Lamb of God
Week 50 is scheduled for study Dec. 4-10, 2023. The real subject of this week’s lessons is about the Lamb of God and his promises of glory for our faith and obedience.

This week’s lessons don’t begin until after a half page introduction to the book of Revelation. In order to get the most out of this introduction you need to read the entire book of Revelation. Note that when the introduction states that certain chapters talk about the premortal world, etc., that word is not used. We only know that these chapters are referencing premortal life because of the doctrines taught by modern prophets. The Christian community at large would have no reason to assume this is what these chapters refer to, since they do not embrace the doctrine of premortal life. I recommend you read Revelation, read the introduction, then go back and read the specific chapters in question for each of the three bulleted lists. Your eyes will be opened.

Day 1

Consider writing down questions you have about what you read in Revelation. You can then search for answers to your questions or discuss them with a family member or in Church classes.

Revelation 1 – Jesus Christ is the Living Son of the Living God.

One of the first things I had to deal with in chapter one, especially after reading today’s lesson in the manual, was the perceived “arrogance” of Jesus. Please note that I put that word in quotes, for he is and never was actually arrogant. This is my personal issue I had to work through.

In the New Testament Jesus is the most humble, meek, and submissive of men. He always defers to the Father’s will, and he never acts out the role of the creator and commander of the universe. What I had to take into consideration when reading John’s revelation is that Jesus has completed his mortal ministry of representing the Father in all things. He has already worked out the salvation and paid all the prices required of him to bring back as many of God’s children to the Father as are willing to come. After his resurrection Christ assumes his justly deserved role as God of this universe and judge of all, for that is what he was always meant to become. He is no longer the submissive man who bears the insults and depravities of mankind. He is now the supreme being in the universe, next to our Father.

Look at verse 8. Read this verse then we’ll look at his own declarations about himself.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

How can he be “Alpha and Omega”? He was created before the universe was, and will be around forever, so he really is the first and the last. No arrogance here, just a statement of fact. How is Christ the “Almighty”? Besides God, Himself, who is greater, more powerful, more important to the family of God than Jesus? No one. Jesus created the universe, so everything is under his control. It is his light and spirit that holds all of it together and animates all living things. Can there be anything more almighty than this? These are just statements of fact, of his true role in the universe.

It is so easy to think of Jesus as a baby lying in a manger, a man walking dusty roads with his companions, or a man being nailed to a cross after having been unjustly tortured and beaten. That was Jesus in his mortal ministry. This is the quintessential example of the condescension of God, of him lowering himself to our level in order to give us the help only he can give us. Once we reach the book of Revelation Jesus has been crowned with the glory that is rightfully his. He is now master of the universe, and King of kings. He now sits on the right hand of the Father and is the judge of all. He still has much to accomplish in finishing our Father’s plan of salvation, but Jesus has completed his mortal work and has entered a whole new phase of his Messiahship as he prepares the world for his second coming and his millennial reign before the great day of the final judgment of all mankind.

So as you read this book, look for descriptions of his might, majesty, and glory. Jesus has come into his own. He now lives in the glory that was his before coming to earth, and all things now bow to his power and will. He is indeed the living Son of God. And together they fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation.

Day 2

Consider writing down questions you have about what you read in Revelation. You can then search for answers to your questions or discuss them with a family member or in Church classes.

Revelation 2-3 – Jesus Christ knows me personally and will help me overcome my challenges.

It is important to remember as we read John’s revelation that we are to follow Nephi’s advice from the Book of Mormon. The scriptures we possess would be completely worthless if their lessons could only be applied to those who lived through the stories they contain. The whole point of those records and teachings is that they can be applied to us in our own lives. Nephi says we must liken the scriptures unto ourselves. This lesson can be used greatly to our advantage in today’s chapters.

The seven candlesticks are the seven congregations in Asia. They are candlesticks, because they are acting as a light to all those around them as Jesus taught that we should be like a light, a good example, which is meant to be seen by all. The footnotes don’t refer us to the following verses in Matthew 5, but this is what I think of when I think of these Saints when Jesus refers to them as candlesticks.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Now let’s look at the seven stars Christ holds in his right hand who represent the seven servants over each of the congregations in Asia. I had to think about the position of these servants in relation to my present circumstances. My first thought was to ask if there was something extraordinary about them, or if they had done something special that set them apart from all other servants of the Lord. Nothing came to mind. It then came into my mind that John’s letter was written to just these bodies of Saints. The stars in the right hand of Christ represents the leaders of those Saints. Cannot the same be said of any of Christ’s servants? Doesn’t he also have each and every missionary in the palm of his hand as he directs their work in his ministry?

This line of thinking led me to wonder if Jesus doesn’t also hold all covenant makers in the same regard as those John represented as being in Christ’s right hand. We are, after all covenant makers and keepers. Our numbers are few among all the children of God, and our promises are great. What this tells me is that just as Jesus told each congregation that he knew of their sacrifices and their trials, he also knows of my personal sacrifices and trials. And the promises he made to the congregations as a whole would apply to each and every one of us as we keep his commandments, just as his promises applied to each and every member of those congregations mentioned in John’s letter.

I believe that Jesus is this intimately aware of us, because I also believe that his atonement brought him to be intimately aware of me, my struggles, my triumphs, and my potential. This has never changed, and it is equally true of every person. If we are ever not in his right hand it will be because we removed ourselves to another location. It won’t be because he lost his sense of care and concern for our welfare. Just as Jesus knew the challenges of those who were living in a day of spreading apostasy, and he gave them encouragement and promised them eternal blessings for remaining true to their “first love”, so too does he offer us eternal blessings for our willingness to remain faithful to him and his cause today.

Day 3

Consider writing down questions you have about what you read in Revelation. You can then search for answers to your questions or discuss them with a family member or in Church classes.

Revelation 4-5 – Only Jesus Christ could make Heavenly Father’s plan possible.

As you read these chapters did you ever stop to think what position we would all be in if there was no Messiah to rely upon? The entire plan of salvation is based on the presence and work of someone who is mighty enough to save all of God’s children who want to be saved. None but Jesus has the strength of will, consistency of obedience, purity of love, and limitless capacity to fulfill the needs of the position of being a Messiah, a Christ. I cannot bring myself to believe that it was an accident that God’s firstborn was anyone other than Jesus. In Jesus all of God’s fondest dreams of redemption for the whole family that was to come could be fulfilled. Jesus is the perfect embodiment of God’s love for His children, His desire for them to have the joys He lives with, and His desire to have as many as are willing to progress into the eternities and become like Him. In Jesus our Father in Heaven has a perfect partner, along with the efforts of the Holy Spirit to bring His children home again.

The plan for our salvation, as given to us by God, Himself, requires a Messiah who is just as perfect and as powerful as He is. God has told us that without Jesus there is no salvation for us. The only way back to God goes through Jesus and his payment for our sins.

FHE/Personal Study

Revelation 5:6, 12-13 – The Lamb

Jehovah gave the Israelites the lamb to offer as a sacrifice on the eve of their departure from Egypt. It was the blood of the male lamb without blemish that they daubed on their doorposts to prevent the destroying angel from killing their first born child bringing destruction to their house. This lamb is a representation of Jesus who is without sin. It is his blood who protects us from the second death, the eternal separation from God. It is also his death and resurrection that conquered death by offering us eternal life. And just as the Israelites were to remember the blood of the lamb from year to year in the Passover feast, so we partake of the sacrament to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us each week by partaking of his body and blood in the form of bread and water.

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NT50-2023 – Glory and Power … Be Unto the Lamb For Ever