Revelation 20:11

Friday, 30 July 2021

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. Revelation 20:11

The scene now set forth is a post-millennial judgment. Satan has been cast into the Lake of Fire, and now will come the final judgment of all humanity not previously raptured or raised. Of this judgment, John begins with, “Then I saw a great white throne.”

It is a throne of justice. The white signifies perfect righteousness. The judgment will be pure and unbiased. John next says, “and Him who sat on it.”

The Greek is a present participle. It says, “Then Him who is sitting on the throne.” The scene is active and alive. This is referring to Christ Jesus. God is unseen. This is made perfectly evident in Scripture. However, Jesus who is fully God and fully Man, reveals the unseen God to man, and it is to Jesus that all judgmental authority belongs –

“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John 5:22, 23

Christ, sitting on the throne of God, has already been seen in Revelation 3:21 –

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

To sit down with His Father does not mean that the Father literally sits on a throne. God is Spirit and has no parts. Jesus’ words indicate a position of authority. That position is His. In this judgment before the great white throne, John next says of Jesus (who sits upon the throne), “from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.”

The symbolism is apocalyptic. A similar instance was seen in Revelation 6:14. The terminology is also like that found at various times in Scripture, such as Psalm 18:7-15; Psalm 77:16-19; and Psalm 114:3-5. These and other references describe the creation fleeing from the presence of the Lord. The idea is that in seeing Him in His glory, everything else recedes from sight. As such, John says, “And there was found no place for them.”

Again, the thought is like that of the parting of the Red Sea or the parting of the Jordan. When the Lord’s presence is made manifest, the creation flees back from Him. In the full presentation of the splendor of the Lord at this final judgment, all creation will appear to flee away from Him. The only thing evident to the eyes of those before the throne will be the One who created all those things

In other words, the creation that they are a part of, that they relied on, that they idolized, and that they thought was the source of their existence is nothing in comparison to the One who created it all. They failed to look beyond the creation to their Creator, and now they find that the only thing of true value is what they failed to seek out and glorify. No place is found for those things because the Source of those things is there before them. His glory causes all else to recede into obscurity.

Life application: The final judgment of all humans who had not previously been granted eternal life will come someday. Those who were called up to Christ at the rapture will be witnesses of this judgment, not a part of it. Likewise, those who were part of the first resurrection are also safe from this judgment. Only those who didn’t previously participate in one of these two events, along with those who lived during the millennial reign and who did not take the mark of the beast, will be involved here.

A progression of thought, concerning Christ as Creator, proceeds all the way through until He is seen as the final Judge upon the throne. In Colossians 1:16, it says, “All things were created through Him and for Him.” Jesus was the mediator between God and the creation at the very beginning. He is the One through whom all things came into existence (see also John 1:3).

In the next verse of Colossians 1:17, it says, “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Jesus is the continued Mediator between God and the creation after all things were created – “in Him all things consist (or are ‘held together’).”

Jesus is also the direct Mediator between God and Man as is noted in 1 Timothy 2:5. There it says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” The Bible is absolutely clear on this precept. The Pope has no authority to mediate between God and man. No pastor or preacher has such authority. No angelic being or apostle has this authority. There is one and only one point of mediation between God and man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is also the Judge of man. By His own words of John 5 (cited above), we know that He will be the One there at the final judgment of man.

One must understand the nature of the Godhead in order to comprehend the nature of our relationship with God. Jesus fills all of these positions because He is the full expression of God in bodily form. He is continuously, ceaselessly, and endlessly revealing to us the unseen Father. Thus, all judgment has been committed to the Son. We err when we bow to any other god, when we look to horoscopes for daily counsel, or when we look to a human figure – living or dead – to submit our prayers or petitions to. All of these things cause us to miss the mark. It is Jesus to whom we owe our devotion and supplication.

In saying that creation will flee away from His presence, there are several general thoughts on what this means. The first is that creation will literally be utterly swept away and that what is coming will be a new creation. It will be something that never existed before. The second thought is that this creation will be utterly purified by His glory, and so what is coming will be a new creation – as if one were to make something from clay – such as a bowl – and then completely start over with that material and make something new.

Based on the words of Genesis 1 and 2, and considering that redeemed man will continue to exist with Christ forever, it would appear that the second option is more likely.  This will continue to be evaluated in verses to come.

Creation will be purified and perfected to its original state. Paul seems to allude to this in Romans 8:20-22 as well. No matter what occurs with the created order, those who are saved by the blood of Christ will exist for all eternity in His presence, completely free from corruption, impurity, or defilement.

Of this, we can be certain. God’s word is clear and unambiguous in this. God has promised eternal life to those who come to Him as He has set forth in the giving of JESUS.

What a marvelous thought it is! Oh Lord Jesus, to see You in all of Your glory is more than our minds can imagine. You have taken sinful people and redeemed them to Yourself in such a way that we won’t be utterly consumed when Your glory is revealed. You have covered us with Your own precious blood. What a great and glorious Lord! Hallelujah and Amen.