8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke unto me again, and said, Go and take the little scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who stands upon the sea and upon the earth.

9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little scroll. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your stomach bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.

10 And I took the little scroll 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 stomach was bitter.

11 And he said unto me, you must prophesy again about many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

 

*** A voice from Heaven ***: Up to Revelation 10:7, John still didn't know what the contents of the little scroll were. He knew where it had come from (Heaven), who had sent it (God), who had brought it (the strong angel), and that it was a message of global importance. The voice from Heaven had just spoken, telling John not to write down the words that the seven thunders had uttered (Revelation 10:4). The voice from Heaven then made an unusual request. John was expected to take an active role in the vision: "take the little scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who stands upon the sea and upon the earth" (Revelation 10:8).

*** Take it, and eat it up ***: The way that John first experienced the contents of the little scroll was indeed unusual, but not unique. Ezekiel was also instructed in a vision to eat the scroll. Here is the text from Ezekiel 2:9 to Ezekiel 3:4:

"And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a scroll of a book was in it; And he spread it before me; and it was written inside and outside: and there was written in it lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that you find; eat this scroll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that scroll. And he said unto me, Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them."

The angel in Ezekiel's vision had also asked him to eat a scroll. Much like the sealed scroll in Revelation 5, the scroll Ezekiel was given was also written on both sides (Ezekiel 2:9,10). Ezekiel was supposed to eat the scroll before preaching a message to the people.

*** The taste of the little book ***: Ezekiel described what the experience of eating the scroll was like for him: sweet as honey in the mouth (Ezekiel 3:3). In a similar way, the symbolic imagery used in the text of Revelation 10:9-10 is strong. In both cases, the angel was not asking them to eat the actual pages of a scroll. The importance of the symbolism is in the message itself, not on the physical elements that may form the vessel that carries it. Let's not forget that both prophets were in a vision. They could not physically eat anything. In the text of Revelation, John is being asked to absorb the message in such a profound way that it would be like making God's Truth become embedded in the deepest parts of his soul. The angel was asking Ezekiel and also John to live the message fully. The taste of God's message is described in other portions of the Bible.

 

Jeremiah "Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by your name, O LORD God of hosts."
Ezekiel 3:3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness."
Psalm 19:8-10 "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

 

 The bitter taste came after the prophet had ingested the message. The people writing about the taste of God's message were already receptive to it, so taking in the information was a pleasant experience, "sweet as honey". However, digestion proved to be challenging. Both the eating and digesting are symbols of the message being spread throughout the world. The verse in Ezekiel 3:4 tells us that Ezekiel was supposed to go to Israel and present the truth to the people. That is a much harder scenario. Ezekiel had to preach to a group who was not going to be so receptive to what he had to say. Preaching the Gospel under this circumstance often brings in frustration, disappointment, rejection and even persecution. All these things make up the bitter taste in the stomach which the angel talked about.

*** Peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings ***: John was urged to prophesy again after eating the scroll. Two words stand out in this statement: 'again' and 'prophesy'. The word 'again' implies that John had already done that, and finished the task. But the angel told John the activity had to start once more. His work was actually not finished just yet. In the vision, John was called to prophesy during the interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpets. The word 'prophesy' comes from the Greek prophéteuó. The HELPS word studies tell us that this word is formed by combining two other words: 'pró', which means 'before' and phēmí, which means "assert by elevating one statement over another". In other words, it means to "'speak forth' in divinely-empowered forth telling or foretelling; prophesy." John was being asked to preach God's message, and it was about "peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" (Revelation 10:11). In Revelation 14:6-12, we see the imminent preaching of the Gospel, with the first message of the three angels: "And I saw another angel fly in midheaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and tribe, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Revelation 14:6)

Based on these texts, we can see that there will be a final proclamation of God's message. Jesus also mentioned this in Matthew 24:14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Only after the message is presented on a world-wide scale, the end will come. The preaching at the time of the end aims to prepare people for the last events. The message of the three angels gives people a final opportunity to listen to the Truth. It focuses on worship: the first angel was "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Revelation 14:7). The third angel message reveals the character of the One we should worship: He is the Creator of the Universe. It also reveals the existence of another power who is trying to shift the focus of God-centered worship: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out undiluted into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb". (Revelation 14:9-10). The beast and his image want to position themselves in a way that they could receive praise and worship. This behavior is directly opposite to God's commands.

*** Overview ***: The message of the little scroll seems to deal with the end-time events concerning the issues the people living at that time will be facing: who should they choose as their source of truth? The message in the little scroll is the assurance that God will not lose this battle for the mind. God's Truth is encouraging to those who are open to hearing what God has to tell them and act on that information, allowing transformation to occur. They are prepared to let the message of God become an integral part of their existence. On the other hand, telling the inhabitants of the world that they are being deceived by false teachings and that they should abandon the practices that go against God's instructions, can be a great source of disappointment and frustration for the one bringing the message. It can leave a bitter aftertaste, which will not be avoided. The same way Ezekiel tasted it, John did as well, and so will we if we are willing to practice the message ourselves. The important thing is to be willing - willing to internalize God's message and repent. We are receiving a call for action. It is not enough to learn what God is telling us. We have to live the Truth we learn and witness to others our transforming experience with the only One who is worthy of our praise, the Lord God Almighty.

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

6 And swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are therein, and the earth, and the things that are therein, 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 has declared to his servants the prophets.

 

Part 3 - Revelation 10:5-7

 

*** Background text ***: We read about a very similar scene in Daniel 12:7:"And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished the shattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." Let's take a look, and compare the text in Revelation 10:1, 2, 6 and 7 and Daniel 12:7, so we can have a better understanding of what John was seeing in his vision.

 

  Revelation 10:1, 2, 6 and 7 Daniel 12:7
A messenger clothed with a cloud (verse 1) in linen
Was standing up with his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth (verses 2 and 5) above the waters of the river
Had hands lifted up lifted up his hand to heaven (verse 5) he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven
Swore the oath by God swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are therein, and the earth, and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein (verse 6) swore by him that lives forever
The oath had to do with time there should be time no longer (verse 6) it shall be for a time, times, and a half
The time frame 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 has declared to his servants the prophets (verse 7) when he shall have accomplished the shattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

The messengers in the texts of Revelation 10 and Daniel 12:7 are making an oath about a prophetic time. In Daniel 12:7, the emphasis is on when that period of time will end. The emphasis in Revelation is on when that time would begin. Are they talking about the same period of time? Or does one time begin when the other one ends? If they are different, which one comes first? Clearly, both passages are related. Let's look further into the text in Revelation, in order to answer these questions.

*** Hands lifted up ***: John was paying close attention to the strong angel in his vision. In study #66 and #67, we saw the description of the angel and the importance of the unsealed prophetic message of God. John saw the angel lift up his hand to Heaven (Revelation 10:5). The angel was about to swear an oath. The angel is the vessel for the message, but the oath the angel is pronouncing is God's own oath. The angel has no control over God's timing of events. God is in control of determining when "there should be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6).

*** The oath: There should be time no longer ***: The oath itself is very short. It tell us that "there should be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6). In contrast, the oath in Daniel 12:7 has to do with the setting of a time: "it shall be for a time, times, and a half". In other words, in Revelation, there is no more time. In Daniel, there is one. Here we can see that these oaths refer to different moments in the history of humanity. The message in Revelation is open, unsealed. The message in Daniel 12 is to be "closed up and sealed up until the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9). Then we ask ourselves: what does God mean by "time"? There are two Greek words which are translated as time: kairos and chronos. Kairos refers to a single and fixed point in time, like a moment, a day, or a season. Chronos, which is the root of the word chronometer, refers to a span of time, the duration of a period, a time frame with a beginning and end. In mathematical terms, it would be the same as describing kairos as a dot, and chronos as a line. The word used for 'time' in Revelation 10 is the word chronos. Some Bible scholars suggest that the phrase could read as "there will be no more 'delay'". The word 'delay', however, implies that the events of the time of the end have been shifted to a later time. God's time is perfect, and nothing is unforeseen that should make Him change His timing of things. Perhaps, a better understanding of the oath would be to say that the span of time given is over. The time of precisely determined dates being revealed to mankind is up. The last events are about to unfold.

