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Revelation 10

1 I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." 5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." 9 So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." 10 Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."


Where we are?

We are still in Second woe or the sixth trumpet judgment. It is not yet completed and it will be complete at Rev 11:14. Now Revelation 10-11:14 is a interlude (pause/parenthesis) the briefs the future events going to happen.

  • Rev 11:14 - The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
  • (David Guzik) Revelation 9 left off with the sounding of the sixth of seven trumpets, which usher in the end of all things. Now, instead of the seventh trumpet, we have another interlude until Revelation 11:15.
  • After going through this chapter in detail make sure and try to answer When these events in this chapter happens?

What did John see after the initial part of the 6th Trumpet judgment or second woe?
1
I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.

  • From where this mighty angel coming from?
    1b coming down from heaven
  • Describe the appearance this mighty angel :
    • Clothed: clothed with a cloud
      • (Warren Wiersbe) God is often identified with clouds. God led Israel by a glorious cloud (Ex. 16:10), and dark clouds covered Sinai when the Law was given (Ex 19:9). When God appeared to Moses, it was in a cloud of glory (Ex24:15ff; 34:5). "[He] maketh the clouds His chariot" (Ps 104:3). A cloud received Jesus when He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9); and, When He returns, it will be with clouds (Rev. 1:7).
    • Head: rainbow was on his head
      • (Warren Wiersbe) We first saw the rainbow around the throne of God (Rev 4:3); now it sits like a crown on the head of this messenger. The rainbow was God's sign to man kind that He could never again destroy the world with a flood. even in wrath. God remembers His mercy (Hab 3:2). Whoever this angel is, he has the authority of God's throne given to him.
    • Face: his face was like the sun
      • (Warren Wiersbe) The fact that the angel's face is "as the sun" corresponds to the description of Jesus Christ in Rev 1:16; His feet corresponds to the Lord's description in Revelation 1:15. His voice like a lion suggests Revelation 5:5. This being could well be our Lord Jesus Christ, appearing to John as a kingly angel.
    • Feet: his feet like pillars of fire.
    • Voice: cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars
  • What this mighty angel has in his hands?
    2a
    He had a little book open in his hand.
    • (David Guzik)
      • Is this little book the same as the scroll no one except Jesus could open in Revelation 5:1-7?
        If one takes the mighty angel to be Jesus, then it very well could be. But John does use different words to describe the scroll of Revelation 5:1 and the little book written of here. It is probably best to see them as different, yet probably closely related. The little book is perhaps an “abridged version” of the disposition of all things, the portion that John himself will see and write about.
      • “The contents of the little book are nowhere revealed in Revelation, but they seem to represent in this vision the written authority given to the angel to fulfill his mission.” (Walvoord)
        • Clarke on the little book: “Meaning probably some design of God long concealed, but now about to be made manifest. But who knows what it means?
    • Here the Greek word biblaridion (974) only used 4 times only here in this chapter Rev 10:2, 8, 9, 10
    • In Rev 5:1 the Greek word used of the book (KJV) or scroll is biblion (975) used in many other places.
      • Rev 5:1 - And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
  • Where this mighty angel standing?
    2b
    And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land
    • Does this mean anything to you?
      May be he claims the authority of the land and sea.
      • (David Guzik) The angel’s stance projects his authority over both land and sea. His authority is either direct (if the mighty angel is Jesus), or indirect (if this is indeed an angelic being as a messenger of God).
        1. His stance “Indicates complete authority over the entire earthly situation.” (Walvoord)
        2. He has his feet on both land and sea “To show that he had the command of each, and that his power was universal, all things being under his feet.” (Clarke)
      • (Warren Wiersbe) The angel's posture is that of a conqueror taking possession of his territory. He is claiming the whole world (see Josh. 1:1-3). Of course, only the victorious Savior could make such a claim. This Antichrist will soon complete his conquest and force the whole world to submit to his control. But before that happens, the Savior will claim the world for Himself, the inheritance that His Father promised Him (Ps. 2:6-9). Satan roars like a lion to frighten his prey (1 Peter 5:8), but the Lion of Judah roars to announce victory. (see Ps. 95:3-5; Isa. 40:12-17).
  • What did this mighty angel did?
    3a and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars.
    • What did this angel cries out with a loud voice?
      • We do not know. He just made some loud roaring noise like lion.
    • His voice is like a lion. Jesus is called Lion of Judah - Read Why Jesus is called Lion of the tribe of Judah? notes in Rev 5:5
    • Hosea 11:10 - "They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;

