Revelation Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy really can be understood

Revelation 1:3
“Blessed is he who reads and
those who hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things
which are written in it for the
time is near.”
 
Revelation 1:1-3

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Revelation Chapter 10

An Interruption in the Prophecy

Time No Longer

The ninth chapter closed with the events that came under the sixth seal. The seventh trumpet has not sounded as yet and is not introduced until the 15th verse of chapter 11. Thus we have a parenthetical prophecy that is inserted here between the sixth and seventh trumpet. John has other events that need to be introduced before the opening of the seventh trumpet and he takes this occasion to do so. This should not be something new to us as we have seen the same take place between the sixth and seventh seals with chapter 7.

Revelation 10:1And 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:

I saw - See notes on Revelation 1:1; 4:1. Chapters 10:1 to 11:14 constitute a parenthesis between the sixth and seventh trumpets. This parenthesis is similar to that of chapter 7, which comes between the sixth and seventh seals.

Another - This automatically sets this angel apart from the others that have the seven trumpets.

Angel come down from heaven - Although the focus of the vision is now upon a heavenly being, its locale is still the earth. The significance of the angel/messenger coming down from heaven is that it shows this is a message that has its origin from God. Thus this message is of great importance.

It is also interesting to note that when Satan moves it is not symbolized as coming from above but beneath, the abyss, the sea and the earth.

Clothed with a cloud - Greek periballō, “to throw about,” “to envelop,” “to clothe.” We find that this mighty angel is clothed with a cloud. When looking through scripture we find that clouds are associated with Deity. Note the following:

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way...” Exodus 13:21
And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud...” Exodus 19:9
...one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” Daniel 7:13

Christ's transfiguration on the mountain
“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:5

Christ's ascension and second coming
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him...” Revelation 1:7

In seeing that clouds are associated with Deity, we can thus conclude that this angel must be a member of the Godhead. See also Revelation 14:14; cf. Psalms 104:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Rainbow was upon his head - We looked at this symbol in Revelation 4:3 (compare Ezekiel 1:26-28) and found it to represent that God is a covenant keeping God and that He is just and merciful. A fitting symbol to be about this angel's head. The angel's face, “as it were the sun,” shining through the cloud with which he is enveloped may be thought of as the occasion for the rainbow. Compare on Genesis 1:12-13.

As it were the sun - This reminds us of the description of Christ in the first chapter. Christ is the Sun of Righteousness. (Malachi 4:2) Compare also the description of Christ in Revelation 1:16.

Feet - To compare feet to pillars appears incongruous, but the word “feet” (podes) is doubtless used here in the sense of the lower extremities, the legs and feet, which are likened to pillars of fire. (cf. of S. Sol. 5:15; cf. on Ezekiel 1:7)

Pillars of fire - Compare the description of the feet of Christ in Revelation 1:15.

So we find that Jesus is this angel that brings a Divine message, the One that is the covenant keeping God.

Revelation 10:2And 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,

In his hand - Compare the symbolism of Ezekiel 2:9.

A little book - Greek biblaridion, “a little scroll.” In the New Testament biblaridion appears only in the present chapter. As contrasted with the scroll (biblion) in the hand of God in Revelation 5:1, this little scroll is distinctly smaller. Compare the symbolism of Ezekiel 2:9. So what is this little book? To make special mention that the book is open implies that at some stage the book was closed or sealed. Where do we find a book like this?

There are a number of reasons to prove that this book is none other than the book of Daniel. They are as follows;

— The book is mentioned as being little. Daniel is only comprised of 12 chapters.
— Each time the book is mentioned it is said that it is “open”. This indicates that it was closed or sealed at some prior stage. The book of Daniel was to be sealed until the time of the end. (Daniel 12:4, 9) This is the only book spoken of as being sealed.
— With the book of Daniel being mentioned as sealed until the time of the end, it would be reasonable to expect that at the time of the events surrounding the time of the end, the opening of this book would be mentioned.
— There is no account of the book of Daniel being opened unless this verse in Revelation is accepted. Thus the book of Daniel would be a forever closed book.
— The little book in chapter 10 is concerned with time, “time no longer.” The only other book of the Bible that specializes in time is the book of Daniel.
— Daniel did not understand the oath in Daniel 12:8, but was reassured in verse 9 that the understanding would be given after the time of the end. chapter 10 is a fulfilment of this promise.
— The person that made the oath in Daniel 12:7 is described in Daniel 10:5-6, but is also the same person that makes the oath in chapter 10. This person is Jesus Christ according to the description given in Revelation 1:13-17. This shows the closeness of Daniel 12 and Revelation 10.
— With the book being open and the message being proclaimed from it, shows that the message is proclaimed this side of the time of the end in 1798.

Daniel 11:35 gives a brief explanation of the papal persecution during its reign in the dark ages. According to this verse the persecution was to cease at the time of the end, which was the end of the 1260 years of papal supremacy. This ended in 1798 and thus we see that the time of the end began 1798. So from 1798 onwards the book of Daniel has been open. (For more information on the time of the end, see notes on Daniel 11:30-35)

Open - The Greek implies that the book has been opened and still is open. By contrast, the previous scroll was sealed with seven seals. (Revelation 5:1) Daniel had been instructed to “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.” (Revelation 12:4) This admonition applies particularly to the part of Daniel's prophecies that deals with the last days, (see notes on Revelation 12:4) and doubtless especially to the time element of the 2300 days (Revelation 8:14) as it relates to the preaching of the first, second, and third angels' messages. (Revelation 14:6-12) Inasmuch as the message of the present angel deals with time, and presumably with events at the time of the end, when the book of Daniel was to be unsealed (Daniel 12:4), it seems reasonable to conclude that the little 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 made clear. Consequently the present chapter focuses upon the time when the proclamation of verses 6-7 was made, that is, during the years 1840 to 1844.

Foot upon the sea...foot upon the earth - Sea and earth are used repeatedly to designate the world as a whole. (see Exodus 20:4, 11; Psalms 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. This shows the extent of the message that was to be proclaimed from the book of Daniel. The message would cross the seas to distant lands; the islands of the seas would also hear the proclamation of this message. This message is worldwide in its nature.

Revelation 10:3-4And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 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.

Cried with a loud voice - This cry was likened unto a lion that roareth. A lion's roar is powerful and very loud, but can also be heard for quite a distance.

When a lion roareth - Only the deep, resounding note of the angel's voice is emphasized. What he said is not recorded.

Seven thunders - Another in the various series of sevens that characterize the Revelation. (see notes on Revelation 1:11)

4. Seven thunders uttered their voices - The seven thunders utter their voices when the cry goes out. Do we know what they are?

I was about to write - It is obvious that John understood those things that were uttered for he was about to write them down. But before he could, a voice from heaven told him to seal up the things that the thunders uttered and do not write them. God in His wisdom has withheld them from our understanding; it has not been revealed to us what they are. The present passage indicates that John recorded the visions of the Revelation as they were shown him and not at a later date.

Seal up - Like Daniel, long before, John is now hidden to “seal up” the revelation that had come to him. (see Daniel 12:4) Paul also, in vision, had heard “unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Corinthians 12:4) The messages of the seven thunders obviously were not a revelation for the people of John's day. They doubtless revealed details of the messages that were to be proclaimed at “the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:4; cf. on Revelation 10:2) Thus they may be understood as a portrayal of events that would occur in connection with the proclamation of the first and second angel's messages.

Revelation 10:5-6And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 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:

Lifted up his hand to heaven - As it is in our day so it was in ancient times, that the lifting up of the hand was a gesture characteristic of the utterance of an oath. (Genesis 14:21-23; Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezekiel 20:15; Daniel 12:7)

6. Swear by him that liveth forever and ever - Here the angel, who is Christ swears by the one that lives for ever and ever, but also by the one that created all things. The one that made all things is Christ, (John 1:1-3, 14) and thus also keepeth truth for ever. (Psalms 146:6) Christ swears by Himself for there is no greater that He can swear by. (Hebrews 6:13) This shows the importance of the truth in this chapter.

Who created - Compare Exodus 20:11; Psalms 146:6. No more solemn oath could be made. (see Hebrews 6:13) In swearing by the Creator, the angel, who is Christ, (see notes on Revelation 10:1) swears by himself.

Time no longer - Greek chronos ouketi estai, “time no more shall be.” What is this time no longer? Is it literal time, that is, time as calculated by the world today, should end and eternity start; or is it referring to probationary time of when the day will come when salvation's door closes forevermore? Is it symbolic time of where a day represents a year? This cryptic declaration has been variously interpreted. Many expositors have understood it to mark the end of time as such, and the beginning of eternity. Others have taken the word “time” in the sense of the time that elapses before the final events of history, and so have translated, “there shall be no more delay.”

