Summary: Message 19 in our exposition of Revelation. This message covers the events during the interlude in chapter 10.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ “Angels, Prophets & Witnesses” Rev 10-11
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-9
1. Earth Shaking Prayer 8:3-5
2. First six trumpets 8:6-9:21
3. Interlude 10-11:14
Just as John included an interlude between the sixth and seventh seal, there is another interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpet. The interlude serves to inform us of simultaneous activity taking place on a different level. In this case we have a view of things in the heavenly realm and then a closer look at events on earth at the temple in Jerusalem.
John again describes events happening on earth.
a. The mighty angel and the little book 10:1-11
I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; 2 and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; 3 and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. Revelation 10:1-3
The mighty angel’s identity and activity
• John identifies this as another strong angel.
He encountered another “strong” angel speaking to him earlier (5:1-2).
Strong, powerful, valiant, mighty
Most likely, this is a reference to one of the high ranking angels.
• He came down from heaven.
He probably came from God’s throne and His glorious presence.
• He is clothed with a cloud.
Clouds are associated with mystery, majesty, movement, the Second coming.
• He is crowned with a rainbow
The rainbow is often a symbol of God’s faithfulness and covenant.
• His face shines
Perhaps this reflects the fact that He had been in God’s presence.
• His feet are fiery
Symbolic of light, magnificence, judgment.
These images are reminiscent of the deliverance from Egypt.
Cloud by day and the fire by night. The glow from God’s presence.
• He holds a “little” scroll.
John sees the mighty angel holding a “little” scroll or book. This is most likely not the same book that Jesus holds requiring seven seals. It is small enough to see its contents all at once when unrolled. We are not told the content of the scroll. The context of this chapter and next may be a clue as to its content. Ezekiel (2:9) described a similar scene.
• He stood with one foot on land and one on the sea.
This observation is repeated again in verse 5 and 8 for emphasis and identification. This may indicate the reclaiming of the earth for the Lord. This mighty angel had been granted authority over both the land and the sea.
• He shouted with an intimidating voice like a loud lion’s roar.
The intimidating voice of a lion appears in several places in Scripture.
10 They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west. Hosea 11:10
If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it? 7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. 8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy? Amos 3:6-8
"Therefore you shall prophesy against them all these words, and you shall say to them, 'The LORD will roar from on high And utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. Jeremiah 25:30
Here, it is God’s angel whose voice can be heard. The angel’s voice triggers more communication from heaven. The “seven thunders” reverberate throughout the earth.
John and his readers were familiar with one of the psalms of David that extols God’s glory, majesty, and power. “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic” (Ps. 29:3–4). John’s allusion to Psalm 29 is even more meaningful when we see that in this psalm David mentions the phrase “the voice of the LORD” seven times. Also, in the Apocalypse John repeatedly mentions thunder as “a sign of the divine presence and judgment.”15 But in Psalm 29 and in Revelation the peals of thunder are not simply noise but articulate speech. (Hendricksen Commentary on Rev)