STUDY: PART 29
Revelation chapters 10 and 11 are an interlude between the blowing of the sixth and seventh trumpets. It is done here after the second woe. In these chapters we meet three new personalities, the “mighty angel” and the two witnesses. We are not told the names of the witnesses.
V1. Who is the mighty angel John saw in this verse? Is it Jesus? Or is it a type of Jesus, which is an angel? I think it’s an angel. He has the attributes of Jesus that we read in Revelation 1:13-16.
Let’s read that now and compare it with Revelation 10:1.
Now read Ezekiel 1:26-28.
Remember the Transfiguration? Jesus face shone like the sun there too, and his clothes were bright white. This angel glows and shines because he just came from the presence and glory of Christ in heaven. The cloud he wore, the rainbow above his head, and his fiery feet are all representative of Jesus.
J. Vernon McGee says, “It is well to keep before us constantly that this book is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. New glories of His of His person and of His power and performances are unfolded in each chapter. He is now the one judging the Christ-rejecting earth.”
V2. This angel was sent with a mighty purpose. He had a small book that would not be read. He stood with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land to claim Christ’s authority and rule over both. Jesus was given dominion over heaven and earth (Psalm 8:6-8), and the angel is reestablishing this truth for us. The burning feet are the fire of judgment touched down on earth. I believe the “little book” is actually the one with the seven seals which Only Jesus could open and read. It was written in heaven and now has been given to earth. It is called a little book because from here out things will go quickly. There won’t be much left to accomplish till the end of the earth as we know it comes.
Read Isaiah 10:23, which is directly quoted in Romans 9:28.
V3. We know that Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), so this roar is fierce, terrifying. What is being roared into John’s ears is the voice of God. He hears the judgment of God that must come before Jesus returns to earth.
V4. Now watch this. The seven thunders were a voice that spoke words for John to write down. John was merely writing what he saw and heard since the beginning of Revelation. But at this point, when he would write what the voices said, he was told not to. Rather, he was to seal up these prophecies. If God is using this vision of John to reveal the things which “must shortly come to pass”, why did He tell John not to write these things, but to seal them up? I believe these are things that will come to pass during the next half of the Tribulation, but that we are not to know about just now. What I do read is verse 11 of this chapter where it tells John he must prophesy, so maybe the sealed things are what he will reveal through his prophetic ministry.
V5,6. Now we can see the truth of the fact that the mighty angel is not Jesus. How? We know by the simple fact that the angel takes an oath by God who created all things. Jesus and God with the Spirit created all things, therefore He would not swear by God (John 1:1,2; Hebrews 6:13).
What is meant by “delay no longer” is that the Lord is going come for His second time to earth. The angel is giving good news to those sealed ones who want this Tribulation over with. He saying, “Take heart. It won’t be long now. Jesus is coming again soon to end this Tribulation.” Remember the martyrs under the throne of God who asked God to avenge their deaths in Revelation 6:10? This is the answer to their prayers also.
V7. We are told in this verse that the seventh angel is preparing to blow his trumpet. This trumpet will announce the completion of the mysteries of God, that is to say, the mysteries of the Bible, or Gospels. This is the fulfillment of the hidden truths of Christ from the Old Testament which was given to His prophets, which are, the preaching and teaching of all the Gospels, including Revelation, the return of Jesus to set up His kingdom on earth, and peace on earth, finally. Why must these things remain a mystery for now? It must be contained until the adversary who has rule over the earth no longer reigns. When Jesus comes, He will take over all operations of this world, so He will be able to reveal all things completely.
Who are the servants, or prophets God chose to reveal this through in the Old Testament? Here’s the short list: Isaiah 60:3; Daniel 2:44; and Zechariah 14:9.
The full Gospel story has not yet been told. Revelation has not been expounded to the point of understanding. The gospels must be heard in all the world again because the first time around Revelation was left out. The full gospel will reveal the wheat from the tares, the darkness from the Light, and the hot from the cold from the lukewarm.
STUDY: PART 30
V8. The “voice” being heard is that of Jesus, I believe, for He’s the one in charge of all that happens in Revelation, and because Revelation is the Book that reveals Him completely and glorifies Him. Remember, God made Jesus the Judge of the earth, so now is the time of judgment on the earth. If the voice is not that of Jesus, it’s the voice of an archangel to whom Jesus gave the words.
Notice, too, that the voice is speaking in command. It’s not gentle and polite, it is firm and assertive. “GO, take the little book.” See the comma between go and take? That’s the separation of the two activities. John must first go to where the angel is. Then he must take the scroll from him.
V9,10 Now John sees himself going to the angel. Here again is no politeness. John demands the angel give him the book. He says, “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, ‘Give me the little book.’” We must know that this is no time on earth for politeness in presenting Jesus to the natural people. We are not to demand as John did of the angel, but we are to be firm and forceful with the truth of the Word. No mealy mouthed person will be used to enlarge God’s kingdom. We must know the Word, talk the Word, and be able to present the reason we believe the Word to the unsaved, else why would they listen to us?
The little book is tasty in John’s mouth. “Sweet as honey,” is how it is described. I like honey very much. I use it in my tea, in cooking, and in baking. There is an earthy sweetness about it that appeals to me. Many people I know don’t like honey, but they still must admit its natural sweetness is a gift from God. Saul’s son reached out his rod when he was hungry and ate the honey which dripped from the tree, although the king had decreed no one to eat till the evening.
I Samuel 14:24-28.”And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food. And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground. And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened. Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.”
John the Baptizer existed on locust and wild honey. Matthew 3:4, “And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.” So John understood the analogy.
The sweet aspect of the book is that John was eating the Word of God which is filled with His promises of peace, grace, and mercy. Look at what two other prophets said about eating the Word.
Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”
Ezekiel 3:3, “And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll (another name for scroll) that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”
Proverbs 16:24 tells us that, “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”
The glory psalm, Psalm 119, says, “How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honeycomb to my mouth.”
To eat the Word of God means to be filled up with it. It means that the Word is imbedded in our spirits and souls. It means we think on these glorious things everyday. It means that it becomes such a part of us that we live it to the glory of God.
But there is bitterness in the truth of God’s word. The bitterness in John’s bowels was caused by the judgment contained in the book. Let’s look at Ezekiel once more.
Ezekiel 2:8-10, “But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without (Revelation 5:1): and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” This is what John has to digest.
We really need to be careful not to be happy about what’s coming to the lost. It’s so easy to say something like, “Well, they deserve it for not listening and turning to God.” Only Jesus has the right to judge that way. We need to weep with John over the lost. He loved the sweetness of the Word in his mouth, but the knowledge of the judgments to come made him suffer long. His weeping was bitter. We must remember Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Judgment causes much weeping.
V11. John must yet prophecy about people, nations, tongues, and kings. The rest of this prophecy will begin in chapter 12. This is when the really hard times will begin for those who are not sealed.
Let’s not allow our curiosity of prophecy and the study of Revelation to become morbid. It’s a promise to the saved, and a warning to the lost. On the other hand, let’s not allow ourselves to become frightened by it. Whether you believe the Rapture will come before the Tribulation begins, during the middle of the Tribulation, when the Tribulation is over, Tribulation, or not at all, your strength comes from knowing God will seal and protect His own. Our sorrows and tears must be for the natural man. We must remember daily to express our gratitude to the Father for showing us such favor that we are saved.
I have not asked you to study the text before we meet before. But I really would like you all to read Revelation 11:1-6 in several translations. If you have an Amplified Bible, please use it here to glean the true interpretation from the Greek.