6 Crucial Facts about God’s Word from Revelation 10

6 Crucial Facts about God’s Word from Revelation 10

The book of Revelation concerns not just the present and future of Christians, but of the entire human race. So, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3). If churches rise or fall according to their convictions about Scripture, so does the well-being of every Christian.

Survey history and you will soon see that the health of the church rises and falls with its convictions about the Bible. When the church knows and believes that the Bible is God’s Word, it grows as strong as Hercules. It becomes a light on the hill, a sheltering tree with wide-spreading branches.

When the church is confused about the Bible, its light grows dim, its branches wither. It becomes more of a danger than a help.

In Revelation 8-9 the first six trumpets sounded. The seventh trumpet will not sound until chapter 11. In Revelation 10 we stop and reflect on something vital: the character of God’s spoken and written revelation.

Revelation 10 reveals to us six facts about God’s word that when known and believed will strengthen and enliven the church:

1. Jesus Christ is the author of God’s Word.

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded.
Revelation 10:1-3

Basically, angelos means “messenger.” Many debate whether or not this particular messenger is Jesus. I argue that he is, but even if you don’t agree we must all see that he manifests undeniably Christ-like attributes.

First, he is wrapped and robed in a cloud, just like the LORD in the Old Testament. Jesus said that he would return like that for final judgment, in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13:

“But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Matthew 26:64

Second, his head is crowned with a rainbow, the sign of the Noahic Covenant of mercy when the LORD pledged never again to destroy the world by flood (Gen. 9:14-16). Revelation has already shown us Jesus—the Lamb who was Slain—on the throne and encircled by the rainbow (4:3).

Third, his face shines like the sun. Revelation 1:16 showed Jesus like this, and on the Mount of Transfiguration Peter, James, and John saw the same: “And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matt. 17:2).

Fourth, his feet (podes can refer either to feet or legs) are like fire. Revelation 1:15 showed Jesus with feet “like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace.” His feet are the solid opposite of the feet of clay of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, which represented ephemeral world empires (Dan. 2:33).

Fifth, he holds a biblaridion, a little scroll or book. (“Bible” comes from biblion, which was in turn derived from the Phoenician city Byblos, well known as the port through which Egyptian papyrus was imported into Palestine.) For now, we note that in Revelation a scroll usually represents God’s decree for history. We will return to this little scroll in a moment.

Sixth, he plants his right foot on the oceans, and his left foot on the land. This is the Creator of heaven and earth, who stands over and transcends his creation. It recalls Jesus striding over the raging waters of the Sea of Galilee like he owned it. Indeed, he created and owns and rules the universe.

Seventh, he gave “a loud voice, like a lion roaring.” This is the invincible voice of the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, who spoke creation into being (Rev. 5:5).

The author of the little scroll, and all of God’s revelation, whether spoken through his prophets of the Old Testament, or his apostles of the New, is Jesus Christ.

“All Scripture is theopneustos”, said Paul (2 Tim. 3:16); theopneustos means “breathed out by God.” Every word and syllable and letter of the Bible comes out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. 

2. God’s Word is Jesus’ powerful voice.

[He] called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write…
Revelation 10:3-4

Here we expand on verses 3-4. Last year the mighty cruise ship MS Queen Elizabeth, 300 metres long and weighing 92,000 tons, docked in Hobart. I happened to be on the wharf at its departure, when it gave a triple blast on its horn. It was like the deep bass rumble of a very large cathedral pipe organ, but quantumly louder, easily the loudest man-made sound I’ve heard, and felt. The blast bounced off Mount Wellington and echoed and resounded around the city for a remarkably long time.

Jesus’ Word is echoed by “seven thunders.”

Again and again the Gospels let us hear the mighty power of Jesus’ voice:

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