The Revelation of John: Chapter 12 – part two

30 Jul

I am continuing on with Revelation. In this series I have been comparing John’s vision with 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 also rely heavily on the Joseph Smith Translation (JST – given in red).

See also chapter one,  two, three, four, five, first five seals, Sixth Seal I, Sixth Seal II, Seventh Seal Opens, First Four Trumpets, Fifth Trumpet, Sixth Trumpet, Ten, Witnesses, Seventh Trumpet, Twelve I

Again I have decided to include the complete text of the chapter in this article so that the significant corrections made by Joseph Smith are readily apparent to the reader. The changes in this second part are not as significant, but there are a number of them.

Chapter 12: 9-17

Verses 9-11

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ;

For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

For they have overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; for they loved not their own lives, but kept the testimony even unto death. Therefore, rejoice O heavens, and ye that dwell in them.

In these verses we return to the millennium and see that Satan is cast down and the saints have emerged victorious. (Note that Satan means accuser or slanderer.)

It is interesting that it is not just through the blood of Christ that victory is made possible, but also through the word of the testimony of the saints. This shows that power of a personal testimony in overcoming Satan and his influence, and the need to continually strengthen ours.

Also, note that Satan accuses both night and day, meaning that he never ceases his efforts in trying to destroy us.

Verses 12-14

And after these things I heard another voice saying, Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, yea, and they who dwell upon the islands of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

For when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child.

Therefore, to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might flee into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

We return to the story of the church and the kingdoms of Satan. Satan knows that the end is coming, and so he is stepping up his game. Again we see the apostasy described, and the same time frame given. (Time, times, and half a time = a year, two years, and half a year = 1260 days.)

In this case I think we can also see the latter-day church. As it began to be organized Satan, knowing the last days were fast approaching, let loose all his power against the new church. The saints then fled into the wilderness (Utah) through divine deliverance, represented by the eagle’s wings. There the church was nourished away from the persecutions of Satan for a short time, allowing it to become firmly established. The time frame here could be symbolic. Note that it doesn’t state 1260 days, but three and a half years. I recently read that since the number seven represents perfection in the scriptures, three and a half could simply represent a period of tribulation in which Satan causes chaos.

Verse 15-17

And the serpent casteth out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

And the earth helpeth the woman, and the earth openeth her mouth, and swalloweth up the flood which the dragon casteth out of his mouth.

Therefore, the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Keeping with my belief that these verses speak of the modern church, the great flood seems to be the persecutions that the saints endured, which did follow them to Utah for a short time. President Buchanan even sent troops to Utah to put down an alleged rebellion. But since Utah was mostly a desert country the saints were eventually left alone to grow and flourish; or the earth swallowed the flood. However, Satan is not pleased with this and so has continued to make war through the spreading of false doctrine and false understanding of the church.

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