The Apostle John saw in vision the millennial day and the Final Judgment. He also saw “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) and the celestial city of God that will be established on the earth. John concluded his record with a plea for the Lord to return to the earth.
John sees the millennial day and the Final Judgment
As part of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation, every person who has lived on this earth will stand before God to be judged. Imagine what you think the Final Judgment will be like.
In your scripture study journal, write what you hope to be thinking and feeling when you stand before God to be judged.
As recorded in Revelation 20:1–11, John saw that Satan will be bound during the Millennium and the righteous will be resurrected as part of the First Resurrection. He also saw that Satan will “be loosed [for] a little season” at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:3). After Satan and his followers fight against the Saints for the last time, he will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone … for ever” (Revelation 20:10). Then the Final Judgment will occur.
Complete the following doctrine that we learn from this verse: God will judge us out of the _____________________________________________ according to _____________________________________________.
The books referred to in Revelation 20:12 include the scriptures, Church records that record saving ordinances, and the book of life.
Read the following explanation of the book of life: “In one sense the book of life is the sum total of one’s thoughts and actions—the record of his life. However, the scriptures indicate that a heavenly record is kept of the faithful, whose names are recorded, as well as an account of their righteous deeds (D&C 88:2; 128:7)” (Bible Dictionary, “Book of life”).
Read Revelation 20:13, looking for what will happen before the Final Judgment.
The wicked and unrepentant will be resurrected in the last Resurrection, at the end of the Millennium, and will also stand to be judged according to their works (see D&C 76:85).
Consider the preceding doctrine you identified (God will judge us out of the books that have been written according to our works). Then answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How might understanding and believing this doctrine affect our actions today and throughout our lives? Consider also what you can do better in your life to prepare for the Final Judgment and to find your name written in the book of life.
Scripture Mastery—Revelation 20:12
Use scripture study tools such as footnotes, the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.lds.org), and the Topical Guide to locate additional scriptures that teach about the Final Judgment. Create a list of the references in your scripture study journal. You may also want to write or note these references in your scriptures near Revelation 20:12. Write in your scripture study journal what additional truths about the Final Judgment you have learned through these cross-references.
John sees a new heaven and a new earth and the celestial city of God
Think of a time in your life when you experienced great sorrow or pain.
List some things in this life that can cause us great sorrow or pain: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
As you study Revelation 21, look for a truth that can help bring you comfort during difficult times.
Read Revelation 21:1–2, looking for what John saw will happen.
John’s reference to “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) could refer to the event that will occur at the Lord’s Second Coming, when the earth will change to the paradisiacal condition it enjoyed before the Fall of Adam and Eve. John could also be referring to the change that will occur at the end of the Millennium, when the earth will be changed to a celestial state (see D&C 29:22–24).
Read Revelation 21:3–4, looking for what God will do for His people.
From these verses we learn that God will dwell with and comfort His people, and they will no longer experience death, sorrow, or pain.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that God will compensate the righteous for all mortal sorrows and pains: “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude” (“Come What May, and Love It,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 28).
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can knowing that God will comfort His people and compensate them for their sorrows and pains help us when we experience challenges now?
Read Revelation 21:7, looking for what the Lord promises those who faithfully overcome.
Based on what you have learned from the book of Revelation about the challenges and troubles of the last days, what kinds of things will we need to overcome in order to live with God?
Revelation 21:8 describes the state of the rebellious and unrepentant. The “second death” is a spiritual death, or separation from God, that those who willfully rebel against light and truth will experience.
Read Revelation 21:9–21, looking for John’s description of the celestial city of God.
Read Revelation 21:22–27, looking for what Heavenly Father’s and Jesus Christ’s presence will be for those who live in this city.
John concludes the record of his vision
Read Revelation 22:1–2, and draw what else John saw in addition to a throne.
Notice that John learned that the tree produced an abundance of fruit at all times and that its leaves could heal the nations. The Book of Mormon records that both Lehi and Nephi saw a vision of the tree of life. Nephi learned that both the tree and fountain of living waters represent the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25). The greatest manifestation of the love of God is the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see John 3:16; 1 John 4:9). The fruit of the tree might also represent the blessings of the Atonement, such as eternal life (see D&C 14:7).
In Revelation 22:3–12, we read that in addition to seeing this celestial city, John also received a witness from the angel who spoke to him that the things revealed to him were true. John also saw that the Savior would reward all men according to their works.
Read Revelation 22:14, looking for what we must do to be permitted to enter the celestial kingdom.
To “have right to the tree of life” (Revelation 22:14) means to be worthy to receive all of the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, including eternal life.
From this verse we learn that if we keep the Lord’s commandments, then we can receive all the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and enter the celestial kingdom. Keeping His commandments includes receiving all the ordinances necessary for entering the celestial kingdom.
Although some blessings of the Atonement—such as the gift of resurrection—are given freely to all of God’s children, other blessings—such as eternal life—are only available to those who diligently seek to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and follow His commandments.
In Revelation 22:15–19 we read that those who do not keep the Lord’s commandments will not be able to enter the celestial city. Jesus Christ testified that He gave this revelation to John, and John invited all to come to the waters of life to drink freely. John warned his readers not to alter the message of the book he had written.
Read Revelation 22:20, looking for John’s plea to the Savior.
Based on what you have learned in the book of Revelation, why do you think John was eager for the Lord to come? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Congratulations for completing this seminary course on the New Testament. Consider what you have learned and felt this year, and take a few moments to write in your scripture study journal some of the teachings in the New Testament that have affected you the most this year. Also write how your testimony has been affected by your studies in seminary. Look for an opportunity to teach and testify of what you have learned.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Revelation 20–22 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: