Revelation 10:1-11 Part 3


1)    Then I saw going down from the heaven another mighty Messenger having been cloud clothed, the bow above His head, His appearance as the sun, His feet as fiery pillars,

2)    and having the little scroll that had been opened in His hand.  Then He placed His right foot on the sea, but the left on the land,

3)    and uttered a great sound as a roaring lion.  And when He cried out, the seven thunders uttered their own voices.

4)    And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from the heaven saying “withhold the things that the seven thunders uttered.  You may not write them”.

5)    Then the Messenger that I saw having stood upon the sea and upon the land raised His right hand into the heaven

6)    and promised in the One living into the ages of the ages, Who created the heaven and all that’s in it, and the earth and all that’s in it, and the sea and all that’s in it, that there would be no more delay,

7)    but that in the days when the sound of the seventh messenger is to be trumpeted, the mystery of God would be fully accomplished as announced to His Own servants the prophets.

8)    Then the voice that I had heard from the heaven speaks with me again saying, “go take the scroll opened in the hand of the Messenger Who is standing upon the sea and upon the land”.

9)    And I did approach the Messenger, telling Him to give the scroll to me.  Then He says to me, “take and eat it all; it will embitter your belly, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.

10) So I took the scroll from the Messenger’s hand and ate it all; and it was as honey, sweet in my mouth.  But when I ate, it made my belly bitter.

11) Then they tell me “it is again necessary for you to prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.


As John writes to the Churches, it would have been clear to them that the mighty Messenger going down from the heaven, having the opened scroll in His hand, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, in an appearance as Archangel.

He is the only one in all of Scripture said to “wear” the glory cloud, which is the host of the heaven.  And He is the only one in Scripture Whose face is said to shine as the sun in all its power.  And He has the bow – the radiance of His glory – above His head. 

And then the Churches would have immediately recognized the little scroll in the mighty Messenger’s hand, the one having previously been opened by the Lamb of God standing in midst of the throne.  And they would have known that this is the scroll revealed to Daniel (written in his prophecy) that was sealed unto the end (the end of the age).  And obviously they would also have known, since the seals were loosed by the Lamb, that the time (the end of the age) was near.  All things sealed in the scroll were now loosed and, according to Jesus in chapter one, were to take place quickly.

And (as recorded by John in verse two) the mighty Messenger is seen going down from the heaven, clothed with the glory cloud, His face shining as the sun and the bow over His head, His feet as fiery pillars.


“And He placed His right foot on the sea but His left foot on the land, and uttered a great sound as a roaring lion.”


That’s what we see in our text here in Revelation ten.  Newly crowned, Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ comes (Parousia) clothed with the glory cloud of the heaven, His feet as fiery pillars, and ready to convene the nations and differentiate between the sheep and the goats.  He places one fiery pillar upon the sea (the nations).  It’s His right foot.  And He places the second fiery pillar upon the land (Israel).  And that’s His left foot.

And the ones on His left are “different” from the ones on His right… the sheep of His flock.  The ones on His left are the ones who have pushed and shouldered and butted the sheep, and they have scattered them into the nations (the sea of humanity).  And now all the sheep are re-located in all the nations of the vast Roman empire; and what’s left in “the land” is His flock of goats!

And they’re all going to be thrown into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his minions, in this generation!  That’s what Jesus said to His disciples while sitting on the Mount of Olives before His crucifixion.  In answering their request for information about His Parousia and consummation of the age, in the parable about the sheep and the goats (right out of Isaiah fifty eight and Ezekiel thirty four), he separates out the goats for just condemnation because of their gross maltreatment of His brothers.  His sheep, at His Parousia and consummation of the age, will be called His brothers!

And you recall, after His having risen up out of death the third day, at the tomb, He then called His disciples brothers for the first time!  Theretofore they were disciples; after the resurrection they were His brothers!

This is important, now.  Three days before, on the Mount of Olives, in the parable of the sheep and the goats, He had used the word “brothers” to identify His flock of sheep at His Parousia.  And now, three days hence (at the time of His resurrection), He calls His disciples brothers for the first time!

Elect from eternity and secure in the covenant; but at the resurrection of the Christ the status of the sheep has changed.  They are now perceived by Him as His brothers in the resurrection.  In Him – in His suffering and crucifixion and burial and resurrection – all of the sheep of His flock are “related” to the second Adam.  They are now IN HIM by heritage.  And hereafter they are called “sons of God” in Christ.  They are “adoptees” by means of their resurrection in Christ’s resurrection!  (We’ll say some more about that in a little bit as we prepare for the table.)

But forty days hence He would ascend to the Right of Glory, all His sheep In Him; and ten days later (the fiftieth day after His crucifixion) came the Holy Spirit baptism of His Church, which was the beginning of the Church in all the Gentile nations.

And forty years after His resurrection and the baptism of the Church, every nation, tribe and tongue in the Roman empire was occupied by our Lord’s Church just as He had prophesied.  And the original three thousand of His sheep (from Pentecost), having been previously scattered into the nations, would be joined by those who would be scattered before His Parousia and consummation of the age.

These are His “brothers”, you see… no longer related to Adam through Esau the “he-goat”; but now the brothers of Jesus through Jacob the elect and his twelve sons – the hundred and forty four thousand.

So there is a clear distinction here being made by our Lord, isn’t there?  And that distinction is asserted by the Christ in the most emphatic way as He utters “a great sound as a roaring lion”.

I’m not into painting word pictures, so I’ll just let you “hear” that great sound for yourselves as the apostle writes it.  What I am into though is the prophetic Word.  What our Lord does here is by no means incongruous, even if some in their insane imaginations have made it seem so. 

The great sound of the Executor of the Covenant shakes the heaven and the earth; it breaks the cedars; it cleaves the mountains, and it brings dread to the creatures of creation.  For the exalted, awesome Lion of Judah makes His Presence known in the cosmos.  His brothers are “convened”, or “synagogued” in the nations, having been marked and sealed and rescued from the wrath to come.

And now that which He Himself has spoken through His prophets is near as He fills up His Own prophetic Word.

And the first indication of what is to come regarding the Lion of Judah is when Jacob (Israel) calls his twelve sons together to tell them what is to become of them in the last days.

Here it is (small portion of it) from Genesis chapter forty-nine:


1)    And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the latter days.

2)    Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

3)    Reuben, you are my first-born, my might, and the beginning of my strength; the pre-eminence of dignity, and the pre-eminence of power.

4)    Boiling over as water, you shall not have the pre-eminence; Because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it: he went up to my couch.

5)    Simeon and Levi are brethren; their swords are weapons of violence.

6)    O my soul, come not into their secret council; unto their assembly, my honor, be not united; for in their anger they kill men, And in their self-will they hamstring oxen.

7)    Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

8)    Judah, you shall your brethren praise: your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall bow down before you.

9)    Judah is a young lion; you return, my son, from the kill: he crouches, he crouches as a lion and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?

10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah or the ruler's staff from between his feet until He Whose right it is comes: and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him.

11) Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; He has washed his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes:

12) His eyes shall be darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.


As has been the case, we don’t divert our attention from the text of the Revelation to do lengthy exegetical work in the prophetic Scripture.  So, suffice it to say that Jacob, the elect son of God and son of Isaac, prophesies the “coming One” in language – much of which we’re already familiar with – language appearing in the rest of the prophetic Word of God, and language in the Gospels!

Also it is the language of God with reference to the Lion of Judah.  He is crouched and ready to pounce; His garments are red from treading the winepress of the wrath of God; and it is His Right to own the staff of rulership, which will always be His!

Out of the numbers of references and allusions to the Lion throughout the Scripture (including one of the faces of the four cherubim in the heaven), there are four of particular note that you need to hear. 

The first is from Ezekiel chapter forty-one, at which point Ezekiel has completed his prophecy of the crushing and desolation of Israel (and the temple in Jerusalem) because of its sin against God; and now he is shown the new temple in all its perfections.  Here is a very short portion of that:


“… and on all the walls all around, inside and outside, was a measured pattern.

18) It was carved of cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Every cherub had two faces:

19) a human face toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side. They were carved on the whole temple all around.

20) From the floor to above the door, cherubim and palm trees were carved; similarly the wall of the nave.”


Although I’ve yet to come to any conclusions with regard to the sculpturing in the new temple of Holy Spirit – the Body of Christ, it is nonetheless so far beyond the use of English superlatives to describe how intriguing it is that the face of the man and the face of the lion adorn its walls inside and out!

But I’ll leave that for now and go to the second of these primary texts having to do with the Lion of Judah.  It’s found in the fifth chapter of Hosea, and it’s one of two completely different responses, or reactions, to the roar of the Lion of Judah.  Listen to it:


10) The princes of Judah have become like those who move the landmark; upon them I will pour out my wrath like water

11) Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, because he was determined to go after filth.

12) But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah.

13) When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to the great king.  But he is not able to cure you or heal your wound.

14) For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.


That’s one response to the Lion of Judah; and here’s the other response, also from Hosea… this one in chapter eleven:


10) They shall go after Yahveh; he will roar like a lion; and when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;

11) they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt; and like doves from the land of Assyria….


So, from the prophetic Word of God there is, even within it, a filling up of the prophecy of Jacob regarding His son Judah.  And when our Lord separates and makes distinctions within His Own flock, with the right pillar on the sea and the left on the land, the Lion of Judah roars; and there are two separate and distinct reactions to the Lion of Judah.

One is defiance and rebellion to the very end.  And the other is a trembling, fearful obedience as the Lord’s people are convened in the nations in His new temple.  And all through that new temple is sculptured the face of a man and the face of a lion.

The last of the four primary passages of the prophetic Word having to do with the roar of the Lion of Judah is found in the prophecy of Amos, chapter three.  Listen once more:


1)    Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people   of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:

2)    "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

3)    "Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?

4)    Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey?  Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing?

5)    Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it?  Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing?

6)    Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid?  Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?

7)    "For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

8)    The lion has roared; who will not fear?


The Lion of Judah, His eyes red as wine; His teeth white as milk, lies crouched and ready to pounce.  But first He separates out His sheep from the flock – the ones that have been pushed and shouldered and butted by the he-goats.

And John sees Him coming down from the heaven, clothed in the glory cloud, His appearance as the sun, the bow above His head, and His feet as fiery pillars.

And He places His right foot on the sea (the nations in which His separated-out flock are convened), and His left on the land (where now only the he-goats remain).  And He utters the great roar of the Lion… all prophesied as we’ve read.

His sheep will come – trembling in fear; and His ever-defiant goats will become the prey.  And then, as Isaiah prophesies, in the new Israel and the new Jerusalem the lion and other predators will be of no harm to the sheep.  They will lie down together, and the sheep will have no fear of becoming prey ever again.

Now, that should cause you to re-think everything you’ve ever been taught about the Shepherd and His sheep, and everything your mind has conceived about it; for every allusion to the Shepherd and His sheep is irrevocably connected to the Lion of Judah.

Before we exit the text of the Revelation in order to turn our attention to the table, listen to the majestic and imperial Psalm twenty-nine (one of my favorites).  It will introduce the second half of verse three for us (the sounds of the thunders of Yahveh), which we’ll hear next Lord’s Day:


1)    Ascribe to Yahveh, all you sons of the mighty, ascribe to Yahveh glory and strength.

2)    Ascribe to Yahveh the glory due his name; worship Yahveh in the splendor of holiness.

3)    The voice of Yahveh is on the waters; the God of glory thunders, Yahveh over many waters.

4)    The voice of Yahveh with power; the voice of Yahveh with majesty.

5)    The voice of Yahveh breaks cedars; Yahveh breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

6)    He makes them to skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7)    The voice of Yahveh flashes forth flames of fire.

8)    The voice of Yahveh shakes the wilderness; Yahveh shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9)    The voice of Yahveh makes the deer to calve and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

10) Yahveh has sat on the deluge; Yahveh sits enthroned as king forever.

11) Yahveh gives strength to his people!  Yahveh blesses his people with peace!



And now, lastly, as we come to the table that our Lord instituted on the night in which he was delivered up, there are a few things that I would like for you to remember.

First, as we think about all the things we’ve learned in the Revelation about the Rock to which the cosmos is attached and the pillars of the earth; the River of Living Water that flows from that Rock unto all the nations of the world; the marked and sealed and rescued elect of the Father now scattered into the nations of the earth, all brothers of the great Shepherd of the sheep – The Lion of Judah; it ought to be with great joy that our Lord has joined together, convened with these, many people from all nations in His new humanity – in His new temple, in His new Jerusalem, in His new Israel.

By His grace and mercy Gentiles everywhere have received His salvation and have been “synagogued” – “churched” – with His original flock.  And we’re no longer members of that fallen humanity from which we’ve been so freely rebirthed.

Secondly, our Lord’s instruction to His apostles was that, as the Gospel of Christ’s salvation was preached to those in the nations, they were to baptize them (including their children).  Place the “mark of Christ” on them (the same one with which His original flock was marked).  It is the mark of God on our bodies – the outpouring of His Spirit on the nations at Pentecost.  It is the River of Living Water which, if you drink, you shall never die.  Baptize them.  And, then, teach them to obey.  He is King of the nations; they are to receive His mark.  And they are to be taught to obey their King.  By the “mark”; and by their obedience, they are identified.

Thirdly, there is a “unity” in this new humanity… a unity among us and with those of His original flock.  And Jesus said that all who belong to Him are “in Him”, and He in them, and we in God (John chapter seventeen).  It is a brotherhood in Christ.  We are “His body”.  We are no longer the “body” of Adam.  We no longer belong to the race of Adam….  We are the body of Christ the Savior of humanity – His brothers.  And all who bear His “mark” have access to His table, where we “remember” Him and the whole number of His new Israel; and we all together receive “nourishment” in His body!

At the same time, the apostle Paul put some “stipulations” on that access.  Although all of us who are baptized are members of His covenant of salvation (which includes all of our children), the letter to the Church at Corinth chastises the Church for its sacramental practices.  Members who have more don’t separate themselves from those who have less; members of one race (Jewish members, for example) don’t separate themselves from others races (Gentiles, for example); and vice-versa!  There are no races in the body of Christ!

And you don’t come to His table in a party spirit either….  Paul said that if you’re hungry, eat at home!  This is a solemn event!  This is to feast on the nourishment of His body together… not to fill your own!

And also, even if you’re a baptized member of His covenant, you’re expected to examine yourselves (and your children).  If you’re out of accord with your brother; or if you’re in rebellion against His Commandments, then you need to get it straight before you come!  And that requires self-examination, confession and repentance.  Otherwise you may be eating and drinking judgment unto yourself.  That’s why we in this Church don’t offer the bread and the wine to those who aren’t baptized and those who aren’t current members of a Trinitarian Church.

And, lastly, this is a joyous event to be celebrated.  There is not only to be self-examination and repentance, and restrained eating and drinking, and remembering our Lord and His whole Church; but there is also to be thankfulness, gladness and comfort in our having been included in His flock… and received in His body as brothers.

In the sacrament itself, which is the sign and seal of the new covenant, we must be elated that we were in Him in His birth; we were in Him in His humiliation, death and burial; we were in Him in His resurrection.  And now we are in Him at His Seat in the throne-room in the heaven.

Because what HE did – not what we did – we are washed in His blood, and we are nourished in His body.  And it is all given to us freely.  And we are a family of descendants, a body of brothers promised to Abraham which are as innumerable as the stars in the cosmos and the grains of sand on the seashore.

We are sons of God and brothers in Christ, along with the thousands of the sons of Jacob scattered in the nations.  And we are the brothers of all of those persecuted and killed during the first hundred and seventy years of Christ’s Church under the Roman empire.

And we are brothers with all who have been persecuted and killed under the butchery of idolatrous religions such as Islam… and those under defiant nations wishing to rule the world.

But there is One King Who is sovereign Ruler of the nations… the One having all authority in the heavens and on the earth.  And He is the great Shepherd of the sheep and the Lion of Judah.

We remember Him and all He has done; and we remember all who belong to Him – His brothers – with whom we convene and commune.