THE BEGINNING OF THE END
Revelation 10:1-11 (NKJV)
The Mighty Angel with the Little Book
10 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. 2 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, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 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.”
5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 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 should be delay no longer, 7 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.
John Eats the Little Book
8 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.”
9 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.”
10 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. 11 And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
This is another of those parenthetical passages. They appear from time to time in Revelation to turn our eyes from the awfulness of the judgment. They serve to focus our attention on the blessed Lamb of God. In the midst of His wrath, we desperately need to be reminded of His great power. There is one fundamental problem with the world today, they leave Jesus Christ out of their calculations and plans.
Ill. Ancient astronomy (Aristotle and Ptolemy believed the earth to be the center of the universe. It wasn’t until Nicholas Capernicus and Johannes Kepler discovered that the sun was the center of the solar system and all other things revolved around it, that everything fell into place and began to make sense).
This world has cut Jesus from the picture and replaced Him with the United Nations and other faulty institutions of man and the result has been total chaos. When Jesus is restored as the focal point of mankind’s attention, then all things will make sense and fall into place. That is what God is up to here. This passage introduces the middle of the tribulation period.
Let’s notice what is taking place upon the earth as we see the beginning of the end.
I. v.1-4 THE APPEARANCE OF THE ANGEL
A. v.1 Who Is It? Probably Jesus! Why?
1. From Heaven – Abode
2. Cloud – Glory – (Ill. Cloudy pillar!)
3. Rainbow – Mercy – (Ill. Rainbow after flood)
4. Sun – Diety, glory – (Ill. Mt. of Transfiguration, Ill. They wanted a sign – Matt.12:38. He gave them signs – When He was born, He placed a star in the sky. When He died, He put the sun out! Now He stands in His glory outshining the sun!
5. Legs of fire – Judgment! (Ill. There will be no winking at sin!) Ill. He walked here, lived here and died here. He has watched this world persecute His saints, devastate His world, and turn a deaf ear to His calls. But, He is coming back! No meek, mister nice guy this time. He comes in wrath!
B. v.2 What Is He Doing?
1. Holding – A book of prophecy. Possibly OT prophets – Dan. 12:4 (Ill. v.7-11)
2. Standing – Claiming the sum total of earth for Himself. (Ill. Practice of Victors) (Ill. Buying land!)
C. v.3 What Is He Saying?
1. Crying as a lion – (Ill. Nothing compares to the roar of a lion who stands in his own domain.) This roar is God’s final warning to His enemies that He is coming.
2. Seven Thunders – (Voice of God) Psa. 29:3-9 (Ill. John was told not to write!)
II. v.5-7 THE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE ANGEL
A. Jesus pledges by His Father that there will be no more delays!
B. All the eternal plans and visions of God are about to be brought to pass!
C. We need to remember that the days of delay are in reality the days of opportunity.
D. Ill. When the waiting is over, all the sinners will be punished! (Ill. How long Oh Lord? Now, My child!)
III. v.8-11 THE APPROPRIATION (USE/PURPOSE) OF THE BOOK
A. John could see the book, even know its contents. But, until he took it personally, he was no better!
B. Eat it! – (Ill. The Word is FOOD – Mt. 4:4; Psa. 119:103; Jer. 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:22). The Word does us no good until we eat it and digest it. Until you learn to feed off the Book, you will be an undernourished Christian.
C. v.9-10 The Two-fold Effect – Both sweet and bitter. (Ill. Heb. 4:12)
1. There is a blessing and a burden to the Word, a sweetness and a sadness, a happiness and a heartache, etc.
2. The future, the little book is prophetic, is wonderful for the saint, but awful for the sinner!
D. v.11 With the Word comes responsibility
1. If we are going to speak for God, we must know His Word!
2. If we know His Word, then we must share it!
E. John was to speak concerning all of these things – Ill. Chps. 11-22
F. John did his job well. Can we say the same?
We are presently living in the days of delay.
Let us pray, study and witness to others so that we may live and work for Jesus Christ until He comes.
Are you ready to meet God, my friends?