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A Little Scroll

10 Then I saw another strong angel coming down from heaven, dressed in a cloud. Over his head was a rainbow; his face was like the sun, and his feet were like fiery pillars. He was holding a small scroll, open, in his hand. Placing his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land, he shouted in a loud voice like a lion roaring. When he shouted, the seven thunders answered with their own voices. When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven. ‘Seal up what the seven thunders said,’ instructed the voice. ‘Don’t write it down.’

Then the angel whom I had seen standing on the sea and the land raised his right hand towards heaven and swore an oath by the One who lives for ever and ever, who made heaven and what it contains, the earth and what it contains, and the sea and what it contains. This was the oath: that there would be no more time, but that God’s mystery would be completed in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, who was going to blow his trumpet. That is what he had announced to his servants the prophets.

The voice I had heard from heaven spoke to me again. ‘Go,’ it said, ‘and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.’ So I went up to the angel.

‘Give me the little scroll,’ I said.

‘Take it,’ he said to me, ‘and eat it. It will be bitter in your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.’ 10 So I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand, and I ate it. It tasted like sweet honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach felt bitter. 11 ‘You must prophesy again’, he said to me, ‘about many peoples, nations, languages and kingdoms.’

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