We come to the second interlude in the Book of Revelation and it will last until chapter 11 and verse 14. This is another parenthetical chapter as it introduces information necessary for the reader to have but not essential to the flow of the narrative. In this chapter, the mighty angel is introduced and we see the seven thunders. This will be a powerful angel whom some have identified as Jesus Christ because of the rainbow and the cloud, but I believe with a little diligent study we will see that this angel is not Jesus Christ.
We will see seven thunders and that John is not allowed to write what the seven thunders speak. There has been a multitude of speculation on what the seven thunders said, but we are not told. John is told to eat the book and we will see that it is both sweet and sour. We will also see that this angel raises his hands to Heaven and asks that there be time no more, more on this later. John is told that he must prophesy a little more.
Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
Now I am not here to argue with anyone about whom this angel of verse one is. There are two views and I will try to give both views. If you hold that this angel is Jesus Christ you will be in good company as good Bible teachers also hold that it is Jesus.
Teachers like Godet, Vincent, Pettingill, DeHaan, Ironside, Jeremiah, Walter Scott and William Kelly all hold the strong angel is Christ. However, teachers like Walvoord, McGee, Newell, Hocking and lastly Millard, all hold that it is not Jesus Christ but in fact a strong or mighty angel just like the text says.
Now to be fair and balanced, sort of like Fox News, I will take up the banner for the Jesus side and give evidence that it must be Jesus Christ. First please consider the following. Some call this angel ‘the messenger from Heaven’ and that he is coming to bring a message of hope to all believers of John’s day. Notice that his descent is from Heaven and that he descends clothed in a cloud. The thinking is that the cloud depicts Christ, and this is proven by other passages of scripture. Jeremiah calls him the angel of Jehovah and links this to the angel of the Lord found in the Old Testament books of Genesis and Exodus as well as others.
Since the angel of the Lord of the Old Testament came to the Jews, this angel also comes to the Jews. Now for the cloud. Clouds have always been associated with God. On Mount Sinai there was the cloud. In the wilderness wanderings there was the cloud by day. Jesus was taken up and a cloud received Him at His ascension as we see in Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
In Revelation 1:7 behold he cometh with clouds, and when he returns it will be in a cloud. Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Clouds have always pictured the divine nature of God and the glory of God.
Now for the rainbow. First it was God’s promise that He would never again destroy the world with a flood. This also pictures the faithfulness of God. Genesis 9:15, 16 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Secondly, His face was shinning just as we saw Jesus with a shinning face in the book of Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
We also see Jesus at the mount of transfiguration Matthew 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. and Revelation 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
So some teachers say that this angel is in fact Jesus the Christ returning to the Jews because of the Old Testament relationship they had with the angel of the Lord.
Some cultists take this description and say that it is Michael the archangel who they call Jesus Christ. In other words they say Michael and Jesus Christ are the same and completely disregard the divinity of Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh and not an angel!
In rebuttal of the argument for Christ as the angel, consider the following as proof that this is not Christ but another strong or mighty angel as the text plainly reads.
When we see a passage that at first may look a little strange we should always look back in the scripture to see if we have seen anything like this before. So I looked back, and I find in Revelation 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? This word strong in chapter 5 is the exact same Greek word that we have in chapter 10. The word is es-khoo-ros and means strong, mighty, valiant, and powerful. We see this again in Revelation 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
The three times this word is used with angel all refers to strong or mighty angels. We do know form scripture that there are two angels that will fit this description and they are Michael and Gabriel whose names mean Who is like God and the strength of God.
We find Michael in Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Michael is called an archangel. And, again in Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.
We also know there is another angel called Gabriel. We see him in Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
We see Gabriel in the New Testament in the following verses, Luke 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. We see him again in Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.
These are the only two angels ever mentioned in scripture by name.
Remember the law of first usage? If we have seen this phrase before, the last usage must be interpreted the same as the first usage. In this case we have seen this phrase two times now. Revelation 5:2, and 10:1. And, will see it again in Revelation 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. All of these passages should agree.
In Revelation 5:2 the strong angel is asking the question who is worthy to open to the book In Revelation 10:1 and 2 he is bringing a message with a little opened book, and lastly this angel of Revelation 18:21 is casting a stone into the sea and making a proclamation. They are all strong or mighty angels and must not be mistaken for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, I believe the most convincing argument for the angel Michael is that the Greek word for another found in this passage is<strong?allos< strong=””>meaning another of the same kind, not het-er-os which means, another of a different kind.
This leaves us with Revelation 10:1 being an angel, and probably Michael whom we will also find in Revelation chapter twelve. Michael is the angel that has the charge of protecting Israel.
Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Jesus is not another angel because He is never called an angel in the New Testament. In the Old Testament He is called the messenger of Jehovah angel of the Lord but not in the New Testament. In the New Testament He, Jesus, is called Son of man which is His most used title for Himself. He is also called Son of David, Messiah, Jesus, the Word, I AM, the Christ, the Son of the living God, Savior, Good Shepherd, just to name a very few. So I say again that the mighty angel of Revelation 10:1 is none other than Michael the archangel and not Jesus the Christ.
Now I had better clear up a little problem that I have created and some of you may have noticed if you like the King James Version of the Bible which I like and use. Twelve times in the KJV (New Testament) you will find the phrase the angel of the Lord. The question would naturally be, isn’t this referring to Jesus Christ? The answer is no, not at all because the KJV did not follow the Greek usage of the word used for the angel which is Angelos which means an angel, not the angel. The only time you will find the wordthe used in front of angel of the Lord is in Matthew 1:24 and this is referring back to Matthew 1:20 which is an angel of the Lord.
These phrases all refer to one of the created angels of God who are being used to minister to God’s people, not to Jesus Christ. Feel free to look at the passages and compare them to the Greek. If you do not have a copy of a Greek/English New Testament then you can pick up a copy of the NASB where you will find the correct usage of the word. The scriptures that I have referred to are as follows: Matthew 1:20,24; 2:13,19, 28:2; Luke 1:11, 2:9; John 5:4; Acts 5:9, 8:26, 12:7, 12:23. Check it out in both versions of the Bible and you will see the difference, and as much as I like the KJV, in this area is not the most accurate.
Now, and lastly, you may be asking, what difference does this make anyway, and that would be a good question. Well, please allow me to complete this thought with the following;
The angel lifts up his hands to Heaven in Revelation 10:5 and in verse 6 swears by Him that lives forever and created heaven and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things that are therein.
Revelation 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
Revelation 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time(delay) no longer:
Okay, follow along with this final Bible reasoning, no pun intended. This angel swears by the One that is the creator of heaven and earth. Question, Who created the heaven and the earth?
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Jesus the Christ created all things and this angel in Revelation 10:1 is giving honor to Him in Revelation 10:5 and 6. There is no escaping the truth of the scriptures. The scriptures will interpret themselves if we just ask God the Holy Spirit to open them up to us and study them looking for the answers.
And now Revelation 10:2-4.
Revelation 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
Revelation 10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
Revelation 10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
The angel has in his hand a little open book which I believe is the balance of the scroll of Revelation chapter 5. The seven sealed scroll that we saw in chapter 5 has been opened all the way and the only part we have not viewed is the seventh trumpet. It is now just a little book, with not much left to reveal. One trumpet is yet to sound and then the seven bowls of the wrath of God Almighty.
If you remember we talked about this before that Daniel had a little book and was told to seal it up.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Ezekiel had the experience of having to eat the words of a book.
Ezekeil 2:9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Ezekiel 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Ezekiel 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
Ezekiel 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
Ezekiel 3:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
We will see here in just a few more verses that the little book is very important. First, look at how the angel is standing. His feet are planted with one on the earth and the other on the sea. I believe that this signifies that God is taking control of the entire planet. The angel holds the title deed to the earth and is pictured as claiming the land in the name of Him that lives for ever and ever.
Revelation 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:.
When the angel says there should be time no longer, the meaning is there should be delay no longer. Delay of what? Delay of the full judgment of God on an unbelieving blaspheming world. The word can not mean time, because there is a specific one thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth during the Millennium yet to come.
This angel cries with a loud voice, like a lion roaring loud, and seven thunders uttered their voices. John is told not to write down what the seven thunders said. John is to seal up the words and not put them on paper. Why? We shall see as we get to those verses. A little cliff hanger for you.
Revelation 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
Revelation 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be timedelay no longer:
Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
Once again the angel swears by the creator that there should be ‘delay’ no longer. Some of our translations read time instead of delay, but I believe that ‘delay’ is the correct word. For in the seventh verse we see that when the seventh angel sounds that themystery of God should be finished, and this means completed. After the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the pouring out of the seven bowls, the judgment will be complete, finished, ended.
John is now told to eat the book.
Revelation 10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
Revelation 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Revelation 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
Why do you suppose that John would be told to eat the book? Are we not counseled to ruminate on the word of God?
Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deuteronomy 11:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 11:20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
Deuteronomy 11:21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
Now I know that this is Old Testament but the truth is applicable for us today. Look at the following verses.
2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
From Genesis to Revelation all scripture will help the Christian to understand who God is and to develop a love for Him, His word and His people. How else will we discern truth from error, fact from fiction. When the Christian puts his Bible aside and lets someone else interpret the scriptures for him, he can and often will fall into gross error.
Jim Jones told his people that they did not need to read their Bible because he would do it for them since he understood it and they could not. You all know the result of that. They all died a horrible death. Some of the cults tell you that you cannot rely on your translation of the Bible unless it is correctly interpreted by them, and may I say that is pure ‘baloney’.
So I encourage you to read the scriptures, study them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. Read the works of men like Swindoll, Hocking, Jeremiah, McGee, Pentecost and the like. You will not go far astray with these men of God. But be diligent in searching out the scriptures for yourself.
Eating the scriptures is like internalizing them, writing them on your heart so that you will always be ready with an answer for the hope that lies within you.
1Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
So I move the previous question, “Why do you suppose that John would be told to eat the book?” Once again the scripture will give us the answer.
Revelation 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
John is told to eat this book, that is to memorize it, internalize it, ruminate on it because John, “you must prophesy again before many”. John is not finished with the forth telling of the vision that he received and we will see that there is much more to come. John is told in Revelation 10:9 that the book would taste good but would turn his stomach bitter.
The sweetness of sinners turning to Christ, the sweetness of eternal life and a life filled with the presence of God. But, the bitterness of the seventh trumpet and the seven bowls of wrath would turn into bitterness. This is the bitterness of some to experience eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.
Now I cannot continue unless I ask you this question.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior? If you do then you do not have to be concerned about all of the things that are going to take place during the tribulation period. Why? Because you will not experience it. You will be with the Church in Heaven waiting to return with Christ on white horses and dressed in white linen that signifies the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Now if you are not sure of your standing with Jesus the Christ, you can know for sure by asking Him into you life right here and now. Go back to the page marked salvation and click on that bar and then read the message of the cross of Christ. If you have turned your life over to Christ, please use one of the e-mail options and respond with a brief account of your decision. We would like to send you some information that will be helpful in your search for the Savior.
Revelation 10:7 states that the mystery of God should be finished in the days of the seventh angel sounding. (Jim’s translation) A mystery is nothing more than a hidden thing or a secret plan that has not before been revealed. We see in the following chapters that it will be a mystery no longer, because all things will be revealed in the following chapters of this wonderful Book of Revelation (11-22).
May God richly bless you as you study His Holy Word.
Have a question? Want an answer? You can e-mail us at Jim@biblereasoning.org or any of the contact e-mails on the contacts page.
The seven thunders. Ill bet you thought I had forgotten the cliff hanger! Well to be perfectly honest, I had. Upon going over the text and writing a study guide for our Sunday Night Bible class I discovered the omission and will now take up the “Cliff hanger of the Seven Thunders”.
J. Vernon. McGee states : “The seven thunders were intelligible.” Meaning that John was able to understand what was uttered. John was instructed to write down the vision that was given to him in Chapter 1 verse 11.
Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Here in chapter 10 John is told to seal up and not to write what the seven thunders uttered, this is quite interesting.
What did the seven thunders say? I do not know, you do not know, no body knows. There are various speculations such as:
1. The seven crusades.
2. The seven nations which received the reformation.
3. The Seven Hills of Rome
4. The Pope’s bulla against Luther.
The bulla seal was used by the Pope to seal the document he wrote against Martin Luther’s discourse. That discourse started the Reformation.
The Old Testament light on the seven thunders:
Psalm 29:3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
Psalm 29:4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
Psalm 29:5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
Psalm 29:6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Psalm 29:7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
Psalm 29:8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
Psalm 29:9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
Dr. Barnhouse believes that there is a connection between the Psalms and the seven thunders of John’s vision.
Power, majesty, judgment, fear , fire, but what it all means we are not even allowed to guess. So in keeping with my desire to maintain the literal interpretation, I will not guess either. Amen