An angel reveals the contents of a little scroll but then seals it up. This little scroll represents God's end-time prophetic commission to his true believers. Like John, we are to eat it and prophesy. It will be sweet in our mouths, like the end of the prophetic story. But the process of getting there will be bitter and involve persecution.
In this chapter, it is as though the chronological video has been 'paused', and we are shown what is happening 'backstage'. It is what Mike Bickle calls a 'parenthetical section'.

John sees another powerful angel (v1). His face shines like the sun, as does Jesus' face in Revelation 1:16. But this angel is not wearing a full-length robe like Jesus, and his legs are visible. So despite some similarities, this is not Jesus, but another angel. He stands astride the earth and the sea (v2), but the significance of this is not explained. When he shouts, the seven thunders speak (v3). The seven thunders represent the voice of Almighty God. This angel holds a little scroll (v2) and it seems reasonable to assume that the seven thunders speak what is written in the scroll. But after they have spoken, the angel is told to seal up what has been spoken. This reminds us of Daniel 12:4, "But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end". The implication is that the revelation given by the seven thunders will remain sealed until the time of the end. But how will it then be revealed? In the next chapter, we are shown the ministry of the Two Witnesses, and it is possible it will be revealed through their prophetic ministry. We also know from Joel 2:28-32 that there will be a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon true believers shortly before the second coming, and that God will release prophetic gifts. So perhaps the contents of the little scroll will be revealed through the prophetic ministry of the Church.

In verse 6, the angel swears that there will be no more delay. According to 2 Peter 3:9, Christ's second coming is delayed because "The Lord…does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance". In accordance with Romans 11:25, it also implies that at the time of the seventh trumpet, 'the full number of the Gentiles has come in' and it is time for Jesus to reveal himself to Israel once again.

In verse 7, the angel says, "But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God is completed, just as he has proclaimed to his servants the prophets". The mystery of God being completed is surely the same as what is described in the 'seventy weeks' prophecy of Daniel 9:24. It points to the second coming of Jesus when he will 'put an end to rebellion, bring in perpetual righteousness, seal up prophetic vision, and anoint a most holy place'. The seventh trumpet is 'the last trumpet' when the resurrection and rapture take place at Christ's coming (Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52). It fulfils what all the prophets have looked forward to, namely the appearance of Messiah. In turn, his appearance brings about the deliverance of Israel and the establishment of his eternal kingdom on Earth.

In verses 8 to 11, John is told to take the little scroll and eat it. It tastes sweet in his mouth but turns his stomach sour after he has swallowed it. He is then told he must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings. Eating this scroll represents acceptance of God's end-time prophetic commission to his people. Like John, we are to eat and digest God's prophetic Gospel of the second coming. It is a sweet message because the end of the story is wonderful. But the process will be bitter, and proclamation of the message will result in persecution that causes bitterness and pain for God's prophetic ministers.
Symbols: Scroll, Seven thunders
Tags: Rapture, Holy Spirit outpouring, End-time prophetic ministry, Last trumpet, Seventh trumpet
The Angel with the Little Scroll
10 Then I saw another powerful angel descending from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun and his legs were like pillars of fire.
2 He held in his hand a little scroll that was open, and he put his right foot on the sea and his left on the land.
3 Then he shouted in a loud voice like a lion roaring, and when he shouted, the seven thunders sounded their voices.
4 When the seven thunders spoke, I was preparing to write, but just then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders spoke and do not write it down.”
5 Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven
6 and swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, and the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, “There will be no more delay!
7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God is completed, just as he has proclaimed to his servants the prophets.”
8 Then the voice I had heard from heaven began to speak to me again, “Go and take the open scroll in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take the scroll and eat it. It will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
10 So I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it, and it did taste as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.
11 Then they told me: “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”