The little Book, now unsealed, is more clearly identified as the Bible, the contents, theology and ethic of which are suddenly spread throughout the nations. This is the Book which our Mediator, Jesus Christ, applies to the hearts of His “elect”, such precepts which convict to the hearts and behavior of His people. Of course, the Spirit of God applies that Mediation to the heart and ethic of the Christian AND the Church of Christ. That is the reason, Christ is presented here as the Mediator.
The crucial issue before us is that the Book (the Bible) was unsealed in Chapter 5. But, a delay was anticipated for the beginning of its fuller expression among the nations (worldview). That is what is herein described in Chapter 10.
That delay was the Middle Ages. The delay was necessary so that preparation and maturation could begin to take place. After all, the Early and Nicene Churches, FAILED IN ONE KEY POINT: They COULD NOT replace the civilization with a more mature expression of Righteousness, and DID NOT replace Roman Civilization even when that society accepted Christian Truths.
Let’s face it: No one can build a Kingdom when alleged “truths” of the Church include wide acceptance of positions such as the following;
Marriage / sex as the lesser of two good things (celibacy – a false claim to being “specially married “ to Christ vs. Christian marriage) , or in the alternative, the lesser of two evils (Marriage, a consuming distraction away from love of Christ vs. Celibacy, a “higher Calling”, especially necessary for officers of the Church)
Economic thinking that condemns profitability as “greed”, interest on loans as if condemned in Scripture (Exodus 22:25/Deuteronomy 23: 19 vs. Deuteronomy 23: 20), next to NO commentary on money and economics
Failure to understand the role and rise of the Middle Class (See Proverbs 30:7-9)
Failure to understand the “Role modeling” of centralized government in all powerful “Bishops”, “Archbishops”, Patriarchs, Cardinals, Popes vs. “constitutional” , “republic”, covenants, division of powers (See Isaiah 33:22), elections (Deuteronomy 1: 13ff), appellate protection of liberties and justice, character of just men in office (Deuteronomy 1:13ff), role of eldership in courts, legislatures – at the local, regional, and federal levels
Failure to use the moral and civil Laws of God, yet corruptions in emphasis upon ceremonial laws of God.
Failure to understand or resist the growth of Feudalism or Guild socialism.
Theology still not matured in areas of Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, and many other areas.
The Middle Ages helped PREPARE the Church for expansion into the “Whole earth”. The era resisted Biblical knowledge, buried the Gospel of a justifying faith in Christ, persecuted those who taught the Gospel, knew little of “sound doctrine”, left the people unable to discern a safe and “just” ethic, replaced any good economy (calling, good stewardship, laws of freedom and productivity, etc.) with guild and feudal socialisms, taxes and serfdom.
However, the era did produce good men and works that reacted to the darkness, matured a deeper understanding in many areas of ethics, government and church.
The Middle Ages served as an incubator in which Righteousness was horribly persecuted, misapplied, and misrepresented. As a result, individuals who wrestled with questions needing depth of understanding took occasion to lay foundations that led to great expression in the Protestant Reformation.
Rationalizing the Middle Ages as an era of GREAT PROGRESS is a luxury the Church cannot afford. God DID raise up answers to deep problems… preparing for the greater expression in the centuries that followed.
The identification of the Mighty Angel is clearly established by the context. Christ “comes down from heaven” referring to the APPLICATION OF HIS DIVINE ADVOCACY, as our MEDIATOR. He is clothed with a cloud, reminiscent of the clouds into which He ascended (Daniel 7: 13-14), an ascent designed to mark His Intercessory work in heaven at the right hand of His Father, for HIS PEOPLE ON EARTH:
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. –Daniel 7:13-14
That intercessory theme is picked up in Revelation 5 in which the Book is opened by Christ alone.
….and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. – Rev. 5: 10
The text speaks of the seals being loosed. Therefore, NOW every culture, nation, people, and language will have access to the Gospel and its way of life. That is what the unsealing will accomplish. ALL NATIONS and PEOPLE will be given the truths of the Word of God! That, according to Daniel 7 above, will directly lead to ALL nations and peoples SERVING the Lord.
The time for that enormous change in the world, began with the Protestant Reformation. From the following, the reader can get a taste of what the Reformation began…and the enormous impact it had in the 16th century, leading it to commitments that radically changed Western civilization again and again.
