Verse 1: The Strong Angel.
And a saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with the cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire. Who is this mighty or strong angel? There are many views of the identity of the strong angel. The Greek word used here is heteros which means another of a different kind. This angel is a different kind from the seven other angels blowing the trumpets. These other seven angels are of the same kind. The Greek word is “anlos” which means another of the same kind. When we compare scripture with scripture, we see that this angel is no other person than Christ the Son of God. His face was as it were the sun: this signifies righteousness. And His feet as pillars of fire: this signifies judgement. No other angel has the authority to judge the world. God shall judge the world by Jesus whom He has chosen(Acts 10: 42; 17:31). Besides, this is the same description given of Christ in Rev. 1:13-16. There is a similarity between this angel and the appearance of Jehovah in Eze.1:26-28. The personality with the appearance of a man, who had the likeness of the glory of the Lord is a clear reference to Jesus The Christ, the second person of the Trinity. The appearance of this strong angel is similar also to the appearance of the angel who appeared to Daniel in Dan.10:5&6. The content of the message is the same as that of the angel to Daniel. We shall continue with our proof and identification of this angel as Christ in the next verse. However, it not unusual to refer to God as an angel. There is consensus of opinion amongst biblical scholars that unless the context indicates otherwise, Old Testament reference to the angel of God is a reference to the preincarnate Christ. The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia states that the Old Testament reference to the angel of the Lord is a reference to the second person of the Trinity. In some passages, the OT itself makes it clear that angel of the Lord is a divine being, although the person of the Trinity involved may not be specified. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar in the wilderness, she recognized Him as God and was amazed that she has seen God and lived(Gen. 16:7-13). And the angel of the Lord who appeared to Moses is both Lord and God(Exod. 3:1-4).
Verse 2: “And he had in His right hand a little book open: and he set His foot on the sea, and His left (foot) on the earth.” This angel has control of land and water, that is to say the whole world. Jesus The Christ is the only one who has power and authority over the Earth. This angel has in his right hand the little scroll open. It is Christ who opened the large scroll in Rev.5:1-5. It is most probable the He will also open the small scroll. The large scroll contains the judgement of God. The small also contains the judgement of God. It is Jesus The Christ who has power and authority to execute these judgements. The small scroll is indeed the large scroll with some events unfolded. The large scroll completed some events that ended with the close of the 70th seven. The small scroll on the other hand contains events that will occur after the 70th seven is over.
Verse 3: “He cried with a loud voice as (when) a lion roareth: and when He had cried seven thunders uttered their voices.” In the quotation of verse 3 above I deliberately rendered when in brackets, because it does not exist in the original Greek. In the KJV, it is in italics. Jesus The Christ is the lion of the tribe of Judah who only had prevailed to open the scroll. And when he had roared seven thunders uttered their voices.
Revelation is the book of sevens. And seven is the number of perfection or better still completeness. There are seven seals, sevens angels with seven trumpets, seven angels with seven bowls. The dragon has seven heads, and the Beast also has seven heads. The 70th seven is a period of seven years. There are seven Beast empires, and the 8th is one of the seven revived. There are also seven churches and seven benedictions. It not surprising there are seven thunders. In verse 4, the revelator was about to write what the seven thunders uttered when he heard a voice from heaven saying: seal up what the seven thunders uttered and write them not. No reason was given why the revelator was forbidden to write what the seven thunders uttered. Some bible scholars believe these things were revealed later in the seven bowls. It may be true but will not be dogmatic about it.
In verse 5 & 6, the angel who stands on the the Earth and the sea “lifted up His hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives for and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the seas, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” When God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, he sware by Himself(Heb. 4:13). Our Lord Jesus taught that men should make no oat at all(Matt.5:33-37). This further buttresses the fact that the Strong or Mighty Angel is The Lord Jesus. That there should be times no longer implies that the 6th millennia is complete and the Shabbath of the Lord is about to begin. Adams lease is over. And this is indeed the case: for the 70th seven is complete and God Almighty is about to reclaim His Rule over the Earth.
Verse 7: In the days of the voice of the seventh angle when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished as He has declared to His servants the prophets. The completion of the mystery of God is the completion of the spiritual salvation of Israel. This shall be about the third day into the 30-day reclamation period. Come let us return to the Lord….. He will raise us up on the third day and we shall live in His sight(Hosea 6:1,2). What is the mystery of God? The mystery of God has three characteristics: it is something which has always been in the plan of God. It was not revealed in the Old Testament but revealed in the New Testament. And it is always known by divine revelation. The mystery is that the Gentiles who are not physical descendants of Abraham shall be grafted in to be become part of the spiritual children of God(Gal.3:29). In order to accomplish this some Israelites who are the natural line of Abraham were cut out, so some Gentiles who are not part of the natural branches may be grafted in(Rom.11:24). What happened to Israel was a partial hardening due to unbelief. If they abide not in unbelief, they shall be grafted back. This is exactly what happens here. When the times of the Gentiles is completed at the expiry of the 70th seven, some Jews were saved to complete the spiritual kingdom of God. The times of the Gentiles is the 70 seven of years allotted to the Gentiles under which Israel shall be under gentile domination, including the gap of time between the 69th and the 70th seven. Therefore the fullness of the Gentiles is technically the completion of the 70th seven. Thereafter the deliverer shall come to Zion and all Israel shall be saved(Rom.11:25,26), thereby completing the spiritual kingdom of God.
The reason for The return of Jesus to the Earth as the strong angel who roars like a lion is to save the remnant of Israel. When He roars like a lion His sons shall come Him trembling from the west(Hosea 11:10,11). The prophet Hosea uses the same phrase here as John the revelator did: cried out with a loud voice as when a roars(Hosea 10:3).
Verse 7-11: Here the revalator, the beloved Apostle John was commanded by the same voice which spoke to him from heaven earlier on to go and take the small scroll from the hand of the strong angel who stands on the land and the sea, whom we have identified to be Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ, the second person of the Trinity. He then went to the Lord and said, give me the scroll. And He said unto him, take it and eat it up; it shall make thy belly bitter, it shall be thy mouth sweet as honey. He took the scroll from His hand and ate it up. It was in his mouth as sweet as honey: but as soon as he had eaten it his belly was made bitter. Eating up the scroll implies a voracious appetite. John ate the scroll voraciously. That was why he able to write it down an pass it over to us. We too must have a voracious appetite for the word, to eat it, declare and proclaim it and pass it on to the next generation.
The scroll contained the remaining judgement of God, the bowls, to be poured upon the wicked earth-dwellers, the bitter part, and the renovation of the Earth after the cleansing from the defilement if sin and the institution of the millennial reign of Christ, the son of God, the sweet part. There is a dichotomy here, the bitter and the sweet. The writer has had a similar experience, some 35 years ago, when, in a vision, I ate the whole Bible. It was sweet like buttered bread. But in real life, the outworking has not been particularly pleasant.
Verse 11: And he said unto him, thou shall prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. Because the revelator ate the word, he had the God given responsibility to declare it to the World, and he did. That is why we have the book of Revelation to read, maul over and heed. When we eat the word, it becomes our responsibility to declare it to the world, no matter what the personal cost may be. Amen.