Stephen Caswell © 2004
Two weeks ago we saw the final 3 trumpets which culminated with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The outline of the Book of Revelation is contained within the framework of the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls. These judgments cover a period of 7 Years. In between these, John gives us further details concerning Jesus Christ, His saints, the Anti-Christ and the world. These events take place while the seal, bowl and trumpet judgments unfold. Today’s passage gives us more information about the One Who is worthy to take the Scroll and open it; the One who is worthy to take possession of the kingdom. Chapter 5 asked that question. The answer is the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Today, we will see 2 things, The Son’s Presentation, and The Servant’s Proclamation.
Luke 19:11-15, 27: Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, do business till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, we will not have this man to reign over us. And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Verse 27: But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me. This parable refers to Jesus Christ.
1. The Son’s Presentation
Many times in the Old Testament we find that God appeared to man. A Theophany or Christophony. At these times He was usually called the Angel of the Lord. To be exact it was the Lord Jesus Christ who appeared to mankind. John 1:18: No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. The Word of God reveals Jesus the Son of God. Christ appeared to Abraham as a man in Genesis chapter 18; here Abraham calls Him Lord. He appeared to Joshua as the Captain of the Lord’s hosts in Joshua chapter 5. He appeared to Samson’s parents as the Angel of the Lord whose name is Wonderful in Judges chapter 13. I believe that Revelation chapter 10 is yet another appearance of the Angel of the Lord.
a. His Person
Revelation 10:1: 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.
He is clothed with a cloud. This cloud is a glory cloud or what scholars call the Shekinah Glory. When the Lord appeared to Moses, it was in a cloud of glory. When Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven from the Mount of Olives a cloud received Him. Revelation 1:7 and Matthew 24:30 both say that Christ will return with the clouds of heaven. He will return with great power and glory. This cloud speaks of glory, radiance and majesty.
A rainbow was on his head. We first saw an emerald rainbow around the throne of God in Revelation 4:3; now it sits like a crown on the head of this messenger. He has received divine authority from God Himself to execute judgment upon the earth. Yet in judgment, the Angel of the Lord remembers His covenants with mankind. The Lord promised Noah He would never again destroy the world with a flood. He is merciful.
His face was like the sun. Surely such brightness speaks of holiness. The Scripture tells us that God is light. When Jesus Christ appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road he shone brighter than the midday sun. Paul was blinded by Christ’s glory and radiance in Acts 9:3-5. In Revelation 1:16: Christ’s appearance is like the sun shinning in its strength.
Feet like pillars of fire. Daniel and John both saw visions of Christ. They record that His feet are like fine brass refined in a furnace. Fire and bronze both speak of judgment; whilst the mention of his feet refers to Christ crushing His enemies underfoot. Christ will tread the winepress of the wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:15 God said to His Son, sit at My righthand while I make your enemies your footstool. Psalm 110:1
b. His Position
Revelation 10:2: 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,
This Mighty Angel descends from heaven with great glory and stands upon the land and the sea. Why? He is claiming the whole world. He owns both land and sea. The angel’s posture is that of a conqueror taking possession of his territory. Of course, only the victorious Savior could make such a claim. The Antichrist will soon complete his conquest and force the whole world to submit to his control. But before that happens, Christ claims the inheritance that His Father promised Him. When Israel was about to conquer the land of Canaan, God told Joshua they would possess any ground that they placed their feet upon. Jesus Christ places His feet upon the land and the sea and claims possession of it all. The King of Kings says to Satan and his Anti-Christ it belongs to me.
c. His Power
Revelation 10:3-4: and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 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.
Because His voice is loud everyone on the earth will hear His Words. When Christ spoke 7 thunders were heard through out the world. His voice has authority. This message is important but God is keeping it secret for now. He speaks to the nations of the world with divine power. The Lion is the King of the beasts. Jesus Christ is the Lion of Judah; He’s King. Satan roars like a lion to frighten his prey, but the Lion of Judah roars to announce victory. He has every right to claim the Kingdom. He earned it by conquering Satan and his opposing kingdom. One day soon, Christ’s voice will be heard and obeyed.
