The Seven Thunders and the Little Scroll
In the previous chapter, John was shown the judgments of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets, which will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven. Before being shown the events of the Seventh Trumpet, John saw a mighty angel holding a Little Scroll, and he heard the voice of Seven Thunders.
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” Rev. 10:1-4
When John attempted to write down what the Seven Thunders had said, he was told to seal up what he had heard, which meant that the words of the Seven Thunders were not yet to be revealed. This is a familiar theme of the Scriptures where the sealing of a scroll signifies that its contents are not to be understood until a latter time. An example of this can be found in two similar events involving the prophet Daniel, who was told to seal up the visions that he had received and that concerned the distant future.
“The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” Dan. 8:26
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end.” Dan. 12:8-9
As in the case of Daniel, when we read that John was told to seal up the words of the Seven Thunders, it tells us that the revealing of what the Seven Thunders said will not be made known until we get closer to the time of the end.
After instructing John to seal up the words of the Seven Thunders, the angel swore by the creator who lives for ever and ever that in the days leading up to the events of the Seventh Trumpet the mystery of God would be accomplished.
Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! But 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.” Rev. 10:5-7
In the Scriptures, the prophecies concerning the appearing of the Messiah are often described as a mystery that was solved through the appearing of Jesus Christ. In this case, the mystery of God that will be revealed during the time of the Seven Trumpets pertains to the salvation of Israel as described below.
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Rom. 11:25-27
As these passages describe, a time will come when godlessness will be turned away from Jacob (Israel) and all Israel will be saved. This mystery will be accomplished through the true Israel of God, including the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel, and the events known as the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ, which will be described in later chapters.
The Little Scroll
After hearing the voice of the Seven Thunders, John was next given the Little Scroll to eat.
Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” Rev. 10:8-11
When John was given the Little Scroll to eat, the words tasted sweet as honey, reflecting how they were the Word of God, but his stomach turned sour due to the contents of the scroll, which contained a description of the additional judgments that would fall upon the Inhabitants of the Earth.
Order of Events of the Last Days
Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
– 1/3 of earth is burned up in world-wide drought (1st. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of sea turns to blood, Satan’s kingdom defeated (2nd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of waters are poisoned, Satan cast out (3rd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of Israel is struck, the Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
The Great Tribulation
The Wrath of God is Poured Out (6th. Seal)
– The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
– The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
– To be announced (7th. Trumpet)
Silence in Heaven (7th. Seal)