GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT
It is the book of Revelation 20 verses 11 – 15 which describes this judgement. In Psalm 96 verse 13, this judgement is executed by the God of the universe on the people of planet earth.
This judgement is different from any other judgement whatsoever that has been previously identified or administered in the Bible. This is because it involves the judgement of all sinners (or all those who rejects God for the past 6,000 years of Man’s existence on earth) including those who might have been previously judged or punished in one way or the other before their initial death on earth. This judgement applies to all those who during their lifetime on earth spurned the warnings of God to repent and turn away from all their evil practices (II Peter 3 verse 7).
In I John 4 verse 17, while believers’ judgement (i.e to determined their level of reward as explained above) will be a time of joy and happiness, the people who will appear at the Great White Throne Judgement will be filled with fear and terror as they await their eternal fate.
Click the links below to explore the Great White Throne Judgement.
This judgement takes place after the present dispensation of human beings. The present dispensation started from Adam and Eve approximately 6,000 years ago and is characterised by the existence of a fallen or sinful humanity. God will therefore end this present dispensation by punishing all perpetrators responsible for the occurrence of sin at the Great White Throne Judgement. This includes Satan, the Demons and all Human beings who disobeys God’s law. It is a principle in the Bible that any person not found obeying God must be judged and punished with the torments of fire (Matthew 3 verse 10, Matthew 15 verse 13, Luke 3 verses 9 & 17).
While Satan and his demons received swift judgement from God after their attempt to dethrone God many years before the creation of Mankind (i.e because they were immediately expelled from Heaven and made to loose their glory and beauties), their full punishment will only commence immediately after the millennial age. It is at this time that they begin to experience the excruciating torment of the everlasting fire originally prepared for them (Matthew 25 verse 41, Revelation 20 verse 10).
This judgment on Satan and the fallen demonic angels is then followed by the Great White Throne Judgment where all rebellious Human beings are called before God to be judged one after the other. Click here to view topical index
The Bible describes different examples of judgements which have been exercised against the ungodly in the past. Each judgement shows the same principles. Firstly, God makes provision to escape the Judgement. Secondly if that provision is not accepted, Judgement follows.
The following are these examples
· Lucifer and the Fallen Angels: In Isaiah 14 verses 12 – 16, II Peter 2 verse 4; Jude 1 verse 6, Matthew 25 verses 41 the devil and his angels sinned against God in Heaven and were immediately thrown out to suffer for all eternity in an everlasting fire. Unlike Man, the devil and his angels resided in Heaven with God. They could see God face to face. Yet they still choose to rebel against God. This is probably why God did not offer them a second chance. This contrast with Mankind whom God offered a second chance through Jesus Christ.
· The Deluge: During this time, God made a provision of Noah’s ark for people of his generation through which they could have escaped the deluge. Despite Noah’s preaching to stop sinning, the people of Noah’s days ignored his warnings. As a result, the judgement of the flood destroyed everybody with the exception of Noah and His family. II Peter 2 verse 5
· Sodom and Gomorrah: In Genesis 18 verse 20; II Peter 2 verse 6, the Bible used the phrase “…the cry….is great…..” to show that judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah only followed continuous sinfulness of this city. The fact that there was a build up of sinfulness which the God of Heaven had to assessed before judging this city (Genesis 18 verse 21), shows indirectly that this city was given opportunity to repent over a period of time before judgement.
· Judgement on Israel: Before both the Northern and Southern tribes of Israel went into captivity, God repeatedly raised prophets to warn Israel to turn away from wickedness (read Matthew 23 verses 29 – 39). However because these warnings went unheeded, both tribes later went into captivity which spanned hundreds and thousands of years. (II Kings chapter 25, I Chronicles 6 verse 15, Daniel 1 verse 1)
· Jerusalem: God had to allow this city to be destroyed in AD70 as a result of the rejection of Jesus Christ by the Jews who accepted to have Jesus Christ blood on their head. Read Matthew 27 verses 24 & 25. Jesus Christ initially ministered to the Jews for 3 ½ years, yet they still demanded His death. As a result, God used the instrumentality of the Romans to waste the city in AD70
· The Great Tribulation: This is a future judgement designed to punish the entire world. Despite attempts by God to reconcile Mankind back to Him, majority of mankind continues to rebel against God. As a result God will allow a 7 years unprecedented tribulation to punish the entire earth. Read Matthew 24 verses 21 – 22, Daniel 12 verse 1.
· Judgement of the Nations: In Matthew 25 verses 31 – 46, Matthew 13 verses 40 – 43, this judgement takes place immediately after the Great Tribulation but before the millennial reign of Christ. It is designed to punish those who will receive the mark of the beast, 666 during the great tribulation in order to exclude them from participating in the millennial reign of Christ.
· Eternal Judgement in the Lake of Fire: Unlike all other judgements which takes place within a span of a brief time, this judgement is continuous and eternal. It involves suffering in consciousness, the agony of an eternal fire without rest day nor night. This judgement or punishment is the outcome of the judgement at the Great White Throne Judgement. Click here to view topical index
In Revelation 20 verse 11, the Great White throne judgement will serve as the platform through which God will administer a final judgement and justice to sinners of different ages (Psalm 9 verses 7 & 8). The appearance of the gigantic throne will result in the cataclysmic disappearance of the current Heaven and Earth. In other words, at the same time as the administration of judgements on all sinners, the current earth will experience renovation by melting off. This is because the current earth and the universe have been tainted by the sinful, selfish activities of sinners and evil spirits for over 6,000 years (II Peter 3 verses 10 - 12). Click here to view topical index
In Romans 2 verse 16, Jesus Christ Himself will sit on the Great White throne so as to administer this judgement. John 5 verse 22, Acts 17 verse 31 shows that God the father in Heaven has delegated this task of judgement to His son Jesus Christ.
The written word of God found in the Bible is the platform through which Christ will administer this judgement to mankind John 12 verse 48. Click here to view topical index
Revelation 20 verses 12 – 13 shows the resurrection of all types of people who had once lived on earth. Unlike the earlier resurrection of the righteous, this type of resurrection is onto condemnation and eternal shame (Daniel 12 verse 2, Job 19 verse 25, I Samuel 2 verse 6). Just like the resurrection of the righteous, this group of people are raised with new bodies which are designed to suffer eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Each person appears in this new body at the exact location where he or she originally died (Revelation 20 verses 13, I Peter 4 verse 5). Click here to view topical index
Revelation 20 verse 12 shows all types of people appearing before God to be judged. It comprises of men, women, boys, girls, rich, poor, handsome, ugly, white, black, colored or whatever description is given to different classes of people. Even though these people lived during different era on earth, they will all appear together at the same time.
These are people that will not obey God’s law. Their action and deed were concentrated on pleasing their fleshly appetites and not obeying God’s spiritual laws found in the Bible (Galatians 6 verses 7 - 8). Click here to view topical index
In (Matthew 10 verse 15; 11 verses 20 – 24; 12 verses 41 – 42, Mark 6 verse 11, Luke 10 verses 12 – 15; 11 verses 31 – 32, Matthew 11 verses 20 – 24, Matthew 12 verses 41 - 42), varying levels of punishment or judgement will be administered to different people and nations. In the example given in these passages, some nations were given the opportunity to experience Jesus Christ ministered directly to them. These nations who failed to repent at the preaching of Jesus Christ would receive severe punishment than those who did not have this opportunity, but who notwithstanding were rebellious against God.
God’s judgement will be administered in righteousness, there will be no favouritism on that judgement day (Colossians 3 verse 25). Even though different degree of punishment will be given out, all sinners who appears at the Great White Throne will be punished by God for all eternity.
Entire nations which rejects God will be turned into the lake of fire (Psalm 9 verse 17). From the book of Ezekiel 31 verses 14, 16, 18; 32 verses 18 – 25, nations that reject God will be cast into the “nether parts” or centre of the earth or the bottomless pit where the lake of fire flows. Click here to view topical index
The following are some areas.
