1. And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, arrayed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire;
2 and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth;
He stands on both the sea and land because God is sovereign over both. The book is another declaration of God.
3 and he cried with a great voice, as a lion roareth: and when he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.
He spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. When God sends a message, those who hear it can HEAR it.
4 And when the seven I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying, Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
The text here is very important. There are things which John heard which he was not allowed to write; this makes what he did write that much more important- for if God had wanted us to know everything He would tell us. But since there are some things we cannot hear now he wishes us to hear more clearly those things we can hear.
5 And the angel that I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his right hand to heaven,
6 and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created the heaven and the things that are therein, and the earth and the things that are therein, and the sea and the things that are therein, that there shall be delay no longer:
7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then is finished they mystery of God, according to the good tidings which he declared to his servants the prophets.
It is finished. This is what Jesus declared from the cross. When God acts, and brings to completion His actions, they are wondrous to behold.
8. And the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard it again speaking with me, and saying, Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel that standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, saying unto him that he should give me the little book. And he saith unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and when I had eaten it, my belly was made bitter.
11 And they say unto me, Thou must prophesy again over many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.
Preaching is both a sweet and bitter thing. There is nothing sweeter than receiving the word of God and "chewing" on it and allowing it to be "digested" and thereby become a part of us. But with the sweetness is also the bitterness of realizing that what we share with others from the word of God will probably not be accepted. We, sometimes, speak to the wind.
John was to preach, and here he is promised that he will again be allowed the privilege (remembering that as he has this vision he is in exile -- the promise here is that he will be realeased at some time and allowed to preach again).
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