The Seven Angels, the Mighty Angel, the Seven Thunders, and the ‘Little Book’

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 first. Revelation 10: 1, K.J.V

Another mighty angel. – That is, in addition to the seven angels in charge of the seven trumpets who had earlier appeared to John in vision. He is apparently distinct from the angels who hold the four winds (ch. 7: 1), from those with the seven trumpets (ch. 8: 2), from the angel at the altar (ch. 8: 3), and from those in the river Euphrates [symbolically]. This angel may be identified as Christ [the Archangel]. Here, the Lord of history (and prophecy) He makes the proclamation of verse 6.”  He can be no other than Jesus Himself, “the Lord of the Sabbath.”

     “The mighty angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ. 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. The controversy [between Christ and Satan and their respective followers/agencies on earth] had waxed stronger and more determined from age to age, and will continue to do so, to the concluding scenes when the masterly working of the powers of darkness shall reach their height. Satan, united with evil men, will deceive the whole world and thechurches who receive not the love of the truth. But the mighty angel demands attention. He cries with a loud voice. He is to show the power and authority of His voice to those who have united with Satan to oppose the truth.” – E. G. White, 7BC 971.

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. Verse 2.

 The little book.- The original Greek means“a little scroll,” a diminutive from of biblos, ‘book, ‘scroll.’ In the New Testament this word appears only in the present chapter. As contrasted to the scroll (biblion) in the hand of God in ch. 1, this little scroll is distinctly smaller. Compare the symbolism of Eze. 2: 9.”

 Open. – “The Greek implies that the book has been opened and still is open. By contrast the previous scroll was sealed with seven seals (ch. 5: 11). Daniel had been instructed to ‘shut up the words’, and seal the book, even to the time of the end [ch. 12: 4) [the year 1798].This admonition applies particularly to that part of Daniel’s prophecies that deals with the last days (see on ch. 12: 4), and doubtless especially to the time element of the 2300 days (ch. 8:14) as it relates to the preaching of the first, second, and third angels’ messages (rev. 14: 6-12). Inasmuch as the message of the present angel deals with time, and presumably with the events at the time of the end, when the book of Daniel was to unsealed (Dan. 12: 4), it seems reasonable to conclude that thelittle book open in the hand of the angel was the book of Daniel. With the presentation to John of the little book open, the sealed portions of Daniel’s prophecy are revealed. The time element, pointing out the end of the 2300-day prophecy, is during the years 1840-1844.”

“A little book open.”  The message itself sheds light as to the time when this movement is to take place. It is declared to be a part of the everlasting gospel; and it announces the opening of the [pre-advent or investigative] judgment. The message of salvation has been preached in all ages ; but this message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. The prophecies present a succession of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal ‘to the time of the end.’ Not till we reach this time [1798] could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on the fulfillment of these prophecies. But at the time the end, says the prophet, ‘many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” – Ibid, Great Controversy, pp. 355, 356.

And he cried with a loud voice, as a lion roareth: and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. Verse 3.

    “It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah [Jesus Christ [not Haile Selassie of the Rastafarians] who unsealed the book [of Daniel] and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days. Daniel ‘stood in his lot’ to bear his testimony which was sealed until the time of the end, when the first angel’s message should be proclaimed to our world. These matters are of infinite importance in these last days; but while ‘many shall be purified and made white, and tried’ ‘the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.’  How true this is! Sin is the transgression of the law of God; and those who will not accept the light in regard to the law of God will not understand the proclamation of the first, second, and third angel’s messages. The book of Daniel is unsealed in the revelation to John, and carries us forward to the last scenes of earth’s history.” – Ibid, Testimonies to Ministers, p.115.

“Upon the sea . . . . upon the earth.’ “Sea and earth are used repeatedly to designate the world as a whole. (see Eze. 20: 4, 11; Ps. 69: 34). The fact that the angel stands upon both sea and earth implies the worldwide proclamation of His message, and also His power and authority over the world.”

“And when the seven thunders has uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a loud voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”  “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven.” Verses 5, 6.

       “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 necessarily be tested. In the order of Godmost wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angels’ messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed [hence the misunderstanding of the event to take place, not the accuracy of the prophetic time reckoning of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8: 14] before these messages had done their specific work. This is represented by the Angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with the most solemn oath that time should be no longer.” – Ibid, 7BC 971.  NOTE: How important then that we study and understand the first and second angels’ messages of Revelation 14!]

     “After the seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the book [Daniel]: ‘Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.’ These relate to future events which shall be disclosed in their order. Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel’s prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels’ messages to be given to the world.  The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time.

    “[Thus], the books of Daniel and the Revelation are one. One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; one book is sealed, the other a book opened. John heard the mysteries which the thunders uttered, but he was commanded not to write them.” – Ibid, 7BC 971.

“And sware by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” Verse 6.

    “This time, which the Angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of the world’s history, neither of probationary timebut 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.”- Ibid, 7BC 971.

         “The message of Revelation 14, proclaiming that the hour of God’s judgment is come, is given in the time of the end; and the angel of Revelation 10 is represented as having one foot on the sea and one foot on the land, showing that the message will be carried to distant lands, the ocean will be crossed, and the islands of the sea will hear the proclamation of the last message of warning.” [Rev. 10: 5, 6 quoted]. This message announces the end of prophetic periods. The Disappointment of those who expected to see our Lord in 1844 was indeed bitter to those who had so ardently looked for His appearing. It was in the Lord’s order that this disappointment should come, and that hearts should be revealed.” Ibid, 2SM 107-108.

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.” Verse 7.

    “In past ages the Lord God of heaven revealed His secrets to His prophets [Amos 3: 7], and this He does still. The present and the future are equally clear to Him, and He shows to His servants the future history of what shall be. The Omniscient looked down the ages, and predicted through His prophets the rise and fall of kingdoms, hundreds of years before the events foretold took place. The voice of God echoes down the ages, telling man what is to take place. Kings and princes take their places at their appointed time. They think they are carrying out their own purposes, but in reality they are fulfilling the word God has given to His prophets. They act their part in carrying out God’s great purposes. The events fall into line, fulfilling the word God has spoken.” – Ibid,Upward Look (Devotional), p. 96.

     “In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently, working out the counsels of His own will.”- Ibid, Education, p. 173.

“The mystery of God.” For comment on the word ‘mystery’ see on Rev. Rev. 1: 20; cf. on Rom. 11: 25. Jesus used a similar phrase, ‘the mystery of the kingdom of God’ (Mark 4: 11), and Paul also speaks of ‘the mystery of God’ (Col. 2: 22) and ‘the mystery of Christ’ (Col. 4: 3). The mystery of God, that which He reveals to His children, is His purpose for them—the plan of redemption. Compare 1 Tim. 3: 16; and Testimonies vol. 9, p. 19.

      “The incarnation of Christ is a mystery. The union of divinity with humanity is a mystery indeed, hidden with God, ‘even the mystery which hath been hid from ages.’ It was kept in eternal silence by Jehovah, and was first revealed in Eden, by the prophecy that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, and that he should bruise His heel [Gen. 3: 15]. To present to the world this mystery that God in silence for eternal ages before man was created, was the part that Christ would act in the work He entered upon when He came to this earth. And this wonderful mystery, the incarnation of Christ and the atonement He made, must be declared to every son of daughter of Adam [fallen, sinful race], whether Jew or Gentile. His sufferings perfectly fulfilled the claims of the law of God. None of the apostles could have fulfilled the deficiency, had there been any.”- Ibid, Signs of the Times, Mar.15, 1897.

(To be continued next week)