Revelation — Apocalypse…

“Apocalypse is a scary word. While most struggle to grasp its full meaning, the use of apocalypse in frightening end of the world films and television events, is enough to make almost anyone wince. For many of the knowing, apocalypse is synonymous with the Book of Revelation, the revealed truth about the destruction of the worldly and wickedness prior to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The part that makes it not so scary is the reassuring knowledge that destruction of Babylon and the wickedness of the world is peace and salvation for followers of Jesus Christ as His kingdom is finally come. I believe in Jesus Christ, in His grace and forgiving power, not only for my own hope, but for the hope that friends will join with me in following Him, that we all might have salvation and peace. For this cause I raise my voice in personal witness of Jesus Christ and invite, come, follow Him.”

Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 13 January 2024

As many of you, I have spent the last year reading again “The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” I read it for the first time nearly 50 years ago when I was a young teenager. The Bible’s New Testament has been an unmistakable source of light, inspiration, and truth for me from my youngest years, through youth and young adulthood, and an indispensable aid throughout marriage, parenthood and in the opportunities I have been given to succor those in need throughout my years of ministry. I am ever grateful for the witnesses of saints and apostles, who by the Lord Jesus Christ brought this testimony to us all.

The ancient city of Megiddo (2018) in Israel prophesied to be associated with the coming wars that will lead to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

There could be no more grand conclusion to the Bible, than “The Revelation of St John the Divine.” John, the son of Zebedee and brother of James, one of the original Twelve Apostles called by the Lord Jesus Christ, and known as “Boanerges,” “Son of Thunder,” “Beloved,” and “Revelator,” may have started his earthly days as a simple fisherman, but in truth was forordained to bring forth witnesses of our Lord for all the world to read, and revelatory declarations to prepare the Lord’s people, “unfolded in the eyes of all people” (Ether 4:16), for the glorious second coming and millennial reign of the resurrected Son of the Eternal Father, even Jesus Christ.

If all we would have received was John’s opening witness of the Lord we would be blessed indeed, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” John 1:12-14). But the preparatory mission of writing “Revelation” will bless our lives beyond our understanding in the coming days of the Lord’s return.

When we read “Revelation” with all of its symbolism and imagery of things to come, the future can seem quite unsettling and even frightening. Descriptions of a dragon, beasts, false prophets, and principalities all warring against goodness and the Lamb of God, does invoke fearful imagery, especially in light of what we are seeing in the world even now.

Monica and Daniel Malcolm at the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem (2018).

I have ever been a fan of science fiction, seeing in books and films the imaginations of writers depicting futuristic spacecraft and weapons of war, I can only imagine what it was like for this man John living 2000 years ago, witnessing in vision weaponry and machinery, even natural phenomenon, that is surely more commonly known, and even imagined, in our modern era.

I was born the son of a veteran of the Korean War, an engineer and builder of machinery and technology, and grew up in California agriculture, exposed to all kinds of big and modern equipment for food production and the manufacture of agricultural equipment. Even so, the descriptions of the revelator John can trouble the most stouthearted and experienced among us.

Recently, over a period of about one month, I observed on the street in front of my home, the complete dismantling and removal of the entire street, and the re-application of asphalt and concrete by large equipment I had never seen before. It was an impressive display and effort.

Daniel Malcolm pruning a pear tree at our home in Clovis on December 20, 2023.

Just days after it’s completion, I was at the side of that road on a 25 foot tall tower pruning trees in front of my home when an automobile lost control and crashed into the equipment where I was working, tearing me from safety, and injuring me in ways that I have never been injured before. When my Monica and children found me unconscious on the street minutes later, they justifiably thought me to be deceased, but by God’s Almighty Hand I was saved, and, although my memory is weak, what little I remember, causes me to reflect on those revelations of John. What a terrible scene he must have witnessed. What incredible courage and wisdom John demonstrated, compassion for us all, by testifying of what he saw.

Being a saint and disciple in the last days does not seem like an easy path to take, but it is the path that brings safety and lasting peace. In the face of the revelations received of John it appears to be terrifying, but in reality and true to John’s witness, safety and security is answered in the coming of our Lord, in the coming prophesied under authority by John.

It is written of this people and our encounter with the evil one in this day, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). It is also written, “…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). It is by the prayerful study, acting upon and sharing of God’s word, the iron rod, even the “rod of His mouth” (Isaiah 11:4), that we gain the testimony of Jesus Christ and receive the Spirit of revelation and of prophecy. It is that witness that gives us the strength to stand with Christ and abide in His Spirit, and therefore overcome.

Monica and Daniel at the empty tomb in Jerusalem (2018)

It is fitting that in our last week of study for the year, our concluding week of the study of the New Testament, we should read a prophecy that fortifies our faith that the Lord will reveal all truth, that we might be worthy to stand with Him in our very hour of need, His hour of glory. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,…” (Revelations 14:6). We all have access to the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, and by His blood we will be saved, if we just choose to follow, if we join ourselves with Him. Our commitment and dedication continues in 2024 to seek out and live by all of the plain and precious truths declared in His gospel. How else could Christ rule the nations except by His word, His loving word in its fullness? It is ours to declare today.

Partake of His goodness now for there is indeed peace in Christ. “…I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6).

He has offered us water that if we drink thereof we shall never thirst. Let us drink freely that we might gain the testimony of Christ to overcome all the evils of the world and bring to ourselves with our families and friends peace in Him who redeems us. We have read these past many months abundant witnesses of Christ, and if we have drank freely we have felt the Spirit of these witnesses, of this testament, that He is the Savior of the world. Now let us read on of the fullness of His gospel, another witness, that we might overcome, that we might together stand with Him. It is my testimony to you, my personal witness, that He lives and that He loves, “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Megiddo (2018) in the Jezreel Valley of Israel is prophesied in biblical revelation as one of the central locations of the apocalyptic wars leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.