“He Will Dwell with Them, and They Shall Be His People”

Lesson 46 – Revelation 5-6; 19-22

 

Introduction

 

How do you feel when you read the newspaper or watch televised news reports about incidents such as crimes or natural disasters?  Turn to and read 2 Timothy 3:1. We are living in the last days, in the times the Apostle Paul described as “perilous.”  One of the challenges of living in the last days is learning to conquer fear and despair so we can overcome trials and temptations. This lesson will discuss how we can find hope and courage through an understanding of the events to come in the last days.  The righteous do not need to fear the Second Coming.

 

Satan fights against the righteous.

 

The first three chapters of the book of Revelation pertain to John’s time. The rest of the book deals with events that were future to John, from the Apostasy that occurred after the death of the Apostles to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the final judgment.

Chapters 5 and 6 of Revelation use the symbol of a book “sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1). Each seal represents a thousand-year period of the earth’s temporal existence (D&C 77:6-7); we are living in the time period represented by the sixth seal.  In chapter 6, the Lamb (Jesus Christ) opens the first six seals, showing some of the events associated with each time period.

One thing we learn from chapter 6 is that Satan has fought against the righteous throughout the history of the earth.

Rev. 6:4-11, records some ways Satan has fought the righteous including:

Referring to tactics Satan uses today to try to overcome the righteous, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated:  “That war, so bitter, so intense, has gone on, and it has never ceased. It is the war between truth and error, between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him. His enemies have used every stratagem in that conflict. They’ve indulged in lying and deceit. They’ve employed money and wealth. They’ve tricked the minds of men. They’ve murdered and destroyed and engaged in every other unholy and impure practice to thwart the work of Christ. … “[Opposition] has been felt in the undying efforts of many, both within and without the Church, to destroy faith, to belittle, to demean, to bear false witness, to tempt and allure and induce our people to practices inconsistent with the teachings and standards of this work of God. … “The war goes on. It is waged across the world over the issues of agency and compulsion. It is waged by an army of missionaries over the issues of truth and error. It is waged in our own lives, day in and day out, in our homes, in our work, in our school associations; it is waged over questions of love and respect, of loyalty and fidelity, of obedience and integrity. We are all involved in it” (Ensign, Nov. 1986, 42, 44-45).

After making the comments quoted above, President Hinckley added, “We are winning [the war against Satan], and the future never looked brighter” (Ensign, Nov. 1986, 45).  We need to maintain hope and a positive outlook as we fight the war against Satan.  Resources we have to strengthen us against the power of Satan and his followers include the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets, priesthood authority, temples, and association with other members of the Church.

 

Satan will be bound, and Christ will reign in triumph during the Millennium.

 

 John identified many plagues, wars, and judgments that would occur before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Rev. 8). Then, in Rev. 19, he described the coming of the Lord, symbolized by a marriage supper (Rev. 19:7-9). The wife of the Lamb represents The Church of Jesus Christ. The symbol of the marriage supper, with Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride, suggests the closest of relationships between the Lord and his Church.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained: “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 … at the marriage feast” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966-73], 3:563-64).

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will usher in the Millennium, a thousand-year period when Christ will reign personally upon the earth.

Rev. 20:1-3 Satan will be bound during the Millennium.

1 Nephi 22:26; D&C 45:55, 58 The saints will dwell in righteousness with Christ as their king when Satan is bound. Through righteous living, we can limit the power of Satan in our lives right now.

Rev. 20:7-8; D&C 88:111-113 After the Millennium, Satan will be loosed for a season, and one last great battle will be fought between the armies of God and the armies of Satan. This is sometimes called the battle of Gog and Magog.

Rev. 20:9-11; D&C 88:114-115 This great battle at the end of the Millennium will end in triumph for the Lord and his followers.

Since the outcome of this battle is already known, Pres. Benson helped us understand our responsibility regarding this victory.  President Ezra Taft Benson said: “Each day the forces of evil and the forces of good enlist new recruits. Each day we personally make many decisions showing the cause we support. The final outcome is certain—the forces of righteousness will win. But what remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this battle—and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to our last days and fulfill our foreordained missions?” (“In His Steps,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 2).

 

After the last judgment, the righteous will dwell with God.

 

After the last great battle, the final judgment will occur. Rev. 20:12 teaches us about how we will be judged.

Rev. 21:3-7 Blessings that will come to those who are judged to be righteous include:

Rev. 21:10-22 describes the celestial glory of the earth and the city in which those who have attained celestial glory will reside. There is no temple in the celestial city.  The purpose of the temple is to bring us closer to God and teach us of his plan. When we live with him again, temples will no longer be necessary.

Rev. 22:14 tells us we must keep the commandments to be able to enter the gates of the eternal city.

President David O. McKay told of a vision in which he saw a beautiful city, many people dressed in white, and the Savior:  “The city, I understood, was [the Savior’s]. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness.

“But who were they?

“As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words: These Are They Who Have Overcome the World—Who Have Truly Been Born Again!” (Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay, comp. Clare Middlemiss [1976], 60).

 

Conclusion

 

The New Testament ends with a message of great hope. Prophets like John the Revelator have seen the things that are to come and have told us of the blessings we will receive if we remain righteous and endure to the end. The righteous will triumph at the end of the world. Take courage and hope from this knowledge as you stand against wickedness and seek to overcome the obstacles of this life.

 


The seven seals in the book of Revelation

 

The following chart provides additional information about each of the seven seals. The chart may also be useful in understanding the structure of the book of Revelation.

Seal

Major Events

First seal

The creation and fall of Adam and Eve; the ministry of Enoch and the translation of his city into heaven (Rev. 6:1-2).

Second seal

Noah and the Flood (Rev. 6:3-4).

Third seal

Ministries of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph (Rev. 6:5-6).

Fourth seal

Ministry of Moses; the Exodus; the period of reign by judges; the period of reign by kings; the division of the kingdom; the conquering of the kingdoms (Rev. 6:7-8).

Fifth seal

The birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the establishment of his Church and the ministry of the Apostles; martyrdom of the Apostles; the Apostasy (Rev. 6:9-11).

Sixth seal

Continuation of the Apostasy; restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith; signs of the times manifest (Rev. 6:12-17; Rev. 7:1-8).

Seventh seal

Wars, plagues, and desolation; Second Coming of the Lord (Rev. 8:1-19). Millennium of peace (Rev. 20:1-6). Satan loosed for a season, the last great battle, and the final judgment (Rev. 20:7-15).

After the seventh seal

The earth is celestialized (Rev. 21:1-22).

 

The first five seals are covered in 11 verses, the sixth seal is covered in 14 verses, and the seventh seal is covered in 226 verses. Note the emphasis on the seventh seal.  John gave the most attention to the events of our time period and the one to come. The book of Revelation was written for our day, and our lives will be blessed as we study it and prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior.