Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Friday, December 27, 2019

“He That Overcometh Shall Inherit All Things”






Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog

As we come to the end of the New Testament also at the end of another year, we face still even all that was faced then of old times; the battle with Satan. The New Testament is full of battles with old scratch as well as information concerning his existence and fate. His main job, as we know, is to make our lives as difficult as possible hoping to through us off the path. Threats are his theme and the theme of the New Testament, particularly Revelations is how to steer clear of his dastardly dangerous paths, placed before us.

Of the different types of threats to our bodies and mind that are listed below, which have you had to combat lately? Which one do you think is the most dangerous? Match the columns with how would you battle the threat?

Sunburn
Truths in Revelation 12
Enemy soldiers
Medicine or rest
Sickness
Sunscreen or clothing
Sin and guilt
Repentance and trust in Jesus Christ
Influences of Satan
Weapons of war

Looking for truths as we study, Revelation 12-22 can help us combat Satan’s influences, which is most definitely our main and most dangerous threat. 

History and Background
In Revelation 12–16, John described in some detail the war that Satan wages against God and His faithful Saints, which began in the premortal world and continues in mortality. In spite of the fearful events described in these chapters, there are great reasons to hope and rejoice. John the Revelator assured his readers that although Satan makes war with the Saints of God, they can be victorious. We can overcome Satan by relying on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, living so that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, and keeping the covenants we make with God. As we are faithful in these ways, we will also receive protection from the plagues to be poured out upon the earth. We also learn in these chapters that God restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in order to help His children withstand and overcome these tribulations in the last days.

The final chapters of Revelation gave hope to Christians facing persecution from outside the Church and from factions within the Church that were dissenting from accepted beliefs. Revelation 17–22 also describes the crescendo of final earthly events fulfilling Heavenly Father’s plan for the redemption of His children. John heard heavenly servants rejoice in praise for the salvation made possible through the Lamb’s triumph over evil. John saw the fall of wicked Babylon contrasted with the glories of the Second Coming and the blessings of exaltation for all those who follow God’s commands. John further saw that the righteous inhabitants of the earth and those who will come forth in the First Resurrection will enjoy a thousand years of millennial peace with Christ. The earth will then receive celestial glory and become the eternal home for all righteous Saints.


Chapter Summaries

Revelation 12
John saw a woman (the Church), her child (the kingdom of God), and a great red dragon (Satan). He saw the War in Heaven, Satan’s continuation of that war against the Church established by Jesus Christ in the meridian of time, and Satan’s war against all mortals who keep the commandments of God. 

Revelation 13
John saw a vision of a fierce beast (earthly kingdoms that war against the Saints). The Saints do not worship the beast but show patience and faith in Jesus Christ. A second beast resembling a lamb but speaking like a dragon labors on behalf of the first beast, performing wonders and deceiving people.
Revelation 14
The Lamb of God stands upon Mount Zion, together with 144,000 people. John saw an angel with the everlasting gospel to preach to those on earth, symbolizing the latter-day Restoration of the gospel. A second angel heralds the destruction of Babylon, and a third warns of the impending destruction of the wicked. The Son of Man and His angels gather the wicked and cast them into “the great winepress of the wrath of God.” 

Revelation 15
Exalted Saints who have overcome the beast praise God in celestial glory. Angels prepare to pour out God’s judgment upon the wicked. 

Revelation 16
John saw a vision of seven angels, each pouring out a plague of wrath upon the wicked. The wicked do not repent. Kings of the earth gather to battle at Armageddon. John saw thunder and lightning, a great earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 17
John saw that the wickedness of Babylon would be established throughout the earth. Babylon will make war with the Lamb. The Lamb will overcome wickedness. The followers of Satan will war among themselves. 

Revelation 18
The Saints are called to come out of Babylon and to refuse its sins. God sees all the iniquities of Babylon and has decreed its destruction. Babylon will fall quickly, and all of its wealth will be brought to naught. 

Revelation 19
The righteous will rejoice in God’s judgments upon the wicked. The clean and pure will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. John saw Jesus Christ coming in great power to destroy the wickedness of the earth. 

Revelation 20
Satan will be bound, and the righteous will reign with Christ for a thousand years on the earth. John saw that Satan will then be loosed for “a little season.” Satan’s armies, called “Gog and Magog,” will gather to battle against the righteous but will be destroyed by fire from heaven. The dead will stand before God to be judged out of the books according to their works. 

Revelation 21
John saw that during the Millennium, Christ will dwell with His people and there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain. The righteous will partake of the water of life freely and will inherit all things. John saw the New Jerusalem descending from heaven and the celestialized earth, on which the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb will dwell in glory. 

Revelation 22
The Lord’s angel declared that the things John saw in vision are faithful and true and will come to pass. The Lord will come quickly. John saw that those who inherit the celestial earth have the right to partake of the tree of life and the water of life. John warned his readers not to alter the message of his letter. John prayed for the Lord to come quickly.

Part 1 Revelation 12:7–11 We overcame Satan “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony.”

What wars are mentioned in those scripture passages?  Revelation 12:7–9; 13:7 Revelation 12:6–8 in the Joseph Smith Translation   The premortal War in Heaven and Satan’s war against the Saints on earth, which is a continuation of the premortal war.

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

6 And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;
7 And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ.

8 Neither was there place found in heaven for the great dragon, who was cast out; that old serpent called the devil, and also called Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth; and his angels were cast out with him.

This is how the war with Satan we fight today began. Learning about the War in Heaven can help us better understand life on earth and identify how we overcame Satan and his hosts in the War in Heaven. 

There are numerous symbols in Revelation 12. So much so that many find it hard to understand and fail to read or study.  But as we take a prayerful look we find that it is more plain than we anticipated, for example here are some symbols listed from the chapter and they're meanings that clarify and teach of the mission of Satan then and now.

A woman travailing to deliver a child
Clothed with the sun
The moon under her feet
A crown with twelve stars
A red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns
Cast a third part of the stars to earth
Stood to devour the woman’s child
Man child who will rule all nations with a rod of iron
Caught up to God’s throne
Woman who fled into wilderness
Found a place prepared by God

In Revelation 12:1–2, 5, 7, John saw in vision a woman who gave birth to a child. The Joseph Smith Translation reads as follows (note that verse 5 becomes verse 3 in the Joseph Smith Translation):

“And there appeared a great sign in heaven, in the likeness of things on the earth; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

“And the woman being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and his throne. …

“And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ”
(Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:1–3, 7 [in the Bible appendix]).

These clarifications confirm that Satan will not prevail in his war against God’s kingdom on earth. They also teach that the woman represents the “church of God” and that the child she gives birth to is the “kingdom of our God and his Christ” (Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:7 [in the Bible appendix]). The Church of God is at this time an ecclesiastical organization only, but when the Savior comes again and makes “a full end of all nations” (D&C 87:6), the kingdom of God will also have political jurisdiction over all people on the earth. “The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to live forever in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of heaven. … During the Millennium, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven”; scriptures.lds.org).

These verses in Revelation 12 are a parenthetical reference to the War in Heaven. The dragon is a representation of Satan, who with his followers waged the War in Heaven against Heavenly Father and His faithful children D&C 29:36–38; Moses 4:1–4. “The third part of the stars of heaven” Revelation 12:4 are that portion of the hosts of heaven who followed Satan in the premortal war in heaven and were cast out Isaiah 14:12–17; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; D&C 29:37; Abraham 3:27–28

Elder Bruce R. McConkie described the conflict that occurred in heaven: “What kind of war? The same kind that prevails on earth; the only kind Satan and spirit beings can wage—a war of words, a tumult of opinions, a conflict of ideologies; a war between truth and error, between light and darkness. … And the battle lines are still drawn. It is now on earth as it was then in heaven; every man must choose which general he will follow” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:518).

