(10.1)         And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire


1.   So begins the vision of the “little book,” that prepares the way for the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Continuing through to Revelation 11.14, this parenthetical section is like chapter 7, in that it “does not advance the narrative but presents other facts which contribute to the total prophetic scene.”[1]


2.   There is much controversy concerning the identity of this angel. Many Bible teachers think this is the Lord Jesus Christ, while others do not. Why can we not, therefore, try to decide for ourselves? Amen? Let us carefully scrutinize this passage and analyze it.


3.   Consider the word “another.” There are two Greek words that are commonly translated into the English word “another.” Although in different contexts the words can be synonymous, the one Greek word, allos, tends more to mean another of the same kind, while the other Greek word, eteros, refers to another of a different kind.[2]


4.   Turn to Galatians chapter 1 and you will see an example of this. Notice Galatians 1.6-7:


6     I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7      Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.


In verse 6, Paul refers to the Galatians’ departure to, eteros, another of a different kind Gospel, which, in verse 7, is not, allos, another of the same kind Paul had preached to them.


5.   Back to Revelation 10.1. This word “another,” comes from the Greek word which describes another of the same kind, allos. Folks, what we now need to discover the identity of this angel is the place that John is referring to where that allos, that other of the same kind, angel is that this angel is the same kind as.


6.   Could this other angel be like the four angels in Revelation 9.15? No. Since this angel is a holy angel, and those four were fallen angels, the “another of the same kind” requirement is not met. How about the angel that blew the sixth trumpet? Was not that a holy angel? Yes, but that angel was not described as a mighty angel.


7.   Folks, you have to go all the way back to Revelation 5.2 to find a “mighty angel” referred to: “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?


a.   Here is the “strong angel” who asks if there is anyone worthy to open the book, or the scroll. This word for “strong” is translated from the same Greek word as the word “mighty” in Revelation 10.1, the word iscuron.


b.   Therefore, we know that John is not describing the Lord Jesus Christ in chapter 10, because that angel is “another of the same kind” as this angel, and this angel is definitely not the Lord Jesus Christ. Reading through chapter 5 again will reconfirm this for you.


8.   So, we know that this angel is not our Lord Jesus. But, consider those things about this angel which causes many people to erroneously conclude that he is the Lord Jesus Christ.


a.   First, notice that Revelation 10.1 refers to him coming “down from heaven.” But does Jesus come down from heaven in the middle of the Tribulation? Not if He comes at the end of the Tribulation, because He sets foot on the earth only one time before things change to usher in His kingdom. That this angel sets foot on the earth in Revelation 10.2 means he cannot be the Lord Jesus Christ.


b.   Next, this mighty angel is “clothed with a cloud.” Some say this refers to Acts 1.9-11:


9      And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10    And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11    Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


But this passage and the phrase together can only suggest, by inference, that the angel is Christ. It conclusively proves nothing. Besides, being clothed with a cloud is different than being received up by a cloud.


c.   Third, “And a rainbow was upon his head.” Revelation 4.3 convinces some people this is Christ: “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” One commentator even states about the rainbow, “. . . we would not expect any other than the Divine Person to wear it upon His head.”[3] But a rainbow on his head, while being significant of great rank and standing as an angel, is still no definite indication that proves the angel’s identity.


d.   Fourth, “His face was as it were the sun.” Many teachers make reference to Christ’s transfiguration and say this is the same thing. Still, though, inconclusive.


e.   Finally, “his feet as pillars of fire.” In Revelation 1.15, John describes His glorified lord: “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” Some would say, “This proves it.” But are feet like fine brass comparable to having feet as pillars of fire? And what if this angel is a seraphim, meaning “burning one”?[4] It would then be most reasonable for him to have a face like the sun and feet that are pillars of fire.


9.   Folks, no matter what additional descriptions John might have given us, we should not, I believe, allow ourselves to be convinced that this angel is Christ. Why not? Because the very first piece of information John gave to us showed, beyond any doubt, that the angel in this verse is some “other of the same kind.” And even if it is not the angel of Revelation 5.2, this angel cannot be our Lord Jesus Christ. Why not? Because when compared to anyone other than another person of the triune Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ can only be described as “another of a different kind.” This angel, therefore, is not the glorified Son of God.


10. Do I make too much of a single word? Such a thing is possible. One must always be careful of going to seed on the meaning of a single word, especially such a word as “another.” But if you keep in mind that this angel sets foot on the earth according to verse 2, then you have to consider that if this is the Lord Jesus Christ, He comes to earth three and one half years before His second coming, in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel! Such a thing, I think, will not happen.


11. Revelation 10.1 describes, I believe, a most powerful and glorious angel, one of God’s most capable servants. Yet, since an angel, any angel, is only a creature of God’s making and not to be compared either to God the Father or the Lord Jesus Christ in either power or glory, it should stagger the imagination to ponder the glory of God and of Jesus when the glory of this mere angel is considered. I think J. Vernon McGee had it right when he commented about this angel, “He has come to make a special and solemn announcement of coming judgment. All of these features of identification are his credentials and connect him to the Person of Christ as His special envoy.”[5]


[1] John Walvoord, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966), page 169.

[2] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), pages 46-47 and 399.

[3] Lehman Strauss, The Book Of The Revelation, (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1963), page 201.

[4] Spiros Zodhiates, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1991), page 1673.

[5] J. Vernon McGee, Reveling Through Revelation, Part I, (Pasadena, CA: Thru The Bible Books, 1979), page 81.

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