Answer the following questions after observing the Revelation 10:1-6 in details:

  • How many characters/subjects involved in passage (Revelation 10:1-6)?
    1. John (1a)
    2. mighty angel (1a)
      Rev 10:1 - I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
    3. seven thunders uttered their voices (3b)
      Rev 10:3b - When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.
    4. a voice from heaven (4b, 8a)
      Rev 10:4a - Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me
      Rev 10:8a - Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said
    5. Angel swore by Him
      Rev 10:6a - and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it,

Compare this passage with Rev 1:12-18 and answer following questions:
Rev 1:12-16 - 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 - And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 - I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Who is this mighty angel?

  1. This mighty angel's appearance described in Rev 10:1-3a points to Jesus.
    • The fact that the angel's face is "as the sun" corresponds to the description of Jesus Christ in Rev 1:16; His feet corresponds to the Lord's description in Revelation 1:15. His voice like a lion suggests Revelation 5:5
  2. But....this passage didn't backed up or or attributed this mighty angel with Jesus like it did in Rev 1:10-11,13,18.
    • Did John identifies or give any specifics about this mighty angel that clearly identified as Jesus Christ as in Rev 1:11, 13, 18?
      Rev 1:10-11 - 10
      I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
      Rev 1:13 - and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
      Rev 1:18
      - I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
  3. If John would have identified this as Jesus then he would have worshiped him but that is not specified.
    • Did John  worships this mighty angel as he did in Rev 1:17?
      Rev 1:17
      - And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
  4. Also this mighty angel swear on God. The description on Rev 10:6a applies to God the Father and Jesus Christ. Read Rev 10:6a notes for more details...

 This mighty angel did similar to an angel in Daniel 12:7.

  • (Warren Wiersbe) More than sixty references to angels are made in Revelation. They are God's army sent to accomplish His purposes on earth. Believers today seldom think about these servants (Heb 1:14), but one day in heaven we shall learn about all they did for us here.
  • Daniel 12:1,5,7 - 1 "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. 4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." 5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?" 7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
  • (David Guzik)
    • Many have identified this mighty angel, this messenger, as Jesus because some of the imagery also applies to Him. Revelation 1:15-16 also describes Jesus with His countenance . . . like the sun shining in its strength.
      • But, angels are never clearly identified with Jesus in Revelation or in the New Testament, though He is clearly associated with the “Angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament. A better identification is with Michael, because there are also similarities to this mighty angel and to Michael as he is described in Daniel 12:1 and 12:6-7.
    • Not only is the rainbow a reminder of God’s promise to man, but it is also a natural result when the sun shines through a cloud.
    • Whoever his exact identity, “clearly this angel has come from the very presence of God” (Barclay), and shows great might and authority.

Finally...... other than the appearance based on above important points we are compelled to say that this might be another mighty angel not Jesus Christ. But if we read further in Revelation 11 we get more details about this angel.

  • Rev 11:1-3 - 1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
Here in Rev 11:3 "I" and "My" definitely points to Jesus or the God the Father. There is no prefix added by this angel saying "sound from heaven", "Seven thunders uttered", "Thus says the Lord" or "Says the Lord", etc... Rev 11:1 starts with "And the angel stood, saying" and Rev11:3 continues with "And I will give power to my two witnesses". Based on this the mighty angel whom John encounter here is Jesus Christ.

Like in Revelation chapter 1 here Jesus didn't reveal His glory fully so John might have not identified explicitly that this angel as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Similar thing happened to believers on the way to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35.

  • Luke 24:16,31 - 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. .... .... ... 30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

3b When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."

  • What did John hear after this angel's loud voice?
    3b When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.
    • Whose is this seven thunders voices?
      • (David Guzik) This relates the same idea of the thunderous voice of God as described in Psalm 29, seven times repeating the phrase the voice of the Lord.
        • Psalm 29:3-9 - 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. 9 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forests bare; and in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
      • Revelation 14:2 - And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
      • One of the four living creatures voice also like thunder:
        • Revelation 6:1 - Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see."
    • Lord Jesus voice also referred as Trumpet sound:
      • Revelation 1:10 - 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
      • Revelation 4:1 - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
  • What was John's response when seven thunders spoke?
    4a
    Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write;
  • What instruction/command John heard from heaven?
    4b
    but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."
    • From where a voice came from?
      I heard a voice from heaven
  • What this seven thunders spoke?
    We do not know. God did not want us to know this.
    • Dan 12:1-4,8,9-13 - 4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.".
      ...  8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" 9 And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
    • Deut 29:29 - The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
  • God revealed to us what we want/required to know.
    God did not want to reveal the prophesy that gave to Daniel but now God reveals to us in this Revelation book.
    • Revelation 1:10 - 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
    • Rev 22:10 - Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.
  • (David Guzik) Of course, this irritates many commentators and sets speculation running wild. What did they say that John must not tell us?
    If John is not permitted to tell us what they said, why should he even record the incident? One result of it should be to let us know there are secrets in the prophetic scenario, mysteries that should keep our exposition and prediction humble.
    1. “This illustrates the principle that while God has revealed much, there are secrets which God has not seen fit to reveal to man at this time.” (Walvoord)
    2. “Let us not proceed as though all has been revealed.” (Morris)

What this mighty angel did after seven thunders spoke or after the command form heaven to John?
5
The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6a and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it,

  • By whom this mighty angel swear?
    5
    The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6a and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it,
    • If this angel is our Lord Jesus Christ, why would He swear on Himself or God?
      • By pointing this it is easy to ignore that this mighty angel is not Jesus but in many occasions we know that Jesus/God swear, oath or made covenant on Himself. God put Himself "under oath"
        • when He made His covenant with Abraham - Heb 6:13-20
        • when He declared His Son to be High Priest - Heb 7:20-22 and
        • when He promised David that the Christ would come from his family - Acts 2:29-30.
      • (Warren Wiersbe) But if this angel is our Lord Jesus Christ, why would He take an oath? In order to affirm the solemnity and certainly of the word spoken. God put Himself "under oath" when He made His covenant with Abraham (Heb 6:13-20) and when He declared His Son to be High Priest (Heb 7:20-22). He also took an oath when He promised David that the Christ would come from his family (Acts 2:29-30).
    • As we saw already this mighty angel is our Lord Jesus Christ in appearance, swearing on Himself and continuing with the authority and revealing the mystery to John in Revelation 11 and especially revealing that this mighty angel is Jesus Christ himself in Rev 11:3.

Application:

What do you learn from this passage Rev 10:1-6a that you can apply in your life?

  • God demonstrate that He has the authority over this earth and see.
  • God shows His faithfulness and conveying to all of us that this Great Tribulation is not a lengthy period but wrapped up in seven years and completes by the third woe.
  • God is faithful to reveal every essential details about this Great Tribulation.
  • God revealed to us what we want/required to know:
    • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    • 2 Peter 1:20-21 - 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
    • Rev 22:18-19 - 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    • Heb 4:12 - For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    • There are many scriptures or books (Gospel of ... and apocrypha's) came and gone but the Bible books that we have is the only books in the Bible God inspired/breathed on. No one compile or arrange these books only God did all these things by inspiring people through His Holy Spirit.
    • Book of Isaiah is called miniature Bible. Because it has 66 books and starting from 40th chapter it talks about the John the Baptist prophesy and all the new testament prophesies. Like the Bible it has 39 chapters contains Old Testament prophesies/history and rest 27 chapters contains New Testament prophesies.