President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles elaborated on how we can find protection during this spiritual war:“[Satan] is determined to disrupt our Heavenly Father’s plan and seeks to control the minds and actions of all. This influence is spiritual, and he ‘is abroad in the land’ [D&C 52:14].  “But despite the opposition, trials, and temptations, you need not fail or fear.  Youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit” (“Counsel to Youth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 16, 18).
How does the premortal War in Heaven affect us today?  

In verse 17, John saw that the dragon “went to make war with the remnant of her seed.” What is meant by “her seed”?  Those who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

What made it possible for Satan to be defeated in the War in Heaven.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the testimonies of those who followed Him.

How is it a benefit to know Satan’s intentions toward you?   

What other insights do we gain from the entries on the War in Heaven in the Bible Dictionary or Gospel Topics? (topics.lds.org). 

What do we learn that can help us overcome the adversary during our mortal lives?  We can overcome Satan in his war against us by relying on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and our testimony of Jesus.

What does it mean to overcome Satan “by the blood of the Lamb”? Revelation 12:11.
In Revelation 12:11, an angel declared that Christ’s followers overcame Satan and his followers “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” One truth we learn from the scriptures is that the saving power of the Atonement was already in place in the premortal world, for Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8; see also 1 Peter 1:18–20; Mosiah 3:13; 4:7; D&C 93:38. Because we are here on earth, we know that in the premortal world we trusted in Heavenly Father’s plan for our redemption and drew upon the blessings of the Atonement and our testimonies to overcome Satan.

In mortality we continue to overcome Satan in the same manner, by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ and by the word of our testimonies. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the power of testimony:

“A strong testimony gives peace, comfort, and assurance. It generates the conviction that as the teachings of the Savior are consistently obeyed, life will be beautiful, the future secure, and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our path. A testimony grows from understanding truth, distilled from prayer and the pondering of scriptural doctrine. It is nurtured by living those truths in faith and the secure confidence that the promised results will be obtained. …

“… Your personal security and happiness depend upon the strength of your testimony, for it will guide your actions in times of trial and uncertainty”
(“The Power of a Strong Testimony,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 87).

Part 2: Revelation 17–18 We must separate ourselves from the wickedness of the world.
It’s not particularly pleasant to read about the wickedness of Babylon and its fall in Revelation 17–18, but it is instructive because Babylon can be a symbol of the wicked world we live in today.

In Old Testament times, the city of Babylon was a center of great wickedness and an enemy that threatened and conquered ancient Israel. Today, the city of Babylon no longer exists. However, in the scriptures, Babylon often refers to something other than a geographic location or the inhabitants of the ancient city.

Doctrine and Covenants 133:14 gives a definition of modern Babylon:  14 Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.

John the Revelator saw a vision concerning Babylon in the last days: “decked with gold and precious stones” and “waxed rich” (love of wealth), “filthiness of fornication” (sexual sins), “drunken with the blood of the saints” (rejection or murder of prophets and Church members), “make war” (violence), “habitation of devils” and “all nations deceived” (lying and deception). 

Why are people drawn to Babylon, or worldliness? 

Why is Babylon dangerous? What will happen to Babylon? In Revelation 17:2–6, John described Babylon as a harlot clothed in fine, jeweled apparel and drunken with blood. One possible meaning of John’s description in these verses is that in the last days, a lifestyle of sexual immorality, wealth, and violence would permeate the world  1 Nephi 13:5–9. Institutions, governments, and people who embrace this lifestyle can be seen as part of Babylon. While serving in the Seventy, Elder David R. Stone spoke of this pervasive corruption:
“There is no particular city today which personifies Babylon. Babylon was, in the time of ancient Israel, a city which had become sensual, decadent, and corrupt. …

“… That sensuality, corruption, and decadence, and the worshipping of false gods are to be seen in many cities, great and small, scattered across the globe. As the Lord has said: ‘They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world’ (D&C 1:16). …

“What an insidious thing is this culture amidst which we live. It permeates our environment”
(“Zion in the Midst of Babylon,” Ensign May 2006, 90–91).