The time mentioned in Daniel 12:7 is also a span of time: "it shall be for a time, times, and a half". The Hebrew word translated as time is moed, which means "appointed time, place, or meeting". In Hebrew, they used this term "a time" to refer to one year. The term times referred to two years. The prophecy in Daniel 12:7 then reads as "a year, 2 years, and half a year", which totals 3.5 years. As we've seen in studies #16 and #20, the time periods in prophecy are often not literal. In prophecy, 1 prophetic day equals 1 literal year (Ezekiel 4:6,7; Numbers 14:34; Leviticus 25:8). In the case of Daniel 12:7, which includes 3.5 prophetic years, the span of literal time of this prophecy is actually 1260 literal years. Le'ts take a closer look at how we arrived at this number:

- First, we need to know that the Jewish people counted years and months differently than we do today. They followed the lunar cycle. The months had 30 days, and a year had 360 days. Every so often, they would have an extra month to compensate. Today, we do basically the same thing on our calendar. We add an extra day to February every 4 years and we have some months with 31 days.

 

- 1 year = 360 days
- 3.5 years = 3 x 360 = 1260 days

- 1 prophetic day = 1 literal year
- 1260 prophetic days = 1260 literal years

 

This prophetic period in Daniel is part of an even bigger time prophecy: the 2300-day prophecy (Daniel 8:14). The 2300-day prophecy is the longest time-prophecy stated in the Bible. Using the '1 day = 1 year' rule, the prophecy in Daniel 8:14 equals to 2300 years. This period would be useless to us if we did not know when it started. But the Bible tells us exactly when it did. This period started when the decree to restore Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). That happened in 457 BC. When we add 2300 years to the year 457 BC, we arrive at the year 1844. If you are calculating it yourself, remember to add 1 year to your result to compensate for the lack of a year zero. There was no year zero. The AD calendar started in the year 1.

The prophecy of Daniel 12:7 does not end in 1844, but is rather contained within the 2300 prophecy. The study today is not aimed to describe the prophecies in the book of Daniel in great detail, but just to situate them in relation to the oath stated in Revelation 10:6. The sections of time contained in the 2300-day prophecy were very accurate and pointed to an exact year in the calendar. The Bible, however, does not give us a specific time prophecy after the end of the 2300-day one. We have prophecies of things that will happen after the year 1844, such as the final events and the Second Coming itself. But we don't know the exact year when those things will happen. In that sense, "time should be no longer" after 1844. Exact dates are no longer directly revealed to humans after that year. And so, after 1844, the last period of human history began.

*** The mystery of God ***: The little scroll contained a small section of the mystery of God. The disclosure of the contents of the larger sealed scroll seen in Revelation 5 will only take place at the sound of the seventh trumpet (Revelation 10:7). The scene where the little scroll is being presented to John happens between the sixth and the seventh trumpet. But God has always revealed portions of His mystery to humans. He has been doing that since the Garden of Eden. He continued to do so throughout History. We can see God's revelations through many books in the Bible, especially the prophetic ones in the Old Testament (such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zachariah, and many others). God never leaves His people in the dark. He always tells them what His plans are: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7). Today, we continue to preach God's mystery, as we spread the Gospel (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:4-12; Colossians 1:26,27). Just like the small scroll John saw, at this point, we only have a portion of the complexities that are involved in the entirety of God's mystery. No one prophet was given the complete message. Even when we put together all that we know to date, we still can't comprehend the depths of the love of God, His plan of Salvation, or God Himself.

