Bible Study Series: Revealing Jesus in Revelation
Revelation Chapter 10: Jesus' Claim to Planet Earth
by I Gordon
- Chapter 1 presented Jesus... the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Living One whom all eyes shall see!
- Chapter 2-3 showed a panoramic view of the entire Church age, from Ephesus to our 'lovely' age of Laodicea.
- Chapter 4 gave us a glimpse of the rapture and heaven - Can't wait!
- Chapter 5 was the story of redemption showing the One, the only One, that can truly claim ownership of this planet. And it is not a spoiler alert to say it starred the Lion and the Lamb!
- Chapter 6 had an overview of the tribulation from the Antichrist to the coming of Jesus Christ.
- Chapter 7 gave an overview of eternal salvation and heavenly graduation in the upcoming tribulation.
- Chapter 8 was, well, the greenie's worst nightmare focusing on the worship of, and judgements upon, creation.
- Chapter 9 was the unlocking and unleashing of Abyss, giving a very clear reason why we don't want to be on earth at that time!
- Look at the angelic realm, 'the good guys', and their role in the coming days
- Explore the Lord Jesus' claim to planet earth
- Show why there has been such a delay in God completing His plan
- See what happens when that delay is over and the mystery of God is finished
- Ponder why John had a pretty average lunch and what that means for us!
"There has been definite disagreement among outstanding and fundamental Bible expositors as to the identity of the mighty angel. Godet, Vincent, Pettingill, DeHaan, Ironside, Walter Scott, and William Kelly all identify the strong angel as Christ. Newell and others consider him to be just an angel of great power and authority, but not Christ. Dr. John Walvoord takes this viewpoint, and Vernon McGee takes it also. If you go with either crowd, you will be in good company. In the first group are some men I have great respect for and whom I love in the Lord. I have personally known three of those men, and they were my dear friends. If you follow them, it will be all right, and you will be in good company; but if you want to be right, you want to come along with me on this!"
J. Vernon McGee
- Minister and protect the seven Churches (Rev 1:20)
- Worship before the throne in the very presence of God (Rev 5:11)
- Administer God's judgement through the trumpets and bowls especially (Rev 7:1-2, 8:2, 15:7)
- Claim this planet on behalf of God (Rev 10:5-6)
- Fight against Satan and his angels (Rev 12:7-9)
- Proclaim the everlasting gospel to all on earth from mid-air (Rev 14:6)
- Give solemn warnings against taking the mark of the beast (Rev 14:9)
- Harvest those that are evil to judge and remove them (Rev 14:17-19)
- Declare and explain prophecy to God's servant John (Rev 17:7,15, 19:9)
- Illuminate parts of the planet through God's reflected glory upon them! (Rev 18:1)
- Throw Satan and his minions into the Abyss (Rev 20:1)
- Stand at the gates of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:12)
While he could be a high ranking angelic being, some believe this mighty angel is Michael himself. Either way, he is clearly powerful and impressive, and he comes with a message.
'The size of the angel is colossal, for he bestrides both land and sea... It makes a bold and graphic picture.'
- The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. (vs 3)
- The voice of the LORD is powerful (vs 4)
- The voice of the LORD is majestic. (vs 4)
- The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. (vs 5)
- The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. (vs 7)
- The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh. (vs 8)
- The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, "Glory!" (vs 9)
Men probably won't be able to actually see this dramatic event taking place , for it will most likely occur in the spiritual realm. But while the angelic hosts of heaven as well as Satan and his demon legions look on, this angel will claim initial possession of planet earth for Jesus. The fact that Satan doesn't prevent the angel from accomplishing his mission bears witness to this angel's great authority.
But there will be a reason for even mentioning that the seven thunders spoke at this time. Revelation is given to reveal, not conceal, and in the day that they do speak we will understand why it was not allowed to be revealed any earlier. It could well be something that God did not want revealed to the enemy. We shall see. But there are some more clues we can get from what the angel says next...
