"VERSE 1. 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. 2. 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." p. 488, Para. 2.
In this scripture we have another instance in which the consecutive line of thought is for a time interrupted; and this chapter comes in as -- p. 488, Para. 3.
A Parenthetical Prophecy. -- Chapter 9 closed with the events of the sixth trumpet. The sounding of the seventh trumpet is not introduced until we reach the 15th verse of chapter 11. The whole of chapter 10 and a portion of chapter 11, therefore, come in parenthetically between the sixth and seventh 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 takes occasion to do it in the scripture which intervenes to the 15th verse of chapter 11. Among these is the prophecy of chapter 10. Let us first look at the chronology of the message of this angel. p. 488, Para. 4.
The Little Book. -- "He had in his hand a little book open." There is necessary inference to be drawn from this language, which is, that this book was at some time closed up. We read in Daniel of a book which was closed up and sealed to a certain time: "But 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 up only till the time of the end, it follows that at the time of the end the book would be opened; and 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 up 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 the 10th of Revelation. We see, furthermore, that in both places the contents ascribed to the book are the same. The book which Daniel had directions to close up and seal had reference to time: "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" And when the angel of this chapter comes down with the little book open, on which he bases his proclamation, he gives a message in relation to time: "Time shall be no longer." Nothing more could be 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 of the prophecy of Daniel. p. 488, Para. 5.
An important point is now determined toward settling the chronology of this angel; for we have seen that the prophecy, more particularly the prophetic periods of Daniel, were not to be opened till the time of the end; and if this is the book which the angel had in his hand open, it follows that he proclaims his message this side of the time when the book should be opened, or somewhere this side of the commencement of the time of the end. All that now remains on this point is to ascertain when the time of the end commenced; and the book of Daniel itself furnishes data from which this can be done. In Daniel 11, from verse 30, the papal power is brought to view. In verse 35 we read, "And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and make them white, even to the time of the end." Here it is brought to view the period of 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. It ended A.D. 1798, where the 1260 years of papal rule expired. There the time of the end commenced, and the book was opened. And since that time, many have run to and fro, and knowledge on these prophetic subjects has marvelously increased. p. 489, Para. 1.
The chronology of the events of Revelation 10 is further ascertained from the fact that this angel is identical with the first angel of Revelation 14. The points of identity between them are easily seen:  They both have a special message to proclaim;  they both utter their proclamation with a loud voice;  they both use similar language, referring to the great Creator as the maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and the things that are therein; and  they both proclaim time, one swearing that time should be no more, and the other proclaiming that the hour of God's judgment has come. But the message of Rev. 14:6 is located this side of the commencement 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. Luther and his coadjutors did not preach it. Paul reasoned of a judgment to come, indefinitely future; and Luther placed it at least three hundred years off from his day. Moreover, Paul warns the church against any such preaching as that the hour of God's judgment has come, until a certain time. In 2 Thess. . 2:1-3, he says: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as 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, the son of perdition," etc. Here Paul introduces to our view the man of sin, the little horn, the papacy, and covers with a caution the whole period of his supremacy, which, as already noticed, continued 1260 years, ending in 1798. In 1798, therefore, the restriction against proclaiming the day of Christ at hand ceased; in 1798, the time of the end commenced, and the seal was taken from the little book. Since that period, therefore, the angel of Revelation 14 has gone forth proclaiming the hour of God's judgment come; and it is since that time, too, that the angel of chapter 10 has taken his stand on sea and land, and sworn that time shall be no more. Of their identity there can be no question; and all the arguments which go to locate the one, are equally effective in the case of the other. We need not enter into any argument here to show that the present generation is witnessing the fulfilment of these two prophecies. In the preaching of the 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; and 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 under chapter 14. p. 490, Para. 1.
"VERSE 3. And 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." p. 491, Para. 1.
The Seven Thunders. -- It would be vain to speculate to any great length upon the seven thunders, in hope of gaining a definite knowledge of what they uttered. We must acquiesce in the directions given to John concerning them, and leave them where he left them, sealed up, unwritten, and consequently to us unknown. There is, however, a conjecture extant in relation to them, which may not inappropriately be mentioned here. It is that what the seven thunders uttered is the experience of the Adventists engaged in that movement, embracing their sore disappointment and trial. Something, evidently, was uttered which it would not be well for the church to know; and for God to have given an inspired record of the Advent movement in advance, would have been simply to defeat that movement, which we verily believe was in all its particulars an accomplishment of his purposes, and according to his will. Why, then, any mention of the seven thunders at all? Following out the above noticed conjecture, the conclusion would be that we, having met in our history with sudden, mysterious, and unexpected events, as startling and strange as thunders from an unclouded sky, might not give up in utter perplexity, inferring, as we may, that all is in the order and providence of God, since something of this nature was sealed up, and hidden from the church. p. 491, Para. 2.
"VERSE 5. And 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 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 the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer." p. 492, Para. 1.
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; for the next verse speaks of the days of the voice of the seventh angel; and chapter 11:15-19 gives us some of the events to take place under this trumpet, which transpire in the present state. And it cannot mean probationary time; for that does not cease till Christ closes his work as priest, which is not till after the seventh angel has commenced to sound. Rev. 11:15, 19; 15:5-8. It must therefore mean prophetic time; for there is no other to which it can refer. Prophetic time shall be no more -- not that time should never be used in a prophetic sense; for the "days of the voice of the seventh angel," spoken of immediately after, doubtless mean the years of the seventh angel; but no prophetic period should extend beyond this message; those that reach to the latest point would all close there. Arguments on the prophetic periods, showing that the longest ones did not extend beyond the autumn of 1844, will be found in remarks on Dan. 8:14. p. 492, Para. 2.
"VERSE 7. 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." p. 493, Para. 1.
The Days of the Voice of the Seventh Angel. -- This seventh trumpet is not that which is spoken of in 1 Cor. 15:52 as the last trump, which wakes the sleeping dead; but it is the seventh of the series of the seven trumpets, and like the others of this series, occupies days [years] in sounding. In the days when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished. Not in the day when he shall begin to sound, not in the very commencement of his sounding, but in the early years of his sounding, the mystery of God shall be finished. p. 493, Para. 2.
Commencement of the Seventh Trumpet. -- From the events to take place under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, its commencement may be located with sufficient definiteness at the close of the prophetic periods in 1844. Not many years from that date, then, the mystery of God is to be finished. The great event, whatever it is, is right upon us. Some closing and decisive work, with whatever of importance and solemnity it bears in its train, is near at hand. There is an importance connected with the finishing of any of the works of God. Such an act marks a solemn and important era. Our Saviour, when expiring upon the cross, cried, "It is finished" [John 19:30]; and when the great work of mercy for fallen man is completed, it will be announced by a voice from the throne of God, proclaiming, in tones which roll like thunder through all the earth, the solemn sentence, "It is done!" Rev. 16:17. It is therefore no uncalled-for solicitude which prompts us to inquire what bearing such events have upon our eternal hopes and interests; and, when we read of the finishing of the mystery of God, to ask what that mystery is, and in what its finishing consists. p. 493, Para. 2.
The Mystery of God. -- A few direct testimonies from that Book which has been given as a lamp to our feet will show what this mystery is. Eph. 1:9, 10: "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of time he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." Here God's purpose to gather together all in Christ is called the "mystery of his will." This is accomplished through the gospel. Eph. 6:19: "And for me [Paul asks that prayers be made], that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel." Here the gospel is declared plainly to be a mystery. It is called in Col. 4:3, the mystery of Christ. Eph. 3:3, 6: "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery [as I wrote afore in few words]," etc., "that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." Paul here declares that the mystery was made known to him by revelation, as he had before written. In this he refers to his Epistle to the Galatians, where he recorded what had been given him "by revelation," in these words: "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." Gal. 1:11, 12. Here Paul tells us plainly that what he received through revelation was the gospel. In Eph. 3:3, he calls it the mystery made known to him by revelation, as he had written before. The Epistle to the Galatians was written in A.D. 58, and that to the Ephesians in A.D. 64. p. 493, Para. 3.
In view of these testimonies, few will be disposed to deny that the mystery of God is the gospel. It is the same, then, as if the angel had declared, In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the gospel shall be finished. But what is the finishing of the gospel? Let us first inquire for what it was given. It was given to take out from the nations a people for God's name. Acts 15:14. Its finishing must, as a matter of course, be the close of this work. It will be finished when the number of God's people is made up, mercy ceases to be offered, and probation closes. p. 494, Para. 1.
The subject is now before us in all its magnitude. Such is the momentous work to be accomplished in the early days of the voice of the seventh angel, whose trumpet notes have been reverberating through the world since the memorable epoch of 1844. God is not slack; his work is not uncertain; are we ready for the issue? p. 494, Para. 2.
"VERSE 8. And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, God 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 thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy 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." p. 494, Para. 1.
In verse 8, John himself is brought in to act a part as a representative of the church, probably on account of the succeeding peculiar experience of the church which the Lord of the prophecy would cause to be put on record, but which could not well be presented under the symbol of an angel. When only a straightforward proclamation is brought to view, without including the peculiar experience which the church is to pass through in connection therewith, angels may be used as symbols to represent the religious teachers who proclaim that message, as in Revelation 14; but when some particular experience of the church is to be presented, the case is manifestly different. This could most appropriately be set forth in the person of some member of the human family; hence John is himself called upon to act a part in this symbolic representation. And this being the case, the angel who here appeared to John may represent that divine messenger, who, in the order which is observed in all the work of God, has charge of this message; or he may be introduced for the purpose of representing the nature of the message, and the source from which it comes. p. 495, Para. 2.
There are not a few now living who have in their own experience met a striking fulfilment of these verses, in the joy with which they received the message of Christ's immediate second coming, the honey-like sweetness of the precious truths then brought out, and the sadness and pain that followed, when at the appointed time in 1844 the Lord did not come, but a great disappointment did. A mistake had been made which apparently involved the integrity of the little book they had been eating. What had been so like honey to their taste, suddenly became like wormwood and gall. But those who had patience to endure, so to speak, the digesting process, soon learned that the mistake was only in the event, not in the time, and that what the angel had given them was not unto death, but to their nourishment and support. [See the same facts brought to view under a similar figure in Jer. 15:16-18.] p. 495, Para. 3.
"VERSE 11. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." p. 496, Para. 1.
John, standing as the representative of the church, here receives from the angel another commission. Another message is to go forth after the time when the first and second messages, as leading proclamations, ceased. In other words, we have here a prophecy of the third angel's message, now, as we believe, in process of fulfilment. Neither will this work be done in a corner; for it is to go before "many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." [See chapter 14.] p. 496, Para. 2.
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated November, 2017.
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