What did this mighty angel swear?
6b
that there should be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

  • We can see this in detail at the end of this chapter while we study the verse 11 (Rev 10:11).

What happens after the mighty angel swearing?
8
Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." 9 So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." 10 Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 An And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

  • What instruction/command John heard from heaven?
    8
    Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth."
  • What John did?
    9a
    So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book."
    • John didn't ask why but he just did as per the voice/God's instruction.
  • What this mighty angel instruct John to do?
    9b
    And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."
    • (David Guzik) Because an invitation give to take the little book, some take this to say that God never forces His revelation on anyone, and we always must be willing to take what He has offered. That may often be the case, but it would be news to Paul on the road to Damascus.
  • What John did?
    10 Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.
    • Again John didn't ask any why question but he just did as per the angel's instruction.
  • In KJV, NKJV & NASB it is sweet and bitter but in NIV/NLT they have translated as sweet and sour.
    • NIV Rev 10:9-10 - 9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." 10 I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
      • Sour:
        1. having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.
        2. rendered acid or affected by fermentation; fermented.
        3. producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not bitter, salt, or sweet.
  • Is this symbolic? NO
  • or Did John really eat this little book as this scriptures says?
    YES,
    John ate this book. This is not uncommon for the earlier prophets in the Biblical history. Same thing happened to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 2:8-3:3 also similar stuff to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 15:16.
    • Ezekiel 2:8-3:3 - 8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." 9 Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.
      3:1 Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. 3 And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you." So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.
    • Jeremiah 15:16 - Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
    • Jeremiah 20:9 - Then I said, "I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name." But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.
  • (David Guzik)
    • This little book is initially sweet to the taste, but becomes bitter in John’s stomach. “Every revelation of God’s purposes . . . is ‘bitter-sweet,’ disclosing judgment as well as mercy.” (Swete)
      1. Any effective communicator of God’s Word has experienced both the sweetness and bitterness that is associated with His Word
      2. Those who believe the church is raptured after the great tribulation argue that the scroll is bitter because the lot of the faithful is bitter in the last days. Mounce is an example of this approach: “The sweet scroll which turns bitter is a message for the church. Before the final triumph believers are going to pass through a formidable ordeal.”
  • (Warren Wiersbe)
    • It was not enough for John to see the book or even know its contents and purpose. He had a receive it into his inner being.
  • When these events in this chapter happens?
    Is it a future events happen during middle of the 7 year Great Tribulation period? NO.

    When we see the overall context, grammar and John's personal involvement it shows clearly that this is similar event happened to John in Revelation chapter 1. So, these events are not future events but it had already happened during John's period. John is clearly describing his experience that how he is writing all these prophesies. Especially we can see this in verses 8 through 11:
    • Rev 10:8-11 - 8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." 9 So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." 10 Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 An And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

Why these these things happened to John?
We can find the answer in verse 11. Let us see What this mighty angel finally instruct John to do?
11 And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

  • Why this angel asked John to eat this book?
    To prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings
    • Even though these events has happened during John's period but John has requested to prophesy about the future events.
    • The same thing happened to Ezekiel and Jeremiah. The reason why Ezekiel ate the book/scroll is to prophesy:
      • Ezekiel 3:4, 11 - 4  Then He said to me: "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them ... 11 And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, 'Thus says the Lord God,' whether they hear, or whether they refuse."
      • Jeremiah 20:9 - Then I said, "I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name." But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.
      • (David Guzik)
        • In Ezekiel 3:1-3, the prophet was also commanded to eat a scroll, the revelation of God to Israel. “This figure of eating the book is familiar, and suggests the feeding of the soul on the Word of God.” (Morgan)
          1. John can only proclaim the Word of God if he has taken it in; “Such an action symbolized the reception of the Word of God into the innermost being as a necessary prerequisite to proclaim it with confidence.” .” (Johnson)
        • Whatever the content of the scroll, it is connected to John’s command to prophesy to all men. This is not a message just focused to the church.
          1. John’s prophecy speaks of the fate of the entire world, not just one nation, empire or emperor, such as the Roman Empire.
      • (Warren Wiersbe) The angel commissioned John to prophesy again; his work was not yet completed. He must declare God's prophetic truth concerning (not "before") many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings (Rev 5:9). The word nations usually refers to the Gentile nations. John will have much to say about the nations of the world as he presents the rest of the prophecy.

John ate this little book and now he is requested to reveal the mystery by prophesying about the future events especially "about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings". This is what the angel swore in verses 6b through 7 (Rev 10:6b-7)

What did this mighty angel swear?
6b
that there should be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

  • What will happen? What is the mystery here refers?
    7b the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.
    • This mystery is already declared not revealed to OT and NT prophets but now God is revealing some more details through John.
      • The Day of the Lord. For more details read What is the day of the Lord means?
      • The Wrath of God poured out to the unrighteous.
      • The Last Days.
      • The Wrath of Lamb.
      • Jesus comes as the King and Rule and reign this earth.
      • The Kingdom of God.
    • So the mighty angel requested John to prophesy "about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings". These are godless people, gentiles, earth dwellers or non believers who will be living at last 3.5 years.
    •  John had prophesied about them in Revelation chapter 11 till Revelation chapter 18 especially about the events going to happen during 2nd half of 7 year Great Tribulation period just before Jesus' 2nd coming.
    • Now this is the turning point to the John's prophesy/message. Like Revelation Chapter 2 and 3 is about the Church age/period (believers) from Revelation chapter 11:15 till chapter 18.the prophesy/message is not about the Church but about the Non Believers who will be living at that last 3.5 years before Jesus Christ comes.
      • Rev 1:10-11 - 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
      • Rev 2:7 - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."
      • Rev 9:20-21 - 20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
      • Rev 13:9 - 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
    • It also warning message for all the believers in Christ living at present.
    • This is answers to the cries of the Martyrs &
      Fulfillment of many prophesies
      about this time The Day of The Lord, The Wrath of God/Lamb, Great Tribulation, The Jacob's Trouble :
      • Rev 6:9-11 - 9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
      • When God judge our enemies initially we feel good/joy/sweet but later when we see the suffering that they go through then we will feel sorry/sad/sour/bitter. We may feel pity on them and ask God to forgive them. But our God is righteous God. He waits patiently and graciously if that person didn't repent our God will judge righteously.
    • What is mystery?
      • (Warren Wiersbe)
        • In the Bible, a mystery is a "sacred secret," a truth hidden to those outside but revealed to God's people by His Word (Matt 13:10-12).
          • The "mystery of God" has to do with age-old problem of evil in the world.
          • Why is there both moral and natural evil in the world?
          • Why doesn't God do something about it?
          • Of course, the Christian knows that God did "do something about it" at Calvary when Jesus Christ was mad sin and experienced divine wrath for a sinful world.
          • We also know that God is permitting evil to increase until the world is ripe for judgment ( 2 Thes 2:7ff; Rev 14:14-20).
          • Since God has already paid the price for sin, He is free to delay His judgment, and He cannot be accused of injustice or unconcern.
      • (David Guzik)
        • What mystery? One important aspect of this mystery is that it has been declared to His servants the prophets.
          • Remember that in Biblical vocabulary, a mystery isn’t something no one knows. A mystery is something no one could know unless it was revealed to him. If you could know it by intuition or personal investigation, it isn’t a mystery, because mysteries must be revealed. Therefore, something can be known and still be a mystery in the Biblical sense, if it would never have been known if it wasn’t revealed.
      • Examples of mystery:
        • Its equivalent - is used for a many different aspects of God’s plan.
          • The ultimate conversion of the Jews is called a mystery (Romans 11:25)
          • God’s purpose for the church is called a mystery (Ephesians 3:3-11)
          • The bringing in of the fullness of the Gentiles is called a mystery (Romans 11:25)
          • The living presence of Jesus in the believer is called the mystery of God (Colossians 1:27-2:3)
          • The gospel itself is called the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:3)
        • Possibly, the mystery also regards the great question “Why does God allow Satan and man to rebel and go their own way?” The idea may be that this question, this unanswered mystery, is coming to an end under rule of Jesus. God is beginning the end, the resolution of all things, the gathering together (resolution, summing up) of all things in one in Jesus (Ephesians 1:10).
        • God freely acknowledges that life today is full of mysteries; but it will not always be so. A day will come when all questions of this age will be answered.
  • When this will start? and When this will complete?
    6b
    that there should be delay no longer, 7a but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished,
    • Seventh Trumpet judgment or third woe will start soon after a brief interlude from Rev 11:15 and goes till Rev 18.
      • Rev 11:15 - Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
      • Rev 15:1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
      • (Warren Wiersbe) The signal for this mystery's completion is the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:14-19). The last half of the Tribulation begins when the angels start to pour out the bowls, in which "is filled up [completed] the wrath of God" (Rev 15:1).
    • Since we are in the middle of 7 year Great Tribulation period it goes another three and a half (3.5) years:
      • Great Tribulation is for short period.
        • Matt 24:22 - 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened..
      • Great Tribulation is should be limited to 7 years as in Rev 11, 12, 13th chapters, Daniel 9 and 12th chapters
        • Rev 11:3 - And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
        • Rev 12:6 - Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
        • Rev 13:5 - 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
        • Dan 9:27 - 24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
  • Who fulfills this and in whose timing?
    God.
    • Revelation 10:7 - but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.
    • NLT: Revelation 10:7 - But when the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God's mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets."
    • Revelation 17:17 - For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
    • NLT: Revelation 17:17 - For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will mutually agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled.
    • 2 Thes 2:6 - 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

