Revelation 10:1-11 Part 6


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.


I hope your hearts were burning, as mine was, as we heard all that came out of this text last Lord’s Day.  So much of the prophetic Word converges here.

The Lion from the Judah tribe is also the great Shepherd of the sheep; and He is the Strong Right Arm and Right Hand of Yahveh of Hosts; He is the One without Whom nothing was made that was made; He is the Rock upon Whom the creation is attached; He is the pillars of the earth without Whom there would be no foundation.

And He is the One Who has reached His right hand into the heaven and promised IN the One living into the ages, and Who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all things in them.

And the promise was that there would be no more delay; 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.

And since the Lion has roared, and the perfect seven thunders have responded (as prophesied), the “mystery” of Yahveh our God is about to be fully accomplished in the days when the seventh trumpeter is to sound!  So when the seventh and last trumpet sounds, it is the beginning of the days when the mystery is to be fully accomplished!

And the mystery (which John is not allowed to write), has to do with those things in the last days, when Yahveh of Hosts brings His armies out of the fourth world-wide dominion to destroy and decreate His heaven and earth Israel; while, at the same time, the fifth world-wide dominion of Jesus Christ is established over all the mountains of the earth… inclusive of all the Gentile nations.

And although there was horrific suffering in all His Churches, in the course of a mere two hundred and thirty years after His Parousia, the fourth world-wide dominion had been shattered and scattered into dozens of pieces; and the empire was declared Christian.  And all was the “mystery” spoken by Daniel in chapter two while he was in captivity of the first world-wide dominion.

As we proceed now with the verses eight through eleven, John hears the same “voice” Who told him not to write what the seven thunders uttered.  Now He says “go take the scroll opened in the hand of the Messenger Who is standing upon the sea and upon the land”.

As before, it is the same scroll that had previously been opened (all seven seals loosed by the Lamb standing in midst of the throne).  It‘s in the hand of the Lion of Judah Who has exited His den with eyes red as blood and teeth white as milk, and Whose right foot (the pillar) is on the sea, but His left is on the land.

And this is what John writes:


“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.  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 (verse ten).’”


Now.  Before I deal with this verse from the prophetic Scripture, let me just mention to you a peculiar manifestation of idolatry.  I don’t want to spend much time on it, but it appears in the two texts we’ll be dealing with; and is quite prominent in this – the wealthiest nation on earth.  You can be on the lookout for this and maybe be a “corrective” as you witness to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.

And, by the way, there is a book that’s packed away in my library in the garage (I’ll try to find it if anyone wants to read it).  The short title is Idols for Destruction.  I read this book many years ago. The author is Herbert Schlossberg who was a CIA employee and a protégée of Cornelius Van Til and RJ Rushdooney.  It is certainly worth the money should you like to have it.  I highly recommend it.

The book’s content (the reason it was written) deals with Christianity and its confrontation with American society.  The chief errors of our time, he says, stem from attempts to “deify” certain aspects of the creation, such as history, nature, political power and humanity.

The author doesn’t actually say “how” to confront the society, but rather the confrontation that does exist between Christianity and the “religion” of American culture.  It’s the theological “standoff” between the two.

Mr. Schlossberg’s discussion of how America “thinks” of its Christianity (on the one hand) is compared to what Christianity “is” (on the other).

Of the many topics covered in his book (all of which are riveting; and all reaching their fruition here thirty years later) is one which is particularly appropriate for our text at verse ten (and the text in the prophetic Scripture that we’ll read shortly).  And it is America’s long-standing concept of humanitarianism.

In America’s history humanitarianism (or the deification of humanity) has been equated with Christianity.  The nation can’t be Christian and not be humanitarian.  At least that’s what some theologians and politicians have sold to the public.  And it has become a public idol.

So humanitarianism, extracted from the covenant and the Gospel, became Christianity (or at least a vital indicator of the nation’s Christianity).  It is (and has been for a long time) a “value” of American culture that is identified with being Christian.

