What doesRevelation 10: 1-4 mean to us now?

God does not always tell us everything because we may not be ready for it, or we may not be able to handle it. Perhaps with John, it was both. We can still trust that His judgment and what He gives us is sufficient. We have all we need in His Word to know Him, grow in Him, and make Him known. We have all we need to know what is relevant and important for our spiritual formation, to lead a godly purposeful life, and to know about future happenings. If we crave what we have not been given, and seek to make up for ourselves our own doctrine, we will greatly stray from His path by our ignorance and arrogance. God wants us focused upon Him and the building of our faith and character, not to satisfy our lust for what He says we are not ready for. God wants us to take what He has given and exercise ourselves with it, living out our doctrine without becoming fat by it. He would have us take what He has given and apply it with passion, pointing others to live by His heart and call by the application of faith. This means God wants us to be faithful and not instigative. We are to be revolutionary with our faith, not with His doctrine. We are to stir up our complacency, not our rebellion of His ways (Acts 1:6-8; 1 Thess. 5:2). 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. How would you describe the glory of our Lord? What does it mean to you to be reflecting His glory? Why does God not always tell us everything? What if He did?
  1. If we assume that God is serious (and He is), why would some Christians choose to ignore Him and the source of His precepts?
  1. How is this passage an example to us as a Church that one day, we too may witness these events at their fruition? What can you do to prepare your faith and perseverance so that in the meantime, you can handle the “micro” applications by the sins of those around you?
  1. What can you and your church do to take more seriously and pay more attention to what God is saying so you can be better at obeying Him through His most precious Word? What does it mean to you that we have the call and the responsibility to examine and apply His Word?

© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

 

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The Four Main Views of Revelation 10: 1-7

The Preterist view: They see the mighty angel as Jesus Himself because of the description, and the rainbow as the throne of God (Rev. 1:16; 4:3). Sea and land represent the Gentile nations, and the little scroll as the Book of Revelation itself. The seven thunders are seen as the voice of Psalm 29 that rocks the nation Israel. Seal up is seen as events too terrible to tell or comprehend so as to spare discouragement to the people. Others in this view see this as the event not fulfilled by 70 A.D. that was still to be fulfilled, mainly the “Partial Preterits.” No more delay is seen as indicating the wait was over and the prayers of the saints have been answered; their blood would be avenged and Israel would be destroyed. The mystery is seen as the Gentiles being included in the Church as the Jewish reign will end, or else they will be equal (Eph. 3:3-6). 

The Futurist view: They see this passage, chapters 10 and 11, as literal and as a series of extra information as in “parenthetical,” a further, in-depth description of the events of chapters five to nine. The mighty angel is Christ Himself, and the little scroll that contains extra information we do not have in Revelation is explained in the next chapter. Others see this as the prophesies of the O.T. about the Great Tribulation and Israel. Seal up means some things we can’t understand or are not ready for. The mystery is seen as God allowing Satan to have his way during the tribulation; others have suggested this is the start of the Kingdom of God on earth, while others have said this is God’s “predestination” of those who are to be saved, or that God will reveal what it is in His time. 

The Idealist view: They see this passage as an interlude between judgments as was chapter seven. This passage is not in chronological order, but overlaps or further explains these events. The mighty angel is seen as Christ Himself or His representative. A foot in the sea and land refers that he has a message for the whole world. The little scroll contains more prophecies. The seven thunders are seen as a voice to the whole world. Seal up refers to things John was not ready to understand or be able to explain (1 Cor. 13:8-12; 2 Cor. 12:4). The mystery is seen as a reference to Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:3-6 and Colossians 2:2, the union of Jews and Gentiles. Others see it as God’s purpose in history and human affairs. 

The Historicist view: They see this passage as the time period when Rome fell to the Barbarians in 476 and the rise of the Papacy (The control of the Holy Roman Empire as the Catholic Church). The corrupt Popes become the antichrists and the opposition to the true believers setting up the Reformation in the 16th century. The mighty angel is seen as Christ Himself (it is interesting that all views see this when the context seems to denote otherwise). The little scroll is the Bible that Christ opens up to us through the Reformers and the printing press. The seven thunders and loud voice are seen as Christ’s challenge to the Catholic Church or the seven crusades. No more delay is seen as the start of the Reformation.

 

Exegetical look into Revelation 10: 5-7

John is taking notes like a typical rabbinic or Greek student, an example of being studious, paying attention to what God is saying, and obeying Him through His most precious Word. This is also about how we are to glorify Him and not just seek what we want to get from Him. God’s judgment is at hand; the angel says there will be no more delays. If this does not strike fear in people, what will?  

  • Raised his right hand was a way people at this time proclaimed an oath to vow allegiance in general or a specific task before their god. The book of Daniel also showed this; possibly, John is making the connection to Daniel, as Revelation is closely tied to it (Gen. 14:22-23; Deut 32:40; Dan. 12:7).
  • Lives forever and ever refers to the eternal nature of God. As His faithful, we will also be preserved, as we will have a place in His marvelous eternity, heaven. This was also meant to encourage John’s readers who were going though persecutions and imminent martyrdom (Rev. 1:18; 4:9-10; 15:7).
  • No more delay. This shows that the waiting is over and time has come. There will be no further postponement or interruption. The prayers of those in chapter six have been heard and God is at work (Dan. 12:7; Hab. 2:3; Mark 13:19; Rev. 2:21; 6: 9-11; 20:3).
  • Mystery of God. The entirety of all that has been prophesied in the Old Testament has come or will come to its culmination by this time. All will be known; nothing will be hidden.

 

Exegetical look into Revelation 10: 1-4

  • Mighty Angel refers to one who is reflecting and/or carrying out the power of God¾perhaps the appearance of Christ Himself. This angel is not mighty himself (unless it is Christ; however, the word another denotes it is an angel and not Christ. Also, John does not worship him as before), just as we are not mighty; rather, he has God’s anointing in demonstrating faithfulness and obedience. In other Jewish writings (1, 2 and 3rd Enoch), such angels are depicted with rainbows as crowns, and standing tall and proud, shining as the sun¾much like the Greek god, Atlas. Perhaps, such an image was in God’s mind to send a formidable warning and/or to make His point (Rev. 5:2; 7:1).
  • Rainbow normally refers to God’s mercy and grace, which we are called to reflect. Also, this was God’s pledge not to destroy the earth again by water, but leaving room for other means if man’s sins escalate (Gen. 9:8-17; Ezek. 1:26-28; Rev. 4:1-5). Here, it is symbolic language, possibly meant to show the angel’s power and prestige.
  • Like the sun. A metaphor for describing someone who reflects the glory of our Lord.
  • Legs were like fiery pillars. A metaphor for describing one’s territory, dominion, and/or power. Also alludes to how God led and protected His people during the exodus (Ex. 13:21-22; 14:19-24; Rev. 8:12).
  • Little book/small scroll. This is not referring to the big scroll of chapter five as the seals of it have already been opened and examined. This little or small scroll refers to one that is different, or a particular scroll apart from the others. This little scroll, from the context, may refer to what will not be revealed until the time is upon us or when God sees fit (Rev. 6:1-8:1).
  • Which lay open. God’s precepts have been made known to us (entirety of God’s Word and/or Revelation up to this point). We have the call and the responsibility to examine and apply them.
  • Right foot on the sea, left foot on the land. This suggests the angel’s incredible size and symbolizes that he is coming as God’s representative, pointing to His omnipresence. This term also meant “destiny” as in all creation is in God’s control.
  • Seven thunders refers to God’s divine punishment and judgment that fall on those who will not bend to God or accept His love and grace. Perhaps, from the context, this implies that the little scroll’s revelations are too horrific for or are not understandable to us, or that we are not ready to know them. Some have suggested these are commandments that we already know, like the Ten Commandments (2 Cor. 12:2-4; Rev. 8:5; 11:19; 16:18).
  • Seal up indicates that the prophecies are closed for review or are preserved until the proper time has come. The indication here is that something has not been disclosed, something God doesn’t want us to know yet (Deut. 29:29; Dan. 8:26; 12:4-9; Rev. 22:10).

