The Unsealed Scroll – The Season is Now!

SYNOPSIS:  Unlike the book of Daniel, the scroll is unsealed in Revelation. The messianic age and the time of fulfillment arrived in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus – Revelation 1:1-3.

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At the close of his visions, an angel commanded Daniel “to shut up the words and seal the book until the season of the end.” One school of prophecy sees this as a promise that the meaning of his prophecies will be disclosed in History’s final years, to the “last generation” to live before the end of the age.

This interpretation misses what the book of Revelation does with this verse. It does not directly cite passages from the Bible; it uses verbal allusions to clauses from the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament and incorporates them into its narrative, often with changes to the original words. Students of prophecy must pay close attention to spot these allusions. Note well the following three passages:

(Daniel 12:4) – “But, thou, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end—many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall abound.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

(Revelation 1:1-3) – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST NEEDS COME TO PASS with speed—and he shewed them by signs, sending through his messenger unto his servant John; who bare witness as to the word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ—whatsoever things he saw. Happy! he that readeth and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things therein written; for THE SEASON IS NEAR.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

(Revelation 22:10) – “And he saith unto me—Do not SEAL UP THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS SCROLL, for THE SEASON IS NEAR.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

The very first word of Revelation is apokalupsis or “revelation,” which means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation” (Strong’s #G602). God gave it to Jesus to show His servants what things were about to come to pass. The visions of the book are not meant to hide or mystify us, but to disclose information about imminent events.

The first paragraph of Revelation declares its purpose is to “show God’s servants by signs WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS soon” In the immediate context, His “servants” are the seven churches of Asia. The paragraph concludes with promised blessings for the ones who hear and heed the words of the prophecy, because “THE SEASON is near.” What John refers to is the record of his visions now preserved in the book of Revelation, the “words of the prophecy” (Revelation 1:1-3).

The clause from Verse 1 alludes to the words of Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar about his dream of a great image: “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries, and has shown the king WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS in latter days.” The Greek clause in the Septuagint is an exact match to the one in Revelation, only, “latter days” has been changed to “soon.” That is, what was once in the distant future is for the churches of Asia imminent:

(Daniel 2:26-28) – “The king answered and said unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar—Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered before the king, and said—The secret which the king hath asked, the wise men, the magicians, the sacred scribes, the astrologers are not able to declare unto the king; but there is a God in the heavens who revealeth secrets and hath made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall come to pass in the afterpart of the days.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

(Revelation 1:1) – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST NEEDS COME TO PASS with speed.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

THE SEASON is near.” This clause from Verse 3 is based on a clause from an angel’s instructions to Daniel in the closing section of his book, as follows:

(Daniel 12:4) – “But, thou, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end—many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall abound.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

(Revelation 1:3) – “Happy! he that readeth and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things therein written; for THE SEASON IS NEAR.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

Or, the “season of the end.” In both passages, “season” represents the Greek noun kairos, meaning, “season, the opportune time, set time” (Strong’s #G2540). As before, the book of Revelation changes the time reference, “the end,” to “near” or engus, a term used to denote something “near, imminent, at hand” (Strong’s #G1451).

At the conclusion of Revelation, an angel commands John NOT “to seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for THE SEASON IS AT HAND.” This is a deliberate contrast to the angel who commanded Daniel “close up the words and seal the book.” What Daniel was told to seal until a distant future John is told not to seal, for the time of disclosure has arrived (Revelation 22:10).

The prologue of Revelation opens with greetings to the churches of Asia from God, the “seven spirits before the throne,” and from “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth, and loosed us from our sins by his blood; who made us to be a kingdom, priests unto his God and Father.”

His Resurrection Appearance
His Resurrection Appearance

The status of Jesus as sovereign over the nations is presented as an accomplished fact. He is the one who bore “faithful witness” in his death, the “firstborn of the dead” through his resurrection, and, therefore, his Death and Resurrection form the basis of his present and very real reign.

By obedience unto death Jesus “overcame and sat down with my Father in his throne.” His right to take and open “scroll sealed with seven seals” was achieved in his sacrificial death. Already, he has all authority (“I am the Living one, and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades”), and he began to open the sealed scroll following his Death and Resurrection:

(Revelation 1:17-18) – “Do not fear! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One—and I became dead;—and lo! living am I unto the ages of ages, and have the keys of death and of hades.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

(Revelation 3:21) – “He that overcometh, I will give unto him to take his seat with me in my throne, as I, also, overcame, and took my seat with my Father in his throne.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

(Revelation 5:5-10) – “And one of the elders, saith unto me—Do not weep! Lo! the lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath overcome to open the scroll and the seven seals thereof. And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb, standing, showing that it had been slain…And he came and at once took [it] out of the right hand of him that was sitting upon the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp and bowls of gold full of incense—which are the prayers of the saints; and they sing a new song, saying—Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open the seals thereof; BECAUSE thou wast slain and didst redeem unto God by thy blood [men] out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, And didst make them unto our God a kingdom and priests—and they reign on the earth.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

Thus, in accordance with the promise of Yahweh first made to Israel at Mount Sinai, men and women freed by the sacrificial death of the Lamb have been constituted “kings and priests” to reign with him “on the earth.” From the start, the visions of the Book of Revelation are anchored in the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus. And following his enthronement, Jesus, the Lamb, began to unveil what was previously veiled. In him, the “season” of fulfillment has dawned (Exodus 19:4-6).

Christians still waiting for some future date for a new revelation and insight into the prophecies of Daniel are a day late and a dollar short. The messianic age and the time of fulfillment arrived in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Already, Jesus reigns!

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