THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT

I am now in the last few chapters of my forthcoming book, “ON THAT DAY … LEAST EXPECTED” and though I’ll share another except with you. If only unbelievers would realize what a dreadful eternity is awaiting them if they do not repent …

Jesus often referred to the eternal death of the wicked (Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:40-42; Matthew 25:41, 46).

Sheol / Hades

Sheol is the Hebrew equivalent of a New Testament term Hades. All of the ungodly who died, as from the time of Adam until today, are right now in Hades or Sheol, in their eternal souls until their resurrection. Hades is rather a state where souls suffer than a place. But Hades is a temporary time and “place” of torment as we see in Luke 16:19–31 which tells of the relationship, during life and after death, between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus.

In Revelation 20:13-14 death and Hades give up the dead as they go out of existence and the ungodly is thrown into the lake of fire.

In Hades the suffering is of the soul, but in hell it is even worse as the suffering soul will be in a resurrected body, fitted for eternal hell. Even those bodies in the sea will also be raised.

Timing of the judgement

2 Peter 3:8 says “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. ” This is the very last bit of the period known as “The Day of the Lord.” We saw God’s wrath and judgements up to the end of the Great Tribulation. Then we had the thousand year pause during the Millennial Kingdom. Now the final judgement of the ungodly takes place.

In Revelation 20:5 it is said that the ungodly would not be resurrected until the end of the thousand years. “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished…”

In Isaiah 30:30 the prophet said, “The Lord will cause His voice of authority to be heard and the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger and in the flame of a consuming fire.” God is coming in the judgment of fire.

The Great White Throne

After the Millennial Kingdom and Satan’s final rebellion against God, the Great White Throne will appear in heaven to judge the ungodly. Revelation 20:11 starts by saying, “ Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it”

Almost fifty times in the book of Revelation we find the mentioning of thrones. Throughout the book of Revelation God is the one sitting on the throne. But this is a throne of judgment and not the throne of heaven described in Revelation 4. It almost seems to be some specific judgment throne set up in the unseen realm and it is the final place of reckoning.

Psalm 9:7 says, “The Lord abides forever, He has established His throne for judgment and He will judge the world in righteousness, He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.”

Involvement of the Father and the Son

In John 5:22 we read, “For not even the Father judges anyone but He has given all judgment to the Son.” He continues in John 5:26, “Just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.” Christ says in John 8:50, “I do not seek My glory, there is one who seeks and judges.” That would of course be God His Father.

But then in Revelation 3:21 it says, “He who overcomes I will grant to sit down with Me on My throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Where God sits in judgment and in sovereignty, Christ sits there too. Remember in John 10:30 Christ said, “I and the Father are one.” Revelation 22:1 refers to, “Coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:3 also says, “The throne of God and of the Lamb.” Christ and the Father are one and equally sovereign.

Resurrection of the ungodly

In John 5:28 it says, “Do not marvel at this, an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice and come forth, those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, and those who committed the evil deeds, to a resurrection of judgment.”

In Revelation 20:11-13 and 15, we see that the ungodly throughout all ages are being resurrected for the Great White Throne judgement. Jesus called it “the resurrection of damnation” or condemnation in John 5:29 while in Acts 24:15, Paul refers to it as “the resurrection of the wicked”. They will awake to shame and everlasting contempt and receive resurrection bodies, suited to suffer forever in hell.

No place to flee

In Revelation 20:11 John says that those from earth and the heaven fled away but no place was found for them. “ Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.” At the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom, Christ reformed the earth. Mountains were flattened out and islands fled away. This is earth being uncreated as we read in Matthew 24:35 where Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away.”

In 2 Peter 3:10-13 it says, “ But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

It says the heavens will disappear and the elements will melt with intense heat. The earth and its works will be burned and totally consumed. In Isaiah 51:6 it says, “Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath for the sky will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner.” Earth and heaven were once created by God and it will be also be uncreated by Him.

The judgement takes place in the absence of earth and heaven as we know it, as it have just been destroyed by God. The Great White Throne must appear in some timeless and space-less realm or presence.

The books are opened

Daniel saw the same scene of judgement as John, in his vision in Daniel 7, where the Ancient of Days is taking His seat on the throne and the books are being opened. Daniel 7:9-10 says “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.”

The book of life, is also mentioned in Revelation 3:5, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 17:8, Revelation 21:27 and Revelation 22:19.

Judgement according to the books

Revelation 20:12-13 says that they are judged according to their deeds and in Revelation 20:15 we read, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

In Revelation 20:12 we read, “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Luke 10:20 says, “Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Daniel 12:1 also refers to, “Every one who is found written in the book.” In Malachi 3:16 it refers to the books in this way, “Those who feared the Lord spoke to one another when they heard about judgment and the Lord gave attention and heard it. And a book of remembrance was written before him for those who fear the Lord.”

It is clear from these verses that God’s records distinguish between the godly and the ungodly and if a person’s name is not in the Book of Life, he will be judged at the Great White Throne. Revelation 20:15 says, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” In Matthew 25:46 we read, “These will go away into eternal punishment, the righteous into eternal life.”

Romans 2:5 warns, “You are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgments of God who will render to every man according to his deeds.” God thus keeps a detailed record of every human being’s life.

In Romans 2:16 we see that we cannot hide anything from God. “On the day when according to my gospel God will judge the secrets of me through Christ Jesus.” Luke 8:17 says, “For nothing is hidden that shall not become evident, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” Romans 2:16 calls it “the day when God will judged the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”

The deeds of the ungodly will be measured against God’s perfect standard and law. Because they did not receive Christ as their Saviour, they will be judged on every standard they did not meet. Hebrews 10:29 asks the question, “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Romans 2:5 says, “By your stubborn and unrepentant heart you are piling up wrath against yourself for the day of wrath.” Every thought, word and deed will be judged. Therefore, everyone’s punishment will be consistent with his record, as God is a righteous judge.

A good example of the variation in the level of punishment is found in Mark 12:38-40. “ Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive GREATER CONDEMNATION.””

In Luke 12:47 Christ said, “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

The just and righteous judgement of God

This judgement may sound unjust to the natural man as he does not realize how sinful he really is, but God’s final judgment is a very just and righteous judgment. Job 37 :23-24 says, “As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, In judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart.”

God cannot be unjust as His holiness and perfection are the sources of His justice. He is just because it is His nature to be just. In modern day “Christianity,” they created for themselves a god who only blesses, who is not holy, who looks over their sin and leaves them to have “their best lives now.”

Acts 17:30-31 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Many of the lukewarm would be surprised as we see in Matthew 7:21-23. ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

A description of hell

Hell is the final destination of the ungodly after the White Throne judgement. It is often being referred to as the second death and is synonymous with the lake of fire. It is a “death” in that it is a separation from God, the Giver of life. It is called the “second” one because it follows physical death. In 2018 the false prophet, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic “church,” even surprised the Catholics when he declared that there is no such thing as hell and that the ungodly would simply dissolve!

In Matthew 8:12, Matthew 22:13 and Matthew 25:30 hell is called a place of outer darkness. 2 Peter 2:17 and Jude 13 refers to it as the blackness of darkness. Both Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:48 say their worms will not die.

In Matthew 3:12 John the Baptist says when Christ comes He will burn up the ungodly with unquenchable fire.

Isaiah 66:24 says, “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

Luke 13:28 mentions that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8, Matthew 22, Matthew 13, Matthew 25 and Matthew 24 are all referring to the weeping and the wailing.

It is no wonder Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Good news to the redeemed

There is good news in 2 Peter 3:13 for the redeemed at the first resurrection, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Isaiah 65:17 says, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

The redeemed will not remember the past because our memories of the past would be tainted with sin. Hebrews 1:10-12 says, “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”

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