In our study of Revelation Chapter Ten, we have a pause before the sounding of the final trumpet and, during this pause, we see all of creation claimed on behalf of Yeshua Messiah.
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Next I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was dressed in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, his legs like columns of fire;
Now, we see a special messenger sent by Yeshua. Many read this description of the angel and conclude that it is actually describing Yeshua but he is never described as an angel in the New Testament (he is in the Old Testament). This angel is clothed differently than others in that he has a rainbow above its head as a reminder of God's covenant (Genesis 9). His face shines like the sun just as Moses' face shone when he came from the presence of the Lord (Exodus 34).
and he had a little scroll lying open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and shouted in a voice as loud as the roar of a lion; and when he shouted, seven thunderclaps sounded with voices that spoke.
Now, we see the mission of this angel and it is unique. The angel held a little scroll (which is the title deed to all of creation) this is the same scroll that Yeshua opened in chapter five and is a sign of ownership. The angel puts a foot on the seas and a foot on the land therefore claiming all of creation for Yeshua. This is similar to placing a flag to claim a land for a certain country. The angel announced the claim with his voice (like a lion) and was answered and confirmed by the very voice of God (the seven thunders). The Jewish people were used to the fact that when God spoke it sounded like thunder but today we have actually gotten away from the fact that God can and will speak.
When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up the things the seven thunders said, do not write them down!"
John wanted to write down what the voices of God said but was told not to. We don't know why and we don't have any indication of what was said so we must conclude that it is best for us not to know.
Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted his right hand toward heaven and swore by the One who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: "There will be no more delay; on the contrary, in the days of the sound from the seventh angel when he sounds his shofar, the hidden plan of God will be brought to completion, the Good News as he proclaimed it to his servants the prophets."
The angel lifts his right hand to heaven as a testimony that it is Yeshua who is in control and to swear by one greater than himself. A legal matter, such as the claiming of creation, required two witnesses and so he appealed to Yeshua. The angel proclaims that there will not be any more delay and that God's love and power will be demonstrated by the resurrected and returning Messiah. At that point, ownership will be obvious and all debate will be over.
Next the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the scroll lying open in the hand of the angel standing on the sea and on the land!"
Once again, John gets direct instructions from the mouth of Yeshua. There are many that say that God does not talk to anyone these days but there is no basis for that claim. God may use the Spirit to speak to our hearts but he also has the power to speak directly to us, if he so desires.
So I went over to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey."
John is told to eat the scroll. Although this may sound strange to us, this is nothing new as it was mentioned in Jeremiah 15:16 and in Ezekiel 3:1 & 3. He was informed that it would be sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach.
I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it; and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; but after I had swallowed it, my stomach turned bitter.
The scroll contained the judgment and we all wait for the coming judgment because that will be the end of our struggle with sin. It is sweet to know what God is doing but, when it is understood that more judgment and more sorrow is to come, it can be bitter (sour). God is not all happy and joyful at bringing judgment and sorrow on men and we should not be either. Does it make your stomach sour when you think of people going through this great tribulation? It made John sick to his stomach.
Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."
John is told that he is not through with the message yet. Imagine how cool it was to be used as John was by God but also remember that much of what he has shared and is going to share is not good news for many people. For those of us who have been saved by the blood of Yeshua, it is a story of our reunion but, for those that do not, it is all about gloom and doom.