We find that the answer is none of the above mentioned. The reasons for this are as follows;

Literal time It cannot be literal time, as in the end of the world, for at the close of the proclamation of this message, the command is given that “thou must prophesy again,” verse 11. Thus it cannot be the end of the world.

Probationary time In verse 7 we find that, during the sounding of the seventh angel the mystery of God should be finished. The mystery of God represents the gospel and its work in a person's life, and the finishing of this is the close of probationary time. If probationary time is here referred to, why do we need to have the gospel do its work under the seventh angel when all cases have been decided for gain or loss of eternal life?

Symbolic time Symbolic time, a day for a year, extends until the second coming of Christ, at which stage time changes from symbolic to literal time. This is a very important Biblical principle to remember. It is because of this principle that we understand the 1000 years of chapter 20 to be literal and not symbolic. The events of chapter 20 occur after the second coming of Christ. The events of chapter 20 are literal events, a literal resurrection of the wicked, a literal beloved city, literal fire and literal death, thus a literal thousand years.

So we can see that it is not symbolic time referred to, as we are still dealing with the time frame before the second coming of Christ.

To understand the issue of “time no longer” we need to go to the book of Daniel, for it is this book that is open in the hand of the angel and which is being proclaimed from. Here we shall find the answer.

In the book of Daniel there are four prophetic time periods, also known as chronological time periods, each of them with a definite starting and finishing date. They are as follows;

- The 3½ prophetic years of Daniel 7:25 and 12:7. The rise and fall of Papal supremacy. 538 A.D. - 1798 A.D.
- The 1290 prophetic days of Daniel 12:11. The taking away of the daily and the abomination set up. 508 A.D. - 1798 A.D.
- The 1335 prophetic days of Daniel 12:12. Daniel and the saints stand in their lot for judgment. 508 A.D. - 1843/44 A.D.
- The 2300 prophetic days of Daniel 8:14. At the close of this date the cleansing of the sanctuary or judgment would commence. 457 B.C. - 1844 A.D.

The longest time prophecy in the book of Daniel is the 2300 days which ended in 1844. This marked the end of all the chronological prophecies and thus the ending of all definite date settings. It is to this that the angel was pointing when exclaiming that there should be “time no longer.” No longer are we to look to these prophecies to be fulfilled, they have come to their end. All chronological time prophecies/time periods have ceased. No more dates are to be set after 1844, for any event whatsoever, as far as Bible prophecy is concerned. 1844 is the last date in Bible prophecy.

This does not mean that the day for a year principle ceased in 1844, it means that, all time periods needing an ending date have ceased.

The only group I have found so far that have understood this correctly are the Seventh-day Adventists. They have generally understood these words to describe particularly the message proclaimed in the years 1840-1844 by William Miller who was a Baptist preacher, and others in connection with the close of the 2300-day prophecy. They have understood the “time” to be prophetic time, and its end to signify the close of the longest time prophecy, that of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14.

Revelation 10:7But 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 has declared to his servants the prophets.

Days of the voice of the seventh angel - Some commentators have taken “days” here as prophetic year-days. Whether these are to be understood as days or years seems to make little difference for the expression itself is general, and coming after the declaration of verse 6, so they cannot specify a measurable time period. (see notes on verse 6) The sense of the passage is that at the time of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God is to be completed. In God's plan this event was to follow upon the proclamation that “there should be time no longer.” (verse 6) Compare the declaration under the seventh plague, “It is done.” (Revelation 16:17) The seventh angel is no doubt a reference to the angel of the seventh trumpet. See Revelation 11:15-19 for events.

When he shall begin to sound - Or, “when he shall sound.” The seventh trumpet marks a climactic point in the great controversy between Christ and Satan, as revealed by the proclamation of the voices in heaven at that time. (Revelation 11:15)

The mystery of God - During the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God will be finished. For comments on the word “mystery,” see notes on Revelation 1:20; cf. on Romans 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” (Colossians 2:2) and “the mystery of Christ.” (Colossians 4:3) What is the mystery of God here?

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).” Ephesians 3:3-4. By revelation this mystery of Christ was made known unto him.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen.” Galatians 1:11-12, 16.

To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27.

This is why it is also known as the mystery of the gospel, for this is the purpose of the gospel. The mystery of God that He reveals to His children is His purpose for them, the plan of redemption. Compare 1 Timothy 3:16.