Psalm 29:2-9: The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, Glory!
The Lion King
My children love the movie the Lion King. The story tells how an evil lion Scar killed King Muffassa and stole his kingdom with the help of the Hyenas. He tried to kill the king’s young son named Simba who fled to another country where he grew up. Later Simba returned to reclaim his kingdom. He challenged the evil king Scar and won a fierce battle. After this he climbed to the top of Pride Rock, the place of authority, and roared loudly. By roaring He was claiming back his kingdom. All of the animals rejoiced.
d. His Purpose
Revelation 10:5-7: The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 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, 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.
His purpose is to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God. In lifting his hand to heaven Christ is making an oath that there will be no further delay. God has delayed His judgment to give sinners time to repent. 2 Peter 3:3-4, 9: knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God’s time has come. The 7th Trumpet will see the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Revelation 11:15-18: lists a number of things that will occur when Christ returns.
God Pours Out Wrath On Sinners. The Day of Judgment is approaching now. When it arrives the Lord will severely punish those who rejected His gracious offer of salvation. Because sin has been dealt with on the cross, God can offer forgiveness to those who repent. This has been the reason for the delay. The Day of Grace will close soon. Then a number of judgments will fall on the wicked. Firstly, the wicked will suffer physical torment from the various plagues. Secondly, they will suffer mental anguish when they see Christ come in glory. Thirdly, they will suffer spiritual death when Christ casts them into Hell.
God Judges The Dead. The judgment of the dead refers to the lost. They are spiritually dead. God judges them according to their sins recorded in the book of works. The word judge, κρίνω, means to condemn, to determine, to make a legal decision. It is said that just before you die your life flashes before your eyes. If people have this built in record of their lives it is not difficult to believe that God has such a record too. Revelation chapter 20 gives a detailed description of this judgment. Those who have destroyed their lives and God’s world will be punished in hell. They will suffer spiritual anguish forever.
God Rewards His People. Here, God’s people are called prophets, saints, God fearers and servants. Prophets preach God’s Word to others. Saints are people whose lives have been set apart for God’s glory. God fearers honor God rather than man. Servants obey their Lord. Christ will give a number of rewards to His people. Every believer receives eternal life. Every believer will enter the New Jerusalem and live there. Every believer will receive glorified bodies, but some will shine brighter. Some will receive treasure in heaven. Some believers will receive crowns and authority to rule in Christ’s kingdom. God is measuring us up now for future responsibility in heaven. He is looking for faithfulness. The man who made 1 mina increase to 10 was put in charge of 10 cities.
God Crowns Christ As King. God will establish a righteous government on earth. Jesus Christ will take the kingdom away from Satan and his Anti-Christ. God Himself will crown His Son, Jesus Christ. Psalm 2:5-8: Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. God’s people will reign with Him over all the earth. Justice will be done, wrongs will be righted, righteousness will prevail. The saints will enter the kingdom and worship the Lord.
Application What lessons have we learned from this?
· That at present Satan has control over the world and all of its people.
· Word of God reveals the Son of God. The cross of Christ is central to human history.
· That God sent His Son to conquer Satan, sin, death and hell on the cross of Calvary.
· That when God reveals His Son the second time He will possess the kingdom.
· The Day of Judgment is coming. Christ will reward His saints and punish the wicked.
· Only the Lord Jesus Christ can set people free from Satan’s wicked kingdom.
· God has revealed His Son to us. We know Christ and His plans. We must warn others!
2. The Servant’s Proclamation
a. God’s Word Available
Revelation 10:8: 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.
John was told to take God’s Word. It’s available to us. God gave us the Word to teach us about the important things in life; like sin, salvation, righteousness and judgment. Jesus said this in Matthew 4:4: man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The little book was open. God hasn’t left us in the dark because the Bible is an open book. The Prophetic Scriptures reveal God’s plans for the future. It’s vitally important that we read it. The hope of this world rests in the 2 comings of Jesus Christ. Firstly, He came to save us from the penalty and power of sin. Secondly, is coming to save us from the presence of sin. Do you know what God has planned for those who love Him? You can know. You have God’s Word and it’s an open book.
In Australia we all own several copies of God’s Word. We can read the Bible in our own language whenever we want. We are so fortunate! Many Christians in China and Africa can’t get even one Bible. You have God Word. You can read it. Are you reading the Word every day? Are you studying it?
b. God’s Word Applied
Revelation 10:9-10: 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. 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.
Why did the Angel tell John to eat the book? Because God’s Word mustn’t be left on the shelf. We must take it into our lives. God’s Word was not given to us for information but for transformation. God gave us His Word so that we might become like Jesus Christ. Psalm 119:11: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. The directions that the angel gave to John should remind us of our responsibility to feed on God’s Word and make it a part of the inner man. It wasn’t enough for John to see the book or even to know its purpose. He had to receive it into his inner being.
God will not thrust His Word into our mouths and force us to receive it. He hands it to us and we must take it and feed on it. God told Joshua the same thing. Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. We know God’s plans for us. Are we working for His kingdom now? Are we living for time or eternity?
Why does the Angel say that God’s Word is sweet and bitter? Because God’s Word is filled with promises and punishment, reward and retribution. God can’t change the effects the Word will have in our lives: there will be both sorrow and joy, bitterness and sweetness, encouragement and rebuke. God’s Word contains sweet promises and assurances, but it also contains bitter warnings and prophecies of judgment. The Book of Revelation describes God’s wrath that will be poured out on sinners. The Christian bears witness of both life and death. Faithful ministers and believers must declare all of God’s counsel. We must not dilute God’s message to please our listeners. The greatest verse in the Bible about God’s love is John 3:16. Yet it talks about sinners perishing.
c. God’s Word Announced
Revelation 10:11: And he said to me, you must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.
Prophecy Gives Us A Heavenly Perspective
There is a sense in which prophecy does for us what traveling in space has done. Much has been learned about the earth from going out there and looking back — things about weather patterns, location of natural resources, and so forth, which we could never have known from earth, where we are too close to really see what is here. In a similar fashion, prophecy takes us out of the limitations of seeing only what our immediate circumstances allow and helps us to see the big picture. The result should be that we become better stewards of our time and other resources now and that we live our life on eternal values.
The angel commissioned John to prophesy again; his work was not finished. He must declare God’s prophetic truth. John was commanded to preach the Word to peoples, nations, tongues and kings. He is commanded to share the Word with everyone. God wants people to know about His plans. The Word reveals Jesus Christ who is both Savior and Lord. We too must tell people about Jesus Christ. Everyone needs a Savior to deliver them from Satan’s kingdom. Everyone needs to know that the Day of Judgment is approaching. We must warn people about sin, righteousness and judgment to come.
The Gospel is both bitter and sweet. It reveals the Good News of Salvation. It also presents the bad news that judgment awaits those who reject Christ. Are you sharing the Gospel you received? When did you last share Christ with someone? Jesus Christ commissioned us to take the Gospel to the world. Mark 16:15-16: And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Application What lessons have we learned from this?
· God’s Word is available to us. Bible is an open book. We can know God personally.
· We can know His plans for us! If you don’t know His plans whose fault is that?
· The Bible wasn’t given to us just for our information but for our transformation.
· We must apply God’s Word in our lives. Do you feed on it and take it into your life?
· Do you obey the Word and live by its values? Is the Bible transforming you?
· God’s Word is both sweet and bitter. It contains both promises and punishment.
· The Good News must be announced to others. Are you sharing it with the lost?
· Do you warn people of the coming judgment? Are you obeying the Great Commission?
1 Timothy 1:17: Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.