The apostle John came from apparently comfortable circumstances in Galilee, where he and his brother James left their home and fishing trade to follow a man named Jesus. More than sixty years later John, the Beloved of the Lord, recorded his testimony of the divinity of the Savior. His gospel stands apart in literature as a careful and passionate witness of the Son of God. In stating his reasons for writing, John explained, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:30-31).
John's Gospel carries a unique focus on the words "believe," and "life." It was written for Church members, those who already believe. John bears a tender and intimate witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might know Him and gain Eternal life through faith in His sacrifice; that "when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2). John invites us to leave behind the things that bind us to this world, as he once left his fishing nets on the shore of Galilee, and to follow the Son of God as sheep follow their shepherd.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Revelation 21-22

Revelation 21-22 to be discussed May 12 LAST CLASS UNTIL SEPTEMBER
Day 1: Read Revelation 21:1-8, Isaiah 25:8-9
1. Read the chapter heading for Revelation 21. What period of earth’s history is described in this chapter?

2. What will be “new” about heaven and earth after the millennium? List celestial qualities of the earth that appeal to you. (See also Isaiah 25:8-9.)

3. List specific promises in Revelation 21:7 to those who overcome the world.

Day 2: Read Revelation 21:9-14, Ezekiel 48:30-35
4. What did the angel with a vial invite John to see?

5. How did John describe this vision?

6. What was written on the gates of the holy city? The foundations? Why were the walls so high? (See also Ezekiel 48:30-35.)

Day 3: Read Revelation 21:15-20 (with footnote 16b), Ephesians 2:19-22, Psalm 51:17-18, D&C 43:7
7. Why do you think the Lord is so specific about the measurement of his city?

8. Read footnote 16b. If a furlong is about 607 feet and there are 5,280 feet to a mile, approximately how many miles will the holy city measure on each side?

9. If you likened you and/or your family to the holy city, what would be the foundations? The walls? The gates? (See also Ephesians 2:19-22, Psalm 51:17-18, D&C 43:7.)

Day 4: Read Revelation 21:21-27, Alma 34:36
10. Why will there be no temple in the New Jerusalem?

11. Why will there be no need for the sun? (See also Revelation 22:5.)

12. Read Alma 34:36. Who will sit down in the Lord’s kingdom?

Day 5: Read Revelation 22:1-7, 1 Nephi 11:21-25, Genesis 3:17-24, 1 John 3:2-3
13. Read 1 Nephi 11:21-25. What do the river of water and the tree of life represent in Lehi’s dream? How does this behave like a river? Like a tree?

14. From Revelation 22:2, what special property do the leaves of the tree of life possess?

BONUS: Read 1 John 3:2-3. How does this verse explain Revelation 22:4?

15. Who will be “blessed” or happy, according to Revelation 22:7?

BONUS: Read Genesis 3:17-24. At the Fall of Adam, how was the earth cursed? When will the curse be lifted?

Day 6: Read Revelation 22:8-15
16. Why did the Lord’s angel refuse to allow John to worship him?

17. What phrase is repeated in Revelation 22: 7 and 12? What does this mean?

18. According to Revelation 22:14, who will be blessed and with what?

Day 7: Read Revelation 22:16-21, 2 Peter 1:19
19. How can Christ be both the root and the offspring of David? How is he like a bright and morning star? (See also 2 Peter 1:9.)

20. List groups from Revelation 22:17 who are asked to invite others to come unto Christ.

21. Revelation 22:18-19 give strong warnings regarding tampering with John’s Revelation.* In your own words, give the spirit of these warnings and tell why you think John included them.

From the Institute Manual
*(56-19) Revelation 22:18, 19 . Do Modern Revelations “Add unto These Things”?
“Of course, a careful reading of this text shows very clearly that John the Revelator was speaking only of the book of Revelation and not of any collection of other sacred writings. Moses used a similar expression in speaking to ancient Israel when he said: ‘Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, . . .’ This is found in the fourth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy ( verse 2 ). In the 12th chapter of the same book Moses said this: ‘What things soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.’ ( Verse 32 .)
… In warning against additions to the book of Revelation [John] 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.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Revelation 19-20

Revelation 19-20 Study Guide – to be discussed May 5
Day 1: Read Revelation 19:1-5, Bible Dictionary entry, “Alleluia,” D&C 29:21
1. Revelation 19 begins with the phrase, “And after these things….” Review Revelation 17 and 18 (read chapter headings) to answer the question, “After what things?”

2. Read Bible Dictionary entry, “Alleluia.” What does “Alleluia” mean? Why did the heavenly hosts rejoice and praise God?

3. What two groups began the worship described in Revelation 19:4? Who did the voice from the throne call on to give praise?

Day 2: Read Revelation 19:6-10, D&C 88:96-98, D&C 58:11, Luke 14:15-24
4. Why did the many voices in Revelation 19:6 give praise? Who is the Lamb’s wife?

5. Who is called to the marriage supper of the Lamb? (See also D&C 88:96-98, D&C 58:11.)*

BONUS: Read Luke 14:15-24. Why do some people refuse the invitation to the marriage supper? Can you think of modern applications?

6. Read Revelation 19:10. What is the testimony of Jesus? How might this testimony help prepare us for the marriage feast?

Day 3: Read Revelation 19:11-16 (with footnote 15a), D&C 133:48-51
7. Describe the rider who is named “Faithful” and “True” (v.11), and “The Word of God” (v.13). Read D&C 133:48-51. Explain why his vestments are red.

8. Read the footnote to Revelation 19:15a. What is the sharp sword with which nations will be smitten? What is the rod of iron by which they will be ruled?

9. What is written on the rider’s clothing and thigh? Why?

Day 4: Read Revelation 19:17-21 (with footnotes 18a, 21a), D&C 29:17-20
10. Who will be invited to the supper described in Revelation 19:17-18?

11. Read D&C 29:17-20. Who will BE the supper?

12. What will be the final outcome of the beast and the false prophet?

Day 5: Read Revelation 20:1-5
13. Compare Revelation 20:1 with Revelation 9:1. Who has the key to the bottomless pit? To whom did it belong all along?

14. What will the “seal” put upon Satan accomplish? Why do you think he will be “bound” rather than destroyed?**

15. Compare Revelation 19:20 with Revelation 20:4. What part will worship play in the ultimate reward of the wicked and the righteous?

Day 6: Read Revelation 20:6-10 (with footnotes 6a and 6d), D&C 63:17-18
16. What is the second death? (See footnotes 6a and 6d and D&C 63:17-18.)

17. How numerous will the wicked be in the “little season” at the end of the millennium?

18. How will these armies finally be destroyed? After their defeat, what will be Satan’s reward?

Day 7: Read Revelation 20:11-15, D&C 128:7-8, 3 Nephi 27:23-26, D&C 76:32-37, Bible Dictionary entry, “Book of Life
19. Out of what and according to what will all men be judged? (See also D&C 128:7-8 and 3 Nephi 27:23-26.)

20. Read D&C 76:32-37. Whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life?

21. Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Book of Life.” Who writes in the book of life?

From the Institute Manual:
*56-1) Revelation 19:7–9 . Who Are to Be Invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?
“‘In this dispensation the Bridegroom, who is the Lamb of God, shall come to claim his bride, which is the Church composed of the faithful saints who have watched for his return. As he taught in the parable of the marriage of the king’s son, the great marriage supper of the Lamb shall then be celebrated.’ ( Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 469.) The elders of Israel are now issuing the invitations to the marriage supper of the Lord; those who believe and obey the gospel thereby accept the invitation and shall sit in due course with the King’s Son at the marriage feast.” (McConkie, DNTC, 5:563–64.)

**(56-6) 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 CR, Apr. 1970, p. 142; see also 1 Nephi 22:26 .)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Revelation 17-18

Revelation 17-18 Study Guide – to be discussed April 28
Day 1: Read Revelation 17:1-5 (with footnotes 1b, 5a), 1 Nephi 14:9-12
1. What did the angel say he was going to show John in vision?

2. Describe the “great whore”:
a. On what did she ride?

b. How was she dressed?

c. What was in her golden cup?

d. What was written on her forehead?

3. Read footnotes 1b and 5a and 1 Nephi 14:9-12. What does the “great whore” represent? What is her fornication?

Day 2: Read Revelation 17:6-13 (with footnote 6c), review Revelation 13, chapter heading
4. With what was the woman drunken? Why do you think John was astonished at this vision?

5. Review the chapter heading to Revelation 13. What did the beast with seven heads and ten horns represent? Where did this beast originate and where will it end up?

6. What kind of power is represented by the seven heads and ten horns? In what are they united?

Day 3: Read Revelation 17:14-18, 1 Nephi 22:13-14
7. Who will win the war between the beast and the Lord? Why?

8. Use Revelation 17:15 to explain what the waters upon which the whore sits (see Rev. 17:1) represent.

9. Read 1 Nephi 22:13-14. Why will the beast turn on the whore?

Day 4: Read Revelation 18:1-6, D&C 101:22-25
10. What is the message of the very powerful angel who cries with a strong voice in Rev. 18:2?

11. Give three reasons why Babylon will fall.

12. What did the warning voice from heaven command the saints to do? Read D&C 101:22-25. List ways we can heed the warning.

Day 5: Read Revelation 18:7-13 (with footnote 7a), D&C 5:19
13. What is Babylon’s attitude before she falls?

14. Why will kings mourn? Why will merchants mourn?

15. There is a list in Revelation 18:12-13 of the commodities in which corrupt merchants deal. What is the last thing on the list? What evidence of this do you see today?

Day 6: Read Revelation 18:14-19, Ezekiel 27:26-36
16. Review the list in Revelation 18:12-13. Are these mostly wants or needs? Why did the merchants love Babylon?

17. Did the shipmasters and sailors seem repentant?

18. Read Ezekiel 27:26-36. Ezekiel’s vision of the fall of Tyrus foreshadows the fall of Babylon. On what does it seem the hearts of the mariners of Tyrus were set?

Day 7: Read Revelation 18:20-24, Mormon 8:33-41
19. Who will rejoice at the fall of Babylon and why? How does Revelation 18:24 answer the question of Revelation 6:9-10?

20. What phrase is repeated in Revelation 18:21, 22 and 23? What does this say about Babylon?

21. Read Mormon 8:33-41. To whom is Moroni speaking in these verses? What similarities can you find between Revelation 17-18 and Mormon 8:33-41?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Revelation 15-16

Revelation 15-16 Study Guide, to be discussed April 21
Day 1: Read Revelation 15:1-4, Exodus 15:1-6, Hymn #267
1. List what the celestial beings in Revelation 15:2 have overcome.

2. Read the song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-6. Why did Moses sing praises to the Lord?

3. Read hymn #267 in the LDS Hymnal, or find it online at (go to Menu, then “Music” under the heading “Study” and type “267” in the search box). What is the name of this hymn? List phrases from Revelation 15:3-4 included in the text of hymn #267.

Day 2: Read Revelation 15:5-8
4. What indications do we have that the seven angels described in Revelation 15:6 are emissaries from God?

5. With what were the seven vials (or bowls) filled? Who gave the vials to the angels?

6. With what was the temple filled in Revelation 15:8? What had to happen before men could enter the temple?

Day 3: Read Revelation 16:1-3 (with footnote 2a), Bible Dictionary entry, “Blood
7. What mission was given to the seven angels with vials?

8. Who is affected by the plague poured out of the first vial? Look up “noisome” in a dictionary. What does it mean?

9. What are the results of the second plague? Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Blood.” What does blood represent?

Day 4: Read Revelation 16:4-9
10. What is the result of the third angel’s plague? How is it different from the second vial?

11. Why do the wicked deserve this punishment?

12. What is the result of the fourth angel’s plague?

Day 5: Read Revelation 16:10-13 (with footnote 10a), D&C 19:15-19
13. Where is the fifth vial poured out? Does footnote 10a add to your understanding of the type of people upon whom the fifth vial will be poured out?

14. What is the result of the sixth plague? From Revelation 16:12, what is prepared by this plague?

15. Out of whose mouths do the three unclean spirits come?

Day 6: Read Revelation 16:14-17, D&C 106:4-5, Bible Dictionary entry “Armageddon
16. Read D&C 106:4-5. Why will the righteous NOT be caught off guard when the Lord comes again?

17. Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Armageddon.” How will this battle be different from previous conflicts?*

18. Will there be time to repent after the seventh vial is poured out?

Day 7: Read Revelation 16:18-21, D&C 87:5-8
19. [Note: The “great city” probably refers to Jerusalem. A talent (v.21) weighs about 75 pounds (BD p. 789).] List the signs of the seventh plague.

20. Read D&C 87:5-8. Where can we go for refuge when the plagues are poured out?

21. Why do some people curse God instead of repent?

From the Institute Manual:
*(55-31) Revelation 16:16 . “A Place Called in the Hebrew Tongue Armageddon”
Lying about sixty miles north of Jerusalem is the site of Megiddo, a great mound or hill commanding the northern entrance to the broad plain called the valley of Esdraelon. The mountain or hill of Megiddo ( Har Meggido in Hebrew, of which Armageddon is the Greek transliteration) guarded the strategic pass that cuts through the mountain range separating the coastal plains from the inland plains and hill country of Galilee. Because of this fortress or Mount of Megiddo, the valley and surrounding areas have also come to be known as Armageddon. One of the most important highways of the ancient world—the main link between Egypt and Asia—ran through this valley and near the fortress of Megiddo. Because of that strategic location, Megiddo and the valley of Esdraelon have seen some of history’s bloodiest battles. Egyptian pharaohs, Roman legions, British troops, and Israeli tanks all have struggled in the valley of Megiddo. Prior to the second coming of Christ, all nations of the earth shall be gathered together to battle against Jerusalem. This tremendous war, one of the final great events prior to the Savior’s second coming, has been foreseen and described in detail by many of the Lord’s ancient prophets. (See, for example, Ezekiel 38 , 39 ; Joel 2 , 3 ; Isaiah 34 ; Jeremiah 25 ; Daniel 11 , 12 ; Zechariah 12–14 .) Jerusalem will be under siege and great suffering will be the lot of her inhabitants. Evidently, Armageddon, which is north of Jerusalem, will be the site of the great decisive battle of this war. “During this siege, when the nations are gathered and the Lord comes, there will be great destruction. The armies will become so confused they will fight among themselves. There will be great slaughter. Then the Lord comes to the Jews. He shows Himself. He calls upon them to come and examine His hands and His feet, and they say, ‘What are these wounds?’ And He answers them, ‘These are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am Jesus Christ.’
“Then they will accept Him as their Redeemer, which they have never been willing to do.” (Smith, Signs of the Times, p. 171.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Revelation 13-14

Revelation 13-14 – to be discussed March 31
Day 1: Read Revelation 13:1-4 (with chapter heading and footnote 1a)
1. What does the chapter heading to Revelation 13 tell you about the beasts in this chapter?

2. Keeping in mind what the beasts represent, why do you think the beast that rises from the sea in Revelation 13:1 is described with characteristics of a leopard, bear and lion? Who gives it power and authority?

3. Why did all the world wonder after the beast? Who did the world worship?

BONUS: Rephrase the questions at the end of verse four in more modern language.

Day 2: Read Revelation 13:5-10, Bible Dictionary entry “Blasphemy,” Mormon 4:5
4. Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Blasphemy.” Against whom or what does the beast’s mouth blaspheme?

5. [Note: The saints in verse 7 who will be overcome by the beast are those “whose names are not written in the book of life.” Similarly, “all that dwell upon the earth” in verse 8 refers to all the wicked.]
How do we sometimes give Satan power to war against us?

6. What does Revelation 13:10 indicate will happen to those who persecute the saints? Does Mormon 4:5 confirm this?

Day 3: Read Revelation 13:11-14
7. Describe the second beast. To whom did he encourage men to listen?

8. Can you think of any examples of a kind of person or entity today that looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon? (No proper names, please.)

9. Why is it important for us to be guided by the witness of the Spirit, not basing our testimonies on miracles, signs or wonders?

Day 4: Read Revelation 13:15-18, D&C 1:16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9
10. Read D&C 1:16 with Revelation 13:15-16. What could the marks of Satan be?

11. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. What are the marks of Jesus Christ?

12. Does it sound like merchandise is important to those who worship the beast?

Day 5: Read Revelation 14:1-5, Review D&C 77:11, D&C 133:17-22
13. Where did John see the Savior standing in Revelation 14:1? Who was with him?

14. Read D&C 133:17-22 with Revelation 14:1-2. Where did Joseph Smith see the Savior standing? Whose voice sounds like many waters, according to this passage? How might that sound?

15. List characteristics of the 144,000 from Revelation 14:4-5. [Note: “not defiled” means morally chaste, clean.]

BONUS: Read D&C 84:95-102. When will this “new song” be sung? What is the message of the song?

Day 6: Read Revelation 14:6-12, Bible Dictionary entry “Babylon
16. What kinds of voices do the angels of the restoration* use? Why do these angels command us to “Fear God and give glory to him”?

17. Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Babylon.” What are three possible meanings for the city of Babylon?

18. What is the punishment for those who worship the beast and receive his mark?

Day 7: Read Revelation 14:13-20, D&C 12:1-4
[Note: Mark the second Beatitude in Revelation 14:13.]
19. From where did John see the angel come in Revelation 14:15? Read D&C 12:1-4. Who are being reaped?

20. Over what does the angel from the altar have power? Now who is being reaped? Into what will they be cast?

21. Where is the winepress of the Lord? Gethsemane? Armageddon? Neither? Both?

*From the Institute Manual: (55-29) Revelation 14:6, 7 . “And I Saw Another Angel . . . Having the Everlasting Gospel”
“Now, as to the actual work of restoration—what angel performed this mighty deed, this work which involves the salvation of all men on earth in these latter-days? Who restored the everlasting gospel? Was it one angel or many?
“It is traditional (and true!) to reply: ‘Moroni, son of Mormon, the now resurrected Nephite prophet, who holds the keys of “the stick of Ephraim” ( D. & C. 27:5 ), the one through whose ministry the Book of Mormon was again brought to light.’ The reasoning that the Book of Mormon contains ‘the fulness of the everlasting gospel’ ( D. & C. 135:3 ); that therein is God’s message of salvation for all of the earth’s inhabitants; and that this gospel message is now being taken by the Lord’s witnesses to one nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people after another. . . .
“. . . But other angels were yet to come—Moses, Elias, Elijah, Gabriel, Raphael, and ‘divers angels. . . . all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little.’ ( D. & C. 128:21 .)
“Thus the angel Moroni brought the message, that is, the word; but other angels brought the keys and priesthood, the power. And in the final analysis the fulness of the everlasting gospel consists of all of the truths and powers needed to enable men to gain a fulness of salvation in the celestial heaven.” (McConkie, DNTC, 3:528–30.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

John 11-12

Revelation 11-12 Study Guide – to be discussed March 24
Day 1: Read Revelation 11:1-4, Ezekiel 40:2-5, 43:7-10, D&C 77:15
1. Read Ezekiel 40:2-5 and 43:7-10 with Revelation 11:1-2. Why do you think John was asked to measure the temple and the altar?

2. Using an average of 30 days per month, how many days are in 42 months? About how many years would 42 months be?

3. Read D&C 77:15. Who are the two witnesses described in Revelation 11:3-12? What does sackcloth indicate? Why do you think they are described as both “olive trees” and “candlesticks”?

Day 2: Read Revelation 11:5-10
4. What kind of power do the two witnesses have, as described in Revelation 11:5-6?

5. When will the two witnesses be killed (after what)?

6. What kind of people would be so offended by prophets that they would party over their dead bodies?

Day 3: Read Revelation 11:11-14, Acts 1:9-11
7. List similarities between the death of the two prophets and the death and resurrection of the Savior.

8. Why do you think the witnesses who saw the two prophets rise from the dead were afraid?

9. What did those who were spared death in the earthquake do?

Day 4: Read Revelation 11:15-19 (with footnote 18b), Bible Dictionary entry "Ark of the Covenant"
10. When Jesus returns to rule personally on the earth, how long will his reign last?

11. What is the reward for the servants, prophets and saints who fear God and endure to the end?

12. What did John see and hear as the vision of the heavenly temple was opened to him? Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Ark of the Covenant.” What did the ark represent?

Day 5: Read Revelation 12:1-5 (with footnote 1a), JST Revelation 12:1-5, D&C 29:36-38, JST Revelation 12:7
[Note: This is the most revised chapter in Revelation by the prophet Joseph Smith in the JST.]
13. What changes to the text of Revelation 12:1-5 are given in the JST? How does the phrase, which is added to Revelation 12:1, help with understanding?

14. Read JST Revelation 12:7. What do the woman and her child represent?*

15. Read D&C 29:36-38. Who or what does the red dragon represent? Why do you think the dragon wants to devour the man-child as soon as he is born?

BONUS: From your knowledge of the New Testament, how did Satan attempt to devour the infant church in the first century AD? How did he try to devour the restored church in this dispensation? How was the child protected?

Day 6: Read Revelation 12:6-11, JST Revelation 12:5-8, D&C 33:5-6
16. How was the woman protected? How does the JST change the last word in Revelation 12:6? Where did Satan and his angels go when they were cast out of heaven?

17. Read D&C 33:5-6. From where did the Lord call forth his church in the latter days?

18. By what two things did the righteous overcome the accuser? How can we use these same two things on a personal basis in order to overcome Satan?

Day 7: Read Revelation 12:12-17, Jacob 5:34-35, 59-61, 75-76, Daniel 7:21-25
19. In an unassisted fight between a woman and a red, seven-headed dragon, whom would you expect to win? What was the woman given in order to escape?

20. Read Jacob 5:34-35, 59-61, 75-76. How did the Lord nourish the woman in the wilderness – or the Church even in apostasy?

21. Who or what helped the woman escape the attack of the serpent? Read Daniel 7:21-25. What is one of the ways Satan wars against the Church?

*From the Institute Manual: “Though at first it may seem confusing to speak of the Church and the kingdom as separate entities, the one giving birth to the other, this in fact is the condition to exist in the Millennium. The Church is a spiritual organization governed by priesthood and revelation. Only those who have covenanted with Christ in the waters of baptism hold membership therein. The kingdom of God is a product of the Church. It is a political organization in which all men who live in the millennial era will belong.
“After Christ comes, all the peoples of the earth will be subject to him, but there will be multitudes of people on the face of the earth who will not be members of the Church; yet all will have to be obedient to the laws of the kingdom of God, for it will have dominion upon the whole face of the earth. These people will be subject to the political government, even though they are not members of the ecclesiastical kingdom which is the Church.
“This government which embraces all the peoples of the earth, both in and out of the Church, is also sometimes spoken of as the kingdom of God, because the people are subject to the kingdom of God which Christ will set up; but they have their agency and thousands will not be members of the Church until they are converted; yet at the same time they will be subject to the theocratic rule.” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:229.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Revelation 9-10

Revelation 9-10 Study Guide – to be discussed March 17
Day 1: Read Revelation 9:1-4 (with footnote 1a), Isaiah 14:12-15, Bible Dictionary entry “Locusts
1. Read Isaiah 14:12-15. Who is the “fallen star” of Revelation 9:1? (See also Luke 10:18.) What does he open? What is the result?

2. Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Locusts.” List characteristics of locusts. What do they usually eat?

3. What were the locusts commanded to do in Revelation 9:4?

Day 2: Read Revelation 9:5-11, Bible Dictionary entries “Abaddon” and “Apollyon
4. Why do you think the locusts were instructed not to kill the wicked, but to torment them? [Note: “Five months” = “a long time.”]

5. List characteristics of the locusts described in Revelation 9:7-10. What is your overall impression of this plague?*

6. Read Bible Dictionary entries, “Abaddon” and “Apollyon.” What is meant by these names?

Day 3: Read Revelation 9:12-16 (with footnote 14a), Review Revelation 7:1
7. Where did the voice come from after the sixth angel sounded? What is the significance of the voice emanating from this location? [Note: From the Bible Dictionary entry, “Altar,” Regarding the altar of sacrifice: “At the four corners were four horns; on these, the loftiest points of the altar, the blood of the sin offerings was put, that the atonement be brought nearer to God. At times these horns were also a place of refuge for fugitives (1 Kgs. 1:50; 2:28)…. In the Holy Place, before the veil and the mercy seat (Ex. 30:6) was the Altar of Incense, similar in construction to the Altar of Burnt Offering, but smaller and overlaid with gold. On it incense was burned morning and evening (no animal sacrifices); and on its horns once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the blood of the sin offering was put.”]

8. Review Revelation 7:1. Are the four angels in Revelation 9:14 the same as the angels in Revelation 7:1? Why or why not? (Hint: After “the great river Euphrates” at the end of Rev. 9:14, the JST adds “in the bottomless pit”.)

9. How many horsemen were prepared to attack?

Day 4: Read Revelation 9:17-21, Bible Dictionary entry “Brimstone
10. How were the horsemen armed? Where was their power?

11. Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Brimstone.” Of what is brimstone symbolic? Are the armies of locust and horsemen sent by God or just allowed by God?

12. After numerous plagues, why were the survivors unrepentant? List the sins of the unrepentant. (See also Exodus 10:12-20, with footnote 20a.)

Day 5: Read Revelation 10:1-4, Review Revelation 1:14-15 and 4:3, D&C 77:14
13. Describe the “mighty angel” from Revelation 10:1-3. What elements are similar to the descriptions of the Lord in Revelation 1:14-15 and the Father in Revelation 4:3?

14. Read D&C 77:14. What does the “little book” in Revelation 10:2 represent?**

15. What was John forbidden to write?

Day 6: Read Revelation 10:5-7, Alma 42:4, D&C 84:100, Bible Dictionary entry “Mystery,” D&C 88:112
16. By whom and by what did the mighty angel swear?

17. What did the angel declare at the end of Revelation 10:6? Read Alma 42:4 and D&C 84:100. What does the angel’s declaration mean?

18. Read D&C 88:112. According to this verse, who is the seventh angel?

BONUS: Read the Bible Dictionary entry, “Mystery.” What is the “mystery of God” (Rev. 10:7)?

Day 7: Read Revelation 10:8-11
19. What was John instructed to do regarding the “little book”?

20. What about John’s mission might have been sweet?

21. What about John’s mission might have been bitter?

From the Institute manual:
*(55-20) Revelation 9:4–10 . A Time of Great Warfare “During this particular period of the war and desolation the evil forces will be directed against all men, save those sealed up unto eternal life, for those in Zion shall be preserved. The plagues and torments of this era shall so afflict men that they shall desire to die rather than to suffer more. In prophetic imagery John here seeks to describe a war fought with weapons and under circumstances entirely foreign to any experience of his own or of the people of that day. Joel, subject to the same limitations of descriptive ability, attempted to portray the same scenes in these words: [Read Joel 2:1–11 .] It is not improbable that these ancient prophets were seeing such things as men wearing or protected by strong armor; as troops of cavalry and companies of tanks and flame throwers; as airplanes and airborne missiles which explode, fire shells and drop bombs; and even other weapons yet to be devised in an age when warfare is the desire and love of wicked men.” (McConkie, DNTC, 3:502–3.)
**(55-22) Revelation 10:10, 11 . What Was the Little Book John Ate? “A great mission was given unto John because of his desire, and he is even now laboring as ‘a flaming fire and a ministering angel, for those who are heirs of salvation.’ In the tenth chapter of Revelation we read that John was given a little book by the angel and commanded to eat it up, which he did, and he said ‘it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.’ And the angel said by way of interpretation of this act: ‘Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.’ When this mission was given, John was an old man far beyond the allotted years of three score and ten. In answer to a question as to the meaning of this vision of the book, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: It was a mission and an ordinance for John to gather the tribes of Israel. ( D. & C. 77:14 .) At a conference of the Church, held June, 1831, Joseph Smith said ‘that John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel who had been led away by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, to prepare them for their return from their long dispersion.’ ( Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 1:176; Essentials in Church History, p. 126.)” (Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:48.)