Should be finished - See notes on Revelation 11:15.

His servants the prophets - The declaration and exposition of the mystery of God (see the foregoing on “the mystery of God”) has ever been the burden of His servants the prophets in their messages to men. (see Romans 3:21)

Revelation 10:8-11And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke 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. 9 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 your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey. 10 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. 11 And he said unto me, You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

The voice - Doubtless the voice that had forbidden John to write what had been declared by the seven thunders (verse 4), as shown by the repetition of the phrase “from heaven,” and by the adverb “again.”

Go and take - John is called upon to act a part in the vision.

The little book - See notes on verse 2.

Open - See notes on verse 2.

In the hand - See notes on verse 2.

The sea … earth - See notes on verse 2.

9. Give me - John is placed here in the position of expressing his desire for the book. He acts the part of those who proclaimed the second advent message in the years 1840-1844. Though mistaken in expecting Christ to return in 1844, they nevertheless were led of God and found the message of the near advent precious to their souls and a message sweet as honey. Their computation of the time element in the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 was correct (see comment there), but they were mistaken as to the nature of the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days.

Eat it up - Compare the symbolism in Ezekiel 3:1. (cf. Jeremiah 15:16) To eat up the book may be thought of as a figure of speech for comprehending fully the meaning of the message contained in the little roll. John's experience in Revelation 10:10 well describes that of the advent believers as they came more fully to understand the meaning of the three angel's messages (Revelation 14:6-12) in relation to the true fulfillment of the 2300-day prophecy.

Make thy belly bitter - See notes on verse 10. The order of the elements in verse 9 and 10 is a familiar form of Hebrew parallelism. (see notes on Revelation 1:2; 9:17)

“It shall be in thy belly bitter …”
“It shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey honey. …”
“It was in my mouth sweet as honey …”
“My belly was bitter.”

In thy mouth sweet - See notes on verse 10.

10. I took - See notes on verse 10.

Sweet as honey - Compare Ezekiel 3:3. As in Ezekiel's experience, God's messages to His servants have often been a mixture of sweetness and bitterness, for they may reveal both His love and His judgments. Prophets of God have experienced both the ecstacy of divine vision and the bitterness of delivering messages of rebuke to men.

In a specific sense the experience that came to John here in vision may be seen as typical of that of the advent believers in the years 1840-1844. When these believers first heard the message of the imminent second coming, it was to them “sweet as honey.” But when Christ did not come as they expected, their experience was indeed bitter. History called it “the bitter disappointment.” Compare notes on verse 9.

My belly was bitter - See above on “sweet as honey.”

11. He - Christ, the “angel” of verses 1, 9.

Thou must prophecy again - Compare Ezekiel 3:1, 4. Though John's eating of the roll had ended in bitterness, Christ's reassuring words to the prophet are that he is now to prophesy again. The word translated “must” is in an emphatic position in the Greek. John as a representative of the second advent believers after the disappointment, is placed under strong obligation to deliver this message and a further message again. A great work remains to be done.

So what group has continued to preach this message again that Jesus speaks of here as they will be doing the will of God and have His blessing? That group must go forth and proclaim the message of the third angel of Revelation 14:9-12.

Before - Or, “about. Either meaning suits the context. The messages would be both before many peoples …” and “about many peoples.”

Many peoples - As the full meaning of the third angel's message dawned upon the second advent believers, more and more they came to realize that it was a message for the world and that it was to be proclaimed “before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Interestingly enough, the only church that has continued to preach this specific sanctuary message from Daniel 8 is the Seventh-day Adventist church. There conviction has resulted in one of the most widespread programs of world evangelization that Christian history has seen as Seventh-day Adventists have gone forth to proclaim “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6) the message they believe has been committed to them. There are in fact only two churches that are in every country and hence have gone to every nation. One being the Papal church and the other being the Seventh-day Adventist church, which are poles apart.

So it is with great interest that we find God preordained this event and is of such great significance that He recorded it here in chapter 10. It is also interesting that rumour condemns the Seventh-day Adventist church for setting a time for the return of Christ. But in fact, it was every other denomination at that time that were expecting the return of Christ that begun with one William Miller who was a Baptist preacher. The Seventh-day Adventist church rose as a result of this event God spoke of here, but did not exist for another 60 years after this event. Based on this and much more I have observed, it is as if Satan is making war with this group. See notes on Revelation 12:17.

Revelation Bible Prophecy Chapter 11...