Thursday, December 7, 2023

Endgame: The Winding Up Scene (Revelation 8-11)

Opening the Seventh Seal

READ D&C 88:92-93 and TPJS 319:2

“Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple, &c.; and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving beyond their bounds; then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, etc. But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.”

What event marks the opening of the Seventh Seal?

The Great Sign of the Coming of the Son of Man (see also Matthew 24:37-38, JST).

What is the great sign in heaven of the coming of the Son of Man?

It is Christ Himself, coming with His entourage in glory from the presence of God, through the portal from Heaven to Earth.


READ Revelation 8:1 and D&C 88:95

What might be the cause of a “silence in the heavens”?

A dramatic silence – the calm before the storm.

A silence of pain – depression and despair at what is happening on the earth.

A silence of withdrawal – the Lord has nothing more to say – He removes Himself to see if they will repent but all humanity except Zion continues to descend into darkness without His Spirit (see D&C 43:24-25).

What does a “half hour” symbolize?

A short time.

After the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, we don’t have much time left to repent.

But luckily “short time” can be relative – in the BoM, the Nephites had 34 years to repent from the sign of Christ’s birth to the destruction of their society at His death.


READ Revelation 8:3-4

What does the smoke represent?

The prayers of the Saints ascending to God.

Prayers asking for deliverance from the tribulations.

Prayers asking for deliverance from enemies.

Prayers asking for the coming of the Son of Man, as per the Sign of His Coming – the hosannah shout or pleading prayer: God come to us now – please save us now.


READ Revelation 8:6

Why are trumpets usually sounded?

To announce something important – like a king coming.

In this case, it is to announce the coming of the plagues or tribulations that will cause the final destruction of the wicked.

And to announce the coming of Christ.


READ Revelation 8:12-13

What might the “third part” represent?

A part – significant but not a majority.

Could be a symbol of the Telestial or fallen - those who follow or are trapped by Satan – similar to the third part of the host of heaven who followed him (see also D&C 76:102).

What does a “three times woe” mean?

It is a final judgement.

There is no coming back from it – no more chances for repentance – it is a sealing up to destruction.



Out of the Bottomless Pit

READ Revelation 9:1-4

Who is the “star” which fell from Heaven with the key to the bottomless pit?

Lucifer (see Luke 10:18).

What does the “bottomless pit” symbolize?

Hell and the evil spirits who dwell there.

The worst tendencies of the carnal, sensual and devilish natural man on earth.

Why does Lucifer release smoke from the pit?

To obscure our vision.

To veil the world in darkness – smoke shuts out the light of the sun and blinds our eyes (see Moses 7:26, 1 Nephi 8:23 and 1 Nephi 12:17).

Hate, contention, greed, pride, revenge, and tradition are all sources of “smoke”.

What are the locusts that come out of the smoke?

Armies going to war.

Like orcs from The Lord of the Rings, the image of locust warriors is unnatural, vicious, savage, strong, cunning, relentless, never ending – inhuman or part animal (see also Joel 1:4, 2:3-9).

They will fight in “seasons” (i.e. 5 months of “locust season”) – the fighting will have times of rest, but not necessarily peace – the war is coming back until it is finally resolved.

And Satan is their King – the angel with the key – Adaddon and Apollyon both mean “destroyer”.


READ Joel 2:1-17, 21-23, 27-32

How does Joel say we should deal with these plagues of war?

Turn to the Lord – cry unto Him – beg for deliverance.

Offer a broken heart and contrite spirit – repent.

He does not say we should take up arms ourselves.


READ Revelation 9:20-21

What is the advantage of worshipping a God without ears or eyes?

We don’t have to answer to them – they won’t judge us or destroy us for disobedience because they don’t see or hear what is really going on.

They are like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz – we can control them and get others to comply to our will, in the name of the “god” we manipulate.

They are not a real or living God.



The Seven Thunders

READ Revelation 10:1-2 and D&C 88:12

What does Michael’s (the mighty angel) standing on land and sea represent?

Putting all things under his feet – conquering the elements and earth.


READ Revelation 10:3-7 and D&C 88:96-107

What did the “seven thunders” say, which John sealed up?

First four thunders/voices/trumpets = announce the resurrections of the Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial, and Outer Darkness inheritors, respectively.

Fifth = bow the knee and confess that Jesus is the Christ.

Sixth = Satan’s grip and his apostasy from light/intelligence/truth is broken.

Seventh = It is finished; the Lord has overcome the World.


READ Revelation 10:10-11 and D&C 77:14

What does the “little book” that John “eats” represent?

His ministry as a translated being on the Earth to gather the tribes of Israel in the last days.

To prepare a people able to stand during the Second Coming.

To restore “all things” to enable this to happen.

Sweet = the few who receive his (John’s – really Christ’s) words.

Bitter = the many who reject the message in what seems like a fruitless ministry to the “called” who refuse to be “chosen” (see also Ezekiel 2:7-3:3 and Jeremiah 15:15-20).

Also, there is a polarity between light and dark – to understand and appreciate the light, you have to experience the same amount of darkness or you will not get the whole context of the light and misunderstand it.



The Two Witnesses in Jerusalem

READ Revelation 11:1-2

Why would the Lord ask the angel to measure the Temple of God and the people who worship there?

He is “taking the measure of” or assessing the faithfulness of those who call themselves His Saints and their relationship to a living God who can actually come to His temple (see also Daniel 5:27).

What is the significance of 42 months?

42 months = 3.5 years (see also Revelation 12:14, where “a time” = one year); it’s not necessarily a literal number, though, because it symbolizes an incomplete or imperfect period of time – it’s not 4 years, which symbolizes a completed cycle.

This number represents a time of spiritual famine (see also Luke 4:25) – a time of persecution, dissent and apostasy (see also Amos 8:11-13).

God’s measuring of Israel finds them wanting – they will be scattered by the Gentiles and will lose the rights of the priesthood to them.  Israel will descend into a time of apostasy or spiritual famine. 


READ Revelation 11:3-4 and Zechariah 4:12, 14)

In Zechariah’s record about the repentance and return of Israel from captivity in Babylon & Persia, he credits the return to two men, Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Prince. 

What do both of these “callings” require?

An anointing – both the roles of king and priest must be anointed to be deemed legitimate. 

Symbolizing that they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

They are the two “olive trees” or “candlesticks” – representing olive oil which is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit (and is used in the anointing).

Joshua and Zerubbabel are told that if they will prepare the way for God’s servant, the Branch (see Zechariah 3:4-8) by rebuilding the Temple so that God has a place once more on the Earth to visit His people.  John is telling us that there will be future “Joshua and Zerubbabel’s” who will help Israel to be reestablished after apostasy and rebuild the Temple so that the Branch (Christ) can return to Earth.

Joseph Smith was attempting to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth through the sealing of men and women to Himself, and Himself to the Fathers in Heaven, as per Elijah’s instructions – Joseph being essentially a “king and priest” to God – and was attempting to build a Temple where Christ could come to return the High Priesthood which had been lost (see D&C 124:40-48); sadly, he was murdered before he could complete the work. 


READ Revelation 11:5-12 and D&C 77:15

Who are these two latter day “olive trees”?

Two prophets holding the High Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God – with all of its sealing power.

Their ministry is to the Jews in Jerusalem prior to the Second Coming, at the time of the “restoration”.

They are opposed by the “Beast” which will be introduced in chapter 13 of Revelation.


READ Revelation 11:14-18

What is the third woe?

The final destruction of the wicked – which is perpetrated by the wicked upon each other when the Lord withdraws His Spirit; and then finished by the Lord who will “destroy” the “destroyers” when comes in glory, which they cannot abide.



Due to some recent work and life changes, I'm taking a hiatus from the weekly blog.  I will leave the blog up for anyone who would like ...