The Angel and the Little Scroll, 1-11
Rev 10:1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.
‘Between the sixth and seventh trumpet there is an interlude with two scenes (ch. 10 and 11:1-14). Both scenes concern the role of God’s people and their prophetic witness during the time of trial. In the first scene John receives prophetic messages and is commissioned to proclaim them. The second depicts the history of the two witnesses and their larger environment.’ (New Geneva)
Rev 10:2 He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,
Rev 10:3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.
Rev 10:4 And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”
“Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down” – ‘We will never know what the seven thunders portended! Their secret was meant only for the apostle. Just as Albert Einstein took with him to the grace certain scientific secrets considered too dangerous to be released, so only John was to be entrusted with the secrets of the seven thunders. Here is a firm discouragement of those would-be “prophets” who imagine that they have the full run-down of world events at their fingertips. They have not! There is a whole area of knowledge that is kept from us.’ (Bewes)
Rev 10:5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven.
Rev 10:6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay!”
“There will be no more delay!” – Will time cease to exist in the world to come? This is the drift of the AV translation of this phrase: ‘there should be time no more,’ and also the sentiment of the hymn which begins, “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more….” Cf. Rev 21:23,25. But as long as we remain finite creatures, we must experience events in sequence. Cf. Rev 21:24,26. ‘We will experience eternal life not in an exact duplication of God’s attribute of eternity, but rather in a duration of time that will never end,’ Rev 22:5.
‘In God’s exaltation of the slain Lamb, the ultimate vindication of God’s people is asserted, especially against those who are opposed to the witness and worship of God’s people on earth.’ (Wall)
Rev 10:7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”
The mystery of God – ‘Although one cannot be certain here, the “mystery of God” most likely points directly to the climax in Rev 11:15–18, where God’s purposes with creation in general and humanity in particular are brought to completion with the sounding of the seventh trumpet.’ (Fee)
Rev 10:8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
Rev 10:9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.”
“It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey” – The task of the prophet is bitter-sweet.
Rev 10:10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Rev 10:11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”