Lightning in Prophecy!

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How is lightning linked to the mystery of God being fulfilled? What prophecy events does the display of electrical power through lightning announce?

Lightning is linked to prophecy five times in the New Testament. This natural phenomenon will play an important role not only in the prophetic Day of the Lord but also in the Second Coming of Christ!

The Return of Jesus!

Jesus used lightning in his famous Mount Olivet prophecies to underscore the suddenness and universality of his return to earth. His use of lightning was also meant to help those in the end time combat some of the false information that will be rampant as the end of man's rule on earth draws closer.

We are first warned that in the "latter days" of prophecy there will be a proliferation of false Christs (false Messiahs) and false prophets. These deceived individuals will produce lying signs and wonders as "proof" their pronouncements and teachings should be taken seriously (Matthew 24:23 - 24).

Lightning Behind a Lighthouse
Lightning Behind a Lighthouse

We are then warned not to believe those who profess they possess a unique prophetic understanding of where the Lord's coming will take place. When Jesus does return to rule over the earth it will be as visible as lightning!

"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:26 - 27, NIV).

Jesus' return as King of Kings will not be in secret (e.g. no "secret rapture") nor will people need to be told where he is. Instead, his arrival will not only be glorious but also obvious and visible like lightning to the entire world (see Revelation 1:7, 19:11 - 16)!

Prophecy Flashes

The Apostle John, after conveying Jesus' message to Revelation's seven churches (Revelation 1 - 3), is transported in spirit to God's throne. He then witnesses lightning coming from the throne, symbolic of God's power and majesty.

And proceeding from the throne were lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning before the throne (Revelation 4:5, HBFV).

Day of the Lord

Prophecy's seventh seal, when opened, causes a deafening silence in heaven for a short period of time (Revelation 8:1). The seventh seal symbolizes the start of the Day of the Lord, a time when God's wrath on unrepentant sinners and on Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:5) is manifested to the world.

Seven angels are then given one trumpet each which, when sounded, heralds various punishments upon mankind. Just before the first trumpet plays, however, an angel performs an usual ceremony that involves lightning.

And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake (Revelation 8:5, HBFV).

The censer thrown to earth symbolizes the start of God's punishment on those who continue to rebel against him. It also announces that the prayers of the saints for vengeance against the world system that killed them (see Revelation 6:9 - 11) will now begin to be fulfilled. These events lead to lightning and other manifestations of God's power being produced.

Ark of the Covenant Revealed

The seventh prophetic trumpet, when it sounds, heralds God replacing Satan the devil's rule over the earth with that of the righteous rule of Jesus Christ. It also marks the time when the righteous dead will be resurrected into God's family and be rewarded for their obedience to the Eternal. A spiritual copy of the Ark of the Covenant will be revealed as well as lightning and other manifestations of power to mark this momentous occasion.

And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake and great hail (Revelation 11:19, HBFV).

It Is Finished!

Lightning plays an active role in drawing attention to the greatest parts of prophecy being fulfilled by God.

Then the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "IT IS FINISHED." And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake . . . (Revelation 16:17 - 18, HBFV).

There are two things that the phrase "it is finished" can reference. It can refer to the ultimate judgment and punishment of the world system called "Babylon the Great." Satan's evil influence will be removed completely from the earth and the governments he deceived will all be replaced by the righteous rule of Jesus Christ and his saints (Revelation 20:4, 6).

. . . and Babylon the Great was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath (Revelation 16:19, HBFV, see also chapter 17).

More likely, however, is that the phrase and the lightning the comes after it draws attention to the "mystery of God" that is completed. This "mystery" is one of the greatest fulfillments of prophecy in the Bible!

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall also be completed, according to the gospel that He declared to His servants the prophets (Revelation 10:7, HBFV).

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