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The "little book" of Revelation 10
Now notice this tenth chapter–an inset chapter, not necessarily at all occurring at the TIME sequence of the end of the ninth chapter. The actual recording of EVENTS, TIME-WISE, is not continued until chapter 11, verse 15.
This chapter 10 has been virtually OVERLOOKED. I did not comment on it in the earlier days, or expound it when I wrote the OUTLINE of the book of Revelation, or the full booklet on the revelation. There was NO WAY it could have been understood then–until after subsequent events–just as we could not have understood how Satan sways the entire WORLD, as explained in Eph. 2.1-2, until we had radio and television.
A MIGHTY ANGEL comes down from heaven, his face as the SUN, his feet as pillars of fire. His voice was as the roar of a lion. He set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth.
He had a LITTLE BOOK open.
This mighty angel in the second half of this inset prophecy, beginning verse 6, swears by the Eternal GOD there shall be "time no longer" (A.V.–marginal translation—"no more delay". But the angel continues, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, (7th trumpet–which shall be the 7 last plagues–and which also is the PRECISE TIME of Christ’s coming as KING over the earth)–when He shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be finished…" (verse 6-7).
I italicized "when He shall" referring to the sounding of the last and FINAL trumpet, to show that the time setting of this brief two-part inset prophecy is NOT AT OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER the 6th trumpet of chapter 9) –but SOME TIME PRIOR TO IT! Therefore, in time setting, this is a flashback. Now continue:
The Apostle John in his vision is told to take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel, and eat it up.
HOW LIKE EZEKIEL’S PROPHECY!
It was sweet as honey in his mouth but BITTER in his stomach.
The message of that little book seems to be what the angel next said, "Thou must prophesy [proclaim–preach—foretell] again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues and KINGS!"
The message of the little book written on both sides of a roll, to be eaten and swallowed, takes us directly back to Ezekiel’s prophecy. Ezekiel himself, as I have shown. NEVER WENT TO ISRAEL, NEVER DELIVERED THAT MESSAGE. It was not a prophecy for the Israel of his day–but for OUR DAY, NOW. Ezekiel’s prophecy was NOT a message to MANY NATIONS, speaking different languages, and to their KINGS. It was to the REBELLIOUS PEOPLE of the House of Israel and it was emphasized to Ezekiel they were NOT of strange speech–NOT foreign Gentile nations.
This WORK OF GOD did carry that message to those same people in OUR DAY, prior to January, 1972.
I felt I had reason to believe it was POSSIBLE that OUR WORK would be FINISHED by January, 1972, I wrote and printed that many times. But I also said I WAS NOT SETTING DATES–it was not CERTAIN!
It was a possibility. But being HUMAN, many of those supporting me in this Work did take it as a definite date. Up until then they sacrificed to send in tithes and offerings for God’s WORK, when the Work did NOT end in January, 1972, some FOOLISHLY said, "Now I’m through going without things I like to have–my Lord delayeth His coming!" Read what God says of those who say and do that (Matt. 24:48-51).
Now WHEN is the TIME of this prophecy in Revelation?
Read right on. Chapter 11 is merely a chapter division written by MEN. But John’s book of Revelation continues right on. The apostle, in his vision, is told now by this same angel to rise and MEASURE THE TEMPLE. But LEAVE OUT the court which is for the Gentiles, for they shall tread down the Holy City for 3 1/2 years.
So the TIME of our prophecy is at least 3 1/2 YEARS before Christ’s coming–before THE GREAT TRIBULATION before the beginning of the DAY OF THE LORD and before the seventh angel blows the last trumpet!
Then it continues on into the message of the TWO WITNESSES–also referred to and perhaps identified in Haggai and Zechariah.
And THEY SHALL PREACH A LAST WARNING TO THE WHOLE WORLD FOR 3 1/2 YEARS! And it is not until after ALL THIS, that the time element picks back up with the sounding of the 7th trumpet in chapter 11:15. (Armstrong, Herbert W. Co-worker letter, November 19, 1976).