Chapter 5 The Scroll

End-time events begin with a dramatic scene playing out in God’s throne room. An ancient scroll that is perfectly sealed, with seven seals, must be opened. This scroll is a critical document; some have called it the deed to planet earth. This scroll has also been referred to as the redemptive plan of God. In practical terms, think of a rolled millenniums-old paper sealed with seven pieces of tape, whose adhesive has made removing the seven seals impossible, as the paper would be severely torn. This situation is similar to the seven seals on this most critical document.

At the beginning of this drama, John is transported to God’s throne room to provide a first-hand account of the end-times. After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” (Revelation 4:1) From God’s throne room John observed epic world events centuries ahead of time.

John sees God seated on a throne in heaven (Revelation 4:2). God is described in terms of the reflection and brilliance of precious stones (Revelation 4:3). Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. (Revelation 4:4) The elders are dressed as Jesus had promised the seven churches, with white clothing like Sardis, and crowns like Smyrna.

Four living creatures surround the throne. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within (Revelation 4:7-8a). These four living creatures appear to be an exalted order of angels (Ezekiel 1:5-25Isaiah 6:1-4).

As the twenty-four elders lay their crowns before the throne, they demonstrate that the honor of wearing crowns belong to God alone: the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Revelation 4:10-11)

Soon attention is focused on a scroll with writing on both sides that is sealed with seven seals. A mighty angel asks in a loud voice if anyone was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll. But no on in heaven or on earth or under the earth responded. John records that at that moment he wept because it appeared that no one was worthy to open the scroll (Revelation 5:1-4).

One of the elders comforted John, telling him that the Lion of the tribe of Judah was worthy to open the seven seals. Expecting to see a Lion, John observed that next he saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He took possession of the scroll (Revelation 5:5-7). Now God’s plan could move forward with the opening of the seven seals.