Revelation 10:1-11 / The Angel and the Book

Posted on August 30, 2015


This is the twenty-sixth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hilcrest Baptist Church on the morning of August 30, 2015. This message looks at the identity of the angel and the significance of the book. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.


Rev. 10:1-11


This passage provides some diffuculty, and has given rise to two distinct opinions. Some say that this is an appearance of Christ, whereas some believe it to be another angel.

With the rainbow above his head, his face like the sun and feet as pillars of fire, he certainly looks like Christ. These are all descriptors for Christ elsewhere in the Scriptures.

If not for three things, I too, would count this as Jesus Christ.

  • “Another mighty angel”. Throughout the Old Testament Christ is seen as “the Angel of the Lord”. However, this angel is referred to as another mighty angel. He is introduced in a way that doesn’t really seem to set him apart from the other angels we’ve seen so far. It appears as if John has identified him with the other angels. This however, by itself, would not sway me from believing that this is Christ. This could be explained away, but there are a couple of other points.
  • He swears by the creator. (v.6). He takes an oath by the Eternal Creator. If it were Christ, He would swear by Himself.
    • Hebrews 6:13
    • Christ is the eternal Creator.
      • John 1:1-3
      • John 8:58
      • Colossians 1:16
    • This angel takes an oath in the name of Christ who is in heaven. As Christ’s representative, he claims it all for Christ.
  • If it were Christ, John would likely have fallen down in worship.
    • Revelation 1:17

We don’t see where John fell in worship.

This angel is certainly a glorious being, in the highest order of angels, but I do not believe him to be Christ.

This book is different than the scroll we see in Revelation 5:1. The greek word represents a smaller writing than the scroll (diminutive form of the same word).

This angel who now holds the book, is a representative of Jesus Christ. As Jesus’ representative, we see one foot on the land and one foot on the sea. (It is not yet time for Christ to return). God claims both the sea and the land, it belongs to Him.

  • Leviticus 25:23

This shows us that even though satan has some leeway right now, and has usurped some authority, God still has dominion and control.

The angel’s loud voice is compared to a lion. When he cried out, the seven thunders uttered their voices. The seven thunders are not the voice of the angel. They may refer to the uttering of the Holy Spirit.

Elsewhere in Scripture we see God’s voice referred to as thunder.

  • Job 40:9

We see references to the seven-fold nature of the Spirit elsewhere in revelation. However, since this is the only info we have on the seven thunders, we really can’t be sure of who they are. In fact, it is described as voices not voice, so it seems more likely that it is some unidentified group. Keep in mind that everything about the seven thunders is shrouded in mystery, and is is apparent that we are not meant to identify them.

Adding to the mystery of the seven thunders, is a voice from heaven. This voice definitely is the voice of God.

John was about to write what the seven thunders uttered, but is instructed to seal the things they uttered (they were reading from the book). vv.8-10

We need to understand that God has not meant to reveal to us those things. Many people have speculated as to what is said, but any such speculation is foolish.

This angel takes an oath, in the name of Christ, that the last plagues would soon commence. Soon to come will be the time of the end that the disciples had asked about.

  • Matthew 24:3

Here the mystery is the final consummation of all things as God destroys sinners and establishes His righteous kingdom on earth. This mystery, though not fully revealed, was declared to the prophets.

  • Amos 3:7

God speaks again, and John takes the book and eats it, forever hiding its contents. The utterings of the Seven thunders is now know only to God.

Notice that it tasted sweet at first, but then turned bitter. Such is the case with God’s judgments. We don’t know what the book contained, but it is probably some type of judgment, hence the bitterness. The terrible nature of God’s judgments is truly bitter to the non-believer, but God’s victory is sweet to the believer.

As this portion ends, John is instructed to continue to prophesy. As such, the completion of God’s plan will be revealed in the coming chapters.

Just as John, we too are expected to continue to spread God’s Word. It is the Christian’s calling to spread God’s Word, all of it. His love and His wrath. His mercy and His judgment. No matter how bitter things may seem, no matter how terrible the world has become, we continue to share the Gospel. The wretched nature of our world makes it all the more urgent.

Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons