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The Scroll with Seven Seals

April 2024

Bible passages are copied from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV),

Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc., Used by permission.  All rights reserved worldwide.


We know from Daniel 9:24 that ‘everlasting righteousness’ will be brought to Israel at some future point at the end of a seven-year period. That seven-year period has not yet happened because the ‘righteousness’ does not yet exist in Israel.


That final seven-year period is discussed in Daniel 9:27 and indicates that an ‘abomination that causes desolation’ will occur at the midpoint of the seven years. We often refer to the person responsible for this ‘abomination’ as Antichrist. He will initiate a period of Tribulation that will last in Israel for the three and a half years from the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ until the end of the seven-year period.


We are also told in Revelation 12:7-9 that Satan is hurled to earth. Revelation chapters 12 and 13 are flashback chapters relating to the midpoint of the seven years. Satan and Antichrist will be working together during the remainder of the seven years and beyond. The Tribulation that begins in Israel will eventually expand throughout the world.


The Book of Revelation from Revelation chapter 5 to Revelation chapter 20 relates to the time of Tribulation. All of the events in these chapters are either caused by the Tribulation or by God’s reaction to the Tribulation.


A Heavenly Scroll and its seals is introduced in Revelation chapter 5. So what is written on this sealed Scroll? We are never told. A reasonable guess could be that it is the deed to the earth. Satan would love to get hold of this Scroll, and he may even believe that he is entitled to it since he has such great influence over many individuals on this earth. He had been called the ‘prince of this world’ (John 12:31). God has the Scroll and Jesus alone is able to open it (Revelation 5:5). The war between God and Satan as seen in the Book of Revelation will ensure that Satan will never get his hands on this Scroll.


We know that deeds in ancient Israel were sealed (Jeremiah 32:14). A document with seven seals would indeed be a very important document, whether or not our guess is correct. Scrolls have been found with multiple seals, but the seals are all on the outside of the scroll. All of the seals must be broken before the scroll can be opened. It is most likely that this very important Scroll has seven seals around the whole Scroll. This is even more likely as we are told that the Scroll is written on both sides (Revelation 5:1).










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There are some people who believe that Jesus is causing Tribulation events to happen as He opens the seals (Revelation 6:1-17, Revelation 8:1). This cannot be. It should be obvious to unbiased readers that the events seen at the opening of the first five seals could not be caused by Jesus. This is most obvious in the opening of the fifth seal. At the opening of this seal we see martyred Christians. They call out, “How long, Sovereign Lord holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood” (Revelation 6:10). God allows suffering and martyrdom for reasons we may not understand, but He does not cause them. What kind of a God would He be if these saints had to ask Him to avenge their death if He had in fact caused their death?


As Jesus opens the seals on the Scroll, we are shown scenes that are happening on the earth.


1.   The opening of the first seal reveals Antichrist going forth to conquer as much as he can, including the Land of Israel (Revelation 6:1-2). He has to be a very powerful leader of a very powerful nation. Later in the Book of Revelation we read in a flashback episode that many Jews will have escaped into the ‘wilderness’ where they will be protected from Antichrist and Satan for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6, Revelation 12:14). These Jews will escape from the grasp of Satan and Antichrist at the middle of the seven years and will return to Israel at the end of the seven years. We are informed in Zechariah 14:2 that half the city of Jerusalem will escape.


2.  The opening of the second seal shows the world at war (Revelation 6:3-4). Antichrist is very powerful, but he is not the dictator of the world at this point. If he were dictator of the world, there would be no need for war. Later, after Jesus appears, Antichrist will then take world leadership with the help of Satan and attempt to war against God. Anyone who has taken the mark of Antichrist will have to follow him because God will no longer accept anyone with the mark (Revelation 14:11).


3.  The opening of the third seal shows famine. This is a common result of war as is released as seen in the opening of the second seal (Revelation 6:5-6).


4.  The opening of the fourth seal reveals death by war, famine, plague, and wild animals. This also is a result of war as is released as seen in the opening of the second seal (Revelation 6:7-8).


The opening of these four seals above is the beginning of the Tribulation that Satan and Antichrist will unleash upon the world. These first four seals reveal what is commonly called the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’. These four plagues on humanity appear suddenly and remain in Israel over the remainder of the seven year period. We know that Antichrist has control over Israel for only three and a half years (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5). Antichrist will still have power after the end of the seven years, but not over Israel.


5.  The opening of the fifth seal shows Christian martyrs crying out to God to avenge their death. This is the first sign that God’s people are especially targeted (Revelation 12:17). Note that Satan’s first target is the Jews. When he cannot reach the Jews, he attacks the Christians. We are not allowed to forget that the Jews are God’s people. The Jewish people are known as the ‘apple of God’s eye’ (Zechariah 2:8).


6.  The opening of the sixth seal strongly implies the Appearance of Jesus. Up until this time, no indication is given that anyone other than the martyred Christians are concerned about God. Suddenly, a great earthquake and a number of heavenly signs occur to get the full attention of the population of the earth. These signs are not the Wrath of God, just an introduction of what lies ahead. The Wrath of God will begin shortly. People are running to hide from the Father and the Son. They are calling down rocks to fall on themselves (Revelation 6:12-17).


We cannot discern the timing of the opening of the fifth and sixth seals. They happen after the ‘abomination’ but before the end of the seven years. We also know from Matthew 24:29-31 that the Rapture occurs at the Appearance of Jesus. We know this because Jesus said it (Revelation 24:30-30, Revelation 24:40-41). We also see the Raptured Christians in Revelation 7:9-17.


The Appearing of Jesus will not only mean Rapture for the Christians; but will also signal to Jews that their long-awaited Messiah has come to rescue them. Those Jews who have not taken the mark of Antichrist will become suddenly aware that Jesus is indeed Messiah and many will put their faith in Him. Many Jews will receive Salvation through Jesus just as the raptured Christians did. We also see the sealing of the 144,000 Jews immediately after the Appearance of Jesus. This is an extremely important event that will play out over the next several chapters of Revelation.


Undoubtedly there will also be Gentiles who have not received the mark of Antichrist and have called themselves Christians who will realize that they had never yielded to Jesus and who now seek true Salvation in Christ and will now receive that Salvation. They will be too late for the Rapture, but they will ensure their eternity with God.


7.The opening of the seventh seal is not shown until Revelation 8:1. We see another earthquake (Revelation 8:5), probably much greater than that at the opening of the sixth seal. We also see the beginning of the seven Trumpet Judgments (Revelation 8:2-6). These are the beginning of God’s Wrath. Up through the opening of the first five seals, Satan and Antichrist largely could do whatever they desired. Now Satan, Antichrist, and the sinful world will have to face the consequences of their actions. As is the case with seals 5 and 6, we cannot place the timing of the opening of seal 7 except to say that it follows the Rapture, probably almost immediately. It will still be within the seven-year period. We will find that the Wrath of God will continue to and beyond the end of the seven years.


Beyond the Opening of the Seals


The sounding of the seventh Trumpet Judgment is not shown until the beginning of Revelation chapter 11. Revelation chapter 11 flashes back to the opening of the first seal, that is, to the ‘abomination that causes desolation.’ The end of Revelation chapter 11 moves on to the resurrection of two witnesses that prophecy during the entire 1,260 days of the second half of Daniel’s seven years. In other words, Revelation chapter 11 covers the entire last half of the seven years from the 'abomination' to the very end of the seven years.


The angel Gabriel told Daniel that the end of the final seven-year period would bring righteousness to Israel (Daniel 9:24). The end of Revelation chapter 11 then is the end of the seven years, and righteous Israel will follow immediately. Revelation chapters 12 and 13 are flashback chapters introducing the villains of the Tribulation. Revelation 14:1 introduces the beginning of righteous Israel by showing Jesus and the 144,000 Jews who were sealed between the breaking of the sixth and seventh seals on the Heavenly Scroll. These 144,000 are called the firstfruits (Revelation 14:5) and this is the establishment of righteous Israel in one day (Isaiah 66:7-11, Zechariah 3:8-9).


Antichrist and Satan will not be finished when righteous Israel is created, but the end will be near. The Bowl Judgments will still be unleashed on all the world except for Israel (Revelation 16:1). The Battle of Armageddon also remains to be undertaken (Revelation 16:17-21). After this, there will still remain the separation of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).


Righteous Israel and other peaceful nations will now be present fact and not future prophecy. (Daniel 9:24, Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 4:2-6, Isaiah 11:1-16, Isaiah 14:1-2, Isaiah 25:6-8, Isaiah 49:8-26, Isaiah 51:1-16, Isaiah 52:1-12,Isaiah 54:1-17, Isaiah 60:1-22, Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 66:7-24, Jeremiah 31:7-40, Ezekiel 37:1-28, Ezekiel 39:25-29, Ezekiel 40:1 – 48:35, Hosea 2:14-23, Joel 3:17-21, Amos 9:11-15, Obadiah 19-21, Micah 2:12-13, Micah 4:1-8, Micah 7:11-20, Zephaniah 3:9-20, Zechariah 8:19-23, Zechariah 9:16-17, Zechariah 10:6-12, Zechariah 13:1-2, Zechariah 14:6-21).

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