Tag Archives: beasts

Revelation 17-22 Study Guide

This handout was created to help teenage students with Revelation 17-22. 

All LDS sources.

Formatted for back to back printing with space for holes to be punched.

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Revelation 17-19

Revelation 17:1 The Great Whore of the Earth

One of the most indisputable things about the Apocalypse is the vividness of the symbolism and imagery used by John. The kingdom of Satan, in all its opulent and wicked splendor, is depicted as a harlot, lavishly dressed and riding on a beast. The obvious representation is that of impurity, evil, wickedness. But the symbolism goes much deeper than that. The figure of a harlot as a metaphor for Satan’s dominions is appropriate, for Satan prostitutes all that is noble and good.

The ideal relationship between man and God has often been symbolized in scripture as a marriage. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is the husband and Israel the bride. In the New Testament Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride (Matthew 25:1–13; Revelation 19:7–9). Whenever his people prove unfaithful to their covenants, they can be likened to a faithless woman who has sold herself to immorality and sin.

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Chapter 55: “The Kingdoms of This World Are Become the Kingdoms of Our Lord”

 

Revelation 17:1–6 – The woman on a scarlet beast

By carefully reading the revelations of St. John, you will find the apostasy foretold. You will find the Church represented as a woman surrounded by twelve stars. You will also find the history of the bringing forth of the Priesthood, and of the woman going into the wilderness for a season. You will also find the history of the establishment of the church of Satan—which is likewise represented by a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast; she was proclaimed the Mother of Harlots—a church that was to hold dominion over all the nations of the earth. John also saw the restoration of the everlasting Gospel, as proclaimed in Revelation, 14th chapter and 6th verse: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Now, if the Gospel was upon the earth, there certainly would be no necessity of an angel bringing the Gospel; there would be no necessity for the restoration of any thing that had not been lost.

Apostle George Teasdale, January 13, 1884.

 

Revelation 17:8 The Beast That “Was, and Is Not, and Yet Is”

This confusing phrase seems to refer to the devil, or someone who entirely turned himself over to the service of the devil, and sounds like the opposite of what John learned about Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:4, 8. Although the devil may live forever, he is inconsistent, unstable, and completely untrustworthy (see Alma 30:60). Jesus Christ, however, is God “yesterday, today, and forever” (Mormon 9:9) and is not only powerful, but is consistent and can always be trusted. Consequently, we can center our faith in Him.

New Testament: Seminary Student Study Guide, Revelation 17

Revelation 17:14 “And the Lamb Shall Overcome”

After painting the picture of the harlot and the beast in all of their power and wickedness, John testifies that they shall be conquered by the superior power of the Lamb of God. Latter-day revelation confirms this. Just before the organization of the Church in this dispensation, the Lord said that because of his obedience to the Father’s will he had subdued all things, including “retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world.” (D&C 19:3.)

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Chapter 55: “The Kingdoms of This World Are Become the Kingdoms of Our Lord”

 

Revelation 18:4 – Come out of Babylon

We live in a wicked world like unto Babylon of old. Our latter-day prophets, like the prophets of old, have cried, “Come out, come out of Babylon” (Rev. 18:4; D&C 133:7). To come out physically presents a problem, but spiritually it is possible, and spiritually we must come out if we are to prosper in the land.

We come out spiritually when we pay honestly our tithes and offerings. We come out spiritually when we attend to our priesthood duties and attend our priesthood, Sacrament, and stake conference meetings.

William J. Critchlow, Jr., Conference Report, October 1961, pp. 54-57

 

Now, then, if we are blessed we have not to thank any man, or any set of men for it. If we are provided for, we have not obtained it from anybody else, but from the Lord God of Israel, who has watched over and protected His people just as He said He would do. He said it was His business to take care of His Saints, but, then, it is our business to be Saints.

 

And being gathered together as we are under these circumstances, we are organized according to certain laws laid down in the order of God, and given by revelation of God, for our guidance and direction, wherein we are instructed in things pertaining to this world and to the next; … we are here to learn His laws that we may walk in His paths. We are here that we may build temples unto His name, and that we may administer in those temples. This is the object of our being gathered together, that we may be brought into a closer union and relationship to God our heavenly Father, that we may be instructed in the laws of life, and that we may comprehend the relationship that exists between us and Him.

