Revelation chapter 10 is an important dividing line for understanding the entire book. Richard Bauckham makes this point, “It is not until chapter 10 that the main content of the prophetic revelation John communicates in his book is given to him. All that has preceded is preparatory – necessary to the understanding of this revelation, but not itself the revelation. Recognizing this is a vital, though neglected, key to understanding the Book of Revelation.” In the previous nine chapters John’s visions portray life as it is and will be throughout this Age. This Age is marked by “wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes in various places.” It is also marked by the extended hand of God bringing judgment designed to bring people to repentance. By 9.21, though, it is obvious that humanity is not heeding God’s call to repent. So instead of offering the thunder judgments as one more opportunity to repent God decides to move toward the final judgment. John encounters Jesus as a mighty angel (see Exod. 3.2-12; Jud. 6.22; 2 Kgs. 1.3-15; 1 Chron. 21.18 for preincarnate references to Jesus as the angel of the lord). The angel swears that the time has come for the seventh (and last) trumpet to be sounded and for the mystery of God to be completed. He recommissions John to take now a message of God’s judgment. He offers John the scroll to eat. It is sweet to taste but bitter to eat. This means the coming salvation for believers and judgment on this age will involve more suffering and persecution for Christians.