John Eats the Scroll

Midway through the book of Revelation, between the sixth and seventh trumpet, there is a periscope involving a strong angel with a little scroll / book. In this second interlude (Rev 10:1 - Rev 11:14), the apostle John observes a "strong" angel coming down from heaven and standing on earth holding a small scroll / book up towards heaven, and a voice from heaven instructs the apostle to take the book and eat it:

Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land." So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, "Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey." I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. And they said to me, "You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings." (Rev 10:8-11)

While the idea of literally eating a small scroll may be hard to understand, an incident like this occurred earlier with the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, and it provides some clarity to the command given to the apostle John.

Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you." Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it. When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe. Then He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, "Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you." Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth. Then He said to me, "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel, nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you; yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate. (Ezek 2:8-3:7)

Several observations can be made of this passage in Ezekiel:

The scroll was full of lamentations, mourning and woe (Ezek 2:10).

Just as Ezekiel was told to "eat this scroll" and "speak to the house of Israel," the apostle John was told to "eat it" and "prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings" (Ezek 3:1; Rev 10:10-11).

Just like Ezekiel, the apostle John found the taste of the scroll "sweet as honey" (Ezek:3:3; Rev 10:9).

God's instruction of eating was intended to fill Ezekiel's "body with this scroll," and the ingested scroll enabled Ezekiel to prophesy in a manner that all would understand (Ezek 3:3-6). From this point on, at age 30 (Ezek 1:1), Ezekiel becomes a prophet of God.

Here an important observation must be made. Up until this point, the apostle John was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day," and he was instructed to "write in a book" what he saw, "and send it to the seven churches" (Rev 1:10-11).

However, by eating the strong angel's scroll, he was given prophetic material that was additional to what saw while he "in the Spirit on the Lord's day." This material was so important that he "must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings" (Rev 10:11). In other words, this prophesy was intended for the whole world beyond the seven churches!

The change in prophetic content is immediate; the apostle John is instructed to see and feel what he is being shown; he is to "measure the temple of God and the alter" (Rev 11:1). During this tribulation period of trumpets, Jerusalem will apparently have a temple of God; however, at this time, Gentiles will be inappropriately "treading" or "trampling" around its outer court for 3-1/2 years (Rev 11:2).

This is an exerpt from: The Strong Angel's Little Scroll.