Read verses 1-4
Q: What represents the Word of God in this passage?
A: The “little book” or scroll.
Observation: This is the first of four mentions of God’s Word after the removal of the Church found in Revelation 10-11:
- The testimony of God’s Word by a “strong angel”. (Rev.10)
- The testimony of God’s Word by the “seven peals of thunder”. (Rev. 10)
- The testimony of God’s Word by the Two Witnesses, (Rev.11)
- And finally with the sounding of the 7th Trumpet, the appearance in heaven of the Ark of the Covenant, the strongest biblical representation of God’s Word. (Rev.11)
Point: With the removal of the Church, God’s Word is focused on those left behind and the devastating results it will produce for them. The heavenly events are again replayed in the earthly arena.
Q: What might be important about this angel’s stance?
A: His “right foot on the sea” is an oft-repeated biblical metaphor for all the Gentile nations of the world, and “his left on the land” for the nation Israel. Whatever he does or says will be directed to everyone still on earth at this time.
Q: Why does this sound familiar?
A: Satan, upon being throne down to earth, takes up a similar looking stance when he produces the Antichrist from the sea (Rev. 13:1) and the False Prophet from the land. (Rev. 13:11)
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Point: The actions of Satan in Revelation 13 counterfeit that which is taking place in Revelation 10. It has familiar parallels but the differences in the details betray his agenda.
Q: How might this “little scroll” be related to the larger one introduced in Revelation 5?
A: Most likely this is a subset of all that remains at this point in order to fulfill God’s Word.
Q: Then why is it not sealed?
A: When the 7th and last Seal was broken, it revealed the entire remaining sequence of both the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Bowls. It is open because all that remains is the fulfillment of what the Lamb already unsealed.
Q: What are the major contrasts between the “strong angel” and the “seven peals of thunder”?
- The angel cries out “as when a lion roars”; the seven peals sound like thunder.
- The angel is heard from his earthly stance; the peals of thunder are heard only from heaven.
- The angel’s message will be divulged to us; the peals’ will not.
Q: Why even mention the “seven peals of thunder” if their message is withheld from us?
A: We have never been guaranteed that God has revealed everything, only that which is adequate to act upon by faith on the basis of what is revealed to us in His Word.
Observation: There seems to be a progression in Revelation of the appearance and working of “thunder” [See Revelation 4:5, 6:1, 8:5, 10:4, 11:19, 14:2, 16:18, and 19:6] Thunder is used to describe a message or activity which can only be properly understood by believers and appears to be just a loud and frightening sound to unbelievers.
“Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
Application: We are categorically NOT provided all the information or details of what is to come—we are only given enough to successfully navigate by faith.