 Mr. Schlossberg, with rather poignant language, proclaims this an idol of the American culture worthy only of destruction.

Humanitarian sentiments, as they are separated from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are an effort by fallen mankind to place humanity in a prior position.  In other words humanitarianism, as a religious concept and activity of the American culture, is practiced without any knowledge or consideration of God’s covenant and the Gospel.  And therefore it is Darwinian at its base.

As we’ll see from the Scripture, that doesn’t mean that we Christians don’t grieve to the core at human suffering.  And it doesn’t mean that we are without pity and mercy in the face of mankind’s plight! 

But what it does mean is that Christians must view the human condition from the perspective of God’s covenant and the Gospel of God concerning His Son.  We Christians must not see humanity in the prior position; humanity must not be deified; for that, by necessity, makes humanitarianism the definition of Christianity (or, at least, an inescapable doctrinal distinction of American culture, and a connection that has to be made by American culture)!

Now, the prophets themselves struggled with this; they did not at all like what God required them to do.  But only one of them ever rebelled against God’s directives.  That was Jonah.  He ran; and he whined; and he sulked about the unsavory task of preaching to a Gentile city and the repentance that might ensue.

And as you remember, when Jesus was queried by Israel’s lawyers about a sign of His legitimacy, He told them no sign would be given them other than the sign of Jonah. And He left it to them to make the connection if they could.  The “sign” of Jonah was the repentance of the Gentiles!!

But Jonah actually resisted the effort to save a Gentile city from destruction!  But rather than rebelling against humanitarianism, in his case Jonah was daring to contravene the covenantal mystery of God’s salvation of the world!

And what was the “mystery” of God revealed to Daniel, and preached by the apostle Paul to all the Churches in the nations?  And what was the mystery of God withheld from the world and promised here by the Lion of Judah to be fully accomplished at the sounding of the seventh trumpeter?  It was the covenantal inclusion of all the Gentile nations of the world!

It’s obvious from Jesus’ confrontation with Israel’s leadership that the princes, priests, elders and lawyers of Israel were blind to the mystery of God regarding the salvation of man in all the tongues and tribes of the earth - in Christ Jesus the Anointed One of God.  The mystery had been “secreted” from them; that’s the reason our Lord gave to His disciples for His speaking to Israel in parables!

Our text, verses nine and ten, is the fullness of the prophecy of Ezekiel, as an incident in the prophet’s life foreshadows the full accomplishment of that mystery here in the Revelation.  And as I read it for you, please note that Ezekiel didn’t like it at all.  In fact he had an intense human aversion to what he was required to do.  But, you see, that didn’t stop him from doing it, because God had spoken it; and He is prior!  You might say that his “humanitarian” interest in the preservation of Israel and its people, Jerusalem and the temple (although very strong) had to take a secondary position to God’s covenantal requirements.

Ezekiel’s human “recoil” about what Yahveh revealed to him, and his own prophetic participation in it, was suborned to the will of Yahveh God.  His revulsion at what he had to do in prophesying the great suffering that was to take place was made secondary, for the Word of Yahveh is prior to any national or humanitarian interests and sentiments.

I’m going to read from chapter two of Ezekiel, then some of chapter three.  Listen now to two:


1)    He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.’

2)    As He spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I listened to the One who was speaking to me.

3)           He said to me: ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to the rebellious nations who have rebelled against Me.  [Scripture often refers to the twelve tribes as nations] The Israelites and their ancestors have transgressed against Me to this day.

4)    The children are obstinate and hardhearted.  I am sending you to them, and you must say to them: This is what Yahveh God says.

5)    Whether they listen or refuse  (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.

6)    But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions.  Don't be afraid of their words or be discouraged by [the look on] their faces, for they are a rebellious house.

7)    But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse, for they are rebellious.

8)    "And you, son of man, listen to what I tell you: Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.’

9)    So I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and there was a written scroll in it.

10) When He unrolled it before me, it was written on the front and back; lamentation, mourning, and woe were written on it.