 

And while we are looking for calamity and trouble—wars, pestilence and famine, and all those things that have been spoken of by the holy Prophets—yet there is to be a voice heard before that day crying: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”—that is, speaking of a certain something that is called Babylon. … We have come here that we may enter into covenants that are eternal, and which continue behind the veil.

President John Taylor, November 30, 1884.

 

You need an endowment, brethren, in order that you may be prepared and able to overcome all things; and those that reject your testimony will be damned. The sick will be healed, the lame made to walk, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see, through your instrumentality. But let me tell you, that you will not have power, after the endowment to heal those that have not faith, …

But when you are endowed and prepared to preach the Gospel to all nations, kindreds, and tongues, in their own languages, you must faithfully warn all …

Scriptural Teachings of Joseph Smith, 91-92

 

The endowment was to prepare the disciples for their missions unto the world.

Scriptural Teachings of Joseph Smith, 274

 

Marriage, is also a principle or ordinance of the Gospel, most vital to the happiness of mankind, however unimportant it may seem, or lightly regarded by many. There is no superfluous or unnecessary principle in the plan of life, but there is no principle of greater importance or more essential to the happiness of man—not only here, but especially hereafter, than that of marriage.

Elder Joseph F. Smith, Sept. 30, 1877

 

Revelation 19:10 – The Testimony of Jesus

What is the testimony of Jesus? And what must we do to be valiant therein?

“Be not … ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,” Paul wrote to Timothy, “… but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel.” (2 Tim. 1:8.) And to the Beloved John came this divine message: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10.)

The testimony of our Lord! The testimony of Jesus! What a glorious and wondrous concept! It opens the door to glory and honor with the Father and the Son forever! The testimony of Jesus is to believe in Christ, to receive his gospel, and to live his law.

Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith , Elder Bruce R. McConkie, October 1974

 

A testimony is a most precious possession because it is not acquired by logic or reason alone, it cannot be purchased with earthly possessions, and it cannot be given as a present or inherited from our ancestors. We cannot depend on the testimonies of other people. We need to know for ourselves. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Every Latter-day Saint has the responsibility to know for himself or herself with a certainty beyond doubt that Jesus is the resurrected, living Son of the living God” (“Fear Not to Do Good,” Ensign, May 1983, 80).

The source of this sure knowledge and firm conviction is divine revelation, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

We receive this testimony when the Holy Spirit speaks to the spirit within us. We will receive a calm and unwavering certainty that will be the source of our testimony and conviction irrespective of our culture, race, language, or socioeconomic background. These promptings of the Spirit, rather than human logic alone, will be the true foundation upon which our testimony will be built.

The Power of a Personal Testimony, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2006

 

Revelation 19:11–16. Why Did John See Jesus Riding on a White Horse?

Interestingly enough, just before his crucifixion, Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21). Traditionally, riding into a city on a donkey signified that the rider came in peace. Who could imagine a conqueror riding to battle on a donkey? John’s vision of Christ’s second coming showed the Lord as riding on a white horse (Revelation 19:11–16). That does not mean that Christ will actually come riding on a horse, but seems to symbolize that his second coming will be that of the conqueror of all evil, as King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

Revelation 19:13. “A Vesture Dipped in Blood”

It is a common misconception that Christ shall be clothed in white at his coming. Here and also in the Doctrine and Covenants it is clear that he shall be dressed in red apparel, symbolic of his taking upon himself the sins of the world and of coming in his judgment. (Read D&C 133:46, 48, 50, 51.)

 

Revelation 19:21. “Slain with the Word” of God

The Inspired Version changes the word sword in this verse to word. This suggests that the wicked are condemned by the word of God (Hebrews 4:12, D&C 14:2). Men should learn to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, for his word is truth (D&C 84:44, 45).

