Then an unexpected event occurred. John saw a “mighty angel coming down from heaven” (REV 10:1). This angel had been “made righteous with a man,” which surely referred to Jesus; there shown an aura around his head, and his face looked to be that of God, the Father (REV 10:1), as he stood upon the foundation of the faith which had been laid by ministers.
In one of his hands, held firmly, John sees a little book, opened. When the angel lit upon Earth he walked strong amongst its people, presenting this record as he went, enlightened as to what to do or say by the foundations of his faith’s founding fathers.
Suddenly he cried out loudly and, being from the tribe of Judah, his roar carried significance and the people listened. As he cried out, he declared seven “PROOFS OF WICKEDNESS” which thundered from his mouth as the sound of sonic booms from jet airplanes.
John was just about to write down the proclamations of the evidences of wickedness when he was instructed not to do so (REV 10:4). The reason for this is never disclosed and to make any statements concerning it would be only conjecture, walking more closely to changing the Scriptures than the author of this commentary cares to tread. Such is strictly forbidden in the last chapter of The Revelation as shall be seen later.
However, a close correlation does occur between these seven proofs of wickedness mentioned here and the seven woes Jesus pronounced upon the teachers of the law and the Pharisees when he entered Jerusalem. There he condemned the city’s spiritual leaders for:
- Shutting “the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces”;
- Going to extravagant means to get converts then making “him twice as much a son of hell as you are”;
- Believing the physical temple in Jerusalem was more important than it was;
- Emphasizing tithing in their teaching but neglecting the “more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, faithfulness”;
- Being hypocritical; seeming clean on their outward appearance but actually “full of greed and self-indulgence”;
- Being, “on the outside.. as righteous but on the inside full of hypocrisy and wickedness”;
- Saying how much better they were than their forefathers; yet, while doing so, they testifies against themselves (lied). — (MAT 23:13-31)
Whether or not this same judgement shall soon be passed down to all mankind, or changed, is yet to be seen. But as soon as the judgement was pronounced by Jesus in Jerusalem on that fateful day, the angel with all his might cried out and said,
Then the voice which had been instructing John what to do told him to “Go and take the little book which is open in the strength of the angel which stand amongst the people of the foundations of the faith.”
John went to the mighty angel and said, “Give me the little book.”
When the angel gave him the book he told John to, “Take it and eat it,” that is, John was to read it carefully.
When he did he found that what the angel predicted would happen did, indeed, occur. As he consumed the words of the book he recognized them to be the Word of God; but as he swallowed the words he recognized the judgement contained in them and his stomach slowly became sour as often happens when one becomes worried about something while eating.
Now strikingly similar this view in John’s vision is to the very circumstance in which he was in at the time of the vision. He had just written about one of the most extensive visions a person was to ever have. He had seen things past, present, and future. Things unimaginable to the first century mind and inexplicable by their language. Doing the best he could he had been recording what he had been seeing.
The contents of the book the angel handed John are never divulged. John read it and it read almost as poetry with flowing, poetic language which seemed almost impossible to have come from his pen. But, slowly, he realized that what he was reading was truly God’s words. It showed how the attempts of mankind to govern themselves were continually failing and what the net result would be. Now he was at the point of God’s judgment of man, and the judgement which was being shown John was something less than pleasant.
Tears must have come to John’s eyes and flowed through the folds of his elderly face as he looked toward the angel with the expression on his face as if to say–I’m doing all I know how. But it’s inadequate; it’s insufficient. It’s just facts, it doesn’t show the urgency of getting right with God.
Then, in a comforting voice, the angel consoled John by instructing him, “You must prophesy again about many people, nations, languages, and kings” (REV 10:11).
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