Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Journey through Revelations

Image result for image revelationAll one has to do is mention "Revelations" and people gasp.  I have been one of those.  I have bought book after book to help me understand the symbolism that John is writing about and each and everyone of those books brought a little understanding but overall I was still groping in the dark.

I recently had to have a major surgery and while I was gathering reading material to keep me busy during my recovery, I came across a book written by an LDS author that I simply love and adore concerning the Book of Revelations.  It was entitled:
"Who Shall Be Able to Stand?  Finding personal meaning in the Book of Revelation."

The author is S. Michael Wilcox.  Needless to say I invested in the book and for the first time I am seeing the book of Revelations with new eyes.  He commented that "Perhaps the most important commentary on the Book of Revelation is the Old Testament...As you begin fitting the pieces of the Old Testament into the puzzle of Revelation, you will notice that what John leaves out is often as critical, or even more critical, than what he includes.  Many times understanding Revelation will depend on turning to the Old Testament and receiving the entire subject to which John is alluding.
Frequently inspiration, counsel, and insight will be found in the verses of the Old Testament associated with the allusion.  It is therefore essential that we find the allusions, turn to them, and read the entire account." (Who Shall Be Able to Stand? pg 5)

Image result for image poetryHe continues, "I cannot stress the notch of poetic imagery.  We must approach Revelation with a different mind-set than the one we usually use...So it is with images of Revelation.  When reading it, we must leave our prose minds at the door and pick up our poetry minds.  We should read Revelation the way we study serious poetry..." (Who Shall Be Able to Stand?"  pg 6)

He then goes on to give one a visual understanding of poetry, "Poetry aims at awakening thoughts and feelings within us.  It draws upon familiar objects, stories, and events giving them added significance...More than one meaning can be held by a single image...With each new image, we must stop and ponder...Our Father in Heaven wants us to use our minds, and nothing stimulates the mind quite like figurative language.  Jesus was a master of this type of teaching, particularly the parable..."
(Who Shall Be Able to Stand?" pg. 7)

He comments that "Acknowledging that Revelation will require much more of the reader than other scriptures, the Lord wants us to know that our labor will be well worth the reflection:

"Blessed are they who read, and they who hear and understand the words of this prophesy, and keep those things which are written therein, for the time of the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
(Revelation 1:3)

Image result for image revelationThe first of the four responsibilities is relatively easy.  It is well with our ability to 'read' Revelation.  Hearing and understanding what we read is more of a challenge.  We may take some comfort in a phrase used repeatedly by the Lord in his message to the seven churches." 
 (Who Shall Be Able to Stand."  pg 16)

So here is where I begin the first week of my journey along with a friend and all else who would like to join us in the first set of scriptures that the author noted, "Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6,13,22.

In these verses we are taught, "that if we desire to learn and understand, if our ears are tuned and straining to listen, the Lord will impart truth through the Spirit.  Our hunger for knowledge counts greatly with the Lord, who will know of our listening ears primarily because of our prayers asking for insight."  (Who Shall Be Able to Stand?"  pg 16)

In closing for this part of my journey I shall again quote S  Micheal Wilcox's words, 

"We must constantly remind ourselves that the main purpose of Revelation is to help us make correct choices and discern between the forces of good and evil."
(Who Shall Be Able to Stand?"  pg17)

And now I am going to ponder on the above verses in Chapter two and three and thus my journey begins.
Image result for image revelation

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