*** Overview ***: The strong angel is the one proclaiming the statement, but actually, God is the One making the oath. When God makes such a declaration, it cannot be revoked: "So God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in that it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" (Hebrews 6:17,18). God's promise is immutable, as well as the oath that confirms His promise. Christ's death on the cross was in itself the revelation of a great part of God's mystery. Salvation through Jesus' sacrifice is the key element in the proclamation of God's mystery through the Gospel (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:4-12; Colossians 1:26,27). The scene with the little scroll takes place in or after 1844, which is much later than the end of the prophecy of Daniel 12 in 1798. Times which had been set are now in the past - "there should be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6). The contiguous time of the end has started.

To answer our initial questions regarding the oaths in Daniel 12 and Revelation 10: Are they talking about the same period of time? No. they refer to different periods in history. Does one time begin when the other one ends? Not quite. The prophecy in Daniel 12 ends in 1798, and the oath marks the time beginning after the year 1844. There is a gap there, which is covered by other prophecies.

The main point of the oath stated in Revelation 10:6 is that just as God had kept His promise regarding the prophecies given in Daniel 12, He will continue to keep His promises to His people after the sixth trumpet. This message is directed to Christians living in the last days. God is once again reassuring us that He is Truth. The circumstances around the end-time believers may be grim as if the enemy could be dominating the spiritual war. But we must not be afraid. We can trust God. We can feel encouraged because His word is immutable (Hebrews 6:17,18). God will prevail!

 

2 And he had in his hand a little scroll open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

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.

 

Part 2 - Revelation 10:2,4

 

*** An open little scroll ***: The Greek word used for little scroll in Revelation 10:2 is biblaridion. This verse tells us that this small scroll is open but in Revelation 5, we see a closed scroll. The word for scroll in chapter 5 was translated from the Greek biblion. Biblaridion is the diminutive form of biblion or biblos and refers to papyrus scrolls. The content of the sealed scroll of chapter 5 can only be fully revealed once all the seals are broken. We will study this later in more detail when we start Revelation chapter 12. For now, we must concentrate on the fact that only a portion of the scroll is being revealed to John, in the form of a small scroll.

Some Bible commentators suggest that the small scroll is the book of Daniel, which was sealed "until the end of time" (Daniel 12:4,9). This concept is interesting but limited. The content of the little scroll seems to go beyond the time-frame described in the prophetic portions of the book of Daniel. Let's keep in mind, however, that John did not yet know the content of the little scroll at this point. All he knew was that the little scroll was open and that it was sent by God through a strong angel.

*** Seven Thunders ***: When John heard the angel's cry out with a loud voice (Revelation 10:3), he heard another sound as well. John described this voice as the voice of the seven thunders. In the Greek manuscript, we see the article "the" used before "seven thunders" in both verses (Revelation 10:3,4). These were not any seven thunders. They were THE seven thunders - the thundering voice people were already familiar with (Psalm 29:3-9; Job 26:14; Job 37:5). The angel's cry preceded the sound of seven thunders. The voice of God is often represented in the Bible by the voice of thunders. The fact that there are also seven thunders is important. As we have seen before, the number seven plays a recurring role in the Bible. The number seven often represents the totality of God, and His perfect fullness (See study #31 and #11). The number seven is a symbol in itself. John described the voice of God, as the seven thunders. John seemed to be able to understand what the seven thunders said because he was preparing to write the words down. But a voice from Heaven commanded that John did not write anything, and seal the words that the seven thunders had spoken. No one, but John, was to know what the seven thunders had uttered (Revelation 10:4). On the other hand, God's message given by the strong angel, in his lion-like roar, was to be revealed to all (Revelation 10:6-7). God's voice prophesying impending judgment is sometimes compared to a lion's roar (Jeremiah 25:30; Hosea 11:10; Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2; Amos 3:8). God's voice as thunders depicts how infinitely big and powerful He is (Revelation 4:5; Psalm 18:13; Psalms 81:7; 1 Samuel 7:10; Job 40:9).