Before looking at the “Newness” of the era inaugurated by the Protestant Reformation, we should understand a key factor in what was produced then, and what is in jeopardy today:
Ludwig von Mises, in his masterwork, entitled Human Action, wrote:
The contract with the West has not yet benefitted these people [i.e. of Asia and Africa] because it has not yet affected their minds; it has not freed them from age-old superstitions, prejudices, and misapprehensions; it has merely altered their technological and therapeutic knowledge… what their peoples need most is not Western technology, but the social order which in addition to other achievements has generated this technical knowledge… What separates East and West is the social and economic system. The East is foreign to the Western spirit that has created capitalism.
The loss is the social system begotten by Christianity throughout the Western world. It is unfortunate the word “capitalism” today simply means “making money” to the average person. Ludwig von Mises and other great thinkers (F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Hans Sennholz, Henry Hazlitt, Max Weber, to name a few) used the term to reference an obligation to serve society efficiently, directing resources efficiently through the price system in true service to the needs of others, while rewarding the entrepreneur-servant-producer for the personal economic risk taken.
Of course, it should be noted that von Mises was not a Christian thinker. But, he admired elements of the Christian social system established throughout the Western world, though he did not approve its socialistic politico-economic tendencies throughout the last five centuries.
SIDE NOTE: Great scholars such as von Mises KNOW the covetous strains of thought leading to theft and murderous programs in socialistic systems of all kinds, despite their pretence to “humanitarianism”. The fact that theft is endorsed by the churches too often under the guise of socialism produced a terrible stumbling block for such great scholars. They could only wonder HOW the churches could preach “Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not covet” and impenitently endorse socialism’s claims. The vilest forms of economics – Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Fabianism, Keynesianism – have all sprung up as forms of socialism. The admonition – Thou shalt not steal - is addressed to the state especially, as it is written, “They frame mischief with a law.”
Ludwig von Mises heard the rhetoric of the pulpits, but saw the lack of discernment and performance in the pews they created.
This is but one reference among many which could be adduced. The key was the development of the social order, the same social order we are giving away today in our rush toward “socialism.”
The Reformation brought about a fundamentally different, yet extremely progressive, social order which in turn was capable of generating change in all fields:
• Science and technology have seen their greatest expansion since the Reformation.
• Investment and entrepreneurship gave economic opportunity to the other culture carriers in much greater measure than ever before this era.
• Trade and financial instruments spanned the globe, networking the nations together globally.
• Discovery and development grew in all fields, unlike any other era.
• Literary achievement was only possible as the common man’s genius was allowed to grow FREELY without statist directives, through teaching, preaching and the written word.
• Theological development matured at rapid rates, though slowing considerably during the post-Puritan/Presbyterian era.
• Liberty and its concomitant constitutional bulwarks gained maturity through the cultural battles fought during the Reformation through our formative era.
• Free market economic thinking became a discipline for the first time in history.
• Free press and literacy never had seen freedoms and advances as have developed in the West over the past three centuries especially.
• The elevation of the status of work (away from serfdom) has produced unprecedented quality of life for millions in the once Christianized nations.
• The elevation of the family was again achieved in the West due to theological maturity, greater freedom and economic development.
• The elevation of the woman in society has occurred exclusively in the West with other nations demanding equal treatment as Western women.
• The development and discovery of law began well, especially in science and mathematics, legal and economic thinking. The Church abandoned law, declaring it “legalistic” and society moved into rationalistic philosophical thinking and ultimately, irrational thinking.
• The reuniting of the Law of God and ethic for the first time in 1200 years began in the Reformation, was refurbished during the Puritan era, and is only now being re-studied.
• The rise of voluntary charity through the churches achieved great heights until the overwhelming power of the State pushed the Church out of charity and benevolence.
• The preeminence of preaching has had its ups and downs and needs vision for Kingdom building to learn again to excel.
• The empowering of the common man has consistently been raised throughout the last 500 years.
• The exponential rise in inventiveness and productivity was combination of technological and scientific accomplishment, freedom to pursue one’s calling, the capacity of society to guarantee justice
• The development of all the culture carriers has been possible as Christianity has contended for the culture carriers.
However, that was not the only development... Commentary Available for Purchase SOON