In Matthew 12 verses 36 – 37, the word “Idle” can be interpreted as unproductive communication. This includes swearing by the name of God or speaking against the Holy Spirit (Luke 12 verse 10), using foul language through “swear words”, and every other form of negative talks. This aspect is particularly important because all actions or deeds are the products of what people says to others or to themselves.
In Luke 20 verses 46 – 47, all types of religious or self righteousness will be judged. All types of hypocrites will be judged.
In I Corinthians 4 verse 5, God will not only judge the outward disposition of a person, but the motives and thoughts behind it.
In Hebrews 10 verses 26 – 29, God will judge any wilful disobedience from people who knows what Gods says about things that are wrong, but that person still regularly indulge in these acts of disobedience. Click here to view topical index
According to I Corinthians 4 verse 5, during this judgement, Jesus Christ will uncover all unrepented, evil motives, intentions and practices of each human being. All the hidden works of darkness, including witchcrafts, sorceries and any other hidden violation of God’s word which Man thinks he or she can get away with, will all be revealed during this judgement. Also read Mark 4 verses 21, 22, Luke 8 verses 16 – 17, Luke 12 verses 2 – 3, Matthew 10 verse 26. Click here to view topical index
Among others, the following are sins mentioned in the Bible and which will be judged at the Great White Throne.
· Fearful and Unbelieving: In Revelation 21 verse 8; this includes all those who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ during their life time, but refuses to give their lives to Jesus Christ because of anticipated persecution or wrong attitude of other people which will be the result of taking such steps. Others will simply refuse to accept Jesus Christ during their life time not as a result of expected persecution, but because of simply refusing to believe in Jesus Christ even though they had ample opportunities to do so.
· Abominable: While all sins are abominations to God, however the word “abominable” in Revelation 21 verse 8 refers to individuals that are given to practices which are contrary to the natural order God put into the processes of nature. For example the practice of bestiality or sexual perversions between human beings and animals.
· Murderers: This includes all kinds of unlawful killings of fellow human beings (Revelation 21 verse 8, Matthew 5 verse 21)
· Whoremongers: These includes a lot of sexual sins which involves having sexual conjugations with multiple partners such as in Prostitution and pornography (sexual services for financial gain), Fornications (sexual relationship between unmarried people), Adultery (sexual relationship by married people carried out with another person they are not married to), Sodomy (or Homosexuality mentioned in Genesis 19 verse 5; Leviticus 18 verse 22; 20 verse 13; Judges 19 verse 22; Romans 1 verses 27 & 28) etc. Also read Revelation 21 verse 8, I Corinthians 6 verses 9 – 20, II Peter 2 verses 9 – 10.
· Sorcerers: This includes all forms of dark practices such as witchcraft, occultism, spiritism, clairvoyance, necromancy, black magic etc. Read Revelation 21 verse 8,
· Idolaters: This can include literal worship of an idol or image from any religion, or preference of anything of personal value to God. For example, accumulation of money at the expense of loving God. Read Revelation 21 verse 8.
· All Liars: Anything that is not a truth is a lie and must be repented off. All those who refuse to accept or believe in Jesus Christ are lying against the truth of God’s word. Read Revelation 21 verse 8
· Other Sins: This includes stealing, covetousness, drunkenness, revilers, extortionist (I Corinthians 6 verse 9 – 20, Romans 1 verse 29 - 32) and so on and so forth. Click here to view topical index
While the location of this judgement is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, it will neither take place in the third Heaven (where God lives and sinners are not allowed into Heaven Revelation 21 verse 27; 22 verses 14,15) nor Earth (which would have melted away at the start of this judgement). However from the description of the event in Revelation 20 verse 11 we are given a clue that it will take place in the same location as the current earth, which albeit will be displaced from where it currently sits in the milky way Solar system. In other words, the current earth will disappear from where it is currently positioned and the Great White throne and sinners of all ages will appear at the same spot. As the description in the above passage paints a picture of a mass of people appearing before this white throne, this probably suggest that the judgement will take place over a vast expanse of a flat area. Click here to view topical index
From Revelation 20 verses 12 – 13, these are books of record of everybody that ever lived on planet earth. There are two categories of these books. There is the “Book of Life” and there are the “Books of Record”. Click here to view topical index
According to Exodus 32 verse 33, the “book of life” is God’s book which shows the names of all of God’s people that ever lived on earth. Once an individual is reconciled to God whether through observant of the law of Moses, submitting to the law of the conscience Romans 2 verses 12 - 15 (i.e prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) or acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ as Lord and savior (as required now according to Titus 2 verses 11 – 14), that person’s name is instantly written in the book of life (Luke 10 verse 20, Philippians 4 verse 3, Revelation 21 verse 27). However if this person turns away from God and never returns, God disown that person by removing his or her name from the book of life (Revelation 3 verse 5).
