(e.g. john 8 32)

Revelation 10:9  (King James Version)

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Topical Studies
<< Revelation 10:8   Revelation 10:10 >>

Revelation 10:8-10

Ezekiel 1:26 through Ezekiel 3:27 is the Old Testament version of the "Little Book Prophecy" of Revelation 10, though it is called the "Scroll Prophecy." There is little difference between a scroll and a book. Both of them are full of words. Both of them are made into a delectable food for the prophet to ingest, and both Ezekiel and John have the same reaction. Ezekiel's prophecy helps to fill out the details of what happens to John.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 1)

Revelation 10:8-10

The eating of the little book is critical to understanding the message'what it is, how it works, and what it produces. Actually, Revelation 10:8 through Revelation 11:2 should be one section because the eating of the little book and the measuring of the Temple are tied together.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part One)

Revelation 10:8-10

This little book is the Word of God. When we first hear the truth—when we first eat it—it is marvelous and exciting to us, and we try to devour even more of it. But as we begin to make it a part of our lives, begin to assimilate—digest—it, we find that putting it into practice is not always easy. Sometimes it is downright painful!

Jesus says it is "the strait way, the difficult way, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). In addition, we find that the Word of God contains things within it that are very bitter indeed in terms of what it says in Revelation—terrifying, painful, oppressive, horrible things described in symbolic language. God is not at all pleased that such things must happen.

And, of course, Scripture can bring upon us a great deal of sadness as well. It may taste good going in, but once in, we find it can be very bitter in application to our lives.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Revelation 10 and the Laodicean Church

Revelation 10:9-10

The little book was very pleasing to John's taste. Such is the way we all approach the Bible. We love to study it and find new things (Jeremiah 15:16). It is very pleasing, even thrilling, going down, but the consequences of eating it are sometimes quite unsettling once we understand what it is telling us to do. It can be even sickening in the way that it turns our world upside-down.

This "tasting good" can also be like our first love—when we are all zealous for God's truth. Then, as we come to understand what it really means and how it affects our life, it becomes less and less sweet and more and more bitter. It makes us do things that are wrenching to our lives. This is where the bitterness comes in. Our human nature often does not want to do the things that it tells us we must do, which causes upset, pain, even personal calamity. Sometimes we have to go against a family member who is perhaps staunchly religious but of a different belief, who does not like what we are doing. It might cause the disruption of a family, the loss of a job, even persecution and death. That is how bitter following the Word of God can be. How bitter is death?

It is likely that this phrase—his stomach became bitter—means that it did not just become queasy. John threw up. He fell to the ground and threw up everything he ate. A little later, it says that the angel tells him, "John, get up. Rise." It is in the record to show us the normal reaction to God's Word, especially to the prophet or apostle who is commissioned to preach it. God is working with symbols, behaviors, and starkly contrasting things. The phraseology suggest a suddenness: John loved it as it went down, but it hit his stomach and came right back up again. As in Ezekiel (there are a number of parallels between John's experience in Revelation and the prophet's in Ezekiel), God worked with a man's behavior. God wants us to see how wrenching taking God's Word into us is to a person's life. We come out of a world that is totally opposite of His way. And when these two ways of life meet—like vinegar and soda—it causes a sometimes violent reaction!

Overall, the illustration shows that there is a great deal in God's way of life that is upsetting, especially when it comes in contact with our worldly way of life before conversion.

Then the Angel tells John, "You have to speak about this." The result of what has taken place is that now he has the inspiration, the information, and the strength to prophesy, or to preach, again. Even though it caused this great queasiness, this upset, the unsettling, sickening, painful feeling, it still filled him and gave him the strength and energy to do the work that he was being given.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part One)

Revelation 10:9

"Take and eat it" sounds very much like what Jesus said to His disciples when He told them to eat the unleavened bread during the Passover service. Eating the bread symbolizes partaking of His flesh, that is, devoting ourselves to the life He lives, becoming one with Him as part of His Body, living as He lives. Eating the little book has a similar meaning.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part One)

<< Revelation 10:8   Revelation 10:10 >>

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