Revelation 10

John eats the Little Book

This Chapter introduces the second series of prophecies in Revelation, that are revealed by the eating of the little book. The Spirit of Christ, the Angel who appeared in Daniel 12:6-7, and swore that it would be “for time, times and half a time,” appears in Revelation 10 and once again raises His hand to swear by Him who made heaven and earth “that there will be no delay.” He introduces a series of stories that begins in Revelation 11:1-2 with “the Gentiles will trample the Holy City underfoot for 42 months.” These prophecies take us from the resurrection of Christ to His return.

1 I saw another mighty angel coming down out of the sky, clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.  2 He had in his hand a little book open. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land. 

Rev 10:1-2
another strong angel – some have suggested the phrase “another strong angel” shows this Angel cannot be the Spirit of Christ, as the Angel of God. But we know that the Spirit of Christ can be manifest in any form, any appearance. John only records what he sees (Rev 1:11), and he does not interpret. The ensuing details show that this Angel is the strongest Angel, the Angel of YHVH.

clothed with a cloud – Exodus 13:21; 14:19, the cloud by which the Angel of YHVH was covered and guided the Israelites
face like the sun – Rev 1:16; this is the most obvious indication that this Angel is the Angel of YHVH we met in Chapter 1
“the rainbowwas over his head –  in Greek, this is not “a rainbow” but “the rainbow,” the rainbow that appears over the head of Almighty God, in Ezekiel 1:28, and Revelation 4:3. Here the message is that the Spirit of Christ is ALWAYS “the image of the invisible God,” “no one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18). The Spirit of Christ appeared as both the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man in Chapter One, and now we see that the Spirit of Christ, who can be manifest in many places, was also “the image of the invisible God” and the Lamb in Revelation 4 and 5.
feet like pillars of fire – Exodus 13:22, the pillar of fire by which the Angel of YHVH guided the Israelites

The Spirit of Christ, is the Angel which Revelation 1:1 told us, brought us all these revelations. He spoke with John in the LORD’s Day in Chapters 1-3, and then summoned John up to heaven in Chapter 4:1. He appeared as a Lamb, in Chapter 5, to open the scroll of the seven seals of Chapters 6-9. Now He stands with a Book in His hand for John to eat.

His right foot on the sea and His left on the earth – some translate “earth” as land, but the Greek word is the same: gēs. The earth generally represents the people of the world; and the sea, man’s salvation. Here, the Angel is to swear by God who made earth (the people), and all things in it, and the sea (their salvation) and all things in it. And so the Angel has one foot on the earth, and the other on the sea.

3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don’t write them.” 

Rev 10:3,4
as when a lion roars – Christ is the Lion of Judah, as described in Rev 5:5.

seven peals of thunder uttered their voices – the meaning of the speaking of the seven peals of thunder seems to be revealed in Rev 19:6; in the phrase “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns.”

do not write them – these are inexpressible words, that no man is permitted to speak, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:4. As we explain at Revelation 17:14, there are three “King of Kings” in the Bible. The Beast is the first King of Kings, Christ is the second, and God is the last. Our Lord’s prayer is “may Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s kingdom has not yet come on earth, not until “the new earth” has come. So John is told not to write the words, that are true only in heaven. We are now about to understand the “time, time and half a time,” from the little book that the Angel gives to John.

5 The angel who I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky,6 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 will no longer be delay,

Rev 10:5,6
lifted his right hand to heaven and swore by Him lives forever and ever – there is no where else in the Bible that we can find this expression, except in Daniel 12:7, where the Angel lifted his right (and left) hand and “swore by Him who lives forever.” This is the same Angel, the Angel in linen, the Spirit of Christ, WHO IS LIKE GOD in Daniel 10:5. In the Book of Daniel, this Angel:

“swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for time, times and half a time; as soon as they finished the shattering of the holy people that these events would be accomplished.”   Daniel 12:7

The appearance of this Angel again, introduces the story of the time, times and half a time which begins in Revelation 11.

who created heaven … the earth…and the sea and the things in it – the addition of “springs of (living) water” in Rev 14:7, will indicate the Holy Spirit that accompanies obedience to Christ’s Gospel. Springs of living water are not listed in Revelation 10 because the holy spirit was not given during the “time, times and half a time,” when the Abomination of Desolation was set up, as stated in Daniel 12:11.

7but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets.

Rev 10:7
the voice of the seventh angel – the expression “voice” (phōnēs) is literally “the sound” and likely refers to the “voice as a trumpet” see also Rev 8:13. The seventh angel is the Archangel, the Spirit of Christ, see Rev 16:17,  who has a voice as a trumpet in Rev 1:10.

when he is about to sound then mystery of God is finished as He preached to His servants the prophets – the eating of the little book has interrupted the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which occurs in Chapter 11:14-19. What is the great mystery that is revealed from the eating of the little book? It is the meaning of the “time, time and half a times,” the most significant spiritual mystery of the Book of Revelation. The meaning of: “the mystery of God” refers back to Daniel 12:9, the mystery of this prophecy will not be understood until the end time, when all is revealed.

8 The voice which I heard from heaven, again speaking with me, said, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” 

Rev 10:8
the voice which I heard from heaven – from verse 4, the voice of the Spirit of Christ as the Word, speaking for God, as we shall see in verse 11.

9 I went to the angel, saying, “Give me the little book.” He said to me, “Take it, and eat it up. It will make your belly bitter, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. When I had eaten it, my belly was made bitter.

Rev 10:10
in my mouth it was sweet… my stomach was made bitter – the great prophecy of the coming Chapters will be sweet. It will provide amazement and faith, but reveal many distressing things. This is like the scroll that was eaten by Ezekiel, see Ezekiel 3:3.

11 He told me, “You must prophesy again over many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”

Rev 10:11
they said to me – the simultaneous speaking of the voice from the Angel and the voice from heaven suggests that this is the speaking of the Spirit of Christ, speaking as the Word from heaven, and speaking as the Angel of God. The speaking from heaven by “the Word” and the appearance of the Angel speaking brings us back to Revelation 1:8,12; where we hear the Word speaking as God, and speaking as an Angel.

You must prophecy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings – this starts the next series of prophecies.