Chapters 2 and 3 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 16 | 17
Chapter 10: Renaissance and Reformation
After the Dark and Middle Ages, the time came for human consciousness to wake up from its hibernation. It was the Renaissance, the beginning of an era of light and knowledge, resembling a rainbow after a thunderstorm.
10:1 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:
Influenced by this awakening, and in reaction to the defiled Papal system, the Protestant Reformation occurred, which, along with the invention of printing, led to the "opening up" of the Bible, meaning its translation and broad circulation. It had generally only been written in Latin (in Western Europe) up to this time, and only a few copies existed, mainly in monasteries. The priests had not really been teaching from the Bible until this time. This "opening up" of the Bible would eventually spread itself even to the newly discovered lands beyond the seas, to America, to Africa and to Oceania.
10:2 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,
This current was, not surprisingly, met with strong resistance by the powers of the old order, as they felt that it would undermine their influence on human minds. Up to this time, they had been able to assert their authority due to the illiteracy of the masses. They had been able to impose laws and practices whose spirit had been contrary to the Bible, since the latter had not been available to the people. But now, people began to think for themselves, and the Bible became available for study. The flaws of the Papal system became evident to those who did study the Scriptures, and the result was the Protestant Reformation.
10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
The representatives of the old order fought hard, but they fought in vain. No matter how hard they tried, they could not stop the awakening. The "thunder" of their voices would go unheard. The time of the thunderstorm had now ended and the rainbow had emerged.
10:4 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.
It was the beginning of the end for those who had exploited the name of Christ for their own purposes. The main phase of their defeat, though, would take place after the French Revolution, which, as we shall see, marks the sounding of the "seventh Trumpet".
10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
10:6 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:
10:7 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.
Let's get back to the theme of this chapter. What were the results of the appearance of this new current?
10:8 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.
Many people, a large percentage of the European population, accepted the Protestant teaching eagerly. This is what the religious situation looked like in Europe after the spread of Protestantism:
But it was not to be without grave consequences. Great wars broke out and Europe was in turmoil for several centuries. Another result of Protestantism was the development of German nationalism, which would, some centuries later, lead to the greatest of wars.
10:9 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.
10:10 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.
But, ultimately, the new teaching was to be spread throughout the world.
10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.