Revelation Chapter Ten




One of the interesting qualities of Revelation chapter Ten is the discussion of where does it fit in the flow of time. It is this writers opinion that Revelation Ten fits in time after the first part of Revelation chapter Eleven and it fits in the time around the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet - see verse 7 of Revelation Ten. It is also this writer's opinion that Revelation Ten is an answer by Jesus to an unspoken thought by John. I believe that John was thinking a thought similar to that question of Revelation 6:17 "Who shall be able to stand". I believe that the unspoken question in John's mind was "How will the trumpets end?" I believe that Jesus answers this question by taking John to the end of the trumpets and tells him how it will resolve and that even though chaotic that He is still in control of all events, even those as powerful as the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets. Revelation Chapter Ten is a summary of the events that take place just before the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet and this will take us unto the end of the time period of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 and the last of the great time prophecies in 1844. Revelation Eleven will take us back in time to finish out the Sixth Trumpet and will take us down to the times of Revelation 10.  


1And 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:


 Author: This text points us to another manifestation of the power of Jesus, the central person in the book of Revelation. Jesus is described as a Messenger from heaven, clothed with the presence of angels (clouds are equivalent to angels - Psalm 104:3 states that God makes the clouds His chariot; and Psalm 68:17 states that the chariot of God is thousands of angels). In addition to the presence of angels this picture of Jesus describes Him with having a rainbow upon His head which takes us back to the throne room picture of Revelation 4:3 where a rainbow is around the throne. This is a picture of the covenant promise made between Jesus and Noah in Genesis 9:8-17. In addition Jesus is revealed as the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2; Luke 1:78) and that His feet are as pillars of fire - leading us back to Revelation 1:15. This picture of Jesus is very similar to that of Jesus in Daniel 10:5-6.


 2And 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,


 Author: In this verse Jesus has His feet, a sign of possession and Priesthood, upon the Sea and the Earth showing His divine control over all things of the world and the extent of how far the messges of Revelation Ten will go. In His hand is a little book, as contrasted the book in His hand in Revelation Five. In addition to the book being little, it is also open, wheras the book of Revelation Five was sealed. In Daniel 12:4 God told Daniel to seal up the book of  Daniel so that people would not be able to fully understand the prophecies of Daniel until the end of time. This time period would end somewhere around 1798 at the end of the 1260 days when the Old and New Testament have been in sackcloth and ashes. When 1798 would come then God would resurrect, or release, the two witnesses and they would be safe and begin their testimony again. This happened between 1798 and 1844 when the Bible societies were established and the Bible was spread throughout the world and everyone had the opportunity of reading the Bible for themselves, and the knowledge of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation was increased. (Daniel 12:4).


 3And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.


 Author: Again we have a picture of Jesus for He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and He proclaimed His power and authority. When Jesus roared seven thunders uttered their voices. We know that thunders are often attached to any revelation of God. (See Exodus 19:16; Psalm 77:18; Revelation 4:5). We also know that when God spoke people heard His voice as thunder. (John 12:28-30)


 4And 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.


 Author: When God had finished speaking the seven thunders John was getting ready to record them when and voice from heaven told John not to write them and to seal up the things that the seven thunders spoke. These thunders apparently spoke about issues which would happent to God's people around the time of 1844 and it would not be good for them to know these things so that they could go through the experiences God had intended for them to go through. After the time of 1844 God would reveal the issues and then the people would be able to see His hand at work for them.


 Now that the events of 1844 were completed God had given us some insights into the seven thunders in the writings of Ellen G. White. In her book Volume VII of the SDA Bible Commentaries she reports the following statement:


"The special light given to John which was expressed in thse seven thunders was a dilenation of events which would transpire under the first and second angel's messages. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested. In the order of God most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angels' messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work..."


  5And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,


 Author: Jesus was preparing to make a great statement. 


 6And 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:


 Author: Jesus swore by His Father, the Creator God, that at the end of the seven thunders there would be no more prophetic time. All time prophecies would end at 1844 but not all prophecies would end. The next great prophecy that would come to pass would be the second coming of Christ.


  7But 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.


 Author: God here resettles us in the flow of time. About 1844 God would start the Seventh Trumpet and at the completion of that Trumpet the mystery of God would be finished as God had declared it to His servants the prophets. The primary mystery of God was the mystery of how God could come as the seed of a woman and do all of the wonderful things He did as a man, and yet be fully God. (Colossians 4:3). Another facet of the mystery of God is how God can change a sinful human being and live within our hearts and help us to have victory over sin. (Colossians 1:18-28). Another mystery is how God could send this message of grace to all of the people of the world and help them find their way to Christ. (Ephesians 3:1-9). One last mystery is how could God give all of these messages to His prophets and they in turn could share them with others and have them be prepared to work in harmony with God. (Amos 3:7;  Ephesians 3:4-6).


 8And 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.


Author: John, symbolizing God's people, is now instructed to take the little book in the hand of Jesus.


9And 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.

Author: John is now instructed to take the little book and eat it. This is a reference to the experience of the prophet Ezekiel 2-3. Ezekiel was also instructed to take a book and eat it and then proclaim the messages of the book to the rebellious people of Israel. Ezekiel's job was to be that of a watchman on the walls of Zion to warn the people of events to come. God wanted John, symbolizing God's people, to take and eat of this message, and to then tell it to the world, just as Ezekiel did to Israel. God warned John that the information of the little book would be sweet in his mouth but it would be bitter in his belly.

10And 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.


Author: John took of the little book and did eat it and his experience was just as the Angel has said it would be. God's prophet also uses this story to tell of the experience of the Millerite movement which prophesied of the coming of Jesus in 1844. They began to grasp the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and they shared their beliefs with others and they rejoiced in good news of the coming of Christ. They believed that Jesus was going to come to the earth in 1844 because of their understanding of the great time prophecy of Daniel 8:14. They believed that the starting date of this prophecy was in 457 BC and that 2300 days/prophetic years later would bring them to 1844. (See Daniel 8-9 in for a larger explanation of this time prophecy). When this did not happen their joy was turned to bitterness as they experienced the disappointment of not getting to see Jesus nor go home to heaven with Him as they had expected. (See The Great Controversy pages 289-390).


11And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.


Author: God said that when His people went through the experiences of the seven thunders they must go out and teach again before the people, nations, tongues and kings of the world. Their disappointment set the stage for them to find the rest of the truths of God, correct their mistakes about where Jesus was, and then to tell the world what they needed to know to prepare for the second coming of Jesus. This group of people, who were willing to follow God's will this far would go on to see what happened in 1844, and see the truths that would be revealed through the opening of the temple and the revelation of the ark of His testament in Revelation 11:19.