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:
2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 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.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Revelation 10 is connected with the second half of Daniel (chs 7-12). The description of the strong angel of Revelation is identical to the man clothed in linen in Daniel 10. Both raise their right hand to heaven and take an oath (Rev 10:6; Dan 12:7). However, while the man clothed in linen declares a prophecy of time, the mighty angel declares that "there shall be no more delay [in Greek, chronos means 'time'] ." Thus, Revelation 10 points to a time when Daniel's prophecies would be studied and understood (see the "little book" in Rev 10:2).
In the vision, John eats the little book, which is sweet in the mouth and bitter in the stomach. This prophetic experience pointed to the disappointment of the people of God when Jesus did not return in 1844. The chapter closes with the angel telling John that, despite the bitterness experienced, he should continue to prophesy (Rev 10:11). In the same way, despite bitter experience, the servants of God should continue to preach the message of salvation.
It is during the seventh trumpet that the mystery of God (10:7) is to be finished. What is this “mystery of God?” It encompasses the entire Plan of Salvation by the Godhead for saving us and Jesus being received into glory (1 Tim. 3:16). This “mystery of God,” with the Investigative Judgment and the final phase of atonement, will be completed by Jesus during the sounding of the seventh trumpet, ending with the Close of Probation.
Clacir Virmes Jr.
New Testament Teacher
Latin American Adventist Theology Seminary, Brazil
Kenneth Mathews, Jr.
Greeneville, TN. U.S.A.