“Lesson 159: Revelation 20,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)
“Lesson 159,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
John 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.
Suggestions for Teaching
John sees in vision what will happen immediately before and during Jesus Christ’s millennial reign
Ask students to think of a contest or competition (such as an artistic or athletic event) that they participated in even though they believed they would lose. Then ask them to think of a time they participated in a contest or competition they believed they would win.
How might your expectations about the outcome of a contest or competition change the way that you perform in it?
Why might people give up when they think they are going to lose? When is a time that you thought you were going to lose and actually won?
Explain to students that as they study Revelation 20 they will learn more about the battle between good and evil and the final outcome of the battle. Invite them to look for truths as they study Revelation 20 that can motivate them to stay faithful to the Savior during this battle.
Invite a student to read Revelation 20:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what will happen to Satan during the Millennium.
What will happen to Satan during the Millennium? (Explain that the bottomless pit represents hell.)
According to verse 3, what will Satan be unable to do because he is bound?
Invite a student to read Revelation 20:4–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for whom John saw being judged.
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.)
What principle can we learn from Revelation 20:4–6 about the blessings we can receive if we are faithful to Jesus Christ? (Students may use different words but should identify a principle similar to the following: If we are faithful to Jesus Christ, we will have part in the First Resurrection and reign with Christ during the Millennium.)
Explain that the First Resurrection began with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and included the righteous who died before Christ’s Resurrection (see 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. , 385). The wicked and unrepentant will not be resurrected until the Second Resurrection, which will occur at the end of the Millennium (see D&C 76:85).
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?
Testify that those who remain faithful will be a part of the First Resurrection and reign with the Savior during the Millennium.
John sees the final battle between Satan and the forces of God at the end of the Millennium
Write the following incomplete statement on the board: At the end of the Millennium …
Invite a student to read Revelation 20:7–10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for events John described that will occur at the end of the Millennium.
What events did John describe? (Explain that 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 [see D&C 88:110–14].)
After this battle, what will happen to the devil and his followers? (After students respond, complete the statement on the board so that it reads as follows: 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?
John sees the Final Judgment
Explain that as part of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation, every person who has lived on this earth will stand before God to be judged. Ask students to imagine what they think the Final Judgment will be like.
What do you hope to think and feel when you stand before God to be judged?
Invite a student to read Revelation 20:12–13 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how we will be judged by God.
What truth can we learn from verse 12 about how we will be judged? (Students may use different words but should identify the following truth: God will judge us out of the books that have been written according to our works.)
What books did John see? (The scriptures, Church records that record the saving ordinances and perhaps other actions, and the book of life [see 2 Nephi 29:10–11; D&C 128:6–7].)
Invite a student to read aloud 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”).
Point out that the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that in addition to our works, we will be judged according to the desires of our hearts (see D&C 137:9; see also Alma 41:3–5).
According to Revelation 20:13, what will happen before we are judged? (If necessary, explain that “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?
Testify that each of us will stand before God to be judged and that our actions now will determine what that experience will be like for us. Read the following question aloud, and invite students to respond to it in their class notebooks or scripture study journals:
What can you do better in your life to prepare to be judged by the Lord?
Scripture Mastery—Revelation 20:12
Consider inviting students to use scripture-study tools such as scripture footnotes, the Guide to the Scriptures (available on scriptures.lds.org), and the Topical Guide to locate additional scriptures that teach about the Final Judgment. Students could write these additional scripture references in their scriptures near Revelation 20:12. Invite students to report to the class additional truths about the Final Judgment that they learn through this activity.