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What the Bible says about Scroll Prophecy
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Revelation 5:1-3

Several passages can provide insight into this scene. Obviously, the aged apostle was familiar with the Scriptures, so when he saw this vision of God's throne, the One who sat on it, and a sealed scroll, several writings of the prophets probably came to his mind.

For example, in Daniel's vision, thrones are set up, the Ancient of Days takes His seat, and books are opened (Daniel 7:9-10). We tend to focus on the four beasts in this vision, but the more significant theme shows the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven, given dominion, glory, and a kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14, 27).

In Revelation, John sees the Ancient of Days likewise seated on a throne. Remembering Daniel's vision, John knows that court's purpose is to remove the dominion of man and the satanic power behind him and to give the Kingdom to the saints of the Most High under the Son of Man.

The prophet Ezekiel provides another related record. He also had a vision of the divine, including cherubim and a throne of God (Ezekiel 1:1-28) as a prelude to his commission to warn the rebellious house of Israel (Ezekiel 2:1-8). His vision contains another, similar scroll to the one John saw:

Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe. (Ezekiel 2:9-10)

Like Ezekiel's scroll, the one John saw had writing “inside and on the back” (Revelation 5:1), but there are some differences as well: Ezekiel's scroll was the symbol of a commission to a human servant, while the one John saw was not. Also, Ezekiel's scroll was open and readable, while in Revelation 5, the scroll is sealed. Both scrolls, though, do involve “lamentations and mourning and woe.”

Zechariah 5:1-4 contains another vision of a scroll, which may also have flashed through John's mind when he saw the scroll in the right hand of the Most High. An angel explains that Zechariah's scroll, also written on both sides, is “the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth”—specifically, a curse on thieves and perjurers. When John sees the divine scroll opened, it likewise contains a judgment for sin, but it affects far more than just thieves and perjurers.

Each of these scrolls symbolizes the judgments contained within them. In addition, each is written on both sides, indicating that nothing further will be added. The contents of each scroll are complete for its purpose, and once the scroll is opened, everything written on them will occur until God's purpose is fulfilled. As He says in Isaiah 55:11, “My word . . . goes forth from My mouth [and] it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thingfor which I sent it.” Nothing more needs to be added, and nothing will change the judgment that has been decreed.

David C. Grabbe
Worthy to Take the Scroll

Revelation 10:8-10

This little book is the Word of God. When we first hear the truth—when we first eat it—it is marvelous and exciting to us, and we try to devour even more of it. But as we begin to make it a part of our lives, begin to assimilate—digest—it, we find that putting it into practice is not always easy. Sometimes it is downright painful!

Jesus says it is "the strait way, the difficult way, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). In addition, we find that the Word of God contains things within it that are very bitter indeed in terms of what it says in Revelation—terrifying, painful, oppressive, horrible things described in symbolic language. God is not at all pleased that such things must happen.

And, of course, Scripture can bring upon us a great deal of sadness as well. It may taste good going in, but once in, we find it can be very bitter in application to our lives.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Revelation 10 and the Laodicean Church

Revelation 10:8-10

Ezekiel 1:26 through Ezekiel 3:27 is the Old Testament version of the "Little Book Prophecy" of Revelation 10, though it is called the "Scroll Prophecy." There is little difference between a scroll and a book. Both of them are full of words. Both of them are made into a delectable food for the prophet to ingest, and both Ezekiel and John have the same reaction. Ezekiel's prophecy helps to fill out the details of what happens to John.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 1)


 




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