Summary: The judgment of God seems sweet when we think of the eradication of evil from the world. But how bitter the judgment will be when it comes. God’s job is judgment. Our job is love.


1. And I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and with a rainbow on his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

2. and having in his hand a small book laying open, and he placed his right foot on the sea, and his left on the earth,

3. and he cried out with a great voice like when a lion roars. And when he called out, the seven thunders’ voice spoke.

4. and when the seven thunders spoke, I was ready to write what I heard, a voice from heaven spoke, seal the sayings of the seven thunders, and do not write it.

5. and the angel that I saw standing on the sea and the earth raised his right hand to heaven

6. and swore by Him that lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are there and earth and the things that are there and the sea and the things in there, that time shall no longer exist.

7. but in the days the voice of the of the seventh angel, that remains to play his trumpet, shall be fulfilled the mystery of God, such good news He proclaimed to his servants the prophets.

8. and the voice I heard from heaven, again spoke to me and said, “Go and receive the book held in the right hand of the angel who stands on the sea and the earth”.

9. and I went to the angel saying to him “give me the little book”. And he said to me “receive and eat it, and it will upset your stomach, but in your mouth it will be sweet like honey.

10. and I received the little book from the right hand of the angel, and I ate it, and it was in my mouth like sweet honey, and when I ate it, it upset my stomach.

11. and he said to me, you must again prophecy to all people and ethnicities and languages and kingdoms.

v 1 The Greek word for another angel is another of a different kind. Keep in mind the word angel simply means messenger. Now look at the reference for all the other words that describe this messenger: cloud (Dan 7:13; Ezek 1:28; Matt 24:30; Mk 13:26), rainbow (Ps 89; Rev 1:15), Sunny (Matt 17:1-2); and feet (Dan 10:6; Rev 1:15). All of these words have been used before in Scripture to describe Jesus.

v 2 The book or scroll in the messenger’s hand is reminiscent of 5:1; 6:2; and 8:1. During land transactions a symbolic act was to place one’s foot on the borders of the new property to claim ownership. Jesus owns the earth.

v 3 See the lion of Amos 3:8, etc. What are the seven thunders? What did they say? I have no idea, and no one else knows either.

v 4 John is told to seal up the vision just as Daniel was told in 12:5, and contrary to what John will be told in 22:10. To seal up the document is to hide the contents.

v 6 God can swear by nothing higher than Himself. The concept of no more time means no more delay. But, no more time may be part of what is implied here. This idea matches many other passages in Scripture that teach that the place God dwells is timeless. If we are to join Him there we are entering the non-time domain, and even the ideas of progression of events fades or, at the very least, is transformed. This is the end of human history as it has been in our experience.

v 7 A mystery is something not known to most, but revealed to the spiritually initiated (16:17).

vv 8-11 This bitter scroll is like the one eaten by Ezekiel (2:8-3:11). The judgment of God seems sweet when we think of the eradication of evil from the world. But how bitter the judgment will be when it comes.

Bitter Sweetness

The Bible teaches that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33). But the death of His holy ones is precious in His sight (Psalm 116). That’s His perspective. What about us?

Recently a man died who was guilty of a crime too gruesome to describe in detail here. He influenced people to kill seven others by butchering them to death. Do you think such a crime deserves punishment? Or think about the Holocaust. Hitler and his minions were responsible for the unimaginably horrific deaths of more than 6,000,000 Jews, as well as the deaths of tens of millions more people in war. Stalin oversaw the murder of more than 15,000,000 of his own people through various forms of murder. One time he called hundreds of blind people to the capitol, ostensibly for some form of new treatment. He had them lined up against a wall and shot. Terrorists have murdered thousands of non-combatants in the past few decades. Horrors are now taking place in Syria, and Southern Sudan and many places held by people who claim to be establishing something for God today. Do you relish the idea that there might be a hot place in hell for such people?

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