Revelation 10:1-7

Introduction 

The Small Scroll  

John sees another mighty angel reflecting the glory of our Lord and coming down from Heaven with a small scroll. John describes him as surrounded by a cloud and a rainbow, and having the authority of the Most Sovereign God of the universe who continues to bring about more judgment. This angel carries with him the call and ability from God to shout out with a mighty roar. These images are frightful as he has a face like the sun, feet of fire, and the might of a lion to show us that God is serious and we are not to ignore the source, God Almighty. As this angel carries the little scroll and gives his shout, he is answered by the seven thunders, which God asks John to keep secret a little longer. Such a thunder conveys the sentence that God has pronounced to humanity. God can’t wait any longer. The “woe” He gave for all of humanity, including the Church, is at hand. God wants us to clearly understand that He is on the verge of releasing His judgment in whatever form He sees fit. All people know this, for humanity has been warned. Those who seek evil deserve the wrath of God’s judgment, signaled by the trumpet blast announcing that the time is at hand. God’s mysteries and judgment will be made known and will be fulfilled according to His timing, occasion, and schedule (Eccl. 3:1-8; Psalm 29).

This passage is related to Daniel 10:5-6 and Ezekiel 2:1-3:11, as John further warns what God has already decreed. This little scroll is unfolded to us in the upcoming chapters, as some of its contents are made known. John is witness to these events, an example to us as a Church that one day, we too will witness these events at their fruition. In the meantime, we will see the “micro” applications by the sins of those around us (Ezek. 1:27-28; Dan. 10:5-6; Rev. 1:14-16).  

These images are not meant just to strike fear in pagans and those who hate God; even if they were, people tend not to care. No prophecy, no matter how valid and true it is, will sway those who are evil or entrenched in their own ways. Look to Jeremiah, whose prophecy after prophecy came true, yet the Jewish leadership was totally against Him and finally had him killed. These images are more intended to make sure we as the Church (remember the audience is the seven churches of chapters one to four) keep the faith and walk the line with God. What do you think are your call and abilities are, given to you from God? How is this passage about being fully utilized by our Lord? 

 

What does Revelation 3:14-22 mean to us now?

This city of Laodicea was smug, confident, and indifferent to concerns outside of themselves, thinking they had it all. The Christians there reflected this attitude, ignoring our Lord. Thus, Jesus once again presents Himself as Sovereign and in control, as in how dare they feel they do not need the Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of the universe! He is the One who redeems and gives us everything we could possibly need, and to think we do not need Him is a grand insult to the One who saves and nurtures us! Even in His harsh rebuke, the fact that He was concerned enough to tell them shows His love and care for us all (Prov. 3:12)!

I guess no one bothered to answer the door! It is interesting to note that out of the seven churches, Sardis and Laodicea received no commendations, just the most condemnation from our Lord. It is even more interesting that both of these cities were completely uninhabited for centuries, including today, whereas the others are still inhabited. Laodicea today only hosts a few thermal resorts in the area.

A modern church, such as those at Sardis or Laodicea, is one that is well known, has a deep and rich history, that once embraced and worshiped Christ and proclaimed Him, that conducted missions and outreach, and built magnificent buildings. But now, they no longer teach the truth of the Scriptures, having replaced it with liberalism and political correctness to the exclusion of real biblical precepts. Such a church has fallen. They were once alive but now they are dead in their doctrines and the practice of their faith. Such a church is just a Christian Country Club where the name Christian is an oxymoron.

Do not force Jesus to stay outside of your church trying to get in!

Questions to Ponder:

1. How can indifference and the feeling that you do not need Christ play out in your personal life? What about in your church?

2. God is faithful and true; He is personal and reliable. How can these characteristics help fuel your passion for Him and to others about Him?

3. This letter is about self-deluded and complacent members of a church who refused to invite Christ into “their” church or to be a part of “their” activities and life and are now being called out by Him. How does a church get like that today? What can be done to turn such a church back to Christ?

4. Does your church leadership understand that the door is closed from our side and not His? Jesus promised us that when we are faithful, He is there amongst us. How can this help your church open wide the door for Christ?

5. Do you understand what He has been saying to you about how your church is and how your church can be? What can you do to open the door for Him, let Him come into the leadership, and set the direction of your church?

6. How important is enthusiasm in your personal growth? What about in your church? What can you do to be more enthusiastic for Christ? What can you do to be more earnest—to develop a more serious, deep-rooted, and determined faith?

© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org


Exegetical look into Revelation 3:19-22

The churches we are a part of are made up of believers coming together in faith and grace to know, worship, grow, and share in Christ. It is not about us, even though it is us. It is all about who and what Christ is and has done. The church exists to promote and proclaim Christ. It is about Him; He is the Lord; He is within each of us. Christ was there amongst them just as He is here amongst us in His Church. The irony is that this church of Laodicea, like many today, rendered our Lord as the outsider, so He had to knock at the door of His own home! He does not force Himself in; rather, He waits for us to invite Him in.

· I rebuke… discipline. This is styled as an Old Testament rebuke from a Prophet of God for discipline (Job 5:17; Psalm 94:12; Prov. 3:11-12; Isa. 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:32; Heb. 12:5-11).

· Be earnest/zealous, as in earnest surrender to His Lordship. We are to proclaim Him in truth, earnestly with zeal, and in love. However, are we as zealous for the Lord as those are who passionately oppose Christ? Do we take Christ seriously or does our complacency win out? Our being idle and not responding to our Lord is a very sad thing! When we refuse to model it to others, it shows that we have no compassion, no trust, no love, and no care for the One who has given so much of these things to us without merit (Matt. 9: 27-34; 10: 34-42; Rom. 9:30-10:4; James 1: 21-27).

· I stand at the door and knock is an image of our Lord knocking on the door of our hearts. It is a reference to His beckoning for us to come to Him and also a prelude to the “imminence” of His Second Coming. The request of Jesus is that the self-deluded and compliant members of a church who refuses to invite Christ into “their” church or be a part of “their” activities and lives are being called out by Him (Matt. 24:33; Mark. 13:29; James 5:8-9; Rev. 3:11; 22:7).

· Opens the door means being steadfast and persevering in faith, faithfully waiting for Christ and His return. This is also an image that our faith opens His door, our obedience keeps it open, but our pride closes it (Luke 12:35-38).

· I will come in and eat with him is a reference to the intimacy that sharing a meal was in the ancient cultures. (We have mostly lost this today.) Jesus is willing to commune with us! This means commitment such as how Christ has committed Himself to us and how we need to commit ourselves to Him (Matt. 24:33-42; John 10:1-4).

· He with me… is an invitation to join Him. He is the gracious Host who is friendly and seeks us, who are impoverished, as guests to a great and wondrous banquet (Rev. 2:7-20, 26; 5:10; 19:9).

· Him who overcomes. The door is closed from our side—not His! This is a promise that when we are faithful, He is there amongst us. No matter how far we stray from His path as a church, we can still open the door to Him. The key is to trust in Him (Psalm 110:1; Matt. 19:28; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33-35; 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:22; 1 John 5:1-5; Rev. 3:7-8; 20:4-6)!

· Sit with me. This is an image of sharing and partaking in His Kingdom as His viceroys, as servant leaders who represent the Living Lord. He is the One who exalts us by His grace, will, and purpose. It is never a force of will upon our part; if so, it is heinous pride!