Let’s turn tonight to Revelation 10 as we continue our journey and coming to the end of our journey through the Bible, wrapping it up in the Book of Revelation and we are just about half way through the book of Revelation, almost through the whole Bible.
I saw another mighty angel. (10:1)
Now, we are in the midst of the seven angels that stand in the presence of God who are given trumpets to sound and with the trumpets there come corresponding judgments of God upon the earth. But this is a separate angel from them and he is called a mighty angel. Now, the word angel is a title of an office. It is not speaking of a nature. Jesus is referred to in the Old Testament many times as the Angel of the Lord. The ministers of the seven churches that are addressed in the Book of Revelation are called the angels of the churches. That is because the Greek word translated angel means messenger. It can be a divine messenger. It can be a human messenger. Usually the name is a reference to those spirit beings created by God, numbering into the millions, that worship the Lord and that are serving Him; but if you are a messenger of God, the word “angel” would apply to you. I believe that this mighty angel because of his description is none other than Jesus Christ. You notice that he is coming down from heaven clothed with a cloud and a rainbow upon his head. Jesus said, “And then shall you see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:26) And then in Mark 14:62, when the high priest said to Jesus, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus said, “I am and you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.” When Jesus, after his resurrection, had been with his disciples for a period of about 40 days, they were gathered with him on the Mount of Olives there near Bethany and He ascended into heaven and a cloud received him out of their sight. And there stood by them two men in white apparel that said, “Ye men of Galilee, why do you stand here gazing into heaven for this same Jesus shall come again in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
And so we see here the mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and with a rainbow upon his head, his face as it were the sun, [go back to the description of Christ in the first chapter,] and his feet as pillars of fire: [again taken from the description of Christ in chapter one of the Book of Revelation.] (10:1)
It is interesting that Daniel the prophet had a vision of Jesus as he was coming to the Father to receive the authority to rule over the earth. And Daniel describes him in chapter ten as clothed in linen. Revelation chapter one, John sees him clothed with a garment. Daniel sees him girded with gold. John sees him with a golden girdle. Daniel sees him with a body as like beryl, which is sort of a clear diamond-type of stone. John sees him his head and hair white as wool. Daniel sees him with a face like lightening. John sees him with a countenance of the sun. Daniel sees him with eyes like lamps of fire. John sees him with eyes as a flame of fire. Daniel sees him with arms and feet like polished brass. John sees him with feet like fine brass. Daniel describes him as having a voice like a multitude. John describes his voice as like many waters. So we see how the description is sort of parallel. If you were there you would describe it in your own terms, but the descriptions would be rather similar as we see that they are, the description of Daniel and the description of John as they see the Lord in His glorified form. So He’s coming. The description could really only describe Jesus Christ.
his face as it were the sun, his feet as pillars of fire: He has in his hand a little book that is open: [or a little scroll that is open] and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth. (10:2)
Back in chapter five, we were introduced to a scroll that was in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne. It was sealed with seven seals. And the mighty angel with a strong voice said, who is worthy to take this scroll and loose the seals? John began to weep when no one was found worthy in heaven and earth or under the sea until the elders said to John, “Don’t weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed to take the scroll and loose the seals.” In chapters six through eight, we see as the seals are broken and the subsequent judgments that come upon the earth with the breaking of the seals of this scroll. As we studied it, we showed that this scroll was probably the title deed to the earth that was forfeited by Adam to Satan. Jesus came to redeem the world back to God. That was His purpose in coming. He said, “I’ve come to seek and so save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) And when Satan tempted Him, he took Him to a high mountain, showed Him the kingdoms of the world. And he said, “If You will bow down and worship me I will give these to You because they are mine and I can give them to whomever I please.” (Matthew 4:9) Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim to be the possessor of the world. In fact, Jesus called him the prince of this world, the ruler of darkness. And he rules over the earth. It was forfeited to him by Adam. He still is in control. It is not until we get to Chapter 13 that he turns his power and authority, his throne, over to the Antichrist, the man of sin. But Jesus came to redeem the world back to God. And He paid the price of redemption, been redeemed through His blood, the scripture said. And back in chapter five, as we are there in heaven worshiping Him as He takes the scroll, the title deed, we declare His worthiness to take the scroll and to loose the seals because He was slain and thus redeemed us by His blood out of every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. And He has made us unto our God a kingdom of priests, and we shall reign with Him upon the earth. The time has come for Him to lay claim to that which He purchased. In the Book of Hebrews we are told that He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, but He is now crowned with glory and honor. And God has put all things in subjection unto Him. But the writer says we do not yet see all things in subjection. That part hasn’t yet been fulfilled. He is coming, though, to lay claim. Paul writing to the Ephesians talking about the wonderful work of Jesus on our behalf, declares that He has given to us the Holy Spirit which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. (Ephesians 1:14) Jesus purchased the earth when He died on the cross. He has not yet laid claim to it. Satan still controls and rules, but He told us to pray thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. And we get into chapter ten, we see Him coming now, the scroll is opened. He is worthy. He can fulfill the requirements within the scroll. The scroll opened, He puts one foot on the sea, one foot on the earth and declares that there shall be no longer a delay.
He cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth: (10:3)
Back in Isaiah 31:4, Isaiah said, “For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me like as a lion and the young lion roaring on his prey when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice nor abase himself from the noise of them so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion and for the hill thereof.” Then in chapter 42:13, Isaiah said, “For the Lord shall go forth as a mighty man. He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war. He shall cry, yea roar, he shall prevail against his enemies. Jeremiah wrote in chapter 25:30, “Therefore prophesy, thou against them, all these words and say unto them, the Lord shall roar from on high and utter His voice from His holy habitation. He shall mightily roar upon his habitation and He shall give us shout as they that tread the grapes against all of the inhabitants of the earth.” Joel, 3:16, declared, “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem and the heavens and the earth shall shake but the Lord will be the hope of His people and the strength of the children over Israel.” Finally, Amos in Chapter 1:2 said, “The Lord will roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem and the habitations of the Shepherds shall mourn and the top of Carmel shall wither. So the roaring like a lion prophesied by many of the Old Testament prophets, as He comes it is a roar of triumph. It is a roar of victory. The time has come that the enemy is to be subdued and the kingdom of God is to be established. So he declares,
and when he had cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, John said, 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. (10:4)
So John does not tell us what the seven thunders uttered. And because John didn’t tell you, I’m not going to tell you either. And the reason I’m not going to tell you is because I don’t know. There are a lot of Bible expositors who have attempted to tell you what the seven thunders uttered, but John was ordered to seal them up. Evidently it isn’t necessary for us to know. God has given to us all that pertains to life and to godliness. All we need to know is there. The seven thunders, what they uttered, remains still a mystery. We don’t know what the seven thunders uttered. John was about to write it but yet was told to seal it up. It’s interesting that Daniel was told to seal up the vision. But with Daniel it was declared it is for the time of the end. And in the last days knowledge will be increased. So the Bible tells us that the Old Testament writers, many of them, wrote of things that they didn’t understand. They were curious. They tried to figure out what they were writing as they wrote of the work of God and the grace of God among the gentiles and of the glorious coming of the kingdom of the God. And so it’s interesting with the Book of Daniel, he was told to seal up, it is for the time of the end. But he wasn’t told not to write it. After he wrote it he said, now seal it. Daniel was asking some questions. The Lord said seal it. It’s for the time in the end and in the last days knowledge will be increased. And it is interesting as we are living in the last days how that the knowledge to have Book of Daniel has been unfolded. And now as we read the book of Daniel, now that so many of the events have already transpired, it is fascinating reading now because it reads almost like a history book at this time. At the time that Daniel wrote it, it was still future and it was still a great mystery. But now that most of it has been fulfilled, we look at it and it reads like a history book and it is amazing how accurate Daniel wrote the history of man before it took place. In fact, so much so that Daniel poses a real problem to the Bible critics. They have a real tough time with Daniel, and the only way they have been able to handle it is to say, “Well, Daniel really didn’t write it. Some fellow wrote it after it all happened and put his name Daniel on it, and it’s a forgery that it really wasn’t written by Daniel.” Well, they have a difficult time with that because Daniel actually wrote of things that were happening today. That’s pretty good! He’s still writing the Book. He wrote it last week after the newspaper came out, you know.
But here the seven thunders are sealed. We’ll be there one day and we’ll understand them. We’ll probably understand why God had him seal it.