In John 12:20-36, God speaks from Heaven, and some people "that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered" (John 12:29). In the Bible, thunders often come before important divine actions. Stefanovic points out the following events where we see the voice of the thunders:
- Before breaking of the seven seals (Revelation 4:5; Revelation 6:1)
- Before the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:5)
- Before the war between the dragon and the woman, which culminated in the seven last plagues (Revelation 11:9)
- Before the final moments of this world and final judgment (Revelation 16:18)

*** Seal up the statement ***: What God said as the seven thunders seem to be of extreme importance but we do not know what He said. John attempted to write it down immediately but God had other plans. God thought it was only necessary for John to hear the information. The fact is that we do not know what He said at that moment. The angel had an unsealed revelation but the seven thunders had a message that was to be sealed (Revelation 10:4). There should be no record of what the seven thunders had spoken. Yet, it was important that John included that the seven thunders have said something. Somehow, we would benefit from knowing He had said something. Everywhere else in the book of Revelation, John is instructed to write down the vision (Revelation 1:11,19; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:5). We then can conclude that the request to seal the words of the seven thunders is what Deuteronomy called: the secret things that belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). When Paul received a vision, he also "heard unspeakable words, which [were] not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Corinthians 12:4). Those "unspeakable words" were not meant for humans to repeat. They were words that belonged to God alone. Like Paul, John heard such words. It is possible that those words were not words of prophecy, and that is why he had to seal them up. Later in Revelation, John receives instructions regarding the prophetic message he is supposed to pass along to the churches: he is commanded not to "seal the words of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:10). In contrast to the words of the seven thunders, which are sealed and belong to God, the words of the little scroll, which is open, are prophecies being given to humans.

*** Overview ***: John was in a state of readiness. He was prepared to write down everything that he was seeing and hearing in the vision. As he received a message from God, through the angel, another message comes along, through the sound of seven thunders. One message was open to the public, the other was not. One was being revealed, the other was being sealed up. The seven thunders could be seen as God's personal authentication of the message the angel was bringing. God was directly controlling what information had to be communicated to the people, and which things were not to be transmitted. This shows that what John revealed in the Book of Revelation is not the content that John saw fit to include. The message was carefully assembled by God Himself.

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:

2 And he had in his hand a little scroll 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 roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

 

Part 1 - Revelation 10:1-3

 

*** Background ***: As we mentioned before, the seventh trumpet doesn't come right after the sixth one. There is a pause between the sixth and seventh trumpets, just like the one we saw between the sixth and seventh seals. Even though each of the trumpets doesn't necessarily correspond exactly to the time frame of each of the seals, they start and finish in the same place, covering the period between Jesus' resurrection and His Second Coming. In the study of the seals, this interlude answered the question raised at the end of the sixth seal: "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Revelation 6:17). The answer is clear: God's army will remain and become a great multitude standing victorious before the throne of God. The interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets expands that answer even more. Throughout the blowing of the trumpets, the descriptions give us the well-defined picture of a battle between God's army and the enemy army. God's army is His church, and they fight this battle not by the use of force, but they use a mighty spiritual weapon: God's Truth. The interlude here explains the role of God's army and how they spread the Gospel in the last days.

*** Another mighty angel ***: The angel described in Revelation 10:1 reminds us of the one in Revelation 5:2: "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll, and to loose the seals thereof?". In both verses, the angel is mentioned in association with a scroll, and they are both described as being 'strong' or 'mighty'. Revelation 10:1 starts with the word "another", which leads us to believe that this strong angel is not one of the seven blowing the trumpets.

- Where the angel comes from: There is no doubt that this angel comes from heaven (Revelation 10:1). The Greek word for angel is aggelou, and it means messenger. This strong messenger has an important information sent by God.

