While Revelation 9 ends with the sixth trumpet in 1840 as Josiah Litch, the associate of William Miller predicted, this chapter begins with an interlude before the sounding of the seventh trumpet with the third woe. John sees Jesus Himself come down and stand authoritatively on the earth and the sea. In one hand He holds a small open book, and raises the other hand to declare that the “time” prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are finished.
Then John heard Seven Thunders describe the events relating to the 1st and 2nd Angel’s Messages, but was told to not write them down. The Advent believers would not be able to deal in advance with the knowledge of these trying hours. We have in verse 7 of this chapter a gap between the end of the sixth trumpet and the beginning of the seventh trumpet which is about to sound. It is during the seventh trumpet that the mystery of God is to be finished. This shows that the seventh trumpet is a period of time, not just a point in time.
What is this “mystery of God?” Some think it is the Gospel going to all the world followed by the Second Coming. It is much more than that, it encompasses the entire Plan of Salvation by the Godhead for saving us and Jesus being received into glory (1 Tim. 3:16). This “mystery of God,” with the Investigative Judgment and the final phase of atonement, will be completed by Jesus during the sounding of the seventh trumpet, ending with the Close of Probation.
John, representing God’s end-time people, is told to take the little book from Jesus and eat it. It would taste sweet to the mouth, but be bitter in the stomach. This represented God’s people during the Second Advent Movement who had proclaimed the wonderful news of Jesus’ return in 1844, according to the 2300 day prophecy, but were bitterly disappointed when He did not return as expected. With continued Bible Study, they recognized their own experience in these verses. They were encouraged as they understood that instead of Jesus coming to the earth at that time, He had moved from the Holy Place in the Heavenly Sanctuary, to the Most Holy Place to begin His final work of judgment.
These Remnant people who went through the Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844, were told to prophecy (preach) again. They were to give a message to the world about the Sacrifice of Christ, His High Priestly ministry, and to exhort the world to make ready for the final judgment. Do you desire to be among those who will proclaim this message “before many people, nations, tongues, and kings?”
Kenneth Mathews, Jr. M.D.
Physician, Occupational Medicine
Greeneville, TN. U.S.A.