A Study of the Book of Revelation
We come now to a parenthesis between the 6th and 7th trumpet. When the 7th trumpet sounds, this will be the second advent of Jesus Christ, and the beginning of the millennial reign.
We have the two heralds of the second advent. The mighty angel of chapter 10 and the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah.
The 7th trumpet is the second advent.
A king is always preceded by heralds. In the first advent, Christ had heralds when He came to Bethlehem. He was preceded in His first advent by a multitude of angels and one human herald, John the Baptist.
In the second advent, He will have as heralds, one angel and two human beings.
The first herald is in chapter 10, and the two human heralds are in chapter 11:1-14.
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:
In the first verse John is permitted to see still another mighty angel. The physical appearance of this angel is significant.
The angel originates in heaven, and because he is clothed with a cloud, has a rainbow upon his head and a face like the sun and feet like pillars of fire, many have thought this angel to be Christ. This is an unlikely identification, however.
“I saw another mighty angel” – an angel of the same kind.
“Mighty” – means he is operating in the power of God.
“Come down from heaven” – means God sent the angel.
“Clothed with a cloud” – In Psalm 104:3, clouds are called the Lord’s chariots.
“Rainbow…upon his head” – means God always keeps His word. God is always true to His word and the rainbow takes us back to Genesis 9:12-17 when God promised never to destroy the world again by water.
The sun refers to His brightness.
“Pillars of fire” speaks of judgment.
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,
This book is the same one talked about in chapter 6. It was a sealed book, but here in chapter 10, it is an open book.
This book contains the title deed to the earth.
Because of the work on the cross, Christ has purchased the earth. When He returns, He will bring along the title deed showing His rightful ownership of the earth.
So at the beginning of the Millennium, all unbelievers are taken off the earth and the Millennium begins with only believers.
“Open” is a perfect, passive participle and means the book is open and it will stay open.
“Right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.” This shows the angel claiming the earth and the sea for Christ.
3. And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
Crying with the voice of a roaring lion, the angel stands upon the sea and upon the earth showing his authority in all the earth.
This is the proclamation of the heralds as he claims the earth for Christ.
It is like a lion roaring. The lion of the tribe of Judah.
This voice is clear, loud and with authority.
This announcement is to be heard world-wide.
Seven thunders utter their voices. Seven speaks of perfection and there are seven angels.
In John 12:29 thunder is called the voice of angels.
In Psalm 29:3, 4 thunder is called the voice of the Son of God.
4. 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 about to write. John must have known what it was, but we don’t. God stopped him.
Everything that God revealed to John, was not written down.
5. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
One foot on the land speaks of total possession of the land.
One foot on the sea speaks of total possession of the sea.
Lifted hand toward Heaven speaks of the Lord having total possession of all.
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, that there should be time no longer:
His authority, however, is apparently not his own. He swears by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that herein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein (vs. 6).
In swearing by the Creator, Jesus Christ, this angel shows that he has come in our Lord’s authority but is not the Lord Himself.
No one is to swear, but God can because there is no higher power. This is the announcement of the second advent of Christ.
“That there should be time no longer” refers to the end of the Jewish age in Revelation 11:15-19
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.
When the seventh angel shall sound his trumpet, then the mystery of God will begin to be known, and this sun-faced angel is anxious that there be no delay (time in verse 6) before it is sounded.
The sounding of the 7th trumpet marks the commencement of the end of the age, and all that was revealed by God through His Old Testament prophets and all the mysteries of the kingdom of Christ will be known.
This is the second advent. The mystery of God is the end of the Jewish age. The 7th trumpet is the 2nd coming of Christ.
8. ¶ 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.
In the hand of this angel is a little, previously opened scroll.
It is not the seven-sealed scroll but a much smaller book. John is commanded to seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not (vs. 4).
Here John takes the open book. This book is the title deed to the earth.
The angelic herald is holding the book.
9. 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.
At this point John is commanded to take the little book and eat it. The command to eat the scroll is reminiscent of the similar experiences of Ezekiel (Ezk 2:9-10; 3:1-4) and Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16-18).
This is a symbolic way of saying that John is to devour its contents, become thoroughly familiar with it, assimilate it, digest its meaning.
The message of the book will be bittersweet. John is delighted with a new revelation but is disturbed with the nature of that revelation. He rejoices in the final glory that will be his Lord’s, but grieves that so much more judgment must precede the final glory.
John takes the book from the angel. He is told to eat the book. He becomes the 3rd one to receive a command to eat a book.
It is a picture of persecution and faith.
Persecution makes the belly bitter.
Faith makes the mouth sweet as honey.
Taking the book speaks of action.
Eating the book means learning Bible doctrine.
Five points of this command to eat:
1. This word eat is an aorist, active, imperfect.
2. The believer cannot serve the Lord apart from learning the Bible doctrine. We must know if we are to serve.
3. By eating the book, John makes the Word a part of his ministry.
4. John takes the book from the angel standing up. If it had been Jesus giving him the book, John would have fallen at His feet.
5. Eating the book means taking in doctrine.
Bitter in the stomach. This speaks of the bitterness of the Tribulation.
Sweet as honey speaks of the fact there never has been anything too great for God’s grace.
The plan of God is greater than the world of Satan.
We can have peace in the midst of trouble.
Sweetness means that God can provide in the midst of troubles.
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.
John ate the book.
At first it was sweet, but turned into great pain in his stomach.
This speaks of the terrible judgment of God on the world during the Tribulation.
11. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
This means this prophesy is for the whole earth.
The whole earth is warned of the terrible coming judgment.
Chapter 11 continues with the parenthesis between the sixth and seventh trumpet.
Remember, Jesus is coming at the seventh trumpet.
Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.