The Throne of Heaven :: By Grant Phillips


There are two types of thrones mentioned in the book of Revelation. Is it one throne and two types, or two thrones and two types? I’m not really sure, but there are certainly two types.

One type of throne is first mentioned in Revelation 4:2. It is a throne where God’s people and the angels are gathered around Him. There are also twenty-four thrones around God’s throne, and on these thrones are twenty-four elders, which most prophecy scholars believe to be representative of the Church.

This is the throne where the Lord has His bride (the Church) to be seated next to Him. This is definitely the place to be. Notice also that we are seated and not standing. I’ll show later why I emphasize that we are “seated.”

At this throne, the bride of Christ has been clothed with pure white linen to wear, and her works have been judged for any rewards (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

Have you ever wondered what it was like for the Lord’s disciples to sit around the fire at night with Jesus at His first coming and listen to what He had to say? They could not grasp everything at that time, but when we are in Heaven, sitting with Him, we will understand.

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).

The mere thought of being so honored by Jesus is beyond words. Is there any wonder why we will delight in falling down before Him, worshipping Him and casting our crowns before His throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

Revelation 4:1-11 is a throne of delight. It is a throne of total joy. It is a throne where only that which is pure will attend. All that defile will never enter.

However, there is another throne. We go to Revelation 20:11-15 to read about this throne. This is a throne where no one will be seated except Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He sits as the King of kings, Lord of lords and Judge of judges. All others will be standing before Him waiting their judgment.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.

“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

All in attendance at this throne will not have the honor of being seated around the throne with Jesus but will be standing before Him to be condemned.

For thousands of years God has called people to come to Him through His beloved Son Jesus. The Old Testament of the Bible and the New Testament of the Bible have pleaded with mankind to come to Jesus and be saved from this time of judgment at the Great White Throne.

God has spoken throughout the dispensations to bring man to salvation. He has spoken through the written Word, the Bible, through prophets, his own creation, leaders, angels, feasts, offerings, miracles, missionaries, pastors, apostles, etc. He has especially spoken through His own Son. His patience has long endured.

One of the Lord’s apostles said it best, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

At the Great White Throne judgment, there will be only the guilty and the Judge. The courtroom will be full of men, women and children (who have reached the age of accountability) waiting for judgment. All standing here are guilty. They will not be there to determine their guilt, but only to determine their place in the lake of fire. All of these people, without exception, will have refused the free salvation of Jesus Christ that they had been offered.

I would like to quote a short passage from John Wayne Gaylord’s book, Finally Home (pp. 1191-92).

“Do not confuse this white throne with the one in chapter 4. Compare the differences: in chapter 4 we saw a throne set in Heaven with a rainbow around it. The rainbow is a sign that God keeps His promises to those who trust in Him. But here in chapter 20, the throne has no rainbow. The only promise to those before the Great White Throne is justice and retribution. In chapter 4, the throne had rumblings and warnings coming from it like a red flashing light at a railroad crossing. But here in chapter 20, there is nothing but the silence. The warnings have come to an end. In chapter 4, there were prayers and pleadings before the throne, but here in chapter 20, the lamp of mercy has gone out, and the time for prayers has ended.

“And finally, in chapter 4, John heard songs of praise being lifted unto God. But at this final Great White Throne scene set at the end of history, there are no longer voices of praise – no songs to sing – nothing but the silence of the damned.”

As Mr. Gaylord emphasized, there will be no more warnings, no more mercy, no more prayers answered … nothing but judgment, and then they will all be cast into the lake of fire (hell).

In my opinion, I don’t believe there will be silence, but in its place will echo screams of terror, cursings, pleadings, and a lot of “why me?”

Also, unlike earthly courts, there will be no attorneys, no jury, no delays, no plea bargaining … nothing but justice. No one will be able to refute the evidence.

It is clear to me in reading this passage that there will be degrees of punishment, “and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds,” but obviously, that isn’t much consolation.

If you have not put your faith in Jesus Christ, please do so right now. Ask Him to save you now. He will. Don’t wait until it is too late and you must stand before Him to be sentenced to the Lake of Fire.

Grant Phillips


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