Judgment at the Great White Throne, Revelation Chapter 20 Verses 11-15 (NASB)

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     And I saw
                (1)  a GREAT WHITE THRONE and
The use of 'GREAT' here is in the sense of 'the ultimate' THRONE. It is not used in the sense of the 'elder's throne' (Revelation 4:4 and Revelation 11:16) or like a 'focal point throne' (Revelation 4:2, Revelation 4:10, Revelation 7:11 and such). The GREAT WHITE THRONE denotes the ultimate center of GOOD as opposed to EVIL as in the Tree of the Knowledge of GOOD and EVIL.  It's the ultimate center of RIGHTEOUSNESS (WHITE) (Revelation 19:8) and of AUTHORITY (the THRONE itself). Thus the ultimate GREAT WHITE THRONE is final JUDGMENT. It is the process of completing that which was written in the scroll (Revelation 5:1). In the previous verse, we found the devil permanently removed to the lake of fire and brimstone; the GREAT WHITE THRONE will permanently remove evil from the non-believers, from death and even Hades itself (verse 14).

This is not a new kind of judgment for even in Old Testament times, the THRONE was understood to be the place of righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:11-14-18).
                (2) HIM who sat upon it, from whose presence EARTH and HEAVEN FLED AWAY, and no place was found for them.
There is no need to say who "HIM" is. There is only one "HIM" qualified to sit on that THRONE. Look how Paul in his exhortation to Timothy describes "HIM" (1 Timothy 6:13-15-16).  It is the same "HIM" here on the GREAT WHITE THRONE.

So pure, so GOOD, so righteous is "HE" on the GREAT WHITE THRONE that EARTH and HEAVEN FLED AWAY from HIS presence. That is John's way of saying that the physical earth and associated heaven (Genesis 1:6-8) are dissolved. This is confirmed in Revelation 21:1. From experience, we all understand the evil the sin curse placed on this earth. So we can understand why there is 'no place found for them' when something is dirtied with so much EVIL as the EARTH has been. What is harder to understand is why HEAVEN is destroyed. But then recall that the devil and his cohorts have been running around heaven too (Revelation 12:7-12). And wherever they went they had to leave the scent of EVIL. We see the Creator of the Earth doing the ultimate reclaim of that which was taken over by EVIL (the devil and company) (see discussion in Revelation 5:1).

Science has known for some time now that the universe is physically expanding. So it shouldn't stretch our imagination too much that the EARTH and HEAVEN are moving away from the GREAT WHITE THRONE. The expansion is theorized as the result of a "big bang" or in other words, the conversion of a lot of energy into matter. This fits with Einstein's assertion that the ratio of Energy to Matter (mass) is a constant. A constant that is the square of the speed of light, and that is a very large number. In a spiritual sense, we see from this verse a parallel ratio of GOOD to EVIL, and if the symmetry holds, this ratio must be a constant (the ultimate "HIM"). So taking the thought one step further, if EVIL is totally removed (the denominator of our ratio goes to zero, no EVIL), then all GOOD is ultimately the infinite GOD. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!
    And I saw THE DEAD, the great and the small,
These are THE DEAD who missed the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5). Their major sin was UNBELIEF.

All classes of persons are involved. There is no privilege of rank when God is involved. If anyone held someone in more esteem, the 'great' holding themselves as important and the 'small' holding someone of the 'great' group as important, both are guilty of idolatry, for only GOD HIMSELF should have all our esteem. Note that both UNBELIEF and IDOLATRY are in the list of candidates for the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).
    standing before the THRONE,
It is no coincidence that the earth and heaven fled away from the throne and Him who sat on it in the previous verse. Imagine what THE DEAD are going through having to stand there before the THRONE! Stand there, they must, while their DEEDS are flashed before them.
    and BOOKS were opened; and another BOOK was opened, which is the BOOK of LIFE;
God doesn't need BOOKS to remember what either THE ALIVE (Hebrews 4:12-13) or THE DEAD (this verse and the next verse) have done. This expression is for human understanding to show us that EVERYTHING that we do and think is remembered in the BOOKS.

Many scholars distinguish that 'the BOOKS' are a recording of the DEEDS and that the 'BOOK of LIFE' is a list of names (Revelation 3:5 and Revelation 20:15). Now we all know that many people have the same given name, so to make sure that there are no mix ups, the names recorded in the 'BOOK of LIFE' are unique. Perhaps they are the genetic DNA code birthed or breathed into us (Genesis 2:4-7-9). Breath often is equated to the spiritual side of mankind. Also note that there is an interaction with blood, too, to make life (Leviticus 17:10-14-16).
    and THE DEAD were JUDGED from the things which were written in THE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS.
Any single DEED written in THE BOOKS would be enough to condemn each of THE DEAD. However, in the interest of completeness, and, I suspect to ensure that ALL EVIL is revenged (Revelation 6:10 for one example), ALL DEEDS will be trotted out. Furthermore, those eyes of fire (Revelation 1:14) and the voice of Jesus (Revelation 1:15) will try each DEED (John 5:25-29) to see what it really is made of. And don't think it is only the overt DEEDS, the secret ones too will be judged (Romans 2:1-16-16). We certainly pray that the readers of this discussion understand how important it is to NOT be among THE DEAD!
    And (1) the SEA gave up THE DEAD which were in it,
The literal interpretation is the most obvious. The oceans and seas of this earth give up the unbelieving DEAD to have their time of judgment before the GREAT WHITE THRONE (verse 11).

What is not so obvious .... as we discussed previously, water is the container of spirits (both good and evil). In this case, the water is giving up the evil spirits (demons?) that it contains. The false prophet and the beast both (Revelation 19:20) have already been assigned to their eternal torture. The devil also has met his end (verse 10). Here in this phrase, God in His completeness is removing the evil (demon based) from the water.

Just an aside note; evil apparently is never abolished. That is why God admonished Adam and Eve to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and EVIL (Genesis 2:15-17). If they did, they would be committing an act with eternal consequences. It also explains why even the new Jerusalem has walls and gates (Revelation 21:12).

That water is the container of evil is one reason why the flood was used to remove EVIL mankind (Genesis 6:1-5-8). On the other hand, wherever the presence of God was, namely the ark of the covenant of the Lord in the Old Testament, neither the ark nor the feet of its bearers ever touched water (Joshua 3:14-17). Even in crossing through the Red Sea, water never came close to contaminating the chosen people of God (Exodus 14:1-22-29-31). Sidelight: what happened to the Egyptians who were pursuing God's chosen people?

The "dying to oneself" part of baptism symbolizes our burial of EVIL from our lives. Spiritually, the "buried" EVILS from believers are being judged ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS (Luke 11:14-26). Even the EVIL thoughts cleansed from our conscience by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22-25) are judged at this time.
    and (2) DEATH and HADES gave up THE DEAD which were in them;
Finally, the wages of SIN (EVIL) and the abode of EVIL (spiritually), give up the EVIL DEAD within them. This phrase is the other bookend to Revelation 1:18 where Jesus Christ says that He has the Keys to DEATH and Hades. The verses between Revelation 1:18 and this verse are in essence the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He conquers EVIL because He is forevermore ALIVE. Having the keys to DEATH and Hades means that He controls them. So here we see Jesus Christ fulfilling His judgment control (John 5:17-22-24) and JUDGES EVIL.
    and they were JUDGED, every one of them ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS.
The 'they' here is broad: unbelievers (name not in Book of Life, verse 15), those in the list in Revelation 21:8, demons (Matthew 8:28-29-34), evil spirits as stored in the SEA, and DEATH and HADES all are JUDGED! If you are reading this and haven't accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, your FINAL JUDGMENT is HERE!
    And DEATH and HADES were THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.
The personification of DEATH and HADES makes one think about what really happened here. The obvious view is that DEATH is the physical death of these non-believers, and HADES is the departed souls of these non-believers. These non-believers are the ones who missed the FIRST RESURRECTION (Revelation 20:6). But there is a broader meaning. Just as we have discussed previously, evil is being totally expunged from the earth, and the earth will be totally redeemed by the Jesus Christ who is revealed in this Bible book. It is fitting that anything that has come into contact with EVIL also must be purged. And, thus, both DEATH (which is the wages of sin - Romans 6:15-23-23) and HADES are consigned to THE LAKE OF FIRE.

DEATH and HADES didn't go willingly; they were THROWN into THE LAKE OF FIRE. Not much is said in scripture about THE LAKE OF FIRE. It, obviously, is an eternal spiritual container controlled by God. God is a black-and-white God. He doesn't tolerate any gray areas. So EVIL must be compartmentalized for eternity in the LAKE OF FIRE (Matthew 25:31-41-46). Some scholars indicate they believe that the "outer darkness" (Matthew 22:1-13-14, Matthew 8:5-12-13, and Matthew 25:14-30-30) shares the same place as the LAKE OF FIRE.
    This is the SECOND DEATH, the LAKE OF FIRE.
This SECOND DEATH is confirmed for the list of non-believers in Revelation 21:8. This is a permanent DEATH. There is no escaping it. The LAKE of FIRE was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:31-41-46). Please note that the discussion of God's economic principles are intimately tied to this LAKE of FIRE. Those gatherings of believers who do not implement God's economic principles run the risk of participating in this SECOND DEATH! It is not a coincidence that much of the discussion about the harlot refers to the world's economic principles (Revelation 18:1-3-11-15-19). Furthermore, the smoke seen in Revelation 18:18 may well be the smoke coming from the LAKE OF FIRE!
    And if anyone's NAME was not found WRITTEN in the BOOK OF LIFE,
Let's think a little bit about one's NAME. We are given a NAME at birth by our parents, usually. That name is associated with our physical appearance. But, spiritually, we are named at conception. Our birth name may well be a duplicate of someone else's name. But the names in BOOK OF LIFE must be unique for the judgment to be correctly meted out. Only in recent years has science shown the uniqueness of DNA (actually DNA, genotype and phenotype1). Thus, I suspect, we are known to God by our genetic structures. There are some interesting implications to this concept.

If life begins at conception (or very shortly thereafter), then a life taken anytime prior to the "natural" physical death of the being is considered murder. Murderers are listed in Revelation 21:8 as those who will take part in the LAKE OF FIRE. The spiritual part of each NAME then also begins at conception (Luke 1:26-31-35-38 and Genesis 2:4-7-14). It will be interesting when we, believers who are alive physically, are united with these spiritual entities who are in heaven either through abortion, miscarriage, or some other death prior to the 'age of accountability', whether we will even recognize them as such. It makes one ponder what the real spiritual part of oneself truly is.

If the spiritual entity has reached the 'age of accountability', then it is by their individual choice to NOT believe on Jesus Christ that will force Jesus to remove their NAME (Revelation 3:5) from the BOOK OF LIFE. Knowing that the LAKE OF FIRE is not a fun place to be (for an eternity no less), a person MUST consider choosing to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as the better alternative.
    he was THROWN into the LAKE OF FIRE.
This is not an option. All options these unbelievers had are long gone. The use of 'THROWN' indicates this is a permanent removal from earth and permanent residence in the LAKE OF FIRE. You may have heard people flippantly remark, "But I'll have lots of friends there" as though that will be a comfort. The LAKE OF FIRE holds no friends; it holds individuals whose NAMES are NOT in the BOOK OF LIFE along with the devil (verse 10), the antiChrist (Revelation 19:20), the False Prophet (Revelation 19:20), all evil (demons, DEATH, and HADES in previous verse).

1 Lewontin, Richard, "The Genotype/Phenotype Distinction", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2004 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only