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Revelation Chapter 10


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Chapter 10 is believed to be a parenthetical chapter which are not the actual seals, vials or trumpet judgments but are descriptions of what is happening at the same time or along with those judgments. It goes into more detail. For instance we see in chapter 4 the rise of the antichrist but in chapter 11 we see more of a detailed description of what happens when the antichrist is in charge. Later chapters gets into the mark of the beast and more detail.

We see in this chapter the book that Christ had opened in previous chapters, now given to John to digest. John was to take this prophecy and prophesy again before many nations.

  • 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:

This angel may be Christ Himself since He is in possession of the book that was given to Him by God. That rainbow upon His head reminds us of the covenant God made with all mankind as to never bring a worldwide flood to destroy all flesh upon the earth again. Perhaps with all these judgments and the severity of the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth, there is a reminder to all who are watching that God has everything under control, He has not forgotten His covenant and though many are destroyed, many are saved also. God's eternal purpose will be fulfilled on schedule.

Christ is pictured here as a symbol of judgment. We see Him as an intercessor between earth and heaven. We see Him with all power and glory. The one who came in humility and allowed His life in the flesh to be taken from Him, the one who allowed all our filthy sins to be laid upon Him is the one who will reign over all mankind for eternity. He is pictured here, not in humility any longer but in power with great authority given to Him by God Himself.

  • 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,
  • 3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

We can only speculate what those seven thunders uttered. I have no clue and to guess would only lead to confusion.

Here is where we have to trust our almighty God in things we do not understand. These utterings were revealed to John but not to the rest of us as yet. God always has a reason for what He does and some things are still a mystery to us. This reminds me of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13.

  • 1Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

  • 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.

I notice that this is similar to what was told to the prophet Daniel years before.

  • Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

It is strange that to my knowledge the church has never been as concerned with bible prophecy  until the 19th and 20th centuries. Even now many churches avoid the book of Revelation and Daniel.

  • Revelation 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
  • 6 And swore by him that liveth forever 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:

There is to be no more delay in the fulfillment of this prophecy once it gets to this point. I have wondered many times if God has a set time when all this happens or if God keeps delaying these things to get as many as possible to repent. We see here an end to the day of mercy and salvation for those that as yet have not repented.

That is why the message of the gospel is so important now in this present time. Now is the time to repent and get right with God. One day the door of mercy will close. It is urgent and it is now that the gospel must be preached fervently and with power. As we see so many things happening in the world today, we should not delay our salvation. Repent and believe the word of God. The Middle East is a powder keg ready to explode and drive us into World War 3. With the availability of nuclear weapons, we can see that except for the mercy of God, we could be wiped out in an instance. Now is the time to seek the face of God.

God has so many good things to those who receive Him. We become a son of God, we are filled with the Spirit of God, our sins are washed away, we can overcome the desire to sin, we have the hope of eternal life with no death, sorrow, crying or heartache and most of all we can walk daily with the Lord's presence right near us at all times.

Why do we delay? Why do we avoid the old paths wherein is the good way? The way of the world is death. The way of the transgressors is hard. The path of righteousness through Jesus Christ is life, joy, peace and perfect love. We need God so bad yet we fail to grasp how much.

  • 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.

All this takes place before the seventh angel sounds his trumpet. It is to be delayed no longer.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The word of God is pleasant and to be desired as honey to the taste but the judgments and prophecies of judgment remind us of the severity and the seriousness of these things that are going to take place. God is a holy God and His word must never be taken lightly or ignored. John receives a great and important burden that He must share with us as He writes.

This is similar what happened to Ezekiel except it doesn't tell us whether or not it made his belly bitter.

  • Ezekiel 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
  • 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
  • 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

Back to Revelation:

  • Revelation 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

This may mean simply that John is going to testify further by the things He sees in the rest of the chapters in this book in which he faithfully writes and records. When we read this book and teach it to others all over the world we may be fulfilling the prophecy in verse 11 that John is to prophesy again before many people, nations, tongues and kings.

There is another explanation though that gets little attention except by a small few. It is ignored mostly because church tradition has taught that John was the only apostle to die a natural death meaning that he has already died and went to be with the Lord.

Yet there are a small few that believe John did not die but will be one of the two witnesses who will be killed during the tribulation. Some believe one of the witnesses is Moses but Moses has already suffered a natural death so some doubt he can die again. One witness may be Elijah who didn't really die or Enoch. We don't really know but to some John is a possibility. We see from something Jesus said to Peter once concerning John.

  • John 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
  • 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
  • 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Here is a hint that John might be somewhere kept safe and tarrying until the coming of Jesus yet still will have to die a death if he is one of the two witnesses are killed by the antichrist. This though is speculation. None of these scriptures are to be argued over one way or another but we do not know for sure whether John died any natural death. Tradition says he did.

At any rate this Revelation is for us to read and to understand. This is one book that promises a blessing to those who read and keep the words of this prophecy. We need to read it and be reminded that the salvation God gives us freely was bought with a great price and it is not to be taken lightly. To ignore these things are to miss out on God's way out of judgment. He made the way for us to be saved and avoid all these things. It is up to us to accept the salvation Jesus came to bring to us or reject it.

Revelation 11