This Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible study focuses on the Little Book mentioned in Revelation 10.
The Apostle John is told to eat the Little Book, which would be sweet in his mouth, and then bitter in his stomach.
Pastor John MacArthur says that the Little Book caused John’s stomach to be bitter, because he became nauseated by the vision of the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments in store for the sinner.
Like most Pastors, he says that all of the events of Revelation 4 and beyond, will occur during an end times Great Tribulation period.
If you’ve read the Bible studies on this website, you know that the book of Revelation symbolically describes the history of Christ’s Church, from when it was written, until the Lord returns.
So let’s look at the context to see when the historical appearance of the Little Book occurred.
After 100 A.D., the O.T. Hebrew and N.T Greek manuscripts were collected in Antioch, Syria, where Christians formed one Bible.
Many hand-written copies were made in Antioch and were spread to the churches.
Satan countered by having philosophers in Alexandria, Egypt, such as a man named Origen, change the Syrian texts to fit their beliefs.
God had a people group called the Vaudois (who lived in the Alps) translate the Bible into Latin. The Old Latin Bible became known as the Vulgate (common) Bible, and it spread through the Roman empire and all the way to England before 200 AD. The Vaudois missionaries risked death to share the Gospel.
Satan responded by having the Roman Catholic Church commission Jerome to write their own version, the Latin Vulgate in 405 AD.. Jerome followed Origen’s teachings, so the same corruptions occurred in this Bible.
The Catholic Church only allowed priests to read it and forbid lay people to read it.
The Seven Churches of Revelation are seven church eras that spanned from the 1st century until Jesus returns.
During the church era of Thyatira, which existed from 538-1514 A.D., the Papal Church systematically gathered copies of God’s true Word and burned them, and killed millions of heretics who possessed them.
This era is called the Dark Ages and one reason was that the light of the Word of God and Jesus church was being dimmed, as evil prevailed.
The Catholic Church persecuted people groups such as the Vaudois, the Waldenses and the Albigenses, who were used by God to preserve His Holy Word, preach the pure Gospel of Christ, and testify against the Antichrist Papal Church.
In 1229 at the Synod of Toulouse, the Catholic church forbid reading or owning a Vaudois Bible.
In 1234, at the Council of Tarragona, they declared that no Bible was permitted in one’s native language, and that all of them must be burned.
When God caused the Turks to cross the Euphrates to capture the fortress of Constantinople (1/3rd of Rome) during the 6th Trumpet of Revelation, some of the priests escaped to Europe and took with them the original Hebrew and Greek Bible manuscripts.
This led to them being given to John Wycliffe, who God caused to write the Bible in English, in 1371 A.D.
In 1408, at the 3rd Synod of Oxford, the Catholic Church proclaimed that it is a heresy to have an ‘unauthorized’ (preserved) English Bible.
The supposedly Christian Catholic Church was actually forbidding and burning the Word of God. Without it, the true church was in darkness, and the only teaching was from the Papal Church, who were not preaching the pure Word of God.
There was a famine for the word of God.
The Satan-empowered Catholic Church had burned so many copies of scripture and killed so many Christians, that in 1514 A.D., at the Fifth Lateran Council, the Papal Church proclaimed Christ’s Church to be dead.
You can see the battle between Jesus and Satan over the Word of God, and that’s the context of the Little Book of Revelation 10.
God responded by having William Tyndale print the Bible in English. The first complete edition of his New Testament was published in 1526 After his death in 1536 Tyndale’s works were revised and reprinted numerous times.
The Papal Church hated him for his Bible translation and captured him to kill him. As he was being burned to death at the stake, he cried out “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”
God responded by having King Henry VIII of England authorize the Great Bible in 1540, which was read aloud in church services of the Church of England. That may not seem like much now, but back then, it was unheard of.
Then in 1560, the Geneva Bible started to be printed. This was the primary Bible of 16th century Protestantism. This version of the Holy Bible is significant because, for the very first time, a mechanically printed, mass-produced Bible was made available directly to the general public.
The Geneva Bible was printed in Roman type, and it was printed in more convenient and affordable sizes than earlier versions. Having it printed, instead of written, would have made it a Little Book.
All of this coincided with the advent of the printing press, and much to the dismay of the Papal Church, the word of God was spread around the world.
It allowed the Word of God to be read by millions, and it fueled the Protestant Reformation, where millions were saved. It led to the Great Awakening, where worldwide missions saved millions.
Now think back to when the Apostle John write the book of Revelation. The word of God was on large hand-written scrolls.
Now visualize him seeing the entire canon, all of the O.T., along with the Gospels, the Epistles, etc. all in one ‘little book‘. 🙂
At the Council of Trent, the Papal Church declared that preserved Bibles are on the “Index of Forbidden Books.” (Rule III) The writings of William Wycliffe, Jan Hus, John Calvin and other reformers were condemned.
I don’t think that it’s one Bible version in particular that the prophecy was pointing to, just the printed Bible.
The Tyndale New Testament was published in 1525. The Miles Coverdale Bible was published in 1535. The Bishop’s Bible was published in 1568.
The Geneva Bible was published in 1587 and it had lots of notes from the Protestant Reformers, which gave explanations about the historical fulfillment of prophecy; which pointed to the Popes as the Antichrist and the Son of Perdition; which pointed to the Roman Catholic Church as the harlot church of Revelation 17; and all of that was not included in the King James, which is very significant.
Then in 1604, King James commissioned a team of scholars to create the King James Version (KJV), commonly known as the Authorized Version (AV) for the Church of England, which was completed in 1611.
Much to the dismay of the Papal Church, Jesus’ Church of Sardis (which started in 1514 A.D.) devoured the Word of God, and spread the Gospel worldwide, causing millions to be saved by the pure Gospel of Jesus.
Revelation 10:9-10 “So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth. Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.”
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalms 119:103
“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16
The act of eating the book symbolizes the absorbing and assimilating God’s Holy Word.
In order for God to raise up men during the Dark Ages, to fight against the enemy, they needed the Word of God, as it had been suppressed and nearly eliminated.
They were starving for the Word of God. So they took the book and diligently pursued it, and with as much eagerness as a hungry man would eat a meal. Luther did this by candlelight, and then he became a shining light in a dark world.
The Bible (God’s holy Word) is alive. When we eat the Bible it gives us the strength to live victorious lives before the Lord. Studying the Bible is more important to our life than our daily bread.
The Word of God brought joy and rejoicing to their hearts, as they read the pure Gospel of Christ Jesus.
The Little Book represents the Word of Elohim.
Revelation 10:11 “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”
Messiah is not saying the John would have to prophesy again, but in the context of the seven church eras of Revelation, it meant the next church era of Sardis, which indeed did prophecy before all the world.
Though the Word of Elohim had been hidden, and a mass of corrupt traditions had taken its place, yet the time would come when those pure truths would be made known again to all lands.
It was bitter because it brought the Reformers at once into conflict with all the power of the Papacy and the priesthood; exposed them to persecution; aroused against them a host of enemies among the princes and rulers of the earth.
The Papal Church responded by persecuting Jesus Church with the Inquisition, which was Satan’s excuse to murder millions of Christians and destroy their Bibles.
The Apostle John saw the Antichrist Catholic Church was drunk with their blood, which caused him to be filled with sorrow, grief and pain.
Sadly, we as the church era of Laodecia do not value the Word of Elohim enough to study it diligently, so we rely on Pastors to teach us.
Prior to the written English Bible, they were starved and exposed to the deceptions of the Papal Church.
Today’s church is starved because it does not diligently study the Bible, so it is exposed to the deceptions of the Papal Church.
Personal reading and studying makes us strong. We are miserable, wretched, naked, poor and blind, because we have not the Word of God.
Prior to the written English Bible, they did not understand that the Roman Catholic Church is the Antichrist Beast.
Today, because Christians don’t make an effort to understand the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, they do not understand that the Papal Church is the Antichrist Beast, who seeks to destroy us.
You can’t prophecy and testify about God’s truth and identify false prophets without the Word of God.
Quotes about the Little Book of Revelation 10:
“Philip Schaff, the great historian of the church came to say:” the richest fruit of Luther’s rest time in the castle of Wartburg, and the most important and most significant work of his entire life, was the translation of the New Testament , through which he brought the teachings and example of Christ and the apostles to the mind and hearts of the Germans in a reproduction similar to real life…. he made the Bible the book of the people in church, school and The home “.
This act of Luther opened Pandora’s box with respect to the translations of the Bible and then there would be no way to close that box. No need to say, but that action concerned the church officers of all ranks, because they would no longer have strict control of the word of God (Ben Witherington of his article: “the most dangerous act of Luther”).
Can you now see the Biblical, historical fulfillment of the Little Book of Revelation 10?
Now you know that any person who teaches that it is fulfilled in the future, is teaching you false prophecy.
David Nikao Wilcoxson
Next Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible Study: Revelation 11 – Measuring The Temple