“And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”
King James Version (KJV)
10:4 And I heard a voice from heaven - Doubtless from him who had at first commanded him to write, and who presently commands him to take the book; namely, Jesus Christ. Seal up those things which the seven thunders have uttered, and write them not - These are the only things of all which he heard that he is commanded to keep secret: so something peculiarly secret was revealed to the beloved John, besides all the secrets that are written in this book. At the same time we are prevented from inquiring what it was which these thunders uttered: suffice that we may know all the contents of the opened book, and of the oath of the angel.
Re 10:4 When the seven thunders had uttered their voices, etc. The seven thunders uttered their voices when the angel cried in a loud voice, John was forbidden to record what they uttered. Certain facts will help us to understand what is meant. (1) The apostate power which had taken away and "closed" the book of the New Testament was called the seven-hilled city, and his alluded to in Revelation as the woman that sat on seven mountains (Re 17:9). (2) The word "thunder" has been constantly used to describe the threatening, blasphemous, and authoritative fulminations issued by the seven-hilled power against its enemies. To illustrate this, Le Bas says in his life of Wycliffe, p. 198: ``The "thunders" which shook the world when they issued "from the seven hills", sent forth an uncertain sound, comparatively faint and powerless, when launched from a region of less devoted sanctity.'' These ecclesiastical thunders derived their power from the fact that they were hurled from the seven-hilled city. Very appropriately the bulls and anathemas of Rome may then be called "the seven thunders". (3) It is a historic fact that the "opening of the book" by the Reformation, called forth the loudest voices of "the seven thunders". The anathemas that had been wont to shake the nations were hurled at Luther and his supporters. I was about to write. John says that he was about to write what they uttered. His act is symbolic. He becomes himself a part of the symbolism. His act shows that the voices of the "seven thunders" claimed a record as of divine authority. There was something uttered, and what was uttered was so presented that John was about to record it in the word of God. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, etc. Then he heard a voice from heaven which bade him seal up what was uttered and write it not. When we remember that the thunders that issued from the Vatican were regarded by the nations as the voice of God, and that the Pope claimed to be the vicar of Christ, we can understand the meaning of John's symbolical purpose to record them as a part of the word of God, and also that of the heavenly voice which forbade them to be written. It simply represents what did take place among the reformers. There was an open book offered to the world. This resulted in the voices of thunder of the seven-hilled city. At first there was a disposition on the part even of Martin Luther, to listen to these thunders as divine, but finally he committed the Papal Bull issued against his teachings to the flames to be rejected, and it was rejected by the Reformers.