What does the Heavenly Scroll represent?
The heavenly scroll in Revelation chapter 5 represents God’s right of lordship over the kingdoms of the world.
The phrase ‘kingdoms of the world’ primarily means human world systems, such as governments, religions, economies, etc.
The heavenly scroll is full of writing on both sides, but it’s rolled-up and sealed with 7 wax seals, making it a closed book. So these wax seals are preventing God from exercising lordship over the kingdoms of the world. The apostle John saw this and wept.
I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.Revelation 5:1-4
Who sealed the heavenly scroll?
Satan sealed the scroll with 7 wax seals.
You may wonder, “How did Satan get the authority to seal the scroll, thus preventing God’s lordship over the kingdoms of the world?”
When Adam chose to sin, Satan became “the god of this world.” And, as the god of this world, Satan rules over the kingdoms of the world. The apostle Paul wrote:
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ2 Corinthians 4:4
Why is the heavenly scroll sealed?
In Genesis 1:28 God delegated authority over the earth to Adam. But, when Adam sinned, the serpent (the Devil, Satan, the Dragon) took Adam’s delegated authority unto himself. This is why the apostle Paul call the Devil ‘the god of this world” in 2 Corinthians 4:4 above.
The gospels also confirm the Devil’s authority over the ‘kingdoms of the world.’ After Jesus fasted 40 days,
The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.”Matthew 4:8-9
Jesus didn’t accept the Devil’s offer, but neither did he dispute that the Devil had this authority.
So, Satan has legal authority over the kingdoms of this world as long as the heavenly scroll’s seals remain intact.
The scroll’s 7 wax seals prevent God from exercising lordship over the kingdoms of the world. The Devil desperately wants to keep it that way.
Worthy is the Lamb
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.Revelation 5:5-6
Satan will remain the god of this world as long as the scroll is sealed. But, as Jesus breaks each of the 7 seals, YHWH will progressively restore His lordship over the kingdoms of the world.
The Seven Seals
The 7 seals represent the Devil’s legal right to be ‘the god of the kingdoms of the world.’ These seals keep the heavenly scroll closed, meaning that God cannot claim complete lordship over creation until someone breaks all 7 seals and opens the scroll.
The heavenly scroll’s place in the end-time timeline
In the 3 synoptic gospels, Jesus gave His disciples overviews of end-time events. There’s an obvious correlation between Jesus’ teachings in the 3 gospels and the opening of the seals in Revelation.
The three gospel passages are:
- Mark 13:5-27
- Matthew 24:4-31
- Luke 21:8-28
I produced a comparative chart with the contents from each gospel, then matched the events that occur in Revelation chapter 6 when Jesus opens the first 6 seals. Using Mark’s gospel as a basis for comparison, I listed the verse numbers in Matthew and Luke for every similar text. As you can see below, they are very similar in content and they’re identical in sequence.
The Seals in Revelation follow the same pattern and sequence.
Here’s how to read this chart:
- The first row, “Don’t be deceived,” is found in Mark 13:5, Matthew 24:4, and Luke 21:8.
- These all relate to Seal #1… the white horse and its rider.
(Note: many people teach that Seal 1 either represents Jesus or the gospel proclamation, but all three gospels in this chart strongly testify to an opposite conclusion… the white horseman in Seal 1 is a deceiver and/or false messiah.)
When will Jesus open the heavenly scroll’s seals?
Jesus said the events in Seals 1-4 are ‘the beginning of birth pains.’ While we see Seals 1, 2, and 3 in the news today, we haven’t seen Seal 4 yet.
The white horseman, is the rise of liberal, carnal, and shallow Christianity in the last 150 years. The decline in true discipleship and spirituality is rapidly increasing. Even many fundamental and Pentecostal denominations are compromised.
- I believe ‘the great falling away’ is now in full swing. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
- If so, the Antichrist will be revealed soon.
The red horseman, takes peace from the earth, and he’s given a great sword. This started in WW1, then in WW2 nuclear weapons are ‘a great sword.’ Since WW2 we’ve had constant ‘wars and rumors of wars.’ For example, these ‘wars and rumors of wars’ are in the news as of July 2022:
- Iran is now a ‘nuclear threshold’ nation, which means they now have all the materials required to produce nuclear weapons. Will Israel use military force to neutralize this threat?
- The superpowers’ proxy war in Ukraine is devastating that nation.
- China vs Taiwan?
- India vs Pakistan?
- The EU, NATO, and the USA vs Russia?
The black horseman, has a pair of scales. Seal 3 speaks of food cost inflation, while the rich enjoy oil and wine. It’s obvious that we’re now entering the 3rd Seal period, where food (and other necessities) will be increasingly expensive for the world’s masses–if they’re available at all. Meanwhile, billionaires fly personal jets or sail mega-yachts to lunch on another continent.
The pale (or green) horseman’s name is death, and hades follows him. He has authority to kill 2 Billion people (¼ of the earth) by sword, famine, disease, and bioweapons.
- I believe the 2019-2022 pandemic was a trial exercise before satanic ‘elite’ globalists release a much deadlier bioweapon, along with nuclear wars and their resulting famines.
- Covid killed millions. Seal 4 will kill billions.
The souls of martyrs cry out for vengeance. They’re given a white robe and told to rest a little longer until the number of their fellow brethren is complete, who will be killed as they themselves were.
Seal 5: Until the number of their fellow brethren is complete?
Revelation 6:11 tells us that God is waiting for a specific number of Christian martyrs. Why? As I explained in detail in The Overcomers’ Treasure Map, their martyrdom is what will enable Michael to cast the Devil down from heaven to earth. How else do you explain this verse:
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.Revelation 12:11
As I explain in Arise, Shine!, this is when the 144,000 will start preaching the gospel of God’s Kingdom, clothed with the glory of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Seal 6: The Dragon cast down from heaven to earth
Seal 6 has a great earthquake, blackened sun, moon like blood, stars falling to the earth, and the sky rolling up. Also, every mountain and island moved from its place. Then men will hide in caves and say to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of God and the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand?’
Seal 6 lists the physical results on earth after the Devil is cast down from heaven. Many of these things are obviously symbolic. But, however they’re literally manifested, it will be bad for mankind.
The 7th Seal
When Jesus breaks the final 7th Seal, there’s silence in heaven for ½ an hour. After the Lamb broke all 7 of Satan’s seals, the heavenly scroll can be opened. YHWH can now begin to restore His lordship over the kingdoms of this world.
The Heavenly Scroll Opened
With all 7 seals broken, YHWH unrolls the scroll. According to the Book of Revelation, He plans to restore control over the kingdoms of this world in an orderly manner. Here’s the high-level overview of His plan:
In the 7 Trumpets that follow the 7 Seals, YHWH warns mankind to repent by sending warning judgments onto the earth. They are very similar to the ‘bowls of wrath’ or ‘seven last plagues’ that come later, but the Trumpets are 1/3 the strength of the bowls.
For example, in the chart below, look at #3. The Trumpet judgment on the left is only 1/3 as strong as the entry in the right column, under ‘Seven Last Plagues.’
- A third of the sea creatures died in the Trumpet plague in 8:9.
- But in the right column, in 16:3, every sea creature dies.
So, the Trumpets are meant as warnings to motivate repentance.
The Carrot and Stick Approach
In His infinite love and patience, YHWH’s goal in the Trumpet judgments is to motivate people to repent and believe the gospel before it’s too late. He will use a ‘carrot and stick’ approach.
During the period of the Trumpets, the 144,000 glorified saints will be preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God in every nation, in every language.
With Satan cast down from heaven, they’ll do amazing signs and miracles that totally validate their message. They’ll do even ‘greater works‘ than even Jesus did.
They’ll heal people, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, walk on water, feed thousands with a handful of fish and bread, and perform many more supernatural works.
The 144,000 will present a positive message of the forgiveness and blessings of God—the carrot.
As each Trumpet sounds, judgments will fall upon mankind as a warning to repent—the stick.
Also during the Trumpet judgments, the Two Witnesses will be ‘tormenting’ those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 11:3-13)
As a result of this carrot and stick approach, everyone on earth will both (1) hear the gospel in a positive presentation, and (2) they’ll experience a painful sample of the coming punishment for everyone who rejects the message.
So, there will be no excuse for people not to repent and believe the gospel.
The 7th Trumpet
The 7th Trumpet sounds at the end of the great tribulation period. This is the last trump, signaling the first resurrection and the end of the age of grace.
Immediately after the 7th Trump sounds, loud voices in heaven proclaim,
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.Revelation 11:15
7 Bowls of Wrath
After the 7th Trumpet sounds, the door to salvation through faith is closed. There’s no more opportunity for repentance in this age.
Seven angels will pour 7 bowls of the wrath of God onto everyone who refused to repent and accept God’s grace, resulting in total destruction. These judgments will be similar to the Trumpet judgments, but those were warnings.
In contrast, the bowls of wrath will be full-strength, meant to punish and totally destroy what’s left of Satan’s kingdom on the earth.
The Millennial Kingdom
After God’s wrath is poured out, Jesus will renew the earth and reign over the nations for 1000 years.
Who will repopulate the earth?
I’ve often wondered who these nations are in the millennium? After all, if the saints are resurrected (or raptured) at the 7th Trumpet, and all the wicked are destroyed by the 7 bowls of wrath, who’s left to repopulate the earth in the millennium?
I’ll hazard a guess. Out of those Christians alive on the earth when the 7th Trumpet sounds, I assume the rapture will only ‘snatch up’ the ones who are wise and righteous, leaving the rest behind. Many of these will survive God’s wrath, with God’s help, to repopulate the earth.
This means the rapture (of the living) and the resurrection (of the dead) at the 7th Trumpet isn’t universal for all believers. It’s restricted to disciples who meet God’s criteria for this honor. A couple of verses that support this perspective are:
- Revelation 20:4-6, the 1st resurrection is for those who were beheaded for their testimony. “The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were complete.”
- Hebrews 11:35, others were tortured and refused their release, so that they might gain a better resurrection
Jesus Gives Three Examples
Immediately following the apocalyptic events listed in Matthew 24, Jesus told three parables in Matthew chapter 25.
- Mt 25:1-13 At that time (after Jesus return in Matthew 24:31) the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins. Five virgins were wise, but 5 were foolish. The foolish virgins were excluded from the wedding banquet.
- Mt 25 14-30 A master went on a trip and gave talents to all his servants to use while he traveled. The ones who were faithful and industrious were rewarded in proportion to their success. The “wicked, lazy servant” who hid his talent got thrown out ‘into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
- Mt 31-46 When the Son of Man comes in His glory He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. The sheep will inherit the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world. Then He will say to those the goats, “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
So, who will repopulate the earth? My guess is the foolish virgins, the wicked, lazy servants, and the sheep. While they’re all disappointed in not achieving their anticipated goals, their lives are all spared. In contrast, the goats judged in the third parable won’t continue living on the earth.
Here’s my imagination about what life will be like during the Millennium.
The New Heaven and Earth
Finally, the heavenly scroll will describe YHWH’s lordship over a new heaven and earth, with a heavenly Jerusalem on the earth.
Finally, God will dwell with man. We will see His face, and we will be His sons.
To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”Revelation 21:6-8
Conclusion -The Heavenly Scroll
The heavenly scroll in Revelation chapter 5 represents YHWH’s right of lordship over the kingdoms of the world. Today, the scroll is still sealed shut by the Devil, but Jesus is now breaking open Seals 1-3.
When the 4th Seal is broken, billions of people could be killed.
The 5th Seal is the persecution of Christians.
In the 6th Seal the Devil will be cast down from heaven to earth, with cataclysmic effects.
When the 7th Seal is broken, the heavenly scroll can be opened. YHWH will then be able to restore His lordship over the kingdoms of this world.
Seven Trumpets warn people to repent and believe the gospel preached by the 144,000.
- Before the 7th Trumpet sounds, YHWH will try to get as many people as possible to repent of their sins and believe the gospel of grace.
- The door to salvation through faith is closed when the 7th Trumpet sounds.
- After the 7th Trumpet, God’s wrath will fall on all those who still refused to repent and believe.
The Lord Jesus Christ will reign on the restored earth for 1000 years.
After the 1000 years, God will create a new heaven and earth, and dwell with redeemed mankind forever.