The Little Book (Rev. 10)
"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, 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. 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 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: 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. 8 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. 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. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" (Revelation 10:8-11).
Little book Daniel's prophecies related to the last days. The book that was sealed in Daniel's day ("seal the book" - Dan. 12:4) concerning last day events, that had started being unsealed by Jesus after His resurrection (see The 7 Seals) was now losing its 7th and final seal and thus able to be fully understood ("open"). Understanding of Daniel's time prophecies, in particuar the 2300 days, would begin to unfold after 1798 ("the time of the end" - Dan. 12:4) when Daniel's prophecies began to be studied extensively (running "to and fro" - Dan. 12:4) and understood as never before ("knowledge shall be increased" - Dan. 12:4). In 1840, when the 7th seal was removed (see The 7 Seals), the book would be completely open and would be understood more and more as the 7th time period progressed. Notice that the one who opens the book in Revelation 10 cries as "a lion roareth" (Rev. 10:3), and the book in Revelation 5 could only be opened by the lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). These are referring to one and the same book (see more about identifying the book) (see also egwwritings.com Ms76-1897.16 and Lt59-1896.7).
Seven thunders Seven successive phases of the proclamation of the message in the little book by God's people while the book was sweet (1842-1844). Note, the seven thunders were sealed, which meant the people proclaiming the message did not fully understand it until later.
Time no longer The end of prophetic time. The message in the Little Book announces the end of the prophetic periods in prophecy. There would be no time prophecy that extended beyond the 2300 years (1844).
The days of the voice of the 7th Angel The 7th Trumpet time period (1840 - Second Coming). The time period of the 7th Trumpet is associated with the events surrounding the eating of the little book, seven thunders (1842-1844) and the end of prophetic time (1844). See more info on the start date of the 7th Trumpet. This time period is also when the Mystery of God is finished.
Eating the book The study, understanding and acceptance of the message (Jer. 15:16, Ezek. 2:10-3:1). The time prophecies of Daniel, in particular the 2300 days, began to be studied and better understood after 1798 (the "time of the end" - Dan. 12:9). From 1842-1844, they were preached and accepted by thousands of believers from varying demonimations. Note: This corresponds to the initial proclamation of the 1st and 2nd Angels' Messages.
Sweet as honey and bitter in the belly The message in the Little Book was accepted with great joy, anticipation and was a wonderful experience ("sweet as honey") (Ps. 119:103). However, they misunderstood part of the prophecy (7 thunders were sealed), which resulted in a great disappointment ("belly was bitter").
Prophecy again Though disappointed, the believers were to study, learn the reason for their misunderstanding, and share the message again with "many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" (10:10). In Revelation chapter 14, the 3 Angels' Messages provide detail of this message that would be preached to "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Rev. 14:6).
The Adventist StoryThe unsealing of the book, with the increase of study and understanding of Daniel's time prophecy of the 2300 days (Dan. 8), led to the Advent Movement, made up of people of varying denominations, who believed that prophecy predicted Jesus would return to earth in 1844 (initially thought to be in 1843).
They discovered that the 2300 day prophecy in the vision of Daniel 8 was linked to the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel 9. Both had the same start date, which was the command to restore and build Jerusalem. Daniel had fainted during the angel's explaination of the vision (Dan. 8:27), but the angel later returned to give Daniel understanding (Dan. 9:22) concerning the vision (Dan. 9:23). The start date began with the command to restore and build Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). There were three decrees, but the last one was comprehensive enough to make it possible for the work to begin. The decree was given in the autumn of 457 BC by Artaxerxes. When 2300 years are added on to 457 BC, it brings us to the autumn of 1844 AD.
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" (Daniel 8:14). The prophecy predicted that at the end of the 2300 years the "sanctuary would be cleansed." The Adventists believed that the sanctuary symbolized the earth and that its cleansing referred to the cleansing of the earth by fire at the second coming of Jesus. Thus, they concluded that Jesus would return to earth in the autum of 1844.
The message of Jesus' soon return was preached extensively on many continents, gathering great momentum in the early 1840s, and proclaimed especially loudly and specifically as the 1st and 2nd Angels' Messages (Rev. 14) from 1842 to 1844 ("seven thunders" - Rev. 10:3-4). Many joined the movement and were united with unequaled joy in the anticipation of meeting their blessed saviour. The eating of the book symbolizes the studying, acceptance and assimilation of the message. The people took it in and it tasted sweet (sweet as honey - Rev. 10:9).
When Jesus didn't return in 1844 as expected, there was great disappointment, symbolized by the taste turning bitter (Rev. 10:10). There was great discouragement and many left the movement at this time and gave up their faith and the studying of prophecy. However, some kept studying, and the angel told these disappointed ones to go and prophesy again (Rev. 10:11), reaching many peoples and nations. They were to study prophecy and preach again. A small group continued studying the Bible, and they soon came to understand the meaning of the "cleansing of the sanctuary". Their misunderstanding is also symbolized by the sealing up of the words of the Seven Thunders (Rev. 10:4). Understanding, or the opening of the seal placed on the Seven Thunders, would come later as they understood that their disappointment was actually predicted in this prophecy.
The Hebrew word for "cleansed" in Daniel 8:14 is "tsadaq" and is associated with concepts such as judgment, vindication, cleansing, and salvation. It indicates a restoration of the order established by God through a work of cleansing and judgment. The earthly sanctuary services included a cleansing of the sanctuary once a year on the Day of Atonement. The earthly sanctuary was patterned after the true tabernacle, the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 8:1-2). The end-of-the-year process (called the Day of Atonement) in the earthly sanctuary involved finally removing sins from the sanctuary that were previously forgiven throughout the year. This is also what happens in the heavenly sanctuary during the final phase of salvation. The sins of those who have accepted Christ and been forgiven throughout all time are finally forever blotted out. The righteous princples of God and His people who follow them, who are often condemned by men, are vindicated by God. With His continual atonement, Christ has been bearing the sins of His people. But, during the heavenly Day of Atonement, sin is removed from the record for those who have been pardoned, and God is revealed to be totally unrelated to sin and He is vindicated. This is a time of investigation, judgment and restoration, a putting away of sin, a cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary where God is carrying out the plan of salvation. See more information on the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8, which is paralleled by the court scene/judgment in Daniel 7.
The Israelite Day of Atonement occurred on the 10th day of the 7th month of the Jewish calendar. Just like Jesus, the lamb of God, was killed on the actual date of the Passover (14th day of 1st month) in fulfillment of that feast, the ministration of Jesus began a new phase as He moved into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary on the actual date of the Day of Atonement in fulfillment of that feast. In 1844, October 22 was the tenth day of the seventh month according to the Jewish calendar (as kept by the orthodox Karaite Jews).
The Advent Movement thus continued to prophecy, even after the great disappointment, just like prophecy foretold and the voice from heaven told them to do (Rev. 10:11). They continued to announce to the world that the judgment had come (Rev. 14:7), not in the sense that Christ had already returned to earth, but that He was currently conducting an investigation that would set everything right, after which He would return to earth.
This prophecy provides details on how God's end-time church, the "remnant of her seed" (Rev. 12:17), had its beginnings. The Advent Movement is associated with the beginning of the proclamation of the 3 Angels' Messages (the preaching of the Little Book), and the return to keeping all of the commandments of God (Rev. 12:17). The group that emerged out of the Advent movement, who again began to preach the Little Book message ("prophesy again") became officially named the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1867. It continues to preach the message to this day and fulfills all of the identifying characteristics of this (Rev. 10) and other prophecies. Additional detailed characteristics of this end-time church are revealed in the study of The Remnant in Revelation 12.
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