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

Email: Phillip5769@twc.com

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html

Actions Speak Louder Than Words :: By Grant Phillips

I heard that saying many, many years ago in Sunday School class. I was about ten years old, and our Sunday School teacher told us boys, “Boys, always remember, your actions will always speak louder than your words.” I can’t say that I’ve always remembered it at the right times, but I have never forgotten those words.

I was reminded of it this morning when I was told of a business organization that sent an employee home one day after the employee had given their two-week notice to leave. The employee had two weeks of vacation that was due and could have taken their vacation first and then given a notice that they were leaving, but they didn’t think that would be the right thing to do. There was no reason for the employer to send the employee home other than the obvious. There have been several other incidents of this nature from this business entity. The head of this organization says he is a Christian and often boasts that they run their business as a Christian organization. I’m sorry, but your actions speak louder than your words.

Have you ever noticed how much our political leaders speak of loving and befriending others? Have you also noticed how much their hatred of any opposing view distorts their faces and almost causes them to froth at the mouth? Actions speak louder than words.

What about the entertainment industry: movie “stars,” sports “heroes,” musical “heartthrobs,” etc.? Again, they love everybody, but their hatred cannot be hidden when speaking against opposing views. Much worse than that, how about all that love talk when mention is made of Jesus? They use His name as a curse word, tossing it around like an old rag. Actions speak louder than words.

And then I listen to those dear folks speaking of loving each other, protecting animals, defending the defenseless. You know who I’m talking about … the tree huggers and save the beetle crusaders. I wonder what they think of the genocide of babies? No … that word isn’t descriptive enough. Murder? No … I know. What do they feel about the slaughter of babies? I know for a fact that most don’t have a problem with it. The mother’s “rights”? Actions still speak louder than words.

The Indians (oh, excuse me, the native Americans) used to call that speaking with a forked tongue. Well, there’s a lot of that going around. It has gotten so bad in today’s world that if someone told me it was raining outside, I’d have to look out the window first to see if it’s true.

My parents were not like that. They were pretty straightforward with what they had to say. If they told one of us youngsters while we were at church to be quiet or get a spanking when we got home, guess what we did? We got real quiet because we knew their words and their actions were in total agreement. Not so with most parents today.

I can actually remember the day when a person’s word was their bond. Contracts were validated by a handshake. Try that today and see how far it gets you. Actions speak louder than words.

Jesus said He came to die for all, and He did.

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Jesus said He came to save the lost, and all who come to Him will be saved.

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Jesus said He will save all who come to Him, and He does.

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).

Jesus said He will never condemn those who come to Him. He never has, and He will not do so.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

Jesus said He will remove His bride (the Church) before He judges the world. He is coming again.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Jesus said He will reward His own, and He will.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:10).

Jesus said He will judge all those who do not call upon Him in belief, and He will.

“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. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

“The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

Jesus has backed up everything He has ever said by His own actions. He also said:

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

“But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this” (John 8:40).

“…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Jesus saves all who will come to Him, and He has backed up His words with actions … the cross … the empty grave.

Jesus is coming back for His own. His words can be trusted because He backs up everything He says with actions.

Jesus will judge the world during the Tribulation and then at the Great White Throne judgment. Rest assured, it will happen, and it may be much sooner than any of us realize. All who come to Him now will not suffer wrath.

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).

God has shown over and over that He always does what He says. His words and His actions are always true to each other. Can that be said of us?

Grant Phillips

Email: Phillip5769@twc.com

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html