Jun 092018

Revelation 10:1-6

The Angel and the Little Scroll

1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.

  • “Mighty Angel” – While some interpret this to be an actual angel from the presence of God, this is none other than Christ Himself. Once again, Christ appears as an angel guiding the vision of events. It is Christ who accomplishes the mission of the Church – He works through us to accomplish His will. It is His mission, not ours. Thus, it is only proper to have Him appear to lead the way here in the vision. He is “Mighty,” for He has defeated sin, death, and the devil and now rules over all things.
  • Rainbow over his head = Rev 4:3 // face was like the sun = Rev 1:16 and the Mt of Transfiguration // legs like pillars = pillars of fire Ex 13 & Rev 1:15.
  • Clouds play a big role surrounding God – we see the pillar of cloud in Exodus – the cloud filling the temple – the cloud at Jesus’ baptism – the cloud at the transfiguration – Jesus ascended into a cloud – he will return in the cloud. The cloud is equal to the presence of God.

He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land,

  • The scroll takes us back to chapter 5 where Christ is the only one worthy to break the seal and open the scroll. The “little scroll” here is one and the same scroll. It contains what must take place during the entire church age.
  • This revelation is for the whole world (sea & land). Jesus shows ownership and authority over all creation. This is important for later we will see who comes out of the land and the sea — the two beasts.
  • Jesus, whether he has a foot on the land or a foot on the sea of if he is asleep in a boat – he stands as Lord over all.

and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded.

  • Picture Jesus standing with a foot on the sea and a foot on the land roaring like a lion. The lion of the tribe of Judah Rev 5:5 – The Lord roars from Zion and thunders his voice from Jerusalem. Amos 1:2
  • Note how Satan likes to ape Jesus – 1 Peter 5:8 “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
  • What is being described by the seven thunders? Exodus 19 speaks of the thunders on Mt Sinai.
  • This is the very presence and voice of God. It is majestic and holy and powerful, so much so that sinners cannot bear to hear it. So it is that, as Christ speaks, the Father’s perfect voice accompanies His, for He and the Father are One, and share the same mission = “seven thunders” = Father’s perfect voice.

And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

  • John was going to write, he had pen and spiral notebook in hand ready to go, but the voice from heaven said no. This seems a bit ironic as this book is to reveal things.
  • So what is going on here? Some interpreters have a lot of fun with this, claiming that the “seven thunders” spoke something very secret that is not to be revealed to the world. You can imagine the many different ideas about what that ‘secret’ entails. And for a price, they will tell you.
  • John is not told to seal up and not write what the “seven thunders” spoke because there is something to hide, but rather because this is the unveiled perfect voice of the Father, which no one can bear to hear.
  • What the Father – the seven thunders – utters are holy things of His heavenly glory that are too sacred and beautiful for anyone to hear and understand while still on earth. Only those who enter His eternal kingdom can hear such things. This is not unfamiliar as we have been taught from Deut 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
  • We should also take this as a warning for us not to delve into the mysteries of God which He Himself has not revealed to us. There are simply some things He hasn’t told us and we must not try to decipher those things using our own sinful human reason – such as Where did God come from? How can God predestine the saved, but is not, at the same time, responsible for predestining the damned? How can God be human and divine at the same time? How can Christ give us His very Body and Blood in the Holy Supper? And the list can go on.

And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven

and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,

  • When you see Jesus swear an oath you know there is certainty. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
  • The time has come. What time? The End.

The text says there will be no more delay, but I must break this off at this point and pick up next week.

  54 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. I am always amazed by the consistency of symbolic language in the Bible.as we see in verse 1. Cloud as an example.

  2. “Christ is never called an angel in this book (let alone ‘another angel’) and this angel is not accorded divine honours. He is not worshipped, for example. The swearing of an oath ‘by him who lives for ever and ever’ (v. 6) does not look like an action of Christ.”

    – Leon Morris

  3. “The mighty angel is sometimes identified with Christ, but it is unlikely that John would speak of the Lord as an angel.”

    – D.A. Carson

  4. Yes, Jesus is never called an angel in this book if every Time he is, someone comes along and says “not so.”

    Remember, Revelation is filled with OT references, including Jesus referred to as an angel. But I will admit, I often disagree with some heavyweights. I think I said somewhere in my 2 part introduction, the mistake many make is to take this book as some type of stand alone from the rest of the Bible.

  5. In a sense, it is a stand alone IMV.
    The book of Revelation gives us what we need to understand the unfolding scenario. – ties up loose ends and gives us who are His a glimpse of the A to Z plan recorded and playing out from Genesis through Acts…. plus what expect from there to the end of time….
    IMV….. 😇

  6. Em, this is why there are so many varying views among those who hold your view. Nothing means anything because Revelation is not anchored to the rest of Bible. This view is what gives permission to guys like Hal Lindsey, Adrian Rogers and the Left Behind guys to come up with what they did. Come on, locusts means attack helicopters and not what Joel suggested.
    This is a serious issue in properly understanding Revelation.

  7. The word “mighty” is used in the LXX and the NT to describe godly strength or the might of God Himself. The word is used about thirty times in the NT but only once is it used to describe an angel. The word “angel” is used as “messenger” not only of angels but also for people (pastors) who proclaim the Gospel. This “another angel” is at least as close to God as Gabriel or Michael but even they are not described as “mighty”. So, this messenger of God or Godly strength does fit the incarnate Christ. Let’s not dismiss MLD’s thesis to quickly. It has a lot of Biblical support.

  8. “Revelation is not anchored to the rest of Bible”

    You can’t honestly tell me that Dispensationalists don’t read Revelation in light of the book of Daniel.

  9. Jeff, that’s not accurate. The same word is used of an angel in Revelation 5:2, and 18:21.

    Also, the same word is used throughout the NT to describe all types of stuff – Voices, cities, thunder, etc. Don’t think that’s a strong point.

  10. #6 – “Revelation is not anchored to the rest of Bible” what an odd extrapolation from my comment…. agree with dispensationalism or not, that is an odd observation

  11. Em, you countered my warning that Revelation should NOT be read as a standalone and then stated that you do indeed see it as a standalone.

  12. Josh – my #6 was in response to Em’s #5 and in itself was not a standalone statement. She sees Revelation as a standalone, so to that I said that Revelation has no anchored to the rest of the Bible.
    If you and other dispensationalists do not hold the book as a standalone, then the comment does not apply to you.

    I would like to make a recommendation to you and other dispensationalists, because this does create differences between us. Yes, you guys do read Revelation in light of Daniel – just as you read the NT in light of the OT. This is backwards to at least what a Lutheran does – we read the OT in light of what the NT has now explained or revealed about the Old. There is a pretty good difference there.

  13. I doubt it. In what way do you think I err by reading the NT in light of the OT (I deny that is true.)

  14. MLD, perhaps the confusion is in the use of the words “stand alone” … perhaps, your use means disconnected from the rest of the contents of the Bible?
    My definition is similar to the what i’d say of the book of Psalms… All 66 books of the Bible tie together, elaborate and interpret with such continuity that i marvel that any honest person could conclude that the Bible is a creation solely of religious men (i also don’t think of our Faith as a religion, BTW)

  15. Josh – you said “You can’t honestly tell me that Dispensationalists don’t read Revelation in light of the book of Daniel.”

    Isn’t that you saying you read the NT in light of the OT? Sounds like it to me.

    A dispensationalist reads Romans 4:13 (NT) – the promise to Abraham is the whole world and not a sliver of land in the Middle East is light of OT limited land promises. The Romans passage should inform the reading of the Genesis passage. — btw the land promise was actually fulfilled to Israel in Joshua.

    A dispensationalist reads 2 Cor 6:16 – Christians are actually the millennial temple in light of Ezekiel prophesying of a millennial temple. The NT passage should inform the meaning of Ezekiel.

  16. “In light of” is just you taking a phrase and deciding it means what you want it to mean.

    My question was how am I in error, assuming I do so?

    So you say “Abraham” means “the whole world”? Hmm. That’s tricky.

  17. I said the promise to Abraham was not for a strip of land in the Middle East. Paul says it was for the whole world.
    That is how you fall into the error I spoke of.

  18. Well you show me. I take it as you saying that Daniel is shining the revealing light on Revelation. My take is that Revelation is lighting up Daniel (actually more so Ezekiel)

  19. Jeff, thanks for your thoughts on the angel vs Jesus passage.
    I do have some presuppositions I come in with. 1.) The description and the wrapped in a cloud to me is big.
    2.) What is being done. If it is the announcement of salvation or judgment it can be an angel. However, if it is the actual carrying out of salvation or judgment, well those are Jesus moments.
    I think where our rapture friends get off track is with their need for a literal understanding when they see the word angel without understanding John is caught up in one vision after another and most of the time is grasping to put into words what he is seeing.

  20. Where did I say Abraham’s promise was a strip of land?!?

    Nevermind. Don’t answer that. We’ll go down the MLD rabbit hole.

    I think we largely agree on how the Old and New testaments are related.

  21. Josh, you may not say it – but dispensationalists do, and that is who you asked about at #8. They make it very clear that God has or God will in the future put Israel back in the land (old geographic biblical Israel) because he needs to fulfill the promise. .

    Trust me when I say that I am happy that you don’t believe that.

    You and I may largely agree on how the OT and NT are related – but a dispensationalist does not. The reason the amil and the dispensationalist positions differ so much is rooted in that very question.

  22. MLD #21 – I don’t think you have as clear a picture as you think you do of all those who accept categories of dispensation as valid

    Just an observation, not fishing for justifications or discussions….

  23. Em, – “not fishing for justifications or discussions….” – Sure you are – but that is OK.

    I am happy to see that you too do not accept the dispensational position of a still outstanding promise of the land to Israel.

    I must be making progress on you folks. 🙂

  24. “Trust me when I say that I am happy that you don’t believe that.”

    You have changed the subject to the point that I now have no clue what we are talking about 🙂

    “The reason the amil and the dispensationalist positions differ so much is rooted in that very question.”

    Totally disagree. The difference is literal vs. allegorical hermenuetics. (Those are categories. Doesn’t mnean every word is literal, etc.)

  25. “Hal Lindsey, Adrian Rogers and the Left Behind guys”

    I know I’m taking the bait, but why in the world would you include Adrian in this group?

  26. Concerning the “still outstanding promise of the land to Israel”… How about this – all the promises have already been fulfilled in the person of Christ… I consider this argument to be theologically coherent…

    “The Messiah is the Incarnation of Israel’s universal rule, He and Israel are almost identical, and it matters little whether we say that Israel HAS or IS the Messiah. On the cross,
    Israel rejects Israel, and in the isolation of Calvary Jesus alone is Israel, the Son, the Servant. The vineyard has been lost to its former husbandmen, and the people of God consists only of the ONE who, rejected by His own, is dying on the Cross, alone the Servant who obeys and alone the place where the name and the glory and the will and the promises of God are seen. Jesus Christ, in His solitary obedience, is the Church. (A.M. Ramsey, The Gospel and the Catholic Church, p. 21)

  27. I honestly have no clue why we are discussing the land promise to Abraham. That’s how MLD is brilliant.

    I do think the nation of Israel has a part in God’s prophetic future. I think that is evident in the book of Revelation. You can say that Israel = Church, but wouldn’t have been just as easy to “Church”. So, regarldless of an outstanding land promise, I think the Scripture teaches that Israel (the nation) will be involved in some way in the way things play out.

    As for the promises to Abraham, the one that we should be most concerned with is that his seed will bless the nations. That promise is obviously fulfilled in Christ, and is Abraham’s part in God’s reemptive history.

  28. Josh,

    As I said before, I’m not a Christian Zionist or a dispensationalist, but the reestablishment of Israel as a nation state after 2000 years causes me to ponder…

  29. Josh – you may have been too young, but in the very early 80s Adrian Rogers would preach through Revelation and he would hold an annual end days type conference. He espoused pretty much the teachings of Hal Lindsey – he was the David Jeremiah before David Jeremiah — who followed Tim LaHaye to Shadow Mountain Church.

    In those days you could not tell the difference (because there was no difference) between Hal Lindsey, Adrian Rogers, Chuck Smith and Tim LaHaye.

    Perhaps you can find some photos of Roger’s stage backdrops – giant murals that looked like modern day Tim LaHaye time charts. Rogers would change them each week to depict the dragon, the beasts or whatever the topic was. Hey, I bought in.

  30. But Lindsey and Lahaye are big-time speculative fiction writers, and Smith was pretty much a date-setter.

    I don’t doubt that Rogers was standard-issue premillenial / rapture guy, just that it wasn’t the focus of his ministry like it was for the others you named.

  31. Now back to the other thing in your #27. It was not my intent to be discussing land promises at any length. The topic was dispensational thinkers (how is that for being generously orthodox? 😉 ) using the OT to interpret the NT. You asked what errors could be made if such a process were used. The outstanding “land promise” was one that I brought up after you said that dispensationalsits read Revelation in light of Daniel — to which I agreed.

    Let’s look at it this way – the book of Revelation says absolutely nothing about;
    A 7 year tribulation period
    Jesus ruling a kingdom here on earth
    A millennial temple
    It never mentions that the nation Israel is on the outside looking in to be restored later.

    All of these things are brought into Revelation from OT readings and used exclusively to say – “this is what Revelation means.” – which I describe as reading Revelation in light of the OT.

    I like to use the millennial temple as a prime example. The dispensationalist reaches into Ezekiel and speaks of the rebuilding of a brick and mortar temple during the millennium – an amillennialist instead reads 1 Cor 6:16 back into Ezekiel to explain what the Ezekiel temple means — we the Christian, the Church are the millennial temple.

    Paul explains who Israel is – it is God’s people by faith, not by nationality or bloodline – and when he speaks that Israel will be saved – he is speaking of all us Jews who have come to faith between Christ’s crucifixion and his second coming.

    But we can move on to the coming Wed article if you wish.

  32. Wait, you have now made wo contradictory claims, which explains why I am confused with this line of discussion.

    First, in #6 you said: “Nothing means anything because Revelation is not anchored to the rest of Bible.”

    Then, you changed your tune: ” Yes, you guys do read Revelation in light of Daniel – just as you read the NT in light of the OT.”

    I don’t know which I should argue against. 🙂

  33. Josh, I can speak of 2 different topics at the same time. One comment does relate to the other – hence no contradiction.
    First comment was about those who see and use Revelation as a standalone document.
    The 2nd was about those who interpret the NT through the lenses of the OT.

    Got it?

  34. “First comment was about those who see and use Revelation as a standalone document.
    The 2nd was about those who interpret the NT through the lenses of the OT.”

    But you were referring to the same group of people both times! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  35. #23 – wrong, MLD. At my age i don’t start discussions at that time of night 😀
    Don’t be happy, tho – i’m not on board with your position…
    Thing is, they are back in the land and you can make the case for that fulfilling prophesy ….
    are they there because of the militant, determined, smart, secular Jew or because God has a remnant with a destiny there?
    or you could just say that it was the result of do-gooders in the Western world wanting to ease their guilt over the horrors of the holocaust and find a place to park the survivors… I guess
    take your choice

  36. Josh, Rapture people who think Revelation is a standalone book vs. Rapture people who don’t think that Revelation is a stand-alone book are not the same group. Therefore I wasn’t speaking of the same group.
    This is why dispensationalism is not understandable without the fold-out charts. They do have you confused. 🙂

  37. I have a number of commentaries on the Revelation and they are all significantly different from each other.

    It makes me appreciate the wisdom of the 39 Articles that says the Bible is sufficient for salvation… and stops there.

    It also makes me chortle when people want to fight about the clarity of Scripture…

  38. Michael, Revelation and all that goes with it are part of that same Bible that is sufficient for salvation. So I don’t get your point.
    Perhaps the 39 articles means having a Bible in your house is sufficient.

  39. Yep, that’s what it means.
    Having one in the car is good too…

  40. I would say that Revelation is one of the tougher books to declare a sure meaning from. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, even though we’ll miss on some of it, for sure.

    Besides, you have a guy posting a study on a book which takes a particular stance. I’m just interacting with what he posts.

  41. Josh,

    I’m just making general observation about various doctrines of Scripture.
    The differences between your hermeneutic, my hermeneutic, and MLD’s hermeneutic almost create three different books.

  42. No doubt. I think we probably all get lucky and get some of it right.

    Which is why discussion among differeing views is good.

  43. The only points I have tried to make outside the article itself are;
    1.) it is a misuse of scriptures to hold Revelation as a standalone book.
    2.) It is incorrect to use the Old Testament to interpret the New Testament.

    My only surprise is that I can’t get an amen to either.

  44. Amen to both those statements. To this point, I haven’t understood what you were saying.

  45. I’ll amen both.

    My approach was well stated by Duane when he quoted Archbishop Ramsey.

    However, I’m not prepared to write of the recreation of Israel as a coincidence of politics, either.

    Anglicans can affirm paradox without getting in trouble… 🙂

  46. Well if God has fulfilled his promise to put Israel back in the land (which I doubt as they have less than half of original Israel land mass we see in Joshua) – but if he has so what is so different about Israel? Now they come to Jesus just like I did – in fact, God restored the nation a year before I was born. So why the need to rapture the church and have God’s wrath come down on an already restored people?

    This is not paradox – this is lunacy.

  47. “this is lunacy”

    There is something to be said for the foolishness of man…but I’ll save it.

  48. It may be lunacy indeed.
    My version of what constitutes lunacy is thinking we have certainty about most things in the Bible…

  49. I usually agree with MLD on Revelation at least much more than I disagree

    The blanket statement about not using the Old Testament to interpret the New seems to claim too much. That statement needs a whole series of affirmations and denials to parse it out.

    The apostles did not likely regard the Old Testament revelation as that separate from what had been revealed in Jesus. Without the Old there would be no coherence to the act of God in Christ. Christ is only coherent through the fulness of OT revelation.

    So our hermeneutical exercise does not lend itself so easily to that particular claim.

    Best to simply say the dispensationalist misuse the text …

  50. MLD voices a concern of the late J Vernon McGee as to the real estate issue – they don’t have all the turf now…
    It seems, however, there is an assumption here that a dispensational believes every citizen of present day Israel is or will be saved… Somehow that theory never showed up in any teaching i’ve heard…. However, i have spent precious little time studying end times prophesy – too little – and even less interpreting what is described in the book of Revelation. Flow charting the contents did not require it…

    Today, i think it is less important to speculate on the meanings than it is to be familiar with the book. As my late husband observed prophesy is meant to be understood by those who will experience what is prophesied. I know folk here would not all agree with that, but it makes sense to me 😉

  51. Em, I too do not know anyone who thinks all Jews in Israel are saved. In fact I am pretty sure that very few are.
    Now, since the land promise and the return to the land has been fulfilled, what would keep these Jewish settlers from being saved the same way Jews have been getting saved since the time Jesus walked the earth? That way being hear the preached word, have the Holy Spirit use that word to work faith in their heart.

    Why does the church, the one doing the evangelizing need to be removed from its earthly position? Now the reason I hear from the rapture theology crowd is that it is to keep the church from God’s coming wrath that will be upon Israel – killing up to 2/3rds of them in a new “evangelism” program.

    I think I am Israel and the path I took is the path all Israel, past, present and future take to salvation – and it happens within the church.

  52. #51 – this is moving into the speculative now as far as i’m concerned…
    Will the Church be spared the wrath yet to be poured out on the earth? One side says we’ll be protected thru it and the other says we, the Bride of Christ will be with our groom… “My” side says the Church is not composed of every saved soul, but like the Jew who preceded this period of the history of man, we are a special category for the time . The “other” side says we’re just a description of a period of time in the history of God’s plan…. Basically….. then we attach our theological interpretations on….

    Mine says when the Church (composed of Believers from every race on earth) disappears, the Jew (some, not all) will then again be tasked with spreading God’s salvation message… The best thing about this may be the demolishing of denominations LOL …. So it seems to me … It may not be too long before we know who got what right… So it seems to me…. again😇

  53. Em,
    I do agree with your assessment of the dispensationalist position – that there are 2 peoples of God, saved by different means and for different purposes. Even your example shows that difference. The Church alone is the Bride of Christ – you even label Jesus as the groom.

    So what is the relationship of the nation Israel to Jesus as they obviously are not the Bride of Christ?

    I still have this issue – why will the salvation of future Jewish people change from the way someone such as myself was saved? I am also still wondering from my previous comment since the land (1948) and the seed (incarnation day) promises have been fulfilled and Jews, perhaps a billion have been saved over the past 2,000 yrs – why in the last days do 2/3rds of remaining Jews on earth need to be killed by God’s wrath to get the other 1/3rd saved?

  54. no, no, no, no, no….
    – i am not saying that we are saved by different means
    – yes, the Church alone is the bride
    – the relationship of the nation of Israel? just the same as the United States; in the plan of God but vulnerable as a kingdom of this world… which i do not yet see as the kingdoms of our Lord

    salvation is the same for al for all time from Adam to whoever is the last one to confess

    (but our place in God’s plan as the Church – Jew or plain old gentile heathen is the same during the – ahem – Church age – and BTW, this is a very interesting place to be – but that is another subject) … and condemnation is the same also…. now just how God refines His dealing with the soul of each human being (we all will be dealt with 🙂 ) is something i don’t know, i.e., the little Roman Catholic boy on another thread – did his beloved papa arrive in hell? only God knows and i like the one comment that was posted that we should not speculate on the dead…
    could Adolph H. have had a last minute confession of “God forgive me, I am a sinner.” doubtful, but possible … as i think you like to point out, it isn’t the degree of the sin, it is the confession of same

    i, possibly am in the right pew, wrong church here
    God keep

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