Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Announcement of the Angel

"Then the Angel I saw astride sea and land lifted his right hand to Heaven and swore by the One Living Forever and Ever, who created Heaven and everything in it, earth and everything in it, sea and everything in it, that time was up-- that when the seventh Angel blew his trumpet, which he was about to do, the Mystery of God, all the plans he had revealed to his servants, the prophets, would be completed. The voice out of Heaven spoke to me again: 'Go, take the book held open in the hand of the Angel astride sea and earth.' I went up to the Angel and said, 'Give me the little book.' He said, 'Take it, then eat it. It will taste sweet like honey, but turn sour in your stomach.' I took the little book from the Angel's hand and it was sweet honey in my mouth, but when I swallowed, my stomach curdled. Then I was told, 'You must go back and prophesy again over many peoples and nations and languages and kings.' " (Revelation 10:5-11 - The Message)

The angel now makes an important announcement. He begins this with an oath. Some Christians believe that we should never use an oath. However, if an angel of God swears that something is true by using an oath, then it must not be wrong for us either.

Jesus said, “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil.” (Matthew 5:34-37 – New American Standard)

The problem that Jesus was dealing with in this passage was people whose word was not reliable. They used oaths as a way to try to convince people they were telling the truth. But even their oaths were not to be trusted. Jesus is not condemning the use of oaths but the telling of lies.

The entire context of this passage is filled with hyperbole, as Jesus tries to get across his message to his hardhearted listeners. If we take this statement regarding not ever using an oath as a law, then we must go back just a few verses and take Jesus comment about “if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off” (Matthew 5:30a – New American Standard) as a law as well.

The angel states under oath that there shall be delay no longer. The King James says “there should be time no longer.” But delay is the proper meaning. God is finished waiting. His patience and longsuffering is at an end. His wrath is about to fall upon the earth.

John is now instructed to take the little scroll from the angel and eat it. In his mouth, it tastes sweet, but after swallowing it, it is bitter. God's message has a sweet side and a bitter side.

We can be glad that God will bring an end to evil. But this also means horrible judgment for many.

We can rejoice in the grace and mercy of God. But we are sad when we think of those who have rejected Jesus and will experience wrath and destruction.

As we share the truth with people, we need to speak with love and compassion. To us the message is wonderful, but to many, it is difficult and harsh. We should be sensitive but we must show people that they need God, and be firm about Jesus being the only way.