In the previous chapter, 9, we entered the end time stage known as the Great Tribulation, a time of troubles never before seen on earth. We will now learn about more events which will take place during this testing period.
(Revelation 10:1) 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:
God is sending His angel scout to earth to survey the conditions and what has happened so far. God has the ability to do anything and everything Himself, but He chooses to use His faithful servants as much as He can, just as He has since the beginning of time, because it is an honor to serve Him.
The angel scout is bathed in the glory of God and accompanied by God’s consuming fire, and as impressive as this is, it pales in comparison to the presence God Himself. However, this event will not be perceptible by those here on earth.
(Revelation 10:2) And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
This little book has the events of the seven thunders written within, which means that they are already predetermined by God, and this angel is aware of what is written, but for whatever reason they are shared with John, though he is not supposed to tell anyone else. It may very well be that they can be deduced from throughout the Bible, and will be before they happen, but there will be very few that will know and recognize these, and rest assured these people would also not share them with everyone else. This knowledge is also likely contained within the golden oil piped to the elect from the two witnesses, who arrive just before antichrist, about which we will read in the next chapter of Revelation, 11.
The scout angel was sent down to earth in person to observe all that will be taking place halfway through the tribulation and he is even to wonder among the people (the sea) and observe that the conditions are right for the next step to begin.
(Revelation 10:3) And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
With boldness, the angel is proclaiming that it is time for the events of the seven thunders to be proclaimed for John’s benefit, at which time these events had not happened. We can determine that these events had not yet occurred by the time the 6th trumpet had sounded. They are events that will take place after the 6th trump, in the second half of the tribulation.
(Revelation 10:4) 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.
These seven thunders are signs which are not to be recognized until after they have happened, just as we do not hear thunder until after we see the lightning. By the time we observe the sound of the thunder, the lightning has already struck and done its damage. This is the reason these things are not written, because they are not to be known ahead of time. We are foretold all things, and if we study the Bible honestly and in prayer, we will know what things are about to come. The seven thunders, however, are those things that the rest of the world will look back on and realize they should have known what was to be, only they hadn’t read. The unlearned of the Bible will be kicking themselves, but will only have themselves to blame. Remember, hindsight is 20/20.
Also, lightning can be seen from very far away, which is how the coming of Jesus is described:
(Matthew 24:26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
(Matthew 24:27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
(Matthew 24:28) For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
If we do not see Jesus Himself immediately upon His return, it is not Jesus, but the antichrist instead. Everyone will know instantly when He returns. By the time, the rest of the world sees Jesus’ second coming, it will be too late for repentance. We will then enter a period of discipline and correction for those who were not prepared.
(Revelation 10:5) And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
(Revelation 10:6) And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
In the name of God, the scout is confirming that it is the right time for the final stage of the flesh age to begin, in which satan, as antichrist, and his fallen angels will be cast by the archangel Michael down to earth to test everyone alive at that time. The world, as we now know it, is coming to an end.
(Revelation 10:7) 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 hath declared to his servants the prophets.
It is at this time that the last of God’s servants, his elect, are sealed with the complete knowledge of all the events that are imminent. This seal is both a protection against being deceived by satan and receiving his mark of the beast, and to ensure that God’s servants know and complete their mission to the end.
(Revelation 10:8) And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
Now, John is instructed to receive the knowledge in this book from God’s scout.
(Revelation 10:9) And I went unto the angel, and 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.
To eat a book or a scroll means to consume its knowledge. Once he does this, the contents of the book will enlighten John, but at the same time, it will make him literally sick and cause anxiety because of the gravity of what it contains. This is common when someone is given deeper understanding of God’s Word. It can be both a blessing and a curse, but God’s servants can handle it and welcome it. This is why it is given to only a select few that are strong enough for the responsibility. Note that John is told to take the book. It isn’t handed over by the angel because we are to take an active role in learning what is written therein.
Are you strong enough?
(Revelation 10:10) And I took the little book 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 belly was bitter.
John has the intestinal fortitude to get the job done.
(Revelation 10:11) And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Now John will be given yet another vision to convey to those who will receive it.
Do you want to have a role to serve God and His plan in the events of the end of the flesh age?