And the angel which I saw that was standing on the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven making now this proclamation, and he swore by Him that lives forever and ever. [Now, some people say well you see it couldn’t be Jesus Christ because He is swearing by the Father.] He swears by Him who is living forever and ever, who created the 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, and he swore [or he took the oath] that there shall be no more a delay. (10:6)
“Time shall be no more” is not really a good translation. It is really “There shall be no more delay.” I was in a pastor’s conference several years ago in Phoenix Arizona, and the speaker used this as his text. “Time shall be no more.” Because it was a pastor’s conference and pastors many times have a pretty heavy schedule, and they’re always working by the timetable, the clock, and so forth. And he was exhorting the pastors of this glorious day when time would be no more. And you don’t have to worry about watches. You don’t have to worry about your calendar. “Time will be no more,” getting them all excited about the fact that one day you’re going to be free from the time schedules that we try to keep. He was a brilliant Bible scholar, so I went up afterwards and I said, “You know, I understand that the Greek really doesn’t support that “time shall be no more,” but in reality he is saying there shall be no longer a delay. He smiled rather sheepishly and said, “ I figured you would catch it but I didn’t think the rest would.” But what he is declaring is there’s not going to be any further delay for the setting up of the kingdom of God.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God will be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (10:7)
Throughout the Old Testament there were the glorious prophesies of the coming of the Messiah and the establishing of the Kingdom Age. When the earth would be restored. When the animals would no longer be wild and ferocious. When there will be peace like a river. When righteousness shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. The glory of God. The deserts becoming as a rose. The lame leaping for joy. The blind beholding the glory of the Lord. The mute singing praises unto God. These wonderful things that were to transpire when the Messiah would come and accomplish God’s kingdom upon the earth. Now, it is also true that there were many prophesies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah that He would be despised and rejected by men. He would be a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. That he would be crucified. That these other prophesies. And thus the Jews had a great problem trying to understand the scriptures because they seemed to be so diametrically opposed to each other. How can he be despised and rejected? The stone would be set of not by the builders. How can that all be if He is to set up the Kingdom of God and reign over the earth? So to solve what seemed to be a difficulty in the prophesies of the Messiah, they spiritualized the scriptures that referred to His suffering that referred to His death that referred to His rejection. They spiritualized those and only took literally the passages that dealt with the glory, the subduing of the nations, the ruling over the nations and all. They took those literally, but they spiritualized the other passages. There’s a great danger in spiritualizing the scriptures unless the scripture itself warrants that. It’s best to just take the scripture at face value. What it says. God said what He meant and God meant what He said. If He didn’t mean what He said, why didn’t He say what He meant? That makes sense doesn’t it? And it’s best to take the scripture, maybe you don’t understand it. There are a lot of things that I don’t understand. I do have a file in my brain that is marked, “wait for further information”. And there are a lot of things I have filed in that file that I’m just waiting to get further understanding, further information. But in the meantime, I take the scriptures at face value. Seeking not to draw too many spiritual analogies because when you get into in spiritualizing, you sort of have a license to go anywhere with it. If this represents this and that represents that, you can just – Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. Can you picture this poor lady going to the cupboard to find a bone for her dog? Now, we don’t now what kind of a dog it was, and you can preach a whole sermon on Old Mother Hubbard. And you can spiritualize it. The cupboard was bare. There’s nothing there. They don’t have anything for the future, you know, to help others. They don’t even have enough for themselves, and you can spiritualize the thing and go everybody with it. So I am careful not to spiritualize the scriptures but just to take them face value for what they say and just to believe that God meant what He said.
Now, we are told in Hebrews that because God can swear by no higher, He has to swear by Himself. You also swear by something that is greater. When you take an oath you swear by the Bible or you swear by God or you swear by something greater. But when God wants to confirm His word with an oath, He’s got a problem. There’s nothing greater than God. So in order to confirm what He has said by two immutable things, one, it’s impossible for God to lie. He then took the oath. And so now, here comes this mighty angel which I told you I believe to be Jesus Christ, and “He swears by Him who lives forever an ever by the creation of God that there shall be no longer a delay.” But in the time of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, things will be finished. It will bring the glorious Kingdom of God to the earth.
As you turn to the eleventh chapter and you see the sounding of the seventh trumpet in verse fifteen, “when the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom’s of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” (11:15) Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. And the time has come. He comes with a scroll, the title deed. That which He purchased, as we sing in revelation chapter five, He has purchased with His blood. Redeemed the earth back to God and He comes now and lays claim to the purchased possession and the whole mystery is finished.
Oh, there are so many mysteries concerning God. The mysteries of why God allows righteous people to suffer. The mystery of why God allows wicked people often to prosper. These are things that have troubled men throughout the scriptures. Job asked the question “Why do the wicked prosper?” (Job 12:16) Jeremiah said, “Lord I’d like to talk to You about a problem I’ve got. I know that You’re righteous, but why do You let the wicked prosper and wield such power?” (Jer 12:1) And it is a mystery why God allows these things.
There is the mystery of the patients of God in setting up the kingdom. Look how long we’ve waited since Jesus purchased the earth. Look how long God has waited, and He hasn’t come yet to lay claim to that which He purchased. That’s a mystery. But on the other hand it’s a mystery that you can be thankful for. What if the Lord had come back in 1800? Where would you be? You wouldn’t be in the kingdom. Aren’t you glad He waited until now? You know, there were some people that accepted the Lord here this morning. Praise the Lord. He waited. There will be many that will come to Christ tonight down in San Diego in Greg’s crusade. Praise the Lord that He waited. But as He said to Noah, “My spirit will not always strive with man.” (Gen. 6:3) There will come a day when the Lord will signal the Son that the time has come, and He will come for His church. And He will take us to be with Him. And then will begin the great judgment of the earth prior to His return to establish God’s eternal kingdom upon the earth. We’ve been waiting a long time, but when this mighty angel comes with the open scroll setting His foot upon the land and upon the sea and swearing by Him that lives forever and ever that there will be no longer delay in the sounding of the seventh trumpet, it will be finished these mysteries of God.
And the voice which I heard from heaven spake again unto me, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which stands upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and I 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. And so I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and I ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as I as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (10:8-11)
The mystery of the little book, sweet as honey mouth but bitter in the belly. As we have a term, “he really devoured that book”. It is a term that refers to a person reading it with great interest. He devoured it. He read it as one sitting. He really devoured the book. So it is the words. It is the thought. It is the teaching of the book, that one devours. And thus John as he was eating it, it was in his mouth sweet as honey. When you realize what the kingdom of God is going to be, the glories of God’s Kingdom when Jesus comes and reigns! The glories of this world when it is restored as it was in the beginning! When you see the world, the deserts blossoming as a rose. No more vast uninhabited areas of the world! When you see Siberia looking like Hawaii and the North Pole a beautiful tropical jungle! When you see the lion and the lamb eating together! When these things happen, it’s going to be so sweet, but when you contemplate the sin of man and the essential judgment of that sin, the bitter things that the world must go through as God brings His judgment, when you devour it and you really contemplate it though the results of bringing the kingdom are sweet, yet the things that bring it to pass, when really considered, are indeed bitter.
David said in Psalm 119 “How sweet are Thy words to my taste. Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” Ezekiel said, “Moreover He said to me, son of man, eat that which you find. Eat this scroll and go and speak to the house of Israel. And He said unto me, son of man, cause your belly to eat and fill your bowels with this scroll that I give to you. Then I did eat it and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. So the Spirit, in verse 14, lifted me up and He took me away and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.” (Ezekiel 3:1-14) So the bittersweet. The bitterness of the effects of sin but the sweetness of the coming kingdom. John is told that he must prophesy again. “he said unto me you must prophesy again before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings.” Some interpret this to mean that John will be one of the two witnesses because in the very next chapter we are introduced to two witnesses. Now, most everyone in agreement that the one witness is Elijah. It has been accepted from the prophesy of Malachi that God is going to send Elijah back to the earth before the great notable day of the Lord. But there is a lot of discussion and differences of opinion concerning the second witness. Who is that second witness? Some say it is John because here he tells him that he is going to prophesy again before many nations and tongues and kings. But just who is that second witness? Well, next Sunday night we’ll be looking at the eleventh chapter and taking possibilities of who that second witness might be. So read ahead and we’ll get into the two witnesses, their ministry. And we’ll show you here in chapter eleven how that this particular incident could not take place until the last 25 years or so. The events, which are described here, could not have happened fifty years ago, a hundred years ago. Technology did not exist. But now, today there is technology in order that this eleventh chapter can be fulfilled, another sign that we’re getting close to the end! We’ll be looking at this next Sunday night.
Father we are thankful that Your purposes shall be accomplished, that which You have spoken shall surely come to pass. Your Kingdom will come and we look forward to that day when Your will is done here in earth as it is in heaven. And so Lord we thank You for the hope that we have of the better world, a world that is filled with righteousness, a world that is filled with peace. Lord we see a world today that is torn by sin. We see the wars. We see the inhumanity. We see the atrocities. We read in horror of things that are going on in the world in which we live, and Lord, our hearts cry out, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done here on earth even as it is in heaven. And so even, Lord, as You closed out the book and said to John behold I come quickly, we with John respond, Lord, come quickly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8249