It seems to me that Revelation 10 is about a judgement rolled out against Creation. The angel in this passage stands both on the land and in the sea. The problem with any interpretation of the purpose of the angel is that after his thundering in judgement John is told that he can’t tell us what the thundering was about. The mystery is further emphasized when the angel says that in the days of the seventh trumpet a mystery will be revealed. God’s gospel in Jesus is counted a mystery in the New testament, but I think that this is talking about something more specific. If I had to guess I would say that God announces a complete judgement on creation for the way it has not fulfilled its purpose. This judgement then is both bitter and sweet. Whilst it is destructive it is also redemptive. The reconciliation of the gospel is furthered as those who are faithful to God in the tribulation are led in an exodus like those who followed the original pillars of fire out of Egypt.
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. 2 He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. 4And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”
5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! 7But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”
8Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’[a]” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”
- Describe the angel in this passage?
- What is the angel’s purpose?
- Why is this passage in the Bible?
- What is your opinion of mystery?
- How do you accept plans of God that you can never understand?