Unsealing the Scroll

At the close of his visions, an angel commanded Daniel “to close the words and seal the Scroll until the season of the end.” In contrast, in the Book of Revelation, the “Sealed Scroll” is unsealed in the Book’s first paragraph, revealing its contents for all to see. Daniel was told to “seal the Scroll,” but John was commanded NOT to do so. The verbal parallels are deliberate and telling. The image informs us that the time of fulfillment has arrived.

The first word in the Greek text of Revelation is apokalupsis (Strong’s - #G602). It means an “unveiling, disclosure, revelation.” God gave the visions of the Book to Jesus to show His “servants what things must come to pass soon.” Its visions disclose previously hidden information. The visions are not intended to veil information or mystify the audience.

Bible Open - Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
[Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash]

At the end of his vision, Daniel “
wondered but no one understood” his vision. Its significance remained a mystery even to the prophet. In contrast, anyone who hears and heeds the “prophecy” of Revelation is pronounced “blessed” since in it the “things that must come to pass soon” are disclosed.

  • (Daniel 12:4) – “But you, 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.
  • (Revelation 1:1-3) – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants THE THINGS WHICH MUST COME TO PASS with speed… For THE SEASON IS NEAR.

The Book’s purpose is declared in its first paragraph - To “show God’s servants by signs WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS soon.” These “things” include the events depicted in the visions received by John “on the isle of Patmos.”

In the immediate context, the plural noun rendered “servants” refers to the “Seven Assemblies of Asia,” and the first verse of the Book alludes to the interpretation of the dream of the “great image with a head of gold” provided by Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon - “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries and has shown the king WHAT THINGS MUST COME TO PASS in latter days” - (Daniel 2:26-28).

In the Septuagint version of Daniel, the Greek clause is an exact match to the one in the text of Revelation, only the original term “LATER DAYS” is changed to “SOON.” In other words, what was in Daniel’s distant future is now imminent for John and the “Assemblies of Asia.”

The declaration that “THE SEASON is near” echoes the angel’s instructions to Daniel: “But, you, Daniel, close the words and seal the book until the SEASON of the endIn both Daniel and Revelation, the English term “season” represents the Greek noun kairos (Strong’s - #G2540), meaning, “season, a set time.”

As before, the commandment given to John changes the time reference from “END” in Daniel to “NEAR” or engus in the Book of Revelation (Strong’s - #G1451). The latter is a Greek term that refers to something that is “near, imminent, proximate; that which is at hand.” In other words, what was in the remote future in Daniel is imminent if not already underway for the readers of Revelation.


At the conclusion of Revelation, the angel tells 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 command given to Daniel. Thus, the time of disclosure has arrived - (Revelation 22:10).

Jesus is the “Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the Dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the Earth.”  He became the “Faithful Witness” in his death, the “Firstborn of the Dead” through his resurrection, and he has been the “Ruler of the kings of the Earth” ever since his exaltation to the Throne of God.

Thus, with his death, resurrection, and exaltation, the “Last Days” commenced in earnest. This is why the “Dragon” and his earthly agents, the “Beast from the Sea,” the “False Prophet,” and “Babylon” expend all their energies waging war on the saints. Satan is enraged, knowing that he has only a “short time” remaining before he will be cast into the “Lake of Fire.”

What was hidden and enigmatic in Daniel’s visions becomes clear following the resurrection and enthronement of Jesus. In fact, his first act upon arrival before the Throne was to take the “Sealed Scroll” and he then began breaking open its “Seven Seals” - (Revelation 1:17-18, 3:21, 5:5-10).

In Jesus of Nazareth, the “season” of the “end” has dawned, the time to unseal the “words of the Scroll.” In him, the era of fulfillment, the period known as the “Last Days,” has arrived and is now underway.




The Living Word

The Suffering Servant