UNSEALING THE SCROLL

Daniel was commanded to “seal the scroll,” but John was commanded NOT to seal the scroll – “for the season is at hand.”

At the close of his visions, the angel commanded Daniel “to close the words and seal the book until the season of the end.” However, in Revelation, the “scroll” is unsealed and opened to reveal its contents. Daniel was told to “seal the scroll,” but John was commanded NOT to do so. The verbal parallels are quite deliberate.

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SEASON OF THE END

Because the timing of the end is known only to God, disciples of Jesus must be prepared every moment for his sudden arrival.

Jesus did not command his followers to know the timing of his return and the “end of the age,” nor did he provide them with keys by which they can decipher that information. Instead, he exhorted them to be prepared every day since his arrival will come just “like a thief in the night.” God alone possesses that knowledge.

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EARTH DWELLERS

The “inhabitants of the earth” represent the men and women who are excluded from the “book of life” by their own decisions.

Those who “dwell on the earth” are unrelenting in their resistance to Jesus and are wholeheartedly hostile to his followers, even rejoicing in the violent deaths of his “two witnesses.” Unlike the “nations” and the “kings of the earth,” they are beyond redemption, and their names are excluded from the “book of life.”

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BECOME FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH

After persevering through persecution, the ever-faithful church at Smyrna was promised even more “tribulation” but also exceeding great rewards.

Smyrna was a seaport renowned for its beauty, and it prospered from seaborne commerce. Unfortunately for the church, the imperial cult was well-established there. The origin of the congregation is unknown, and Revelation is the only New Testament document that mentions the city.

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THE FINAL BATTLE

Before Jesus returns, Satan will launch his final and greatest assault against the saints, those who have the testimony of Jesus.

Several times Revelation refers to “the war,” the final attack by Satan and his vassals against the followers of the “Lamb.” In each case, the term “war” is singular, and its noun form is accompanied by the definite article or “the.” It is not just another of many battles but “THE war.” And both the Greek noun and its verb form are applied to the same final event.

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The Last Days in light of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus

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