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Chapter 56: “Behold, I Come Quickly; and My Reward Is with Me

 

Revelation 19:15, 21—“Out of His Mouth Goeth a Sharp Sword, … and He Shall Rule Them with a Rod of Iron”

The sword and the rod of iron both refer to the word of God (see Hebrews 4:12; 1 Nephi 15:23–24). Although it may sound harsh, the rule of Jesus is not harsh, but firm, powerful, and cuts to the center of man to help him permanently change or to perfectly know his guilt (see 1 Nephi 16:2; Alma 31:5; 3 Nephi 11:3).

New Testament: Seminary Student Study Guide, Revelation 19

 

Revelation 20-22

Revelation 20:1 – What is the bottomless pit?

The bottomless pit is outer darkness, the future dwelling place of Satan and the sons of perdition (see D&C 76:31–38).

New Testament: Seminary Student Study Guide, Revelation 20

 

Revelation 20:2, 3. How Is Satan Bound?

“Many other scriptures refer to the thousand years of wonderful, glorious conditions on the earth, because Lucifer, Satan, the devil, will be bound.

 

“The scriptures say he will be ‘bound with a chain’ and ‘put into a bottomless pit.’ To me, these are symbolical terms. I cannot quite conceive of steel chains or pits that could hold Satan. The only power I know of that will bind Satan, or render him powerless, is righteous living.

 

“The war that started in heaven has not ended yet and shall not end until everyone has proved the extent of his ability to resist Satan. Even Jesus Christ had to bind Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. Satan had no power over him, because Jesus resisted his temptations. Then the record says, ‘… he departed from him for a season.’ (Luke 4:13.)”

Eldred G. Smith in Conference Report, Apr. 1970, p. 142; see also 1 Nephi 22:26.

 

Revelation 20:7–10. The Battle of Gog and Magog

John tells us clearly that after the Millennium Satan shall be loosed again, and one last great battle shall be fought between the forces of good and evil. Michael the archangel (who is Adam) shall gather the armies of God together to do battle with Satan and his armies, and Satan and his hosts shall be defeated and cast into their own place for the rest of eternity (D&C 88:110–16).

John calls the hosts who follow Satan, Gog and Magog. These terms cause some confusion, for they are also used to refer to the leader of the final battle before the Millennium begins, which is commonly called the battle of Armageddon. The terms themselves come from Ezekiel 38, 39, where the battle of Armageddon is described in some detail. Most scholars believe that Ezekiel chose these names as symbols of great military prowess and wickedness.

Joseph Fielding Smith clarifies the difference between the battle of Armageddon and the battle of Gog and Magog: “Before the coming of Christ, the great war, sometimes called Armageddon, will take place as spoken of by Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Another war of Gog and Magog will be after the millennium.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:45.)

Revelation 20:14. What Is the Lake of Fire?

“A man is his own tormentor and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone. I say, so is the torment of man.” (Smith, HC, 6:314.)

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Chapter 56: “Behold, I Come Quickly; and My Reward Is with Me

 

Revelation 21:1. “And I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth”

“We discover from the word of the Lord that the earth, like mankind upon it, is passing through various stages of development, or change. It was created and pronounced good. It partook of the decree of mortality coming through the fall. It is now passing through the telestial condition, in which telestial beings predominate and rule. It will then pass into the ‘renewed,’ or restored state, for a thousand years as a terrestrial earth and the abode of terrestrial inhabitants. Then comes the end. The earth like all creatures living on it must die. Then it will, like all creatures, receive its resurrection and be celestialized because it obeys its law.”

Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:295.

 

Revelation 21:2. The New Jerusalem

The New Jerusalem spoken of in Revelation 21 is not the same city that is to be built on the American continent as part of the last days and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (see Articles of Faith 1:10). It refers to the celestial kingdom.

New Testament: Seminary Student Study Guide, Revelation 21

 

Revelation 21:8. What Is the Second Death?

“After the separation of the body and spirit, which is the natural death, the wicked and ungodly die a second death, a spiritual death, meaning they are cast out of the presence of the Lord and are dead as pertaining to the things of righteousness, which are the things of the Spirit. [Read D&C 63:17, 18.]

“But when those here designated have suffered for their own sins, after they have paid the utmost farthing in hell, after they have suffered ‘the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times,’ they shall come forth in the second resurrection and receive their inheritance in the telestial kingdom. (D. & C. 76:103–106.) That is, the allotted period of their spiritual death shall cease; death and hell shall deliver up the dead which are in them; and all men, except the sons of perdition, shall receive their part in the kingdoms which are prepared. Thus these vessels of wrath are ‘the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power after the resurrection. (D. & C. 76:37.)” (McConkie, DNTC, 3:583–84.)

Revelation 22:7. “I Come Quickly”

“Not soon, but in a quick manner; that is, with speed and suddenness after all of the promised conditions precedent have occurred. ‘I am Jesus Christ, who cometh quickly, in an hour you think not.’ (D. & C. 51:10.)” (McConkie, DNTC, 3:590.)

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Chapter 56: “Behold, I Come Quickly; and My Reward Is with Me

 

Revelation 21:11–25—The Description of the City of God

If you took the time to figure out the measurements John gave of the city of God, you would understand that he was describing a city whose size was larger than anything man had ever created. Furthermore, the description of precious metals and stones communicates a beauty beyond description. But the most glorious part is the very presence of God, which eliminates the need for a temple or even for light (see vv. 22–23).

New Testament: Seminary Student Study Guide, Revelation 21

 

Revelation 22:18, 19. Do Modern Revelations “Add unto These Things”?

“Some people have used Revelation 22:18–19 to defend the idea that there can be no more revelation or scripture after the Bible because that would be adding to the Bible. In this way they try to discredit the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Moses, however, wrote the same about his books (see Deuteronomy 4:2). If those words of Moses were interpreted in the same way some have interpreted what John wrote, then there would be no Bible after the first five books. John, like Moses, was simply referring to what God had directed him to write—the book of Revelation.

New Testament: Seminary Student Study Guide, Revelation 22

 

“[I]n warning against additions to the book of Revelation [John the Revelator] spoke of that book only, insisting that no one attempt to change or corrupt what he had said. The Bible was not compiled when John wrote the book of Revelation, so he could not possibly have referred to it.

“Furthermore, scholars tell us that the Gospel of John was written after the book of Revelation, and if this be true it becomes another indication that John had no thought of precluding other writings but only of protecting this particular book of Revelation from change or corruption.” (Mark E. Petersen in CR, Oct. 1964, p. 121.)

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Chapter 56: “Behold, I Come Quickly; and My Reward Is with Me

 

Saints should prepare for the time spoken of in Revelation

When John the Revelator was banished to the Isle of Patmos, a voice from heaven said, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Rev. 4:1.) The angel of the Lord showed John many wonderful things. He showed him the coming of a new heaven and a new earth when there would be no more sickness and no more pain, no more sorrow and no more death; when we would no more need the sun by day nor the moon by night, for the glory of God would be upon the earth; when no man would say, “know ye the Lord,” for every man would walk in the light of the Lord his God. (See Rev. 21:1, 4, 23–24.)

 

When John saw all of that, he wanted to kneel down and worship the angel who showed it to him. And the angel said, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets.” (Rev. 22:8–9.)

 

Earlier, the angel had showed him the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened and every man was judged according to the things written in the books, according to their works. Death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them. (See Rev. 20:12–13.) Then the angel said, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God … and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6.) Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing, to be worthy to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection? …

Today in our natural, routine patterns of life, our children go to school as we did for twelve to twenty years, to learn how to have a richer life here in mortality, to earn a better living and enjoy the cultural and refined things of life. If it is worth spending twelve to twenty years to prepare for a life of seventy-five to a hundred years, what is it worth to prepare for a life that never ends?

Be Ye Prepared”, Elder LeGrand Richards, October 1981

 

Saints Should Be Optimists

[O]f all people, we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic. For while we know that ‘peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion,’ we are also assured that ‘the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst.’ (D&C 1:35–36.)

Ezra Taft Benson in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 90.

Revelation 1-7 Study Guide

I made this handout to help out in my teaching of Revelation chapters 1-7.  I’m hoping it will help answer student questions that may come up.  This handout is geared for teenagers, and all the sources are LDS.

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Revelation 1

Revelation 1:13 – One like unto the Son of Man

This is Christ. The Book of Revelation Made Easier by David J. Ridges says this phrase was used to keep from saying the name of God or Christ too frequently. The Savior identifies himself in verses 16-17.

 

Revelation 1:13 – Girt about the paps

“Girt about the paps” means wrapped around the chest.

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 1

Revelation 2-3

Revelation 2:10 – Crown of Life

As sons and daughters of God we have not received the commandments, which show us the way to return to him on a conditional basis, to fulfill only if it seems possible or if ideal circumstances permit.

 

To be obedient, to do that which the Lord requires of us, has been and always will be a constant principle in the lives of those whom the Lord has called to be his prophets. As an example, we might mention that at one time the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I made this my rule, ‘When the Lord commands, do it.’” (History of the Church, 2:170.)

 

Without any doubt, Joseph Smith was a prophet with a great spirit of accomplishment and tenacity. On one occasion he said to his cousin, George A. Smith: “Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.” (John Henry Evans, Joseph Smith, an American Prophet, New York: MacMillan Co., 1946, p. 9.)

 

The life of the prophet of whom I bear testimony was an example of that which he proclaimed, having always given a clear message of his convictions and testimony.

 

This kind of determination, an exemplary way of life, is not reserved for only a small minority, as some would believe, but rather it should be the constant attitude of those who desire to follow the Lord’s counsel in order to attain the promised blessings: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” ( Rev. 2:10.)

The Sure Sound of the Trumpet, Elder Angel Abrea, 1984

 

Revelation 2:11 – The Second Death

The second death is to be shut out from the Lord forever.

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 2-3

 

Revelation 2:14 – Balak and Balaam

Among other things in verse 14, next, you will see a reference to a man named Balaam in the Old Testament. You may remember that Balaam’s donkey refused to go where he wanted to ride, crushed his foot against the wall (Numbers 22:25), lay down with him still still trying to ride her, and started talking to him (Numbers 22:26–34).

It helps here to know that Moab was a nation located east of the Dead Sea and was in the path of the children of Israel as they journey to the promised land. Balak, king of Moab (spelled “BALAC” here in Revelation in the New Testament), attempted several times to hire or bribe Balaam to use his priesthood to curse the approaching children of Israel to prevent them from destroying Moab. Balaam knew that the priesthood should not be used this way (in fact, it cannot be used this way. See D&C 121:36–37.), especially to curse the people of the Lord, but he was sorely tempted to endeavor to use his priesthood for the wealth, potential honor, and fame offered him by the king of Moab (numbers 22-24).

Ultimately, Balaam tried to do an end run around the instructions of the Lord. He told Balak , king of Moab, that he could not curse the Israelites because of the word of the Lord to him, but if Balak would get his people to entice the Israelites to get involved with idol worship and the accompanying sexual immorality, they would lose the blessings of the Lord and thus would no longer be a threat to the Moabites (see Numbers 31:16). This misguided and wicked counsel of Balaam to Balak is referred to next in verse 14.

The Book of Revelation Made Easier, David J Ridges. pps 18-19

 

Revelation 2:28 – The morning star

The “morning star” is a reference to Jesus Christ. (Rev22:16)

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 2-3

 

Revelation 3:1 – Thou Livest, and Art Dead

There are many people in this Church today who think they live, but they are dead to the spiritual things. … Their service is much of the letter and less of the spirit.

Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 105

 

Revelation 3:20 – Behold I stand at the door and knock

Prayer is the key which unlocks the door and lets Christ into our lives.

Prayer and Revelation, President Marion G. Romney, 1978

 

Prayer begins with individual initiative. “Behold,” saith the Lord, “I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20). That door is opened when we pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

Russell M Nelson, Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers, 2009

 

I testify that our Heavenly Father loves each one of us. He hears the prayers of humble hearts; He hears our cries for help…. His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, speaks to each of us today: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.” Revelation 3:20.

Will we listen for that knock? Will we hear that voice? Will we open that door to the Lord, that we may receive the help He is so ready to provide?

Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues, President Thomas S. Monson, 2007

Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.

Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise, President Boyd K. Packer, 1994

 

Our Heavenly Father desires that all mankind be led by the light, but that blessing will not be imposed upon anyone. Christ stands at the door and knocks; those who wish to have him enter and sup with them must hear his voice and “open the door.” ( Rev. 3:20.) Thus two great principles on which the gospel is centered, love and agency, are plainly taught. Each of us is here to learn to love and give and hearken to the Spirit and choose to do the will of the Father. God wants his offspring and heirs to become all that we can be, to qualify for our inheritance. But we must choose; we are the decision makers, and he will not relieve that responsibility.

A Loving, Communicating God, Elder Marion D. Hanks, 1992

 

This concept of asking for information and help is a fundamental method of obtaining knowledge. Although the Lord warns us of impending dangers, he doesn’t give information to us until we ask for it. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).

 

It is expressed even more clearly in Matthew: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7–8).

 

This whole dispensation of the fulness of times began when a youth asked a question of the Lord as a result of reading this scripture: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:5–6).

 

The book of Doctrine and Covenants may be regarded as a prime example of this principle. Revelations were given as a result of questions asked. When the Lord saw the willingness of the Prophet Joseph and his associates to receive instruction, he gave them additional principles and revelations much beyond the original questions asked.

The GIANT System, Elder Theodore M. Burton,1969

Revelation 4-5

Revelation 4:1

Note the use of the term “hereafter” in Revelation 4:1 as opposed to “shortly” in Revelation 1:1. The events foretold in Revelation 1-3 occur in John’s near future, while most of the events in chapters 4-22 occur much later.

Joseph Fielding McConkie, as recorded by Jenny Smith

 

John 4:1 – Sea of Glass

Q. What is the sea of glass spoken of by John, 4th chapter, and 6th verse of the Revelation?

A. It is the earth, in its sanctified, immortal, and eternal state.

D&C 77:1

 

Revelation 4:4 – Crown

What did Paul say upon this subject? He said, “I have fought a good fight,” “I have kept the faith; (2 Tim. 4:7) henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.” (2 Tim. 4:8) Do you understand this passage? Remember that this crown that Paul speaks of, was not to be given in the day we die; but it is to be given in “that day”—the day of the Lord’s appearing; it is to be given to all those that love his appearing; (2 Tim. 4:8) then is the time that Paul will get his crown; then is the time that the Saints who fall asleep in our day, will receive their crowns—crowns of rejoicing—kingly crowns. … But what are we to understand by this crown of righteousness, which is to be given to the Saints? We understand that it is actually to be a crown of glory; that they are to be kings in reality. John speaks in the first chapter of his Revelation to the Churches in his day, and represents the Saints to be Kings and Priests; he says, Christ “hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father;” (Rev. 1:6) and this too, while in this life.

A General Funeral Sermon of All Saints and Sinners; Elder Orson Pratt, at the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, July 25, 1852., Journal of Discourses, 1:280

 

Revelation 4:4,7; 5:9 – Elders, Beasts

The four beasts and twenty-four elders were out of every nation; for they sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seal thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (See Rev. 5:9.)

Joseph Smith, TPJS, p 290

 

Q. What are we to understand by the four and twenty elders, spoken of by John?

A. We are to understand that these elders whom John saw, were elders who had been faithful in the work of the ministry and were dead; who belonged to the seven churches, and were then in the paradise of God.

D&C 77:5

 

John saw the actual beast in heaven, showing to John that beasts did actually exist there, and not to represent figures of things on the earth. When the prophets speak of seeing beasts in their visions, they mean that they saw the images, they being types to represent certain things. At the same time they received the interpretation as to what those images or types were designed to represent.

 

I make this broad declaration, that whenever God gives a vision of an image, or beast, or figure of any kind, He always holds Himself responsible to give a revelation or interpretation of the meaning thereof, otherwise we are not responsible or accountable for our belief in it. Don’t be afraid of being damned for not knowing the meaning of a vision or figure, if God has not given a revelation or interpretation of the subject.

 

… I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,—strange beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. The grand secret was to show John what there was in heaven. John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them.

 

… The four beasts were four of the most noble animals that had filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect: they were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God. …

 

Oh, ye elders of Israel, harken to my voice; and when you are sent into the world to preach, tell those things you are sent to tell; preach and cry aloud, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel.” Declare the first principles, and let mysteries alone, lest ye be overthrown. Never meddle with the visions of beasts and subjects you do not understand. … but preach those things the Lord has told you to preach about—repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

Joseph Smith, TPJS, @ p290

 

Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?

A. They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.

Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or orders?

A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity.

Q. What are we to understand by the eyes and wings, which the beasts had?

A. Their eyes are a representation of light and knowledge, that is, they are full of knowledge; and their wings are a representation of power, to move, to act, etc.

D&C 77:2–4

 

Revelation 5:1 – The Number 7, Seals

The number seven occurs throughout the book of Revelation. For example, John wrote to seven branches of the Church (see Revelation 2–3). He saw a book with seven seals (see Revelation 5), seven trumpets announced judgments upon the earth (see Revelation 8–9; 11), and seven vials of wrath were poured upon the earth (see Revelation 16). The Hebrew word for the number seven, sheva, is a word that represents the idea of fulness or perfection and may be part of the symbolism in John’s account of his vision. His writing to seven churches may be a symbolic way of speaking to the whole Church.

In ancient times, official documents, scrolls, and records were closed shut with a seal of wax that usually had an imprint signifying the one who sealed it. Documents thus sealed were only to be opened by one with authority and in the presence of witnesses. In this case, the “will, mysteries, and works of God” (D&C 77:6) were recorded in the book John saw. Only Christ had authority and was worthy to open it. The same is true of eternal life. “He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in” (“There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” Hymns, no. 194; italics added).

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 5-7

 

Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.

Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed?

A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.

D&C 77:6–7

 

Revelation 5:5- The lion

The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David is Christ.

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 5-7

Revelation 6-7

Revelation 6–7—Symbolism in the Six Seals

Modern revelation teaches us that each of the seals represents a thousand-year period of history.

 

When the first seal was opened, John saw a man with a crown riding a white horse and conquering. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said that this represents Enoch, who helped his people conquer their enemies—including Satan—and establish a city of purity and righteousness symbolized by the white horse (see Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:476–78). The opening of the second seal revealed the violence, death, and destruction that occurred in the time of Noah and the Flood.

 

The opening of the third seal represented a time when God’s people were affected by famines. Abraham moved because of a famine, and the history of Jacob’s (Israel’s) family was very much affected by famines. The opening of the fourth seal reminds us that the time between 1000 B.C. and Christ’s birth was a time of warfare among the covenant people. It was a time when they were conquered, taken captive, and scattered throughout the world by foreigners. The fifth seal revealed what faithful Saints of John’s day were then encountering—giving their lives for their testimony.

 

Events depicted in the opening of the sixth seal are more detailed. They pertain to the dispensation in preparation for the Savior’s Second Coming.

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 5-7

 

Revelation 6:6—What Is the Significance of the Price of Wheat and Barley?

A measure of wheat was enough to feed one man for a day. A penny was the wage for a day’s work in those times. This shows that food was expensive because of the famine. Barley was cheaper, but it was of lesser quality and only used by man in times of famine. The image of the man carrying the balances in Revelation 6:5 suggests that food was given out in precise amounts—again suggesting a time of famine.

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 5-7

 

Revelation 6:12 – Sackcloth of hair

In ancient Israel, when people were or wanted to show they were repentant they put on as clothing the hair, or hide, of a black goat.

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 5-7

 

Revelation 7:3–8—Sealing the Servants of God in Their Foreheads

It was a common practice in John’s day for people who worshiped false gods to mark their foreheads (or sometimes their hands) with the name or symbol of their god. Those who believed in the Savior’s teachings did not mark themselves. From Revelation 3:12 and 22:1–5 we learn that the righteous are given the name of God. This indicates that they are god-like themselves and receive “his image in [their] countenances” (Alma 5:14). The symbol might signify to us that their thoughts are always upon their God—that they “always remember him” (see D&C 20:77, 79).

Seminary Student Study Guide, Rev 5-7

 

Revelation 7 – Four Angels, Angel from East, 144,000 sealed

Q. What are we to understand by the four angels, spoken of in the 7th chapter and 1st verse of Revelation?.

A. We are to understand that they are four angels sent forth from God, to whom is given power over the four parts of the earth, to save life and to destroy; these are they who have the everlasting gospel to commit to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; having power to shut up the heavens, to seal up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness.

Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?

A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things.

Q. What time are the things spoken of in this chapter to be accomplished?

A. They are to be accomplished in the sixth thousand years, or the opening of the sixth seal.

Q. What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel—twelve thousand out of every tribe?

A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.

Revelation 77:9–11

Revelation’s Seven Seals

John’s seven seals give an overview of the seven thousand years of earth’s “temporal existence,” as follows:

1. (Rev. 6:1–2—about 4000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.) John sees a warrior, conquering.

2. (Rev. 6:3–4—about 3000 B.C. to 2000 B.C.) John sees a representation of human contention and death.

3. (Rev. 6:5–6—about 2000 B.C. to 1000 B.C.) John sees images of famine.

4. (Rev. 6:7–8—about 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1) John sees death by war, famine, beasts.

5. (Rev. 6:9–11—about A.D. 1 to A.D. 1000) John sees the martyrs for Christ of the early Christian era.

6. (About A.D. 1000 to A.D. 2000)

  • Great Earthquake (Rev. 6:12–17) – John sees a great earthquake; the sun darkens, the moon turns to blood, stars appear to fall; the wicked mistakenly fear that it is the end of the world. (See also JS-M 1:33; D&C 29:14; D&C 88:87.)

  • 144,000 Sealed (Rev. 7:1–8) – A scene shows that angels are held back from sending further judgment until 144,000 high priests can be “sealed” and called to “administer the everlasting gospel.” (See D&C 77:9–11.)

  • Rewards for Those Who Endure Tribulations (Rev. 7:9–17) – A heavenly scene, “before the throne”; John sees that a “great multitude, which no man could number” will obtain the rewards of the faithful through righteously enduring “tribulation.”

7. (About A.D. 2000 to A.D. 3000)

  • Six Judgments (Rev. 8 and Rev. 9) – Six of seven trumps now sound, signaling six coming judgments on the earth: (1) hail and fire mingled with blood are cast upon the earth (cf. Ex. 9:22–26; Ezek. 38:22); (2) a great burning mountain is cast into the sea (cf. Ex. 7:19–25); (3) a great star falls, affecting 1/3 of fresh water; (4) 1/3 of heavenly bodies turn dark (cf. Ex. 10:21–23); (5) sun is darkened by smoke; 5-month battle plagues mankind, of such extent it is called a “woe”; (6) a 13-month war plagues mankind, but men still don’t repent, suggesting clearly the purposes for the “judgments of God.”

  • An Assignment to John (Rev. 10) – At this point, an angel informs John of a “sweet” but “bitter” assignment for him to gather Israel “before the time of [Christ’s] coming .” (See D&C 77:12, 14.)

  • Two Witnesses in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1–14) – John sees the gentiles “tread” Jerusalem “under foot” for 42 months. During that same period two witnesses of the Lord testify with great power. The period ends with an earthquake. Conditions now are such that the period is called a second “woe.” (See D&C 77:15.)

  • Seventh Judgment (Rev. 11:14–19) – The seventh angel trumps, and voices in heaven proclaim the coming earthly reign of Christ; lightnings, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail follow—a “third woe” of mankind.

Book of Revelation Overview , Ensign, October 1983