- The declaration - Firstly notice that this angel swore by Him who created the heavens, the earth and the sea - and all that it contains. Now we see why it says three times in this chapter that he stands upon both the sea and the land. He has a message from the One who created all things. The heavens, the earth and the sea are all the Lord's. Jesus made them, He owns them. He paid the price to redeem them. And He is coming for them. So as this angel obeys the Lord and places his feet upon both land and sea, he is symbolically showing that Jesus is claiming it all back! As an Old Testament example, remember how God said to Joshua concerning the Promised Land 'I will give you every place where you set your foot' (Josh 1:3)?3 That is what is playing out here, but not just for the land of Israel but for the whole planet!
- The delay - Secondly notice that at the sound of the 7th trumpet, there will be no more delay. God is currently delaying His judgment. Now you and I may be praying 'delay no longer please' for we want to see the King return and righteous reign! This place is tiring! But for the sake of the lost, God is currently delaying His return. Peter says this very thing where, in the context of the Lord's return and judgement of this world, he writes 'The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.' (2Pe 3:9-10) In other words what currently stops the judgement of God, is the goodness of God, even towards those that currently hate God! But that day of judgment will come and at the time of the 7th trumpet there is no more delay. The martyr's of the 5th seal will be pleased and get their prayers answered for they too have longed for this day! (Rev 6:10-11)
A classic argument from atheists and unbelievers is 'well if God is good and He is all powerful, then why is there evil and chaos in the world? Why doesn't He do something? He can't be both all good and all powerful else He wouldn't leave it like this!'
One answer of course is "be careful what you wish for Mr. Atheist! For when God decides to deal with the evil in the world, that will include you!' God does not do half a job and when that day comes to put things right, it will be done completely. But this is not a day that the unbeliever should desire or look forward to. In the meantime, all unbelievers should be thankful for the amazing patience and mercy of God that gives them extra time to believe and accept His free gift of salvation! God's delay is based on His love. It is for the purpose of salvation. But He has set a day and once that comes, there shall be no more delay! In the words of Daniel. 'the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.' (Dan 2:44)
- The mystery - At the time of the seventh angel, when that trumpet is blown, the mystery of God is finished, Complete. Over. Accomplished. So when is this and what is this mystery? This is at the second coming of Jesus. Later in Revelation 11 we see that when the 7th trumpet sounds '...there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." (Rev 11:15). So that gives us the timing. God's plan has been accomplished at the sound of the 7th trumpet. This is one of the reasons why I see the seals, trumpets and bowls all ending (though not starting) around the same time, in the events surrounding the return of Jesus Christ. So what is the mystery of God that is finished at this point? A mystery is something once hidden but now revealed (Rom 16:25-26). So, as we read, this mystery includes all that He spoke about through the Old Testament prophets including the judgment of the wicked and the establishing of His kingdom and rule on earth once again. I can't wait for that. I really look forward to everything being put right in all of creation. I would love to play-wrestle a lion. There would have to be some rules of course. No biting comes to mind and sounds sensible. Especially for my opponent. I would also love to bear-hug a bear... and have no fear, that death is near! : ) So bring on the day when all of creation is at peace. But the mystery of God is far greater than just this for it is both a plan that is completed and a person that is revealed! It is the mystery about God Himself that will be finished! And this is what I look forward to the most.
God Himself is currently a mystery. He is hidden and not yet revealed to humanity. Unbelievers ignore Him or state that He doesn't exist. Believers know Him but we have not seen Him with our eyes... yet. But God wasn't always a mystery. In the garden of Eden, God walked with His creation (Gen 3:8). He created Adam and Eve and enjoyed fellowship with them and was with them. This was how it was designed to be right from the beginning. And yet in the fall, God became a mystery. As sin entered, the Lord withdrew. But as He did so, He spoke of the day when He would return - a day when the mystery of God would be no more, A day when He, God Almighty, would be revealed4. A day when 'every eye shall see Him!' That day, for this world, is when the 7th trumpet sounds. It is the day of the Second Coming. Jesus came the first time with His glory concealed. He comes the second time to be fully revealed... as the Alpha and Omega, as the One who has defeated hell and death... and as God Almighty!
