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The small book, bitter in the gut

posted May 21, 2013, 12:14 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated May 29, 2013, 12:47 PM ]
"So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but 'in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.' I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour."  Rev 10:9-10

In Revelation 10, John is fed the small book that becomes bitter in is stomach -- a picture of what precedes vomiting up a poisonous meal.

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."  Rev 3:15-17 

These verses are never related?  Why?

In the old testament, the picture of atonement and the book of life are prominent.  In Revelation the scroll with seven seals is opened.  What is this small scroll that caused John's nausea?  

In the Revelation 3 instance, Jesus is directing his comments to the lukewarm church.  So why haven't scholars related the small book bitter in John's stomach to the latter-day church?  What doctrines are prominent in these times?  Which beliefs are prevalent with the wealthy, self-confident, idle, self-indulgent church?  Which of these are sweetest to men?  To name one: Rapture Theory.

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.  He asked, 'How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless.  Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "  Mat 22:11-13

 In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (also found in Luke 14:16-24) the unwanted guest was expelled.  And the summation is given:

"For many are called, but few are chosen."  Lu 14:16.

Interestingly, this summation is repeated in the unique Parable of the the Workers in the Vineyard given in Mat 20:1-16.  It is accompanied by Jesus emphasizing:

"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."  Mat 19:30 and again Mat 20:16.  Are we paying attention?

This is a difficult message for Christians to engage.  Christianity today is rife with defense of the idea that believers will be "taken out" before great tribulation happens on earth.  Despite all of the evidence that God protects the faithful, church leadership insists the only way the Almighty can accomplish this is by removing them from earth.

In another post (click here to open it), the discussion revolves around how church leaders will expel some "thinking they are doing God a service."  Woe to the absent and negligent Shepherds!  It's the Lord himself who will ultimately cast out the unworthy.

Peter encourages us, in his detailed warning against false prophets:

"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."  2 Peter 1:4-8

It seems interesting, that as much as church leadership assumes they possess the attributes, their blindness and deafness increases.  Isaiah laments "Ariel" or  "Lion of God" -- a type of Jerusalem and the Church...

"Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, "Read this, please," they will answer, "I don't know how to read."  The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."  Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?"  You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, "You did not make me"? Can the pot say to the potter, "You know nothing"?   Isa 29:12-16

Their worship is based on human rules they have been taught?  Latter day theories?  How many attend churches based solely on the hope of escape, and what will be the result if / when they learn the theory isn't actual?   Could this be the difficulty, the "doctrine too hard to accept" -- like it was in Jesus' time?  "And many walked with him no more."