Revelation #18 Revelation 10: 1-11End Times Sweet and Sour Scroll
Revelation #18 Sweet and Sour Scroll
sixth trumpet is sounded and a demonic calvary is loosed upon the earth. We can get caught up in looking for material
explanations of this 200,000,000 horde, so let’s understand it as it is meant
to be understood, the horde is a spiritual attack. But it is not a spiritual
attack on God’s people, it's against the unrepentant.
Thessalonians 2:7-8 (NIV)
secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now holds it
back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the
lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the
breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
who restrains is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who is pouring the prevenient
grace of God upon humanity slowly is withdrawing the empowerment for people to
grace empowers ethical behavior, even before a person bends their knee to the
Lordship of Jesus. This grace manifests
in a general sense of conscience, a common sense of right and wrong, an aversion
to blatant evil, and an inclination towards kindness and helpfulness. Prevenient
grace encourages respect for the rule of law, empathy, and cooperation that
contributes to a stable, peaceful, and prosperous culture. As this grace lessens
the evil that people do increases. Evil
unrestrained creates a hell on earth through rampant selfishness, cruelty, and
conflict. What we see in the demonic calvary is the spiritual power for people
to do what they want, when they want, to whom they want. As prevenient grace is
withdrawn the foundations of civil morality weaken and erode. When the
foundation is compromised civilization falls.
9 ends with the 6th trumpet sounding and despite the disasters that
befall humanity there is the stubborn refusal to bend the knee to God. People refuse to change.
Revelation 9:21 (MSG)
“They plunged right on in their murderous,
occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.”
the 6th Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls there is a pause in the
action. John’s attention focuses on the
Church. Let’s see what Chapter 10 reveals.
another powerful Angel coming down out of Heaven wrapped in a cloud. There was
a rainbow over his head, his face was sun-radiant, his legs pillars of fire. He
had a small book open in his hand. He placed his right foot on the sea and his
left foot on land, then called out thunderously, a lion roar. When he called
out, the Seven Thunders called back. When the Seven Thunders spoke, I started
to write it all down, but a voice out of Heaven stopped me, saying, "Seal
with silence the Seven Thunders; don't write a word."
powerful angel reflects the presence of God and the Lamb. Psalm 104:3 describes clouds as the chariots
of God. We’ve seen a rainbow in the
Throne room of God, part of God’s glory (Ezekiel 1:28). The angel’s face “sun brilliant” calls to the
remembrance of the transfiguration of Jesus when his face shone as the sun
(Matthew 17:2). The legs as a pillar of
fire describe retro rockets as the spacecraft returns to earth. Ok, maybe not. More likely the legs being pillars represent
the immovable nature of God’s rule and that the pillars are fiery can be
understood as a sign of the angel bringing a time of purification to the earth.
A foot on the land and a foot on the sea symbolizes all of earthly
creation. God’s sovereignty is as solid
on the sea as it is on the land. A lion
roar in the Old Testament was used to describe the voice of God (Joel 3:16,
Hosea 11:10, Amos 3:8). A speculative assumption is that this being is an
archangel who embodies God’s power and authority.
message of the powerful angel is that when the last trumpet sounds, God’s plans
for humanity will be complete. Time is running out for those who have refused
to bend their knee to Jesus. The angel
warns that the time of God’s grace is about to end.
the Angel I saw astride sea and land lifted his right hand to Heaven and swore
by the One Living Forever and Ever, who created Heaven and everything in it,
earth and everything in it, sea and everything in it, that time was up—that
when the seventh Angel blew his trumpet, which he was about to do, the Mystery
of God, all the plans he had revealed to his servants, the prophets, would be
Mystery of God is God’s plan for redeeming humanity.
our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to make you strong, exactly as
preached in Jesus Christ, precisely as revealed in the mystery kept secret for
so long but now an open book through the prophetic Scriptures. All the nations
of the world can now know the truth and be brought into obedient belief,
carrying out the orders of God, who got all this started, down to the very last
plan will be made clear to everyone. The
invitation to enter into a right relationship with God will be offered one last
time. Then God’s judgment will come.
