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Lowell Brueckner

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Revelation 10


Chapter 10

1.  Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.
2.  He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land,
3.  and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded.
4.  And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”
5.  And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven
6.  and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay.
7.  but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8.  Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9.  So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
10. And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.
11. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

A mighty Angel with divine characteristics

Since chapter 6, we have been involved with events that will take place at the opening of seals or the sounding of trumpets. In this chapter and following through 11 and 12, we will follow a chronology. This chapter begins with a description of a mighty angel, unlike any other in the book of Revelation. In fact, throughout the entire Bible, we do not find any angel similar to this one, with the exception of certain characteristics of the one called, specifically, the Angel of the Lord. We believe that the Angel of the Lord is a Christophany, or God, the Son, revealing Himself in the Old Testament.

Not all the commentators are in agreement, so there is room for other opinions, but because of the details surrounding Him, it seems to me that the majestic Angel in this chapter is Christ. Therefore, from this point, I will capitalize the “A”. It is somewhat puzzling that He should come in this form so late in the New Testament, when, from the beginning of the book of Revelation, He comes in His glorified form and is easily identified. However later, we also hear of the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb that was slain, therefore perhaps it is not so strange that He should manifest Himself as a mighty Angel, as well.

We have observed angels summoning various judgments upon the earth, and now this particular situation requires this Angel to make a most important announcement. He not only speaks the Word, but He is the Word, therefore the Messenger… and the meaning of angel is messenger. John’s Gospel comes very close to introducing Christ in this way, when he writes of the Word, translated from the Greek logos.

Commentator Adam Clarke was of the opinion that the word logos should go untranslated, lest the translation should belittle His person. Scofield said that the Greek term meant 1) a thought or concept, 2) the expression or utterance of that thought, 3) the embodiment of all the collective thought of God and 4) the thought or concept is from eternity and therefore has nothing, to which it can be compared. Christ is the incarnate Word of God, bearing in Himself the full divine revelation: “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”

Here is the Angel wrapped in a cloud and, I can give many, many examples in the Old Testament and New, that a cloud or clouds signals the presence of divinity (v.1). I see no common angel wrapped in a cloud in the entire Bible. There is a rainbow over His head and this bow belongs exclusively to God: “I have set my bow in the cloud” (Ge.9:13) and in chapter 4, there is a rainbow around God’s throne. I see no common angel with a rainbow over his head.

The face of the Son of God is one that shines like the sun in its strength. It shined at the Transfiguration, it shined upon Saul of Tarsus and it shined in the first chapter of this book. His legs are like pillars of fire, as in chapter one, we see His feet of burnished bronze, “refined in a furnace” (1:15).   

Above all else, we see a matchless authority upon this Angel. He sets one foot on land and the other on the sea (v.2, 5). He is possessor of all and from that position, He roars like a lion (v.3). He raises His right hand to heaven, which is another sign of His unchallenged authority (v.5). 

In Daniel 10 there is a similar account. It concerned a Man clothed in linen with a belt of fine gold (v.5). His face is like lightning and His eyes are like flaming torches, and his arms and legs are like burnished bronze. In Daniel 12:6-7, "someone said to the man clothed in linen... 'How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?' And I heard the man clothed in linen... he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished." 

 The Man in Daniel and this powerful Angel seem to be one and the same... the Son of God. There will be no more delay, concerning the unfolding of the important prophecy, the last part of Daniel's 70th Week (Dn.9:27). John sees this powerful Angel in the same prophetic time frame as the Mon in Daniel 12. He has authority over land and sea and swears that the last purposes of God will occur on the earth.

The little scroll

In the hand of Him that sits on the throne in chapter 5 was a scroll with seven seals and this Angel holds a little scroll (v.2). The fact that it is opened, probably indicates that the events that it describes are already unfolding. Clearly, it has to do with the prophetic ministry of John, who must eat it, before he continues to prophecy. It is an important part of the revealed Word of God, particularly having to do with the last days.  

The scroll is open, its contents are already being told and the story will continue. We will soon see the chronology surrounding it in chapters 11 and 12. I think we can title this scroll Daniel’s 70th Week, as the details within that week are being told and are the bulk of the apostle’s prophecy.

As the Angel roars like a lion, seven thunders reverberated (v.3). A voice from heaven forbade John to write the messages that he heard from the thunders, so there is no need for us to speculate concerning them (v.4). It is the only part of this book, which continues to be veiled in mystery. We will only take into account what is revealed, which is that there are thunders and there are seven of them. No one will know what the messages are, until the proper time comes.

At this point, the Angel makes a momentous declaration, at which we will look in the next section. All these details are related to each other, but here, we want to see the relationship between John and this little scroll. Again the voice from heaven spoke to John and he is instructed to take the scroll and eat it. We are to consider the One Who holds it and His position. He, who holds this little book, has supreme authority and possesses the sea and the land (v.8).

Every servant of God, every minister of His Word, is obligated to be intimately involved with his message. No one qualifies as a teacher or preacher in God’s kingdom, if he simply speaks about that, which he has learned, whether by himself or through others. He must consume the Word. It must get past his mouth and taste buds and be digested into his system. He must run the risk of being effected by anything contained in the Word. The acceptance or rejection of the Word by the people is secondary; the faithful messenger must declare it. He must become one with it and nothing less will do. He is committed and there is no going back, because he bears the most significant ministry in the universe. Let every would-be teacher be aware of the consequences!

God’s word to Ezekiel shows us the clear responsibilities of those, who minister the word: “You shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear... Behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me… and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe… And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat whatever you find here… and go, speak to the house of Israel… Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey” (Ez.2:8-3:3).

John approaches the Angel and now his vantage point will be upon the earth. He must prophesy of the people, nations, languages and kings from their perspective. As disagreeable to the crowds of the world that the word might be, it is sweet in the mouth of the messenger. However, we might see another conclusion about his message, if we see it as an account of Daniel’s 70th Week. Remember that the first horseman was on a white horse and brought a message of peace to the world. It was pleasant, but it held dire consequences. In the first part of the 70th week, people will live under a peaceful lie, but the result of the deception will be bitter calamity (v.9-10).  

There will be no more delay

The awesome declaration of the Angel with His hand upraised to heaven, with His feet planted on land and on sea, swearing by the eternal Creator is this: There will be on more delay! (v.6). What has been the delay and what will now begin to unfold?

We need to go back to Daniel 9, and refresh our minds, concerning his prophecy. The angel Gabriel informed him of a 70-weeks-of-years period… 490 years, which had to do exclusively with his people, the Jews. It would be divided into three segments. The first time period began during the Persian Empire, in which orders were given to rebuild Jerusalem. The rebuilding would take 49 years and then the second segment would follow, a period of 434 years. That period would end, when the promised Messiah would be put to death. At that point, the total time involved was 483 years, 7 years short of 490. These 7 years are what we are calling Daniel’s 70th Week.

One Sabbath day, Jesus read from Isaiah 61, verse 1, and began to read verse 2, where it states, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,”… suddenly He stopped, rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant, sat down and said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk.4:18-21). The eyes of everyone in the place were fixed on him. The faithful synagogue-goer knew this Messianic prophecy well and he also knew that Jesus had stopped reading in the middle of a sentence. The reason was that from Isaiah 61:2b on, the prophecy concerned the second coming of Christ, which was not fulfilled on that day. We have a comma there in our Bibles. That comma marks the delay, to which the mighty Angel is referring. The Lord has the most intriguing way of holding people’s attention!

When Jesus was crucified, 483 years into Daniel’s prophecy, the Jewish clock stopped and the Time of the Gentiles began. God opened the door of the gospel to every nation, tongue, tribe and clan. The Apostol Paul gave praise to God for the wonder of His plan to extend the gospel to the non-Jewish world through the fall of the Jewish nation. However, in the end, the Jews would once again be grafted in and all Israel would be saved. Paul said it this way: “I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved” (Ro 11:25, 26). Jesus prophesied, “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled(Lk.21:24).

(The Angel) swore… that there would be no more delay. In the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled…” (v.6, 7). The little scroll, the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy, will be delayed no longer. The Jewish clock will tick off the final seven years.

Throughout Paul’s epistles, I count seventeen references to a mystery, and one is stated above in Romans 11:25. The mystery is that Israel would be hardened and the Gentiles would be participants in the gospel. In 16:25-26, the mystery is revealed to all nations, and in Ephesians 3:6, the mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs through the gospel. Colossians 1:27 tells of a great mystery among the Gentiles: Christ in them, the hope of glory. Almost all the references point, in one way or another, to the Gentile church. Now, John reports, the mystery of God would be fulfilled in the days of the seventh trumpet call.  

John, the last living apostle, must bring this revelation prophecy to a close. By an inspired word, he prophesies of the final events of this age and the final destiny of the world’s population. It includes the Battle of Armageddon, the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment. It ends with a description of the new heaven and new earth (v.11).

A prelude to chapter 11

In preparation for chapter 11, I am going to write out three passages of Scripture, over which I would like you to meditate beforehand….

 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

51. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13. But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
18. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

1. Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
2. not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion (defection from the truth; apostasy) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.


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