The Apostle John saw the opening of the seventh seal and learned of his mission to participate in the gathering of Israel in the latter days. In spite of the many plagues, destructions, and judgments that would come upon the earth’s inhabitants, John saw that those who were worthy would be spared from many of them.
John sees the opening of the seventh seal
Look at the accompanying chart on the book of Revelation. Notice how many verses refer to the events of the first six seals compared to the number of verses that refer to the events of the seventh seal.
The Apostle John wrote more about the events associated with the seventh 1,000-year period than he did about the events associated with any of the other 1,000-year periods. He wrote particularly about the events that would occur between the opening of the seventh seal and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Why do you think John wrote so much about the events of the seventh seal? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
As you study John’s vision in Revelation 8–11, consider what we can learn from what he wrote about these events.
Revelation 8:1–6 describes the Savior opening the seventh seal. John saw seven angels who were given seven trumpets. “Trumpets were used anciently to sound an alarm, signal [an army] for battle, or announce the arrival of royalty. The sounding of a trumpet, therefore, heralds or announces something highly significant” (Gerald N. Lund, “Seeing the Book of Revelation as a Book of Revelation,” Ensign, Dec. 1987, 50).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:12, looking for what the sounding of the seven trumpets will signify.
In Revelation 8:1–6, blowing the trumpets would signal the beginning of various plagues and destruction in preparation for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming and His reign throughout the Millennium.
Read each of the following references, which explain the events associated with the soundings of the first six trumpets. As you read, look for answers to the corresponding questions.
First—Revelation 8:7. What happened as a result of the “hail and fire” that fell to the earth when the first angel sounded his trumpet?
Second—Revelation 8:8–9. What three things were affected when the second trumpet was sounded?
Fourth—Revelation 8:12. Following the sounding of the fourth trumpet, what three things were partially darkened?
Fifth—Revelation 9:1–3. What came out of the bottomless pit when the fifth angel opened it?
Sixth—Revelation 9:13–16, 18. How many soldiers were involved in the great battle that John saw after the sixth trumpet had been sounded? What portion of mankind did he see killed in this battle?
Read Revelation 9:20–21, looking for how the wicked who survive these plagues will respond.
An angel instructs John about his mission in the latter days
Revelation 10 contains a pause in the description of the seven trumpet soundings and their associated plagues. In this chapter we read that John was instructed by another angel.
What are some experiences in life that could be considered both sweet and bitter? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Read Revelation 10:1–3, looking for what the angel was holding.
Read Revelation 10:8–11, looking for what John was told to do with the little book. Notice how it tasted to him.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:14, looking for what the little book represented.
The Apostle John had been blessed by Jesus Christ to live until His Second Coming and to bring people to Him (see John 21:20–24; D&C 7:1–4). John’s mission would be to help gather the children of Israel. In what ways might such a mission be both sweet and bitter?
In your scripture study journal, use Revelation 10:8–11 to write a response to one or both of the following concerns:
I have heard how hard it is to serve a mission. I have a hard time with rejection. I am not sure I want to serve.
I have tried to do what is right. I read my scriptures, pray, and try to share the gospel, but some things in my life are still going badly—and I have never had anyone want to join the Church because of me. Maybe I will give up.
John sees two prophets slain in Jerusalem, and the sounding of the seventh trumpet
Revelation 11 begins with the Apostle John’s description of events that will occur between the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. During this time the wicked will have more power and control over the earth, and an army will try to conquer Jerusalem, which is part of the final great battle of Armageddon.
John described the city of Jerusalem and its being overcome by Gentiles (those who do not make and keep covenants with the Lord) for a period of 42 months, which is three and a half years.
Read Revelation 11:3–6, looking for what two of the Savior’s witnesses will do in Jerusalem immediately before His Second Coming.
These two prophets would, like Elijah and Moses, have the authority and power to seal the heavens and smite the earth with plagues. The fire that will come out of these two witnesses’ mouths could be symbolic of the power of the testimonies they will bear (see Jeremiah 5:14; 20:9).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:15, looking for who these two witnesses will be.
Read Revelation 11:7–12, looking for what will happen to these two prophets. Notice how the wicked will react.
Read Revelation 11:13–15, looking for what will happen after the two prophets are raised from the dead and ascend up into heaven.
After the sounding of the seventh trumpet, who will reign over “the kingdoms of this world” (Revelation 11:15)?
In Revelation 11:16–19 we read that the 24 elders who sat near God’s throne gave thanks and praise to God for rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked.
Recall from the previous lesson the following principle found in Revelation 7: If we endure tribulation faithfully and become pure through Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we will enjoy celestial glory with God. Consider the events of the seventh seal that you studied today. In your scripture study journal, write how these principles can provide comfort and peace to those who experience some of the frightful calamities that will happen before the Lord’s Second Coming.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that despite the calamities of our day, we can look forward to the Lord’s coming with reverence and anticipation:
“We live, brothers and sisters, in the days preceding the Lord’s Second Coming, a time long anticipated by believers through the ages. We live in days of wars and rumors of wars, days of natural disasters, days when the world is pulled by confusion and commotion.
“But we also live in the glorious time of the Restoration, when the gospel is being taken to all the world—a time when the Lord has promised that He ‘will raise up … a pure people’ [D&C 100:16] and arm them ‘with righteousness and with the power of God’ [1 Nephi 14:14].
“We rejoice in these days and pray that we will be able to courageously face our struggles and uncertainties. The difficulties of some are more severe than those of others, but no one is immune. …
“Although the Lord reassures us again and again that we ‘need not fear’ [D&C 10:55], keeping a clear perspective and seeing beyond this world is not always easy when we are in the midst of trials. …
“Our faith grows as we anticipate the glorious day of the Savior’s return to the earth. The thought of His coming stirs my soul. It will be breathtaking! The scope and grandeur, the vastness and magnificence, will exceed anything mortal eyes have ever seen or experienced. …
“… We will kneel in reverence, ‘and the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it’ [D&C 45:49]. ‘It shall be … as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder’ [D&C 133:22]. ‘[Then] the Lord, … the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people’ [D&C 133:25]” (“Thy Kingdom Come,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 119–20, 122).
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Revelation 8–11 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: