The Mighty Angel and the Little Book
Chapters 10-14 in the Book of Revelation are parenthetic. They do not advance the chronology of the book. Instead, they give us some facts that help us to better understand the total prophetic picture. In this interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets, we are introduced to three personalities: the mighty angel and the two witnesses.
The Mighty Angel
Revelation 10:1-7 – The angel: came down from heaven, was clothed with a cloud, had a rainbow upon his head, had a face that was like the sun, and had feet that were like pillars of fire. In Rev. 1:2, we see “He had in his hand a little scroll” - the title deeds of the world. It also contained the revelation of future prophecies. “He also set his right foot on the sea and his left on the land.” The sea is referring to the masses – the Gentiles – and the land is referring to the nation of Israel.
This angel is claiming universal authority for Jesus Christ. The angel sat on the rolled away stone. Christ’s work was finished. “The angels’ work was about to begin.” Christ stood triumphantly. “The Kingdom of this world is about to become the kingdom of the Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” See Rev. 11:15. [Describe the coming glory of the reigning King.]
In Rev. 10:3-4, the angel cried with a loud voice like a lion; then there were seven thunders. These thundering voices evidently conveyed a message. John was about to write it down, but was told not to do so. What the messages were remains a mystery.
The Little Book
Revelation 10:8-11 - John was told to go and take the little scroll from the hand of the angel and eat it. It would be sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. John did not literally eat the book, but he was asked to read it and understand it. Note the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “Thy words were found and I did eat them,” (Jer. 15:16). In Ps. 119:103, the Psalmist also writes, “How sweet are thy words to my taste.”
The contents of the book were sweet, as John understood the purposes and will of God – His final triumph. Prophecy is sweet when we read of the coming of Christ. It is sweet to see that, in the end, God will be completely glorious. But, when John saw the price the world would pay and what it would cost the nation of Israel for the kingdom to be set up on the earth, it made the prophecy become bitter to him.
Although John was told not to write down the message of the thundering voices, in Rev. 10:11, he is told that he will prophesy again. Peoples, nations, tongues, and kings will hear John’s message. The great and the small must hear. What a message John had to proclaim. He undoubtedly shuddered at the awesomeness of the judgments that were to follow. With the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out. Man has never equaled the awesomeness and intensity of these judgments. Not even man’s self-destruction, as depicted in the pouring out of the seal judgments, can compare with the bowl judgments of God. Neither can Satan, in the trumpet judgments, equal God’s judgments in the bowls of wrath.
God’s wrath is as great as His love. God’s wrath touches every part of the universe. Turn this around – “God’s love is as great as His wrath.” “Herein is love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us,” (see 1 John 4:10). Note John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse is the metropolis of Gospel truth. It is the hub of the Bible - the heart of the Gospel. All the great truths of the O.T. converge towards it. All the great doctrines of the N.T. emerge from it. The great distinctive truths of redemption revolve around it. God loves – God gives – God saves.
The Apostle Paul prays that the Ephesians would know the unknowable length, breadth, height, and depth of God’s love. [Describe Bethlehem – Gethsemane – Calvary] This love was not for His friends, but for His enemies. See Romans 5, “Greater love hath no man than this […]”. See also Jn. 15:13. As poet Thomas Kelly wrote, “Love that no tongue can teach, love that no thought can reach, no love like His.” God’s love is deeper than that. Or as Frederick M. Lehman wrote, “Could we with ink the ocean fill?”
Sing in closing: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross