Posted in Gospel Doctrine 2015, New Testament, Symbolism

Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 46 – “He Will Dwell with Them, and They Shall Be His People”

  1. Satan fights against the righteous.

Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

‘At the beginning of most dispensations, a book is given to the newly called prophet. Moses received tablets (see Ex. 31:18).Lehi was given a book to read concerning the destruction of Jerusalem (see 1 Ne. 1:11–14) Ezekiel was given “a roll of a book” (Ezek. 2:9–10) containing the Lord’s message for the house of Judah in his day. John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos was shown a book with seven seals. Is it any wonder, then, that the Lord would provide a book containing the fulness of the gospel as part of the “restitution of all things”? The Book of Mormon has the power to draw all men and women to Christ. Its references to the Savior’s Atonement are the clearest on record with regard to its purpose and powers.’ (Merrill J Bateman, General Conference, October 2007)

The seven seals

Revelation 6:1-2 Includes the times of Adam’s and Enoch’s ministries

Revelation 6:3-4 Includes the times of Noah, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the Jaredites

Revelation 6:5-6 Includes the times of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and the exodus from Egypt

Revelation 6:7-8 Includes the times of Isaiah, the loss of the 10 tribes, the Babylonian captivity of Judah, Lehi leaving for America up to the time of Jesus

Revelation 6:7-12 From Christ’s birth to the death of the apostles and the Great Apostasy

Revelation 6:12-17 Includes the Renaissance and Reformation, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, great signs and calamities

Revelation 7:1-8 Zion is established and the Gospel preached to four corners of the world

Revelation 8-20 The earth is sanctified through, destruction, fire and bloodshed. The Millennium is ushered in with the Second Coming of Christ. Satan is bound for 1000 years. Satan is loosed and then banished. The great and last judgement of the wicked.

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Revelation 6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

‘And there went out another horse that was red; signifying blood and slaughter.’ (Matthew Poole’s Commentary)

 Revelation 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

‘The time represented by the third seal was an era of great famine. John sees a black horse, black being the color of extreme hunger and famine (Lam. 4:8-9). In the hand of the rider he sees a pair of balances, which are used to measure the food during the famine, a practice known from earlier times (Lev. 26:26). For instance, on one occasion the Lord prophesied through Ezekiel that he would cause a famine by ‘break[ing] the staff of bread in Jerusalem’; the Jerusalemites, he explained, would ‘eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure’ (Ezek. 4:16).

During this thousand-year time span, Abraham records, ‘a famine prevailed throughout all the land of Chaldea, and my father was sorely tormented because of the famine. . . . Now the Lord God caused the famine to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that Haran, my brother, died’ (Abr. 1:30; 2:1). As Abraham and Sarai traveled through the land, he stopped and ‘built an altar in the land of Jershon, and made an offering unto the Lord, and prayed that the famine might be turned away from my father’s house, that they might not perish. . . . And I, Abraham, concluded to go down into Egypt, to sojourn there, for the famine became very grievous’ (Abr. 2:17, 21)

We recall that Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham, interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of a famine that would last seven years and would ‘consume the land’ (Gen. 41:30). The famine existed in Egypt as well as other lands. Gen. 41 relates: ‘And the famine was over all the face of the face of the earth . . . and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands’ (Gen. 41:56-57). Jacob, Joseph’s father, also experienced the famine while dwelling in Canaan, and he sent ten of his sons to Egypt to buy corn (Gen. 42:1-5).” ‘(Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 81.)

Revelation 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

“Surely no period before this saw more vicious generals and armies. It was the time when some of the world’s greatest empires rose and fell: Babylon, Assyria, Persia, and Macedonia among them. As armies marched, men died in droves, and Hell gaped open wide its jaws to receive them.

“Caught up in all this strife were the people of Jehovah. Palestine was often a hotly contested area. Pulled by the forces of the day, its political leaders tried to play power politics to their shame and destruction. The great prophets, Hosea, Amos, Isaiah, and later Jeremiah and Lehi, tried to warn them of their folly. They would not heed. Too caught up in idolatry to repent, too licentious to reform, too hard-hearted to feel, they warred among themselves and weakened their nation. As a consequence, they left Jehovah and life eternal. Hell was truly their reward.” (Richard D. Draper, Opening the Seven Seals: The Visions of John the Revelator [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 67.)

Revelation 6: 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

‘It seems as though the adversary has been determined that if he could not stop the progress of this work in any other way he would drown it in blood. ‘(George Q Cannon, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 25: 279.)

 Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

‘The sight the apostle beheld at the opening the fifth seal was very affecting. He saw the souls of the martyrs under the altar; at the foot of the altar in heaven, at the feet of Christ. Persecutors can only kill the body; after that there is no more they can do; the soul lives. God has provided a good place in the better world, for those who are faithful unto death. It is not their own death, but the sacrifice of Christ, that gives them entrance into heaven. The cause in which they suffered, was for the word of God; the best any man can lay down his life for; faith in God’s word, and the unshaken confession of that faith. They commit their cause to Him to whom vengeance belongs. The Lord is the comforter of his afflicted servants, and precious is their blood in his sight.’ (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

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

 Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

‘Alleluia is a Hebrew word, and signifies: Praise ye the Lord.’ (Jamiesson-Faussett-Brown Bible Commentary)

Revelation 19: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

“The smoke of the destruction of Babylon (see 18:9, 18) will rise up to the heavens forever as a testimony of her wickedness. When Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Abraham ‘looked . . . toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace’ (Gen. 19:28). When Isaiah made his prophecy against Idumea (which represents the world; see D&C 1:36), he saw that ‘the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste’ (Isa. 34:9-10; Rev. 14:11). As the smoke of incense rises up to God as a prayer (8:3-4), so will the smoke of the destroyed Babylon rise up as a reminder of the sin and just destruction of the wicked world.” (Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 250.)

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Revelation 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

The marriage of the Lamb, who is Christ (D&C 33:17-18) to his bride, who is the Church (D&C 109:73-74) as well as the New Jerusalem (21:2, 9-10), is a metaphor for the union between the Lord and his people, made possible through the atonement of Christ….There is no sweeter or more meaningful relationship on earth than that between a holy husband and a holy wife; that is the kind of relationship (in depth of feeling and completeness of union) that the Lord is inviting us to. That marriage is between Christ and the church-but the Church is not just an organization on the earth; it is also the individual souls who belong to that organization.” (Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 251 – 252.)

 Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

‘For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints – Represents the righteousness of the saints; or is an emblem of it. It should be remarked, however, that it is implied here, as it is everywhere in the Scriptures, that this is not their own righteousness, for it is said that this was “given” to the bride – to the saints. It is the gracious bestowment of their Lord; and the reference here must be to that righteousness which they obtain by faith – the righteousness which results from justification through the merits of the Redeemer. ‘(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

 Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

‘Which are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb – The idea of a festival, or a marriage-supper, was a familiar one to the Jews to represent the happiness of heaven, and is frequently found in the New Testament.’ (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

“The bottomless pit is the depths of hell. It is not a literal pit without a bottom, for such is a contradiction in terms. But it is a pit or prison where the inhabitants suffer, as mortals view suffering, to an infinite, unlimited, or bottomless extent. Referring to finite inability to comprehend the vastness of the suffering of those reaping the full measure of this status, the revelation says: ‘The end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.’ (D. & C. 76:48.)” (Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 101.)

 Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

‘We read that Satan shall be bound a thousand years.  How is this to be accomplished? By our becoming so impregnated with the principles of the Gospel—with the Holy Ghost—that the enemy will have no place in us or in our families, and shedding forth that influence in our neighborhoods. The adversary is first to be driven from ourselves, then from our families, then from our neighbors, next from our Territory, and eventually from the nations, until he shall find no place upon the face of the whole earth: then will he not be bound? Yes, so far as this earth is concerned; and that is the way in which it is to be done, in my humble opinion. He will be chained to all intents and purposes when he can have no influence—no power—no tabernacles into which he can enter: he will then have no place of entertainment. When he finds that he is cornered that close, will he not consider himself bound? I think he will, whether he thinks so or not.’ (Daniel H Wells, Journal of Discourses)

 Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

‘The phrase “a little season” – μικρὸν χρόνον mikron chronon, “little time” – denotes properly that this would be brief as compared with the thousand years. No intimation is given as to the exact time, and it is impossible to conjecture how long it will be. All the circumstances stated, however, here and in Revelation 20:7-10 would lead us to suppose that what is referred to will be like the sudden outbreak of a rebellion in a time of general peace, but which will soon be quelled.’ (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

 Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

“God’s judgment will be just. The judges at the gate will know for certain the formula, the records, the spirit, the true deserts. The Book of Life (see Revelation 20:12) will show the earthly activities of all of us, and the book of the angels will give the entire story of every man and what he did in the light and in the shadows, in the open and in the corners, all that is said in the secret places and from the housetops, all that was thought and expressed, whether good or bad. There will be no escape. The honest judge will give full value to all for their good works and will not overlook the other.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 46.)

 Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

‘Is there any clear thinking man who would want to gamble on being left in his grave a thousand years when the Son of Man shall come in the clouds of heaven with all the holy angels, and those who have died in him shall be brought forth from the grave, and those who are living in him shall be caught up in the air and changed in the twinkling of an eye? I like the statement of the philosopher Cicero. He said he was much more interested in the long hereafter than he was in the brief present.’ (LeGrand Richards, General Conference, October 1981)

 Revelation 20:6 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 of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

‘”Satan will be sealed up in the bottomless pit for a thousand years-but not forever. ‘When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed’ to once again do his work of deception and destruction on the earth. He will gather followers from all nations to a battle in which the warriors are as many ‘as the sand of the sea.’ Satan’s mortal hosts will surround the Saints and their ‘beloved city,’ but the Lord will act in great glory and power to devour his enemy. Then the devil will be cast away forever, to be punished for his great sins for all eternity.

“The account in 4 Ne. 1 gives us a sobering preview of how the bright millennial era can be brought to a close. After the Savior’s visit to the descendants of Lehi in the Americas, the people entered into a condition that was millennial in some important respects: ‘There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people…’

“The breakdown in this near-perfect society had tiny beginnings: ‘a small part of the people . . . revolted from the church and [had] taken upon them the name of Lamanites’ (vv. 20)…From that point, the society disintegrated rapidly. Within the next decade, ‘there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness. And this church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity, and because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts’ (vv. 27-28).

“Thus it was that in only a few years, Satan, who had essentially been bound, was loosed again in the land…The decline and fall of this blessed society makes for troubling reading, and the lessons for our day are clear. Satan ever lies in wait to deceive and destroy, and if he fails with one generation, he will try with redoubled efforts to harm the next.” [(Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry,Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 273-274.)

Revelation 20: 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

‘The battle of Gog and Magog will be after the millennium.’ (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5: 298.)

 Revelation 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

‘The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “A man is his own tormentor and his own condemner. … The torment of disappointment in the mind of man [or woman] is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.” That lake of fire and brimstone, ever burning but never consumed, is the description in the scriptures for hell.’ (Boyd K Packer, General Conference, April 2001)

Revelation 20: 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

‘The earth and the heaven fled away – That is, as the stars, at the rising of the sun, seem to flee to more remote regions, and vanish from human view, so when the Son of God shall descend in his glory to judge the world, the earth and all other worlds shall seem to vanish.’ (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

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

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

‘These books spoken of must be the books which contain the record of their works upon the earth and must refer to the records which are kept upon the earth. The other book spoken of as the “book of life” is the record which is kept in heaven. Joseph Smith explained in a letter preserved as Section 128 of the Doctrine and Covenants that whatever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven.’ (Theodore M Burton, General Conference, October 1968)

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Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

‘Then men shall no more die and sleep in the earth, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye and shall be caught up, and their rest shall be glorious (D&C 101:31). And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. What a great time to be alive, when Christ himself will be our lawgiver and righteous men and women, from both sides of the veil, will live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. On the other hand, what a tragic time it will be for those who fail to qualify.’ (Sterling W Sill, General Conference, April 1967)

Revelation 21: 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

‘Of the fountain of the water of life – An image often used in the Scriptures to represent salvation. It is compared with a fountain that flows in abundance, where all may freely slake their thirst.’ (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Revelation 21: 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

‘Eternal life brings to us, brothers and sisters, the full bestowal of all the specific promises made in connection with all the temple’s holy ordinances. John declared that the “called, and chosen, and faithful” shall “inherit all things.” (Rev. 21:7; see also Rev. 17:14.) Modern scriptures confirm that these special souls will eventually receive “all that [the] Father hath.” (D&C 84:38.) “All”! You and I cannot even imagine such bounteous blessings. ‘ (Neal A Maxwell, “Endure It Well,” Ensign, May 1990, 35)

Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

‘The idea here is, that it would be a holy world – all holy. No particular portion would be set apart for purposes of public worship, but in all places God would be adored, and every portion of it devoted to the purposes of religion.’ (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

‘Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.’ (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 2: 31 – 32.)

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