So there is a scroll here, just as in our text of the Revelation.  There are only three occasions in all of Scripture where this particular scroll is revealed to the prophets: to Daniel, to Ezekiel and to John.  And the instructions to Ezekiel are identical to the instructions to John.  I’ll review its contents again in a few minutes.

But let’s continue now in chapter three of Ezekiel:


1)    Moreover He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’

2)    So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat the scroll.

3)    And He said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly, fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.’ So I ate, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.

4)    Then He said to me: ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak My words to them.

5)    For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel,

6)    not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you can’t understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you.

7)    But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted.

8)    Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads.

9)    Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.’

10) Moreover He said to me: ‘Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears.

11) And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them: ‘Thus says the Lord GOD’, whether they hear or refuse.”

12) Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous sound (blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!)

13) I heard the sound of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, a great thunderous sound.

14) And the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat (anger) of my spirit; but the hand of Yahveh was strong upon me.


Six hundred years before John was given the scroll to eat, Ezekiel was given the scroll to eat.  And as John would later experience, the scroll was sweet as honey, but it would embitter him, so it was sweet as honey to Ezekiel, and made him bitter.

And it is obvious that it is the scroll which Daniel saw, and which he heard was to be sealed to the end because it was the “mystery” of God only to be loosed in the last days.

And please remember our lengthy studies in the two terms “binding” and “loosing”, for our Lord gave the authority to His apostles – the authority to bind and to loose that which had previously been bound and loosed in the heaven.

John has already seen and heard the loosing of the seven seals of this scroll that was written front and back; a perfect seven loosing of the mystery of God.  The slaughtered Lamb of God with seven horns and seven eyes, also identified as the Lion of Judah, “stood” in midst of the throne of Yahveh of Hosts and loosed the seals one by one.

At the loosing of the first seal, the thunderous voice of one of the cherubim says “come”; and charging forth came the One with the crown and the bow, riding a white horse, overcoming and to overcome.

As the Lamb of God looses the second seal, the second cherub thunders “come”!  And a horseman on a fiery red horse strode out carrying a huge sword, ready to take peace from the land that there be only hostility and strife among all the people of Israel.

Immediately the Lamb in midst of the throne loosed the third seal, and the third cherub thunders the command to “come”.  The horse on which the horseman galloped forth was black; and the horseman had a scale in its hand, indicating the severity of drought and famine in all of the land; that food and wine and water were so scarce that when they were available they were measured out in tiny quantities.

Then the Lamb loosed the fourth seal; and at the command of the fourth cherub bolted out a pale horse.  And the rider was “death”, followed closely by “hades”.  They were given authority to kill by famine, by plague, by sword and by wild animals.

And the Lamb then loosed the fifth seal.  And John heard the prayers for Yahveh’s revenge from those righteous ones whose blood had been shed for their faithfulness.  And he saw them robed in white and told to wait yet a little while until many of their fellow-servants of Yahveh were to shed their blood.

Then John saw the Lamb loose the sixth seal.  And he witnessed the decreation of God’s heaven and earth Israel; the whole thing snapped shut like a scroll and disappeared.

But a multitude from every tribe of the land had been marked and sealed and rescued at the command of Archangel Michael.

Then the Lamb of God loosed the seventh seal.  And there was silence in all of the heaven for “half a time”, after which the victorious Son of God offers, from His Own hand, the imprecatory prayers of all the righteous who had shed their blood.  Then He takes the incense bowl, which He fills with fiery coals from the lake of fire under the throne and pours them out into the land.  Note that both of these actions are mediatorial as the Executor/Mediator of the covenant does His work.

And at the loosing of the seventh and last seal of the scroll the entirety of the mystery is loosed; and the seven messengers begin trumpeting the voice of Yahveh.

The seven “trumpetings” of Israel’s armies against the city of Jericho come to mind, for they now become the seven trumpetings of God’s armies against the city of Jerusalem and all of Israel.

It is the mystery of God that so embittered Ezekiel; and it is the same as that which now embitters John as he receives the scroll.  It is sweet to the taste, for it involves so great salvation, first for the remnant of the twelve tribes of Israel (as promised by Yahveh); and second, for the nations and tribes and tongues of the world as the Kingdom of the Christ is established over all the mountains of the earth.

That IS sweet to the taste – as honey.

But the scroll is bitter for Ezekiel and for John, for it involves the sanctions of the covenant as promised for so long by the Word of Yahveh.  The suffering of their people Israel will be horrendous; and the desolation will be complete.

Just as Ezekiel recoiled in horror at the coming suffering of his own people and the terminal end of the mountain and the temple and the city and the nation, so John blanches and recoils in all his being at what is to be and what he now must prophecy.  It is bitter in the very “seat” of human angst and dread.

Although God views the “heart” as the center of life, exhibiting who and what a man is, the seat of emotional distress in the Scripture is the “belly”.

And as with Ezekiel before him, John’s belly was embittered; for he would “prophesy” the heretofore unthinkable… that which would only occur once in all of God’s history.

For armies of this “beast” that was raised up out of the sea of humanity by the very voice of Yahveh through His fourth cherub at the throne will leave nothing but a wilderness of birds and animals of prey.  Every indication of what was once there will no longer exist.  And the human toll would be unimaginable.

Lastly John writes:


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


Just as Ezekiel, having eaten the scroll, was sent by Yahveh to prophesy, so John having eaten the scroll, was to be sent by Yahveh to prophesy.

And just as Ezekiel, the forerunner of John, was embittered by what was to be of His beloved Israel and God’s people, so John was embittered that the former prophecy through Ezekiel was now to be.  And so great suffering was upon them.  And whatever intense humanitarian sentiments were there had to be subjugated to the will of His King of Kings.

And just as Ezekiel, that forerunner, had a sweet taste in his mouth as to the great mystery of God’s salvation of Israel and the Gentiles, so the apostle John has now tasted what was to be the glorious victory of the Christ over all the nations and tongues and tribes of the earth.

And he was to prophesy once again.  Having been banned and isolated on the isle of Patmos, he would now write The Apocalypse – The Revelation of the mystery.  A mystery secreted from Israel; a mystery withheld from the nations – until the time of the last days.

And the Revelation of the mystery would be sent to all the Churches – the “capstone” of God’s covenant.  And all the Churches of the nations of the earth still have it here two thousand years later as a testament of John the prophet to the Christ.

It is still the Revelation of the mystery.

In the history of God’s revealed Word, there were no Gentile believers… only God’s chosen people – Hebrews.  Not until the coming of the Christ.

But now Gentiles all over the earth, in every tongue and tribe and nation, worship in His Church.  So, as you can see, the mystery of God in Christ Jesus the Lord has, indeed, come to pass – as He said.  And the “fullness” of the Gentiles will come in.

The Kingdom of God from the heaven is His.  Jewish people will be re-incorporated into the covenant – in His body as newborn creations.  The nations of the earth will acknowledge His Kingship.  And the “fifth Kingdom” will never have a competitor.

This is the Gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus.  And without the Revelation of this “mystery”, the preached Gospel is woefully short of the whole work of Jesus Christ.  The people of God desperately need to hear it.

And now there is never a reason to be embittered as Ezekiel was, and as John was; for there is, right now, a reigning King over all the mountains of the earth.  The mystery of God has come to pass.  He is the One Who is prior… not humanity; and He will accomplish the rest of His work as Executor and Mediator of the covenant.

My job, and your job, is worship; faithfulness in obedience; and making disciples who worship and obey in every sphere of His domain.  And His domain includes every sphere of human activity: individuals, families, Church, civil government….  They are ALL under His domain; and no one can stay His Hand, for He is the Strong Right Arm and the Right Hand of Yahveh of Hosts.

So, “as you go, make disciples; baptizing them in the name of Father, Son and Spirit; teaching them to obey all My Commands.  And I will be with you (Immanuel) to the end of the age.”