An Introduction to Revelation: The One Vision
The book of Revelation is one of the most fascinating books ever written. For 2000 years, man has tried to interpret it with no real surety of their interpretation being correct. Joseph Smith said it was the plainest book to understand. What key did he know of that would make such a seemingly complex book so simple to understand? The answer is simply to understand ancient cosmic imagery.
Revelation is much more than an eschatological writing of future tribulations to befall the world in a period of physical and political upheaval immediately preceding the second coming of Christ. With the aid of a new perspective, the mystery of that book vanishes. Johns vision was an attempt to reconcile the cultural and religious traditions of the Gentiles with that of the Jews, melding them into a new, common tradition for the Christian church that would allow it to appeal to both communities.
Multiple times John borrowed from older, pagan traditions. Revelation also holds similarities to the Joseph Smith papyri. Much of Revelation is a description of a planetary encounter to Earth and electrical phenomenon seen in Earths ancient skies, as is the story of the Exodus. The similarities between the Exodus and Revelation are far beyond coincidence.
John created an admixture of ancient cultural motifs and Christian beliefs that would give the ring of familiarity to doctrines of the early Christian church among any of his ‘gentile’ contemporaries - a calculated attempt to give Christianity the proper traditional underpinnings necessary to validate any religion, thus making it more acceptable to a much wider audience.
Given this alternative view, we can now see John’s vision with new eyes. Here is the answer to the riddle that is Revelation: The multitude of pagan gods became mythic characters and images in John’s vision—the strange beasts, creatures, kings, women and other icons—in a revised series of sacred dramas, each one calculated to show Christ’s place in those traditions.
Revelation is a key to the past, to prophecy, and to catastrophes. It is also a warning, and a call to repentance, using prophetic imagery from the past to describe horrible catastrophes in the future. This view of Revelation is the answer to many puzzling questions. Though each describes it in his own way, it is a common vision seen by all prophets. We call it The One Vision.
1. Understanding John's apocalypse and In need of a revelation
2. The book of revelations: a new perspective and the signs of the exodus
4. Revelation: Chapter 1
5. Revelation: Chapter 2
He who overcomes will retain his name in the book of life, reach godhood, and be with Jesus as He is with the Father.
John sees the celestial earth, the throne of God, and all created things worshipping the Lord.
John sees the book sealed with seven seals, and he sees those people redeemed out of every nation—He hears every creature praising God and the Lamb.
1. Revelation: Chapters 3-5 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 3
3. Revelation: Chapter 4
4. Revelation: Chapter 5
Christ opens the six seals, and John sees the events therein—In the fifth seal, he sees the Christian martyrs; and in the sixth, he sees the signs of the times.
John also sees in the sixth seal the Restoration of the gospel, the sealing of the 144,000, and the hosts of the exalted from all nations.
John sees fire and desolation poured out during the seventh seal and preceding the Second Coming.
1. Revelation: Chapters 6-8 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 6
3. Revelation: Chapter 7
4. Revelation: Chapter 8
John also sees the wars and plagues poured out during the seventh seal and before the Lord comes.
John seals up many things relative to the last days—He is commissioned to participate in the restoration of all things.
In the last days, two prophets will be slain in Jerusalem—After 3½ days, they will be resurrected—Christ will reign over all the earth.
1. Revelation: Chapters 9-11 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 9
3. Revelation: Chapter 10
4. Revelation: Chapter 11
John sees the imminent apostasy of the Church—He also sees the War in Heaven in the beginning when Satan was cast out—He sees the continuation of that war on earth.
John sees fierce-looking beasts that represent degenerate earthly kingdoms controlled by Satan—The devil works miracles and deceives men.
The Lamb will stand upon Mount Zion—The gospel will be restored in the last days by angelic ministry—The Son of Man will harvest the earth.
1. Revelation: Chapters 12-14 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 12
3. Revelation: Chapter 13
4. Revelation: Chapter 14
Exalted Saints praise God in celestial glory forever.
God pours out plagues upon the wicked—The nations assemble for Armageddon—Christ comes, islands flee, and mountains cease.
John is shown that Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations, has become established throughout the earth.
1. Revelation: Chapters 15-17 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 15
3. Revelation: Chapter 16
4. Revelation: Chapter 17
The Saints are called out of Babylon lest they partake of her sins—She falls and is lamented by her supporters.
The marriage supper of the Lamb is made ready—The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy—Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Satan is bound during the Millennium—The Saints will then live and reign with Christ—The dead stand before God and are judged out of the books according to their works.
1. Revelation: Chapters 18-20 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 18
3. Revelation: Chapter 19
4. Revelation: Chapter 20
Those who overcome will be sons of God—The earth attains its celestial glory.
The Saints will reign in celestial splendor—Christ will come, and men will be judged—Blessed are they who keep His commandments.
1. Revelation: Chapters 21-22 commentary
2. Revelation: Chapter 21
3. Revelation: Chapter 22
4. After Revelation and summary