John saw a strong angel, who held a book (actually, a scroll, that is, the old form of a book) in his hand. John describes the book as Ďa little bookí. It was not, therefore, the same book that Christ received in chapter 5. Christís book was clearly very large, because it had 7 seals. Seals were pieces of the substance called wax, which people used in order to keep a private book closed. Usually, just one seal was enough to keep a book closed.
The little book that the angel held had no seals; it was open. Therefore, its contents were not private. It was a message from God that anyone could read (compare Revelation 22:10).
The angels are Godís special servants in heaven, and they are all impressive. This one was especially impressive, both in his appearance (verse 1) and his actions. The angel stood, with one foot upon the land and one foot upon the sea. His foot was on the sea, and not merely in it.
The angel stands upon the land and sea after the judgements against the land and sea in Revelation 8:7-9. Soon afterwards, John will describe beasts that come from the sea (13:1) and land (13:11). A beast means a terrible wild animal; John uses the word to describe very powerful and wicked rulers who serve the devil.
Probably the angel stands on the land and sea to show that the whole world (both land and sea) really belongs to God. The angelís words in verse 6 emphasise that. He declares that God created not just the land and sea, but heaven too. Therefore, they all belong to him. The angel also declares that God created everything in the land, sea, and heaven. Therefore, everyone and everything is responsible to God; he is their judge.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.