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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 10

Larkin's Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy ScripturesLarkin on Revelation

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Verses 1-11




Revelation 10:1-11.

“And I saw another ’MIGHTY ANGEL’ come down from Heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a Rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the Sun, and His feet as Pillars of Fire: and He had in His hand a ’LITTLE BOOK’ open: and He set His right foot on the SEA, and His left foot on the EARTH, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when He had cried ’SEVEN THUNDERS’ uttered their voices. And when the ’SEVEN THUNDERS’ had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the SEVEN THUNDERS uttered, and write them not. And the ’ANGEL’ which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to Heaven, and swear by Him that LIVETH FOREVER AND EVER, 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 therein, that there should be TIME NO LONGER: 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. 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. 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 he in thy mouth sweet as honey. 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. And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”

Who this “MIGHTY ANGEL” is we do not know unless he be Christ Himself. In the Old Testament the Son of God was called the “ANGEL OF THE LORD” (Exodus 3:2-18), and as we are now in that part of the Book of Revelation that deals mainly with Israel it is nothing less than what we should expect to hear, Christ spoken of as a “MIGHTY ANGEL.” Then the description of this “MIGHTY ANGEL” seems to point to the same Person that John saw standing amid the “Lampstands” in chapter 1:12-16, or Christ Himself. The “ANGEL” was clothed in a CLOUD, there was a RAINBOW upon His head, His face was as it were the SUN, and His feet as PILLARS OF FIRE. No mere angel was ever before or since described in the Scriptures as appearing like that. Then He is described as crying with a loud voice, as a lion roareth, and Christ is spoken of in this Book (Revelation 5:5) as “THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH”; and in the chapter that follows this the same “MIGHTY ANGEL” speaks of the “Two Witnesses,” as “MY WITNESSES,” which is further indisputable evidence that this “MIGHTY ANGEL” is no other than Christ Himself. This interpretation makes clear what follows. For when this “MIGHTY ANGEL” places His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, and swears that there shall be “TIME NO LONGER,” or “NO LONGER DELAY” (margin), it is Christ taking formal possession of the Earth and Sea, and declaring that there shall be no longer delay in dispossessing the false claimant Satan.

When the “MIGHTY ANGEL” cried with a loud voice, John heard “SEVEN THUNDERS” utter their voices. These “THUNDERS” spoke, for John heard what they said, and as he had been commanded to write what he should see and hear, he proceeded to write what the “voices” of the “SEVEN THUNDERS” uttered, but he was told to “seal up those things which the ’SEVEN THUNDERS’ uttered, and write them not.” What they said has never as yet been revealed, but doubtless will be when the time comes to make the revelation.

John was then told to--“Go, take the ’LITTLE BOOK’ which is open in the hand of the ’ANGEL’ which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.” John was at this time back again on the earth. And when John took the “LITTLE BOOK,” the “ANGEL” said to him--“Take, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, and it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” And when John had eaten the “BOOK” it was as the “ANGEL” had said, sweet to his mouth and bitter to his stomach.

What was this “LITTLE BOOK”? Some claim that it was the “SEVEN SEALED BOOK,” now open, and therefore the “TITLE DEED” to the Earth, and that the “MIGHTY ANGEL” held it in His hand, as He stood with one foot on the sea and one foot on the earth, as His authority for claiming possession. But the “ANGEL” does not make that use of it, and if it were His “TITLE DEED” to the Earth it seems a strange procedure for Him to give it to John to eat. Then it is described as a “LITTLE BOOK,” as if its contents were small. In that respect it stands in marked contrast with the “SEVEN SEALED BOOK” whose numerous “Seals” and the time taken to break them, imply that it was of considerable size. Then the effect upon John of the eating of the “LITTLE BOOK” seems to indicate that it was more than a “Title Deed.” For it contained matter that when John first ate it (glanced over it) was sweet as honey to his mouth, but when he had thoroughly digested its contents was bitter to his belly. In other words the “LITTLE BOOK” contained matter connected with John’s work as a Prophet, for the “ANGEL” immediately said to him--“Thou must prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings,” which for ought we know John did.

This “LITTLE BOOK,” here open, is probably the “BOOK” that Daniel was told to “SEAL UP.” Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9. That “Book” contained things that were not to be revealed until the “TIME OF THE END.” Not the “End Of Time,” but the “End” of the “TIMES OF THE GENTILES,” which synchronizes with the last half of Daniel’s “SEVENTIETH WEEK,” and therefore with “THE GREAT TRIBULATION PERIOD.” If this supposition be true, then the “LITTLE BOOK” was a foreview of the things that are to befall Daniel’s People in the last half of Daniel’s “SEVENTIETH WEEK.” The effect on John of reading the “LITTLE BOOK” seems to confirm this view, for as he read of the deliverances that were to come to his people, and of the final victory of the Lamb, and the setting up of “The Kingdom,” the “Book” was as “sweet as honey” to his taste, but when he meditated upon the awful sufferings that would come upon the world, and upon the Jews, under the reign of the “BEAST” (Antichrist), and during the pouring out of the “VIALS,” it was bitterness to his soul.


When the “SEVENTH TRUMPET ANGEL” shall begin to sound the “MYSTERY OF GOD” shall be finished. This is not the “Mystery of the Church” for that was finished by the taking out of the Church in chapter four. That “Mystery” was unknown to the Prophets. The “MYSTERY OF GOD” is the “Mystery” of why God permitted Satan to cause the “Fall of Man” and thus bring sin, and misery, and death into the world. To the Old Testament Prophets God revealed the fact that in His own good time He would make clear this “MYSTERY,” and when the “SEVENTH TRUMPET” (that includes all that happens from chapter 11:15) sounds, the “MYSTERY OF GOD” will be finished, for then the “MYSTERY of INIQUITY” (Antichrist, 2. Thess. 2:6-10) will be revealed, in whom Satan will incarnate himself after he is cast out of Heaven, and in his destruction, and the “Binding of Satan,” and the setting up of the “Millennial Kingdom” of Christ, shall be fulfilled the promises to the Prophets, that peace and righteousness shall reign on the earth. And when, as the result of the “Renovation of the Earth by Fire,” the redeemed human race shall take up its abode upon a redeemed and restored earth, and sin and rebellion shall forever be destroyed, the “MYSTERY OF GOD,” or why sin was permitted to wreck this world, will be finished.

Bibliographical Information
Larkin, Clarence. "Commentary on Revelation 10". A Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/clr/revelation-10.html.
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