Chapter 10 takes a break from the release of judgments to let us take a breath, and answer the question once again, “What about US?”. Just as the angel showed John after he saw the seal judgments rapidly unfolding that there would be protection as God put His seal on His people, John gets to see what God will be doing in His Church as the terror of the trumpet judgments plays out (and did you notice in chapter 9 that those who had God’s seal could not be harmed? See 9:4).
Where chapter 7 spoke of Protection for God’s people, chapter 10 speaks of Direction given to God’s people, inviting us into a deeper role in this drama.
(verses 1-4) We see a very mighty angel appear with a little scroll. A mystery is spoken, but John is not alowed to record it for us! Isn’t that interesting? Apparently there is some information here that God wants to be kept hidden until the right time. This hearkens us back to the prophecy of Daniel (see Daniel 8:26), where the Lord tells Daniel to “seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future. And, that “distant future” is actually the events of Revelation. Daniel contains a lot of parallel information to Revelation about end times events. Although these books give us quite a bit of detail about what is to come, and provide us basically with Jesus’ end time battle plan, there is some information that will not be revealed until the actual time when these events are happening on the earth!
Verse 7 alludes to this when it says, “In the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.” It tells us that there is yet prophetic information that God will be revealing to His people in the end time drama. Though we have a pretty clear script here, He wants to endue us prophetic insight, so that we partner with Him in power in that Day. We will be required to be fully dependant on the leading of the Holy Spirit and not our own understanding in that day!
Do you know that this is already a reality for some of our brothers and sisters in other nations where persuction for following Christ is rampant? I have read of some of these who have to listen to the Holy Spirit to even know when and where their next church meeting is! For real! And, He tells them, and they show up and have church! To advertise the meeting could cause them to be found by those who would might harm them. We will surely need this kind of revelation and attuning to the Holy Spirit in that Day, when the rage of the Anti-Christ will surely come against those who love Jesus! And, as I mentioned a deeper and more widespread outpouring of the Spirit is already happening all over the globe with increase of spiritual dreams (as Barry shared with us Sunday) and a spirit of prophecy invading the church more and more. It’s the continual fulfillment of Acts 2 and Joel 2, where God promises to pour out His Spirit! Are you pressing in to receive more than you have? I assure you there IS more to be had! We should be continually asking the Lord to “give to (us) the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that (we) would KNOW Him” (Ephesians 3:17).
As the angel declares that the mystery of God would be accomplished (v.7), it’s talking about much more than just having a high level of prophetic insight in that time (though this is needed and important). It’s also referring to Romans 16:25 where Paul talks about the mystery of this amazing thing called salvation that we have and are continually experiencing! The salvation the Jesus purchased is beyond just saving our souls (though that would be great enough). It is the full redemption of mankind into the pure image of God and to his royal status as CO-HEIR with Christ in His Kingdom ,and the full Kingship of the Messiah on earth, which these very judgments will bring about! How glorious it will be!
So, how do we enter into the process of being those who can receive and operate in the prophetic spirit? How do we allow God to continually tranform us into the image of Christ, so that we will made worthy to reign with Him in His Kingdom on earth?
This chapter ends the very answer to that — the very simple, yet many times diffucult key to unlocking the mysteries of Christ: EAT THE SCROLL (verse 9). This is familiar concept if you have read some of the prophets. Look up Jeremiah 15:16 and Ezekiel 2:8-3:3. You’ll see that the Lord commanded these men of God to take His Word and “eat it”. God is inviting us to do the same. Practically what it means is that we give ourselves to devouring the Word of God, ALL of it. This indicates way more than a casual reading now and then, and laisses-faire attitude towards the Bible. We are to take the Word and make it the very thing that nourishes us and forms who we are. Just like the food we eat is processed and becomes the tissues that form our body (as they say, “you are what you eat” :)), we are to take the Word of God (written and Spirit-breathed) and let it mold us, build us, fashion our very being, in such a way that it IS our DNA, the code that controls everything about us.
Notice that he didn’t just have a bite of it. He ate the whole thing! We are to “ingest” ALL of God’s word, not picking out pieces that we don’t like or don’t understand, but take ALL of it! You might say God doesn’t want us to be picky eaters when it comes to the Scriptures :).
So, why does it turn sour in his stomach (verse 10). Well, if you really take ALL of God’s Word and let it define your very being, there are parts that will be unpleasant. It will kill off all of your self-seeking, it will bring death to your favorite sinful habits, and to let it contol every thing about you means that you have to completely give up your “rights”. You are not the boss of you, Jesus is! Don’t you know that’s what it means when we call Him “Lord”?? It means He calls the shots, His Word has final say about everything we are, like it or not! Seems harsh, I know. To your flesh, your pride and your sinful appetites (your “stomach”) it IS harsh. But, He is a Loving Lord. To submit to Him in everything is for our very own good. He has our best interests at heart – He made us! He knows what we were created for, and He knows how life will be the best and most perfect for us! The obvious flip-side to that truth is: usually, we don’t! We are wise to surrender ourselves to His Word, devour it, ALL of it and be completely His. We will never regret it, and it will be our greatest joy!
So, I challenge you the next time you want stand up and defend yourself, your personality and just who you believe you “are” before the Word of God — don’t. Let His Words have final judgment over you. In them you will find true joy and true life. Actually, you would be blessed to do a word study on the “judgments” (best in the New King James version) — here’s a quick list.
Finally, Jesus Himself is called the Word (see John chapter 1)! By giving ourselves to the study and devotion in it, we are really learning to love Him and know Him!!
What is your plan to diligently devour the Word, daily, and to devour it all?
What are you doing to cultivate a prophetic spirit, to receive more of the Holy Spirit, daily, and to hear from Him and depend on His voice??
If you don’t have an answer to those questions . . set some goals and make a plan. You will not grow in these areas on accident, or just by showing up to church on Sunday morning.
Man does not live on bread alone, by by every Word that proceeds from God!