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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," December Edition 2007

Revelation Chapter Ten Explained

Theme: Revelation chapter ten is an introduction to the parabolic mysteries of the Gospel age beginning to be revealed in chapters 11-13.

Review section: Dispensational premillennialists typically, attempt to interpret the material found in Revelation chapters six through nineteen around Sir Robert Anderson’s idea of some future seven year great tribulation period dominated by the career of one-world-government leader, personal Antichrist, making and breaking a peace deal with the Jews during seven years--all based, presumably, on Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.

What is extremely interesting here, however, is that the Book of Revelation itself nowhere mentions the existence of some future “seven year” timeframe period, per se. Nor is the word “Antichrist” mentioned anywhere in this book, either: Nor, further, is there ever any reference to the making or breaking of a peace treaty with the Jews. No “first half” or “second half” divisional arrangement of any timeframe period is ever stated or implied.

So what do the above facts all mean?

They mean that modern dispensational premillennialists are attempting to superimpose the ideas of men onto the Book of Revelation, they are not paying attention to what the text itself actually says. And as a result of that fiasco, such people have NO CLUE what Revelation chapters six through nineteen is really teaching. Please see our books for complete academic proof of this straight-talking assertion.

With the above in mind, now here is the simple truth that is taught in Revelation chapter ten. This chapter--not unlike what we saw in chapters six and seven--is an introduction, a summary overview, if you will, of that body of revelation that is to directly follows in chapters 11-13.

First note that the background of what John sees in 10:1-6 is drawn from Daniel 12:5-13. The important issue hedging to be revealed here is the mystery surrounding the sealed expression “time, times, and a half” of Dan. 12:4 and 9. Let's delve into this mystery a little fuller.

Through a series of apocalyptic parables in the subsequent disclosures of Revelation chapters 11-13 Jesus unveils to John the solution to the sealed expressions of Daniel chapter 12, of which this chapter ten provides both the introduction and a natural bridge. John is made to understand this connection by himself being called as a participant in the bitter/sweet mission of gospel witnessing that must now intervene between his own lifetime and the last trump sounding (10:7-11).

John's taking and eating of the little book is the symbolic expression of this act of personal participation in the gospel witnessing ministry. The proclamation work, in the call and will of God, is sweet, but the consequence of its effect can also be quite bitter. Suffering, persecution and even martyrdom are to be expected.

Now for the details. The descending figure of 10:1-3 is Christ; the open book in His hand is the unsealed “timeframe” mystery of Daniel 12; the focus is eschatological (10:5-7); and the theme is Jesus’ lordship over time and history.

The Gospel message that the Church must bear does indeed include the proclamation of Christ's Lordship over time and history. He is "Lord of all," and in His sovereign hands lies the outflow of all human operation, consequence, and destiny. He, and He alone, will guide affairs that pertain to all the world of fallen humanity, through all the coming ages, and through the agency of all the ministrations of his Church, to the appointed consummation. Hallelujah!

The stage is set. What follows this chapter ten, then, is what the Church can expect must happen to her between the first century and the end of the present messianic age.

The disclosure of this information is couched in "parables," the specific meanings of which we now take up in subsequent commentary.

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