Unit 32, Day 1: Revelation 12–13

New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, 2015


Introduction

Revelation 12–14 contains an interruption in the chronological flow of the Apostle John’s vision. John saw a vision of a dragon threatening a woman and her child. He wrote about the War in Heaven and about the kingdoms of the world that would fight against the followers of God.

Revelation 12

John is shown that Satan and his angels have always warred against the Lord and His Church

Draw connecting lines between each of the threats listed in the left-hand column and the ways to combat them listed in the right-hand column.

Threats

Ways to combat threats

Sunburn

Repentance and trust in Jesus Christ

Enemy soldiers

Medicine or rest

Sickness

Sunscreen or clothing

Sin and guilt

Truths in Revelation 12

Influences of Satan

Weapons of war

Which of these threats have you had to combat lately? Which one do you think is the most dangerous? Why? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As you study Revelation 12, look for truths that can help you combat Satan’s influences. Revelation 12–14 is an interruption in John’s description of his vision of the events of the seventh seal. With this pause the Lord may have been helping John understand the meaning of the phrases “the kingdoms of this world” and “the kingdoms of our Lord” (Revelation 11:15). The Joseph Smith Translation of all of Revelation 12 is found in the Bible appendix and the Guide to the Scriptures.

Look at the following picture, and consider what the symbols in it might represent.

dragon, woman with child

Read Revelation 12:1–2, 5, looking for what happened to the woman. (The Joseph Smith Translation places verse 5 directly after verse 2.)

Notice that the woman’s child would “rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5).

Read Revelation 12:3–4, looking for what threatened the woman and her child.

What do you think the symbols described in verses 1–4 could represent?

Read Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:7–8 (in the Bible appendix), looking for what the dragon, the woman, and the child represent. You may want to write or note the meaning of each symbol next to Revelation 12:1–5.

The dragon represents Satan (see Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:8), the woman represents “the church of God,” and the child represents the “kingdom of our God and his Christ” (Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:7). This kingdom includes faithful members of the Lord’s Church. (For more explanation of the symbolism in these passages, see New Testament Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2014], 550–52.)

According to Revelation 12:4, what was the dragon’s intent?

Why do you think Satan seeks so diligently to destroy the kingdom of God and Christ? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read Revelation 12:6, looking for what the woman did because of the threatening dragon.

The woman fleeing into the wilderness represents the Church entering the Great Apostasy and the priesthood being taken from the earth after the deaths of Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

After the Apostle John saw the dragon threatening the woman and her child, he was shown an event from our premortal life—when Satan and his followers fought against the plan of salvation and the Saints of God.

Read Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:6–11 (in the Bible appendix), looking for both what happened to Satan during the War in Heaven and how the Saints of God overcame Satan and his followers. You may want to mark or note what you find.

Revelation 12:4 states that the dragon’s tail “drew the third part of the stars of heaven.” This is symbolic of the large number of Heavenly Father’s spirit children who chose to follow Satan. “Michael and his angels” (Revelation 12:7) are Adam and other righteous spirit children of God.

According to Revelation 12:11, how did the righteous hosts of heaven (including you) overcome Satan?

According to Revelation 12:8–9, where were Satan and his followers sent after their rebellion?

Read Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:12, 17 (in the Bible appendix), looking for whom Satan made war against after he was cast out of heaven.

Understanding how we overcame Satan in our pre-earth life can help us know how to overcome his influences and attacks here on earth. From these passages in Revelation 12 we can identify the following principle: We can overcome Satan’s influences through the Savior’s Atonement and by remaining true to our testimonies of the gospel. You may want to write or note this principle in your scriptures.

Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy taught how Satan is attacking your generation:

Elder James J. Hamula

“Reserved to come forth in these last days and labor for our Father and His Son are some of the most valiant and noble of our Father’s sons and daughters. Their valiance and nobility were demonstrated in the pre-earth struggle with Satan. …

“With God’s kingdom restored to the earth and your entry into the world, Satan knows that ‘he hath but a short time’ [Revelation 12:12]. Therefore, Satan is marshalling every resource at his disposal to entice you into transgression. He knows that if he can draw you into transgression, he may prevent you from serving a full-time mission, marrying in the temple, and securing your future children in the faith, all of which weakens not only you but the Church. He knows that nothing can overthrow God’s kingdom ‘save it [be] the transgression of [his] people’ [Mosiah 27:13]. Make no mistake about it—the focus of his war is now on you” (“Winning the War against Evil,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 50–51).

How do Satan and his followers try to weaken us? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Consider how Satan is waging war against you personally.

  1. journal icon1.

    In your scripture study journal, list some ways you can increase your faith in Jesus Christ and strengthen your testimony of Him.

  2. journal icon2.

    Respond to one or both of the following in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Write about an experience when your testimony of and faith in the Savior’s Atonement helped you combat Satan’s influences.

    2. b.

      Write your testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and explain how the Atonement can help us in our war against Satan and his followers.

Select one or more of the ideas you listed, and apply them in your battles against Satan and his followers. You may want to write your goals on a separate piece of paper and put the paper where you can see it often. As you rely on the Savior’s Atonement, the Lord will help you in your fight against Satan.

Revelation 13

John writes about kingdoms of the earth that will receive power from Satan

In Revelation 13 we read that John saw a vision of fierce-looking beasts that represent wicked earthly kingdoms controlled by Satan. John also saw that through these kingdoms, Satan would work wonders and false miracles to deceive the inhabitants of the earth.

  1. journal icon3.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Revelation 12–13 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: