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Chapter 9=    =Chapter 11


:1 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:

:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth,

:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: but I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

:6 and sware 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,

:7 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.

:8 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 stands upon the sea and upon the earth.

:9 And I went to 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.

:10 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.

:11 And he said to me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.


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CHAPTERS

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Statement of Faith

Revelation of Jesus Christ


Verse 1

"...another mighty angel..."

Both chapters 10 and 11 are parenthetical chapters which do not speak to effects of the second great woe unleashed by the sounding of the sixth trumpet. While it is not stated that the second woe is finished until we reach chapter 11:14; these two chapters serve as a premise for events which will unfold in chapters 12 and 13, concerning the two witnesses which shall come down from heaven to the earth. The second of the last three woes of chapter 8, clearly ends with the death of a third of mankind in chapter 9; and the explanation of why it happened, at conclusion of that chapter.

Who is the mighty angel, or messenger, mentioned in this chapter?

Both chapters 10 and 11 bring forth information related to this angel. At first glance, {11:3} seems to indicate that this angel or messenger, with the little book, may be Jesus himself, although John doesn't recognize him as such. This, of course, is not to suggest that Jesus is an angelic being, but that he may possibly be the "messenger" who delivers the little book to John. It is more likely however, that the one spoken of here may be the archangel Michael.

When we look at the first few verses of chapter 11, there is no real break in continuity between the angel speaking in verses 1-2, where he tells John to measure the temple; and the statement made in verse 3 concerning the giving of power to, "...my two witnesses...". However, we need to be aware, that in both chapter 10 and 11, we are not only hearing the angel speak to John; but there are several verses in which John is hearing a voice from heaven. The voice from heaven may account for words of 11:3, although in the other instances, it is specifically stated that John was hearing a voice from heaven. This is not the case with verse 3.

The two witnesses are said to be, " ...the two olive trees, and the two candelesticks standing before the God of the Earth." This makes it clear that these are the witnesses of God Himself and not of an angelic being.

At the same time, we know from Scripture that Michael, is the guardian angel of Israel {Dan. 12:1}. As such, He may be speaking here in the capacity of one who is given charge over the nation by God Himself, and uttering, as a messenger, the very words of the Almighty, rather than speaking in his own stead.

Since the two witnesses had stood in the very presence of the throne of God prior to coming to the earth {Zech. 4:14}, it would seem to necessitate that the speaker is ultimately God Himself, but He may be here speaking through the mouth of the angel.

"...his face was as it were the sun,..."

The angel (messenger) has a brilliant countenance about his face. Rev. 1:16 tells us that the countenance of Jesus, as seen by John, was "...as the sun shining in its strength." When Jesus was transfigured (Matt. 17:2) it was also stated that "...his face did shine as the sun,.."

Jewish tradition relates that wherever the archangel Michael goes, the shechinah, the radiant glory of God, is to be found.

"...a rainbow was upon his head ..."

This speaks of the covenant which God made with man after the flood of Noah's day. It serves as a reminder that He will never again destroy the earth by water. The final judgment of the last days is to be rendered by fire, not water.

"...feet as pillars of fire..."

In the studying of chapters 10 and 11 together, it becomes more evident that the two feet of the angel are representative of the two witnesses which are to come down from heaven. They are identified in both {Zech. 4:11-14} and in {Rev. 11:3-4}.

{Chapters 10:4-9 and 12:5-9}, in the Book of Daniel, also seem to point to this person and the two witnesses. The two witnesses there are set upon the two banks of the Tigris River near Babylon. The feet of the angel of Rev. 10 however, are set upon the sea and upon the earth. This indicates that they are the counterpart to, and shall stand in testimony against, the one who shall rise up out of the sea {13:1}; and him who shall rise up out of the earth {13:11}. These two, who stood before the God of heaven, are also to play an integral part in helping the righteous woman of chapter 12 flee into the wilderness, escaping the wrath of the dragon (Satan).

Fire is closely associated with them and their testimony (11:4-5). They appear as "...pillars of fire..." It makes perfect sense that these two should be Moses and Elijah; for they more than any others, are representative of the Law and the Prophets of God. This supposition is further supported by statements which will be made in chapter 11.

Here we are seeing the scenario developing whereby the Lawgiver, Moses (Exodus 19-20), shall be set in opposition to the lawless one, the Antichrist (II Thess. 2:8). Then too we see Elijah, the true prophet of God, who called down fire from heaven (I Kings 18:19-38), in like fashion, set in opposition to the False Prophet, who will also call fire down from heaven (Rev. 13:13). It's God's two witnesses against Satan's two witnesses.


Verses 2-7

"...a little book open..."

In the hand of the mighty angel is a "little book" which is open. Again, we see a similiar scenario in the second chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. It may well be that this same book, or scroll, is revealed to both witnesses. There are a number of similarities between the two accounts.

The fact that the book is open, indicates that the angel is reading from it. As he is reading this book aloud, seven thunders begin to sound. This suggest that there are seven major points set forth in the contents of this book. These appear to be prophetic utterances, followed by heavenly responses.

When the thunders finished sounding, John was about to write down what he had heard, but was immediately interrupted and told to not write down what the utterances were. He was allowed to hear what was said, but not allowed to include it in the book which he was instructed to write {1:11}.

The things to which the little book speaks, are concerning the Mystery of God; and their revelation is reserved for a future time. It is not appointed to John to make known these things, although he is allowed to hear them.

In verse 5, as in verse 8, it is again stated that this angel stood with his feet upon the sea and upon the earth, showing us that this is a significant point. Both of these verses further point to the presence of the two witnesses of chapter 11.

In Verse 6, the angel swears by God in heaven that there will be no more delay in finishing God's plan. We are also reminded here that it is God who made all things.

This brings to mind Proverbs 16:4 which states, "The Lord has made all things for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom." Not only did he make the two witnesses which stand before Him in Heaven: He also made Satan and his two witnesses, the Beast and False Prophet, who shall stand in opposition to Him in the earth.

In verse 7, it is stated that the "mystery of God" (those things contained in the little book) will be made known to the people in the days when the angel with the seventh trumpet begins to sound.

Ezekiel chapter 2, informs us that in the book which was opened to him were, "...lamentations, and mourning and woe." He was then commanded to eat the scroll, just as John was, and to go and speak to the rebellious House of Israel.

This appears to correspond with the time when the two witnesses will be killed by the Antichrist, and then resurrected (11:7-15). Furthermore, the understanding of what was sounded by the seven thunders, will be made known by "...His servants the prophets" (the two witnesses).

It appears that two (Ezekiel and John) have been made privy to the contents of the same book. Are these the two witnesses, or are they simply representative of two greater leaders, Moses and Elijah (the greatest of the lawgivers, and the greatest of the prophets)?

The two witnesses which stand beside the throne of God were there before either Ezekiel or John were even born. The angel of chapter 10, has made known to the two witnesses, the total contents of the little book (10:2-3). It will be their duty, to make known the utterances of the seven thunders, as a part of the prophecies concerning the Revelation of Jesus Christ.


Verses 8-10

"...take the little book... and eat it..."

The voice which had spoken to John from heaven in verse 4, again speaks to him here. He is instructed to take the little book from the hand of the angel and eat it.

In chapter 5:7, Jesus took the book from the hand of the Father and is revealing its contents to John. Here John takes the book from the hand of the angel, but is not permitted to reveal its contents to anyone. This may point to the idea that John is to keep what he had heard to himself, and that it is given to the two witnesses only to reveal the contents of the book.

Initially, in his mouth, what John heard was very pleasant and satisfying (sweet as honey) just as with Ezekiel. However, he was required to keep these things to himself (in his belly); and when contemplating upon them; it produced a very unpleasant and bitter after taste. He has the understanding of the end of the Mystery of God in his possession, but he is not permitted to tell it to anyone.

Verse 11

"...Thou must prophesy again..."

Many understand this verse to say, that since John ate the little book, it was given to him to reveal it contents at a later time. This thinking is based, in large part, on the use of the phrase "before many peoples, nations...." The New King James Version more accurately translates the phrase as, "about many peoples, nations...."

The Greek word from which the English words "before" and "about" is derived, can have any of three meanings when used in this context of this verse. They are: "upon, of and concerning ".

It is not used here as referring to the place where something is to be done, as in "...before many peoples...", but rather to inform us "concerning" future events which pertain to the "...peoples, nation, tongues and kings". In context, the proper meaning then would be "concerning". Thus the verse would read:

"Thou must prophesy again concerning many peoples, and nations..."

In effect, John is told that it is given to the two witnesses to reveal the end of the mystery of God; however, his roll in presenting the Revelation of Jesus Christ, is not yet finished. He is to continue on, for there are yet many things to write to the churches regarding the fate of the peoples of the world.


CHAPTER SUMMARY

Both chapters 10 and 11 are parenthetical chapters which do not speak to effects of the second great woe unleashed by the sounding of the sixth trumpet of chapter 9. These two chapters actually serve as a premise for events, which are to unfold in chapters 12 and 13, concerning the two witnesses which shall come down to the earth from heaven.

In this chapter, we see a powerful angel come down to the earth, whose face shines like the sun; and whose feet are as pillars of fire. He hold a "little book", open in his hand and as he speaks, seven thunders utter words. As John is about to begin writing down what he had heard, he is told to stop, for their revelation is yet reserved for the future.

The chapter ends with John being told to take the little book and eat it. It was sweet in his mouth, but turned to bitterness in his stomach. Here is an understanding that John is allowed to know the contents of the book (sweet), but is not allowed to reveal it to anyone (bitter). That part appears to be reserved for the two witnesses, which are to come down from heaven (the two feet as pillars of fire) just as the tribulation period begins.

 

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