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The Angel and the little scroll

The Angel and the little scroll
Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992. Click picture to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.

Revelation 10

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:

[10:1. Chapter 10 begins another parenthesis in the chronology of Revelation (10:1-11:14). These visions apparently relate to the time period covered by the first six trumpets, and thus to the latter half of the Tribulation. The mighty angel may be a strong angel, or even Christ Himself (the Angel of the Lord). The description is similar to that of Christ in 1:13-16 (cf. Ezek. 1). The cloud (cf. Ps. 104:3), the rainbow (cf. Rev. 4:3), the sun (cf. 1:16), and the pillars of fire (cf. Ex. 13:21) may refer to diety, but a parallel may also be drawn with the angel Gabriel (cf. Dan. 8:16; 12:7).]

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,
3: And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
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.

[10:2-4. The little book is probably a title deed to the earth (cf. Jer. 32:10,11). It symbolizes Christ's right to possess and rule the earth (cf. Ps. 2:6-9). The planting of the feet on the sea and the earth (dry land) shows Christ's authority over the earth in it's entirety, and the appropriation of His promised inheritance as Messiah. The loud voice shows authority as well. The little book may also contain more judgments (cf. Ezek. 2:8-3:3). The seven thunders or peals of thunder may be further messages of judgment, such as the seven bowl judgments still to come (ch. 16). He is here told to seal them up, since they will be described in detail later.]

5: And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
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:
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.

[10:5-7. Lifting the hand signifies taking an oath (cf. Gen. 14:22,23; Dan. 12:7). The announcement of the angel is that there will be no more delay in the establishment of the millenial kingdom of Christ. This presumes a present delay or postponement of the promised kingdom (between Christ's two advents). With the sounding of the seventh trumpet (11:15), the present mystery form of the kingdom will be over (cf. Rom. 11:25) and what God promised to the prophets (e.g., Is. 11; Jer. 31; Ezek. 36,37; Dan. 7; Zech. 14; cf. Matt. 6:10) will finally be completed.]

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.
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.
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.

[10:8-10. John is told to eat the little book, and when he does, it becomes sweet in his mouth (cf. Ps. 119:103; Jer. 15:16) but bitter in his belly. The act of eating represents the understanding and appropriation of prophetic revelation. The message is "sweet" because at last the kingdom promises are about to be fulfilled. It is bitter because it can only be accomplished through more judgment and tribulation.]

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

[10:11. This verse is a key to the chronology of the Book of Revelation. John is told to prophesy again concerning (Gr. epi, "about" or "concerning," not before) many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. The seal and trumpet judgments have brought the chronology close to the end of the Tribulation period and to the return of Christ to the earth (cf. 11:15). Now John must prophesy through the period a second time, concentrating this time on the major personages and movements of the Tribulation (e.g. Satan, the beasts, the harlot or Babylon system). This duplicated prophecy begins in chapter 12 and culminates in the vial (bowl) judgments, the destruction of the beast, and the return of Christ (chs. 16-19).]

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Artwork © 1992 Pat Marvenko Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Text copyright © 0095-0096, Jesus Christ, All Rights Reserved.
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