“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! 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.’” Revelation 10:6-7
In chapter 10 John sees a magnificent angel come down from heaven with a scroll in his hand. Interestingly, seven thunders respond to the angel’s shout, but John is forbidden from writing down what the thunders said. The angel declares that there will be no more delay and that with the last trumpet blast “the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to his servants the prophets.” The angel stresses the certainty and finality of the consummation of all things with the last trumpet blast.
We also see John recommissioned as a prophet as he is told to eat the scroll that the angel was holding. Similar to the prophet Ezekiel, John is told after eating the scroll that the must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.
“Between the sixth and the seventh trumpet judgments we find an interlude consisting of two visions: the mighty angel and the little scroll in 10:1-11, when John is recommissioned to prophesy, and the vision of the two witnesses in 11:1-13, when the role and destiny of the witnessing church is described.”28
“John must ‘seal up’ what the thunders have spoken, keeping its content hidden in the counsel of God. This sudden secrecy seems strange in a book given to reveal to God’s servants what must occur. Perhaps this symbolism makes the general point that God’s prophets may speak only what God has authorized them to speak.”29
“The scroll reveals how God plans to defeat evil, rescue his people, and transform his creation, and what all this means for John and the rest of God’s people on earth.”30
“The angel’s stance on the land and the sea points to God’s sovereign control over his world. This is the only place in Revelation where anyone swears an oath, and the background is Daniel 12, where the prophet asks a question about the end of time: ‘How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?’ (Dan. 12:6) Note as well that the figure in Daniel also swears by him who lives forever (Dan. 12:7). What is delayed in Daniel now stands ready to be fulfilled: ‘There will be no more delay!’ (cf. Dan. 12:9 with Rev. 10:6)”31
“So, in the vision, John takes the little scroll out of the angel’s hand and eats it. In his mouth it is, indeed, sweet as honey, but when he had eaten it, it made his belly bitter. The meaning is very clear: the apostle must not merely understand and digest the message of the gospel; he must experience both its sweetness and the suffering, the cross-bearing, which is always the portion of those who truthfully proclaim it.”32
It has been nearly 2000 years since Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and sometimes it feels as if things will go on like this forever. Ask for the Lord’s help to live in light of the imminent return of Christ and the resolution of all things.
Reflect on the sweetness of the Gospel and the suffering that comes with it. Ask the Lord for strength, perseverance, and joy in our service to Him.
28, 30 & 31 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.
29 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation.
32 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation.