Calm before the Storm:
Revelation Chapter Ten

      Chapter Ten is a clearing of light that follows the Apostle John’s previous vision of the darkness in Chapter Nine.
      Chapter Ten reveals the beginning of a time of renewed evangelism that will directly precede the rapture of the church described in Chapter Eleven and the beginning of the great tribulation in Chapter Fourteen. This time of evangelism will be by a remnant operating within a church that is enveloped by apostasy and complacency.
      In verse one of Chapter Ten we witness the contrast of the angel that falls in verse one of Chapter Nine, to “another mighty angel” that comes down from heaven.

      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: (verse 1).

      This is the angel bearing hope and renewal. The imagery of the cloud and the rainbow suggests hope after a storm. The rainbow is the symbol of God’s promise that He would never again destroy the world by a flood. The fiery end of the planet as prophesied (Rev. 20:11, 21:1, Isaiah 65:17) and reiterated by the Apostle Peter (II Peter 3:10-14), is again God’s response to mankind’s unrelenting wickedness. The rainbow gives God’s people the assurance that like Noah, who was spared from destruction by his faithful obedience to God’s word, those who follow Noah’s example and board their ark of safety in Jesus have the same assurance of redemption from this evil world.

      The angel’s face shines like the sun, a reflection of God’s righteousness; and his legs are pillars of fire. The fire in this vision is symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s flames of revival.

      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 (verse 2).

      The little open book represents God’s word contained in the visions John is seeing. It is open showing us that the time is at hand, and what is contained within that book is ready to be revealed. This book is symbolic of the new marching orders the church is about to receive.
      The angel’s right foot is upon the sea and his left foot is upon the land. As I will be reiterating in my article concerning Revelation Chapter Thirteen, the beast system arises from the sea (13:1) and the anti-christ comes from the earth (13:11). The placing of the angel’s feet suggests a temporary “capping” of the full emergence of these monsters until the time of evangelism illustrated in chapters ten and eleven are completed.

      And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices (verse 3).

      As we shall see in the following verse the thunders represent prophetic messages. –

      And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not” (verse 4).

      What John heard was for his ears alone. He is symbolic of the bride of Christ, a remnant within the apostate church. The prophecies uttered by the thunders represent the personal, individual instructions that are given to God’s people to help guide them in their ministries; strategies for spiritual warfare to assist them in their navigation through the dark days leading up to the great tribulation.

      And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven (verse 5).

      We picture ourselves standing with John as he witnesses this vision and we follow his gaze upward where the hand of the angel is directing our view. To get through this season and all seasons, we must keep our eyes upon heaven, on that which is above as we are exhorted by the Apostle Paul. – If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1,2).
      God gives us all things to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17), but our enjoyment of these things must never overshadow the fact that they are all temporal as we are reminded in this next verse. -

      And swore by Him that lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are in it, and the earth, and the things that are in it, and the sea, and the things which are in it, that there should be time no longer: (verse 6).

      We are approaching the end of time as it is recorded on this earth. We cannot deny this reality. The Euphrates River is drying up, a prophetic clue that we are definitely residing in the latter days and we are approaching the fulfillment of the word of God that is being declared to John through this heavenly messenger.
      The angel continues his instructions. –

      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 has declared to His servants the prophets (verse 7).

      The seventh angel is the last of the trumpeters in the Lord’s angelic band of musicians introduced to us in Chapter Eight, that signals the end of the time of warning. He begins to sound, indicating a process of time during which a series of events will transpire upon earth that will bring about the final judgments on mankind.
      The seventh angel sounds in verse fifteen in Chapter Eleven. This occurs after the rapture (11:12) and before the unleashing of the great tribulation in Chapter Fourteen.
      “The mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets.” Those who can hear the voice of the Lord in His written word and prophetically, will understand that there is a coming change in the seasons of mankind and will prepare themselves and the people they have been sent to serve.

      And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, “Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which stands upon the sea and the earth” (verse 8).

      John is being told to receive His instructions and as he is figurative of the church we are also being told to receive what God is telling us in this hour.

      And I went to the angel, and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey” (verse 9).

      John receives the word of God and God’s word is sweet to the taste of those who receive it, but the messages it contains sometimes can be convicting and we react accordingly. John is also receiving a prophetic picture of what is to transpire in the future which contains a great deal of persecution for God’s people. A true servant of God will accept the bitter with the sweet and not turn away from their assignments to reach a lost world with the hope of the Gospel.

     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 (verse 10).

      A characteristic of a true disciple is obedience. Even though John knew the ingestion of that word of God would cause him discomfort, he obeyed and received the instructions contained in the Scriptures. We will be reiterating some elements of verses nine and ten when we enter the visions contained in Revelation’s eleventh chapter.

      And he said to me, “You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (verse 11).

      This shows us that in the period of time from the releasing of the four angels in the Euphrates in Chapter Nine, and the river’s eventual evaporation, the remnant church will experience a time of renewal and refocusing on what is truly important, the spreading of the life giving Gospel of the Messiah Jesus.

     The bride of Christ has received her marching orders for these latter days. In that brief space allotted to her as the rivers of time are drying up to make way for the end of time, the cry of the souls needing release and hope in the storm cause her to be willing to endure all things for the sake of the Gospel. Her communion and intimacy with God is sweet, even though the road she travels will cause her pain. Her eyes are still gazing upward at the angel’s hand directing her view toward heaven. She obediently moves forward into the coming storm, and she never looks back.

Revelation Chapter Eleven

copyright 2013 by H.D. Shively

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