Revelation 10

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

June 11, 1997 

Introduction

Since John was caught up into heaven in chapter four, he has begun to see the unfolding of events of the great Tribulation period, from heaven's perspective.

He saw the Lamb take a scroll with seven seals, and as each seal was broken and a little more of the scroll was unrolled, certain events began to break out on earth and in heaven.

After six of the seals, we hit a kind of parenthesis, where we saw the "sealing" of the 144,000, and the tribulation martyrs in heaven.

When the seventh seal was opened, we saw that the seventh seal involved seven angels blowing seven trumpets.

As with the seal, with each trumpet blast, events broke out as the Tribulation period continued to progress, until last week we saw the sixth trumpet blast.

Just as with the seals, there is now going to be a kind of parenthesis before we get to the actual seventh angel blowing his trumpet (which doesn't happen until Rev.11:15)

:1-7 The Mighty Angel

:1 And I saw another mighty angel

another - allos - another of the same kind.

mighty - ischuros - strong, mighty; strong either in body or in mind

angel - aggelos - a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel

This combination of words translated "mighty angel" occurs three times in Revelation -

Re 5:2 And I saw a strong <2478> angel <32> proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

Re 10:1 And I saw another mighty <2478> angel <32> 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:

Re 18:21 And a mighty <2478> angel <32> took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

The idea of "another" "strong angel" probably is in contrast with the first "strong angel" we saw back in Rev. 5:2.

Who is this?

I'm going to give you two suggestions.

    1. It's Jesus.
    2. We're going to see that there is a lot of similarities between this individual and Jesus. We'll see these as we go through the text.

    3. It's Michael the Archangel.

Why isn't it Jesus Christ?

a. John doesn't recognize him (Rev.1; 5:6)

By this time John should recognize Jesus, He's described Him in His glorified state in chapter 1, and in chapter 5 John described Him as the Lamb. Why would John be so vague here if it was Jesus?

b. John calls this person "another strong angel". (Rev.5:2)

The greek for "another" refers to "another of the same kind" and takes us back to Rev.5:2 to see the other "strong angel".

That angel was definitely distinct from Jesus, as Jesus is introduced in chapter 5 as the Lamb.

c. Michael is the chief of the angels. (Dan.10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Rev.12:7)

His name in Hebrew means "Who is like God", and so his presence would be an awesome one too.

The other strong angel mentioned in Rev.5:2 could possibly be Gabriel.

For further study on Michael see:

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

:1 come down from heaven

Keep in mind John's perspective, he's in heaven himself, watching this angel descend to the earth.

:1 clothed with a cloud

In the wilderness, it appears as if God Himself was in the "pillar of cloud":

Ex 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

Nu 12:5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood [in] the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

De 31:15 And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle.

When Jesus comes, it will be with clouds:

Re 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

:1 a rainbow was upon his head

iris - a rainbow

This "rainbow" is what was seen around the throne of God back in chapter 4 -

Re 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

Perhaps it's not the idea of a half-circle, multi-colored rainbow like we think, but perhaps more like a circular "halo" of light around his head.

:1 his face was as it were the sun

This guy is shining!

He's so bright his father calls him "son"

If you recall, this is very similar to something we've seen earlier:

(Rev 1:16 KJV) And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

This was a picture of Jesus.

:1 his feet as pillars of fire:

pillars - stulos - a pillar; a column

It sounds reminiscent of two things:

The pillar of cloud and pillar of fire that led the Israelites in the wilderness.

(Exo 13:21-22 KJV) And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: {22} He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

The image of Jesus back in chapter 1:

(Rev 1:15 KJV) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

:2 And he had in his hand a little book open

little book - bibliaridion - a little book, a "smaller" (diminutive) form of biblion, which already is a "small book". This is a "really small" book.

It's possible that this is the same book that we saw in chapter 5, only it's now opened -

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.

But it's not quite the same Greek word, it is a "smaller" book.

What's this book?

I think it is a book that contains the remaining events in Revelation, or at least the things in 11:1-15.

John is going to be told to "eat" the book, and after that he will be told to "prophesy" about coming events.

I think the concept is that after John "eats" the book, he is then enabled to prophesy, because he has the book inside him.

Jer 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.

This same type of thing happened to Ezekiel:

(Ezek 2:8 - 3:3 KJV) 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. {9} And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; {10} And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. {2} So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. {3} And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

:2 and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

The concept of putting your foot on something is one of conquest.

De 11:24 Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

Jos 10:24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.

If this is indeed Jesus, this could be a picture of Him beginning to take His rightful place as King over the earth.

Ps 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession.

Eph 1:22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,

If it's Michael, he's establishing a "beach-head" on the earth.

:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth

roareth - mukaomai - (from a presumed derivative of muzo ( to "moo")) - to low, bellow, properly of horned cattle; to roar, of a lion

It wouldn't sound right to say that the lion "mooed".

Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah

Re 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Some Scriptures tell us that God too roars:

Isa 42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.

Jer 25:30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread [the grapes], against all the inhabitants of the earth.

:3 and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

There are several places in Scripture where it seems that when God speaks, people hear thunder.

2Sa 22:14 The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.

Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

See also Ps.18:13; 81:7

When the Father spoke to Jesus once, it sounded like thunder to those nearby:

Joh 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard [it], said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

Perhaps the idea here isn't that there are seven "thunder creatures" that are speaking, but the idea that God speaks with seven thunders, and each thunder has some kind of meaning or message.

Some have suggested a connection to -

Psa 29 A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. {2} Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. {3} The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon 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 breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. {6} He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. {7} The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. {8} The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. {9} The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. {10} The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. {11} The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

There are SEVEN times that the "voice of the LORD" is mentioned.

The "voice of the LORD" is often associated with thunder.

Could this be related to Revelation 10?

:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write

Apparently, John could make out some kind of message being spoken with each thunder, and was about to write it all down.

:4 I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,

Whose voice? We're not told.

:4 Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

John is told to not write down what was spoken by these seven thunders, but instead to "seal them up".

It would be pure speculation for us to try and guess what the seven thunders said, since John himself was told not to write it down.

This is the only thing in the book of Revelation that was to be "sealed". Everything else was written down, to be understood.

In contrast, Daniel was told to "seal" his book:

(Dan 12:4 KJV) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

I don't think we ought to spend too much time trying to figure out what these seven thunders said -

(Deu 29:29 KJV) The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

:5 lifted up his hand to heaven,

The angel lifts his hand to sware an oath (like raising your right hand and swaring )

His hand is lifted "unto heaven", pointing to the source of His oath.

:6 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

Some have said that this proves the angel isn't Jesus, because He's swearing by the Creator.

Yet God Himself swears oaths:

Heb 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

:6 that there should be time no longer:

or, "that there is not yet time".

In other words, "time's up!"

We're coming into the homestretch of the tribulation.

:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound

The seventh angel hasn't yet blown the seventh trumpet.

That's not going to occur until Rev 11:15.

This sounding of the seventh trumpet is going to wrap up everything.

:7 the mystery of God should be finished

There will be no more mysteries, because they'll all be "complete".

I think this is simply saying that all the things we've wondered about God going to do, they're all going to get wrapped up.

People will no more wonder when the end is coming.

It will be happening before their eyes.

Look what is said when the seventh trumpet sounds:

Re 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

:7 as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

All these things are things that have been spoken of long ago, by many prophets.

Lesson:

If the ancient prophesies came true, these will too.

There have been some incredible things written in God's Word concerning things that were to happen.

And then they did.

Example:

Think of the life of Jesus - over 300 prophecies fulfilled through His life.

Tyre - Eze 26 - the destruction of ancient Tyre

The city was to be seiged by Nebuchadnezzar.

The walls were to be broken down and leveled.

The dust was to be scraped off the city.

The city was to become a place for spreading of nets.

It all happened.

If specific prophecies like this were fulfilled, don't you think the rest will come true as well?

We don't have an ordinary book here.

It's not Jeanne Dixon either.

:8-11 A Little Dinner Reading

:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again

This is apparently the same voice that told John not to write down the things that the thunders had spoken back in verse 4.

:9 Take it, and eat it up

eat it up - kataphago - to consume by eating, to eat up, devour

John isn't asked to "nibble" on the book, or just sit down and politely start eating.

He's asked to "devour" the book, to "eat it up!" (as we say to our kids, "Take Monster Bites!")

:9 it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

When John is to eat this book, two things will happen:

It will make his stomach "bitter", or give him an upset stomach.

But in his mouth it will taste sweet as honey.

The things to come are going to be sweet -

It's going to be wonderful to have Jesus come back and set up His kingdom upon the earth!

The things are also going to be bitter -

The process of taking back the world from sin and Satan is going to require a lot of bitter things, a lot of bitter judgment.

Lesson:

The Second Coming is bitter-sweet.

We can get all caught up in the wonderful fact that we're going to see Jesus face to face!

We can get all caught up in the glory of getting new bodies, ruling with Jesus, and living in heaven.

But we should also balance that with the bitterness that comes from knowing that the unbelieving world is going to be judged.

Even as we are spending eternity in God's presence, in bodies designed to be able to withstand the joys of heaven, those who reject Christ will spend eternity in bodies designed to endure the pain and judgment of hell.

It's sweet, but it's also bitter.

:10 as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

John obeys and as he eats it, the book is sweet to his mouth, but bitter to his stomach.

:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

peoples, and nations, and tongues

If it's really true that "six" is the number of man, it's interesting to see that a list containing these same words, describing all "men", is found six times in the book of Revelation:

Rev. 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15

Some have taken this verse to mean that John would be one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11, who would have a prophetic witness on the earth during the tribulation.

I'm not so sure that this is just the result of a poor translation.

before - epi - upon, on, at, by, before; against; to, over

The Old Testament Prophets were often called to "prophesy against" certain situations. (Jer. 25:30; 26:12; Eze. 4:7; 20:46; Amo. 7:16)

Better translated:

Re 10:11 (NAS) You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.

Re 10:11 (NIV) Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."

The whole idea is that John has "devoured" this book, and now he is able to continue on writing this prophesy.

Lesson:

Consuming God's Word prepares you to speak for Him.

You have to receive from God before you can share anything:

(1 Cor 15:3 KJV) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;