At the time of the Last Judgement, Christ returned to earth to judge over the living and the dead. John the Evangelist predicted Christ’s return in Revelation, the last book of the Bible. He saw the end of all time in a vision in which God’s kingdom comes to earth. There are scenes of the Last Judgement based on this vision in art from the 12th century on. In them, Christ is seated on a throne as a judge at the top, sometimes on a rainbow, holding the Book of Life in his left hand and gesturing in benediction with his right hand. A lily and a sword, symbols of mercy and justice, issue from his mouth. Below him the dead rise up from their graves to be judged. Often the Archangel Michael is shown holding the scales with which he weighs souls. The good may go to heaven at the left while the damned are consigned to hell, often rendered as a monstrous maw, at the right. Mary and John the Evangelist intercede with Christ in behalf of the damned.
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