Revelation 6–7

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 253–54


Introduction

In Revelation 6–7Jesus Christ opens the book with seven seals. As each seal is opened, John sees a representation of an event or events of a thousand years of the earth’s history. Chapter 6 records the opening of the first six seals. Chapter 7 reveals how the Lord will prepare the faithful inhabitants of the earth for the catastrophic events in the seventh seal. Through the restoration of the gospel and the ordinances of the priesthood, the Saints from all nations will be able to stand.

Prayerfully study Revelation 6–7and consider the following principle before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • John saw in vision a representation of important events from the first six thousand years of the earth’s temporal existence. Included in the vision were war, wickedness, destruction, famine, death, the slaying of Christ’s disciples, signs of the last days, and the Restoration (see Revelation 6:1–7:4).

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 458–60.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Revelation 6–7.

Revelation 6. John saw in vision a representation of important events from the first six thousand years of the earth’s temporal existence.

(15–20 minutes)

(Note: Do not spend an inordinate amount of time on the first five seals. The book of Revelation only devotes eleven verses to these seals. Most of the book is devoted to the sixth and seventh seals, which are more relevant to us because they have to do with events of the latter days.)

Give students copies of the following chart as a handout, leaving the “Interpretations” column blank. Have the students list in the “Objects” column the objects or symbols that John saw as each seal was opened. When the students finish, fill in the “Interpretations” column as a class. Ask what the different details might represent (suggested answers are included below). Share the interpretations by Elder Bruce R. McConkie from The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (pp. 458–60), or use the summaries provided below.

Revelation 7. The restoration of gospel truths and priesthood authority helps prepare us for the events of the seventh seal.

(20–25 minutes)

Prepare seven “sealed” boxes or containers prior to class, and label them with the numbers one through seven. Place in each box a piece of paper with the description corresponding to that seal. (Note that the sixth seal has two descriptions.)

  1. 1.

    Enoch and Zion.

  2. 2.

    Warfare, wickedness, and the Flood.

  3. 3.

    Famine and death.

  4. 4.

    Empires and conquering nations.

  5. 5.

    Christian martyrs.

  6. 6.

    Natural disasters as signs of the last days. Restoration of the gospel and temple blessings.

  7. 7.

    Babylon is destroyed; Jesus Christ comes in glory; Satan is bound; the righteous join the Savior; peace reigns for a millennium; Satan is loosed for a season; last great battle is fought; final judgment occurs; earth receives its celestial glory.

Display the boxes in front of the class. Briefly review the events of each seal by opening the first five boxes and reading the descriptions. Open the sixth box, but read only the first description (referring to natural disasters). Have students read Revelation 7:1–4. Ask: In verse 1, who are the four angels at the four corners of the earth? (see D&C 77:8).

Share the following statement by President Wilford Woodruff:

“God has held the angels of destruction for many years, lest they should reap down the wheat with the tares. But I want to tell you now, that those angels have left the portals of heaven, and they stand over this people and this nation now, and are hovering over the earth waiting to pour out the judgments. And from this very day they shall be poured out. Calamities and troubles are increasing in the earth, and there is a meaning to these things. Remember this, and reflect upon these matters. If you do your duty, and I do my duty, we’ll have protection, and shall pass through the afflictions in peace and in safety. Read the scriptures and the revelations. They will tell you about all these things” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham [1946], 230).

Ask:

  • In Revelation 7:2, who is the angel having the seal of the living God? (John himself, in the role of Elias, with authority to gather and seal the tribes of Israel; see D&C 77:9, 14.)

  • What is this angel’s request? (He asks the other angels not to hurt the earth until the servants of God are sealed.)

  • In verse 4, who are the 144,000 who are sealed? (see Revelation 7:5–8; D&C 77:11).

  • How are we sealed today? (By receiving all ordinances of the gospel culminating in the temple and by keeping the commandments.)

Read the second description in the sixth box. Testify that it was necessary for the gospel and the priesthood to be restored in order to prepare people for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Read the following by President Howard W. Hunter:

“All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88).

Ask students:

  • What part can we play in helping to prepare ourselves, our families, our friends, and others for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?

  • Read Revelation 7:9–10, 13–14. According to these verses, how many will be made white in the blood of the Lamb and dwell in the presence of God? (Testify that there will be an innumerable host of people who will receive a celestial glory.)

Encourage students to prepare for the coming of the Lord by obeying the commandments and receiving all the ordinances of the temple. Have a student read the following request by President Hunter:

“I encourage everyone to worthily attend the temple or to work toward the day when you can enter that holy house to receive your ordinances and covenants.

”May you let the meaning and beauty and peace of the temple come into your everyday life more directly in order that the millennial day may come“ (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88).

Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 109:22–26, 35. Ask how the ordinances of the temple help us overcome the world and receive power from on high.

(Note: The seventh box will be opened in the teaching suggestion for Revelation 8:5–13; 9; 11.)