Angel Interlude Chapter


1: Some believe this angel could be a very powerful (important, influential; possibly the archangel Michael or Gabriel) that John sees from heaven. However, the context in which all of this is occurring and also the following description leaves others to believe that this is Jesus.

He was clothed in a cloud. This is a symbol of majesty and glory. This kind of a presence is often used as divine. (Exod. 16:9-10; 24:16; 34:5; Num. 11:25; 1 Kings 8:10; Ps. 97:2). He ascended in a cloud, (Acts 1:9); and he will again descend in clouds to judge the world, (Matt. 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; Rev. 1:7).

His feet were like pillars of fire. This could be similar to the glorified Christ that showed Himself with "His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace" (Rev. 1:15)

His face was like the sun. This could be similar to the glorified Christ that showed Himself with "His countencnce was as the sum shineth in His strength" (Rev. 1:16). The light was so intensely glorious that it could not be looked on.

However, there is something a little different here that has not been used for Jesus. A rainbow was on His head. The throne in heaven is represented as encircled by a rainbow (Rev. 4:3). The rainbow is properly an emblem of peace. Here the symbol would mean that Jesus came not for wrath, but for peace and that the effect of his coming would be like that of sunshine after a storm.

2: The "angel" Jesus has a book that He opens. This is not the 7 sealed scroll (Greek biblos). This is defined as a little book (Greek biblaridion). This little book apparently has more information about the events to occur; so, it is apparently a supplementary book. It could also be a little book to mean that it was restricted to certain people, perhaps only John.

Jesus now places His right foot on the sea and His left foot on the land. This is a sign that Jesus has dominion over all the earth, the land and the water areas. Afterall, He made all of it. A very important point is to bring out that we, who are in Christ, are joint heirs with Jesus (Rom. 8:17; Heb. 9:15). Therefore, when He reclaims and rules the earth, we shall reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12)

3: Jesus now shouts out "as a lion". There is no question of the power of a lion. It instills fear in anything that he does not know or like. So the lion is used here for power. However, remember that the "lion of Judah" is Jesus heretage.

The 7 thunders appears to be referring to 7 MORE judgments from God. We know the number seven stands for perfection for God. So whatever it is, it is perfect. Some say that Jesus is saying in a loud voice that He is proclaiming ownership of all the earth. He certainly is calling on all those on earth to turn to God.

4: After the seven peals of thunder claps, John was about ready to journal what he was seeing when someone yelled for him not to write it down. It does not say who said this. The context (verse before and after) may seem like it is Jesus that says these words. However, further reading, especially v8, may indicate the voice was the voice of God the Father.

There are religious sects who say they know what is in the 7 thunders. They do not; scripture says what the thunder said was sealed. The questions most people ask are, first,what the thunder said and, second, why keep the words sealed. The same thing was said when Daniel was told to seal what he had written until we were ready (Daniel 12:4); (12.4) [ commentary]. It was Daniel's sealed information that is being revealed in Revelation. I believe God was saying, essentially, now is the time.

Some explanations that have been given for the 7 thunders are:
    [paraphased from Barnes Notes on the New Testament (in Bibliography)]
  • Vitringa: regards the seven thunders as referring to the Crusades. He thinks explaining in full would have diverted us from the prophetic study and from more important events pertaining to the church, and that nothing occurred in the Crusades which was worthy to be recorded at length: —“for,” he adds, “these expeditions were undertaken with a foolish purpose, and resulted in real detriment to the church,”.
  • Prof. Stuart: He says that these “thunders” refer to the destruction of the city and temple of God, and that they were a sublime introduction to the last catastrophe. Tthe meaning is not that he should keep “entire silence,” but only that he should state the circumstances in a general manner, without going into detail.
  • Mede: He supposes that John was commanded to keep silence because it was designed that the meaning should not then be known, but should be disclosed in future times;
  • Forerius: It was the design that the wise should be able to understand them, but that they were not to be disclosed to the wicked and profane.
One can see, the jist of discussions is that there might have been things that are negative that should not be known. I believe there is nothing to tell us whether it is good or bad. I believe, as Mede, that God simply does not want us to know at this time. In the Old Testament God speaks in thunder as a show of power (Ps. 29:3). So, we just don't know. Maybe we will get a clue later.

5-6: Now this angel or Jesus who claimed sovereignty over land and water (v 2) lifts His right hand to heaven and takes an oath. He swears to the Father God that there is "time no longer" (KJV) or "delay no longer" indicates NOW is the time for the Great Tribulation (last 3-1/2 years) has come. There is no question to whom He is speaking because of the desction in verse 6. It appears the coming of the blowing of the 7th trumpet is the midpoint of the Trib. (Dan. 9:24; Dan. 9:27; Dan. 10:4-6; Dan. 12:4-7)

Here is a table to describe the similarities and differences between the descriptions of Daniel and Revelation.

DANIEL 10:5-6 REVELATION 1:13-16
clothed in linen clothed with a garment
girded with fine gold golden girdle
body like beryl head and hair white as snow
face as lightning countenance as the sun
eyes as lamps of fire eyes as a flame of fire
arms and feet like polished brass feet like fine brass
voice like a multitude voice as many waters

7: Here it is. Now John says that the voice of the seventh angel which is about to sound, the angel blowing the seventh trumpet, will terminate the ages of mystery of God. God preached to His prophets for ages about the end. Now it is finished. We are about to experience what God has hidden from us while waiting for use to turn to Him.

8-9: Looking at the wording of v4 and the wording here, it appears the voice from heaven is the Lord God who is telling John to go to Jesus. John asks for the book. Then who had the book, angel or Jesus, said to eat the book. This is a very different type of thing one might expect. Obviously, this is again what John is experiencing. Although, the eating of a book is not new in the Bible, the eating may have a significantly different meaning (Ezek. 2:8-3:4).

The eating of this book is hard to understand. It appears to symbolize the book tastes good at first. That may show the general first half of the Trib "tasted" to the people on earth. Although the first half was bad by the standards of life, the second half is going to be so far worse that the first half could be almost be considered "a picnic" by comparison. That is quite a contrast of taste. After it is in the stomach (some time later) it was very bitter which is very much like the second half of the Trib. By eating it, that action emphasizes to us to fully comprehend what is happening, study it; take it into us in the deepest meaning. The Ezekiel passage was the eating of a book of lamentations and mourning. WHen he ate it, it was sweet. However, the message against the Israelites was bitter. Israel would be imbittered against Ezekiel. Could it be similar with John. The message is sweet and good; but, the results (people turning to God) is bitter. God takes no joy in judging His people. There are some who believe that the saints in heaven were not participants up to this point. Now, the saints will require full participation. We will see this as we study. This is a good passage about which to ponder and pray.

10: In this verse, John takes the book and eats it. It was exactly what he was told it would be; the book was sweet like honey in the mouth; but, it soured his stomach.

11: The angel says to prophesy again to everyone. To John, what he is writing is what he is seeing. To others who will read this later, it is prophesy. It looks as if the job is only half done as far as John is concerned. He must write down for others to know and understand what is going to happen. That is going to be his job. He will be writing ABOUT people, places and things. But, he will be writing FOR others to know the prophesy.

Jer 15:16-1 8; Exek 2:9-1 0; 3:1 -4,14

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