"THE BOOK OF REVELATION" Chapter Ten OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To examine the first vision in the interlude between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpets 2) To offer an explanation concerning the significance of this vision SUMMARY Just as there was an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals that included two visions designed to comfort the saints, so we find an interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets with three visions that would have similar effect. Chapter ten contains the first vision in this second interlude, in which John describes a mighty angel coming down from heaven and standing with his right foot on the sea and his left on the land. Of particular note is a little book in the angel's hand. When the angel cried out with lion-like voice, seven thunders uttered their voices, but John is forbidden by a voice from heaven to write the things which the thunders uttered. At this point the mighty angel swears by God that there will be delay no longer, for when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet the mystery of God will be finished, as God declared to His servants the prophets (1-7). Then the voice from heaven tells John to take the book from the angel. As he does so, the angel tells him to eat the book, with a warning that while it will be sweet as honey in his mouth, it will make his stomach bitter. When John eats the book, he is told that he must again prophesy about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings (8-11). The significance of eating the little book is clear enough, for it symbolizes John mastering the contents of the message (Ezek 2:1-3:11). As to its contents, it may pertain to the prophecies of chapters 12-22, which certainly contains prophecies of peoples, nations, kings, etc. While the sounding of the seventh trumpet would indicate the mystery of God was finished as declared to the Old Testament prophets (cf. "My servants the prophets," Zech 1:6), John would expand upon the revelation of that mystery by recording what will be seen starting in chapter 12. The significance of the seven thunders may forever remain an enigma. Summers believes that John was forbidden to record their utterances because there would be delay no longer and the time for warning was over. Hailey suggests that it may indicate that God has many unrevealed weapons in His arsenal of judgments to be used at His discretion, and that man cannot know all of God's ways. This vision appears designed to impress upon John that with the sounding of the seventh trumpet his work will not be over. Indeed, in chapters 12-22 we shall see a closer look at the conflict. OUTLINE I. THE MIGHTY ANGEL WITH THE LITTLE BOOK (1-7) A. THE ANGEL, THE BOOK, AND THE SEVEN THUNDERS (1-4) 1. John describes another mighty angel coming down from heaven a. Clothed with a cloud b. A rainbow on his head c. His face like the sun d. His feet like pillars of fire e. A little book in his hand f. His right foot on the sea, his left foot on the land g. Who cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars 2. When the angel cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices a. John prepared to write what he heard b. But a voice from heaven instructs him to seal up the things uttered by the seven thunders, and not write them B. THE ANGEL AND HIS OATH (5-7) 1. John sees the angel lift his hand to heaven 2. The angel swears by God that there will be delay no longer a. For in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be finished b. As God declared to His servants the prophets II. JOHN EATS THE LITTLE BOOK (8-11) A. JOHN IS INSTRUCTED TO EAT THE BOOK (8-9) 1. The same voice from heaven instructs him to take the book from the angel's hand 2. He is told to eat the book, which will be sweet as honey in his mouth, but will make his stomach bitter B. JOHN EATS THE BOOK (10-11) 1. Taking it from the angel's hand, he ate it 2. It was sweet as honey in his mouth, but his stomach became bitter 3. He is told: "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) How does John describe the mighty angel which comes down from heaven? (1-2) 3) When the angel cried out, what happened? (3) 4) What did John start to do? What was he told? (4) 5) What did the mighty angel swear by God? (5-7) 6) What is John then told to do? (8) 7) What is he told to do with the book? What did he do with the book? (9-10) 8) What was he then told? (11)