Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Revelation 10: Back to the Book of Revelation

It's the goal of these studies to make the book of Revelation as uncomplicated as it actually is. I've read hundreds of pages on Revelation in my studies, and many of them generate a great deal more heat than light. They also make Revelation complex, when in fact it's not.
Our problem comes from trying to interpret a book that's essentially a movie, and describe its movements as if they were the writings of the Apostle Paul--reasoned out, logical, doctrinal.
Don't misunderstand me.  Revelation is TRUE. It's just designed in visions and scenes, like a movie to watch, not a book to puzzle over.

This is why an approach where you always remind yourself that Revelation is basically like a comic-book (or illustrated book), and is designed for you to use your imagination actually nets you the most help.

The second problem is this: in Bible prophecy, the teaching is first given, then is often revealed either over time, or once it's fulfilled. This is undoubtedly true of Revelation. Some prophecies are clear from the beginning (see Daniel 12, the end of Daniel 2), others are completely obscure until they are fulfilled (666, "The Mark").

Now in Revelation 10, and after that introduction, we have the following situation:

  1. We are almost to the midpoint of the book. 
  2. We have one of those situations where we won't understand what's happening until we either see it from heaven, or watch it on earth. 
First is the "Seven Thunders." We have no idea what they are, but they occur just before the "Seventh Trumpet," which concludes everything.
See Revelation 10:1-4: 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. 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, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 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."

Second is the "little book," which John takes from the hand of the angel:
10:1-2: 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.
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...
So John is told to take the book, and eat it:
10:8-11: 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 on the earth." So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."  Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.  And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."
So we literally get no information from this chapter, except the following:
10:6-7: [The Angel from the first verse]  swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 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.

So what moves the narrative forward is something in the future, with the promise there will be "no more delay" once the 7th Trumpet sounds.
The 7th Trumpet does not until Revelation 11:15: Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
As we shall see, we are near the midpoint of the book (occurs in ch's. 11 and 13, with 12 a panorama of history).
The thing to remember about Revelation 10 is that it's preparatory to what follows, and the events that follow it detail the final acts in the Book of Revelation, and how the world is transformed.

Keep reading the blog for more; most of all, read the book of Revelation itself, and put yourself in John's place. Try to see what he saw, and think of how it must have been for him. Allow yourself to see what happens through John's eyes.  This is not a book that can be understood only through the mind. You must use your heart and your imagination as well.  The Spirit will enable you.

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