Friday Morning Manna

Revelation Chapter 10: the Parenthetical Prophecy between the Prophecies of the Sixth and Seventh Trumpets

     “Surely the Lord God will do nothing but He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3: 7.  “Prophets are subject to the prophets.” 1 Cor. 14: 32.

Not unlike the initially complex “wheels within wheels” that the prophet Ezekiel saw in vision (Exe. 1: 1-21; 10: 2-19, etc.), there are shorter time prophecy clusters contained within the longest time prophecy of the Bible—the 2,300 day (year) prophecy of Daniel 8:14.    

        “Ezekiel, the mourning exile prophet [Jeremiah’s contemporary] was given a vision teaching the lesson of faith in the mighty God . . . .There were wheels within wheels in an arrangement so complicated that at first they appeared to be all in confusion. But when they moved it was withbeautiful exactness and in perfect harmony. . . . Overpowered by the terrible glory of the scene, Ezekiel fell upon his face, when a voice bade him arise and hear the word of the Lord. . . . Thewheel-like complications that appeared to the prophet to be involved in such confusion were under the guidance of an infinite hand. The Spirit of God, revealed to him as moving and directing these wheels, brought harmony out of confusion; so the whole world was under His control. Myriads of glorified beings were ready at His word to overrule the power and policy of evil men, and bring good to His faithful ones.” – E. G. White, 5T, pp. 571-572.

There are two instances cited in the Bible where divine wisdom interrupts the consecutive line of thought in a set of prophecies. The first is Revelation chapter 7, referred to as the parenthetical chapter in the seven seals dwelling on the 144,000 saints.  (We will address this special prophecy in subsequent issues).  Now, to the other parenthetical prophecy, Revelation chapter 10, that temporarily intersects the sixth and seventh trumpets. To wit:

“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 on the sea, and his left foot on the earth.”Revelation 10: 1, K.J.V.

 Continuing the narration of the seven trumpets of Revelation chapters 8 and 9, specifically referring to Verse 1 of chapter 10, Uriah Smith, in his classic Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 519-525 says, from which the following large extracts are quoted:

        “In this scripture [Revelation 10] we have another instance in which the consecutive line of thought is for a time interrupted. Revelation 9 closed with the events of the sixth trumpet[highlighted by the fall of the Ottoman Empire and Islam, Aug. 11, 1840]]. The sounding of the seventh trumpet is not introduced until we reach Revelation 11: 15. All of chapter 10 and a part of chapter 11, therefore, come in parenthetically between the sixth and seven trumpets. That which is particularly connected with the sounding of the sixth trumpet is recorded in chapter 9. The prophet has other events to introduce before the opening of another trumpet, and take occasion to do it in the scripture which intervenes to Revelation 11: 15. Among these is the prophecy of Chapter 10. Let us first look at the chronology of the message of this angel.

     “The Little Book. —  ‘He had in his hand a little book open.’  We may infer from this language that this book was at some time, closed. We read in Daniel of a book which was closed and sealed to a certain time: ‘Thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.’ Dan. 12: 4.  Since this book was closed only until the time of the end [1798 A.D.], it follows that at the time of the end the book would be opened.

        “As this closing was mentioned in prophecy, it would be but reasonable to expect that in the predictions of events to take place at the time of the end, the opening of this book would also be mentioned. There is no book spoken of as closed and sealed except the book of Daniel’s prophecy, and there is no account of the opening of that book unless it be here in Revelation 10. We see, furthermore, that in both places [Daniel 12: 4 and Rev. 10:1] the contents ascribed to the book are the same. The book which Daniel had directions to close and seal had reference to time: ‘How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?’ Dan. 12: 6. When the angel of this chapter [Rev. 10] comes down with the little book open, on which he bases his proclamation, he gives a message in relation to time, as will be seen in verse 6. Nothing more is required to show that both expressions refer to one book, and to prove that the little book which the angel had in his hand, open, was the book referred to in the prophecy of Daniel.

       The time of the end. – “An important point is now determined in our endeavor to settle thechronology of this angel. We have seen that the prophecy, especially the prophetic periods of Daniel, were not to be opened until ‘the time of the end.’ If this is the book which the angel had in his hands, open, it follows that he proclaims his message after the time when the book shall be opened, or somewhere this side of the beginning of the ‘time of the end.’ All that remains on this point is to ascertain when the time of the end began, and the book of Daniel itself furnishes data from which this can be done. In Daniel 11: 30, the papal power is brought to view. In verse 35 we read, ‘Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white,even to the time of the end.”

       “Here is the period of the supremacy of the ‘little horn’ during which time the ‘saints, times, and laws’ were to be given into his hand, and from him suffer fearful persecutions. This is declared to reach to ‘the time of the end.’ This period ended in 1798, when the 1260 years of papal supremacy expired. There the time of the end began, and the book was opened. Since that time, “many have run to and fro, and knowledge of these prophetic subjects ‘have marvelously increased.’ (See comments on Dan. 12: 4).

        The Angel of Rev. 10 Identical to the First Angel of Revelation 14. – ‘The chronology of the events of Revelation 10 is further ascertained from the fact that this angel appears to be identical with the first angel of Revelation 14. The points of identity between them are easily seen: [1] ‘They both have a special message to proclaim. [2] They both utter their proclamation with a ‘loud voice.’ [3] They both use similar language, referring to the Creator as the ‘maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and the things therein.’ [4] And they both proclaim time, one swearing [making an oath] that time should be no more, and the other proclaiming that the hour of God’s judgment has come.

      “But the message of Revelation 14: 6 is located this side of the beginning of the time of the end. It is a proclamation of the hour of God’s judgment come, and hence must have its application in the last generation. Paul did not preach the hour of judgment come. Martin Luther and his coadjutors did not preach it. Paul reasoned of judgment to come [Acts 24: 24, 25], indefinitely future, and Luther placed it at least three hundred years beyond his day. Moreover, Paul warns the church against preaching the hour of God’s judgment has come, until a certain time. He says: ‘Now, we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ 2 Thess. 2: 1-3, K.J.V.

       “Here Paul introduces to our view the man of sin, the little horn, or the papacy, which, as already noticed, continued 1260 years, ending in 1798. In 1798, therefore, the restriction against proclaiming the day of Christ at hand ceasedIn 1798 the time of the end began, and the seal was taken from the little book. Since that time, therefore, the angel of Revelation 14 has gone forth proclaiming that the hour of God’s judgment is come. It is since that time, too, that the angel of chapter 10 has taken his stand ‘on the sea and land, and sworn that time shall  be no more.’ Of their identity there can now be no question. All the arguments which go to locate the one are equally effective in the case of the other.
“The present generation is witnessing the fulfillment of these two prophecies. In the preaching of the Second Advent, more especially from 1840 to 1844, began their full and circumstantial accomplishment.  The position of this angel, one foot upon the sea and the other on the land, denotes the wide extent of his proclamation by sea and by land. Had this message been designed for only one country, it would have been sufficient for the angel to take his position on the land only. But he has one foot upon the sea, from which we may infer that his message would cross the ocean, and extend to the various nations and divisions of the globe. This inference is strengthened by the fact that the advent proclamation above referred to did go to every missionary station in the world. More on this will be found in comments on Revelation 14.    

     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.’ Verses 3, 4.

       The seven thunders.—  “The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation of events which would transpire under the first and second angels’ messages. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must be necessarily tested [at that time]. In the order of God most wonderful and advance truths would be proclaimed.The first and second angels’ messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific workThis is represented by the angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer.” – E. G. White, 7BC 971. NOTE: Since the first and second angels’ messages begun to be proclaimed starting in the year 1840, one immediately following the other, it behooves all to study and review what historically transpired under them for they precede the proclamation of the third angel’s message of which solemn period we are now under. The Revelator signifies the events under the first and second angel’s messages as “seven thunders,” the number 7 denoting its importance.

        “Time no longer.’- What is the meaning of this most solemn declaration? It cannot mean that with the message of this angel, time, as computed in this world, in comparison with eternity, should end. The next verse speaks of the days of the voice of the seventh angel, and Revelation 11: 15-19 gives us some of the events to take place under this trumpet in the present state.  It cannot mean probationary time, for that does not cease until Christ closes His work as [High] priest, which is not until the seventh angel has begun to sound. (Revelation 11: 15, 19; 15: 5-8.) It must therefore mean prophetic time, for there is no other to which it can refer. . . The word chromos, however, denotes ‘time’ in the absolute, and there is every reason to believe that this is its meaning (in a prophetic sense) in verse 6; and that since it is used in a prediction connected with a very important prophecy, we are justified in understanding it to mean prophetic time. In other words, prophetic time shall be no more—not that time should never be used in prophetic sense, for the ‘days of the voice of the seventh angel’ spoken of immediately after, doubtless mean the years of the seventh angel. It means, rather, that no prophetic period should extend beyond the time of this message. Arguments on the prophetic periods, showing that the longest ones did not extend beyond the autumn of 1844, will be found in remarks on Daniel 8: 14.”

(Continued next week)