Revelation 10 and 11
Announcing When the End Comes
Announcing When the End Comes
The Setting Reviewed
Angel Jesus has just come to earth from heaven, exhibiting judicial power and divine glory.
- He stands on sea and land, showing dominion over planet earth.
- A little open book is in one hand, representing the unsealed portion of Daniel.
- He shouts words – unrecorded until verse 5.
- Then John hears the voices of seven thunders (part of the unsealed prophecies of Daniel). He is barred from recording those messages. Daniel had already done that in the “little book.”
- These heavenly beings have arrived to assist God’s remnant people in their final work.
- Jesus now makes a stunning gesture, conveying divine solidarity that Daniel’s unsealed prophecies can now begin to be fulfilled. The “time” has arrived.
“Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven.And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever,” (Revelation 10:5-6a – NIV).
In Daniel 12:7 Jesus raised both hands and took an oath/declaration in his Father’s name.
- Right hand – divine promise that what he says in Daniel 12 is true (three timing prophecies related to the “time of the end”).
- Left hand – pledges His blood that they will come true and that there will be a righteous group at the end (12:10).
- He had died and shed His blood.
- The left hand is not now needed!
- There, Daniel had asked “How long” it would be till the described, astonishing divine wonders (alluding to God’s deliverance and the special resurrection) would be fulfilled (Daniel 12:6b).
- Jesus said that they would occur at the termination of three and a half years of persecution (Daniel 12:7).
- That relates to the 42 months we shall shortly see in Revelation 11:2, 12:14 and 13:5. Their understanding was sealed until the Revelation 10 narrative could begin and the “little book” be opened!
- The next two verses summarize the fulfillment of Daniel 12:7-11.
- There, a man totally clothed in linen (Day of Atonement dress) answers two “How long” questions (one posed by Daniel, noted above, and one previously asked by Gabriel) (Daniel 8:13).
“who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘There will be no more delay’” (Revelation 10:6b – NIV).
This is a moment of supreme solemnity! Two Gods are personally engaged in a covenant oath – a judicial gesture – regarding the time of prophetic fulfillment (cf. Hebrews 7:21) (answering the “How long” questions).
The picture John now paints, describing the Father, tells us of His characteristics that we are to associate with this oath:
- Who created heaven and all it contains
- Who created the earth and all it contains
- Who created the sea and all it contains
- This is an electrifying buildup.
- It also identifies the great authority base that this oath has – by the Originator of all.
- This reflects a “liturgical expression” found at the heart of the Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:11).
- That sacred day was a divine set-aside time to remember His authority!
A “tribulation period” is about to commence (Daniel 12:7, Revelation 11:2 – as a clock, once again, begins to “tick”) – but it has an end!
Daniel is the prophecy – Revelation describes its fulfillment.
- Christ has authority over earth, symbolized by His feet on earth and sea (vss 3, 5).
- His words will now have unlimited authority through the name of the Creator of the universe.
- Hoti chronos ouketi estai – “that there will no longer be delay”
- In the context of the next verse and chapter, when the three-and-a-half-year period begins (which shortly will be no longer delayed), a grand eschatological event will soon follow. (seventh trumpet – 10:7).
- A tarrying time is now about to end!
- The context in Revelation 10:6 is prophetic.
- Daniel’s “appointed time” (8:19; cf. 12:7) is about to begin.
- The clock is about to restart. “There will be delay no longer.” (cf. Matthew 25:5, 24:48).
- God’s purposes within history will then soon be completed.
- Within this period of time about to commence, the “mysteries” of God related to man’s rescue will be opened.
“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7).
This is a continuation of the oath message begun in verse 6!
- In Daniel 12:7 the prophetic events would occur during “a time, times and half” (12:7) –
- At its end, His redemptive plan would be completed and Michael would stand up (Daniel 12:1)
- Here in Revelation 10:7, when the seventh trumpet begins to sound, the “mystery of God” will “be completed.”
Intriguingly, when the seventh angel sounds, the prophecy of Daniel 11:29–12:13 will be fulfilled. History ends shortly thereafter.
- The Second Coming of Jesus occurs during the period of time of the seventh angel. This “block of time” likely includes the seven vials.
- The time period that must be completed (10:6, 11:2-3) encompasses this. Towards its end this trumpet would sound.
- That trumpet heralds the anticipated eschaton.
The word “mystery” in the New Testament always gives an eschatological orientation (Romans 11:25, I Corinthians 15:55, II Thessalonians 2:7) for when it fully unfolds.
“I feel an intense interest that all should comprehend, as far as possible, the love of God. We cannot afford to draw away our attention from this subject, for in it is contained the mystery of God,—the plan of salvation. We may put to the stretch every power of our mind, and yet we shall not be fully able to comprehend the heights and depths of the love of God; for the human mind is not capable of understanding its full significance. It is our privilege, however, to obtain clearer and more distinct views of the plan of salvation. We should not be content with a superficial knowledge of this wonderful plan, but we should seek to behold it in all its greatness, that as far as possible we may understand the love of God.” When the seventh trumpet sounds, the plan of salvation draws to a close.
Deeper into This Mystery
Daniel revealed the timing framework in which everything would be finished. Part of that prophecy is repeated in Revelation 11:2-3.
When the three and a half years (Daniel 12:7) are finished, Jesus said that all the things [antichrist’s work (11:29-45), deliverance of God’s people and the special resurrection (12:1-2)] would be completed. Here, when the seventh trumpet would sound, all of God’s redemptive mysteries would be completed.
- This imagery is profound! End of the “appointed time” (3½ years) – the mysteries of Satan/antichrist will also be completed (Daniel 12:7).
- When the Trumpet sounds – mysteries of God/Christ/salvic plan are completed (Revelation 10:7).
- All occur simultaneously!
- “The Lord will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left … I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me…. Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people” (Deuteronomy 32:36, 40-41, 43 – NIV).
- God is assuring us that He will vindicate His law and character at the end, when the oppressors of His people will be judged.
- When the antichrist persecutor (Daniel 11:29-45) finishes hurting (“shattering”) God’s people, that judicial act will occur (Daniel 12:7).
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:25-26).
- The mystery of godliness is understood by God’s people – the redemptive plan.
- They concern events preceding the consummation.
- What was distant and not understood by Daniel is now clearly shown to be eschatological and open to the saints.
- The kingdom of evil will not be defeated until it finishes neutralizing “the power of the holy people” (Daniel 7:6).
- Prophecy is fulfilled in this “mysterious” manner.
- The physical victory, silencing the saints, prepares the way for their ultimate eternal rescue.
- “The mysterious nature of the saints’ victory is to be understood as having the same ironic nature as Christ’s victory through his defeat by the same evil kingdom.”
- Some interpret the word “declared” to mean “graciously promised.”
- The oath is complete.
- The conflict between good and evil – Christ and Satan – is done.
- The great controversy closes with the termination of these timing prophecies.
The “mystery” of God, hidden from ages, will unfold to those who study that open book – the outline context of that revelation is in this chapter and the next! (cf. Romans 16:26-27; Colossians 1:26-27; Ephesians 3:5, 9-10; II Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 1:2-3; I Peter 1:20).
Focus on the Scroll
A new transition now occurs for John in his prophetic experience. The focus returns to the scroll.
“And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth” (Revelation 10:8).
The “voice” that John originally heard was that of God the Father, asking him to seal up the seven-thunder narrative and not write it down (vs 4). John is in the presence of Jesus, Who is holding the open book. He observed Christ’s oath and message. Now God the Father gives John another command:
- “Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth” (vs 80).
- A similar commission was given to Ezekiel regarding another scroll (Ezekiel 2:8-3:3).
- The sealed visions of Daniel (ha hazone) can now be understood.
John is now to take possession of that scroll.
- He is not reluctant to obey the command.
- He clearly senses a divine imperative
- To make it his own!
“And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey” (Revelation 10:9).
John left his place as spectator to assume a role in the drama of what he had been an observer.
It is interesting that as John approaches Angel Jesus, he asks for the book.
- One would think that Jesus had heard the order of God the Father and would extend his hand to John with the open book.
- But man has a part to play.
- “Would you give to me understanding of that unsealed book of Daniel?”
- Again, it is an allusion to Ezekiel’s commission (Ezekiel 2:8-3:3).
- He was to warn the Israelites of impending doom if they didn’t repent.
- Most would resist Ezekiel’s preaching; a remnant would respond (3:20, 9:4-6, 14:21-23).
“Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel’s prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels’ messages to be given to the world. The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time.”
What time? Clearly a period of time for those two witnesses to prepare and to give those messages to the world (Revelation 11).
For God’s witnesses to teach/preach these messages, they must eat them/know them/make them a part of His agents. This echoes what occurred to Jeremiah:
- He was appointed as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).
- When God’s words came to him, “I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16).
- “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103; cf. Psalm 19:10, Proverbs 24:13-14).
- The prophecy/message is wonderful and exciting, just like honey in the mouth.
- But then it is “bitter” because it brings resistance, suffering, persecution and martyrdom.
“And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter” (Revelation 10:10).
Just as Angel Jesus predicted:
- Eating it, enjoying its “taste” (meaning) was wonderful.
- When internalized, accepted, it brought bitter opposition and reproach. It is assumed that the sharing of this (next verse) is what brought resistance and bitter experiences.
“And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:11).
The implication suggests that both Angel Jesus and God the Father ordered him to “prophesy” to those who have not yet responded to the gospel.
- It is a divine “must.”
- That “little book” has such important information – the peoples of the world must hear it!
- This will become earth’s final warning.
- It occurs during the last three and a half years of earth’s history.
- Trumpets 1–5 will occur during this final appeal.
“A message will soon be given by God’s appointment that will swell into a loud cry. Then Daniel will stand in his lot, to give his testimony” [relates to Daniel 12 and associated chazown (ha hazon) visions].
Franklin S. Fowler, Jr., M.D.
Prophecy Research Initiative – non-profit 501(c)3 © 2013
EndTime Issues…, Number 159, November 6, 2013
Prophecy Research Initiative – non-profit 501(c)3 © 2013
EndTime Issues…, Number 159, November 6, 2013
 Thomas, Robert L.; Revelation 8–22 – An Exegetical Commentary (Moody Press, Chicago), 1995, p. 68.
 Aune, David E.; 52B World Biblical Commentary; Revelation 6–16 (World Books; Publisher, Dallas, Texas), 1997, p. 565.
 Osborne, Grant R.; Revelation (Baker Book House; Grand Rapids, MI), p. 399.
 Beale, G. K.; The New International Greek Testament Commentary; The Book of Revelation (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999), p. 539.
 Beale, op. cit., p. 538.
 Beale, op. cit., p. 539.
 Thomas, op. cit., p. 69.
 Osborne, op. cit., p. 400.
 Osborne, op. cit., p. 401.
 White, Ellen G.; The Signs of the Times, November 18, 1889.
 Beale, op. cit., p. 544.
 Stefanovic, Ranko; Revelation of Jesus Christ, p. 326.
 Aune, op. cit., 570.
 Osborne, op. cit., p. 402.
 Beale, op. cit., p. 548.
 Thomas, op. cit., p. 72.
 Thomas, op. cit., p. 73.
 White, Ellen G.; Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 320.
 LaRondelle, Hans, Th.D.; How to Understand the End-Time Prophecies of the Bible (First Impressions, Sarasoto, FL), pp. 204-205.
 Mounce, Robert H.; The Book of Revelation (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1977),
 Osborne, op. cit., p. 403.
 Aune, op. cit., p. 575.
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 Osborne, op. cit., p. 405.
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 White, Ellen G.; Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, p. 20.