R e v e l a t i o n

Chapter 10

Six of the seven horns have been sounded; we are now waiting for the final trumpet to add its notes. However, before this happens there is something else that takes place, which has to do with time. Six of the seven trumpets have been playing a dirge against mankind but the final trumpet has been silent waiting for its queue to usher in the finale. When that seventh trumpet finally sounds, that finale will include the imprisonment of Satan and his demons, for the seventh trumpet heralds the time of judgment. Right after the trumpet joins the other six, all together the seven trumpets will begin to blare forth an unexpected brilliance of hope and mercy for every man, woman, and child who ever lived. Proving once again, the love exhibited by the Creator and that nothing would or could alter His wondrous purpose. And to prove this, we are introduced to a mighty angel.

Rev 10:1

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. (NIV)

    We must stop here and find out who this mighty angel is.  For there are only two instances in the Bible of an angel being described as mighty, and both are in Revelation.  Most Bible commentators equate this angel with Christ himself.   Yet a little examination of the rest of this chapter shows this is not the case.   The key here is "Then I saw another mighty angel"  There is no one in heaven that could be compared to Christ in might or power… other then the all-powerful, Almighty God.  For we are told concerning Christ in:

Heb 1:4

So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (NIV)

    From the above scripture it is clear there are no angels that are a match for Christ.  Also in Hebrews we find that the Almighty has declared:

Heb 2:5

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. (NIV)

    Who is it that has subjected the world to come?  The answer to that is Christ's Father Jehovah… who is the only one mightier than Christ is.   It is therefore Jehovah Himself that this mighty angel is representing here and the reason this messenger is being introduced as "Another mighty angel."

    Now we have just learned that Christ is not an angel and we know God is not an angel, therefore, the question that comes to mind immediately is why is the Creator being introduced here as an angel?  Well, like everything in the Bible, there is a very good, significant reason for this.

    The actions of Christ in all this are a direct result of His loyalty and devotion to His Father.  For speaking of His Son Jehovah has said:

Heb 1:9

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (NIV)

(Notice that Jehovah is here referring to Himself as being Christ's God.  Christ does this also in Rev 3:12; in fact, Christ does this four times in that one verse.)

  We know that Christ is the firstborn of all creatures in this universe.

Col 1:15

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (KJV)

    We also know that it is Christ who is directing all of the actions portrayed in Revelation concerning the wrath of His Father and God.   In other words, The Almighty has assigned the job of carrying out His wrath to His Son.   Christ is therefore administering this wrath in His Father's name.  Why then is this mighty angel who represents God Himself suddenly imposing Himself into the proceedings at this point?  The answer to that is it is because the Almighty has too... for He is the only one in the universe that knows the time this was to happen.

Matt 24:36

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (NAS)

    This is why God, symbolized as "Another Mighty Angel," appears at this point in this manner.        So that all in heaven and earth know that God is not usurping the authority of Christ but merely unfolding the answer to a question that no one else in the universe, not even Christ up to this point, knew. The day and hour!

    Also that this "Mighty Angel" represents or symbolizes Jehovah is confirmed by the other instance in the Bible that a mighty angel is referred to

Rev 18:21

Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. (NIV)

    When we reach chapter 18 in Revelation, we will see exactly who the wrath of God is aimed at, and why that is so.  Which is something only Jehovah can decree, who is again, in that chapter, represented by the combined words of "Mighty angel."

    Now that we know who this "Mighty Angel" is and why Jehovah appears at this point symbolized as a "Mighty angel", let us begin again from the top:

Rev 10:1

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. (NIV)

    We know from earlier chapters that clouds are used to represent God's Power.  Now we can see that this angel being robed in a cloud symbolizes the total power of the Holy Spirit, which belongs only to God.  He can and does give it to whomever He pleases, and Christ has full use of it at all times, but it originates with and comes only from… Jehovah.

"…With a rainbow above his head;" signifies that the Creator is conscious of and concerned with the covenants He alone has made with mankind. " …His face was like the sun" symbolizes God's brilliance and that man cannot look directly at His face. "… And his legs were like fiery pillars." Pillars represent something staunch, strong, and enduring.  Fiery pillars here relate to the promise of mercy and love, through a fire of refinement that this chapter suddenly reveals concerning judgment. For it is the notes of judgment that the final or seventh trumpet is about to play loud and clear.

    Now we are given some more information concerning this mighty angel.

Rev 10:2

He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, (NIV)

    God, here represented by this mighty angel, puts one foot of one pillar of refining fire in the sea, which we know represents the general population of mankind.   The other foot is placed on the land both of which convey that what we are about to be told applies to the earth as well as to its population.  In short, the whole planet and everything on it.

    This mighty angel also has a little book that is open in his hand.   Since it is already open, means that what is in it is revealed.  (The Greek word Biblaridion is used here which literally means a pamphlet.  Here and in verse 8 of this chapter are the only times this word is used in the Bible and it is used both times in reference to this little book, which the word's definition more properly reveals as a pamphlet.)

