Unit 32, Day 3: Revelation 17–19

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


Introduction

The Apostle John saw that spiritual Babylon, or the wicked world, will war against the Lamb of God and that the Lamb will triumph over evil. The Saints are called to come out of spiritual Babylon, and the clean and righteous will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. John saw Jesus Christ coming in great power to destroy those who fight against Him.

Revelation 17–18

John foresees the destruction of spiritual Babylon

Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy taught, “It is easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist temptation” (“Avoid It” [Brigham Young University devotional, Sept. 17, 2013], 1, speeches.byu.edu).

Why do you think it is easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist it? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Consider what can happen if we put ourselves in situations where we must constantly resist temptation.

As you study Revelation 17–18, look for a truth that will help you know how to avoid many of the temptations and sins of the world.

In Revelation 16 we learned that the Apostle John saw in vision seven angels that would pour out plagues upon the wicked in the last days. Read Revelation 17:1, looking for what one of the seven angels said he would show John.

According to Revelation 17:15, the “many waters” that the woman sits upon (see verse 1) represent people and nations she has power and influence over (see also 1 Nephi 14:11).

Read Revelation 17:2–6, looking for words and phrases that describe the woman and her influence on the world. The word fornication in verse 2 refers to immoral and unrighteous acts.

In verse 2, how is the woman’s influence upon the rulers and people of the earth described?

What do you think is represented in Revelation 17:6 by the woman being drunk with the blood of the Saints and martyrs? Note that the word admiration in this verse means astonishment or wonder.

The beast described in Revelation 17:3 may represent Rome in John’s day as well as corrupt kingdoms and nations in the last days (see Revelation 17:8–13).

Read Revelation 17:18, looking for what the woman represents.

The “great city” in verse 18 refers to spiritual Babylon (see Revelation 14:8; D&C 133:14). Because of the worldliness and corruption of ancient Babylon, and because it was a place where the children of Israel were captive, Babylon is often used figuratively in the scriptures to represent sin, worldliness, the influence of the devil on the earth, and spiritual captivity (see also 1 Nephi 13:1–9; 14:9–10).

Read Revelation 17:14, looking for whom the followers of Babylon will fight against.

What will be the outcome of this war?

From this verse we learn that in the last days, Jesus Christ will overcome the wickedness of the world. Consider marking or noting the words in Revelation 17:14 that teach this truth.

  1. journal icon1.

    In your scripture study journal, write about how knowing this truth can help you as a follower of Jesus Christ.

In Revelation 18:1–3 we read that another angel announced the fall of wicked Babylon. Read Revelation 18:4, looking for what the Lord instructed His people to do.

What reasons did the Lord give for His people to come out of Babylon?

One principle we can learn from Revelation 18:4 is that separating ourselves from the wickedness of the world can help us avoid sin and the judgments that will come upon the wicked in the last days. Consider writing or noting this principle in your scriptures next to Revelation 18:4.

  1. journal icon2.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      How does the restored gospel of Jesus Christ help us separate ourselves from the wickedness of the world?

    2. b.

      What are some challenges youth may face as they try to separate themselves from the wickedness of the world but still continue to live among, love, and interact with those who do not share their standards?

    3. c.

      How has separating from unrighteous influences and practices helped you and others you know avoid some of the temptations and sins of the world?

Think about what unrighteous influences or practices you may need to separate yourself from and how you will do so. Ask Heavenly Father in prayer to help you in your efforts to separate yourself from those unrighteous influences and practices.

In Revelation 18:5–24 we read that John saw the fall of wicked Babylon and the sorrow of her supporters.

Revelation 19

John sees Jesus Christ coming in power to destroy those who fight against Him

bride and groom

Consider the best gift you could give your future spouse on your wedding day.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “On your wedding day the very best gift you can give your eternal companion is your very best self—clean and pure and worthy of such purity in return” (“Personal Purity,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 77).

Why do you think being clean and pure is the best gift you could give your spouse on your wedding day? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Revelation 19 contains a marriage analogy used to depict the Savior’s Second Coming. According to Revelation 19:1–6 the Apostle John saw that the righteous will praise God for His judgments against the wicked.

Read Revelation 19:7, looking for whose marriage the angel announced to John.

What did John learn about the wife of the Lamb?

The “marriage of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7) refers to the Savior’s Second Coming.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, looking for who the Lamb’s bride is: “In this dispensation the Bridegroom, who is the Lamb of God, shall come to claim his bride, which is the Church composed of the faithful saints who have watched for his return” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 469).

Consider some of the ways a marriage relationship is a fitting symbol for our covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. As you ponder, think about how marriage is a relationship that requires faithfulness, sacrifice, love, commitment, and trust.

Read Revelation 19:8–9, looking for what the Saints can do to make themselves ready for the Savior’s Second Coming.

The white linen mentioned in verse 8 can symbolize holiness, cleanliness, and righteousness. As symbolized by the clothing of the Lamb’s wife, what must we do to make ourselves ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?

One truth we learn from these verses is that if we are clean and righteous, then we will be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider marking or noting the words in Revelation 19:8 that teach this truth.

The word granted in Revelation 19:8 means given or bestowed. To be cleansed of sin and made righteous is a gift from God.

Consider the following questions: What has God done to provide a way for us to be cleansed of sin and become righteous? Why do you think being clean and righteous is one of the best gifts we can give to the Savior when He comes again?

Decide what you need to do to be clean and righteous so that you will be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Act on any promptings you receive.

Read Revelation 19:10, looking for how John reacted after hearing what the angel proclaimed to him. This angel had been given authority from God to speak for and represent Jesus Christ.

What did the angel declare to John that he (the angel) and other servants of God possess?

The “spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10) refers to the gift of revelation and inspiration from God, which allows someone to receive and speak His word (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Prophecy, Prophesy,” scriptures.lds.org).

In what ways do you think testimony is like prophecy? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How can having a testimony of Jesus influence your preparation for the Second Coming?

Read Revelation 19:11–16, looking for words and phrases that describe the Savior at His Second Coming. Also read Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 19:15 (in Revelation 19:15, footnote a).

The white horse mentioned in Revelation 19:11 is symbolic of conquest and victory. The Savior will come to conquer sin and wickedness.

Notice how the Savior’s clothing is described in Revelation 19:13. The phrase “vesture dipped in blood” means His clothing will be the color of blood. This color symbolizes the destruction of the wicked at His coming (see Doctrine and Covenants 133:46–51), and it can also remind us of the suffering He experienced during His Atonement.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“Having bled at every pore, how red His raiment must have been in Gethsemane, how crimson that cloak!

“No wonder, when Christ comes in power and glory, that He will come in reminding red attire (see D&C 133:48), signifying not only the winepress of wrath, but also to bring to our remembrance how He suffered for each of us in Gethsemane and on Calvary!” (“Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame,” Ensign, May 1987, 72).

According to Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 19:15, John saw that when the Savior came as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (see Revelation 19:16), He would rule the nations with the word of God. In Revelation 19:17–21, John saw the destruction of those who fought against the Lamb of God. Note that the Joseph Smith Translation of Revelation 19:18 clarifies that “all men, both free and bond, both small and great” refers to “all who fight against the Lamb” (in Revelation 19:18, footnote a).

  1. journal icon3.

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

    I have studied Revelation 17–19 and completed this lesson on (date).

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