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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 15

The Little Open Book

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
The Little Open Book
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Let’s pray:
Father,

We thank You for having revealed to us six tools essential to understand Bible prophecy.

We would like to add a seventh tool to our box: «the little open book», found in the book of Revelation.

What is this little book? How can it be useful to us?

May this lesson enlighten us on this subject. We humbly ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.
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Picture 2 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:1,2 Comments
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud.

And a rainbow was on His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire.

And He had in His hand a little book open.
Revelation chapter 10 opens onto the vision of a mighty angel having a little book open in His hand.

First, in order to better understand what this little book represents, we will try to find out who is this mighty angel.
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Picture 3 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:1 Comments
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud.

And a rainbow was on His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire.
The mighty angel corresponds to the «Son of man» of Revelation chapter 1.

Who is this «Son of man»?
Revelation 1:13,15,16
[I saw] One like to the Son of man (...).

His feet [were] like to fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, (...) and His countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.
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Picture 4 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:3 Comments
[He] cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. The description of the mighty angel with the little book corresponds with that of the «Son of man», who describes Himself as He who was dead but now lives forever.

The mighty angel is Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:15,17,18
His voice [was] as the sound of many waters (...).

«I am the First and the Last. I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more.»
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Picture 5 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Jesus is often described as the One coming on the clouds:
«And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud.» (Revelation 10:1)

«Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.» (Revelation 1:7)

«And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.» (Matthew 24:30)

«I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven.» (Daniel 7:13)
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Picture 6 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:2,5,6 Comments
He had in His hand a little book open: and He set His right foot on the sea, and His left foot on the earth (...).

And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, and swore by Him that lives 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.
The deeds of the mighty angel are vital clues to identify the nature of the little open book.

Let’s look at the following verses...
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Picture 7 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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A careful reading shows a striking link with the book of Daniel
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Picture 8 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Daniel 12:6,7 Comments
«How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?» (...)

[The man clothed in linen] swore by Him that lives for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half.
In the days of Daniel, a period of «a time, times, and a half» is announced before the end.

Centuries later, the angel of Revelation 10 declares «that there should be time no longer»...
Revelation 10:6
[The angel] swore by Him that lives for ever and ever (...) that there should be time no longer.
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Picture 9 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Daniel 12:4,9 Comments
But you, 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. (...)

Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Even more: whereas the book of Daniel is sealed until the time of the end, the angel of Revelation has now an open book in His hand...
Revelation 10:2
[The angel] had in His hand a little book open.
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Picture 10 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Daniel 12:4 Comments
But you, 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.
Yes, the little book which the mighty angel of Revelation 10 has in His hand is actually the prophetic book of Daniel.

It was sealed, that is, it couldn’t be understood by the people living in the time of Daniel.

But now this book is open, and reveals its secrets to us who live in «the time of the end», as we will see during these lessons.
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Picture 11 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Matthew 24:15 Comments
When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand. We have just seen that the mighty angel holding the little open book represents Jesus Christ.

Here is an interesting point: in the last days of His ministry on earth, Jesus was already advising His disciples to spend time studying the book of Daniel.
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Picture 12 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:6,7 Comments
[The angel] swore by Him that lives 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: 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 has declared to His servants the prophets. The angel with the little open book foretells the fulfillment of «the mystery of God», at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

What is the mystery of God?
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Picture 13 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Colossians 2:2 (NRSV) Comments
I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of the mystery of God, that is, Christ Himself. The mystery of God is embodied in a word: Christ.

This mystery, then, is the plan of redemption that God offers us through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Colossians 4:3
(...) praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ.
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Picture 14 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:7 Comments
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 has declared to His servants the prophets. If it’s true that the mystery of God is the plan of redemption in Jesus Christ, is it also true that this plan was announced to the prophets, as mentioned in this passage of the Scriptures?
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Picture 15 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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1 Peter 1:10-12 Comments
Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things, which are now reported to you.
Yes, the plan of redemption was indeed announced to the prophets of God.
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Picture 16 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:7 Comments
(...) but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished. The seventh trumpet announces the last stage of the plan of redemption, which ends happily, with the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 11:15
The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

«The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever!»
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Picture 17 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:8,9 Comments
And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, «Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which stands on the sea and on the earth.»

And I went to the angel, and said to Him, «Give me the little book.»

And He said to me, «Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.»
Then, Revelation chapter 10 reports the experience of the apostle John who must eat the little book.

«To eat the book» is an action rich in symbolism, and this symbolism is also found elsewhere in the Bible...
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Picture 18 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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The symbolism of the book being eaten, the words being eaten, is often used:
«“But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; Be not you rebellious like that rebellious house: open your mouth, and eat that I give you.” And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent to me; and, see, a roll of a book was therein.» (Ezekiel 2:8,9)

«He said to me, “Son of man, eat that you find; eat this roll, and go speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll. And He said to me, “Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this roll that I give you.” Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.» (Ezekiel 3:1-3)

«How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!» (Psalm 119:103)

«Your words were found, and I did eat them.» (Jeremiah 15:16)
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Picture 19 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:10 Comments
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.
So the experience of John teaches us that the book of Daniel, that is, the little open book, would first be a source of joy and hope for its students (sweet as honey in the mouth), but would then cause disappointment and discouragement (bitter in the belly).

Can we find such an experience in the history of Christianity?
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Picture 20 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Daniel 8:13,14 Comments
«How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?»

And he said to me, «To two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.»
During the nineteenth century, Christians throughout the world studied the book of Daniel, and especially the prophecy of the 2300 days (subject of a future lesson).

Having calculated that the 2300 days were going to end in 1844, and believing that the foretold cleansing of the sanctuary corresponded with the return of Jesus who would cleanse the earth, they all zealously preached the gospel, eagerly waiting for 1844.
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Picture 21 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:10 Comments
[The little book] was in my mouth sweet as honey.

And as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
But, as we saw in our last lesson, the sanctuary which had to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days was not the earth, but rather the heavenly sanctuary.

So the sweet waiting of the years preceding 1844 was followed by a deep bitterness, when all those sincere Christians understood that they had not properly interpreted the content of the book of Daniel, thus perfectly fulfilling the prophecy of Revelation 10.
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Picture 22 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:10,11 Comments
[The little book] was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

And He said to me, «You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.»
After this great disappointment of 1844, God addresses two messages to the Christians.

First, the year 1844 does not represent the end of the world, but rather the beginning of God’s judgment, and we must announce this message to everyone before the glorious return of Christ.
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Picture 23 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:11 Comments
You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. So the disappointed Christians stood again, and began to preach this new message «to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people».
Revelation 14:6,7
And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.»
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Picture 24 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Revelation 10:10; 11:1 Comments
As soon as I had eaten [the little book], my belly was bitter. (...)

And there was given me a reed like to a rod.

And the angel stood, saying, «Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.»
Here is the second message God gives to the Christians, after this great disappointment of 1844: we must «measure the temple of God», that is, study more deeply the subject of the sanctuary, in order to understand the book of Daniel and its prophecy about the cleansing of the sanctuary.
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Picture 25 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Daniel 12:3,4 Comments
They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

But you, 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.
Our preceding lessons about the sanctuary, its furnishings and its services, just like our future lessons about the book of Daniel, will «increase our knowledge».

Now, it is up to us to preach this message and to «turn many to righteousness»!
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Picture 26 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 15
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Let’s thank God:
Our Father,

Bible prophecy is an amazing subject filled with surprises!

We are grateful to You for having given us the book of the prophet Daniel, which had been sealed after its writing, but which has now become «the little open book» for us who live in the last days before the return of Jesus.

We also thank You for the understanding of the sanctuary, a subject which was a cause of bitterness for Christians before our time.

Please help us every day to «turn many to righteousness» by preaching these wonderful truths. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 15 - Test The test of Lesson 15 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: Photo by KEMPERLE, Andy. In: «Canadian Adventist Messenger» magazine (April 1995), SDA Church in Canada, front cover. Screen 2: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Screen 3: First picture: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, vol.2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Second picture: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #2 («L’Etoile du drame de l’Apocalypse»), p.1. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 4: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 5: In: «Le Moniteur», Pacific Press Publishing Association, Second Quarter 2000, front cover. Screen 6: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 7: BISHOP, Tom. «Angel of Revelation 10». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #39. Table of Screen 7: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 8: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 9: First picture: COLLINS, Fred. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.72. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Second picture: STEEL, John. Detail. In: «God Cares, vol.2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.268. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 10: COLLINS, Fred. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.72. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 11: In: «Egermeier’s Bible Story Book» (EGERMEIER, Elsie E.), The Warner Press, 1963, p.395. Screen 12: MOTTEZ, Victor-Louis. «The Resurrection of the Dead». Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France. In: «Revelation - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.103. Screen 13: Photo from Photodisc. «Christ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil». In: «Le Moniteur - Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Editions Vie et Santé, First quarter 2000, front cover. Screen 14: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #23 («Les trompettes annoncent la chute de Rome»), p.1. Screen 15: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #30 («Sharing Daniel’s Message with the World»), p.5. Screen 16: STEEL, John. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (April 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.10. Screen 17: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.159. Screen 18: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (March 15, 1991), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Screen 19: Picture Collection «Corel Gallery Magic» by Corel, 1997, CD #8, Photo Library 3, 550027.PCD. Screen 20: CONVERSE, James. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.361. Screen 21: CONVERSE, James. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.524. Screen 22: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.416. Screen 23: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (January 1, 1990), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.1. Screen 24: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.163. Screen 25: STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 1» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.306. Screen 26: Photo in: «10,000 Designer Photos» by Global Star Software, 1999, P008b086.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 15 - Test The test of Lesson 15 is waiting for you!