trumpet, and the mystery of God was fulfilled, as He preached good news to His servants the prophets.”  (Note the tenses of the verbs in Revelation are sometimes inappropriate.)
2.      Tasker takes the wording as “when the seventh angel begins to sound.”
3.      Ladd argues that “mello” plus the infinitive should be understood as the simple future (this is one use of “mello”).  He says that the expression “in the days when he is about to sound” would mean before he actually sounds.  That, says Ladd, is “impossible.”  Therefore, he understands the whole expression to mean that the sounding of the trumpet will take place over a period of time, when many things happen.  This sounds as “impossible” to me as the other idea.  I believe that Ladd’s concerns are two.  First, that the “mystery of God” is not accomplished by a single act, and this consideration is why the verse includes “in the days of.”  Second, he is concerned that the “mystery of God” cannot be accomplished until the trumpet sounds (for Matthew 24:31, I Corinthians 15:52, and I Thessalonians 4:16 all mention a trumpet signal). 
I think that there can be reconciliation of Ladd’s concerns and the Greek of the verse.  The modern translations have a wide variety of translations, each with their own subtle implications.  RSV translates as follows:  “In the days when the seventh angel is to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled…”  Although I could argue with the translation, I think the meaning that is conveyed is the best.  It is simply saying that the “mystery of God” will be fulfilled during a particular period of time, which is identified as when the seventh angel is going to blow his trumpet.  So, I draw the following conclusions:
·         The “mystery of God” will be completed in the days leading up to and including the seventh trumpet.  This period could include events immediately after the blast.
·         The trumpet blast itself will be a single blast. (See the discussion of Pentecost’s views later.)
·         The completion of the “mystery of God” will include events before and at the time of the blast of the seventh trumpet.  Jumping ahead of the story, we would understand that the Second Coming, Resurrection/Rapture, and defeat of the Antichrist/Beast all could be encompassed by this period.
Rist has a little bit different take on these issues.  He compares the oath of the angel to Daniel 12:6, in which an angelic figure swears that the end will come in three and a half years.  So, he sees a difference of opinion with John.  He also comments that “despite the solemn promise by the angel, the end does not come after the seventh trumpet is blown (11:15); indeed much is yet to happen.”  For an indication of how this problem may be solved, see the discussion of Pentecost’s views below.
            The third issue of interpretation is the final clause:  “just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”  The word “announced” is literally “announced good news.”  It is the verb used for preaching the gospel.  One could create the verb “gospel,” as in “he gospeled the crowd,” meaning “he preached the gospel” to them.  Exactly how it is to be understood in this verse is a question.  I think that this clause conveys that fact that God announced good news to his prophets.  In this context, the good news was that the “mystery of God” will be fulfilled or completed.  He did not necessarily tell them the full content of the “mystery of God,” but, rather, gave them the good news that it will be accomplished.  Ladd combines the idea that the prophets had the gospel preached to them and that the completion of God’s purpose includes judgment:  ultimate salvation must include purging of universe of all evil.  For another understanding of this issue, see the discussion of Russell’s views.
Verse 10:8:  The little scroll that was introduced in verse 10:2 is again the focus.  An unidentified voice (probably understood to be God) spoke to John twice, once to tell him not to write what the thunders spoke, and now to tell him to get the scroll from the angel.  The powerful angel protects this treasure and no one will take it from him:  he has to give it.  Ladd points out that, for the third time, the angel’s stance on earth and sea is mentioned, a reminder that the message is for the whole world.
Verse 10:9-10:  John asks the angel for the book, and the angel tells him to eat it.  He warns that it will be sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach.  This is very similar to Ezekiel’s experience in Ezekiel 2:8-3:3.  Tasker also refers to an experience in Jeremiah 15:16.  He points out that only John experienced bitterness.  Tasker believes that the bitterness arose from announcing denunciations and woes.  The true preacher does not do this with glee.  Ladd considers this a reaffirmation of John’s commission.  It is a call to experience thoroughly the word.  “The word of God…must be ingested and personally assimilated by the prophet, as it must be by every servant of God who proclaims his word.”  The experience of receiving the word is a blessing that comes from closeness to God, Ladd notes.  However, as he assimilates it, it becomes bitter because it is no sweet thing to announce judgment.  He proclaims with a broken heart, just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
Verse 10:11:  Then, John was told something.  Literally, it says, “They are saying to me.”  Who “they” are is not clear.  Tasker considers it to be impersonal:  “I was told.”  I think John understood that “they” meant “all of heaven.”  What he was told is that, “It is necessary that you prophesy…”  The expression “it is necessary to…” is often used to identify a divine destiny.  John was destined to prophesy.  The next phrase is interpreted in one of two ways.  The interpretation depends on how one understands the preposition “epi.”  Ladd notes that this preposition can be translated as variants of three meanings:  “before, “against,” and “about.”  Because the objects of the preposition are in the dative, the most likely meaning is “about.”  Rarely, the dative can be used with this word to mean “before.”  The  KJV translates the word as “before” but Young’s literal translation, NRSV, NIV, NASB, and ESV all translate it as “about” or “concerning.”  So, John was to prophesy about many different peoples, nations, etc.  Ladd takes this to mean that his prophecy will concern the whole civilized world.  He understands the word “again” to mean that the latter part of the book is the remaining prophecy that John was to bring forth.  See an expansion of this idea and how it affects the chronology of Revelation in Pentecost’s views below.
Summary:  The chapter consists of three portions:  10:1-4, 10:5-7, and 10:8-11.  The first portion describes a mighty angel, standing on earth and sea and holding a little book.  The angel shouted and seven thunders spoke.  John is not allowed to record what they spoke.  This is likely because the seven thunders spoke of things that only John was spiritually equipped to receive them.  Those words very likely were of things that will happen in the future, but they remain to be a surprise for those who experience them.  In the second portion, the mighty angel takes an oath that there will be no more delay, but the “mystery of God” will be fulfilled in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his horn and when he does blow his horn.  The “mystery of God” is most likely God’s great redemptive plan, which includes salvation, which is offered to both Hebrews and Gentiles, and includes the judgment on rebellious society.  The final portion of the chapter concerns the little book which the angel held—opened—in his hand.  This little book probably represents the prophetic ministry of John—both in terms of its content and in terms of his prophetic calling.  John is commanded to take and eat the book, and he does.  It is sweet in his mouth, but it makes his stomach bitter.  This probably represents the fact that John enjoys the deep relationship of a prophet to the Lord, which is sweet, but he also experiences the pain and grief of announcing the judgments that people must experience because of their evil.
The comments of J. S. Russell on Revelation 10:  I have chosen to separate Russell’s and Pentecost’s remarks from the other commentators because their approach and interpretations are so different from those of the other that it would be confusing to include them in the main body of the analysis.  Obviously, I do not agree with them, but even if I did, it would still create confusion in the reader to mix these two into the verse-by-verse analysis.  J. S. Russell is the father of the Preterist school of interpretation and J. Dwight Pentecost is a leading author among the Dispensationalists.
            Russell makes a case—though not a very strong one—that the whole chapter, especially the parts that focus on the mighty angel, is another description of the Second Coming of Christ.  I shall not go into all of his reasoning, but the following are some of his connections between Revelation 10 and other passages:
·         The descriptions of the might angel are similar to descriptions of Jesus (in Revelation 1 and other places) and of the Lord enthroned (in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4).
·         I Thessalonians 4:16 (abbreviated THESS):  the Lord descends from heaven as does the angel.
·         THESS:  the Lord shouts and so does the angel
·         THESS:  there is a trumpet; a trumpet is referred to in Revelation 10:7.
·         He calls Michael the prince of angels and Christ the prince of angels.
·         The voice of the archangel wakes the sleeping saints [I do not know where he gets this] and so does the voice of Christ.
The loose associations which Russell makes among various Scriptures are not examples of strong interpretation.  In fact, the narrative in chapter 10 has virtually no correspondence to the narrative of the Second Coming and Rapture in I Thessalonians 4.  There are some points at which the account in chapter 10 certainly points in the direction of the consummation, but it is obviously a scene played out before John to refer to future events.  In addition, there is good evidence that the mighty angel of chapter 10 is not Jesus.  The angel is never worshiped in the scene.  He swears by the Creator.  This is an action that one would not expect from Christ.  A voice from heaven commands John to take the little book from the angel.  The angel cooperates with this heavenly directive, adding the prediction of how John will be affected.  This does not correspond with how Christ would behave or how the scene would play out if the angel is Christ.  Moreover, though Russell insists on calling him an archangel, the mighty angel is not called an archangel throughout the chapter.
            Other comments by Russell seem bizarre and do not make one confident in his ability as a commentator.  He confuses the shout in 10:3 with the statement in 10:6-7.  He also seems to confuse the words from the thunders with the words of the angel. 
            He recognizes that 10:6 states that there will be no more “respite” or delay.  However, he is relating this to his overall interpretation of prophetic material.  So, he understands that the “respite” he refers to is the time that was given the Jews before the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
            The word “evangelized,” that is used in 10:7, Russell interprets as a “comforting word.”  This comforting word to the “servants” (10:7) was the word that was given to the martyrs who are described as “under the altar” in 6:9-11.  In response to their prayers, the Lord sends the whole series of trumpets to bring judgment on their persecutors.  Now, in 10:6-7, they are given a “comforting word” that there will be no more delay, but the end will come with the seventh trumpet.  At that time the judgment of Revelation 11:18 will take place.  (I shall return to this point.)
