Revelation, Chapter 10
To skip the Introduction for Revelation chapter 10, Chapter 10 Scripture Begins Here
Revelation chapter 10 begins another parenthesis in the chronology of Revelation. These visions apparently relate to the time period covered by the first six trumpets, and thus to the latter half of the Tribulation.
10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow [was] upon his head, and his face [was] as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
At no other time does Christ appear as an angel or created being after His resurrection. This angel is most likely Michael, Gabriel, or an angel equal to them who swears an oath by Jesus Christ, indicating something significant is about to happen. Angels play a prominent role in the Apocalypse, being mentioned sixty-six times.
The cloud, the rainbow, the sun, and the pillars of fire may refer to deity, but a parallel may also be drawn with the angel Gabriel.
10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and [his] left [foot] on the earth,
The "Little Book" that was seen in heaven in verse 2 has a similar mission as that given to Ezekiel 3 v.1-3 and Jeremiah 15 v.16. The prophetic Word, which is what the "Little Book" is, contains the "sweet" message of God's wonderful plan for mankind including the coming of Christ, the Millennium Kingdom, and Heaven, but it also contains the Judgment of God on sinners who do not repent and come to Him, and their ultimate consignment to hell.
Just the fact that it is opened tells us that it is to be revealed to those who will consume it. As believers, we are told to eat this book, just as John was told to eat it. This "little book", I believe, is the Word of God, the Bible.
The Bible (Word) is alive. When we eat the Bible it gives us the strength to live victorious lives before Him. Jesus is in dominion over everything. He is our source of power. Studying the Bible is more important to our life than our daily bread. Praise God, the Bible is of no private interpretation. God the Holy Spirit will teach each of us what the Bible is saying to us.
The planting of the feet on the sea and the earth (dry land) shows Christ's authority over the earth in its entirety, and the appropriation of His promised inheritance as Messiah.
10:3-4 "And cried with a loud voice, as [when] a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." "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".
It seems that John was attempting to write down everything as he saw it. This little book is not for the world to see. That is why Jesus spoke in parables. Only the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are supposed to understand what is in the Book, and then only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Bible study. This message then from these voices is not for the world in general. Jesus, or God the Father, stops John from revealing these things by telling him not to write this down.
Thundering voices must come either from God or something very near Him. The voices that sound like seven thunders are a unique feature in the book of Revelation. John is prepared to write down what these thunder like voices say when he hears another voice telling him to "seal up and not write down what he heard".
This is the only proclamation in the entire book of Revelation that is sealed up. As for the seventh angel, the mystery of God should be finished I believe when the 7th coming bowl judgment trumpet is sounded, is what is being referred to here.
Both Daniel and John were instructed to seal up much of what they saw, reserving the interpretation for the generation to whom it would be obvious: "I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, "seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and do not write them." And then, "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."
It should be apparent to even the most casual of readers that this is the generation in which knowledge has increased to the level necessary to understand the differences between symbols and substance. This is the generation in which many will experience John's eyewitness testimony, to their everlasting regret! This is the Generation of End Times.
10:5-6 "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven," "And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:"
Lifting the hand signifies taking an oath (Gen. 14:22, 23; Dan 12:7). The announcement of the angel is that there will be no more delay in the establishment of the millennial kingdom of Christ. This presumes a present delay or postponement of the promised kingdom (between Christ's two advents). With the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15), the present mystery form of the kingdom will be over (Rom. 11:25) and what God promised to the prophets (Isaiah 11; Jer. 31; Ezek 36, 37; Dan 7; Zech. 14; Matt 6:10) will finally be completed. Christ's Coming Kingdom
Time no longer. This literally means "delay no longer" and indicates that the time of the end is rapidly approaching. From the sounding of the seventh angel's trumpet, the world will move relentlessly toward the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Bible, culminating in the coming of Christ to the earth.
10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
This is when Jesus reveals Himself to the Christians in heaven. The Bible says that when we get to heaven, we will recognize Him, because we will be like Him. I John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
You see this is a mystery to us now. When it is revealed, it will be so simple that we will think, "Why didn't I think of that?" It is not for us to know this right now.
This seventh trumpet means this is the final judgment. Throughout the New Testament, God spoke in parables so the world would not understand. Just those to whom Jesus would reveal Himself would understand.
10:8-9 "And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go [and] take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth." "And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take [it], and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey."
This is the third reference to the location of the angel who stands on the sea and earth. (Verses 2, 5 and 8) This emphasizes strongly the unusual authority he has over the earth.
John is told to eat the little book, and when he does, it becomes sweet in his mouth (Ps. 119:103; Jeremiah 15:16) but bitter in his belly. The act of eating represents the understanding and appropriation of prophetic revelation. The message is "sweet" because at last the kingdoms promises are about to be fulfilled. It is bitter because it can only be accomplished through more judgment and tribulation.
In Ezekiel chapters 2 & 3, we see that physical Israel refused the New Testament and its teaching of Jesus. This sweetness is the beautiful message received, but the bitterness is the disappointment when they refuse the message. This bitterness is the terrible judgment, as well.
10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
The act of eating the book (scroll) symbolizes the absorbing and assimilating God's Holy Word. The Bible
When John consumed the book, the words that were written were sweet as honey. (very pleasing)
But for those who would be tormented in hell for the rest of eternity which was about to happen, John then tasted the bitterness as He knew God was about to take back the earth which was rightfully His, and be exalted, honored and glorified as He deserved. John realized the terrible punishment that was about to be given to unrepentant unbelievers and that caused the sweet taste to turn to bitterness.
10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
This verse is a key to the chronology of the Book of Revelation. John is told to prophesy again concerning many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. The seal and trumpet judgments have brought the chronology close to the end of the Tribulation period and to the return of Christ to the earth (Rev. 11-15).
Now John must prophesy through the period a second time, concentrating this time on the major personages and movements of the tribulation (e.g., Satan, the beasts, the harlot or Babylonian system). This duplicated prophecy begins in chapter 12 and culminates in the vial (bowl) judgments, the destruction of the beast, and the return of Christ