The Day of the Lord, the Great Voice, and the Firm Mandate

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

An interpretation of the last book of the Bible. Part 10. Revelation 1:10.

What day is John speaking of when he says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”? It isn’t Sunday, as some say, but the great, terrible, yet wonderfully beautiful day that the Old Testament prophets talked so much about. They too had seen this terrible time of judgment, which is now still to come, at the end of which the Lord will appear in great power and glory with His church. Jeremiah confessed what he felt at such a show: “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me” (Jer 4:19a).

The great and dreadful Day of the Lord is the Great Tribulation. Why does John look at it as if he were present, although he’s seeing it at least two thousand years before its fulfillment? Because he was in the Spirit of the Lord. The more we, as children of God, are in the Spirit of the Lord, the more the future becomes the present, and the more we are able to recognize the prophetic Word and listen to God’s voice. “Ask me of things to come,” He says through the prophet Isaiah (45:11).

John testifies, “and [I] heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” (Rev 1:10). With this, the vision of God’s glory really begins. John is obviously surprised to hear this great voice behind him, rather than in front or to the side. Why is it sounding behind him? Probably because any other voice that could mislead him, even his own, has been silenced.

So many children of God are running in circles, because they don’t hear the Lord’s voice behind them. But we have the promise, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Is 30:21). Therefore: Be quiet! Listen and go!

Noah, too, had full assurance that he and his family were rescued when the Lord shut the door of the ark behind him (Gen 7:16). Ezekiel had the same experience. In Ezekiel 3:12, the prophet writes of a wind that picked him up and a roar like a great earthquake that he heard behind him.

John says here in verse 10, “a great voice, as of a trumpet.” The words “as of” mean that John is seeking to describe the indescribable. That’s why the phrase occurs about seventy times in Revelation. He also uses the terms “like” and “like unto.” So, here is a supernatural and frightening sound that contains everything. It is the trumpet of God!

In the Bible, there are two trumpets of God. The first sounded on Mount Sinai, when God gathered His earthly people, Israel (Ex 19:16). The last trumpet of God will sound as He gathers His heavenly people—when He carries away His church. It is this trumpet that John hears.

That the Lord has to repeat Himself (vv. 8, 11) proves how shocked John was. The voice said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” What a great consolation for you! What you are experiencing now (anything in everyday life that you may be fearing for whatever reason; whether it be your family circumstances, your precarious state of health, your working conditions, etc.) is not the first and the last. Jesus is the beginning and the end!

John is shaken because he no longer sees the Lord Jesus as Savior, but as Christ. He no longer sees Him as One who walked the earth for thirty-three years, healing and helping. No, he sees Him as the eternal One. What strikes us here is the unequivocal clarity of John’s mandate: “What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea” (v. 11).

The Lord calls things what they are, so that John knows exactly what he has to do: write down what the Lord has told him. Every possibility of misunderstanding was precluded. His assignment was a great responsibility for him, and he carried it out. Suppose that John had kept everything that was so abundantly revealed to him for his own edification. He could have said, “I’m so completely alone here right now. How wonderful it is that the Lord is strengthening me so much.” Or, he could have said that he was tired and wanted to finally relax a bit. But no, John wrote it down!

The Lord gives us very specific orders. We know these assignments: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Ye shall be witnesses” (Acts 1:8). “Follow me” (Matt 4:19). These are different orders with the same goal; it should be obvious! Have you already carried out your orders? If not, then you’ve withheld the revelation of Jesus Christ from others! Hurry, because the Age of Grace is soon over.

Midnight Call - 05/2020

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