Unsealed Scroll

OVERVIEW – What was sealed in Daniel is unsealed in Revelation. With the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the time of fulfillment had arrived

Bible epilogue - Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash
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.” In contrast, at the close of his visions, John was commanded by an angel NOT to seal the “words of the prophecy of this book; for the season is at hand.” Apparently, the prophesied “season” had arrived by the time John received the visions recorded in the book of Revelation - [Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash]:
  • (Daniel 12:4) – “But, you, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end.
  • (Revelation 1:1-3) – “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out to his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST NEEDS COME TO PASS soon…Bless is he that reads and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things therein written; for THE SEASON IS NEAR.
  • (Revelation 22:10) – “And he said to me, Do not SEAL UP THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS SCROLL, for THE SEASON IS NEAR.
The very first word of Revelation is apokalupsis or “revelation,” which means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation” (Strong’s - #G602). God gave this “revelation” to Jesus to show His servants the things that were about to come to pass. The visions of the book were not meant to hide or mystify, but to disclose information about imminent events.

The first paragraph declares its purpose - To “show God’s servants by signs WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS soon.” His “servants” include the seven churches of Asia. The paragraph concludes with promised blessings for those who hear and heed the words of the prophecy, because “THE SEASON is near” - (Revelation 1:1-3).

The clause alludes to the words of Daniel given to king Nebuchadnezzar about his dream of a great image:
  • (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 Greek clause in the Septuagint version of Daniel is an exact match to the one in Revelation, except “latter days” has been changed to “soon” - For the churches of Asia, what was once in the distant future was now imminent.

THE SEASON is near.” This clause alludes to the commandment of the angel Daniel in the closing section of his book:
  • (Daniel 12:4) – “But, thou, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the season of the end.
In both passages, “season” represents the Greek noun kairos, meaning “season, opportune time, set time” - (Strong’s - #G2540). As before, Revelation changes the time reference from “the end” to “near” or engus, a Greek term for denoting something that is “near, imminent, at hand” - (Strong’s - #G1451).

At the conclusion of Revelation, an angel commanded John NOT “to seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for THE SEASON IS AT HAND.” This was 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 was told not to seal because the time of disclosure had arrived - (Revelation 22:10).

The prologue of the book opened with greetings to the seven churches 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” – (Revelation 1:5).
His as sovereign over the nations was presented as an accomplished fact. He was 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 his obedient death, Jesus “overcame and sat down with my Father in his throne.” His right to take and open “sealed scroll” was achieved by his sacrifice. Already, he has all authority, and he began to open the scroll immediately upon his enthronement - (“I am the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades” - Revelation 1:17-18):
  • (Revelation 5:5-10) – “Behold, the lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, overcame to open the scroll and its seven seals. 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, having been slain…And he came and at once took the scroll 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 are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, BECAUSE you were slain and redeemed for God by your blood men from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, And made them for our God a kingdom and priests, and they reign on the earth.
From the start, the visions of the Book of Revelation are anchored in the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Following his enthronement, Jesus began to unveil what was previously veiled. In him, the “season” of fulfillment has dawned.

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 time of fulfillment has arrived already in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus - Already, he reigns!


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