"Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven... He had a little scroll open in his hand"
This is another vision which God gave to the apostle John as he was confined on the little island of Patmos. We remember that John had been sent away from his beloved congregation in Ephesus on to this small island because the Roman authorities were hostile to the Christian message at that time. But this vision has at least three great truths which we want to see.
Number one - John saw a mighty angel, obviously one of authority and power. He stood with one foot on the land and one on the sea — in other words he came from heaven with an important message that spanned the world in its importance.
Number two - the little scroll (book) which the angel carried was clearly meant for John to take and to understand fully what God was saying in this book. The message in the book is the message of the Bible itself, the word of God. This wonderful book has the amazing message of salvation — sweet indeed. But it also has a solemn, even bitter, message too — God's judgment on all who defy him.
Number three - John had to tell God's message to a largely hostile world — the whole message of 'sin and salvation, wrath, and grace'. The same is still true today. People must hear God's word even when it is a bitter experience for the preacher when people reject what he is telling them from God.