MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 10
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Seven Thunders
Vic Batista: We continue our look at the Mighty Angel of Revelation 10 and are introduced to the Seven Thunders. There’s a little bit of a debate among theologians regarding the identity of the Mighty Angel, but His description makes it pretty clear when compared to Revelation 1 that we are talking about none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in His glorified state. The description can be found in Revelation 10:1-2 —
“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. 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,”
Jesus then makes both an announcement and a command in Revelation 10:3-4:
“…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.'”
We’re not told if the Seven Thunders are angels or representative of the sevenfold Spirit of God, meaning the Holy Spirit. They could be either, but what’s important is what they utter. We’re to be disappointed, though, for the voice from Heaven tells John to keep what they said to himself as a secret.
Jesus next makes a disappointing pronouncement in Revelation 10:5-7:
“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.”
Remember how in Revelation 1 when John saw Jesus the passage says that he “fell at His feet as dead” because of the awesomeness of the Lord. Again in Revelation 10, John bears witness to that same awesomeness, so it’s clear this Mighty Angel is no ordinary angel. This is indeed talking about Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: Yes, Revelation 1:12-16 contains the very same imagery as Revelation 10:
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”
So here we see Jesus Christ in His glorified body. This is the real deal! This isn’t the divine Jesus covered by an earthly body, but this is Jesus Christ unleashed, so to speak.
By Revelation 10, Jesus is back into the story first person, described pretty much the same as earlier in Revelation, except with a little more detail. He is so mighty that He stands with one foot in the sea and one foot on the land, symbolizing His dominion over the earth. His head shines like a rainbow, for He has great power. This is the real Jesus, not the emaciated Jesus you see in the Catholic Church still nailed to the cross, or the baby that we see at Christmas-time. This is God in His full majesty!Nathan Jones: The real #Jesus isn't an emaciated Jesus still nailed to the cross! Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: We don’t serve a dead Savior, but a living Savior, not one that is still hanging on the cross. Jesus died and has been resurrected from the dead, and now resides in His glorified body.
Nathan Jones: Jesus is the Messiah the Jews have been waiting for. Jesus was rejected at His First Coming because the people saw Him as just a man. They couldn’t get past His suffering, poverty, and humble origins. In Revelation, this is the God of the Universe showing up in His full power and glory. Nothing — nothing — can stand against Him!
The Little Book
Vic Batista: Now let’s look closer at the Little Book. There’s a difference between this Little Book the Mighty Angel holds in Revelation 10 from the Title Deed of the Earth Scroll portrayed in Revelation 5. Hopefully people won’t get these two confused.
Nathan Jones: And that they won’t confuse Jesus with an angel. Even though Jesus was called an angel in the Old Testament, as His pre-incarnate title was the Angel of the Lord. He was only referred to as an angel because of His role as a messenger of God. God gave us His Word the Bible through The Word the Son, His ultimate messenger — Jesus Christ.
We are now caught up in our study of Revelation 10, and ready to go on with verses 8-11 where a voice from Heaven asks the Apostle John to do a very strange thing:
“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.'”
Vic Batista: Just a reminder that angels act in part as messengers. They bring a message from God for people to take heed. They also bring warnings, and here in this passage this is the case, as it was in Revelation 2-3 talking to the angels of the Churches.
Nathan Jones: Exactly, for angels are servants of the Lord. We have 72 references to angels in Revelation. Jesus is part of the God-head, but He is also a messenger for God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus is the Word of God.
Don’t get me going describing the Trinity, for that’d be like a two dimensional creature trying to explain a three dimensional creature. When it comes to the Trinity, we’re three dimensional creatures trying to explain a four dimensional creature. We can’t!Nathan Jones: Explaining the #Trinity is like a 2D creature trying to explain a 3D creature. Click To Tweet
What we do know is that God is powerful and mighty and He loves us. We should take great comfort in knowing that the God of the universe cares for His creation.
Vic Batista: God cares, and that’s why He’s left us the message of the book of Revelation. And, we’re given Revelation 10 as a pause so people don’t think that Revelation is all bad news. Jesus puts Revelation 10 near the end of the horrors of the Seven Trumpet Judgments to give people a glimpse of their victorious future so that we may have hope.
Nathan Jones: So far we have been reading about some terrible, terrible horrors coming upon the earth during the seven-year Tribulation as we’ve been reading through Revelation. Then we get to Revelation 10 for a much-need pause as God provides some hope by flash-forwarding to the end of the Tribulation to let us know that He’s got all things under control. We need that break because there are still more judgments to come. There are still 3.5 years of the Tribulation left to go in the narrative.
And so, Jesus has another message put into that Little Book, and strangely, He makes John eat it! Even though the message is sweet to hear from God, it becomes bitter in John’s stomach. The reason it makes John sick is because the message contains information about the further judgments that we will see going forward as God releases more angels to announce more judgments.
Think about how strange it must have been to John for Jesus to call down and order him to eat a whole book! John was likely hesitant, for who wouldn’t be, but John did obeyed anyway. He ate the book and it tasted sweet. John says, “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.”
Last night sadly my daughter ate a bagel and said, “Oh, this is great!” She loves those everything bagels. But, by the end of the evening, she was throwing it up. Poor little thing! When she ate the bagel it tasted wonderful to her, but when she finally began digesting it, the bagel made her sick.
Sickness was what this was like for John, for this message of God concerned information on the rest of the Tribulation. John eats the Little Book and it is sweet because it is a word from God, but once eaten and digested, the message that God has for John is very bitter.
The voice from Heaven, possibly from the Father Himself, orders in verse 11, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” John is about to prophesy some incredibly horrific judgments that will still be coming after this pause, so praise the Lord for the quick break in Revelation 10 which is meant to give us hope!
Vic Batista: Speaking of hope, these terrible judgments that we are reading about in Revelation, should anyone have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior, we believe that they won’t have to worry about living on the earth through any of God’s wrath because the Lord returns at the Rapture. Believers in Christ are going to be taken off the earth and be out of here before the Tribulation begins, right?
Nathan Jones: Yes, the Rapture of the Church is one of the great blessings God has promised believers in Christ, that we will be spared from His wrath. The Church is not meant to endure God’s wrath. Those who believe in the Savior are meant for glory. The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul and promised in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 that Christians will be raptured — taken up, caught up — off this earth to meet Jesus in the clouds before the Tribulation comes upon the world. So, there is great hope by being a Christian. The horrors we are reading about in Revelation don’t apply to us today.
In the twenty-second segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” the angels will reveal two super evangelists — the Two Witnesses.