The Little Scroll and Seven Thunders

Revelation 10:1-4
The End Times

In my last post, we concluded the exploration of Revelation 9:20-21 dealing with the No Repentance.  In this post, we begin our exploration of Revelation 10 by examining verses 1-4 on the Little Scroll and Seven Thunders.

Next, I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was dressed in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, his legs like columns of fire; 2 and he had a little scroll lying open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and shouted in a voice as loud as the roar of a lion; and when he shouted, seven thunderclaps sounded with voices that spoke. 4 When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up the things the seven thunders said, do not write them down!” ~ Revelation 10:1-4 (CJB)

The tenth chapter of Revelation introduces the reader a new section of this book of prophecy. Five chapters are inserted between the recorded action of the first half of the tribulation and the last half of the tribulation. It is as if the curtain has closed on the first half of this drama. Now events and people and nations are provided with supplementary identification which is necessary for Yochanan to grasp a fuller understanding of this intense vision he is experiencing.

The action appears to occur as if it stopped in time. Yochanan is now on earth, and the narration will move from one event to another, from one person to another, but do not look for chronological order, as Yochanan is receiving random missing pieces of the puzzle which will result in a fuller revelation of a particular portion of the picture.

Chapter Ten is one of the most encouraging, spirit-lifting, mind-settling passages in the Bible. If ever there is a doubt about exactly how world events are going are resolved in the end time, this chapter should settle that uncertainty.

Next, I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was dressed in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, his legs like columns of fire.  Opinion seems to vary as to the identity of this mighty angel. There is no question but that angels differ as to rank, position, responsibility and even power. However, I believe that this mighty angel is Yeshua.

The first hint as to His true identity is found in the statement, dressed in a cloud. In the majority of times that clouds are mentioned in Scripture, they are identified with the presence of God (Exodus 24:15; Psalm 104:3; Acts 1:9; Revelation 1:7, etc.). Regarding the identity of this mighty angel, there is another phrase included in the text that seems to indicate that it is the Lord. That phrase is, with a rainbow over his head. The rainbow unquestionably associated with God. It reminds us of a promise He made not to destroy the world a second time with a flood (Genesis 9:13-17). The rainbow may be included in this verse as a reminder to the reader that the promises of God are true and continue to be in effect. Read again Revelation 4:3 and observe that as the throne of God appears, it is circled about by a rainbow.

In Revelation 10:1 there are two additional revealing statements that help to identify this mighty angel. He is described as; his face was like the sun, his legs like columns of fire. Revelation 1:15-16 relates a similar description of our Lord.

he had a little scroll lying open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land This scroll is similar to the one described in Revelation 5:5 in which Yeshua is found to be the only one worthy to open the scroll. Now, in Revelation 10:2 the book is reported to be open. Yeshua is ready to repossess the whole earth. The picture is of One who is prepared to take charge! He is standing in complete control with His right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.

“… and shouted in a voice as loud as the roar of a lion; and when he shouted, seven thunderclaps sounded with voices that spoke. This special appearance of Yeshua allows Yochanan a preview of how the tribulation period is going to terminate. Yochanan has already viewed the first half of the tribulation, during which judgment upon judgment has fallen upon the earth. Satan’s power and the work of the Antichrist seem to continue to be in charge. Satan continues to demonstrate his tremendous supply of power. Therefore, Yochanan is given a glimpse of the power of Yeshua to settle any doubt as to how this contest between Satan and God will be ultimately resolved.

When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up the things the seven thunders said, do not write them down!”  Here is a part of the Revelation that we are not allowed to see. Somewhat like what the Lord told Daniel (Daniel 12:9). Clarence Larkin writes: [1]

When the “MIGHTY ANGEL” cried with a loud voice, John heard “SEVEN THUNDERS” utter their voices. These “THUNDERS” spoke, for John heard what they said, and as he had been commanded to write what he should see and hear, he proceeded to write what the “voices” of the “SEVEN THUNDERS” uttered, but he was told to “seal up those things which the SEVEN THUNDERS uttered, and write them not.” What they said has never as yet been revealed, but doubtless will be when the time comes to make the revelation.

Stern opines the seven thunders are aspects of divine wrath which God orders concealed and not revealed. Sha’ul mentioned a similar experience at 2 Corinthians 12:3-4 and Daniel did as well in Daniel 12:9. [2]

Special Comparative Note on Chapter 10:1-4 [3]

Historicist Approach:

Historicists believe, although this is the first mention in Revelation, the power of the papacy became incredibly corrupt.  The little scroll is the Bible which before the Reformation was confined to a few inaccessible copies written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  The prophecies of chapters 10 and 11:1-15 are about the Reformation period in the early sixteenth century.

Preterist Approach:

Preterists concur that the mighty angel is Yeshua while disagreeing as to the description of the little scroll. Some see it as the same scroll in chapter five now completely opened and others as a separate prophecy containing the contents of chapters thirteen to nineteen.  The seven thunders are seen as the voice of Adonai as depicted in Psalm 29.

Futurist Approach:

Most Futurists concur that the mighty angel is Yeshua while disagreeing as to the description of the little scroll.  The views range from the written authorization given to an angel to fulfill his mission; a message to the believing church as found in Revelation 11:1-13; or the prophecies in Tanakh relating to the End Times. As to the seven thunders, Ironside offers an interesting explanation that they speak of judgment that Yeshua has already accepted the punishment and we need not know the dreadful secrets of our sins.

Idealist Approach:

 Some Idealists view the mighty angel as Yeshua while others say that the use of another means a special angelic envoy.  They agree with the Preterists as to the seven thunders.

In my next post, we continue to explore Revelation 10We will unpack Revelation 10:5-7 on the issue of No More Delay.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.

[2] Jewish New Testament Commentary by David H. Stern.

[3] Material in this section is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. The notations in parenthesis are my comments.

11 thoughts on “The Little Scroll and Seven Thunders

  1. Pingback: The Little Scroll and Seven Thunders — My Heart is for Israel @dnorris99 | Talmidimblogging

  2. I disagree that the mighty angel is Jesus. Jesus is never called a mighty angel in the Old Testament and especially in Revelation. Jesus is introduced in the Book of Revelation as the Alpha and Omega, Word of God, The Lamb, and God…etc. Jesus is never mentioned as a mighty angel. Angels will have similarities with Jesus, in the sense of reflecting God’s glory, just like Moses reflected God glory on his face. You have angels on the clouds and have the rainbow over his head but the scripture already identifies the big one as a mighty angel but Jesus doesn’t have that title but He has the titles that God the Father has to identify Him as God.

    Anyways, that said, you are doing a great job with Revelation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See my other comment. I’ve always been taught that the angel who met with Abraham to announce Sarah’s coming pregnancy was a pre-incarnation of Yeshua. He was certainly mighty angel when He destroyed Sodom and Gamora.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it was three men and one of them was called the LORD but the other two went to Saddam and Gomorrah which were regular angels.

        Genesis 18:1-2
        1Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth,

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Don, I forgot to add, if you look at Revelation 5:2 it talks about a mighty angel who is talking about a scroll, it could be the same one as in Chapter 10 or not but it would be interesting to check it out. Also, the N.T. never mentions Jesus as an angel but always Lord, son of man, Messiah, rabbi, Lamb of God and so forth.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Spaniardviii,
        Finally had a chance to look at the issue you raised above about the angel in Revelation 5:2. It certainly could be the same. However, he gave it to Yeshua to open the scroll. So, Yeshua either gave it back to him once opened or another angel or He is called the Mighty Angel in 10:1.
        Don

        Like

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