Author: Ron Graham

Book of Revelation

The Throne and the Books
—Revelation 20:11-15

Judgment of the Beasts (Revelation 12-20) >Seven Final Visions >6th vision >The Judgment Throne

Revelation 20:11-15 tells of the heavenly throne before which stands every person, great and small, all who have ever lived. In the vision, certain books are opened, and all are judged according to what is written in the books.

1 The Throne

Revelation 20:11

great white throne The throne in this vision represents the throne of the kingdom of God —that throne of David, of which Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:29-36). Jesus "who holds the key of David" (Revelation 3:7) sits there, for he is the king of God's kingdom. Therefore he said, "I have sat down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:21).

earth and heaven fled Earth and sky fled away from the face of the One who sat upon the throne. This symbolises that Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. There is no place for earthly kingdoms in the eternal heaven.

Stand in Awe of Him

Be in awe of Jesus the King of heaven. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open (Revelation 3:7). He is the one who will open the doors of heaven for you, or shut them against you. Against his judgment there is no appeal.

2 The Books

Revelation 20:12

and books were opened These books exist right now in your present.

3 The Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:13-15

cast into the lake In the previous vision, John saw The Dragon, the Beast and the False prophet cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Now he sees Death and Hades cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). Following that, all whose names were not found written in the Book of Life were cast in too (Revelation 20:15).

the second death This lake of fire and brimstone is called by John “the second death”. It is in contrast with “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:6).

Our next lesson will look at the “second death” in more detail.

The Soon-coming Judgment

Jesus spoke of his judgment Day. "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on the throne in heavenly glory. All nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left" (Matthew 25:31-33).

What will the Majesty on that throne decide for you? Can you imagine how you will feel if you must go to his left? You will hear him say to you, "Depart from me you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared from the Devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). You will have no choice but to obey the King, and go to your doom.

Are we talking about the future or the present here? The judgment, certainly is future. But how far in the future? Remember Jesus says, "I am coming quickly!" How many years do you have left? How many days? How many heartbeats? The fact is, you don't know. You may be down to your last thousand heartbeats, isn’t that so?

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