Nobody whose name is in the book of life at the point of his or her death will appear before the Great White Throne Judgement. However all those who appear before the judgement will not have been added to the book of life or if they were once added, their names were later removed because of turning away from God during their first life time. Read Revelation 13 verse 8, 17 verse 8, 20 verse 15
The book of Revelation 20 verses 14, 15 says that all those whose names are not written in the “Book of Life” will perish in the eternity of the Lake of fire. Click here to view topical index
In the case of the “Books of Records”, everybody who has ever lived on earth will have all their activities on earth written in their individual book of record. Both the righteous and sinners will have an individual book associated to their works of activities while this person first lived on earth. However while the righteous are allowed eternal life based on the fact that their names are written in the book of life, the sinners will be condemned based on their works written in the “books of record”.
Also the use of the “books of records” for the righteous is designed to assess their suitability to receive eternal reward. While salvation in Christ is free and not based on works of a person, however God will still consider the eligibility of each righteous person to eternal rewards, based on their works on earth. It is the books of Romans 14 verse 10b, II Corinthians 5 verse 10, Luke 21 verse 36 which tells us that believers’ works on earth will be judged. While the righteous or the believer has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, his or her name written in the book of life and he or she will never perish in Hell fire, that person will still be judged based on the quality of good or bad works of that person on earth. These works are demonstrated in the course of serving God and fellow human beings on earth. If this righteous person’s work passes the assessment (described as a test of fire), then that righteous individual receives eternal reward. But if the righteous person’s works fails this assessment, this bad work is not rewarded (Read I Corinthians 3 verses 11 – 15). In both cases of good and bad works, it is the “book of records” that will be used to justify this assessment. This assessment is carried out immediately after the Rapture of the Christian church from earth, but is at least 1,000 years before these books are opened again for sinners to be judged at the Great White Throne Judgement. Click here to view topical index
Unlike the righteous, the “Books of records” for the sinners will be opened to remind that individual sinner (standing before the Great White Throne Judgement ) of the futility of reliance on their works to justify them. Some of those standing before God would try to justify themselves based on the good records of charitable deeds, religious fervour, helping the poor etc. However the response of Jesus Christ in Matthew 7 verses 22 – 23, Luke 13 verses 23 – 30 shows it is not just enough to have good works on earth, but one must also know Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. While God demands holiness and good works, however any such without a relationship with Jesus Christ is filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64 verse 6). It is impossible to be saved by just doing good works. God considers every human being as unrighteous before Him (Romans 3 verses 10 – 12), and so no amount of good works can atone for man’s sinfulness (Luke 13 verses 2 – 5). Human beings are not sinners because of any act of evil they perpetrate, they are sinners because they descended from Adam and Eve. The only justification from sin is through the provision of salvation God gave humanity. This provision is made available in the word of God in the Bible. This word of God is the same as Jesus Christ (John 12 verse 48, John 1 verses 1 – 14) And so for a person not to appear before the Great White Throne Judgement to be judged with murderers, rapists, thieves and other sinners of all ages, that person must give his or her life to Jesus Christ while still physically alive now (Read Romans 3 verses 20 – 26). Click here to view topical index