Unit 32: Day 2

Revelation 14–16

“Unit 32, Day 2: Revelation 14–16,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)


Introduction

In a vision, the Apostle John saw an angel come to earth to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days. He also heard a voice from heaven describing the blessings enjoyed by those who die having been faithful to the Lord. John saw the gathering of the righteous and the gathering of the wicked in the latter days and the judgments of God being poured out upon the wicked.

Revelation 14

John sees the restoration of the gospel and the gathering of the righteous and the wicked

Some people wonder if it is possible to feel peace in a world that is filled with wickedness, disasters, and violence. Think about what you might say to these people.

As you study Revelation 14–16, look for truths that can bring you peace even though you live in a world filled with wickedness, disasters, and violence.

In Revelation 14:1–13 we read that the Apostle John saw a vision of the latter days, or our day. In his vision he saw the calamities that would come upon the wicked. He also saw what would bring peace to the righteous in our day.

Read Revelation 14:1–5, looking for whom John saw standing with the Savior “on the mount Sion” (Revelation 14:1), or Zion.

You might recall learning that the 144,000 mentioned in verse 1 are high priests of the twelve tribes of Israel from every nation and are ordained to bring people “to the church of the Firstborn” (D&C 77:11; see Revelation 7:4–8). The phrase “not defiled with women” (Revelation 14:4) means they will be chaste, or morally clean. In Revelation 14:5 the phrase “in their mouth was found no guile” means they will be honest and sincere and the phrase “without fault” means they will be clean from sin.

  1. journal iconAnswer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think being chaste, honest, and clean from sin would help the 144,000 high priests take the gospel to others?

During John’s vision of the latter days, he saw three more angels. Read Revelation 14:6, looking for what the first angel had.

After quoting Revelation 14:6, President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “That angel has come. His name is Moroni” (“Stay the Course—Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 70).

Angel Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith in His Room

The angel Moroni first appeared to Joseph Smith and told him that God had an important work for him to do (see Joseph Smith––History 1:29–35). According to Joseph Smith—History 1:34, under God’s direction, what did Moroni tell Joseph Smith about that helped restore the everlasting gospel to the earth?

Angel Moroni statue

Knowing Moroni’s role in the Restoration may help you understand why a statue of him is placed on top of many of our temples.

The angel described in Revelation 14:6 may also represent a combination of the many heavenly messengers, including Moroni, who have helped restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days (see Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 3:529–31; see also D&C 13; 110:11–16; 128:20–21).

Read Revelation 14:7, looking for what the angel said. The phrase “the hour of his judgment is come” refers to the time when the Savior will judge all the people of the earth. His judgments will occur both at His Second Coming and at the Final Judgment.

From John’s vision of the angel, we learn that one reason God restored the gospel of Jesus Christ was to prepare the earth’s inhabitants for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

In what ways does the gospel of Jesus Christ prepare people for His Second Coming?

How has the restored gospel of Jesus Christ brought you peace while living in a wicked and tumultuous world?

Read Revelation 14:8–11, looking for what the second and third angels said.

John was taught that Babylon, or wickedness, would exist in every nation. One meaning of the phrase “Babylon is fallen” (Revelation 14:8) is that the day will come when the wickedness of the world will end.

Consider how knowing that the wickedness of the world will end can bring you peace.

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained what the wicked will experience after they die:

Prophet Joseph Smith

“The great misery of departed spirits in the world of spirits, where they go after death, is to know that they come short of the glory that others enjoy and that they might have enjoyed themselves, and they are their own accusers” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 224).

“A man is his own tormentor and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone [see Revelation 21:8]. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 224).

After learning what the wicked would experience after they die, John heard a voice from heaven describing what the righteous would experience after they die.

Read Revelation 14:12–13, looking for what the righteous will experience after they die.

To “rest from [our] labours” (verse 13) after we die means that we will no longer be burdened with troubles, cares, and sorrow (see Alma 40:12).

One principle we can learn from Revelation 14:12–13 is that if we live righteously, then we will be blessed for our works and rest from our labors after we die. You may want to write or note this principle in your scriptures next to Revelation 14:12–13.

  1. journal iconConsider how this principle might bring you peace even when you live in a world filled with wickedness. In your scripture study journal, write a note encouraging a friend who might wonder if it is worth it to live righteously while surrounded by wickedness.

We read in Revelation 14:14–20 that in his vision John saw two harvests. He saw that during the first harvest the righteous would be gathered from the wicked (see Revelation 14:14–16) and that during the second harvest the wicked would be gathered and ultimately destroyed (see Revelation 14:17–20).

Revelation 15–16

John sees the righteous in the celestial kingdom and seven plagues in the latter days

Revelation 15:2–4 contains the Apostle John’s further description of what it will be like for those who overcome Satan and are saved in the celestial kingdom. The rest of Revelation 15–16 contains his description of the seven plagues that would torment the wicked in the last days. These plagues would precede the Lord’s Second Coming.

In John’s vision, each plague was represented by an angel pouring out a “vial,” or bowl, “full of the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:7). Read the following passages from Revelation 16, looking for the seven plagues. Write a brief description of each plague next to its corresponding number in the following chart:

bowlPlague 1: Revelation 16:2

 

bowlPlague 2: Revelation 16:3

 

bowlPlague 3: Revelation 16:4

 

bowlPlague 4: Revelation 16:8–9

 

bowlPlague 5: Revelation 16:10–11

 

bowlPlague 6: Revelation 16:12

 

bowlPlague 7: Revelation 16:17–21

 

Read Revelation 16:15, looking for what we can do to be prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The phrase “keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked” (Revelation 16:15) refers to being spiritually ready. Those who “[keep their] garments” and are spiritually ready will eventually wear the robes of righteousness given to all who are worthy to live with God in the celestial kingdom (see Revelation 3:3–5; 7:13–17).

You may want to write or note the following truth in your scriptures next to Revelation 16:15: If we are watchful and spiritually ready, then we will be prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

It is important to remember that the Lord loves His people and will watch over them in the last days, even in the midst of awful destruction and a great battle. We should be watchful and spiritually ready so we can receive the Lord’s protection and blessings. If you want to know more about Armageddon mentioned in Revelation 16:16, see the Bible Dictionary or Guide to the Scriptures entry “Armageddon.”

  1. journal iconWrite the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Revelation 14–16 and completed this lesson on (date).

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