3. a. The sights and sounds recorded in Rev 10:1-14
Rev 10: 1
John saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven. (This could be Jesus Himself or His representative.)
He was clothed in a cloud. (In the Old Testament, this often meant coming in judgment.)
The angel had a rainbow over his head. (A rainbow is symbolic of God and His merciful covenant.)
His face radiated light like the sun. (The glory of God, too brilliant to look at directly with natural eyes)
His legs were like pillars of fire. (“To denote the rapidity and energy of his motions and the stability of his counsels.” Adam Clarke)
Rev 10: 2
He had a little scroll open in his hand. (The scroll must have looked tiny in this huge angel’s hand.)
He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. The angel’s stance probably shows his dominion over land and sea. The scroll contained heaven’s mandate.
Rev 10: 3
He called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring.
When he called out, the seven peals of thunder spoke with their own voices.
Seven being a number of perfection, it may here mean many, great, loud, and strong peals of thunder accompanied with distinct voices. Adam Clarke’s Commentary.
Rev 10: 4
When John began to write down what the seven thunders said, a voice said, “Seal with silence the Seven Thunders. Don’t write a word.” MSG
b. Rev 10: 6
Raising his right hand to swear an oath to heaven, the angel swore an oath by the name of the creator of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in it “that time was up—that when the seventh Angel blew his trumpet, which he was about to do, the Mystery of God, all the plans he had revealed to his servants, the prophets, would be completed.” MSG
4. a. The angel is still standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea.
I think this angel is the Angel of the Lord, the Son of God because of his characteristics and authority.
Perhaps this shows everything is under His feet. He has command of everything. (See Ephesians 1:22)
The Seven Thunders may represent the Seven Hills of Rome. The churches to whom John sent this vision were well acquainted with Rome’s Seven Hills claim to fame and likely assumed that interpretation.
<Tangent> For years, many commentators considered the Roman Catholic Church to be the woman sitting on the seven hills or mountains in Revelation 17:9-11—
This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.
It’s interesting to note only because it explains the derogatory comments I heard about the Pope and Catholicism while I was growing up. That interpretation fell out of favor in recent years. <End of Tangent>
Thunder is mentioned 43 times in the ESV Version of the Bible. It represents—
- Demonstration of the power and might of Yahweh — Job 26:14; Psalms 29:3
- Confused the enemy — 1 Samuel 7:10; Is 29:6
- The voice of God — Job 37:4; John 12:29
Two references to thunder in the Book of Revelation:
From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. Revelation 4:5-6
Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. Revelation 8:5
c. Take and eat the scroll.
Take and eat the scroll symbolizes study and comprehension of its contents. Some things we read or hear disturb us greatly.
Some foods also produce disagreeable consequences. Just because it looks good, smells good, and tastes good doesn’t mean it makes us feel good after it’s eaten.
5. Personal revelations
In past readings of Revelation, I didn’t try to understand the visions. To remedy that, about five years ago, I read a four view parallel commentary of Revelation. (A friend lent it to me, so I’m uncertain which one.) It was filled with complex dispensational interpretations and views.
After studying the Old Testament prophecies for Abraham and his descendants, I see how relevant they were to a specific person, family, or nation.
God told Daniel to seal up his vision. It was for 490 years in the future. How specific is that? See Daniel 8:26 & 9:24 below—
The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now. ESV
Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] have been decreed for your people and for your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make atonement (reconciliation) for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness (right-standing with God), to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. AMP
In John’s vision, ALL the seals are OPENED. Jesus instructs him to write letters to specific churches. Approximately forty years—one generation after Jesus’ ascension—judgment fell on Jerusalem. That event probably occurred shortly after they received the letters from John.
I don’t understand why the general theological consensus today views the Book of Revelation as entirely unfulfilled. Did the churches at that time understand? I don’t know.
That’s what is jumping out at me during my study.
That, and the concept of deep worship:
I was caught up at once in deep worship and, oh!—a Throne set in Heaven with One Seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald. Twenty-four thrones circled the Throne, with Twenty-four Elders seated, white-robed, gold-crowned. Lightning flash and thunder crash pulsed from the Throne. Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the Throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God). Before the Throne it was like a clear crystal sea. Revelation 4:2-6 MSG
I want that! Every time I read that verse, I’m overwhelmed by the glory of God.
Additional scriptures referenced in the question didn’t pinpoint any new revelations for me.
Ephesians 3:4-6 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (ESV)
Colossians 1:24-28 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 15:51-55 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” (ESV)