In last week's study titled "The Sixth Trumpet and Second Woe". We looked at the result of the sounding of the sixth trumpet; the release of the four Angels and the unconventional army of horsemen and their strange horses as well as the havoc they wrecked. We also observed that even after all the plagues, the people were still unrepentant.
The preceding chapters of Revelation referred mostly to future occurrences; John hears a trumpet and he is given the opportunity to see into the future. Interestingly, right in the middle of that we encounter chapter 10 and it pulls us from the future; not even to the present but to the past! Howbeit, John's present; because this time, John was in the thick of things.
"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:"
Notice here that John's vision was no longer of activities in heaven; "And I saw another mighty angel come down from Heaven". This angel is "clothed with a cloud" indicating the presence of God, see (Rev 14:14). The "rainbow" speaks of the glory of God. (Ezekiel 1:28). "His face was as it were the sun" symbolizes the authority of the angel. (Genesis 1:16). "And his feet as pillars of fire" alludes to the strength of the angel. Pillars are central and foundational to supporting a structure. (Galatians 2:9).
Verse 2 - 3:
"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, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, Seven Thunders uttered their voices."
The "OPENED" Little Book would indicate that John could access the information in it (Amos 3:7). The angel had dominion over the sea and Earth. (Psalm 110:1). The lion is associated with kingly, regal power. (Proverbs 19:12). The Seven Thunders uttered their voices, could be likened to be another series of Judgments like those of the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials. (Psalm 29:3-9) talks about the Voice of Jehovah. (Read)
" 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."
John was instructed, like Daniel to not reveal the vision that he had been shown, probably because, like Daniel, the visions were intended for those who lived at the "time of the end" (Daniel 8:26; 12:4, 9).
"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 forever 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:"
What did the angel mean when he said "there should be time no longer"? He concluded his oath saying (in effect, time up!) No more time for what? Obviously there was no more time for repentance? In the last study, the inhabitants of the earth still had the opportunity to repent but didn't; at this point there was no more time!
"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."
The expression "the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound" refers specifically to the Seventh Trumpet Judgment (Rev.11:15). At the Seventh Trumpet Judgment, the "Mystery of God should be finished". But, what is the Mystery of God?
If I knew, then it wouldn't be a mystery would it?
Ephesians 5:32 talks about this mystery, so does (1Timothy 3:15), (Ephesians 6:19), and (1Corinthians 15:51-53). Sometime between the sounding of the Sixth Trumpet Judgment (Rev 9:9-21) and the Seventh Trumpet Judgment in (Rev.11:15), the Seven Thunders (10:3-4) are revealed. But God in His Sovereignty asked John not to write as well not to reveal it (he couldn't even talk about it) - he was to keep it sealed!
Verses 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. 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."
God instructed John to "take the Little Book which is open", signifying that the Apostle John was being given a private viewing of the Seven Thunders. John was especially set apart for the privilege of fulfilling the words of the Resurrected Saviour. (John 21:22-23).
The angel then explains what would happen to John. "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 similar to the prophet Ezekiel's experience. (Ezekiel 3:1-3, 14). When John ate the Little Book; it was as the angel said; "sweet as honey" in John's mouth, but it "was bitter" in his belly.
God's Words to us, according to (Psalm 19:9-10) is sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb
But, His Word to unwilling hearers will be bitter
"And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."
Some have said that this promise, "Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" has already been fulfilled by the spread of the New Testament Scriptures, including the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and the Revelation. Certainly, the promise has been fulfilled in some measure. But, the fact that the Apostle John was shown the contents of the Little Book; as well as the utterances of the seven thunders and was told not to reveal them means that he may still at some time appear in God's calendar to "prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."
Would John be among the two witnesses in the next chapter? Or will he take the stage at some other time? No one knows.
This chapter will be likened to an interlude; a "little break" away from the woes and the point in time when God shuts the door to repentance. It is also a preparation for the seventh and final trumpet and the third woe. But praise God! We'll be gone by then!
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai