Blue - God wants Daniel to understand what will happen to his people.
It is clear that Daniel was really upset over the prophecies he was receiving from God. "My thoughts much troubled me" "I was astonished at the vision"
In other times when he was shown the activities of the little horn stamping out the residue of the righteous, Daniel could understand that his people were being stamped out: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." Daniel 7:7-8.
Daniel was shook up over what he saw: "I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me." Daniel 7:15
It is also very clear that Daniel really understood very little of what he heard and saw: "My cogitations much troubled me. . . but I kept the matter in my heart." "But I kept the matter in my heart." "I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." "I heard but I understood not."
Daniel in his eight chapter seems to suggest that he had talked to all his friends on what he saw. We know this because he laments the fact that no one was able to understand it.
In Daniel 12, Daniel was told to "shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." When he asked when these things would happen, the messenger told him: "Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
However Daniel was told that one day "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." So Daniel was reassured that his book would one day be understood by God's people at the end of time.
One factor that is almost never told, is when a prophecy will occur. A specific date is never given. Often particulars are explained, yet the prophet is often not able to put every thing together. Daniel illustrates this point by the questions he himself asked.
Even John the Revelator was warned not to explain certain things. He was told to seal up the words that the seven thunders uttered, and not write them down. We quickly understand that we are not to understand what the seven thunders said until they are actually thundered.
We are given a clue as to what the seven thunders are about when John states: ". . . In the days of the voice of the seventh angel . . . the mystery of God should be finished." Possibly the seven thunders have to do with deep secrets that God does not want us to know yet.
John was given a special view of the way our knowledge of Daniel and Revelation would affect us. He was told to take the little book and eat it. He did so and found it sweet, but in his stomach, it was bitter.
I fear that this little illustration has special relevance to us! I think that the understanding of Revelation will be very sweet in understanding. We will suddenly realize that Jesus is soon to come! All things are about to come to a close and Jesus will finally take things into His own hands to end the wickedness of our world and set things right. However, I fear that the actual experience of the things written in Revelation will be a very bitter experience! I for one, will be glad when it is all over!
Because of our new understanding of God's warning to those living at the end of time, it will be necessary to spread the news all over again about the good news (gospel), that Jesus is about to come again.
Who is this angel who stands with one foot on land and one on water?
His appearance should give us our first indication. He is clothed with a cloud, a rainbow (of promise?) on his head, and his face was like the sun. His feet were like pillars of fire. Have we seen anything like this before? This description is a little like the description of Christ in Revelation 1:13-16 but the match is not very good.
The next indication is that the angel rases his hand and "swear by Him who lives for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer"
Who is it that has power to swear by the God of Heaven? Is it Jesus?
What is the little book the angel has in his hand. Could it be the scroll that only the Lamb of God was able to open? We don't know. If it is, than the Christ's part in this process becomes evident. Only Jesus could open the scroll, but now that it is open (He has paid the price) John in now able to take the book.
Could the seven thunders be indicating what is in the book? Who knows. They are sealed up till they are to sound in the future.
What does the sweet as honey in my mouth, bitter in my stomach mean? Somehow the truth found in the book will seem good to John but as the experience of that truth becomes a reality it will turn into a bitter experience.
Because of the new truth, John (or is it us who will live through this time?) will have to prophesy again.
The author of this harmony believes that there will come a time when God's people will understand the little book (could it be the book of Daniel or even both Daniel & Revelation?) to such as extent that they will have extreme pleasure, knowing that the end of all things is at hand and they are soon to live with Jesus!
However, once they understand the nearness of Christ's coming, the awful experience of the time just before Christ's coming, God's people will experience the times described by the little book. That time will be a bitter experience inspite of the fact that Christ's coming will be so very soon in the future!