The Revelation of John; Chapter One

10 Jan

I have been doing some posts on various prophecies, but in the recent weeks my mind has not been very active on the subject. That is until I started reading the Book of Revelation again. So, I have decided to do a series of posts on that book. I will also be comparing it to other books with similar prophecies, such as Daniel, as well as section 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which gives interpretations to a selected portion of the images of the Revelation. I will also rely heavily on the Joseph Smith Translation (JST).

Chapter One

This chapter is the introduction to the book. It explains that this was from Christ and commands John to write the book we now have. While it contains little int he way of direct prophecy, one needs to understand this chapter for the rest of the book to be fully understood.

Verses 1-8

These verses are the introduction to everything else. It tells us that the revelation is given by Christ through an Angel to John. The most significant passage is verse three, however. In the Bible is says “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” However, in the JST it changes this to “they who hear and understand the words of this prophecy” I find this interesting, as it shows us that a proper understanding is needed, which is what I am going to be striving for in these posts. I also make note of it because it ties in with the last few verses of the book, which are frequently misunderstood by the Christian world. These verses will be addressed much later, but I ask that you keep them in mind as you read Revelation.

Also note that there are fairly significant changes in the rest of these verses, which I would suggest every study. In the KJV verse seven states “he cometh with clouds” but the JST translation tells us “he cometh in the clouds with ten thousands of his saints in the kingdom.” This is speaking of the second coming. The clarification tells us that Christ will not be alone when He appears, but will be accompanied by a host of the faithful saints who have lived and died.

Also, in verse four the KJV says that the message is to the Seven churches, from the “seven Spirits which are before his throne” while the JST tells us that it is to “the seven servants who are over the seven churches” from “his angel from before his throne.” This change sets the stage for many other changes that are made. In the JST the word angel is almost always changed to servant. In the following comments I will stay with this, using servant instead of angel when quoting passages. If any other changes are made of significance I will give both the KVJ and the JST for comparison.

 

Verses 9-11

These verses explain the nature of the vision; John was on the Island of Patmos, and on the Lord’s Day (meaning the day of the week that Christ was resurrected, which we now call Sunday); and he was in the Spirit. The vision then unfolds as the angel appears to him and commands him to write what he sees in a book which is to be sent to the seven churches.

Verses 12-16
This is a description of the first thing that John saw in the vision. He sees Christ standing in the midst of seven candle sticks. In one hand Christ is holding seven stars. He is wearing white clothes and a golden belt. His hair is white, His eyes are like fire, His voice like the roaring of water, and His like brass. These physical descriptions seem more an attempt by John to describe the glory of Christ than literal descriptions. This is an impressive visage. To top it off He is described as having a two-edged sword in His mouth, which is a symbol of the power of His words (remember that in the armor of God the sword is the word).
Verse 17-20
In these last four verses Jesus identifies Himself and once again commands John to write what he sees and hears. Then, at the very end, He tells John the “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the servants of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”
The symbolism of the stars as the servants and the candles as the churches is very important two the next two chapters.

 

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