Revelation 17

Revelation 17: Babylon the Mother of Harlots

John sees a; “…great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Revelation 17:1-2) Written upon her head is; “…MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Revelation 17:5)

While many wonder at this image of a ‘whore’ and who she might be, some scholars have interpreted her as a representation of something in John’s time, particularly the city of Rome, which was founded upon seven hills, as John describes; “…The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (Revelation 17:9) It is probable that John was speaking of the corrupt and immoral ways of people living around the world. Today, ‘Babylon’ is not just one city, but many cities across the Globe. But John explains that the saints will win and that; “…the works of God shall be fulfilled…” (Revelation 17:17)

Revelation 9

Revelation 9: Wars and Plagues

                The Fifth Angel sounded; “…I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit… and there arose a smoke out of the pit… and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locust upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power… it was commanded of them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing… but only those men which have not the seal of God on their foreheads…” (Revelation 9:1-4) Here we have the Fifth Angel sounding the trumpet and a large hole opening from the earth, this hole would darken the sun and the air (so thick black air) and out of the smoke will come Locusts that have the ability to sting like scorpions, basically flying scorpions come out of the smoke. These locusts are commanded to only hurt men (and women) who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Essentially they are commanded to only go after the wicked people of the earth.

In the next verse we read; “…to them [the locusts] it was given that they should not kill them [the wicked people], but that they should be tormented five months…And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:5-6) So when this Fifth Angel sounds the trumpets, all the wicked people of the earth will be stun by locusts [essentially flying scorpions] and be tormented to the point of wanting to die, but be unable to die! John describes the locusts as “…horses prepared unto battle… faces of men… hair of women… teeth of lions… breastplates of iron… sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle… tails like unto scorpions…” (Revelation 9:7-10) John also explains that they are led into “battle” by Abaddon, which in Greek is Apollyon. Apollyon means destruction and is often times used to describe Satan.

Will there really be locusts that can sting like scorpions? The simple answer is no. We must understand that John was describing things that he saw from a perspective of his time. How would someone from thousands of years past describe an airplane, tank, machine gun? In the words and descriptions of that time, so perhaps the “locusts” he saw were actually modern infantry coming out of thick dark smoke that was caused from bombs. We don’t know, and we won’t know. But we can kind of understand what John might have been seeing.

The Sixth Angel sounded; “…and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel… Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were release… [and]… were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year… to slay the third part of men… by these three was the third part of men killed.” (Revelation 9:13-15; 18) John explains that these last third of the worlds wicked were to be destroyed, because they never once felt bad for their sins and never desired to repent.

Revelation 2

Revelation 2: Overcome the World = Eternal Life

                John writes a specific letter to each one of the seven churches throughout Asia, in verse 2 he covers 4 of the church and he starts each one off with; “Unto the angel of the church of ______” (Revelation 2:1;8;;12;18) It is interesting to note that in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible “angel” is changed to “servant”, which is probably more accurate considering John was writing to the leaders of each one of the branches of the churches throughout Asia.

This is the counsel that is given to these churches by John;

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” (Revelation 2:2) John explains that sometimes leaders will fall away or will lie completely to say they are leaders. However only those authorized by God to teach, shall teach.

                “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7) Those who overcome the temptations of the world will obtain the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

                “Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried ; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life…. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:10-11) Often times we will be tried, but if we overcome we will receive the crown of Life and be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father and we will not be hurt by the second death (the spiritual death)

                “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first” (Revelation 2:19) God knows us all, therefore it is important that we do good in the sight of others as well as when we are in private… for God knows.

1 John 5

1 John 5: Saints are Born of God

                John explains that all Saints are born of God and that those who love God; “…keep his commandments…” (1 John 5:3) For those same people who love God and who keep the commandments of God; “…overcometh the world…” (1 John 5:4) Jesus Christ overcame the world, and we can too! For not only by water; “…but by water and blood.” (1 John 5:5) did Jesus Christ sacrifice Himself for us, setting the example.

By the Spirit we may know the truth of things, for the “…witness of God is greater…” (1 John 5:9) John goes on to explain the purpose of what Jesus Christ did for us; “…God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12)

John explains that those who have faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ will have confidence’ “…that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he will hear us; And if we know that he hear us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14-15) In other words, God will answer our prayers according to His own will. This can be likened to a little child attempting to touch a hot stove. Obviously the parent says not to, because it’ll burn them! However, as little children in the eyes of God, we often want something, but God repeatedly says no. Why? Because He knows best and does not want us to be burned!

1 Peter 2

1 Peter 2: Converts want to Learn

                Peter writes to the new converts of the church and tells them that like; “…newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2) He emphasizes that it is the job of all members to nourish and strengthen those new converts so that they may grow with the word.

Peter urges us, including the converts to “…abstain from fleshy lusts… that… by your good works… shall… glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12) Jesus Christ died for our sins, and through His Atonement, we have been given the ability to be saved through His grace. However, this grace only works if we also do our best to stay clean and avoid the temptations of this world. By our good works, we shall be saved through the Grace of God.

Peter goes on to explain for new converts or members alike that we should “Submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake…” (1 Peter 2:13) This is very interesting, because the Lord is telling us to follow all of man’s laws, if they be unrighteous, then those who are making the laws will be held accountable. However, we should follow the laws of the land, for it is a commandment of God. Peter explains that if we do well to follow the commandments of God, then we “…may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (1 Peter 2:15)

                Finally Peter urges us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, that we might overcome the world.

Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10: The Just Live by Faith

                Paul explains that the way sin was taken away from the people in the Old Testament; through the shedding of the blood of animals can no longer take away the sin. Instead we “…are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) The sacrifice, also known as the Atonement of Jesus Christ was the ultimate price paid for the sin of mankind. Jesus Christ gave us a way to return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

Paul invites those followers of Christ to “…draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22) For if we sin after we come to the knowledge of Him, it will be difficult for us to be forgiven, for we know right from wrong;

                “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26)

Essentially Paul is telling us that we need to live by faith and once we have knowledge of our Redeemer, we need to live a pure and clean life (as best our abilities).

Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8: Christ Sacrificed for Sin

                Paul explains to the Hebrews that the Old Covenant has “…waxeth old [and] is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13) Paul urges the Hebrews and everyone who can read this letter (either then, or today) should; “…teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:11-12)

Essentially Paul has reminded us that God is merciful.  This means that is DOES NOT matter if we have sinned in the past, as long as we put it in the past. Those who come to Christ, will have their sins and wickedness be forgotten by Him.

Hebrews 3

Hebrews 3: Christ an Apostle

                Paul explains that Jesus Christ was an “…Apostle and High Priest…” (Hebrews 3:1) Paul explains that while Moses was also an Apostle and High Priest, who was worthy, Jesus Christ; “…was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.” (Hebrews 3:3) Essentially, Jesus Christ built the house under the direction of His Father, God the Eternal Father. Moses was only counted as a servant in that house.

Paul invites the Hebrews to; “Harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:8) He warns that many do not know God’s way, and because of that they “…err in their heart…” (Hebrews 3:10) Paul also warns that sin can harden your heart and deceive you.

Colossians 3

Colossians 3: Forgive One Another – Peace

                Paul urges the Saints at Colosse to seek “…things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Paul says that we ought to be ashamed on those who participate in; “…fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection [not within proper bounds], evil concupiscence [strong evil desire], and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

                Paul urges the Saints to not “Lie… to another…” (Colossians 3:9)  He says that when we are baptized, we put “…on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…” (Colossians 3:10)

                Paul also urges the Saints to forgive one another and teach one another;

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another… Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:13;16)

Paul ends his address in this chapter by urging “Husbands…[to]…love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians 3:19-21) Essentially, Husbands need to love their wives and vice-versa… children should listen to their parents and parents should do well to not discourage their children. Simply put, families should help and love one another.

Galatians 6

Galatians 6: As Ye Sow… So shall Ye Reap

                “BRETHREN, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

                Paul opens this last chapter of Galatians with a letter urging the members of the church to consider those around them, which may have fallen into temptation. He asks the members to help by restoring them spiritually. He urges the members to do this with a spirit of meekness, or in other words to guide the person who has fallen into temptation with humbleness, and patience. However, if someone does not want to be restored spiritually or in the process of helping them you are also dragged down into temptation… we should stop. In other words, helping people is good… but if it starts to affect our own personal salvation we should tread lightly.

Paul goes on to say that we should rejoice in our own work and burdens; “…let every many prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” (Galatians 6:4-5) We should not seek praise or praise one another to the point of idolatry. Being happy in our own work and being proud of another person’s work is another thing. Paul explains that we are responsible for ourselves and our sins, we cannot pass them on to another… therefore we are also not born with sin, for we cannot be punished for the Fall of Adam and Eve. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that; “…men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” (Articles of Faith; 1) Therefore we are saved by grace, after all that WE do PERSONALLY. In the Book of Mormon; “…we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23; The Book of Mormon)

Paul explains that we are going to be judged according to our works. He also explains that God will not be mocked… Whatever a man gives, he shall receive. If you do evil works, evil will be your reward. If you do good works, good will be your reward.

“…God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)