Revelation 10 - The Great Disappointment

The Apostles who began the Christian Movement suffered a great and bitter disappointment. They had expected Christ to set up His earthly kingdom in their day. Would it be strange if the founders of the Movement who are to finish the work also suffered a bitter disappointment? Revelation 10 describes the rise of the Movement that will finish the work the disciples began...The Great Advent Movement was raised by God not to perpetuate the life of this planet but to bring it to an end by hastening the Second Coming of Christ. This is their story - Revelation 10


Revelation Chapter 10

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.

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 angelʼs 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, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.


OVERVIEW

Just as the Sealing is mentioned between the 6th and 7th Seals so Rev 10 is men- tioned between the 6th and 7th Trumpets. Rev 7 mentions the sealing message. Rev 10 mentions the people who give the sealing message. Rev 10 describes events which led to the rise of the end-time Movement that is to finish the work the Apostlic Church began before the seven last plagues fall (Rev 11:15).


verses 1-3 The Mighty Angel is Christ

“Angel” means “messenger” and does not neccessarily refer to a created being. Christ, who has always existed (Mic 5:2), is sometimes called “the Angel of the Lord.” (Gen 22:11-12; Exo 3:2-5).


Trumpets 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rev 10 Advent Movement 7

  • Christ is the Mighty Angel - John 1:1, 14

  • Christ is from heaven - John 3:13

  • Christ comes with clouds - Rev 1:7

  • Christ comes with rainbow - Eze 1:28

  • Christ has face as the Sun - Rev 1:16

  • Christ has feet as fire - Rev 1:15

  • Christ has lionʼs voice - Rev 5:5

  • Christ has authority over the sea & earth. This angel has authority over the earth and sea (Eph 1:22).

Clothed with a cloud

Christ ascended to heaven in CLOUDS to begin His ministry there (Acts 1:9-11). He was moved to the judgment scene in CLOUDS (Dan 7:10-13). He will return after the judgment with CLOUDS (Rev 1:7). This vision is not the ascension or the Second Coming so it points to the Judgment.

The fact that Christ Himself brought this open book shows that it is very important.


verses 2-6 The Little Book that was “open”

This “Little book” (Gr. biblaridion) is not to be confused with the Seven sealed book (Gr. biblion) of Rev 5:1. The different words used contrast the Seven Sealed book with this biblaridion - LITTLE book.

This little book is here opened BEFORE the Second Coming whereas the Sealed book is not opened until the Second Coming. See on the 7th Seal - Rev 6; 8:1.


The little book of Daniel

To draw attention to this little book being “OPEN” indicates that it was once “SHUT.” Such is true of that portion of the little book of Daniel which concerned the time of the end.

Dan 12:4 “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. There is no account in Scripture of Danielʼs book being opened unless it is here in Revelation 10.

The longest prophecy of Daniel, the 2300 days, was specifically said to be SHUT UP till the time of the end: Dan 8:14, 17 “Unto 2300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.... Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision...wherefore SHUT thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” See on Dan 8.

Locating the time of the end when Danielʼs book opened

The time of the end began after the terrible persecutions at the hands of the Papacy (See on Dan 11:30-35) whose supremacy was to last “even to the time of the end.” As the Papacy was abolished in 1798 (See on Dan 7:25), the time of the end began in 1798. The fact that Danielʼs book is here seen opened shows that Rev 10 applies this side of the time of the end, i.e. after 1798.


verses 3-4 Seven Thunders

The thunders were messages. John understood them and was about to write but God stopped him. Something was to occur which the faithful must needs be ignorant of but which would later be understood. Godʼs speech is as thunder (John 12:28- 31). Truths are withheld and revealed in their time (John 16:12). See Appendix.


verse 5 A Divine Oath

The Angel lifted His hand and sware by the Creator God before announcing that “time should be no longer. In swearing by the Creator, the Angel who is Christ (v 1), swears by Himself, because he could swear by no greater (cf. Heb 6:13).

His words bring to mind the Sabbath. In Daniel 12:4-13 the Angel had raised His hands, sware by the Creator, and given several prophetic TIME PERIODS that were SHUT UP. Here He raised his hand (one hand held the now OPEN book), swore by the Creator and announced the end of those prophetic time periods.


verse 6 “Time (Gr. chronos) no longer”

The word “time” in verse 6 is from the Greek “chronos” which is used some 30 times in the New Testament and is ALWAYS translated as meaning “TIME.”

A few versions render chronos as time everywhere else but translate it “delay” here in Rev 10:6. In this they are inconsistent and reveal the translators attempt to explain the text rather than translate it. Greek lexicons show that “chronos” means “TIME” NOT delay and this is why most versions translate it “TIME no longer.”

The Greeks used the word “chronizo” when they meant “delay.” (e.g. Matt 24:48).


Identifying the time which was to be no longer.

a) It cannot refer to probationary time because a warning message follows (v 11).

(b) It cannot refer to time in general because time - days, months, years etc. will continue forever (Isa 66:23).

(c) It cannot refer to the end of the Day=Year principle because in Rev 18:8 a “day” is used as a symbol to represent the year in which the seven last plagues and famine occurs. (See Eze 4:6; Num 14:34).

(d) The fact that the little book here open is the book of Daniel that was shut; the fact that angelʼs actions here in Rev 10 mirror those in Daniel 12; and and the fact that both Rev 10 and Danielʼs book mention TIME PRIODS, shows that Jesus here announces the END OF THE PROPHETIC TIME PERIODS which He had given to Daniel (1260, 1290, 1335, and the longest, the 2300 days).

“This message announces the end of the prophetic periods.” E.G. White, Selected Messages, Book 2, p108.

“There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time...the message...must not be hung on time.” E.G. White, Selected Messages, Book 1, p188


verse 7 The mystery of the gospel finished in the days of the seventh angel.

This refers to the seventh trumpet and, like the other trumpets, occupies a number of years. In the “days” (Days symbolize years (Eze 4:6; Num 14:34) when he shall begin to sound, “...the mystery of the gospel” (Eph 6:19), “This mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27), will be finished.

The gospel will be finished in the years of the sounding of the Seventh Angel (Trumpet). During this time the faithful will prophesy again (See on v 11).

The sixth trumpet reached to 1840 (See on Rev 9). The seventh Trumpet sounded soon after. The seventh Trumpet is explained in Rev 11.


verses 8-9 Eating up the little book

John acts the part of the believers. Eating the little book represents the reception of the message which was revealed following the opening of Danielʼs book at the time of the end (cf. Jer 15:16).

The abolishing of the Papacy in 1798 was recognized by many as the end of the 1260 year reign of the little horn (See on Dan 7:25). This led to a renewed interest in the study of prophecy, particularly the 2300 days which was “sealed up till the time of the end (Dan 8:17), the very time to which Rev 10 points. “Unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Dan 8:14.

“Encouraged by the fulfillment of the 1260 days in Daniel 7, prophetic scholars became convinced that the next great event would be the fulfillment of the 2300 days, [the end of] which they dated to 1843-1847.” Prof. Ernest Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British & American Millenarianism, 1800-1930, p. 22n

Independent study led many in the mid 1800s to an amazing conclusion...


verse 9 A message Sweet as honey

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth!” Ps 119:103 The understanding that came from studying the recently opened “book” of Daniel led to a sweet belief. Thousands from all denominations came to the conclusion that the 2300 days of Dan 8:14 would end on Oct. 22, 1844 with the cleansing of the sanctuary. This they understood to refer to the cleansing of the word by fire at the Lordʼs return. (See on Dan 8). The message spread to mission stations all over the world.

To those who longed to see Christʼs return this was a “sweet” message to share. Foremost in this “Second Advent Movement” was the Baptist, William Miller. They saw that those who watch will know what hour the Lord will return (Rev 3:3).

Huge camp meetings were held, charts & publications were distributed and multitudes worldwide heard the “sweet” message that Jesus was about to return in their day and they prepared to meet Him.

Time Magazine called the Millerite movement of the mid 1800s:

“One of Americas largest Millenial Movements.” Time Magazine, Jan 18, 1999.


verses 9-10 It shall make thy belly bitter

The Lord knew that sweet expectation would turn to bitter dissapointment. He had said, “...it shall make thy belly bitter.” v 9.


“...Christ...did not return... Oct. 22, 1844. The quiet passing of this day led to what is called the ʻGREAT DISAPPOINTMENT.ʼ”Britannica, 15th ed., 1995, Vol. 1, p112.


Like the disciples at Calvary those who expected Christ to return and set up His kingdom were overcome with terrible mourning but God was working out His purposes. The special light gave to John in the seven thunders (v 3-4) described this disappointment. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested. Some who had not studied deeply rashly rejected the 1844 date but others, in prayer and humility, sought to discern where they had misunderstood the prophecy?

As the disappointment of Calvary was the birth of the Christian Movement, so the disappointment of 1844 was the birth of the Movement destined to finish the work the disciples began. As the disciples learned that Christ was to begin ministering in the first appartment of the temple in heaven (See on Dan 9), so those in 1844 discovered that Christ had begun a ministry in the second appartment of the heavenly sanctuary - the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.


verse 11 Prophesy again

To John was given the command which God expected His church to obey. “Prophesy again.” As they had prophesied of the Lordʼs Advent, so they were told to prophesy AGAIN, but without repeating Danielʼs prophetic time periods because they have ended and are “no longer.” (See on v 6).

