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. Revelation 10:1.
Last time, we were left with a bit of a cliff hanger, wondering about the identity of this mighty angel. So, without delay, we’ll jump right in.
The description of Jesus in chapter one, is similar to the description here. Thus, some believe this mighty angel, is Jesus.
It’s understandable, but similarities don’t necessarily make actualities, as discussed previously in, The Mighty Angel & The Little Scroll.
Notice, the mighty angel here is called, another mighty angel. In the original text the word for another is, állos. It means another of the same kind; another of a similar type.
Jesus is never referred to as another angel. He is God. Creator of angels.
At times, Jesus appears in the Old Testament, and is referred to as, “The Angel of The Lord.” Never after His incarnation (birth), never in Revelation. Always with the definite article “the” indicating, a unique, separate, Being; not just another angel.
Furthermore, in a moment we’ll see this mighty angel, swear an oath, by Him who lives forever… Hebrews 6:13 tells us God swore an oath by Himself, since there is no one greater to swear by.
Well, if it isn’t Jesus, then who?
We don’t know for sure. If we needed to know, He would’ve told us. However, we have an idea who it might be.
Perhaps the best guess for who the mighty angel might be, is…
Michael, the archangel.
He’s a warrior, not far from this scene.
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. Revelation 12:7.
Furthermore, Michael means: who like God.
Now remember, the exact identity of this mighty angel isn’t revealed, but his similarities to Christ, are; and therein is the message.
1. Reflect Him
This angel (aggelos: messenger) comes down from heaven. He was with God, therefore the reflection of God, radiating from him, should be of no surprise.
Do you recall how, after being in God’s presence, Moses’ face glowed with God’s glory? And before the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed with God’s glory, to such a degree, that they had no need of clothing.
We should do the same. Reflect Him.
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, 2and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
2. Stand Like Him
He had a little book (scroll) open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, Revelation 10:2.
It seems the commentaries are divided on this scroll. Some say it’s the same scroll from chapter five. The one Jesus opened. The one with seven seals, written within and without. That description alone seems to remove the word “little” from its definition.
Furthermore, we’ll see that John is told to eat, this little scroll, and then immediately told to prophecy to many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings. Indicating this little scroll has info he needs to digest and then relay to the world (which goes for us, as well).
Perhaps this little scroll, is the rest of this little book we’re studying; Revelation.
Once again, we must remember the Bible is Divinely inspired; what is within, and what is without. What is put in, and what is left out.
What’s in the little scroll isn’t revealed, but once again, special attention is given to the actions of the mighty angel. Even where he puts his feet.
Just as the mighty angel’s appearance reflects the glory of God; his stance represents the authority of His God. This mighty angel takes a stand, in the middle of a warzone, by planting feet on land and sea. This represents authority and victory, over all the earth.
We should do the same. Stand Like Him.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore… Ephesians 6:10-14a
3. Be Bold in Him
and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars… Revelation 10:3a
When my kids were small, bedtime prayers were like, as when a lion roars. I don’t remember any of the beginnings, but our endings sounded the same: “Thank You Jesus, that I’m not scared, but bold as a Lion. ROOOOOAAAR!” Then we’d giggle. It was fun.
Picture this. The mighty angel, reflecting God, descends from heaven, plants his feet like a mighty conqueror over earth and sea. Then, he lets out a loud cry as when a lion roars.
This is no fluffy winged angel, sitting on a cloud, playing a harp. He means business and is bold as a lion.
We should do the same. Be Bold in Him.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16.
Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.
Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion, Genesis 1:28.
4. Expect a response from Him
When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Revelation 10:3b.
When the mighty angel roared, the seven thunders responded. Heaven responded.
Heaven hears and responds to our, bold, courageous, faith filled prayer. Not prideful. But humbly submitted to His Kingship, knowing that in ourselves we can do nothing, but in Him, all things are possible.
The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:16.
5. Pursue Intimacy with Him
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.” Revelation 10:4
I had to laugh. Throughout this Book John is told a dozen times, write this down, write this down, write this down. Finally, he gets the hang of it, and doesn’t need to be told—and, he’s told, don’t write this down.
Why not? What did the seven thunders say? Who are they? Stop.
Remember, if we needed to know, He’d have told us.
Actually, telling John to leave it out, teaches us something. Even what’s left out, is by Divine design.
Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
It’s God’s Book. HIStory. He decides what goes in, and what stays out. Jesus said, I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. John 16:12.
But we know it wasn’t an accident. God didn’t goof up and say, “Oops, John you weren’t supposed to hear that.” And then, John wrote it down for us to scratch our heads and wonder. No, it was uttered and then omitted on purpose. For us.
Once again, we have an example. This time not from the mighty angel, but from the man, John. He was allowed to hear inside info and then told not to reveal it. God trusted Him, to be trustworthy; to show integrity. To ponder, not blabber. Mary pondered, and she was entrusted to give birth to the Lord. Luke 2:19.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11.
Sidenote for the curious; those (like me) who can’t help but ponder about what the seven thunders might’ve said. Considering the scene is a mighty angel taking a stand in the middle of a warzone; perhaps it looks a little bit like this: The Mighty Angel & the Seven Thunders.
The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6 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… Revelation 10:5-6a.
So, that’s where, raising our hand to take an oath comes from—heaven.
The angel raises his hand, some translations say he raises his right hand. Then, he swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
No, wait, that was in Perry Mason. Or, was it from that cop show we watched last night?
The sentiment is the same. He raises his hand to swear an oath.
I promise you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, so help me God, that mighty angel did not learn to raise his hand when swearing an oath, by watching Perry Mason on TV.
He got it from God. He was able to swear an oath, with passion and conviction, from a close, relationship, with his Lord.
So should we.
And did you notice, it says, and swore by Him… It doesn’t say, and swore by Himself.
…that there should be delay no longer, Revelation 10:6b.
The word used here for delay, is also translated as time.
It’s 4th quarter, no timeouts. God has the ball. A few seconds on the clock. Team Armageddon is lining up to try and stop Him.
Jesus described these last days as labor pains. Contractions come, closer and closer, more and more intense, until there’s no time in between. No more delays.
We’ll see this when the bowls start to pour. There are no delays, no time outs, no interludes. One after another, they pour, all seven, without delay. In fullest measure. No holding back. No fractions like 1/4th or 1/3rd, like we saw with the seals and the trumpets.
The clock is ticking. But one day, maybe today, it’ll stop. Time’s up. Then what?
With all that is within me, I pray, you pursue a personal, intimate relationship with Him, without delay. Before it’s too late; so you can know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the mystery of God.
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. Revelation 10:7.
What’s that mighty angel talking about? What’s the mystery of God?
The best commentary on the Bible, is the Bible.
The Bible says:
…that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2–3.
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:32.
Interestingly, this very Book we are studying is called, The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Revelation; Ἀποκάλυψις (Apokalypsis): an unveiling, uncovering, revealing, disclosure. The mystery of God is the unveiling, uncovering, revealing, disclosing of Jesus Christ.
Let’s look a little closer.
At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished
The word for finished in the original text is: teleó. It means to bring to an end, complete, fulfill. Unfolding; extending out, one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity, effectiveness, full measure). Like the extending of a telescope.
Step by step, Jesus walked willingly to the cross, unfolding His Father’s will, until He finally said, “It is finished.” John 19:30.
The closer we get to the finish line the clearer it gets; and the more intimate our relationship with Him, should be.
6. Feed on Him
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.” 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.” Revelation 10:8-9.
When the Word goes from head to heart, it creates a hunger for more, a burden for action, and produces the fruit of His Spirit.
Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became my joy and my heart’s delight. For I bear Your name, O LORD God of Hosts
How sweet are Your words to my taste—sweeter than honey in my mouth! Psalm 119:103
My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… John 1:14
Jesus is the Word, became flesh. It’s all about knowing Him in our heart, not just memorizing chapter and verse with our head.
We just witnessed this awesome transformation in a young man (fifteen years old) named Tristen. He followed me outside after Church. As we loaded gear onto Ol’ Bessie, (the golf cart), he asked if we could get together later. Then he said, “I believe in Jesus…but I want to believe more.”
We got together. For hours he asked questions. Great questions. About Jesus, about heaven, about hell, salvation, baptism. We prayed. He asked Jesus to forgive him and live with him. He asked to be baptized. He’s hungry. He’s an example for us all. He’s an answer to our prayers. Not only our prayers, but those of Jesus, as well. (John 17:20-24).
Lord, help us to hunger, for You, the Bread of Life.
7. Sound Like Him
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. 11 And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” Revelation 10:10-11.
Once the Word is digested, (the Living Word, Christ Jesus), something happens. Once we allow Jesus to become a part of our soul (our mind, will, emotions) He changes us. Like food produces energy, the Word, produces zeal, passion. We’re not satisfied to just sit in our pew.
The Living Word, becomes Living Water, and bubbles out of us. We don’t need to force it; His love, His joy, His zeal, His passion, just happens.
Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His Word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Jeremiah 20:9.
Jeremiah tried to hold it back. Didn’t want to get ridiculed by the world. You know, didn’t want to be banned from facebook, kicked off twitter, laughed at by friends.
But the Word of God is powerful and effective and will not return void. The Word was like a fire, a passion, Jeremiah just couldn’t keep in.
It’s clearly spelled out in a sentence for Ezekiel.
“Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 3:1
There it is, in a three-word sermon. Eat. Go. Speak.
Jesus put it like this:
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks Luke 6:45; Matt. 12:34.
That's it. Our seven lessons from the mighty angel and the little scroll:
1. Resemble Him
2. Stand Like Him
3. Be Bold in Him
4. Expect Response from Him
5. Pursue Intimacy with Him
6. Feed on Him
7. Sound Like Him
For in Him we live and move and have our being Acts 17:28
NEXT: Chapter 11, we’ll meet two fire-breathing witnesses (who are they?) and hear the seventh trumpet; and perhaps even catch a glimpse of Harrison Ford and Air Force One.