SWEET IN TASTE BUT BITTER IN STOMACH
Leslie M. John
“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” (Revelation 10:1)
This chapter deals with the little book that was open; the cry like that of a roaring lion of “another mighty angel”, which resulted in seven thunders that uttered their voices; the voice from heaven forbidding John from writing details of the utterings that seven thunders produced; the cry that there should no more time for repentance be given; the voice ordering John to take the little book from “another mighty angel” and eat it up; the eating up of the book, which was sweet in taste but bitterin stomach.
Just as Revelation Chapter 7, which was not a continuation of the opening of the seals of the scroll, a group of five chapters viz. 10, 11, 12, 13 was not a continuation of the blowing of the trumpet. Chapter 6 contains the details of the opening of the six seals of the scroll and chapter 8 contains the details of opening of the seventh seal of the scroll. Thus the chapter 7 interposed between chapters 6 and 8 with the details of the sealing of 144,000 descendants from Israel, and the martyrs of “great tribulation” period.
There is similar interposition with a group of five chapters viz. 10 to 14 between chapters 9 and 15 as if to provide us an insight of what was to come in future, such as measuring the temple of God, the two witnesses, and protection of the children of Israel etc. Chapter 15 opens with seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. The seven angels start pouring their vials of judgment upon earth and earth dwellers in chapter 16.
When we consider the power “another mighty angel” wielded, his adornment and his authoritative movements, we cannot think that He was just an angel, but he was another angel, who was of exceptional strength, but of the same kind. The word “another” used here is the translation of the Greek word Strong’s# 243, which is “allos” which means “another of the same kind”. If the word used was a translation of Greek word Strong’s # 2087 “heterous”, which means “another of a different kind”, then there was possibility of interpreting that the angel referred to here was Lord Jesus.
This “another mighty angel” was clothed with cloud; he had a rainbow on his head; his face was as it were the sun, and his feet were as pillars of fire. Much of his description suits to assume that He was Jesus Christ, while the controversial view does not agree that he is Lord Jesus Christ.
The description of Lord Jesus Christ in Chapter 1 was, as the one who comes with clouds, and as the one who had on His head hairs which were like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as flaming fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if they burned in furnace and His voice as the sound of many waters; and every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him (for detailed text please read Revelation 1:7, 14-16)
Lord Jesus Christ was the only one who was found worthy to open the seven seals on the book, which had writing on both the sides. The writing on both the sides of the scroll (book) shows that it was legal document to possess the earth which he has purchased with His blood. Lord Jesus purchased us, not with silver or god, but with His precious blood shed on the cross of Calvary. Originally the earth was the Lord’s when He created it; but when the LORD gave the earth to man he lost the earth to Satan when he transgressed the commandment of God and yielded to Satan. Now that Lord Jesus Christ purchased the earth and man He comes to take possession of them.
When “another mighty angel” came down from heaven, he had in his hand a little book open; and he set his right foot upon the sea and the left foot on the earth. This little book may not be the book which had seven seals on it that the Lamb was opening.
Apostle Paul wrote whole creation groans to be redeemed. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). We are not yet fully redeemed. The earth and the man will be fully redeemed when Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:22-25 ESV)
The voice of the angel referred to in this chapter, was like that of roaring lion; and when he cried with loud voice, seven thunders uttered their voices. When John heard the voices from the seven thunders, he was about to write the details, but was forbidden to write by a voice, which he heard from heaven. The voice emphatically ordered him not to write the details but to seal them up.
The details as to what the seven thunders uttered are not recorded in the Bible, and it is not for us make conjectures as to what they uttered, or what the interpretation of those utterings could have been. There are some views about the voices that the seven thunders uttered, but it is not right to make conjectures. Any view expressed in violation of the command that Bible made is transgression of the command. Inasmuch as the Bible clearly forbade John from revealing them; no one is above the command; and any interpretation thereof, is private interpretation.
The “another mighty angel” stood upon the sea and upon the earth and lifted his hand to heaven and swore by the LORD, who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and everything therein, and the earth and everything therein, and the sea and everything therein, that the creation should not be given any more time to repent. His desire was that the mystery of God should be finished at the blowing of the seventh trumpet, as declared to the prophets.
John again heard, from heaven, the voice which said that he should go and take the little book from the hand of that “another might angel”. John went to the said angel and said to him to give him the little book. The angel gave it to him saying “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey”
“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” (Revelation 10:9)
John took the little book out of the hand of the “another mighty angel” and ate it up. As the angel said, the book was sweet as honey in his mouth but as soon as he ate it his belly was bitter. The contents of the book were not seen, but when John ate it his belly was bitter, indicating that there would be great trials and persecutions.
Many times the word of God seems very pleasant in the beginning, as would promise prosperity on this earth, but as we search deep it shows us the truth, which is bitter. The life on this earth is not a bed of roses for a believer, but full of trials and temptations, and yet the believer find solace in the Lord, who redeems the believer from all the troubles that he/she faces. The “another mighty angel” said to John that he should prophesy again before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings.