Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000


[“Bitter-sweet Message”]
Key Word: Prophesy
Theme Verse: 7

#253. Chapter ten of the Apocalypse is a respite when John is interrupted in what must be his ferocious work with the copyist’s pen. We see the ancient apostle bent over his parchment as “another strong angel descends in glorious appearance holding a biblaridion,” or small codex, little book or booklet. Later, John is told to eat this piece of honey-like nourishment.

Revelation 10:1-3 – A Little Bible and 7 Thunders

RV10:1 And I saw another strong angel enwrapped in a cloud descending out of the Celestialum.479 There was a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun. [Matthew 17:2] His feet were pillars of fire.
479 Another strong angel enwrapped in a cloud descending out of the Celestialum: Compare this angel with that of Revelation 9:1. The language makes one want to see the Return of Christ and the description of the Angel is similar to Revelation 1:14-16. The fact this Angel has the Little Bible in his hand causes some to think this is The Angel of Malachi 3:1 – Michael the Archangel. This Angel wears a rainbow as a halo. The whole language points to the Glorified Master.
RV10:2 And he had in his hand an opened Little Bible.480 And the angel placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth.
480 An opened Little Bible: It is a form of BIBLION again, BIBLARIDION, and is variously rendered: KJV: little book; KIT: booklet; RHM: little scroll; WEY: small scroll. Perhaps the one of chapter 5, but now opened.
RV10:3 The angel cried out in a great voice as when a lion roars. [Genesis 49:9; Daniel 10:6] And when the angel cried out, 7 thunders spoke481 in their own voices.
481 7 thunders spoke: Curiously the word “thunders” occurs seven times in Exodus 9:23, 28, 29, 33, 34; 19:16; 20:18. Thunders are associated with God’s Voice. [2 Samuel 22:14; Job 37:4]

Revelation 10:4-7 – The Finished Mystery

RV10:4 I was about to write when the 7 thunders spoke. I heard a voice out of the Celestialum, saying: “Seal [Daniel 12:4] the things the 7 thunders spoke and do not write them.”482
482 Do not write them: We imagine John writing ferociously given the things he has seen. He is so engrossed he must come up short here. What would be the purpose here? (Daniel 12:4, 9)
RV10:5 And the angel I saw standing upon the sea and earth raised his right hand to Heaven. [Daniel 12:7] RV10:6 He swore to the One483 [Daniel 12:7] living throughout all future periods of time who created Heaven and the things in Heaven,484 the earth and the things in the earth, the sea and the things in the sea: [Daniel 12:7] “There will be no delay!485
483 He swore to the One: Compare Daniel 12:7.
484 Who created Heaven and the things in Heaven: Compare the source at Exodus 20:11 and Nehemiah 9:6.
485 There will be no delay: Variously translated: ASV: delay no longer; WEY: no further delay; BAS: no more waiting. The 7th trumpet is the “last trumpet” proclaiming the Coming of Christ and the “first resurrection.”
RV10:7 For in the days of the sounding of the Seventh Angel,486 when that Angel is about to trumpet, the Mystery of The God487 is finished!488 [Just] as He declared the Good News to His Slaves the Prophets.”489 [Amos 3:7]
486 The days of the sounding of the Seventh Angel: A period and not just a moment.
487 The Mystery of The God: This phrase is found at Romans 11:25; 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:1, 7; 4:5; 15:51; Ephesians 1:9; 3:3, 4, 5, 9; 5:32; 6:19; Colossians 1:16, 27; 2:2; 4:3; 1 Timothy 3:9, 16; Revelation 1:20.
488 Finished: The 7 Trumpets bring to an end the Mystery of God. The 7 Thunders remain a mystery, however.
489 His Slaves the Prophets: This exact phrase occurs once again at Revelation 11:18. “Slaves” occurs 10 times with regard to the Saints. The word “prophets” occurs 8 times and may be understood to refer to the Christian Saints as prophets. (Revelation 22:6, 9) Compare Amos 3:7.

Revelation 10:8-11 – A Bitter-Sweet Assignment

RV10:8 And the voice I heard out of the Celestialum spoke to me again, saying: “Go and take the opened Little Bible from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and the earth.” RV10:9 And I approached the angel asking him to give me the Little Bible. The angel said to me: “Take and eat the Little Bible.490 It will be sweet as honey to your mouth491 but bitter in your stomach.” [Ezekiel 2:9-3:3]
490 Take and eat the Little Bible: If this be the same formerly sealed Little Bible of Revelation 5:1 – now in the process of being fully opened – John is to devour the actual Book of Revelation. This sets a pattern for the end-time Saints who would logically be very familiar with the Apocalypse. For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000© in Biblical Articles and the subject The Prophetic Horizon.
491 Sweet as honey to your mouth: This is very much like Ezekiel 2:8-3:13. (Jeremiah 15:16) The sweetness is the final victory and salvation. The bitterness is the foretold suffering of the Large Crowd in the Great Oppression. A honeycomb has much the look and color of a codex, that is something book-sized and earthen tan in color.
RV10:10 I took the Little Bible492 from the hand of the angel and when I ate the Little Bible it was bitter in my stomach.
492 Little Bible: Or, booklet. It seems this bittersweet pamphlet or booklet is the following three woes which deal with the great Christian Holocaust, or the same of chapter 5.
RV10:11 And they say493 to me: “It is binding you prophesy again494 to peoples, nations, tongues, and many kings.”
493 They say: It is possible the angel and the Voice out of heaven are included. Since the angel may be the one speaking for Christ [Revelation 1:1]. Note "a voice" Rev 1:10, 12 where it is Christ.
494 It is binding you prophesy again: The word “again” shows a true break here with more prophesying to come after Revelation 11:1. We are still during the Sixth Trumpet and Second Woe. The subject of “many kings” is a theme to come. The word group “king(dom)” is yet to occur three dozen times.

#253. This pause as between acts in a stage play is there for a good reason. The Lamb’s Little Bible with its opened seven seals has covered the prophetic ground from the enthronement of Christ in the First Century, throughout the history of wars, famine, plague and death, including the slaughter of the martyrs, up to that still future moment of the Great Oppression, the celestial darkness, and the outbreak of the Day of Wrath with its four winds of destruction. Now, with this pause, there is a shift in the chronological flow. The Lamb’s Little Bible is going to back track for the next three chapters. The subject of each chapter will be the 144,000-Saints (the Chosen Ones) on earth who are alive at the historical moment of the three and a half years of Great Oppression. Many new elements will be introduced which will figure in the later part of the Lamb’s Small (apocalyptic) Bible, the Apocalypse.

#254. Revelation chapters eleven, twelve, and thirteen will approach the same period with different themes and characters: the Holy City, the Temple, Two Prophets, the Devil, a Celestial Woman, and the wild Sea Beast. The critical period of three and a half ears will be identified in three different ways: 42 months, 1,260 days, or by “time, times, and half a time.” This multiple use confirms a literal figure. There will be much in these three chapters which allude back to various apocalyptic books of the Hebrew Bible: Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. Particularly, you would do well to read Daniel chapter seven again, for much will be drawn from this source.

#255. The Mystery of God will be fulfilled by Revelation 11:15 and the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet which marks the beginning of the third and final “woe.” However, you will note that chapters 12 and 13 rewind to cover this same ground again from new perspectives and with new and valuable information.

#256. This experience of John is very much like Ezekiel’s own. (Ezekiel 2:8-3:13; compare Jeremiah 15:16) Judging from Daniel, who was also a very old man when he received his visions, there is a heightened degree of exhaustion leading to near sickness in these expanded visionary experiences. (Daniel 7:15, 28; 8:27; 10:8) We could expect nothing less of this ancient Elder, the Apostle John.

#257. There are elements in this prophetic pause which can cause a serious Bible student great consternation: the Seven Thunders. John is interrupted as he hears these “thunders” speak but is told not to record what he hears. Down to this day we speculate and wonder what these are. John must wonder many things about what he has seen and heard. What a joy it would have been to have shared his cell and listened to his thoughts on these matters. He is told something very important and right at the heart of the Apocalypse: ‘There will be no more delay495 but in the days of the Seventh Angel’s trumpet the Mystery of God will be finished.’ (Revelation 10:7) John need only wait until the Seventh Trumpet to foresee the ultimate victory of the End-time Saints.
495 NO DELAY. ASV: delay no longer; WEY: no further delay; BAS: no more waiting.

#258. This “mystery” (from the Greek mysterion) of God is a phrase found often in the writings of the Nazarene’s disciples. (Romans 11:25; 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:1, 7; 4:5; 15:51; Ephesians 1:9; 3:3, 4, 5, 9; 5:32; 6:19; Colossians 1:16, 27; 2:2; 4:3; 1 Timothy 3:9, 16; Revelation 1:20) Generally, it refers to “the eternal purpose of God” with regard to Jesus Christ’s redemptive work in connection with his Saints. It is called the “gospel God declared to His slaves the prophets.”496
496 SLAVES THE PROPHETS. This exact Greek expression occurs in the LXX at Amos 3:7. It also occurs once more at 11.18 when the Seventh Trumpet is finished. The word “slaves’ occurs 10 times with regard to the Saints in the Apocalypse. The word “prophets” occurs 8 times and may be understood to always refer to the Christian Saints as prophets. (Revelation 22:6, 9) The “two prophets” of the 11th chapter are paralleled with the “saints” of Revelation 13:5-7, 10.

#259. After John eats the honey-like little book he is told he must do some more prophesying regarding earth’s international peoples as well as kings. The subject of “kings” is to occur nearly two dozen times from Revelation 16:12 to Revelation 22:5 in fulfillment of the angel’s words. Now for the finale of John’s prophesying as we enter what amounts to Part Two of the Apocalypse.497
497 PART TWO. It should be kept in mind we are still in the midst of the Sixth Trumpet and the Second Woe until Revelation 11:14.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved