THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
Revelation 20:11 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.
We must go to the fifth chapter of the Book of John if we wish to properly begin our study of this Great White Throne. For here is where we find its true purpose. It is upon first sight, of course, a time of accountability for the entirety of the human race. But upon deeper reflection we find that it is for the honoring of the Supreme One who alone can judge all with a righteous judgment. Consider these verses:
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
The main purpose for Christ to have all judgment committed unto him is That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father! The Lord Jesus told the Jews that as they believed in God the Father, they were to also believe in him! For he and the Father are one. John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. But that only incensed the hard-hearted religionists, setting them on the course of killing him.
Therefore the Father has appointed a day in which he shall judge the entirety of the human race by his only begotten Son! Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And in that appointed day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Yet the Lord Jesus Christ, now being highly exalted by the Father upon the completion of his cross work, has already sent his gospel judgment into the world. He did this at the same time as he defeated Satan’s hold of death upon the human race! John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die. And the true church sends this judgment into the world by the gospel. 1 Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
The fire of his gospel judgment was already kindled! Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? This is seen in the seventh seal, revealing the true church’s rule through their prayers and their gospel witness! For when their godly prayers are co-mingled with the fiery work of Christ’s sacrifice, the earth is shaken as his gospel kingdom is established in the earth! Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
For God’s gospel kingdom is seen as if there were an earthquake, shaking down all but that which is established upon Christ, the Solid Rock! Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Therefore those who are repentant sinners, realized and confessed, are already judged by the Holy Spirit in the application of their gospel birth. 1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
As in the days of Lot, (a day to set forth the likeness of the last days), Abraham was untouched by the fire sent down upon the five cities of the plains, including Sodom and Gomorrah! Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Those receiving gospel judgment and repenting shall not be condemned at the Great White Throne! But they “appear” there as witnesses of the righteous judgment of God. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Psalm 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, …
All nations are to be gathered before the Great White Throne, but they are duly separated before the actual judgment is proclaimed! The “sheep nations” shall be separated from the “goat nations.” Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
True believes have nothing to fear concerning their appearance at the Great White Throne. For the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God has fully satisfied the Father on their behalf. And he has given them eternal life, from which they can never fall away! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
And their separation is even seen in the final resurrection before their assembly at the Great White Throne! John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Then why are the redeemed of God required to assemble at this judgment seat? First of all, it is to receive their eternal reward. The dead in Christ are raised into an incorruptible body and those who are alive and remain shall be changed in the twinkling of the eye to ever be with the Lord. And they shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is, in his eternal glory as “God all in all!”
Listen to the Lord’s instruction to them: Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
But secondly they are to stand as God’s witnesses against the unbelievers, standing on the left! For the Lord points to them stating, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
Here is that passage: Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Today is our opportunity to judge ourselves and be fully prepared to face the Great White Throne, without fear, but with rejoicing! 1 Timothy 5:24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
Let us live today in faith, trusting in the Lord to live in us for His glory, thereby laying up treasures in heaven! Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
For it is to those who look for him, unto whom he shall appear without any farther need of redemption than that which they have already received; awarding them their full and complete salvation into glory! Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Pastor Gene Breed
January 6, 2023