What warnings did John give to help us avoid Babylon’s fate?


How can we determine if we are partaking of the sins of Babylon?


How can we “come out of” Babylon and “be not partakers of her sins.” For example, what scriptures or messages from Church leaders have helped you resist the temptations of Babylon, or the world?  


Elder Quentin L. Cook taught:

“We cannot avoid the world. A cloistered existence is not the answer. In a positive sense, our contribution to the world is part of our challenge and is essential if we are to develop our talents. … Members of the Church need to be involved in the world in a positive way. How then do we balance the need to positively contribute to the world and to not succumb to the sins of the world? (See D&C 25:10; D&C 59:9.) Two principles will make a significant difference.

“1. Let people know you are a committed Latter-day Saint. …

“2. Be confident about and live your beliefs” (“Lessons from the Old Testament: In the World but Not of the World,” Ensign, Feb. 2006, 54–55).

What doctrine can we learn from these chapters of Revelations? The Lamb of God will overcome the evils of Babylon in the last days, and those who are called, chosen, and faithful will be with Him and share in His victory. When we refuse to join in the wickedness of Babylon, we will be spiritually protected by the Lord in the last days.  

Part 3: Revelation 19:5–20:15 We can prepare for the Lord’s Second Coming and the Day of Judgment. 
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is frequently called “the great and the terrible day of the Lord” Joel 2:31, and based on Revelation 19–20, that seems like a good description. John saw in vision two separate suppers: “the marriage supper of the Lamb” and “the supper of the great God” Revelation 19:9, 17. This pair of contrasting images, like many other contrasting pairs in Revelation, teaches valuable lessons for followers of Christ. 

5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

“In this dispensation the Bridegroom, who is the Lamb of God, shall come to claim his bride, which is the Church composed of the faithful saints who have watched for his return” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 469).

In what ways is a marriage relationship a fitting symbol for our covenant relationship with Jesus Christ? Marriage is a relationship that requires faithfulness, sacrifice, love, commitment, and trust.

As symbolized by the clothing of the Lamb’s wife, what must we do to make ourselves ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?  Revelation 19:8–9  If we are clean and righteous, then we will be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word granted in verse 8 means given or bestowed. To be cleansed of sin and made righteous is a gift from God.

What has God done to provide a way for us to be cleansed of sin and become righteous?

Why do you think being clean and righteous is one of the best gifts we can give to the Savior when He comes again?

 How did John react after hearing what the angel proclaimed to him? Revelation 19:10 

What did the angel declare to John that he (the angel) and other servants of God possess? The testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy.

The “spirit of prophecy” (verse 10) refers to the gift of revelation and inspiration from God, which allows someone to receive and speak His word (Guide to the Scriptures, “Prophecy, Prophesy,” scriptures.lds.org).

How might a person who possesses a testimony of Jesus prepare for the Second Coming?
 Revelation 19:11–16, including the Joseph Smith Translation of Revelation 19:15 in Revelation 19:15, footnote a.  The white horse mentioned in verse 11 is symbolic of conquest and victory. The Savior will come to conquer sin and wickedness.

According to verse 13, how is the Savior’s clothing described? The phrase “vesture dipped in blood” means His clothing will be the color of blood. This color symbolizes the destruction of the wicked at His coming D&C 133:46–51 and can also remind us of the suffering He experienced during His Atonement.

 The Joseph Smith Translation, of Revelation 19:15 clarifies that John saw that when the Savior came as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He would rule the nations with the word of God. And in Revelation 19:17–21 John saw the destruction of those who fought against the Lamb of God (Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 19:18 [in Revelation 19:18, footnote a]).

