Joseph Smith and the Book of Revelation - Ensign December 2015
Oil in our Lamps - Ensign 2007
The Once and Future Witness - Ensign December 1991
Seeing the Book of Revelation as a Book of Revelation - Ensign Dec 1987
I have a Question - Why was John Exiled to Patmos
The Book of Revelation Overview - Ensign 1983
Understanding the Book of Revelation - Ensign September 1975
Revelation the plainest book ever written - New Era May 1973
Life and Ministry of Jesus - Manual
The glass is Half full - Talk concerning the Second coming of the Lord
When you think of the book of revelation what comes to mind?
Why do people find this book so difficult to understand?
The book of revelation is much like the book of Isaiah. It can be difficult to understand if not read with the correct lens. What lens is required to understand the symbolism and events that are to take place described in the book of Revelation?
Glasses - Lenses and the principle of magnification and clarity. Use a Magnifying lens and a very small font printed sheet of paper. Demonstrate that with the magnifying glass the text becomes much easier to read. However without the magnifying glass it is almost impossible to read.
Who has every used a microscope?
Who has ever seen extremely slow motion camera footage?
How can different perspectives help us understand different images/symbols?
Lens Required to understand the Book of Revelation - Apocalypse
- An understanding of symbolism and the symbols used - including interpretations provided in the scriptures
- An understanding of the plan of salvation
- An understanding of the theme of the book - and how it applies to the individual, the church and the world.
- Feasting upon the words - not just a basic reading of the book
Overview of the Book of Revelation: The Apocalypse
John was one of the Savior’s original Apostles. He had been banished by the Roman government to Patmos, a small island off the west coast of present-day Turkey, for bearing testimony of Jesus Christ. While there, John was visited by an angel and given a revelation that he recorded in letters to the seven branches of the Church in Asia.
These letters became the book of Revelation.
Why had John been banished to the Isle of Patmos?
- He wouldn't stop teaching about about Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:9)
- He was not able to be killed - Although dipped in boiling Oil
"How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood; where Peter endures a passion like his Lord's; where Paul wins his crown in a death like John's[the Baptist]; where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile.'" The works of Tertullian - Ancient Christian Latin writer/Apologist who lived in Carthage about 160AD - Who was he? Another Link-Catholic Dictionary
The Word Apocalypse - means that which is uncovered - does not mean the end of the world
See Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John. - Read Paragraph's 1-2
The Theme of the book is that there will be an eventual triumph over evil.
What is being revealed then - the final triumph of Good over evil - and the destruction of evil completely.
In what way will this triumph occur?
How will it happen to us individually, as a church, as a world?
Truly - Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ
- Individually as each person is saved from sin/resurrected and receives their proper glory
- In John's Own life - this is seen in his calling and election being made sure
- It is promised to each of the churches in Revelations chapter 1-3
- It is promised to the world in the the millennial and the destruction of the world "Sin"
The Book of revelation teaches this in the same way it first talks of salvation of the individual - John, then the churches then the world.
Let us look at the first three chapters concerning John, and the salvation of the churches and their overcoming evil.
Chapter 1- John Sees the Lord - his calling and election is made sure - See JST Rev 1:1-8
Rev 1:1-3: John was in vision in the Isle of Patmos - with a spirit Guide/Angel to explain to him the vision
The time is at hand?
Why would he say that? - See JST translation of the same :)
Rev 1:4: John is writing to the seven churches which are in Asia - Symbolism of Seven - Completeness
Who are the seven spirits in front of God's Throne?
See differences in JST translation - no spirits mentioned.
One possible interpretation -Seven Archangels of Jewish Tradition See the following:
Gabriel (Noah), Michael (Adam, Bible Dictionary, D&C 107:54, D&C 88:112,114), Raphael, Uriel, Raquel, Remiel and Saraquel - D&C 128:20-21
From Apocryphal Writings and Scripture (1 Enoch 20:1-8, Tobit 12:15, 2 Edras 4:1, Dan 10:13, Dan 8:16, Luke 1:19)
Rev 8:2 Seven Angels before God given trumps to sound (D&C 29.26)
Nobel and Great ones - Prophets Servants of God in Authority
Who is Alpha and Omega? Jesus Christ - description of see: Rev 1:13-15
John's calling and election made sure - his personal triumph over evil!
He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions -- Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p.151
Rev 1:11-20 John See's the Lord Standing in the midst of his church holding the bishops of the churches
Why are candlesticks a good representation of wards/branches?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: “Candlesticks carry light; they do not create it. Their function is to make it available, not to bring it into being. So by using seven candlesticks to portray the seven churches to whom John is now to give counsel, the Lord is showing that his congregations on earth are to carry his light to the world” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 3:442).
Where was the Savior in relation to them?In their midst
Is the Savior in our midst?D&C 29:5, D&C 49:27, D&C 38:7, D&C 50:4
What do the other symbols mean? - Stars, two edged sword, countenance like the sun, eyes as flame of fire, etc.
This is a representation of Jesus Christ - Standing in the midst of the Church - with him holding the bishops of the church in his right hand. The word of God going forth from him as a two edged sword dividing assunder all deception and falsehoods. What an awesome image.
John now speaks to each individual church and gives counsel instruction and blessing - all in a specific pattern
This is also noteworthy in that this pattern is often used in Patriarchal blessings! What an interesting insight...
Addresses Bishop/Pastor of given Church
Symbolism of Christ speaking to them
Exhorts to repentance or warns of tribulation
Promises To him that overcometh
Chapter 2 - He receives instruction for the churches in Asia
The circle of Cities spoken of in Revelation
If you notice there is an order to the list of cities spoken of in Revelation. It makes a circle starting at Ephesus and ending in Laodicea. While we know that there were other branches of the church in Asia, it may be that by the time of John’s revelation on Patmos, the apostasy had eliminated all but these seven as faithful branches. Writing just before his death (A.D. 68), Paul told Timothy that “all they which are in Asia [are] turned away from me” (2 Timothy 1:15). Even the seven branches (A.D. 95), it would seem, had things of which they needed to repent. Life of Christ Manual
Doctrine of the Nicolaitans
According to the writings of the Early Church leaders, Nicolas taught a doctrine of
compromise, implying that total separation between Christianity and the practice of occult paganism was not essential. From Early Church records, it seems apparent that this Nicolas of Antioch was so immersed in occultism, Judaism, and Christianity that he had a stomach for all of it. He had no problem intermingling these belief systems in various concoctions and saw no reason why believers couldn't continue to fellowship with those still immersed in the black magic of the Roman empire and its countless mystery pagan cults.
Bruce R. McConkieexplained that the Nicolaitans referred to in the book of Revelation were “members of the Church who were trying to maintain their church standing while continuing to live after the manner of the world” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:446).
Ephesus - Christ walketh in their midst
Thou hate the deeds of the nicolations
He that Overcometh - eat of the tree of life - in paradise of God
He that Overcometh - shall not be hurt of the second death
What is the second death?(See Alma 12:16, 32; Helaman 14:18.)
Pergamos - He who has the sharp sword with two edges
Hold the doctrine of Balaam- stumbling block before Israel (Priest craft/Fornication)
Numbers 22:21-39 - Balam accepts money from wicked kings instead of doing as God asks
Some have doctrine of Nicolaitans - I hate - Repent or I will come
He that Overcometh - shall be given a white stone - and a new name D&C 130:10-11
In what way do we "Compromise" our values like the Nicolaitans did?
Is Compromise wrong?
Thyatira - Son of God - eyes like flame of fire - feet like fine brass
Jezebel - prophetess - seduce to fornication and idols
I will cast her and her partners into a bed - and unto great tribulation
I will kill her children - all the churches will know I search the reins and hearts
I will reward every one according to works
Hold fast to what you have
He that Overcometh - unto the end will I give them power over nations
To rule with a rod of iron
I will give him the morning star
What is the
rod of ironwith which the righteous will rule over nations? (See 1 Nephi 11:25; Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 2:27.)
Who is the
morning starmentioned in Revelation 2:28? (See Revelation 22:16.)
What might it mean to be given the morning star?
Sardis - He that hath the seven spirits of God and seven stars
Be watchful - strengthen that which remain that are ready to die
I have not found thy works perfect before god
Remember what you have received - hold fast, repent
If you don't watch I will come as a thief
Some among you are still clean and have undefiled garments
He that Overcometh - Shall be clothed in white and I will confess them to God
What is the book of life?(See D&C 128:7; see also Exodus 32:33; Alma 5:58; Bible Dictionary, “Book of Life,” 626–27.)
What will happen to those whose names are written in the bookand are not blotted out because of wickedness? (Revelation 21:10, 23–27; Alma 5:58; D&C 88:2.)
Philadelphia - He that is holy, true, hath the key of David - opens and no man shuts
Jews but not Jews - they shall come worship before feet (apostasy)
Kept word of patience - I will keep you in hour of temptation
Hold fast - that you maintain your crown
Him that Overcometh - I will make a pillar in the temple of my God
He shall no more go out - write name of God on him
write upon him God's new name
What does it mean to have the name of God and the name of his city written on us?
Laodiceans - The Amen - the faithful and true, first creation of God
Because you are neither - I will spew the out
I am rich - needeth nothing yet - you are wretched with nothing
I counsel thee to buy proper things and see!
I stand at the door and knock - if any man hear my voice I will come unto him
Him that Overcometh - I will grant to sit with me in my throne
Like I did with my father
How might we sometimes be spiritually “lukewarm”?
In our next three lessons we will be discussing how there will be a final triumph of Good over the world and the events proceeding the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To prepare for this please read the citations quoted at the beginning of this lesson they will help us understand many of the symbols that are in the book of revelation.
My goal would be for all of us to have a greater understanding of the signs of the times and an understanding of the symbols used to describe these signs through a study of the book of Revelation.