10:1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
In the Greek language, the word “angel” means “messenger”. The mighty angel has a rainbow over his head, symbolising the reconciliation between humanity and the divine, and his face shines like the Sun, so he is a messenger of the Christ consciousness.
Angels bring a new impulse into consciousness. They open our understanding. This angel carries with him an open scroll. The scroll is a record of our incarnations since the beginning. It contains the purpose of this life. We could call it, The Book of the Soul.
When the six centres are open, we are given the gift of understanding this life purpose. The scroll has to be swallowed by the narrator, just as we have to absorb this purpose. When we first discover that our life has a purpose it is a sweet discovery. It is a great gift to know that everything that we experience in life has a meaning, that we are indeed spiritual beings on an earthly journey. The euphoria of this discovery is short lived though. For when we totally absorb the principle of life purpose, then we have to confront the pain and anguish we have created with other souls. This can be a bitter experience.
We have been given another gift. The seven thunders have sounded. The seven thunders are energies given to us so that we might have the knowledge and strength to achieve the purpose and tasks we undertake in this incarnation. John is not allowed to write down the words of the seven thunders. They operate within the unconscious. But if we are open to the messenger of the I AM, then the seven thunders become powers within our spiritual centres. Every aspect of our being becomes energised and filled with power. When the seventh seal is opened, the knowledge of this power will be revealed, but for now we are told that the more we embrace consciousness and self-knowledge, the more consciousness and knowledge is given to us. As the gospels say, to that person who has, more is given. Consciousness creates consciousness.
In this watercolour by William Blake, the strength and might of the angel is stressed. His face is illuminated by the sun behind, and he clearly shows that one foot is on the land, the other in the sea.
One of the names of this angel is the Guardian of the Threshold. He tests us to see whether we are ready yet for spiritual illumination. Real spiritual knowledge only comes when we have passed beyond a consciousness that is about “me” and experienced a greater consciousness. This happens often through encountering the parts of us that are negative, hurtful and painful, both to self and others.
Spiritual knowledge however, does not solve our problems, nor answer our questions. We strive for balance. We exercise patience. Today, find a time when you exercise patience, practise perseverance or endurance. Experience the strength of this mighty angel.
If the Guardian of the Threshold lets you pass through you become, first and foremost, an unbalanced being. No one can pass through that Initiation without becoming unbalanced for a little while. That has to be because one leg is on land (security) and the other in the sea (emotions). You have to learn to balance the two and that may take a bit of time. You will start looking at that picture ... when you live in a different state of consciousness. In that unbalanced state in which we find ourselves or others, we have to learn to exercise patience. Patience with self.
Rev Mario Schoenmaker, The Book of Revelation, 1983 Lecture Series