REVELATION CHAPTER TEN
THE LITTLE SCROLL
In Chapter 9 John finished the account of the first six trumpets and we would expect the 7th trumpet to follow. Instead, an interruption in the consecutive flow arises and a Strong Angel comes down from heaven and informs John that he is, once again, being commissioned to prophesy. In other words, John is to “fill in some of the blanks” and give us considerable more detail regarding Daniel’s 70th week that has not previously been revealed. John will conclude this interruption in Rev 11:14-19 when he resumes with the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
John begins his new prophecies with the account of the “Little Scroll” which is in the Strong Angel’s hand. In previous chapters, we learned that the “Big Scroll” encompassed the 7 Seals and the 7 Trumpet Judgments. While we are not specifically told what this “Little Scroll” represents, we can make inferences from the context and determine that it has to do with judgment and other events associated with Daniel’s 70th week. Specifically, this “Little Scroll” is the very book that Daniel was told to seal up until the end. See Dan 12:4, 9. Daniel’s prophecy contained information that was not to be openly revealed until the end-times. John is now revealing that very information as he prophesies and expands on the many new details of the end-times. Beginning with this chapter and through the remainder of the Book of Revelation many “revelations” are openly uncovered for the first time; e.g. the future rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, the Two Witnesses, Antichrist’s rise to power and his persecution of the Church, the False Prophet, the Mark of the Beast (666), the Seven Bowl judgments, Antichrist’s end-times empire and Mystery Babylon.
It could be that the “Little Scroll” is so named not because the judgment it holds is any less severe than that found in the “Big Scroll,” but because the 7 Bowl Judgments will be poured out in a very short 30-day time period. Interestingly, in the book of Daniel, there is a curious addition of days to Daniel’s 70th week. The first addition is 30-day time period which will follow the close Daniel’s 70th week.
Daniel 12:11 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up there will be 1,290 days.
We know from multiple scriptures that the second half of Daniel’s 70th week is exactly 3 ½ years, or 42 months, or 1260 days. See Rev 11:3, Rev, 12:14, Dan 7:25. The second half of the week begins at the very point Antichrist abolishes the daily sacrifice and proclaims himself God in the temple. (See Dan. 9:27) However, the prophet Daniel indicates that there will be an extension of 30 days; (Compare 1290 with 1260). How do we explain the variance of the additional 30 days? Apparently, the 30 days will extend beyond the end of Daniel’s 70th week allowing for the 7 Bowl judgments of God’s undiluted wrath as He reclaim his rightful rule over the Earth. (See Rev. 16)
Another key event is revealed in John’s new prophecies in Ch. 10 as Daniel’s 70th week comes to a close: The mystery of God is completed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE “LITTLE SCROLL”
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. (Three angelic beings are identified as mighty or "strong angels" in the Book of Revelation. See Rev 5:2, 10:1, 18:21. In the Book of Daniel Michael is identified as a strong angel. See Dan 10:21. He is also identified as an archangel. See 1 Thes 4:16, Jude 1:9) 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. (The heavenly glory of this dazzling, shining angel is revealed and it’s awe inspiring. He looks a lot like the mighty angel of Daniel 10:6, which was probably Gabriel, sent down to earth from heaven to reveal end-times prophecies to Daniel the prophet. See Dan 8:16) 2 He (The strong angel) was holding a little scroll (Recall the first strong angel of Rev 5:2 asking "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the (Large) scroll?"), which lay open in his hand. (In chapter five, the large scroll is in God’s hand and it is sealed. In chapter 10, this strong angel has the little scroll in his hand and it is opened. Remember, only Jesus Himself had the power to open the Large Scroll Judgment. As the large scroll contained God’s judgment, the little scroll also contains God’s judgment. Apparently, Jesus has already opened it and sent this angel to administer its judgments) He (the angel) planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. (This angel planted his feet on both land and sea indicating just how great his dominion is. Recall that one of the cherubim that had the face of a lion, and here the voice of a lion. See Rev 4,5) When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. (When the angel roared like a lion, the seven thunders spoke.) 4 And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write (John understood the message of the 7 trumpets and was about to write it down) but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said (Don’t tell anyone — think of court documents we keep “under seal” today. We seal up things to keep them safe) and do not write it down.” (For some reason John was forbidden to write down what he saw. This is in stark contrast to the whole purpose of the Book of Revelation which is designed to reveal, not to conceal. This passage is the sole exception. God allowed John to be an observer and a scribe of the End Times in order to warn His people of what was to come. The only hint we have is that thunders are often associated with judgment in this book. See Rev. 8:5, 11:19, 16:18. A classic end-times passage comes to mind: Joel 2:11 “The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The Day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?” Did John see something the Lord wants hidden concerning His army preparing for the final battle? Do these thunders reveal the secrets of Jesus’ active ministry upon the earth during the Day of the Lord? The apostle Paul was caught up into heaven and he also heard the unspeakable, and was forbidden to tell what he heard. See 2 Cor 12:4.)
NO MORE DELAY – GOD’S FINAL JUDGMENT
5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 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!” (This angel takes an oath, in the name of the eternal God, declaring that the final phase of God’s Judgment will be delayed no longer and is about to begin. The little scroll has been opened and once the angel sounds the 7th trumpet, the 7 bowls will be poured out upon a world ripe for God’s final judgment.)
BEFORE THE SEVENTH TRUMPET: THE MYSTERY OF GOD IS COMPLETE
7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished (But first, an important announcement: the Mystery of God will be finished before the 7th trumpet sounds), just as he announced to his servants the prophets (God’s will for mankind according to His Messianic purpose has been made known through the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began. See Acts 3:21).
What is the Mystery of God? We are not forced to speculate concerning this mystery. In his letters to the Church, the apostle Paul clearly explains that the “Mystery of God” is God’s special work of salvation among the Gentiles that has been occurring through the Church over the past 2000 years. The mystery is that there would be a group of saints that would benefit from the work of the cross APART from the nation Israel.
Several passages in the Bible speak to this truth regarding the Mystery of God. In Colossians, Paul explains that the gift of salvation has been extended to the Gentiles, to whom it had previously been kept hidden:
Col 1:25-27  I (Paul) have become its servant (the servant of the Church) by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness (remember, Saul became Paul, and was told by God to be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations. See Rom 15:15,16) —  the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations (The Mystery of Gentile salvation APART from the nation Israel was kept secret until it was revealed by the Apostle Paul. He explained the secret part of God’s plan, that due to Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, Jesus came as a sacrifice not only for Jews but for all people), but is now disclosed to the saints (Paul disclosed this truth to believers in the Church through his epistles).  To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery (When the Jews rejected God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, God chose to offer salvation through grace to the Gentiles. See Eph 2:11-22 and Eph 3:3,6), which is Christ in you (the Holy Spirit indwells those who accept the gift of salvation through Jesus. See Eph 1;13,14 Rom 8:23.),the hope of glory. (The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s seal of approval upon the saint. It is a guarantee of the believer’s full inheritance to come.)
In Romans, Paul explains the Mystery of God and the special relationship between God and Israel in its clearest terms:
Romans 11:25-27 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery (God’s special work among the Gentiles while Israel is in a state of unbelief), brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (God has determined a specific number of Gentiles to be saved. Israel’s national blessings have been temporarily set aside while God saves the Gentiles through the Church. But we are not to be arrogant toward the Jews; this is merely a “partial hardening;” salvation of Israel will follow the completion of Daniel’s 70th week, when Jesus physically returns to Earth).  And so (after the fullness of the Gentiles and the hardening of Israel has been removed) all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer (Jesus the Messiah) will come from Zion (The holy mountain of Zion, the place where the Messiah would appear at the end of time); he will turn godlessness away from Jacob (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel as a proof of the promised blessing to his descendants - the nation Israel. See Gen 35:10).  And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Romans 16:25-26 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,  but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations (Gentiles) might believe and obey him-- (Paul indicates that the truths concerning the Mystery establish us and help us to better understand how Gentiles are saved during the Church Age).
In Acts, the leaders of the Jerusalem Church conferred with Paul to discuss this matter of “Gentile salvation.”
Acts 15:12-18  The whole assembly (the church leaders gathered in Jerusalem to better understand Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles) became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them (Paul explained that due to Israel’s rejection of Jesus and His work on the cross, God was taking the gospel to the Gentiles APART from Israel, APART from the Law and APART from Circumcision).  When they finished, James (The author of the Book of James, Jesus’ half-brother and the chairman of this meeting) spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me.  Simon (The apostle Peter) has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself (Peter explained how God had, for the first time, commanded him to visit the Gentiles – the household of Cornelius - in order to take out of them a people for his name. Israel had been the people for God’s name, but due to their unbelief, now the Gentiles are being visited. Cornelius believed the gospel and Peter baptized the first Gentile who was saved apart from the nation Israel).  The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written (James quotes from Amos 9:11-12 to demonstrate that the O.T. prophets had seen a time of gentile salvation and had made room for the church):  “After this (After the time of Israel’s dispersion and scattering, and after this time of Gentile salvation – which has gone on for almost 2000 years) I (Jesus) will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent (After the chastisement of Israel is complete and in the days of Israel’s regathering , Jesus will rebuild the tabernacle or house of David. But this rebuilding will only take place after the mystery of Gentile salvation is complete). Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it (Jesus will rebuild the temple and restore the nation of Israel)  that the remnant of men (the remnant Jews) may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles (those gentiles saved after the Rapture of the church) who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things  that have been known for ages.”
In other words, John is confirming that God’s ultimate program for Israel will not occur until His special work of salvation among the Gentiles is complete! Only when the “time of the Gentiles” is finished will God extend salvation to the nation of Israel, rebuild David’s fallen temple, and restore Israel to its promised glory. Although the Church will ascend to Heaven during the Rapture (following the breaking of the sixth seal), there will be a small number of Gentiles who are saved between the Rapture and the Day of the Lord. These final Gentile believers will be the very last of the set number of Gentiles to be saved. Once this set number is reached, the “time of the Gentiles” will be complete. Note that those Gentiles that are saved after the Rapture will continue to face the persecution of Antichrist; some of these believers will be martyred by beheading. See Revelation 20.
THE LITTLE SCROLL IS BOTH SWEET AND BITTER
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven (the voice of God?) 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.” (Notice that, up until this point, John has merely been an observer of the Revelation events. Here, for the first time, John is asked to come in from the audience and be involved in the scene.) 9 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.” (John is being asked to have a sensory experience, similar to the prophet Ezekiel who was also asked to eat a scroll of judgment. See Ezek 2:9, 3:3) 10 I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth (The first taste is sweet because Daniel’s 70th week is nearly complete and God’s kingdom is about to be established), but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour (John digests the full message and its bitter implications; he understands that before the establishment of the kingdom, the most bitter judgment of all is about to occur. The Day of the Lord will include an additional 30-day period, during which God will pour out His undiluted wrath upon all the nations that have followed the Antichrist. Judgment is God’s strange work, but it has now arrived) 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” (John has no choice, he MUST prophesy again. John is now commanded to give God’s people more information about the end-times and God’s final wrath. In the remaining chapters John will give us MUCH more detail concerning events and key players of Daniel’s 70th week. He will share new information about the rebuilt future temple in Jerusalem, about the 2 Witnesses who minister for 1260 days, about the Antichrist and the False Prophet, about the mark of the beast –666, about the 144,000, about the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns, about Antichrist’s final 10-nation kingdom and about a very powerful end-times nation called Mystery Babylon, about the final battle Armageddon, and about the Great White Throne judgment. He will conclude the Book of Revelation with new information about the new heaven and the new earth!)