Psa 18:5-14 The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. (6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (7) Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry. (8) Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it. (9) He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet. (10) He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind. (11) He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies. (12) From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire. (13) The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. (14) He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.
- What is this little scroll? This scroll is not defined so it is speculation and there are a few ideas out there, but it seems to be a new scroll containing the prophecies still to be revealed from Revelation chapter 11 onwards. The word for 'scroll' is different to that used of the 7-sealed scroll of Revelation 6 and speaks of a smaller book.
- Why does John have to eat it? You may not have ordered a scroll at your local café for lunch, and it's certainly not as appealing as a BLT sandwich... but this is an outward picture expressing a spiritual truth. God's people have to 'consume' His word before they can give it out. This is not new. Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, as prophets in the Old Testament, had to eat God's word before they delivered it (Jer 15:16; Eze 2:8-3:4). We too are to feed on God's word before sharing it. That is why God's word is likened to bread (Matt 4:4), milk (1 Pet 2:2), meat (1 Cor 3:1-2) and honey (Ps 119:103). John would first consume and digest the words of this prophetic scroll so that it is part of him, and then pass on to others.
- Why was it sweet in the mouth and sour in the stomach? There is both a sweet and sour nature to these words in Revelation and God's word in general. I have tasted that while preparing these messages on Revelation. Maybe you have when reading/hearing them. There is the sweetness of what is coming for believers. There is the wonder of the Rapture, Heaven, the New Jerusalem and eternal state. There is the sweetness of knowing that we'll see those again who have died in Christ. There is amazing sweetness in the thought that we will see and be with our Savior! But this sweetness is contrasted with the sourness for unbelievers. It is offset by the bitterness of judgement and even demonic oppression for those left behind. I feel an application coming on!
2Co 2:14-16 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. (15) For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; (16) to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
There is both a sweetness and a bitterness in all these words. There is an aroma from life to life, and also from death to death. The gospel gives life and eternal sweetness from those that believe while condemning with bitterness those that will not humble themselves before God. Goodness... what a task! No wonder Paul ends by saying 'And who is adequate for these things?' What is important is that you are simply obeying what God places on your heart. We can't save all. We can't help all. The size of the task and responsibility can seem overwhelming. But we just need to be responsive to what role and task, even if it seems but small, that God is calling us to.
- It will focus more on key individuals like the two witnesses, the beast and false prophet.
- It will speak of key nations and cities like Israel, Jerusalem and Babylon.
- It will speak of kings and people groups like the ten kings, the kings of the earth and most importantly, the King of kings!
So key characters and themes are going to be clarified in the coming chapters as we shall see.
You could actually get a pen or pencil and put an open bracket in your Bible at Rev 10:1 and add a closing bracket at 11:13. Some people don't see this and think that the announcement of the 2nd woe in Rev 11:14 relates to the earthquake that occurs in Jerusalem in Rev 11:13. But that is NOT the case. The three 'woes' are trumpets 5, 6 and 7. The 2nd woe being over relates back to the demonic release and associated deaths of Rev 9:13-19
While there are various pride flags, it is interesting that the most common one uses six colors instead of the actual God-designed rainbow that has seven. Seven is God's perfect, complete number. It points to Him. Six is the number of man that falls short of God's glory.
Moses also spoke to Caleb, the man of faith - 'So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.' (Jos 14:9) And Caleb, through faith, walked the land and was given his rightful inheritance. And thus too, shall all that walk by faith. This angel in Rev 10, as God's servant and messenger, is standing upon the sea and land claiming it all back for God. But this world was not created for angels but for man and shall be part of our inheritance. Psalm 8 is a good one to read here.
I have written about this more here: https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/ThemysteryofGod
Parable of the Faithful & Wicked Servant - Mat 24:48 "But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' "
Parable of the Talents - Mat 25:14 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country... After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
Parable of the Ten Virgins - Mat 25:1-6 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom... "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'