White Throne Judgment
There is much to be learnt about the Great White Throne Judgment from Scripture. Its purpose may not be well known to many bible readers but its purpose is crucial to understanding the workings of God. In fact, other than the main focal point of human history being the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of His saints, the other major event is the Great White Throne Judgment. What is it and why is it?
As we showed previously on this web site, the person who dies does not go to heaven. Neither does the person go to hell. They are in the grave (Hades). He or she has not gone anywhere. Death is oblivion. Read the article www.bibleanalytics.ca/death.html about death on this web site. In fact, if a person dies and goes to heaven or hell (which is false) there would be no need for a resurrection. But the bible speaks often of resurrections. As Jesus said in John 5:29 there is a resurrection to life and a resurrection to judgment – two types of resurrections. Knowledge of these two types of resurrections is the key to understanding the purpose of the white throne judgment.
All who die will be resurrected from the dead but not all at the same time. Frist there is a resurrection of the faithful of God as mentioned in Revelation 7 and 14. Later there is a resurrection of all those who never knew God. Some assumptions are made about those who are in the second resurrection who never knew Jesus Christ and are therefore unbelievers. One assumption is that the white throne judgment is when those who died are judged by Jesus Christ and He decides who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. This assumes that both believers and unbelievers appear before the throne. That is patently false. The event of the white throne does not deal with the righteous, those circumcsed and those not circumcised, because they have already been resurrected long before the appearance of the great white throne. Everyone resurrected before the thousand years belong to Christ, and receive immortality. The great white throne judgment occurs after the 1000-year millennium.
The replacement of eternal torture for universal reconciliation has utterly distorted every aspect of the great white throne judging. This diabolical doctrine changes the motive of judgment from God’s love to hate. Instead of a marvelous display of God's ability to help His creatures, it is degraded to a vicious exhibition of His power to harm. Many bible commentators conclude that the result of judgment at the great white throne the unbelievers are cast into the lake of fire where they are tortured forever. Once again, not true. However, the judgment of God is righteous judgment, always for the ultimate benefit of man.
The first (former) resurrection occurs at the beginning of the millennium (Rev. 20:6). The later resurrection occurs at the great white throne judgment, more than a thousand years later, for the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished (Rev.20:5). As to time, the faithful of the circumcision are judged at the beginning of the thousand years, the sinners after it is past. One leads to a millennium of happiness, the other to the second death. As Jesus Christ said when on earth the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will be hearing His voice, and those who do good things shall be going out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad into a resurrection of judgment (John 5:29).
For further insight into the eons (ages) please view this web page www.bibleanalytics.ca/eons.
What happens during the judgment at the great white throne
Those who are resurrected at the great white throne are all peoples throughout history who never heard of or believed in Jesus Christ. This will be their time to encounter the just judgment of God. The purpose of God absolutely requires that those who stand before the great white throne not only bear the consequences of their wrongdoings, but accept and acquiesce in whatever severe provision befalls them. More than that, since it is to lead to reconciliation with God, they must not merely acknowledge the justice of all that occurs, but will feel the positive goodness and care that accompanies even the severest infliction.
An intense examination of all those resurrected will be held, with Christ as Judge. There all who were not part of the first fruits will get their due, and suffer for their sins. No one is made immortal at this judgment session. Being made immortal occurs at the presence of Christ, before the millennium begins, and at the consummation, after the following fifth eon ends (1 Cor.15:22-28).
The purpose of judgment is not just an attempt to deal out punishment to unbelievers. Its purpose is to convince them that His sentence of condemnation is just and true. They will truly realize what God is about, no matter at what cost to themselves, for the goal is for ultimate good, that it is worth any amount of temporary affliction and suffering before experiencing the second death. Because God is just, each person will receive what he or she deserves. Some will receive severe affliction and others will receive a less harsh judgment, based on their life’s deeds before they died. At the great white judgment, various degrees of punishment will be meted out based on peoples’ deeds and exposure to God’s truth.
Christ, when on earth, told us of the judgment at the great white throne. Notice these verses:
Matthew 11:21 (KJV) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Mat 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you
Matthew 12:42 (KJV) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Christ will be revealed as the Son of God and exhibit His benevolent dealings. Not only the severity of God's justice and holiness will be endured by those who stand before the great white throne, but its motive and object will be open for all to see, so that there will be none of the bitterness and rebellion and hate which springs from His unseen hand today. Those who need it will suffer with a realization of their need of it, and of the ultimate end in view. At the great white throne man will recognize his own inability to make things right. This will lead him back to God and His just judgment.
The throne is white not black, white symbolizes righteousness. And white is the color of light and righteousness and holiness. Our Lord's garments became white on the mount of transfiguration (Matt.17:2; Mark 9:3; Luke 9:29). The messenger’s, commonly called "angels" are clothed in white (Matt.28:3; John 20:12; Acts 1: 10). Worthy saints are robed in white (Rev.3:4,5; 7:9,13; 19:14).
After the white throne judgment
Once we realize what judging means in the Word of God, the great white throne becomes a guarantee of universal reconciliation, not of eternal damnation. It is only when we see that the outcome of this judgment is universal reconciliation
(Col.1:20), that we can really acknowledge that the throne is white. The dead will be judged before the great white throne, not in the lake of fire (Rev.20:12). More information is available concerning the lake of fire in the latter part of the article www.bibleanalytics.ca/lake.html. As the article explains, the lake of fire is the second death. It is death not life in a burning hell.
Eternal torment makes the judging at the white throne futile and irrational. Universal reconciliation makes it fruitful and wise. What profit is it to God to torture unbelievers endlessly, when, if He is a deity of limitless power and infinite wisdom, He could save them and get from them the fruit of His labors, and enjoy the worship and adoration for which He created them? What would we think of a God Who would create billions of people who would curse Him endlessly? The great white throne has no rational place in mainstream theology. If all unbelievers are doomed to eternal torment, why expend immeasurable supernatural power in raising them from the dead, when they are already suffering, simply to condemn the condemned? To inflict punishment before trial is immoral and irrational, and a farce when the guilt is already settled, and the length of the sentence predetermined.
The function of the great white throne judgment is to set matters right between man and God; hence it is utterly unnecessary and useless if it produces more suffering for man and further defeat and disgrace for God. Every human being, and, indeed, every living thing, is an exquisite and valuable creation of God, infinitely more valuable than the highest achievements of human ability. Every human being, and, indeed, every living thing, is an exquisite and valuable creation of God, infinitely more valuable than the highest achievements of human ability. Man cannot impart life or valued progress to any of his creations. All that he can do is to destroy these.
For the unbeliever the judging at the great white throne is the prelude to everlasting life, not eternal damnation. It is the transition between this life and eternal happiness, not everlasting grief.
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