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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 10

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-11

We have been going through the trumpet judgments; the catastrophes that they have brought upon the earth. Now, for a moment we leave the trumpet judgments after the sounding of the sixth, and before we read of the events at the sounding of the seventh, John gives us now a little insight into a yet future event, and that is the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth to claim that which He purchased.

Jesus paid the price of redemption. He redeemed the world so that it would be God's once again. It was originally God's by creation. God gave it to man. Man gave it to Satan, so that Satan is called by Jesus, "the prince of this world," by Paul, "the God of this world." Satan offered the world to Jesus, if He would only bow down and worship him. But Jesus came to redeem the world, but the price was His life, the shedding of His blood. So, we are redeemed not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. But yet, He has not taken possession of His purchased possession.

In Roman eight, Paul tells us that "all of creation is groaning and travailing together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God to wit the redemption of our bodies." Redemption is not yet complete. But in the mean time, Paul told the Ephesians that God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession.

In Hebrews, the writer said that God has put all things in subjection under Him, but we do not yet see all things in subjection. The world is still in rebellion against Him. It hasn't been brought yet into His power under His reign. Now, God has put all things under Him, but we don't yet see them there, but we do see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor.

So, we and all creation groan together waiting, travailing for that glorious day when the Lord will come and claim that which He purchased, that which belongs to Him. Yes, we rejoice in the Holy Spirit now and the power of the Spirit in our life, which sustains and keeps us until that day that He comes. But we are really waiting anxiously for the full redemption and for the Lord to reign. That has been our prayer. "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in this earth, even as it is in heaven."

Now, chapter ten gives us a little insight into that coming of the Lord to establish now the fact that the earth is His and to begin His reign. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and all they that dwell therein. And God said unto Him, "Ask of Me, and I will give you the heathen for thine inheritance and the utter most part of the earth for thy possession," Psalm 2 . So, here He comes to possess that which He purchased.

And I saw another mighty angel ( Revelation 10:1 )

The word angel is messenger.

I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven ( Revelation 10:1 ),

His description would be that of Jesus Christ.

clothed with a cloud ( Revelation 10:1 ):

"Behold, He cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him and they also which pierced Him shall mourn"( Revelation 1:7 ). So, He is coming with the clouds.

clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head ( Revelation 10:1 ),

The rainbow was the covenant of God, which is about the throne of God, is now about the head.

and his face was as it were the sun ( Revelation 10:1 ),

As we read in the first chapter of Revelation, John's description of Jesus,

and his feet as pillars of fire [also in chapter one]: And he had in his hand a little book that was now open ( Revelation 10:1-2 ):

Remember this scroll that was in heaven, or book with seven seals. No man was worthy to take the scroll or loose the seals. We found that it was the title deed to the earth. Now, having opened the seven seals, the book is now open. He comes with the open book in His hand, the book of authority, the right and title to the earth, which He has purchased by His blood.

The little book that was open:

he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth, and he cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices ( Revelation 10:2-3 ).

Now, this glorious shout of the Lord, the shout of triumph, the shout of victory. I can hardly wait. Comes with a shout of victory, and this is recorded actually in many of the Old Testament prophecies, this coming with a shout, Jeremiah 25 , there in verse Rev 10:30 , "The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His Holy habitation. He shall mightily roar upon His habitation. He shall give us a shout as those who tread grapes against all of the inhabitants of the earth."

In Hosea 11:10 ,Hosea also makes reference to it. "They shall walk after the Lord, He shall roar like a lion, and when He shall roar then the children shall tremble from the west." And in the book of Joel 3:16 ,we are told, "The Lord shall roar out of Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake, but the Lord will be the hope of His people and the strength of the children of Israel. And Amos also makes mention of it, "and He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars."

And when he cried, the seven thunders had uttered their voices [Now John said when the seven thunders had uttered their voices], I was about to write ( Revelation 10:4 ):

That is what the voices said.

and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and don't write them ( Revelation 10:4 ).

So, we don't know what the seven thunders uttered. We'll have to wait for that. So, God has left some of the things unspoken of the future. And just what are uttered by the seven thunders is something that we just don't know, and any attempt to declare what has been uttered or even to speculate is wrong. Whether or not they be judgments or blessings or whatever, we can't even speculate on this. We just don't know. Where the Bible is silent, it is best that we remain silent and not try to guess. The Lord said to John to just seal it up and don't write those things. So, we'll find out one of these days.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and he swore by him that lives for ever 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 no longer a delay ( Revelation 10:5-6 ):

Time no more is literally a delay no more. We have been waiting. The church has been waiting for the Lord to come and establish His kingdom. The Bible encouraged us to patience in our waiting. "Have patience brethren," James said, "establish yourselves. For the Lord is waiting for the perfect, or complete, fruit of harvest."

Peter said that this delay of the Lord would cause some people to scoff. "And in the last days scoffers will come saying where is the promise of His coming. Since our fathers have fallen asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning"( 2 Peter 3:4 ). But Peter said, "God is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness, but a day is as a thousand years to the Lord and a thousand years is as a day, and know ye that this delay is for redemption purposes, that more people might come in and be a part of the body of Christ"( 2 Peter 3:9 ).

So the Lord, it would seem to us, has delayed His coming, but He has a purpose in it. But even as the Lord waited patiently during the days of Noah for a hundred years before He sent the flood, so the Lord waits patiently now. But the day of the Lord, Peter said, "shall come." You can be sure of it. So, at this point there is the declaration there is to be no longer a delay.

Now, there are some who object to the angel being identified as Christ because of this verse, the fact that he swore by Him who lives for ever and ever who created the heaven and the things and so forth, and the lesser swears by the greater. And Christ being the creator, why would He then swear by Him that creates? Well, we are told in Hebrews that God, because He wanted to establish His promises, because He could swear by no greater, swore by Himself saying, "In blessing, I will bless thee"( Hebrews 6:14 ).

Now, a man many times, to establish the credibility of his word, will take an oath. "I swear by my mother's honor." "I swear on a Bible." And man will take an oath in order to establish the credibility of his word, and he swears by something higher than himself. You wouldn't say, "I swear by my pet dog". Your dog may be a liar. So, you swear by something higher than yourself.

Now, when God wishes to establish an oath, a promise with an oath, He can't swear by any higher, so He swears by himself, we are told in Hebrews. So, I find no difficulty in this swearing by Him, because again being the Lord, He can swear by no higher, so He swears by Himself that this is it. There shall be a delay no longer. That the time has come for the establishing of the kingdom and there will be no more delay. This does not mean that time no more, as far as watches, clocks, days, months, almanacs, and so forth. It means that there is to be no more delay before the kingdom is established.

In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God will be complete, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets ( Revelation 10:7 ).

Now, as we go back to God's declarations to the servants, the prophets, we find that God has promised the glorious kingdom that shall come, God's kingdom upon the earth, and the wonders and the glories of that kingdom as the lion and the lamb will lie down together, a little child shall lead them. The lion will eat straw like the ox" ( Isaiah 11:6-7 ). And there are just so many things. The lame will leap for joy. The blind will behold the glory, and the dumb will sing forth praises unto God. Just the glorious restoration of the earth.

You see, you do not see the world that God created, nor do you see the world that God intended. The heavens declare the glory of God; the earth shows forth His handy work. Day unto day they utter their speech; night unto night their voice goeth forth. There is not a speech nor a language, where their voice isn't heard. God intended that man would come to the knowledge of Him through nature.

Rational man looking at nature is brought to the awareness and the consciousness of God. Irrational man worships nature, rather than the creator of nature. But a rational man in looking at creation is brought to the consciousness of God. But living in a highly urbanized area, the fields are covered with buildings or with black asphalt or freeways, and the flowers and trees are destroyed, are placed by the works of man's hands. The skies become polluted and clouded with the smoke of man's industry, the pollutants that are placed in the air, so that we don't see the crystal blue skies too often, only after a rain or strong wind.

So, God's message to man becomes muddled. We don't really understand God, as He would have us to understand Him through nature any more. Man loses the consciousness of God, as he becomes all absorbed in the works of man and the works of man's hands. And we lose that awareness and consciousness and awe of the creator. That is why it is so helpful to take a vacation. It is so helpful to go to the beach or go to the mountains or go skiing. It is good for you. If nothing else, it allows you to see nature in a purer form. And as you see it, God can speak to you of His existence.

I have no argument with a man that says, "I find God in nature." I do too. He has revealed himself in nature. But we must realize that even nature itself is not what God intended it to be. It is not as God created it. God did not intend that our water supplies become so polluted. God did not intend that the atmosphere become so polluted. That is all the result of man, and man's works. So, we don't get a clearer picture of God from nature any longer, but it will be restored. You will see the world as God intended it to be.

Man is fallen. Man is governed basically by greed, and thus, he is not as interested in his neighbor. He isn't so concerned in the welfare of others. He is concerned with his own welfare, and thus, we do not see man as God intended him to be and man to live. We see the greed of man as he seeks to hoard for himself and take from others. And we see those then that are deprived because of the greed of others. Those that have money and spend it lavishly upon themselves and buy dresses for twenty-three thousand dollars or some ridiculous stupid thing. They wear diamonds that cost one hundred thousand dollars. It is ridiculous when people are in such need. So, you don't see man living as God intended man to live, the sharing of the resources, but we will when His kingdom comes. We will see then what God intended the earth to be and we will see how God intended man to live.

"In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, then mystery of God will be complete, as he has declared to His servants the prophets."

And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and he said, Go and take the little book that is open in the hand of the angel which stands upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and I said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it will be 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 ( Revelation 10:8-10 ).

The idea is to devour the book, devour the contents. And we sometimes use that term, "Well, he really devoured that book." In reading it, glorious what is going to be, glorious when the kingdom comes, glorious when Christ lays claim to that which he purchased, but the bitterness is the awful convulsions that the earth will have to go through before the kingdom comes. So, when you read the things that took place when the seals were broken, the judgments that came upon the earth, that is a bitter pill, but the sweetness of course is the hope of that kingdom when it is established. The fact that He has taken His power and now reigns.

Then he said unto me [that is to John], You must prophesy again before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Revelation 10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/revelation-10.html. 2014.
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