Friday, November 20, 2015

"Revelation Chapter 1"

My friend and I have made it through the first chapter of Revelations,
which introduces us to the Savior.

According to the author the book of Revelations was designed
 to give us instruction "about our responsibility."

"The book of Revelation is a letter addressed to the seven branches
 of the ancient churchon the West coast of modern Turkey."

"John sent the Revelation in an epistle because of
his imprisonment on the Isle of Patmos

"For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." 
 (Revelation 1:9)

The major theme of the first chapter of Revelation is to give us a visual
of the Savior and his attributes;

"who he is and what he does for his people."

Throughout chapter one you will find descriptive attributes of Jesus, 
Image result for Images king of kings lords of lords

"He is the first begotten of the dead."
"He is the beginning and the ending...
the Lord, which is, and which was,
and which is to come."
"prince of the kings of earth."
(Revelatios 1:5,8)
(Revelation 19:16)

"Jesus is certainly the prince, king, and lord of all earthly monarchs,
 but there is a deeper meaning in these titles..."And unto him who loved us, 
be glory; who washed us from our sins in his own blood, 
and hath made us kings and priests unto God, his Father." 
 (Revelations 1:6)

"Because of his love for us, and the cleansing power of his atonement...
we too may become kings and queens.  
Paul tells us that Melchizedek is really a title that means
 'King of righteousness'."  

Hebrews 7:2
"Jesus is the King of all kings of righteousness..." 

"If one of the major purposes of Revelation is to give us encouragement, we receive it almost immediately.  If myriads of people will return to reign with Christ--if tens of thousands are crowned kings and queens in his eternal realms--there is hope for each of us..."
 (Who will stand pgs 18-20)

"Golden Candlesticks"  our first major image appears in verse 12, "And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks."

In verse 20 we are told by John that the seven candlesticks represent the seven different churches to whom the epistle is addressed.
"...What John actually saw, however, was a seven branched menorah with a bowl at the top of each branch.  Each bowl held olive oil, into which a wick was placed and then providing light."

Image result for image menorah

In Matthew 5:15 Jesus described his disciples as "the light of the world..."
"Olive oil was a source of light and also of healing."  
(See the parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:34)

"To this day the olive has strong associations with peace.
 Light.  Healing.  Peace.
These are all attributes of the Spirit."

"In Revelation, the seven churches must be filled with the Spirit that they might bring light, healing and peace to the world.
The challenge has not changed for us today."
(Who Will Stand Pg 21) 

In Revelation 1:13 we are told where Christ is in relation to his churches. 
 "He is not an absentee ruler but dwells in the very midst of his people..."  
(Who will stand pg 21)

In chapters 2 and 3 John lets us know that Christ is aware of {our}specific strengths and problems of each church.

All the words used to describe the Savior emphasize one central point, 

"golden girdle, hairs white as wool, white as snow, 
flame of fire, fine brass burned in a furnace 
and countenance as the sun shineth in his strength." 
 "Each suggest purity.  
White is also a token of victory or triumph."  

In Revelation 1:5 John describes the voice of the Savior 
"as the sound of many waters."

Image result for images "Sound of rushing water"What would do you hear in your minds eyes with that description of the Saviors voice? 
(Who will stand pg 22)

The Seven Stars represent the angels of the seven churches.  (Revelation 1:16, 20)
The author, based on the Joseph Smith Translation changes "angels" with "Servants."

He relates that in a later image "the Church is shown as a radiant woman crowned with 12 stars."

"The most natural interpretation of the 12 stars is the 12 apostles." 
He then asks this question:
"Why might the apostles, in particular, be symbolized by stars? "
"In the ancient world people used the stars for navigation.  
People looked to them for direction because they were constant and unchanging." 
 (Who will Stand pg 23)

Revelation 12:4 John describes the expulsion of Lucifer and his followers from heaven.  
In chapter 12 he is rendered as the "red dragon and his followers are depicted as stars.

"Christ upholds his stars, his followers, 

while the adversary drags down those who choose him as their leader.  
As stars fall, they loose their light..."  

"....three groups are called stars:
athletes, movie celebrities and musical entertainers...
when we think of how much these groups influence the standards and directions of the age.  
Yet we would hardly call these groups constant and unchanging. 
If we want to get our moral, ethical, or spiritual bearing, 
we will be wise to look to the stars in the hands of the Savior..."
(Who Will Stand pg 24)

Image result for Images Planet Venus
Revelations   2:28 and 22:16 Christ calls himself "the bright and morning star." 
"Venus, though a planet, is often referred to 
as the morning star 
because it is the brightest one in the sky
and the last to fade with the intense light of the rising sun."

Revelation 8:10 and 9:1 We learn of Lucifer as a falling star.  

"The first syllable Luc, means "light."
Fer comes from a Latin root meaning "to carry."
"Lucifer was once the light-bearer but when he fell, his light was extinguished, 
leaving only darkness..."

"We can follow the fallen star or the morning one." 
"Sadly, though, Jesus is:
the light {that} shineth in the darkness
and the darkness compreheneded it not."
(John 1:15)
(Who will Stand pg 24)

Revelation 1:16 we are introduced to the "Two Edged Sword."

Image result for two edged sword image

D&C 6:2:  
"I am God; give heed unto my word which is quick and powerful,
 sharper than a two-edged sword."
In Revelation 12:15 we read how Lucifer tries to destroy the Church and in Chapter 16:13:

"I saw three unclean spirit like frogs come out the mouth of the dragon, 
and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."

"If the sword from the mouth of Christ represents his truths, his gospel. 
then by contrast the flood and the frogs must signify the lies, 
falsehoods, and apostate doctrines of the devil..."
(Who will Stand pg 26)

Revelation 1:16-18 we are introduced to the "Key of David.  

In these verses we can visualize that the Savior is holding "the keys of hell and death."   

Death:  death of the body and Hell: death of the spirit.
(2 Nephi 9:10) 

"The fall of Adam resulted in these two deaths.  
The resurrection overcomes the first of these two deaths;
 the atoning blood of Christ's mercy overcomes the second."

Revelation 3:22 John is quoting Isaiah 22:22.  

"Death and hell, like a heavy door, bar us from the presence of our Father in Heaven. 
 But Christ's victory over them placed in his hand the key that can open that door..." 
(Who will stand pg 27)  Also see Revelation 3:8

The author closes chapter one with this beautiful message:

Knock at the Door Framed Art Print"Revelation begins with the dignity of Christ, with the reassuring comfort 
of his watchful care over his people.
 Since some of the images that follow in later chapters are more foreboding,
the sweet calm of the introductory one set the tone we must maintain as we move 
through the visions of Christ's beloved disciple.
The Savior loves us.  
His life and motives are pure...
He is in our midst...
His mouth will continue to speak
 the ennobling words of truth.
                                            His voice calms like running water.
                                                  His touch is one of tenderness and reassurance.
                                                   He has opened to door to our Father in Heaven,
                                                               and only our own volition
                                                                   can keep us from his welcoming embrace..."
                                                           (Who will Stand Pg 28)

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