“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,” Revelation 10:1, 2
We are now getting into some of the most exciting prophecies in the Bible. We know it is very important, because look Who it is that appears here! We see clouds and a rainbow, and a face like the sun. Who is this? It is Jesus; just like in Revelation 1 and Daniel 10. Setting His right foot on the sea, and His left upon the dry land, shows the part which He is acting in the closing scenes of the great controversy with Satan. This position denotes His supreme power and authority over the whole earth. He has a ‘little book’ and it is open.
Now what little book do we know that was closed? Why, the book of Daniel’s prophecies; he was told, “seal the book” until “the time of the end”.
The ‘end’ of what? The end of the wonderful time prophecies found in Daniel. The 2300 days/years and the 1260 days/years. The 1260 ended in 1798, and the 2300 ended in 1844.
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14.
Do we see something happening in history that has to do with the book of Daniel in this time? Yes, we surely do. Towards the end of the 1700s many people all over the world began to study that very book deeply, and to understand the time prophecies in it. And the Holy Spirit led them to preach and write about the Coming of Jesus and His judgment of the earth.
“And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. Revelation 10:3, 4.
Hear the ‘roar’ of the Lion of Judah; it is announcing something important. Then we hear ‘seven thunders’ speak throughout the earth. What did they say? John was told not to write it down. Then why did Jesus mention it at all?
Something was going to happen, and it was not written down, or it couldn’t have happened the way it needed to happen. We are now quite sure about what the seven thunders said; they told of the Great Advent Awakening, followed by the ‘Great Disappointment’ of October 22, 1844. The happenings of 1843-1844 are clearly told about in different prophecies in Daniel, Revelation, and in the parables of Jesus.
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:5-7
Here is Jesus, making a legal announcement; He holds up his one hand to heaven, like we do in a court of law, and he ‘swares’ by Him who liveth for ever and ever and Who is the Creator. This is Jesus Himself; He swares by Himself as there is none greater.
Then He says ‘time shall be no longer’. What ‘time’? Time for this earth? No, this earth lasted past 1844. Probation ‘time’? No, we still have probation time today, although it is soon going to end. It means the prophetic time in the time prophecies. Jesus is here telling us that all the time prophecies end by that date in 1844; there are no more time prophecies waiting to be fulfilled.
“This time, which the angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world’s history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time, which should precede the advent of our Lord. That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.” 7 Bible Commentary 971
Jesus goes on to tell us, that in the days of the seventh angel, when he starts to sound his trumpet, the ‘Mystery of God should be finished’. What is this ‘Mystery’? Part of it is the wonderful time prophecies of Daniel that for many years were only partially understood. Then around the end of the 1260 days/years, were opened up by the Holy Spirit to serious Bible students.
“And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.” Revelation 10:8
In all prophecies, the prophet receiving the vision, represents the people of God, and, when the time comes, they will do what we see the prophet in the vision doing.
Here John takes the precious ‘little book’ from Jesus’ hands. This is what God’s people did at that time period; they took that book of Daniel as a special message from Jesus, which is just what it was.
There are people today that say there are more time prophecies to be fulfilled in the future; don’t believe this, because Jesus Himself said ‘Time shall be no longer’; there will be no more time prophecies, however, we can see events as they unfold in their order.
“And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Revelation 10:9-11.
He took the little book and ate it up. Here we see God’s people ‘eating up’ the book of Daniel. We use the expression, ‘he likes (some certain thing) so much that he just eats it up.’ Well, God’s people as they got into the prophecies of Daniel, just ‘ate it up’. They loved it; it was like honey to them. Why? Because they really believed that this prophecy meant that Jesus was coming back to earth on that day. Those who love Jesus, and really belong to Him with their whole hearts, are longing to see Him come back and take them home to heaven with Him.
But the prophecy says something happened after they ‘ate up’ that sweet message from Jesus. Their ‘belly was bitter’. What an amazing way to describe exactly what happened to God’s people at that time.
They were so happy thinking they were soon going home with Jesus. At first, there was a mistake in the time they figured out, because they thought the period ended in the spring of 1843, which in our time would be 1844. So there was a small disappointment. Then, as they looked closer at history and the Great Day of Atonement in the Sanctuary services of the Jews, the found the exact day; October 22, 1844.
Then the message seemed to go out like wildfire. The very words of the parable of Jesus were used; “Behold the Bridegroom Cometh. Go ye out to meet Him!” The message went everywhere in the power of the Holy Spirit.
As the day grew closer, the believers prayed and searched their hearts to make sure they had put away every sin, and confessed and made right every wrong deed to their families and neighbors. With solemn joy they gathered to await His coming. The hours were spend in quietness and prayer. No one ever made ‘ascension robes’ as some critics say; nor did anyone climb up in trees or such either. These are false stories, told to make fun of these earnest children of God.
But the bitter belly came; they were disappointed as the time passed and Jesus did not appear. Most of the people then laughed at their former beliefs, and went their ways, never again would these join with true believers. But the prophecy had a clue in it; “Thou must prophecy again.”
This message is for us today also. Jesus is coming soon and we must be ready to meet Him in peace. Those who do not choose to repent and obey, will perish with the disloyal. There is no second trial. The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples, presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life. Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins.
Jesus also longs to have us come home to be with Him; how sad He must feel when some of us would rather have the silly pleasures of this sinful world, than have Him, who loves us so much.