Summary: In chapters 10-11 of Revelation, we will explore the mysterious identities of the angel with the little scroll, and the two witnesses.
SESSION #8: REVELATION #10 – THE ANGEL AND THE SMALL SCROLL:
“I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.” (Rev. 10:1).
Some interpreters believe this angel could be Jesus Himself:
• clothed with a cloud - see Rev. 1:7 - Jesus is coming with clouds
• a rainbow on his head - see Rev. 4:3 - rainbow around God’s throne
• his face was like the sun - see Rev. 1:16 - from the vision of Jesus
• his feet like pillars of fire - see Rev. 1:15 - a description of Jesus’ feet (see Ex. 13:21)
“He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.” (Rev. 10:2-4).
• The message of the seven thunders was intended for John alone – not for the church.
• QUOTE: “The meaning is clearly this: never shall we be able to know and to describe all the factors and agencies that determine the future.” (William Hendriksen).
“The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.” (10:5-7).
• What is the mystery of God? “by revelation He made known to me the mystery...that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel.” (Galatians 3:3-6).
“Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” (Rev. 10:8-11).
PARALLEL PASSAGE: “Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it…Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly…with this scroll that I give you." So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.” (Ezekiel 2:9-10; 3:1-3).
• What is the little book? The Word of God.
• Note: God told both Ezekiel and John to ‘eat’ a book before speaking God’s Word to people. We too must put God’s Word into our hearts before sharing it with others.
• Why was it sweet? – the Good News of the Gospel for all who will believe
• Why was it bitter? – the punishment of the wicked who will not repent of their sins.
REVELATION #11 – THE TWO WITNESSES:
“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” (Rev. 11:1-2).
• Is this a literal or symbolic temple? It most likely symbolically represents the church. We are the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16).
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.” (Rev. 11:3-4).