John also saw in vision the events that will happen immediately before and during Jesus Christ’s millennial reign. He also witnessed the final battle between Satan and the forces of God at the end of the Millennium and saw the Final Judgment, during which God will judge everyone out of the books that have been written.

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


What will happen to Satan during the Millennium? Revelation 20:1–3 The bottomless pit which represents hell.

According to verse 3, what will Satan be unable to do because he is bound?

Concerning Satan’s binding, President Joseph F. Smith stated:

“[Satan] will be bound both by the faith of the righteous and the decrees of the Almighty during the Millennial reign and will be cast down into hell” (From Prophet to Son: Advice of Joseph F. Smith to His Missionary Sons, comp. Hyrum M. Smith III and Scott G. Kenney [1981], 71).

The prophet Nephi taught that because of the righteousness of the Saints, Satan will have no power (see 1 Nephi 22:26).

President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency explained:

“We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him”
(Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, comp. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. [1957–74], 1:86).

President Spencer W. Kimball taught that we need not wait until the Millennium for Satan to be bound:  “When Satan is bound in a single home—when Satan is bound in a single life—the Millennium has already begun in that home, in that life” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 172).

According to verse 4, whom did John see being judged?

What reward did these people receive because of their faithfulness?

What will they have part in during the Millennium? The First Resurrection.

The First Resurrection began with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and included the righteous who died before Christ’s Resurrection Mosiah 15:21–25; Alma 40:16–20. The majority of the righteous who died after the Resurrection of Christ will be resurrected in connection with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (see James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], 385). The wicked and unrepentant will not be resurrected until the Second Resurrection, which will occur at the end of the Millennium D&C 76:85.

Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said the following of the First Resurrection:  The [First Resurrection] was inaugurated by the resurrection of Jesus Christ; immediately following which many of the saints came forth from their graves. A continuation of this, the resurrection of the just, has been in operation since, and will be greatly extended, or brought to pass in a general way, in connection with the coming of Christ in His glory” (The Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], 385).


Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained two different ways to understand the term First Resurrection:  “To those who lived before the resurrection of Christ, the day of his coming forth from the dead was known as the first resurrection. Abinadi and Alma, for instance, so considered it. (Mosiah 15:21–25; Alma 40.) To those who have lived since that day, the first resurrection is yet future and will take place at the time of the Second Coming. (D&C 88:96–102.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 639).Those who will come forth in the First Resurrection include “all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words” (Mosiah 15:22), those who have died in ignorance without having had “salvation declared unto them” (Mosiah 15:24; see also D&C 45:54), and little children who have died before becoming accountable (see Mosiah 15:25; Moroni 8:4–24).

How can knowing that you can have part in the First Resurrection and reign with Jesus Christ during the Millennium help you to be faithful now in the battle against evil?

What principle can we learn from Revelation 20:4–6 about the blessings we can receive if we are faithful to Jesus Christ?  If we are faithful to Jesus Christ, we will have part in the First Resurrection and reign with Christ during the Millennium.  Those who remain faithful will be a part of the First Resurrection and reign with the Savior during the Millennium.

What events did John describe in Revelation 20:7–10 (The names Gog and Magog in verse 8 refer to the forces Satan will use at the end of the Millennium to battle one last time against the Lord’s people D&C 88:110–14].

After this battle, what will happen to the devil and his followers? At the end of the Millennium, the forces of God will defeat Satan and his followers.

Why is it important that we understand the final outcome of the battle between God and Satan? 

As a 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 the Final Judgment will be like. Revelation 20:12–13

What do you hope to think and feel when you stand before God to be judged?

What truth can we learn from verse 12 about how we will be judged?  God will judge us out of the books that have been written according to our works. The Lord also revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that in addition to our works, we will be judged according to the desires of our hearts  D&C 137:9; Alma 41:3–5.

