The Angel with the Little Book Page 1 of 5 (series: Lessons on Revelations)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven

Commentary on the Book of Revelation

By: Tom Lowe Date: 6-19-18



Lesson: III.C.9.a: The Angel with the Little Book (10:1-10:11)



Revelation 10:1-11 (NIV)

1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.



Introduction

If you have been expecting the seventh angel to sound the seventh trumpet at this point, you are going to be disappointed. Between the breaking of the sixth and seventh seals we met with a sort of interlude. That Interlude (chapter 7) described how God remembers mercy in the midst of wrath and seals a host of Jews and Gentiles. We mentioned in that earlier study that another such parenthesis would appear between the six and seven trumpets. The passage before us (10:1-11:14) is that parenthesis. The sixth trumpet has already sounded, but the seventh trumpet does not sound until later (11:15). These interludes, or parentheses, are parts of the whole. They are not unconnected segments.

As we begin our study, note that 5John’s position has suddenly changed from Heaven to earth; the Mighty Angel came down from heaven. This angel is not to be identified with any other angel previously mentioned; he is not one of the seven (Some Bible scholars claim that he is not Christ and that Christ is never an angel in Revelation). This is another angel described in glorious terms.



Commentary
1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven
There has been definite disagreement among outstanding and fundamental Bible expositors as to the identity of the Mighty Angel. Is he Jesus or is he just an angel with great power and authority? I have tried to present evidence to support both sides of this debate; however, we will not be able to clear this up since there seems to be good supporting evidence on both sides. I am happy to say that if you go with either crowd, you will be in good company. If you become a follower of them, it will be all right, and you will be in good company; but if you want to be right, you want to come along with me on this! (I believe the Mighty Angel was none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ.)

The “Mighty Angel” is not named. However, there are a number of things about Him which have led some teachers of the Bible to identify Him as Jesus Christ. The idea that Christ might be called an Angel doesn’t need to trouble us. “Angel,” like “Son of Man,” is a title, and doesn’t imply that the One who

bears the title is a created being. Frequently in the Old Testament we meet with “the Angel of Jehovah.” These pre-incarnate appearances of Christ are called theophanies or Christophanies. He is called “the angel of His Jehovah’s presence” (Isaiah 63:9), and “the angel of the Lord” (Exodus 3:2). If you will read Exodus 3, you will see that the claims and actions of the Angel of Jehovah pertain only to Deity. Here in the apocalyptic vision John saw Him “come down from heaven.” When our Lord was on the earth, He said, “I came down from heaven” (John 6:38). After His Resurrection, He was taken up into Heaven. But the day is coming when this same Jesus, the Mighty Angel of Jehovah, will appear on the earth again. As far as I know, the most popular theory making the case for this Angel being someone other than Christ uses this argument; “The Greek word translated ‘another’ means one of the same kind, that is, a created being; one of the highest ranking in Heaven, filled with splendor, greatness, and strength.” (Could it be Michael or Gabriel?)

This Mighty Angel is God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: let me point out eight things about this Angel that I feel give us His identity (I have already mentioned some of these.):
1. This Angel is mighty.
2. This Angel came down from Heaven.
3. This Angel is clothed with a cloud.
4. The face of this Angel is like the sun.
5. The feet of this Angel are as pillars of fire.
6. He has in His hand “a little book open.”
7. He stands with one foot on the land and one on the sea—denoting universal ownership and authority. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1).
8. The “little book” (scroll) (v. 2; 5:5) contains the rest of the prophetic message that John will deliver. Since our Lord was the only One worthy to take the “little book” and break the seals, it might well be concluded that He is the only One worthy to give his servant the rest of the message.

These eight facts testify that this Angel could be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the only One found to be worthy to open the book and loose the seals (Revelation 5:5-7). The book is now open and in the hand of the Mighty Angel. The Angel John saw will actually appear when the time comes. He is referred to as “the Mighty Angel,” denoting His unusual strength and setting Him apart from all other Angels mentioned previously and in the chapters to follow. Then again, you may be asking yourself, “If this angel were Christ, John probably would have fallen down and worshipped him! He did so when he saw the glorified Christ in the first chapter of Revelation—evidently, the reason John did not fall down and worship him was because this is only an angel.

Clothed with a cloud
John saw Him “clothed with a cloud.” The cloud was the garment of the divine presence and was associated with divine movements. The Lord directed Israel by day in “a pillar of cloud” (Exodus 13:21). When Israel murmured, “the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud” (Exodus 16:10). At Sinai He descended in “a thick cloud” (Exodus 19:9, 16). When the tables of stone were renewed to replace the broken ones “The Lord descended in the cloud” (Exodus 34:4-5). When the tabernacle was completed, “then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 14:34). This cloud was designated “the cloud of the Lord” (Exodus 14:38). God had said, “I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat” (Leviticus 16:2). The cloud was associated with direction as well as with Deity (Numbers 9:15-22). The Psalmist states that the cloud is characteristic of the Almighty, “Clouds and darkness are round about Him” (Psalm 97:2). On the Mountain of Transfiguration, when the splendor of Christ’s deity shown forth, “A bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” (Matthew 17:5). When Christ ascended to Heaven, “a cloud received Him” (Acts 1:9). Before He left the earth He said, “They shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). “Behold, He cometh with clouds” (Revelation 1:7). Clouds, then, belong to the attire of Deity. The cloud-clothing suggests that the Mighty Angel is Christ.

As the garments of deity, clouds indicate the unapproachableness of God and denote His infinite majesty . . . His consuming power toward sin. Sin cannot live before His uncovered glory—and yet in Revelation 10 He draws near to earth to offer mercy to earth’s dwellers.


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