The Answer to Disappointment

Their reasoning which showed that the 2300 days reached to the date, Oct. 22, 1844, was correct (See on Dan 8) but they were mistaken as to the event then expected to happen. By incorrectly identifying the sanctuary to be cleansed they had suffered the disappointment. Only by studying the subject of the sanctuary would they see what had really happened and this is exactly what they were directed to do, “Measure the TEMPLE [sanctuary] of God...” Rev 11:1.

They measured (examined) the subject of the temple (sanctuary) using the rod of Godʼs word (Mic 7:14; Jer 1:11-12) and learned that the sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth but Godʼs temple in heaven (Heb 9:23).

As the High priest had cleansed the earthly sanctuary of the peopleʼs sins, at the end of the year, so Christ our high priest would cleanse heavenʼs sanctuary (Heb 8:4-5; See Dan 8). The cleansing of the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries is plainly taught in Heb 9:23. The cleansing involves judgment to see who has remained faithful. This led the believers to examine themselves; to see if they “measured up” to the standard in the judgment (Rev 11:1; 2Cor 13:5; Ecc 12:13- 14). See more on Rev 11.


WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

1. This chapter identifies Godʼs end-time Movement as those which grew from the Great Disappointment of 1844. The parallels between the apostles and those who suffered the dissapointment in 1844 are amazing. See chart.

2. As the early church warned the Roman world before the Seven Trumpets (Seven first plagues - Rev 9:20) sounded, so the Advent Movement is to warn the whole world before the Seven Last Plagues occur.

3. As the messages shared in 1844 concerned Christʼs Second Advent, and as we are to prophesy about this again, so the end time Movement is “Adventist.”, heralding the second coming.

4. As it was discovered that the judgment has begun and that the standard in the judgment is Godʼs law, so the Advent Movement calls all men to keep the law of Go, all 10 commandments. (Ecc 12:13-14.).

A study of Godʼs law revealed that the Bible nowhere teaches the observance of Sunday the first day of the week in place of Godʼs seventh day Sabbath. This Movement therefore became a Seventh-day Adventists Movement, not to earn salvation but in response to Christʼs love. One of the reasons for the existence of the Seventh day Adventist Movement is to lift up the forgotten Sabbath commandment. Through the work of this Movement the mystery of God will be finished and a spotless commandment keeping people will be developed to stand when Christ returns (Rev 14:12).


APPENDIX

How could disappointment be of God?

God knew they would be disappointed, in fact He withheld the message of the seven thunders (v 4), but He did it to test them. Only the strongest kept their faith. Both the disciples at the beginning of the Christian Movement, and the Movement who will end the Churches work, came through bitter disappointment. The events of 1844 show that the Advent Movement is to finish the work that the early church began. See chart below.


Does “time no longer” (v 6) refer to the end of the Day=Year principle?

No. The “time” to which Rev 10 refers is the prophetic time periods in the book of Daniel, not the Day=Year principle of prophetic time interpretation. In Rev 10 the angel announced the end of those time periods, not the end of the Day=Year principle. The Day=Year principle still exists. The “day” in which the seven last plagues fall includes a famine (Rev 18:8) so it cannot be a literal day, it must be a symbolic day which symbolizes a year (Eze 4:6; Num 14:34).


Why they fixed a date - October 22 1844

Initially the believers did not fix on a specific day but further facts led them to do so. They noticed that Christ had fulfilled what the Passover had pointed to when He died as “our Passover” (1Cor 5:7) ON THE VERY DAY of the Passover, the 14th of the first month (Lev 23:5). Christ also fulfilled what the presentation of the First-fruits had pointed to when He presented Himself before the Father in heaven as the “First-fruits of them that slept” (1Cor 15:20) ON THE VERY DAY of the First-fruits, the 16th of the first month (Lev 23:5-11). They saw that Pentecost was fulfilled ON THE VERY DAY (Acts 2:1). Reasoning from this they concluded that Christ would cleanse the sanctuary ON THE VERY DAY the sanctuary was cleansed - the Day of Atonement, the 10th day of the 7th Jewish month (Lev 23:27- 28). In the year 1844 this fell on Oct 22. The following verse also led them to believe that those who were watching would know when Jesus was to return: Rev 3:3 “...If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

Wonderful Revelation

“Both the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” and the first angelʼs message, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come,” pointed to Christʼs ministration in the most holy place, to the investigative judgment, and not to the coming of Christ for the redemption of His people and the destruction of the wicked. The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. Through this error the believers had suffered disappointment, yet all that was foretold by the prophecy, and all that they had any Scripture warrant to expect, had been accomplished. At the very time when they were lamenting the failure of their hopes, the event had taken place which was foretold by the message, and which must be fulfilled before the Lord could appear to give reward to His servants.”

E.G. White, Great Controversy, p424.


Time is no longer, the second advent is close at hand.