Judgment will purge everything that disrupts fellowship with God, including
pain, oppression, suffering, and death (Ladd, p. 146).
voice out of Heaven spoke to me again: "Go, take the book held open in the
hand of the Angel astride sea and earth."I went up to the Angel and said,
"Give me the little book." He said, "Take it, then eat it. It
will taste sweet like honey, but turn sour in your stomach." I took the
little book from the Angel's hand and it was sweet honey in my mouth, but when
I swallowed, my stomach curdled.
little book or scroll that is open in the hand of the Angel sends us to the
book of Ezekiel in search of understanding. In Ezekiel chapter 2, God sends His
prophet to a stubborn and rebellious people.
God reveals that living among such a people is like stepping on thorns
or finding scorpions in your bed, they are going to say all manner of evil
against you. God then gives His prophet a book or a scroll with lamentations,
mourning, and doom written on both sides. In Ezekiel chapter 3, the prophet
eats the book. In other words, the
message becomes a part of who he is, the message resides within. He’s not going to speak the message with a
teleprompter, the message will come from the heart.
ingesting the prophetic message John gets a stomach ache, it is sweet on the
lips but bitter in the stomach. Between
the 6th and 7th events, we see what is happening in the
Church. That the message is sweet, means
that the salvation of God is about to be realized for believers. That the message is bitter means until that
time persecution, suffering, and martyrdom will continue (Ladd, p.147).
only the sweet message is preached. The
good news of the gospel, of forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with God,
empowerment to live life to the full, and of life eternal, that’s sweet to the
ears. Seldom do we hear the message of judgment that comes when one rejects the
good news. Both the sweet and the bitter,
grace and judgment, are part of the gospel.
Both privilege and responsibility, reward, and work, are part of the
gospel. This “accept Jesus, be saved,”
and then go on living the way you have been gospel, is a demonic lie. If there is no change in your life there is
no Christ in your life.
little book opened is sweet because it reveals that the consummation of the
kingdom is near, the next thing. But the
message is also bitter because of the trauma coming to the world, and
especially the violence that is coming to believers at the hands of the world.
10: 11 (MSG)
was told, "You must go back and prophesy again over many peoples and
nations and languages and kings."
having internalized the gospel must now go and preach it. This command is also our mission, to go and
preach the good news with its grace and with its judgment. That’s the task of a
believer, the mission of an ambassador of God, go and make disciples, baptize,
teaching, that is what Jesus told his followers to do.
the rough times, the intense times, the catastrophic times that individuals are
more willing to listen to the testimony of those who have bent their knees to
the Lordship of Christ. When things are going well, no one changes anything. If
you know of someone going through a life storm, listen to them. Let them tell
you about the difficulty they are dealing with. Listening is a very powerful
form of evangelism. Listen, and then ask
if you can pray for them if they say yes, do it right there on the spot. Offer
up a simple prayer of intercession that God would intervene favorably in their
you have noticed that so far, these so-called judgments of God, the traumas are
not so much God punishing humanity, rather the calamities that befall are a
result of God withdrawing grace and letting people do what they want. Humanity
is reaping what it has sown (Galatians 6:7-9). These are self-inflicted wounds
as humans act out of egoism.
11 continues with John’s vision concerning the church and concludes with the
sounding of the 7th trumpet and that’s where we will pick up next
open book in the hand of the angel contains the destiny of the church. Christ's followers live in anticipation of
the 7th event which will bring God’s plan to fruition. Full and complete redemption is drawing near.
We have learned that until that time disciples of Jesus will continue to be
persecuted. The protection Jesus
promised is the empowerment not only to endure but also not to fall victim to the
cultural corruption of the God rejectors.
is forearmed. Use today to prepare for
tomorrow. Draw closer to God. Form a firm foundation of fellowship. Those
who bend the knee to Jesus need one another.
The believer’s task in these end times is to evangelize. You have the privilege of giving God’s
invitation for redemption to the people in your world who are headed to a
Christless eternity. Don’t surrender your testimony to fear of rejection or
worse. Staying faithful secures your place among the redeemed.