The Book of REVELATION
James J. Barker
THE MIGHTY ANGEL AND THE LITTLE BOOK
- When we began
Revelation chapter 8, we saw that the seventh seal contains the seven
In previous messages,
I quoted W. Graham Scroggie, who said it is "incorrect to speak of the
Trumpets as following the Seals. They do not follow, but are the Seventh
- In Revelation chapters 8
and 9 we saw the first six trumpet judgments, terrible disasters that are yet
to come upon the world. Chapters 10 and most of chapter 11 are parenthetical,
a brief interval between the judgments of the sixth and seventh
- Like chapter 7, chapter
10 does not advance the narrative, but instead presents other details
concerning the tribulation period.
- By the way, there is a
pattern in the book of Revelation: whether it is the seals, trumpets, or
vials, there is always a break between the sixth judgment and the seventh
judgment (cf. 6:12-17; 7:1-17; 8:1, 9:13-21; 10:1--11:15;
THE APPEARANCE OF THE MIGHTY ANGEL
- There are many
references to angels in the book of Revelation. In the opening verses of chapter
10 another angel is introduced, described as “another mighty angel”
- It seems
evident from the context that this angel is not the sixth angel mentioned
in 9:13, nor the angel which sounds the seventh trumpet in 11:15.
- Some expositors
of the book of Revelation believe that the angel mentioned here, as well as the
angel of 8:3, is the Lord Jesus Christ. However, this is very unlikely because
this angel swears "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..."
- The fact that
the angel does not swear by himself indicates he is not Christ. Hebrews 6:13 says, "For when God
made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by
- This "mighty
angel" swears by God, which implies that God is greater than the
- Therefore, this
angel is probably not Christ, but a holy angel to whom has been given great
power and authority.
- The angel of
10:1 is described as one who “comes down from heaven” and there is no evidence
that Christ comes down to earth midway in the tribulation.
- There are many
instances in the book of Revelation where angels are made the ministers of God
for both the punishment of the wicked and the protection of the righteous.
- In chapter 12,
Michael the archangel is mentioned by name as battling against Satan and the
wicked angels, and casting them out of heaven.
- Some have concluded that the description given in
chapter 10 must be a reference to Michael as the chief of all the holy
angels. However, this cannot be
proven, and this mighty angel's name is not given.
- Though the angel is presented as one having great
majesty and power, there is no clear evidence that his function or his person is
more than that of a created angel to whom has been entrusted great
- He is declared to be “clothed with a cloud” and has “a
rainbow upon his head.”
- His face is "as it were the sun" and his feet are
compared to pillars of fire (10:1). John sees him with his right foot upon the
sea, and his left foot upon the earth, suggesting a position of power and
authority over both land and sea. He has in his hand "a little book" which is
- The contents of this little book are not revealed, but
they seem to represent the judgment of God. It will be "bitter" for the ungodly, but
"sweet" for those who love the Lord (10:9, 10).
- As John beholds this spectacular vision of the angel
standing upon the sea and the earth, the angel cries with a loud voice like a
lion’s roar. In answer to this cry of the angel, seven thunders are heard
- The number seven is prominent in the book of Revelation,
and here it points to the perfection of God’s intervention in
- When John heard these seven thunders, he was about to
write what he had heard, but he was instructed not to do so
- In Revelation 1:19, the Lord told John, "Write the
things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which
shall be hereafter."
- John was to write the book of Revelation and then pass
it on to the church. However, in
this instance John was not permitted to reveal what he heard
- John Walvoord says, "This illustrates a divine principle
that while God has revealed much, there are secrets which God has not seen fit
to reveal to man at this time" (The Revelation of Jesus
THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER
- There's an old song, "The
Great Judgment Morning,"
- I dreamed that the great
Had dawned, and the trumpet had blown;
I dreamed that
the nations had gathered
To judgment before the white
From the throne came a bright, shining
And he stood on the land and the sea,
And he swore with his hand
raised to Heaven,
That time was no longer to be.
And, oh, what a
weeping and wailing,
As the lost were told of their fate;
They cried for the rocks and the mountains,
They prayed, but their prayer was too late. (Bertram H.
- Another Gospel song, and
more well-known is "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder."
- When the
trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called
up yonder, I’ll be there. (James M. Black)
- There is coming a day
when "time shall be no more."
- It is a very solemn oath
(10:6). Our custom of raising our
hand and taking an oath in court, and swearing to tell the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth apparently
goes back to this prophecy in Revelation 10.
- The angel swore by God,
the One who created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the things
that therein are.
- Some Bible teachers
believe this angel could be Christ, because in Hebrews 6:13, the Bible says,
"For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater,
he sware by himself."
- Therefore, some Bible
teachers think this angel is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is swearing by the
triune God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- that there will be no longer any
- Attention is called to
the eternal God, "that liveth for ever and ever" (10:6).
- Attention is called to
the One "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
- There is a great emphasis
in the book of Revelation on God as our Creator. As our Creator, God is also
the sovereign Ruler who will declare that there shall be no more time,
(meaning, no more delay).
- John Walvoord says, "This
expression has sometimes been misunderstood to mean that time will cease. The
expression here, however, does not refer to time as a succession of
chronological events; rather it means that time has run out, that is, that
there will be no further delay. The end is now to be consummated. Even in
eternity, there will be a time relationship in that one event will follow
another" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- Oscar Cullmann has
written, "The well-known passage in Rev. 10:6, where it is said that there
will be no more (time) chronos, is not to be understood as if the era
of timelessness were meant; rather...'there will be no more
- And this how all of the
modern translations, including the New King James Version, translate it --
"there shall be no further delay."
- Revelation 10:7 says that
the sounding of the seventh trumpet ("the voice of the seventh angel") will
bring about the completion of the mystery of God as declared to His servants
- The sounding of the
seventh trumpet takes place in Revelation 11:15.
- The expression "the
mystery of God" (10:7) seems to refer to truth concerning God Himself which
has not been fully revealed.
- "The mystery of God”
(10:7) refers to truths that have not been fully disclosed. These truths would include the
consummation of the age, and the establishment of the kingdom.
- Some Bible teachers think
the mystery of God refers to the question that has puzzled men for thousands
of years -- why God has allowed Satan to vex mankind for so
THE LITTLE BOOK IS EATEN
- In Revelation
10:8, John hears another voice "from heaven," and it is apparently the same
voice he heard in back in 4:1.
- John is
commanded by this voice to take the book from the mighty angel, which "standeth
upon the sea and upon the earth” (10:8).
- Three times in
Revelation 10 we are told that this mighty angel stands upon the sea and upon
the earth (10:2, 5, 8).
- Normally we
refer to the "earth and the sea," and that is normally what we find in the book
of Revelation (cf. 5:13; 7:3; 12:12; 14:7).
- However, in all
three instances in Revelation 10, the sea is mentioned before the
- The voice from
heaven told John to "go and take the little book" (10:8), and in obedience to
the command, John went to the angel and requested that he be given the little
- The angel then
told John, “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it
shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey” (10:9).
- Something very
similar happened to the prophets Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16) and Ezekiel (Ezek.
- The little book
seems to represent the Word of God, and Revelation 10:9 and 10 symbolizes John
appropriating the Word of God.
- To God's
people, the Word of God is "sweet."
Psalm 19:10 says, "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much
fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
- However, the
Word of God is "bitter" to the unsaved. The book of Revelation reveals the
divine judgments which will be poured out on the earth as God deals in wrath
with the wicked world.
- The same God
who created heaven also prepared the lake of fire for the devil and his angels.
- John Walvoord
said, "Though John as a child of God will never know the bitterness of being
lost or the afflictions of eternal punishment, he knows what it is to be like
his Master, despised and rejected of men" (The Revelation of Jesus
- The angel then
told John, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and
tongues, and kings” (10:11). This
does not mean John would leave the isle of Patmos and personally prophesy
"before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings," but that he would do
it through the book of Revelation.
- "That there
should be time no longer" (Rev. 10:6).
In other words, time is running out.
- In Matthew
24:3, our Lord's disciples asked Him, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and
of the end of the world?"
- In response to
this question, our Lord gave several signs of His coming:
- "Take heed that no man deceive you"
(Matt. 24:4). "And many false
prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:11). "For there shall arise false
Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch
that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt.
- "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars"
(Matt. 24:6). "Most people
expect a conflict any day now between Iran and Israel. I read this article the other day:
Although Israel can
expect a barrage of missiles from various fronts if it attacks Iran, the
response might be less catastrophic than some predict, with Middle East turmoil
distracting old foes, analysts say.
There is also a gathering view in Israel, expressed with growing
insistence by senior officials, that the resulting conflict would be a price
worth paying for stymieing Iran's nuclear
increasingly tough-talking Israel is threatening to take military action, with
or without U.S. support, if the Iranians continue to defy pressure to curb their
contested projects" (Analysis: Eyeing Iran, Israel focuses on the day
after, Reuters March 9, 2012).
- In the parallel passage in Luke 21:9, our Lord said,
"But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must
first come to pass; but the end is not by and by."
- "Ye shall hear of wars and commotions..." -- terrorism, Hezbollah, Hamas,
Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, etc.
- "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places" (Matthew
- The book of Daniel and the
book of Revelation predict a one-world government and a one-world religion, both
controlled by the antichrist. We
are getting very close to seeing these prophecies
- Our Lord said
in Luke 17:28 that when He returns it will be "as it was in
the days of Lot." The days of
Lot were days of rampant homosexuality. It was so indescribably wicked
that God said, "The men of Sodom were wicked
and sinners before the LORD exceedingly" (Genesis 13:13). In Genesis 18:20, the LORD said, "their
sin is very grievous." Genesis
19:24 says, "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and
upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of
- Four thousand years have passed since God destroyed
Sodom and Gomorrah. The
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is referred to all throughout the Old
Testament and the New Testament.
The word "sodomite" (homosexual) comes from Sodom.
- And yet today we are seeing widespread acceptance and
approval of homosexuality -- all over the USA and all over the world. The
president has said he will attempt repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. The governor of New York and the mayor
of NYC both worked hard to promote so-called "gay
- Time is running
out. Our Lord said in John 9:4, "I
must work the works of him that sent me, while it is
day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
- Two weeks ago I
preached from Revelation 9 and we spent considerable time studying the
demon-locusts, which are described in great detail.
- Just yesterday
I read this interesting article by Pastor Mark Hitchcock, a preacher who has
written 21 books on Bible prophecy.
"District 9” topped the movie charts this week, giving
hope to sci-fi enthusiasts that this genre is making a comeback. Here’s a short
synopsis of the movie:
The film is set in Johannesburg, South Africa where for
twenty years a large alien spacecraft has been hovering, dormant, over the city.
During the course of these two decades, the government has kept the ship’s
growing population of nearly two million alien inhabitants, known as prawns,
quarantined in a gated section of the city known as “District 9.” This district
is basically a slum where a multitude of disturbing and illegal activities take
place against the alien refugees.
As you could expect, from there the movie takes some
interesting twists and turns. But what
caught my attention was the portrayal of the aliens as locust-like or
shrimp-like creatures. As I already noted, they are even called “prawns.” If you
remember the movie “Independence Day,” the aliens in that movie were like
locusts. Other alien invasion movies since that time have picked-up this
description, so that now it’s almost standard sci-fi fare for the aliens to look
like big, scary insects, especially locusts. What’s the big deal about the
locust imagery? In Revelation 9:1-11, the Bible describes a future invasion of
planet earth by beings from another sphere. They are graphically
These invading beings during the coming tribulation are
clearly demons as they swarm out into the earth from the abyss. In this case,
the truth really is stranger than fiction. This bizarre event described in
Revelation 9 is well-presented in one of the books in the Left Behind series
titled Apollyon. Could it be
that all these movies and their portrayal of aliens is setting the world up for
an actual invasion of locust-like creatures in the future that are really demons
from the abyss? Most people today are totally unaware of what’s coming on this
earth in the future. An alien invasion is coming, but not the kind they are
expecting. Make sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, so you will
be delivered from this coming time of horror.