            Finally, Russell points to the correspondence between Ezekiel and John in their eating a book.  He points out that Ezekiel’s book was written full of woes.  John’s book made his stomach bitter and he ate it in the midst of the three woes of Revelation 8:13.  For John “like Ezekiel, was the messenger of coming woe to Israel, and this very vision belongs to the woe-trumpets which sounded the signal of judgment.”
            Though it is true that John is a deliverer of woe, it is not necessarily true that these woes should be understood as coming only against Israel.  It is possible that Israel will experience suffering during the Tribulation period, but so will other nations.  The reason Russell’s understanding does not correspond with my understanding is that he is coming from a Preterist viewpoint.  Thus, when he says that the end will come with the seventh trumpet and he refers to 11:18, he understands that judgment to be the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.  I shall draw a few sentences from his commentary on 11:15-18:
·         “Messiah has overcome; He has put down all rule, and all authority, and all power, i.e. the hostile and malignant Jewish antagonism which has been the bitter enemy of His cause.”
·         “…and it is the time of the retribution for the enemies of Christ, the destroyers of the land.”  (Russell consistently interprets the word translated “earth” as “land,” that is, the land of Israel.  This contrary to every translation.)
·         “In fact, the whole catastrophe represents a time and an act of judgment, and the scene of that judgment is the guilty land of Israel, and the time is ‘the end of the age,’ the termination of the Jewish economy.”
If one keeps in mind that Russell always has in focus the events of AD 70, then one can see in these statements that he can transform statements that most would apply to the whole world to the narrow application to Israel. 
            In general, Russell’s methodology is twofold.  First, he keeps his focus on the idea that every prophetic statement of the New Testament applies to the events of AD 70.  Second, he allows himself great latitude to freely associate on a passage of Scripture and grab any connection to his main focus that he can and use that connection as evidence for his thesis.  This, in truth, is what is termed eisogesis, meaning “reading into” a passage the meaning one expects to find.
The comments of J. Dwight Pentecost on Revelation 10:  As I used his index, I could not find many references to chapter 10 in Pentecost’s book, Things to Come.  I shall discuss those that I did find.
Verse 10:7:  In one section of his book, Pentecost discusses views of the Rapture that are held by various Dispensationalists.  He holds to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory.  One of the theories he discusses is the Mid-Tribulation Rapture Theory.  One of the writers who holds to that theory states that the Rapture is implied in chapter 11 and that that is midway through the Tribulation period.  One of the evidences he uses is the mention of the “mystery of God” in 10:7, which is to be completed at the seventh trumpet in chapter 11.  Tribulationalists argue that the church is a “mystery.”  It is unknown to the Old Testament writers, but it is revealed in the New Testament era.  It is a “parenthesis” in the plan of God.  After the parenthesis is closed, God resumes His dealings with the nation of Israel.  The Rapture is the close of the parenthesis.  Since chapter 10:7 mentions that the “mystery of God” is completed with the seventh trumpet, then that must be the mystery program of the church.  Pentecost rebuts this view by defining the “mystery of God” in another way.  He quotes Ironside that the “mystery” referred to is why God permits evil to triumph for so long.  So, the finishing of the “mystery of God” referred to in 10:7 is the final triumph over evil.  Pentecost says:  “God is now terminating [with the seventh trumpet] the program with evil.”
            As I was working through chapter 10, I did a concordance study of “mystery” in the New Testament.  I shall discuss, I hope, those findings in another article.  I observed that the word does not neatly fit into a program for “this age,” that is, the church age.  For example, Ephesians 1:9 is a statement of the purpose of God to bring all things under the headship of Christ.  That is not a plan, it seems to me, that is restricted to the church age.  However, Pentecost has a very different view of “mystery”:  “In the twenty-seven New Testament usages of the word mystery…it will be observed that the body of truth referred to as a mystery is particular truth related to this present age.” (135)  He goes on to say:  “The existence of this present age, which was to interrupt God’s established program with Israel, was a mystery (Matt. 13:11).” (135)  Note his thesis carefully.  Then, one may ask:  “How does he deal with the ‘mystery of God’ in Revelation 10:7?”  Instead of referring it to “the present age,” he defines the mystery as God’s program with evil.  Why does he do this?  Because this particular mystery occurs after the onset of the Tribulation, which in his view is after the Rapture.  Norman B. Harrison, the Mid-Tribulation Rapture theorist (and otherwise a Dispensationalist), uses the Dispensationalist understanding of “mystery” in a consistent way and understands the “mystery of God” in Revelation 10:7 to refer to the church program of God.  Thus, he concludes that the rapture is implied in chapter 11.  He bases this on 10:7, which says that the “mystery of God” will be completed with the seventh trumpet.  Pentecost thus must redefine “mystery” in this case to suit his purposes.  Ironically, in his list of Scriptures supporting his case that “mystery” refers to the present (church) age, he includes Scriptures from Revelation, but not this one. (135)
            Thus, we can say that Pentecost does not interpret “mystery of God” correctly.  However, there is more to the story, as they say.