What books did John see?  The scriptures, Church records that record the saving ordinances and perhaps other actions, and the book of life  2 Nephi 29:10–11; D&C 128:6–7

To help us in our study following is an 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”).

According to Revelation 20:13, what will happen before we are judged? “the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them” refers to the Resurrection of all people.

What might be the significance of us being resurrected before we stand before God to be judged?  

Each of us will stand before God to be judged and our actions now will determine what that experience will be like for us.  

What can you do better in your life to prepare to be judged by the Lord? To be prepared we must be made clean through the Savior’s Atonement and have an unshakeable testimony of Jesus Christ.



Part 4: Revelation 21:1–22:5 If we are faithful, we will be blessed with celestial glory.

Though the latter days are prophesied to be filled with wickedness and peril, the reward John saw for the faithful far exceeds the tribulation that precedes it.  Revelation 21:1–22:5

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. 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.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.


What promises are made to the faithful? John saw a new heaven and a new earth and the New Jerusalem come down from heaven. He also saw that God will dwell with and comfort His people and that the celestial city of God will be established on the earth. 

How does this description help us when we face our current challenges and trials?


When Jesus Christ comes again and the Millennium begins, the earth will be changed to the condition it was in prior to the Fall of Adam and Eve. Before the Fall, the earth existed in a terrestrial, or paradisiacal, state (a state of paradise). After the Millennium, the earth will change again to a celestial state prepared for the presence of God. These changes may have been what John saw taking place when he “saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:2).
Statement 2

The New Jerusalem that John saw coming down from heaven is the celestial city of God. This city will likely include the city of Enoch, which was translated and taken up to heaven. This “holy city” will descend and join the New Jerusalem, or Zion, that the Saints will have built on earth Moses 7:62–64.

How do you think John may have felt as he saw these things while he was exiled for his belief in Jesus Christ?
What will God do for His people? Revelation 21:3–4   God will dwell with and comfort His people, and they will no longer experience death, sorrow, or pain.

How can knowing that God will comfort His people and remove their sorrows and pains help us when we experience challenges now?

Revelation 21:4 highlights the great restorative power of Christ’s Atonement, which will ultimately make all things right. Through the Atonement, all of life’s disadvantages, contradictions, injustices, and unfairness will be made right. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles affirmed: “The Atonement will not only help us overcome our transgressions and mistakes, but in His time, it will resolve all inequities of life—those things that are unfair which are the consequences of circumstance or others’ acts and not our own decisions” (“Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer,” Ensign, May 1997, 54).

Conclusion 
Now that we have reviewed the book of Revelation, are you looking forward to the events described in the book with fear or with anticipation? For me it is anticipation and I hope for you it is too. Take your journal and find a peaceful place where you can reflect on the splendor of the celestial kingdom as described in Revelation 21:1–22:5. Write a few of the thoughts you have as you consider the scriptural description of life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Then share with someone what you are motivated to do in order to overcome the world and live forever with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and all the righteous Saints.

To do so we must overcome the temptations and trials of the world; then we will inherit the blessings of eternal life. The Savior’s Atonement provides a way for us to overcome if we repent and are faithful, which makes the book of Revelations beautiful and hopeful rather than fearful. Few things you can do will have a more powerful and long-lasting influence in your lives than learning to love the scriptures and study them daily. I not only encourage your daily scripture study but implore you to read your scriptures consistently even when classes are not being held. 

Resources
New Testament Student Manual
Ensign
Conference Reports
Mormon Doctrine Bruce R McConkie
Bible Dictionary/Topical Guide LDS King James
Joseph Smith Translation New Testament
Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants
Pearl of Great Price
Articles of Faith
Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, comp. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. [1957–74], 1:86
Teachings of Spencer W Kinball
Guide to Scriptures LDS King James
Doctrinal New Testament Commentary
Gospel Topics Chruch of Jesus Christ.org



The Fall of Adam and Eve

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