The Little Book
Verse 1 – And I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
In the book of Revelation, angels are angels, not symbols of events, things, places, or persons.
Clothed with a cloud shows high dignity; a rainbow on his head, divine favor and a symbol of God’s covenant and mercy toward penitent sinners; his face shone like the sun might be the light of the gospel about to be diffused. The feet like pillars of fire might represent the faithful during the persecution of the saints fiery trials.
Verse 2 – And he had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,
Verse 3 – and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. And when he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.
This mighty angel will carry a small open book in his hand. While he is holding it, he will plant his right foot on the sea and his left on dry land. This is a symbolic gesture that represents claim in the name of his King, because the earth is the Lord’s.
When this angel speaks it will be with a roar on behalf of the King of Kings. At the same time this angel speaks, a voice in heaven will roar like the seven thunders. The seven thunders is a symbol for the voice of God.
Verse 4 – Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”
When God told John to seal up what He spoke, why should we speculate on what He said?
Verse 5 – And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his hand to heaven
Verse 6 – and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delayed no longer,
Just as a witness raises their right hand to take the oath to tell the truth, this angel will raise his hand to heaven to swear to tell God’s truth. His oath will emphasize the fact that he has the authority and power of God behind him.
“No more delay” will be the answer that the martyred saints have been waiting for . The time has come for God’s wrath and vengeance against the wicked.
Verse 7 – but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.
Jesus has now opened all seven seals, and six of the angels have sounded their trumpets. The last trumpet will bring the seven bowl judgments. But before the seventh angel blows his trumpet, a voice from heaven will declare, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.
The Bible identifies several mysteries. One of them is called the mystery of iniquity or the mystery of lawlessness. It is a mystery to us why God allowed Satan to cause the fall of mankind; a mystery why sin was allowed to do so much damage in the world; a mystery why He would allow His people to be martyred and persecuted in the Tribulation Period, and a mystery why He will allow the Antichrist and the False Prophet to reign. All of these mysteries will be answered when we reach heaven and are in His divine presence.
Verse 8 – Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and the earth.”
Verse 9 – And I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take it and eat it, and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
This eating of this little book is not new in Scripture. Jeremiah ate the Words of God and Ezekiel ate a scroll from God. This idea implies that the Word of God must be taken to heart.
The Bible will profit us little unless it becomes a part of us, so it must be brought inside. Learning the Word of God with its mysteries and plans can be enjoyable and exciting, but understanding the reality of its judgments is sickening for the lost. Preaching the prophetic truth is a bitter-sweet experience.
Verse 10 – And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was a sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.
Verse 11 – And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, and tongues, and kings.
John was told to prophesy “about” many people, nations, tongues, and kings, not to deliver the prophecies to them. During the Tribulation Period, people will open these last chapters and read what John said about them!