Chapter 10

 

The Mighty Angel . v1 - 7.

 

1. "I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire."

 

Before the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15) comes a new series of visions. The first of these is of the mighty angel with the little book. Although some aspects of the description John gives of the angel correspond to what was said of Christ in chapter one, this mighty angel is certainly not Jesus Christ. Christ is not an angel, and no where in Scripture is he referred to as such. God the Son is greater than the angels. Here, John clearly states that he saw "another mighty angel" the first being the one in Rev. 5:2 who cried "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?"  That these mighty angels are of an higher order than the others can be deduced from the adjective "mighty" i.e.. powerful or strong. Although of an higher order they are not given the title of archangel, as is ascribed to Gabriel and Michael.

 

John watched the descent of this angel from heaven until his feet touched the earth. That this angel was a special messenger from God is signified by the following:  

 

(a) He is surrounded by a cloud of the glory of God. The Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in clouds of glory (Acts 1:9) and He will return to earth in clouds of glory (Rev. 1:7).  

 

(b) He had a "rainbow" on his head, the symbol of God's covenant mercy with His people (Gen. 9:12 - 13) -   there is a rainbow around the Throne (Rev. 4:3).

 

(c) His face shone like the sun - i.e.. with a radiance that told of his might. In the same way the face of the Lord Jesus Christ is described in Matthew 17:2 and Rev. 1:16.

 

(d) Feet as pillars of fire signify his strength to subdue all things.  So John similarly describes the feet of Christ in Rev. 1:15.

 

This is the only mighty angel who is describe like this and we can conclude that this angel "reflects the glory of God and comes with Christ's authority" (Wesley). Although not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the angel  "descends with the evidences of Christ's power" (Ellicott).

 

2. "He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,"

 

He held in his left hand a little book (bibliaridion - little bible). The fact that it was open suggests that its contents were about to be made known.  The earth and sea are under the feet (and hence under the command) of this angel.

 

3,4. "and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."

 

Like the roar of a lion the angel gave a great shout and in response came a sevenfold thundering voice which gave a distinctive message. What the source of the thunder was is not made clear, but we may reasonably presume that it came from heaven. (Ps. 29:3 - 9). When it had finished John was about to write down what had been said when a voice from heaven told him not to do so for this message was not yet to be made known.

 

5, 6. "The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,"

 

The angel  then raised his right hand (as most translators agree) to heaven to make a solemn oath in the name of the eternal God of creation that there would be no more waiting, for the time had come for God's wrath to be poured on the earth. (Rev. 6:10).

 

7. "but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets."

 

When the seventh angel sounds the seventh trumpet (11:15) God's hidden purpose for the redemption of man would be completed (Col. 1:26) just as He had made known through His servants the prophets (1 Pet. 1:12).

 

The Little Book. v8 - 11.

 

8. "Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth."

 

The voice from heaven instructs John to take the open book from the angel's hand.

 

9, 10. "So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter."

 

John did as he was told and asked the angel for the little book.  (This book is distinguished from the book or scroll of chapter 5: 1 by the word "little" - since the first contained the whole revelation while this contains but a part). On handing the little book to John the angel instructs him to take and "devour it", that is, to read it thoroughly and take every word in. But he warns him that although the reading of it will be like eating honey, the digesting, or understanding of it, will give him great discomfort (Ezek. 3:1 - 3; Jer. 15:16).  John did as the angel said and found it to be just as the angel had told him.

 

11. "And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

 

Finally the angel tells John that it is essential for him to prophesy, as he has done previously, about many people, nations and languages.  Having just devoured the contents of the little book, it is clear that the contents of the book would be the subject of his prophecies.

 

Note:  Tatford cites Girdlestone who suggests "that the command really implied his giving forth prophetic truth the second time concerning the whole of the same period".   If this were so then it would not have commenced until after the seventh trumpet had sounded.

Revelation 10 Bible Study

 

The Pentecostal Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians

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