Application:

What do you learn from this passage that you can apply in your life?

  • John without questioning just obey one step at a time. It was so impressing and eye opening for us.
    • Ezekiel 2:8 - But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."
  • God shows His faithfulness and conveying to all of us that this Great Tribulation is not a lengthy period but wrapped up in seven years and by the third woe.
  • God is faithful to reveal every essential details about this Great Tribulation.
  • When we devour the Word of God then that will produce in us compassion for the sinners, conviction of our sin, it will not stay within us but come out of us in a form of love, light, salt,...
    • Jeremiah 15:16 - Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
    • Jeremiah 20:9 - Then I said, "I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name." But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.
    • Deuteronomy 8:3 - So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
      • (Luke 4:4) Matthew 4:4 - But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "
    • Heb 4:12 - For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    • Gal 5:22-26 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
  • (Warren Wiersbe)
    • God's word is compared to food:
      1. bread (Matt 4:4),
      2. milk (1 Peter 2:2),
      3. meat (1 Cor 3:1-2), and
      4. honey (Ps 119:103).
    • The direction that the angel gave to John (Rev 10:8-11) should remind us of our responsibility to assimilate the Word of God and make it a apart of the inner man.
    • God will not thrust His Word into our mouths and force us to receive it. He hands it to us and we must take it. Nor can He change the effects the Word will have in our lives: there will be both sorrow and joy, bitterness and sweetness.
      • God's Word contains sweet promises and assurances, but it also contains bitter warnings and prophecies of judgment.
      • The Christian bears witness of both life and death (2 Cor. 2:14-17).
        • 2 Cor 2:14-17 - 14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
        • NLT: 2 Cor 2:14-17 - 14  But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. 16 To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? 17 You see, we are not like those hucksters -- and there are many of them -- who preach just to make money. We preach God's message with sincerity and with Christ's authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us.
      • The faithful minister will declare all of God's counsel (Acts 20:27). He will not dilute the message of God simply to please his listeners (2 Tim 4:1-5).
    • The  Prophets Jeremiah (Jer 15:16) and Ezekiel (Ezek 2:9-3:4) knew what it was to "eat" the Word before they could share it with others.
      • The Word must always "become flesh" (John 1:14) before it can be given to those who need it. (practical in person's life)
      • Woe unto that preacher or teacher who merely echoes God's Word and does not incarnate it, making it a living part of his very being.
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