By Greg Rangel
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals” (Revelation 5:1).
John now turns his attention to a book that is in the right hand of Him who is seated on the throne. The book is not a book as we would understand a book to be. It is more specifically a scroll.
A scroll back then was what people used to write in. Scrolls were long pieces of papyrus or animal skin that were rolled from both ends going into the middle. This scroll has writing within and on the backside of it. John also mentions that this scroll was sealed with seven seals.
As far as what the scroll says in detail, it could most likely be the very detailed events that will be unfolding every time that a seal is broken, as described in the following chapters.
When Ezekiel the prophet had his vision of heaven, he too mentioned this same scroll. And what he mentions about the scroll sounds very similar as to the judgments that will be taking place (see Ezekiel 2:9-10). The breaking of these seven seals and the judgments will be carried all the way through Revelation 10.
The scroll at hand we know is some type of document that we would call legal document because of how it is described. First of all, it would need to be opened by someone with power and authority. Not just anyone can open up the scroll. And we know that that someone is none other than Jesus Christ (see Revelation 5:2-7).
The second thing that shows us that it is some type of legal document is the seven seals that are on it. Using seven seals on legal documents was a practice in the old times and especially in the days of Rome. When the Roman emperors Augustus and Vespasian died, their wills that were left for their successors were sealed with seven seals.
This scroll is believed by many excellent Bible scholars to be the title deed to the earth, which Jesus with full right and authority will be taking back. In John MacArthur’s words, “The scroll John saw in God’s hand is the title deed to the earth, which He will give to Christ. Unlike other such deeds, however, it does not record the descriptive details of what Christ will inherit, but rather how He will regain His rightful inheritance…” The late Pastor and Bible Commentator J. Vernon McGee says, “…what is being handed over to the Lord Jesus…is the title deed to this world in which you and I live. He created it, He redeemed it, and it belongs to Him.”
Now, what is it meant with “the title deed to the earth” when the earth is already the Lord’s and the fullness thereof? And, is this Scriptural? The following arguments are given in support of this view.
When man fell in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), sin and death entered into the world as Romans 5 states. Man lost his fellowship with God. The other thing that took place was that a transfer of power and ownership was made. Because man fell into sin, the devil began to rule over the lives of people. He became “the god of this world,” as 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
It is for that reason that Jesus even called Satan “the prince of this world.” John 12:31 says, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” Matthew 4:8-10 also says, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me...”
Notice that the devil says tells Jesus that he will give “all these things,” that is, “the kingdom of the world and the glory of them” if Jesus was to bow down to Him. But also notice that Jesus does not dispute the claim that the devil is making.
Borderland Calvary Chapel