Revelation 10

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 that was open in his hand.

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. Rev. 10:1

In addition to the Little Scroll in the hand of the angel, John also heard the voice of Seven Thunders.

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. 10:2-4

Unlike the Little Scroll, which lay open in the angel’s hand, which meant that its contents were meant to be read and understood, when the Seven Thunders spoke, John was told not to write down what they had said. This meant meant that the words of the Seven Thunders were not yet to be revealed. This is a familiar practice 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 they said will not be made known until we get closer to the time of the end. However, we do know that the events of the Seven Thunders will occur after the events of the of the First Six Trumpets and before the events of the Seventh Trumpet, which will be described in the next chapter. In addition, we can assume that the events of the Seven Thunders will bring more judgments to the Inhabitants of the Earth, as thunder is often associated with judgment.

“Those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 1 Sam. 2:10

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, their are several events that are described as being a mystery. In each case, the mystery involves an event that has been mentioned by the prophets, but how and when it will be fulfilled is unknown. The primary example of this can be seen in the First Coming of Christ, which was proclaimed by the prophets, but whose fulfillment remained a mystery to the people until it was revealed in Christ and made known by the apostles.

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages. Rom. 16:25

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. Eph. 3:4-5

In addition to the mystery of Christ, we read of two other mysteries found in the Scriptures concerning both the Gentiles and the Nation of Israel. In the case of the Gentiles, the mystery involved the various prophecies that spoke of the hope of the Gentiles, including the following prophecy of Isaiah.

This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” Matt. 12:17-21

From passages such as the above we learn that the mystery of the Gentiles concerned their receiving the promise, since the promises of God only extended through the line of Abraham and to his descendants. Since the answer to this question was unknown to God’s people, it remained a mystery, until it was revealed by the Apostle Paul as follows.

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Eph. 3:6

When Paul states that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, he is referring to the inheritance that extended to Abraham’s descendant’s and that was now available to the Gentiles through Christ. In other words, through faith in Christ, the Gentiles could also become children of Abraham and heirs to the promises of eternal life.

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Gal. 3:7-9

According to Paul, he was made of minister of Christ in order to bring to light the mystery of the Gentiles that had been hidden for ages.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things. Eph. 3:7-9

The remaining mystery that will be accomplished in the days leading up to the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet concerns the house of Israel and their future restoration, which was also spoken of by the prophets as exampled in the following verses.

And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Is. 37:31-32

Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 49:22-23

Unlike the mystery of Christ and the mystery of the Gentiles, the mystery of the House of Israel has not yet been accomplished. This is made evident in the following conversation between Christ and His disciples, which took place shortly after His resurrection, where they questioned Him about the timing of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. Acts 1:6-7

From the Lord’s answer, we learn that the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel is a future event that has not yet been fulfilled and whose timing is unknown. The mystery of when the restoration will take place was hinted at by the apostle Paul who tells us that it will not take place until after the fulness of the Gentiles has come in.

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Rom. 11:25

When Paul speaks of the partial hardening that has come upon Israel, it implies that a time will come when this hardening will be removed, which the disciples referred to as the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. When Paul states that this event will not occur until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, it is a reference to a time when the Gentiles will rule over the nations from Jerusalem and the Temple, which we will read about in the next chapter.

To understand what the restoration of Israel will look like, we can look back to the period when king Solomon reigned over Israel; when the wealth of the nations poured into Israel and the people were seemingly faithful to God’s Law. During that time, Israel defeated all of her enemies and the surrounding nations were subject to her. From this description, it is easy to understand why the disciples would be anxious to know when this future restoration would take place, but for now, we are only told that this event will take place before the Seventh Trumpet is sounded and after the rule of the Gentiles has been completed. In later chapters we will be given the exact timing of this event and the role that the 144,000 Thousand from all the Tribes of Israel will play in Israel’s restoration.

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. We will read about these additional judgments in later chapters.

Although we have learned that the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel will take place in the days leading up to the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, we will not place this event in our list of the things that will take place in the Last Days until we are given more information as to exactly where it will fall in the Timeline of Events.

Order of Events of the Last Days

1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
2. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
3. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
4. The Hour of Trial when the Inhabitants of the Earth will be Tested
– A third of the earth is burned up (1st. Trumpet)
– A third of the sea turns to blood (2nd. Trumpet)
– A third of the waters turn bitter (3rd Trumpet)
5. The Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
6. The Great Tribulation when the Full Number of Brothers and Sisters will be Killed
7. 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)
8. The Silence in Heaven (7th. Seal)

Revelation Chapter 9
Revelation Chapter 11

Questions and comments may be sent to: RevelationStudyGuide@gmail.com
Bryan Coray is the author of Keep Watch: The Order of Events of the Last Days, available on Amazon.