Bittersweet Rev. 10:1-11
Topic: Sunday Eve. Bible Study Passage: Revelation 10:`–`10:11
Revelation 10:1-11 BitterSweet
1I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; 2and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; 3and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. 4When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.” 5Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, 6and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer, 7but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
8Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
Pope Francis 1st
I've watched curiously along with the rest of the world as the drama of the papacy unfolded.
Some of you are cringing thinking I hope he doesn't say something really awful about the new pope. We have friends and church members that shouldn't be offended. We need to cling to the doctrine of Rodney King and 'all just get along'.
Rest easy. I only want to draw your attention to a quote and an observance the good vicar made within his first 24 hours of papacy that I think will set the tone for where this pope will lead the catholic church, and indeed the world if it would follow.
In his historic first mass as pope, he said; 'He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil."
I agree! In fact you can easily make a good solid scriptural argument that supports that statement.
Then 16 hours into his new job, without telling anyone, according to CBS news; Francis began his first day as pope making an early morning visit in a simple Vatican car to a Roman basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary and prayed before an icon of the Madonna.
I'm going to let you put 2+2 together. You can't expect me to do all the work. OK, that was just a freebie.
Turn with me to Malachi 3 and 4
I'm going to make some people mad tonight. If not mad, at least uncomfortable.
There's a bitter pill in this chapter. So bitter that many many believers try to explain it away. But when you open yourself up to it, it's also sweet.
Let me preface by saying, this group, you faithful 12 - 14 people have been the perfect example of the noble Bereans. If I say something a little controverial from time to time, nobody here gives me any guff. I commend you.
Dennis especially, if we have ever disagreed on half of one percent, patiently lets me dig my own hole to fall into.
Malachi 3:13 - 4:3
I want you to see several things here that are a perfect bridge from trumpet #6 to a rather obscure chapter.
Trumpet #6 is world wide fire storms on a level equivalent to how God judged Sodom and Gomorrah.
Can anyone believe how rapidly the U. S. is adopting the morals of Sodom!
We are completely secular. No moral standards. No sin. No God who punishes sin.
Sodomite marriage is legal and accepted and applauded. Heterosexual marriage is cheapened. Completely optional, and most folks in their 20's are opting out. Why bother.
We live in an age where it's not only useless to serve God, it's politically incorrect, and the secular world thinks anyone with standards based in the law of God is the evil person. Who made you a judge of me?? Judging according to God's law is seen as the greater evil. Flip - Flop. Just like the Bible said. They make evil good, and good evil.
It's the new "McCarthyism". "Do you now, or have you ever said that homosexuality is a sin?" Yes. "Will you then repent of that position?" No. This nation will in that case call you evil. You'll go on a list of haters that has to be monitored. Watched.
Sounds like a parallel to Malachi 3:13 - 15
13“Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14“You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 15‘So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’”
He could be talking to the United States of America in those verses. When did the shift occur? Bill and Hillary held up traditional marriage. When? 2005. Hillary sort of changed her mind. Can't get elected on that "old" God's laws morality platform. 8 years??
Why? It's unprofitable. No value in God's standards. Politicians are jumping off that sinking ship like so many rats!
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another,
Fear. Foreboding of bad things. We're about 5 minutes away from persecution breaking out over this issue. Would you lose your home over this? Your stuff confiscated? Prison?
It'll come down to fear. Who do you fear more?
Some. How many? A few will fear God, and huddle together, maybe with no home to go to, maybe in prison, and they'll pray, and they'll meditate on the name of the Lord.
and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. 17“They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
Verse 18 fascinates me. We live in a time in American evangelicalism when there is no visible distinguishing between the righteous and the wicked.
18So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
When there's a huge price to pay for righteousness, lose your house, go to prison, you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked. Persectution widens that gap. I don't know for sure if we'll see this kind of persecution. Maybe not. But shouldn't we be preparing our hearts . . . in case it does come!?
and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.
Take note. I think this is the book we're going to see if I ever get to chapter 10.
Malachi 4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 3“You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.
This is our bridge to chapter 10. What are those 7 thunders that John couldn't write down because it's too horrible?
We don't think about this passage in Malachi very literally. We gloss over it. What do you think it means. God's gonna mess up their credit rating? The transmissions gonna fall out of one of their cars?
Read through that again. Slower. For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” . . . 3“You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.
1/2 the worlds population is gone at the end of trumpet #6. What happens to the other half??
Isaiah 13:6 - 13
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man’s heart will melt.
8They will be terrified,
Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
They will writhe like a woman in labor,
They will look at one another in astonishment,
Their faces aflame.
9Behold, the day of the LORD is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it.
10For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.
11Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
12I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold
And mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
And the earth will be shaken from its place
At the fury of the LORD of hosts
In the day of His burning anger..
Peter talks about this day; 2Pet3:3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Most interpreters take that verse 7 and put it way at the end of the millenium when God destroys the earth with fire and creates a new heaven and a new earth.
I'm not so sure it isn't talking about events that Malachi and Isaiah warned us of and John was told to not write down.
Revelation 10. Finally. Long introduction, but when you set the stage long, you can breeze through the passage quickly. Maybe.
1 I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven,
Another. Allos. It means different but the same kind as the first 6 trumpet angels. Don't try to interpret this as Jesus. Angels are glorious creatures. Read the description of Lucifer in Ezekiel 28
clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;
That word rainbow is interesting. iris. It describes rays emanating away from a center. Like your eye. Black hole with rays of color emanating out from it. That's why the medievel artists depicted holy ones with those very round iris like circles emanating away from their faces.
2 and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land;
We are MacDonalds here. Mom is a MacDonald, and I can lay some claim.
The crest of the clan Donald says "per mare, per terras". Quite a boast. What does it mean. By sea, by land. The MacDonalds will kick your butt on the sea, or on the land. Bring it!
That's why the angel stepped in the sea, and on the land. Ours was just a mostly empty boast, this angel . . . he isn't messing around. I'm picturing him enormous. One foot firmly in the sea. One foot firmly on the land. This judgement is universal. You can't get away from this.
3 and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. 4 When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”
Seven peals of thunder. What are these? We don't know. A voice from heaven said, Seal these things up. Who was the voice? We don't know that either. Whoever it was, John isn't arguing.
I think we can deduce at least one thing. Since it's a seven in the midst of all the other sevens; Seven seals. Seven trumpets. Seven thunders. Seven bowls. I think in the context, they are certainly judgement.
I'll stick my neck out again and say I think many of the remaining wicked who have survived the first half of the population of the world perishing, will perish here. Billions of people. Burnt up. Isn't that what Malachi said? Did Isaiah not spell this out rather plainly?
The thousand year reign isn't going to start with half the worlds population shaking their fists at God who they hate. I think we have a slaughter here that our minds can't get around. It's too awful to write down. Cruel was the word Isaiah used.
5 Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
Vss 5 and 6. Some have said, I thought oath's were prohibited. They are. Sinful men who can't keep any oath and who can't open their mouth's without lieing, may not make oath's.
That isn't binding on Holy angels. This angel swore by Him who lives forever and ever WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT
This angel has his foot in the sea, and his other foot on land, and his hand held up in the heavens, and the God who spoke those 3 created things into being is who he swears by.
Do you see how devastating Darwins theory is. Think about this now. Where are the roots of secularism? The theory of evolution is right out of the pit of hell. No God. No creation. No absolute truth. No judgement. No right. No wrong. Wheeeeeee do as you please.
What is his oath? that there will be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
Who is the seventh angel here? Well we've seen six angels blow their trumpets. The seventh trumpet incorporates 7 final bowls of wrath, all poured out in rapid fire, and then Jesus appears. This is the angel who holds the 7th trumpet
What is the mystery of God here? We have to sneak peak into the next chapter. Rev. 11: 15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
The authority to reign, on this earth, has become the authority to reign of our Lord and of His Christ: Satan is deposed. Defeated. No longer is this world subject to Satans reign or Satan's authority. It's done!
The book you hold in your hands is about this one event! Jesus! Taking back this world and eliminating all of His enemies.
Luke 19: 11While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.12So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.13“And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’14“But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’15“When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.16“The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’17“And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’18“The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’19“And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’20“Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief;21for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’22“He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?23‘Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’24“Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’25“And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’26“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.27“But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
A nobleman goes to a far country to receive the authority to reign over the country where he came from. Like a governor in Israel going to Rome, to get the authority to reign over an area like Israel.
He has slaves who are expected to invest themselves in His business. He gives them everything they need to accomplish His business while he's away.
A delegation follows him to Rome or wherever and lobbies to NOT have him reign over them because they hate him.
He does in fact receive the authority to reign. When he returns, the common slaves who were faithful with His business receive compensation wildly out of proportion to any reward we would deem normal. Whole cities! They become noblemen instead of slaves, ruling the kingdom with Him!
But the people who hated him and did not want him to rule over them . . . they are found and lined up and slaughtered in His presence.
8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.
Here's where I'll get in trouble. What is the little book, and why is it bitter and sweet.
Judgement is both bitter and sweet. The cleansing of this earth of satan and all the wicked people is bitter and sweet. Billions of people slaughtered and sent to hell is bitter. Why God. Why didn't you find a way to save everybody.
This is hard to teach. This is difficult stuff. Waves and waves of people tormented, slaughtered, and sent to an eternal hell.
How many times have you heard someone say, "I could never worship a God like that!" or "my god would never do that!" This is a bitter pill. Why?
The answer is difficult. It took a long time before this became sweet to me.
Jacob I loved. Esau I hated. Sovereign election. Sovereign choice. Unconditional election. Jacob I loved. Esau I hated.
When Moses was receiving the law up on Mount Sinai, and the people made a golden calf, and God sent Moses back down to deal with it... read through those chapters. Exodus 32, 33, 34. Moses goes back up Mount Sinai and argues with God.
Moses argues for blanket forgiveness, blanket acceptance, blanket salvation, and what does God tell him. I am that I am. I will punish every sin. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.
God is a sovereign King. He chooses who He wills and He rejects and punishes who He wills. His punishment is righteous altogether! Jacob I loved. Esau I hated. Get used to it. In time this becomes sweet.
Before the foundation of the world, God chose you and wrote your name in His little book. It didn't have anything to do with your free will. It had everything to do with a Sovereign King choosing who and what pleased Him to choose.
That's bitter. That's a bitter doctrine to almost everyone who hears it. But for me at least, and perhaps I'll be the only one in the room, for me, that Sovereignty and the Glory of it, has become Oh So Sweet!
I'll make you even queesier. I believe Jesus came to die for the people whose names were written in that book from eternity past, before the foundation of the world. A rescue mission for His elect.
OK, I'm going to quit for now. Sort of. You're probably thinking to yourself, with doctrines like that, I'll just look for the people with the big E on their back, and warn them, and let God sweep the non-elect into hell. No. No. No!
11 And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
You go tell everybody! You go tell everybody!
Footnote: Free will. I believe in free will. I believe every person who goes to hell will be responsible because they rejected God freely. Willfully.