A tale of two scrolls – How we know Revelation is for now

We have insisted throughout our #ReturnoftheKing series on Revelation that the book offers God’s heavenly and eternal perspective on history in order to enable us to live now. This contrasts sharply with some esoteric approaches that treat it as a series of codes that will only make sense at a future date.

Why do we insist this? Note, we are not saying that Revelation doesn’t foretell the future. We believe in Christ’s literal return but by pointing us forward to that day, John helps us make sense of our day and live faithfully in it.

An important clue is Revelation 22:10 where John is told not to seal up the prophecy. This contrasts with Daniel 12:4 where the prophet is told to seal up the scroll.  We also see in Revelation 5, a scroll that is sealed and no-one can open it except the Lion of Judah, the Lamb that was slain.

Daniel’s prophecy was sealed. This was a way of showing that people could not fully understand its contents. It was a mystery. However, when Jesus came, those prophecies began to make sense as he showed that they pointed to him.  Jesus is the one who opens u God’s Word to us. Jesus is the one who makes sense of everything because it is fulfilled in him.  This means that when Jesus came, died and rose again that we entered into the last days.

Now John’s prophecy is not sealed. It is an open book that can be read and understood. In other words  it’s words are for now and not for a future date or dependent on future events.  We can understand them, we can make sense of them because Jesus the Lamb of God has come and revealed God’s truth to us. The mystery is revealed.  All Scripture points to Christ. Or as John puts it “The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ”  (Revelation 19:10).

As we read Revelation, we see that it gives us God’s perspective on everything from beginning to end. In the light of what we see about the end, the promise and hope we have that Christ will return, we are able to live faithful lives now.