Revelation 10:1-7 (NKJV)
After relating the vision of the four angels from the Euphrates, John moves to the account of a mighty angel holding a little book, speaking words that cannot be recorded, and the heavens being instructed that the seventh trumpet should be sounded.
1 I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”Revelation 10:1-4
The mighty angel that came down from heaven was clothed with a cloud, and had a rainbow on his head. This reminds us of the image of God with a rainbow surrounding the throne. Perhaps this is a divine figure, or simply a messenger of the divine message. The mighty angel is another name for the angel Gabriel (“mighty one of God”). He had a face like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire. The cloud was likely the vehicle on which the angel traveled, and the rainbow was a typical sign of a theophany. Perhaps like Moses, the angel could have had a face that shone like the sun because he had been in the presence of God. Also, the legs like pillars of fire is reminiscent of the guiding figure of Israel in the Exodus, the pillar of fire by night and pillar of smoke by day. As the angel steps on the sea and the land, he speaks and the voice was loud like a lion’s roar. At the time he spoke his message, seven thunders sounded and John was unable to record the message. He could have been unable to hear because of the thunders, or else he could have simply been instructed not to write. He was told to seal up the things spoken by the thunders. This did not suggest that he had written down the words of the thunders, but more so that he should not write them down. They were not for public consumption. They were perhaps for the moment and not for forever.
5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.Revelation 10:5-7
After the angel spoke and the thunders sounded, John saw the angel still standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea. The angel raised his hand (supposedly the right hand, with the little book in the left hand) to heaven and swore by God who lives forever and ever, the Creator of the heavens, the earth, and the sea, with all of their respective inhabitants. His declaration was that the seventh angel should sound his trumpet without any further delay. This would usher in the finish of the mystery of God. The declaration of the servants of God, His prophets, must be revealed so that the future can be known and understood. How can an angel decide when God’s revelation should be opened to all? When these angels spoke, they were emissaries, messengers, of God. They did not speak with division or dissonance concerning God’s will and word. Instead, they spoke for God, in unity with God, and on message with God. When you speak, whether a pastor or a preacher or a witness, be sure that you are speaking for God and not yourself. Be in unity with Him and walk with Him. His will is of use to anyone. Your will may only be of use to you, and perhaps not even you. Hear from God before you speak for God.