[Rev. 10:1] ¶ Then I saw another powerful angel descending from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun and his legs were like pillars of fire. [Rev. 10:2] He held in his hand a little scroll that was open, and he put his right foot on the sea and his left on the land. [Rev. 10:3] Then he shouted in a loud voice like a lion roaring, and when he shouted, the seven thunders sounded their voices. [Rev. 10:4] When the seven thunders spoke, I was preparing to write, but just then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders spoke and do not write it down.” [Rev. 10:5] Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven [Rev. 10:6] and swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, and the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, “There will be no more delay! [Rev. 10:7] But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God is completed, just as he has proclaimed to his servants the prophets.” [Rev. 10:8] Then the voice I had heard from heaven began to speak to me again, “Go and take the open scroll in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” [Rev. 10:9] So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take the scroll and eat it. It will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” [Rev. 10:10] So I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it, and it did taste as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. [Rev. 10:11] Then they told me: “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”
“Peoples and nations and languages.” The Bible is not like other so-called Holy Books. It is designed to be translated into every language for every people and still make sense. But more than just make sense, it is a God-breathed book designed to be translated into any language. The wonder of God’s Word to mankind is that connects with all people of all languages over every period of time. Words are only a small part of language. The conveying of thoughts and ideas are also major roles of a language. This is done with word pictures (metaphors), humour (often using hyperbole), but especially the real stories of real people. And this is exactly how God has comprised the Bible.
I often think that reading the Bible is like peeling an onion. You become acquainted with the outer layer of its message (what it says) so that you can begin to discover some of the gems that can only be seen once you’ve gone to the trouble of getting familiar with the outer layers first.
As we read the Bible we will very soon read prophecies. This book of Revelation is almost cover-to-cover prophecies.This passage of Revelation reinforces the Bible’s emphatic claim that what the prophets had foretold about “the mystery of God” would soon be fulfilled. The Apostle Paul tells us that God’s plan to unite all people under one New Covenant was the unfolding mystery of God (Eph. 3:9).
Reading Revelation 10:7, the original readers would have had good reason to draw tremendous confidence for remaining steadfast in their faith in Christ and that Christ would fulfil His Word through His prophets to establish a New Covenant people, the Church.
The Bible’s claim to be inspired by God stands or falls on whether its prophecies, which include clear time-frame references, have been fulfilled within their forecasted time-frames. I am convinced that they have and this gives me great confidence to trust the rest of Scripture as the inspired, inerrant Word of God. No matter what your nationality or language, I hope that you too find increased confidence in the Bible as God’s inspired Word for you.