The Way It Happened

Revelation 5:7, The Scroll with Seven Seals

[Jesus] came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

//In Revelation, Jesus is the only person found worthy to open a mysterious scroll. Sealed seven times over, it obviously hides a great secret. In heaven, Jesus removes the seals one-by-one, initiating a sort of countdown; after each seal, our attention is drawn to the earth, where battles and famines and natural disasters occur.

Have you ever wondered where this scroll came from? Let’s see if we can uncover its roots and learn what it says.

My best guess is that Revelation’s scroll comes from the book of Daniel. A fiery angel from heaven interpreted Daniel’s visions of horned beasts and great kings to foretell how the world would end, but God told Daniel to seal up his story until the end of days.

After its seals are removed one-by-one, we seem to lose track of the scroll, but it surfaces again in chapter 10 of Revelation. There, a mighty angel stands holding a little scroll, now open. He plants his fight foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. Daniel’s mighty angel actually stands towering over a river; Revelation has perhaps tweaked this image to mimic the Caesars, who were sometimes portrayed standing over land and sea, bringing prosperity to the land and peace to the seas.

Now in Revelation, the angel swears there will be no more delay, and his speech rumbles like the seven thunders of heaven. But John is told not to write down in Revelation what the angel says; he is ordered to take the scroll and swallow it. And that’s the last we hear of it.

Oh, so close! Daniel’s end-of-the-world scenario remains a mystery still.


  1. There has been much speculation as to the nature of the scroll described in Revelation 5. Some think that it may be a declaration of God’s prophetic judgment, or some sort of deed. As I explain in my new book “God’s Strategic Plan”, believe that this scroll is a judgment lien. A judgment lien is a document issued by a court where a debtor (man) is unable to satisfy a debt (caused by our sin) and this document authorizes that the debtor’s assets (our very souls) be forfeit in judgment. A person subject to a judgment lien is subject to lawful judgment and forfeiture and is often forced to declare bankruptcy (seek protection of the court). The scene in Revelation 5 is in fact a court session being called to order by the strong angel before the Righteous Judge, in which the accused, man (possibly vicariously represented by the weeping John) is subject to sentence of eternal death. John wept because he knew that man’s fate was sealed in that scroll. Then, steps forward, the only Person worthy to take the scroll of judgment from the right hand of the Righteous Judge; the Lamb who was slain and whose righteous sacrifice paid the debt on behalf of man. According to God’s law, without the shedding of (innocent and worthy) blood, there is no remission or release of judgment for sin. Therefore only the innocent Lamb that was slain was worthy to take the judgment scroll and legally discharge it as a lien on the souls of all men. This was a critical aspect of God’s Strategic Plan.

  2. My pleasure. God Bless

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