- His appearance:

* The angel is clothed with a cloud. As we've studied before, the term cloud is often associated with the presence of God (see study #6). Now it becomes even more clear that the message the angel is carrying is so important that it is surrounded by the presence of God.

* There was a rainbow over his head. The rainbow reminds us of the description of the throne of God, in Revelation 4:3. Once again, we see the presence of the Father in this description. The angel seems to not only come from Heaven, but also from the very presence of God. Even his face was shining like the sun.

* The angel's feet were like pillars of fire, just like the description of Jesus' legs in Revelation 1:15. Now we not only have a reference to the Father but also to the Son. The messenger holding the little scroll resembles these two members of the Trinity.

- On his hand: The angel had in his hand a little scroll. This scroll is different than the one in Revelation 5, because of two things: it is little, and it is open. This doesn't mean these two scrolls aren't related. If they are related, the little scroll of Revelation 10 could be just a portion or section of the one in Revelation 5. We will talk more about the little scroll in the next study.

- Where he was standing: While holding the little scroll, the mighty angel had one foot on the sea and the other on the earth. The terms 'earth and sea' remind us of three things.

* Creation: "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:9,10). The dry land (Earth) and the portion covered with water (Seas) referred to the entirety of the planet.

* Fourth Commandment: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."(Exodus 20:8-11). God created "heaven and earth, the sea, and everything that is in them". The expression here is also a reference to the entire planet.

* The beast that comes out of the sea and the one that comes out of the land: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." (Revelation 13:1). "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon." (Revelation 13:11). The beasts, which represent a political-religious power, have a global influence.

In all three instances, the concept involving the Earth and the Sea refer to their worldwide reach. The image of the angel standing in that way emphasizes the global implications of the message contained in the scroll.

- His Voice: The angel cried out with a loud voice. His voice was not only loud, it was like the roar of a lion. The angel cry prompted seven thunders to utter their voices (Revelation 10:3). The lion roar is used as a symbol for the sound of the angel's voice ("as when a lion roars"). It was not a sound to be dismissed.

*** Is the strong angel Jesus? ***: The strong angel has qualities that resemble both Father and Son. The message he is bringing is clearly one sent from Heaven. He is carrying an open book. The text does not say he opened that himself. It seems that the book was open in Heaven before the angel was sent. Let's go back to the beginning of Revelation, and review the sequence of how the message was going to be given to John: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and revealed it by his angel unto his servant John" (Revelation 1:1). God gave the message to Jesus, Jesus gave it to the angel, and the angel gave it to John. The sequence in Revelation 10:1-7 seems to be the same. And we have been studying this sequence over the past several lessons, leading to this point: God gave a sealed scroll to Jesus, Jesus started to open the seals of the scroll, then Jesus gave a portion of the scroll that had been opened to the angel, and the angel is transmitting the message to John. Is then the angel Jesus? Not exactly, but in a way, yes. In modern terms, we could understand the function of this angel by comparing the flow of information getting to John to the way we often communicate today. We often send messages to each other in electronic form. We get the message, but what we see is not the sender. What we see are letters on a screen, or we hear a recording on a machine. The actual sender is not the phone or computer. We consider the message as if we had received it directly from that other person. In a similar way, the strong angel of Revelation 10:1 is the carrier of a message coming from God, through Jesus. In a broader sense, it is as if Jesus was there Himself, giving John the message.

*** Overview ***: Revelation 10 and Revelation 11:1-14 cover the interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpets. This section explains the role and activities of God's end-time faithful people. The information gets to John through a strong angel, sent by God. The striking appearance of the angel tells John that the message has global implications, and is of extreme importance. At this point, John still doesn't know what the scroll actually says. He spent a few verses describing what the messenger looked like, to make it clear to the reader that the angel is bringing with him divine information. The first verses of chapter 10 prepare the foundation for the verses to come. After seeing the strong angel and hearing his cry, John is ready to listen to what God has to say.

   
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