Study Notes

Revelation 10:1-11


Remember that God tends to put a parenthesis between the sixth and seventh judgments in the book of Revelation. Between the sixth and seventh seals being broken, we were introduced to the 144,000 witnesses and saw the fruit of their ministry as martyrs in heaven.

Now, between the sixth and seventh trumpet judgments, another parenthesis occurs. The seventh trumpet will not sound until chapter 11, verse 15.

10:1-7 Another Strong Angel

John sees another strong angel coming down out of heaven. Who is this angel? Believe it or not, most Bible scholars tend to be evenly divided between this being the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, or an angel, either Michael or some other unnamed angel.

I honestly haven't made up my mind. Therefore, I'll make both cases for you, and you can decide. First, I'll attempt to convince you why it must be Jesus Christ.

#1 - He is an "angelos," a Greek word that means "messenger." The word is used many times, sometimes for a celestial being, sometimes a man, sometimes Christ Himself.

#2 - He is clothed with a cloud. The Bible often refers to our Lord a surrounded by a cloud.

Exod. 13:21 And the LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way

Exod. 19:9 And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I shall come to you in a thick cloud..."

Ps. 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;

Every time the Lord appeared in the tabernacle, He was surrounded by a cloud. Many of the prophets prophesy of the day of the Lord as being a day of clouds. Clouds seem to be the Lord's calling card.

#3 - The rainbow was upon His head. When Ezekiel saw the Lord, he said,:

Ezek. 1:27-28 ...There was a radiance around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

We also saw in chapter 4 that there was a rainbow around the throne of God. Notice that John here calls is "THE rainbow." He is either specifically speaking of the rainbow that was around the throne of God or the rainbow that God placed in the sky in Genesis 9, which was the sign of the covenant between Him and the earth, that He would never again destroy the earth by water.

#4 - His face was like the sun. Again, as we search the Scriptures, we run into descriptions of Jesus with His face shining like the sun:

Matt. 17:2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

Rev. 1:16 And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

#5 - Feet like pillars of fire. The closest thing I can find to flaming feet in the Bible is found in Revelation, and it speaks of Jesus Christ.

Rev. 1:15 and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace...

#6 - Voice like a lion's roar. The prophets wrote,

Jer. 25:30 "...The LORD will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold..."

Hosea 11:10 They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar, And His sons will come trembling from the west.

Joel 3:16 And the LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

Amos 1:2 And he said, the LORD roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem He utters His voice; And the shepherds' pasture grounds mourn, and the summit of Carmel dries up."

And of course we saw earlier in Revelation that Jesus was called the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah.

That's why many commentators believe that this is Jesus Christ.

Now I'll make the other case - the case that this is not Christ, but an angel.

#1 - Another. The word "another" here is "AL-los," which means, "another of the same kind." This seems to be John indicating that this angel is similar to the other strong angel we saw back in chapter 5, who asked,

Rev. 5:2 ..."Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"

This would indicate to me that this is another angel like this one.

#2 - An angel. If this was Jesus Christ, why didn't John recognize him? Indeed, John had seen Christ on earth in the veil of flesh, glorified on the mount of transfiguration, in complete glory in Revelation 1, and as the Lamb of God. If this is Christ, why then does he describe him as another strong angel?

#3 - Feet on sea and land. If this is Jesus, His feet are also in the wrong place. Remember, when Christ returns...

Zech. 14:3-4 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

If this is Christ, He's standing in the wrong place.

#4 - Lifting up hands and swearing. This sounds just like something an angel did in the book of Daniel.

Dan. 12:5-7 Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river, and the other on that bank of the river. And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long {will it be} until the end of {these} wonders?" And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half {a time;} and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these {events} will be completed.

This angel dressed in linen was above the water, and he swore that from the time that the abomination of desolation happened and sacrifices in the rebuilt temple stopped, that it would be three and a half years before the end.

When you swear, you swear on something greater than yourself. You place your hand on the Bible and say, "so help me God." You say, "I swear on my mother's honor," or, as the men of Israel used to do, "I swear by the gold of the temple." But when the Lord swears, He's got an interesting problem. You see, there is nothing greater than God. So, the writer of Hebrews says,

Hebr. 6:13-18 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU, AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU." And thus, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us.

Isa. 45:23 "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back...

Jer. 22:5 "But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself," declares the LORD, "that this house will become a desolation."'"

Now, this angel doesn't swear by Himself, but by Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things.

So, you can see the quandary that most people are in trying to identify this angel. We could explain the angel's similarity to Christ by understanding that when you are in the presence of Christ, you being to take on the attributes of Christ.

But basically, I think if it was essential that it was clear, then it would be clear.

The Seven Thunders Speak

Seven peals of thunder respond to the loud roar of the angel. What did they say? We have no idea. John was told to seal up what they said, and not to write them.

This tells me that there are still things about the future that we don't know until we get there. The Lord has been very faithful to prophesy for us, and we do have an accurate view of the things to come, but the entire picture belongs to the Lord - there are still things we don't know.

No More Delay

He raises his right hand and swears that there shall be delay no longer. Some of your translations say "time/" but it means "delay." If time ceased to exist at this point, it would be awfully hard to measure the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, or the 1,000 years of the millennial kingdom, wouldn't it?

There will be no more delay - the day of the Lord is coming. Though the mockers over the years have said,

2Pet. 3:4 ..."Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."

But God has been mercifully waiting, just as He waited 120 years during the days of Noah. But now in our reading, the time is at, there will be no more delay. The seventh angel will sound his trumpet, and the last 3 1/2 years is upon the earth.

10:8-11 Eating the Book

In the angel's hand is a little book. So far in Revelation, we've read about three different books. There is the book in which John is to write what he sees (Rev. 1:11); there is the Book of Life, which Jesus mentioned to the church at Sardis (Rev. 3:5); and there was the seven-sealed book that we read about in chapter 5 (Rev. 5:1). Which book is in Jesus' hand? Or is it another?

There are three words for book in Greek: BIB-los, bib-LEE-on, and bib-lee-ar-ID-ee-on. Each one is smaller than the last. Sort of a bigger book, a smaller book, and the smallest book. The Lamb's book of Life was the BIB-los, the bigger one; the book that John was to write and the seven-sealed book were the bib-LEE-ons, the smaller ones, but the one in this strong angel's hand is a bib-lee-ar-ID-ee-on, the smallest book.

So, it's not the opened seven-sealed scroll - it must be another book. We can figure out what it is because a similar thing happened to Ezekiel.

Ezek. 2:9-3:3 Then I looked, behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it. When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back; and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe. Then He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you." Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.

The books that John and Ezekiel were given to eat were books from heaven, books of prophecy that they were to speak.

But before they spoke them, they had to eat them, digest them, absorb them. The same is true for the entire word of God. In order to disperse the Word of God to you, I have to eat it first. And let me tell you, the experience of tasting it and digesting it is often the same as John's.

For both John and Ezekiel, the words from God were sweet in their mouths. And that's the way the word of God is, sweet in our mouths...

Ps. 19:9-10 ...The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Oh, how sweet the Word can be! But the Word can also be bitter in our stomachs. For the same Word of God that says,

Matt. 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

also says,

John 8:24 "...Unless you believe that I am {He} , you shall die in your sins."

That is always the bittersweet taste that one who is called to proclaim the Word experiences. Oh, how I love to speak of the day when Jesus will return! When He finally frees Israel, when He will reign upon the earth with righteousness! But then also the bitterness - that those who have set their faces against God will be destroyed, judged, and cast into outer darkness. That should be bitter in all of our stomachs. May the Lord use us to make the number of those people as small as possible.

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