|The various theories
now diverge even more. To the
historicist, the scroll must represent the course of history starting at
about the time of John. This would be
in accord with their interpretation of Revelation 4:1.
|The futurist theory
is quite ingenious here. Recalling the
ancient laws of Israel, the assumption here is that this scroll really
represents the title deeds to the earth.
Man, by sinning in the Garden, had sold himself (and thus this deed)
to Satan. Now recall two concepts:
|• the kinsman
redeemer (see, for example, the book of Ruth), and
|• the law of redemption.
|The theory is that
Jesus acts as our kinsman redeemer.
This person is entitled to redeem the land (in this instance, with his
blood) on our behalf, since we are unable to do so. He is also able to redeem us, as we have
been sold in the same way to Satan.
|It really gets
interesting when you consider the timing.
Most futurists firmly believe in a literal six day creation. Adam was created in 4004 BC on (I think)
October 23 at about 9:00 AM in the morning.
Closer than that, it’s a little hard to pin down. Now, accepting that one day equals 1000
years (2 Peter 3:8), we would find that six “days” of a 1000 years
(millennia!!!!) are just about up! The
kinsman redeemer must redeem within seven years according to one commentary
(Exodus 21 says a Hebrew slave must go free in the seventh year; land is returned in the year of Jubilee,
every 50th year - go figure). Thus,
the theory goes, Jesus is due any year now.
|The best of these
theories: the poetic. Why don’t we just wait and see?
|Why, then, does John
weep? There are two primary reasons:
|• He was promised a
revelation (4:1) and now there is no one to unseal it.
|• Amos 3:7 says that
God does nothing without telling the prophets. So here is another frustration.
|It does point up one
thing. God cannot deliver a message to
a man who isn’t ready to receive it. I
stand at the door -- and knock.