    Now this mighty angel opens his mouth, and like the roar of a lion, shouts out the message of this pamphlet.  However, it is not the voice of this angel that speaks… but the voice of God Himself that roars out this message.

Rev 10:3

and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion.  When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.

    Seven thunders are referring to the perfect voice of God as in:

Job 40:9

Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? (KJV)

Ps 77:18

The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. (KJV)

    When the voice of God finished the message, another voice speaks to John.

Rev 10:4

And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down." (NIV)

    Again this is the voice of Christ in verse four speaking, telling John not to write this down.  The obvious question that comes to mind here is why not write it down.  Why is the message from the thundering voice of God to be sealed up?    There are two reasons!   The first reason is revealed in the next two verses.

Rev 10:5-6

Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven.

6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay! (NIV)

"There will be no more delay!" This is the first reason!   Through this mighty angel, God's voice is declaring… now, this moment… is when the time I have appointed begins.

    Just the same, since this appointed time was still in man's future and is still in our future, Christ seals it up.  However, the two verses above are also making it clear that this time… will come, which also means

Rev 10:7

But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets." (NIV)

    Now, we have, in the Bible Probe, stated in other articles that there are no spiritual mysteries left in the Bible for the members of the family of God.   This is so, for we have been assured of this in the Word.  However, this final mystery of God, mentioned here, pertains not to a spiritual value but to a single physical date related to the time that judgment, or the resurrection, would begin on earth. We know the resurrection has been promised, but God will not begin the general resurrection until He has take Satan out of the picture.  By His declaration that there will be no more delay means that is also the moment Satan is locked away.

Rev 20:1-2
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (KJV)

    Now in this chapter, speaking of that time when this date would be revealed to all, John has been present.  He has been told to seal this date up; nonetheless, he has also heard the message from the seven thunders or voice of God, and now knows the guidelines God will use to render judgment to all when the resurrection begins.  This is the second reason he has been told to seal it up.  

    Even so, John is so surprised at what he has heard concerning this general resurrection that he is allowed to give us a hint at some of it.

Rev 10:8

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: "Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." (NIV)

    Again this is the voice of Christ directing John to do this.

Rev 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." (NIV)

    Remember, this mighty angel represents the Almighty himself and that is why he speaks with such authority in commanding John to eat this pamphlet.  Notice also that in verses 8 and 9, The Father and the Son work in unison with one purpose, one design, one goal, just as they have from the beginning of creation.  (Which explains such verses as "Let us make man in our image." (Gen 1:26) and (Gen 3:22) "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us…" )

    Now it is the eating of this pamphlet that lets us get the hint concerning judgment that John is allowed to give us.

Rev 10:10

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. (NIV)

    What tasted sweet and what tasted sour?   What tasted sweet is explained in the next verse.

Rev 10:11

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (KJV)

    Teaching the word of God was always something sweet as far as John was concerned, for he was very good at it.  But that he would be required to do it again was what he found a surprise and a sweet one at that, for it meant that this date, which no one but the Almighty knew, was not the end for the sinners of the world.  It meant that the final judgment, as we use the term judgment, was not to occur until after the thousand years reign of Christ was finished. (We will find this to be verified in the last few chapters of Revelation.) For the word "Judgment", as God is using the term here, is the same as when Israel was first ordained as a nation of God's people.  God ruled Israel through judges, which were people ordained by God to be the instructors from God.  John found it sweet indeed that God planned to give all, still under sin, a period of instruction without interference from Satan, which is the reason for the thousand years reign of Christ. (Many see this as a second chance for sinners which in truth it is, and what John found as a sweet surprise.  However, when we reflect on this... is that really so surprising?   Christ told us we were to forgive 70 x 7 times. Christ would not have told us to do this if it were not possible.  Therefore one has to ask himself: 

Would God do less than we could?)

    Concerning knowledge during this thousand years of the reign of Christ:

Isaiah 11:9

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (KJV)

(The whole chapter of Isaiah 11 deals with the sweetness of the kingdom of God.)

    What was sour we will learn in detail in chapter twenty.   However, in a nutshell, this is what is to happen.  At the end of the thousand years of Christ's kingdom, Satan will be let loose for a short while.

Rev 20:7

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (KJV)

Rev 20:8

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (KJV)

    This is what John found bitter.  That there would be those even after a period of a thousand years of knowledge that would still fall prey to the great deceiver; that father of lies, Satan.   The conclusion of this final conflict between God and those that have fallen again into Satan's realm is related in the Bible as the battle of Armageddon.  The consequences of this battle for Satan and all that follow him is labeled as the second death.  When God's victory is concluded at that time, then the penalty against man for disobedience... death itself... will be cast into the lake of fire or destruction.   Which explains the scripture:

Rev 20:5
The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.  This is the first resurrection. (NAS)

Until those resurrected to the earth during that thousand years have passed the test of the second death, they are not considered by God as being alive.  Once they have overcome the second death, they are then given eternal life, which is why the verse is saying, "...did not come to life..."   

   What happens then...?  

That we can only guess at:

1 Corinthians 2:9
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--

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