|Eating the Scroll
|The “little scroll”
|Ezekiel 2:8 - 3:4
|The “little scroll”
of revelation causes a good deal of comment among the older futurists. Talbot, writing in 1937, holds to the
dispensationalist view that this scroll is the same one that the Father gave
to Christ earlier. Other views
dissent; holding it to be quite
distinct. This scroll is unsealed (and
by now, so is the first one).
The dispensationalist view has gradually disappeared from futurist writings since Hal Lindsey began writing. Chuck Smith (a better theologian than Lindsey, who seems to have no particular strain) has it both ways. On one page it is the title deeds; turn the page and it’s the word of God. Lindsey omits any mention of the title deeds.
The “title deeds” view seems justified only if you accept dispensationalism. Otherwise, the example of Ezekiel (and perhaps also Jeremiah, based on the one verse) seems definitive; this is the word of the Lord.
The Historicist is much more specific than that. They view it this way:
• The sixth trumpet ends at a specific time: 1453. Is there an event intimately associated with the “word of God” which happens shortly thereafter? Indeed there is: the Protestant Reformation. And what was the key to that Reformation? There is no doubt about that! It was the translation into the common tongues of the Scriptures.
• The example of Ezekiel is specific: he is to preach to an unhearing people, in his case Israel. Was the Gospel then preached with power?
• Note also that John is told that “he” must “prophesy again” to kings and such. John is almost 100 years old as he writes this. How can this be -- except when you remember that he is the last of the Apostles, the last of the Gospel writers. In his writing he can “prophesy again,” and the Reformation is the time when he certainly did that. To this day, the first book of the Bible translated by the Wycliffe translators into any new language is the Gospel of John. John himself now becomes part of the symbolism - the carrier of the logos.
• Finally, there is one difference between John and Ezekiel. Ezekiel eats; John eats, but the result in his stomach is bitter, though the taste is sweet. Does this not describe the Reformation, a time of bitter struggle?