Revelation Series #13
The Angel and the Book
1) A friend (or child) asks you, "If God is so good, why is there so much evil in the world?" How would you respond?
2) A new Christian confides in you: "I'm reading the book of Revelation and, frankly, I don't understand most of it. But I do understand that the notes in my study Bible clearly say that all these terrible judgments will be poured out on unbelievers-maybe even some of my friends! Do you believe that? Is all this punishment and wrath really going to happen? I guess I'm having a hard time believing that a loving God could do all that to His beloved creatures!" How do you respond?
Is any of this EVER going to happen?
It is obvious that even DURING the Tribulation some are going to wonder if it will ever end
So … here in the midst of the 7th and final seal … following the blowing of the 6th Trumpet there is a pause but that pause is part of God making sure we still understand WHO is in charge and WHERE this is all heading
READ CH. 10
Historicist - Rome fell in the first 4 seals, the eastern empire fell in the 6th trumpet ch's 10 and 11 deal with the Reformation period … the Mighty Angel is Christ because the little book is in his hand. The book is the Bible which HAD been inaccessible to most of the world but NOW is being translated and released. The loud voice is Christ's challenge of the Roman church. The 7 Thunders are crusades, wars, French revolution, et al …
Preterist - might angel is Jesus, his face shining like the sun … rainbow over his head … all point to Christ … standing on the sea and the land refer to the Gentile nations contrasted with the land of Israel … the Book is the same book from ch 5 … 7 thunders are the power of God's voice from Ps. 29 … not allowed to record the sayings because they were too terrible to write … it was intended for John alone … some things are yet unfilled in John's time. SO, while most of the book is about events SOON to come, these thunderings are of events not coming immediately
Futurists - angel is thought by some to be Christ and others see as a holy angel with special authority and power. The little book … various interpretations arise from this being the book from ch5 to an altogether different book … seal up the 7 thunders … the secrets of God are NOT all fit for revelation to man
Spiritual / Idealist - angel … Christ or a special envoy of Christ … has a message for all the world indicated by a foot on the sea and on the land … little book contains prophesies for the world, yet small enough to be ingested by John … 7 thunders are the voice of the Lord … Sealing their words … the whole counsel of God has not been revealed … we can't know all things
Historicist - the papal church has been given many centuries to repent and returned as the Jews had been given as well. "No more delay" … no opportunity is needed or given …
Pretorist - no longer will the martyrs have to wait … every seal is opened in the book and the prayers will now be answered … completion of the "mystery" the predominantly Jewish nature of the church will now be ended by the destruction of the Temple … the mystery is of course that the gentiles will be on equal footing with the jews and be united with them
Futurist - mystery … the "secret of his allowing Satan to have his way and man too … evil prospering and good being trodden underfoot … it seems as though evil has triumphed … the mystery can also be that all about God has not been full revealed … but will be fulfilled and revealed fully and finally … the mystery of predestination, retribution, struggle between light and darkness will finally be revealed and explained
Spiritual / idealist - the mystery taught of in col. 2:2; ro 16:25; eph 3:3-6 is revealed clearly for the first time in the New Testament era … meaning the whole purpose of God in history … the consummation of this includes the final judgment on the wicked and the perfecting of the saints … being finished doesn't mean terminated but carried out completely
Historicist - eating represents the Bible received during the Reformation as the Scriptures for the first time are available to the masses … it was sweet because they had not had it … it was bitter because of the persecution from the church that came with it … John then becomes the preachers of the reformation who are challenged to preach what they now have
Preterist - Just like Ezekiel "eating the words of God" were in regards to a prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem … so they are here about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 … there are both sad and glad revelations in this book
Futurists - the word is sweet in promises received and yet bitter in the revelation of divine judgment poured out on the wicked … that there is no further delay is sweet but there will be a bitter prelude of judgment before the sweet fulfillment and that makes it hard to swallow
Spiritual - the book is sweet and glorious but bitter in that it's proclamation brings bitter persecution. We can't simply understand and digest it, but as a prophet we must experience both the sweetness and the suffering, the cross bearing The persons to whom John must prophesy are identified by a fourfold enumeration-peoples, nations, tongues, and kings (v. 11)-suggesting that all of mankind must hear his message (four being the number of the world).
Now … to the Text as I have dug through it for Today
1. Another Mighty Angel
1. Coming Down from Heaven
2. Robed in a Cloud - often used as an image of God's presence
3. Rainbow above his head -
a. a rainbow was seen in ch 4 in the throne room - whomever this is they are from God and bear God's covenant
b. a rainbow was significant to the Hebrew / Biblically trained reader as a promise a covenant between God and man that he will never destroy them with a flood of water again --- even in the midst of judgment God's merciful promises are seen
4. His Face was like the Sun - Jesus was seen this way in ch1, by Paul … but also as the Angels at the Tomb, as the Angels to the Shepherds; Moses shined this way EVERY time he had been in the presence of the Shekinah or Glory of God … he shone like the sun because they couldn't look at him … so this one has come FROM HEAVEN or God's presence so he would shine as well like the Sun. Remember in Heaven we will need to sun, moon, or stars because of God's radiance shining. We will all glow that way, but in our glorified bodies we will be able to handle it and see one another
5. His Legs were like fiery pillars - image similar to Jesus in chapter one … also shows the firmness this one … set like a pillar, not easily moved …
1. JESUS? - The reasons for assuming this to be Jesus are many and are obvious … this one holds the book that Jesus only could open … his description fits parts of descriptions of Jesus … he lays claim to the earth. I will NOT argue much with anyone who would claim this to be Christ …
2. But … there are notable expositors who would say this is NOT a picture of Jesus. Criswell, Ryrie, John MacArthur, David Jeremiah, to name several.
3. the word appears again "another" angel … and this creates the biggest problem for me in seeing this as Jesus. The word is the word "allos" which is synonymous with the word "heteros" which mean "another of the same form, nature, kind, or class" … I do not believe Jesus would be described that way. When he is seen or referred to as an Angel or Messenger in the Old Testament he is ALWAYS distinct from other angels and identified as THE ANGEL and the LORD in those instances. So … I believe this is a different angel … a Herald of God
4. We have seen him cry out "who is worthy to open the book?" We've seen him hold back the judgment while 144,000 are marked for God … We have seen him as an Angelic Priest in chapter eight and we will see him in Chapter eighteen lighting the world with the glory of his presence. He is splendorous and glorious but created as an angel
5. He is acting as Christ's Proxy his Steward his Supreme Representative here in important acts
6. He swore by Heaven … in Genesis it says that God swore by himself because there was no one higher to swear by … this one swore by The One Who Created … NOT by himself
But not just his identity let's see his Actions on behalf of the Lamb as a Representative of Christ
2. Declaration of Reclamation of Property
A. Claiming Property
1. He places his feet on the Sea and on the Land
2. this is a clear statement, declaration of ownership
3. I am NOT just a God in Heaven but God on earth
4. I may have appeared to you to be a God from a distance but I am taking back what is mine
5. In Dt. 11 - God told them … "wherever you place the soles of your feet will be yours" Joshua 1 says the same thing
6. When Columbus landed in the Indies he placed a banner there and claimed it for the King of Spain … He placed his feet on that land and claimed it
7. There is only one countries flag on the Moon … USA why? Because we are the only one's to set a foot on it and plant a flag
B. God's "Realtor"
1. God created and bought it through Jesus Christ
2. Now he was reclaiming what was rightfully his
3. LOUD SHOUT like the ROAR of a Lion --- it was NOT the roar of the Lion of Judah, but it was LIKE the roar of the Lion of Judah … Angels or God's Messengers do NOT speak their own message if you will their own voice, but they are the VOICE of God, they are the Mouth of God … the speak his word, his message, his voice
when God staked his claim through his representative there was …
3. A Response from Heaven
A. Thunders Roll
1. The voice of THE 7 Thunders spoke
2. What are they? They are the voices of Judgment
3. they are heard during the Judgment at the Throne in chapter 4 when the People of God Raptured into Heaven, the 24 Elders are before the Throne at the Bema Seat where our Actions are Judged
4. They are heard in chapter 8 when Judgment is cast down on the earth
5. Psalm 29 speaks of the power of the voice of God --- Power over the waters, Power to cause cows to calve, Majestic, breaking Cedars, Twisting Oaks, Striking Lightning, Shaking the Deserts …
6. God's voice spoke this world into existence and God's voice will bring Judgment on this earth … When Jesus comes in Chapter 19 he will attack with a two-edged sword from his mouth … The Word of God … divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow.
7. Criswell says these are not just reverberations of a crash of lightning, but they are the voices of the judgment of God. They are THE seven thunders.
B. Thunders Contain Prophesy
1. John got instruction from these voices … further judgments, further revelation of judgment
2. I was about to write … seal up what the 7 thunders have said … do not write it down
3. WHY? Why even tell us about it if we don't get to hear it?
4. Seal it up because it is too much for us … Seal it up because we do NOT have to know everything … TELL us so that we KNOW that we do NOT know EVERYTHING …
5. one of the reasons we can't figure out everything about the end is because God didn't tell us everything! So let's focus on what we know and let God worry about the rest …
6. The good news is better than you can imagine and the bad news is worse than we can stand to know
7. For all the things we THINK we know there are THOUSANDS of things that we do not know we cannot understand about God, about this life, about the End times about the millennium … As Paul said we see through a darkened glass or a bad mirror but when we see him we will see clearly we will see him as he is or for WHO he is WHAT he is HOW he is, WHY he is … ONE DAY!! Oh what a GLORIOUS DAY that Will be when my Jesus
What a day that will be
When my Jesus I will see
When I look into his face
The one who saved me by his grace
When he takes me by the hand
And leads me through the promised land
What a day what a glorious day that will be
4. Presentation of the Little Book
A. What is It?
1. it could be a million different books … or could it?
2. the greek word for BOOK is Biblios - we get our word BIBLE from there
3. the word for book in Rev 5 when Jesus gets the 7 sealed book is Biblion
4. In chapter 10 the word Biblion and Biblaridion are BOTH used in different manuscripts … However, BOTH words mean LITTLE BOOK … so why in English we choose to right ONE as LITTLE book and one as BOOK, I'm not sure … but I believe that BOTH here and Chapter 5 are the SAME book
B. What is different
1. One is CLOSED and One is OPEN
2. In ch 5 ONLY Jesus Could Open the Book …
3. HERE all 7 seals have been opened and only a little is still yet to be revealed to us
4. so this Angelic Representative of Christ now holds this Christ-opened book … which we have seen as the DEAD to this EARTH … and now he places his FEET on the LAND and SEA in Proxy for Christ and proclaims that CHRIST is now coming to the TIME to Reclaim his property and he has the right, the means, and the will to do it
1. Take it …
2. Eat it …
3. Proclaim it … to EVERYONE … people, nations, languages, kings … a number 4 completeness or perfection in the earth
D. Characteristics of the Book - The Revelation
1. Sweet in the Mouth
2. Bitter in the Stomach
3. Easy to Take in
4. Hard to Keep down
5. Such is it every time I preach, every time I prepare to preach, because there is always salvation and judgment in every Word from God. There is a crossroads when Christ is preached and it is sad and glad at the same time because some will receive and some will not. It is good news for you but yet may be wholly rejected as bad by others
6. As you consume this beautiful Book of the Revelation of Jesus it is sweet and sour, it is mouth watering and stomach turning
Finally one other thing is here …
This Angel Representative Standing astride the Earth and Sea, claiming God's Property … Holds his Hand up raises his RIGHT HAND … making a solemn and binding oath … and makes a
5. Proclamation of Consummation
A. The Source
1. He swears not by himself but by the one whom he represents … "Him who lives forever … who created heavens … earth … sea … and all in them ---
2. JESUS CHRIST - John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ?2? He was with God in the beginning. ?3? Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
B. The Proclamation
1. NO MORE DELAY! In the Days when the 7th angel is ABOUT to sound the trumpet, the Mystery of God will be Accomplished …"
2. IT IS TIME …
3. IT is a PROCESS --- In the days … it begins now … as the angel is about to sound the 7th trumpet and will continue through the 7th trumpet the 7 bowls, the mystery will find its completion, it's culmination
4. It is FINISHED is being spoken again … but NOT Salvation for that was finished 2000 years ago, now what is finished is God's Arm of Salvation, God's Patience with this World … all that has been delayed will be delayed no longer
5. Here is COMES! The Worst of God's Judgment and the Best of His Promises no more delay
C. the Mystery and Consummation
1. The mysteries of God will be mysteries no more
2. What mysteries?
a. Predestination and the Plan of God for the World that we have contemplated argued over, been prideful in our understanding and proclamation of will be fully revealed. I believe anyone who proclaims this mystery with prideful glee doesn't understand the nature of the mystery. But one day it will be consummated and we will all understand and be amazed at the wonder of it all
b. the mystery of when he will come - Jesus said that it will be like a bridegroom who goes away for so long that ALL of the prospective brides fall asleep … it will be something that catches all unaware … he said ONLY the father knows when (mt24:36) not the angels or the Son only the Father … that is a mystery
c. that the "gospel will be preached in the whole world … and then the end will come" is a mystery
d. That the Jews are NOT the ONLY people of God they were a Special PEOPLE of God to be a light to the World that the Gentiles might become their equal in the Kingdom … Paul proclaimed that Mystery in Col 2:2; Rom 16:25; Eph 3:3-6
e. Perhaps the Greatest Mystery the one answered most loudly here is the mystery of the SILENCE or DELAY of God in the face of an evil World … The Mystery of why the Evil seem to prosper while the good seem to be trampled on … Peter said in his 2nd Epistle chapter 3 that God is NOT SLACK or LAZY or SLOW he is PATIENT we just don't understand … he is patient preferring that NONE would perish but that all might come to him or at least have every opportunity … Every generation has Expected God's Vindication, God's Ending of this madness.
EVE - I'm sure expected Cain to be the one who would Bruise the Head of that Serpent that she allowed to draw her away from the blessed Garden
Hannah - must have Thought that Samuel would be the one who would bring in the Blessedness of God
Simeon holding the baby Christ in the Temple KNEW that this was the ONE … but he had the Right Messiah but was living in the Wrong time
John the Baptist thought Jesus would put an axe to the wicked Tree of Satan … and in Jail wondered, did I make a mistake as he sent the question to Jesus "are you the one"
The Disciples asked "is it now Lord that you will come into your Kingdom
Paul anticipated it
The believers in Thessalonica were quitting their jobs thinking he was coming tomorrow
The martyrs under the altar who had tasted the blade of the Antichrist were asking "how long Lord"
Every generation has thought … This is It! and rightfully so. I have heard and would expect to hear evangelists, my Grandfather and Father, preachers all my life proclaim the imminent return of Christ
We in THIS generation should expect him to come TODAY
But the Mystery is that HE WILL COME … Delay is a great mystery as Christ keeps Satan at bay but doesn't give the knock out punch … Like "Inego Montoya" in Princess Bride who is smiling while sword fighting and says "I know something you don't know … I am NOT left handed" …
The Smile of Christ one day will widen and Satan will ask … "what are you smiling about?" to which he will reply … "I know something you don't know … the Father has told me .. the Day begins TODAY"!!!
Everything was made BY him But also Paul said in Colossians One, everything was made FOR him and he WILL Bring ALL things BACK into their Purpose
f. But another mystery is that All things will be completely Judged, Restored, Retribution handed down and Recreation where necessary because Victory is OURS in Christ Jesus
The very reason that Jesus was a Lamb Slain,
The Reason he took the Book
The Reason he Reclaimed the Land and the Sea …
Is that he might GIVE and appropriate it to you and me as Joint heirs of Jesus Christ
He was BORN that we might not die
He died that we might Live
The bitterness is the fact that few will find him that many will reject him and judgment WILL be exacted
Bitterness too is a picture of an upset stomach that cannot keep down what it has taken in
This blessed bitter sweet truth cannot be KEPT inside ingested and enjoyed … it MUST be prophesied it MUST be passed on to every people, every nation, every language, every ruler
People might say … "Why don't you stop preaching about the coming of the End and just Preach the GOSPEL?"
Well, my friend, this IS the Gospel, you cannot separate one from the other and keep the gospel intact
The Gospel is that:
We are created BY God; fallen by our own sin, condemned to death; Redeemed by the Grace of God in the Sacrifice of Christ; Appropriated to us as we receive this gift; Sanctified by the Holy Spirit in our lives; Glorified in his presence, Vindicated by his Coming; you will be JUDGED if you reject it; and all are Eternally His or Eternally Damned
THAT IS the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ that is Sweet to the Taste, Tough on the Stomach; but Needful for Every SOUL
Wednesday Night Bible study Fall 2005-Spring 2006
The following resources were used among others in preparation
Revelation Four Views: A Parallel Commentary – Steve Gregg
W.A. Criswell Expository Sermons on Revelation
Dr. J.A. Seiss Expositions on Revelations
MacArthur Bible Studies: Revelation – John MacArthur
Dr. David Jeremiah Expositions on Revelation
The Pulpit Commentary: Revelation
Wiersbe: The Bible Exposition Commentary