            Pentecost, in additional arguments with the Mid-Tribulation Rapture view, discusses the “last trumpet.”  The “last trumpet” is mentioned in I Corinthians 15:52, which describes the Rapture as it takes place at the “last trumpet.”  An argument for the Mid-Tribulation Rapture view is that the seventh trumpet, in Revelation 11:15, is the last of the series of seven and the last that is mentioned in Revelation, so it must be the “last trumpet” of I Corinthians 15:52.  In his arguments to refute this conclusion, Pentecost refers to Revelation 10:7 as indicating that the trumpet will sound over an extended period of time.  In contrast, the trumpet blast in I Corinthians 15:52 will take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…”  Incidentally, this is one of nine arguments Pentecost makes against the identity of the trumpet in I Corinthians 15:52 with the seventh trumpet.  I do not agree with this particular argument (as well as several others that he makes).  Although Ladd believes that the seventh trumpet will extend over many days, I do not believe 10:7 says that, and I do not believe that from consideration of Revelation 11:15. 
I have discussed the issue of the translation and meaning of the expression above.  My conclusion there was that the “mystery of God” will be accomplished in a period of time.  That period is identified by the blowing of the seventh trumpet.  It can include the run-up to that event as well as the trumpet blast and concomitant events.  The use of the expression “in the days” does not necessitate that the blast take place over an extended period of time.  In addition, if we observe the wording of the seven trumps (8:7, 8:8, 8:10, 8:12, 9:1, 9:13, 11:15), we find the exact same expression for each trumpet:  It is simply:  “And the _____angel sounded (“trumpeted”).  In none of the other six cases is there any implication that the trumpet blast takes place over an extended time.   We note immediately after the seventh trumpet blast (11:15), there are loud voices speaking (11:15b) and the 24 elders responding (11:16-18).  This is followed by the temple in heaven being opened and lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and an earthquake (11:19).  Note that all of these sequelae to the seventh trumpet blast involve auditory events.  These would be in competition with an extended trumpet blast.  So, I do not think the seventh trumpet lasts over an extended period of time.
Verse 10:11:  Incidental to his arguments with the Mid-Tribulation Rapture Theory, in the same chapter, Pentecost gives his view of the chronology of Revelation.  His view is by no means universal among Dispensationalists.  He believes that, in a way, the “Mid-Trib” theorists have some insight in believing that something comes to an end with seventh trumpet.  In fact, Pentecost believes that the seventh trumpet is the signal for the Second Coming (not the Rapture, which he believes happens at the beginning of the Tribulation).  He refers to 11:15b, which announces that the “kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”  Pentecost believes then that Revelation goes back over the entire Tribulation period “placing emphasis on the individuals who play so important a part in the events of the seventieth week.” (188)  As support for this theory, he refers to Revelation 10:11, in which John is told that he must prophesy “again” concerning peoples, nations, etc.  The word “again” is “divine notice” for John to go back through the Tribulation.  I am not sure how much stock should be put in this reasoning.  However, I do believe that Pentecost’s theory of the chronology in Revelation has some merit.
            In summary, Pentecost considers the implications of only verses 10:6-7 and 10:11.  He believes the “mystery of God” is why God permits evil and that the completion of that mystery is God’s overthrow of evil.  This somewhat contradicts the Dispensationalist understanding of “mystery.”  Pentecost rejects the idea that the “last trumpet” of I Corinthians 15:52 is the same as the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15.  One reason for this rejection is that he believes the “last trumpet” will be in a moment, but the seventh trumpet will extend over many days, on the basis of Revelation 10:7.  There is good evidence that the seventh trumpet does not extend over a long period.  From the commission of John in 10:11, Pentecost draws evidence that the chronology of Revelation is twofold.  Revelation follows events of the Tribulation period to the end in 11:15-19 and then goes back over that material from a different perspective in the following chapters.  He bases this partly on the “again” of 10:11.  Though his idea of chronology has merit, the use of “again” as evidence is not too strong.
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