Journal Rev 20 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.
From his presence earth and sky fled away…and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
Then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.
And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done…” Rev 20:11-12
Observation: Process and procedure. “Line by line, precept by precept.” All things orderly even at the End of Time, the Judgment Seat…
Application: I broke this passage down so that I could slow my reading down. If I read out loud, I hope that I would read each sentence slowly as well.
There are several men who will say they are Revelation or End Time scholars. I am not one of them. I have read deeply into Revelation commentary and am familiar with this dispensation, that dispensation, and the other dispensation theories. Still, trying to wrap my mind into one thing, one direction, I cannot.
For me, breaking the sentences down separately, assists in clarifying the biblical facts involved:
- All men will stand before the Throne. I notice that the prophecy doesn’t differentiate the salvation status of men here. Therefore, I must consider that the statement stands properly factual: All men stand before the Throne.
This understanding would then cause me to reevaluate what redemption/salvation means physically: If I am “saved”, do I get to skip the line? Bypass the throne? Maybe not…
- There are things that happen with heaven and earth fleeing from His Presence:
o “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matt 5:18, c. also Luke 16:17
o “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Mk 13:31
- Books are opened, apparently to pass judgment upon men.
- A single Book is produced after this, the Book of Life.
- Judgment happens.
There are, and I stress, theoretical positions that would/could interpret this differently, such as the saints (believers in Jesus) would escape the judgment side of this presentation, saying something like, “Believers have a different presentation to attend.” I don’t think that is true and at least is not consistent with the Scripture in Rev 20:11-12. But, like I said, I am not a Revelation scholar—all I can do for myself is read the Testimony plainly.
Is that why it is the Hope of Salvation and not the Fact of Salvation? “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Thes 5:8), and “…Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev 7:10b). Is it more proper to say that salvation is given, it is not obtained?
My hope is found in the redeeming blood of the Lamb. My shame will be found in the books, recounting my sin. My salvation will be found declaring, humbly but with great shouting, that Jesus died for my Sin to be forgiven.
Prayer: Reading Nehemiah today. He prayed. He prayed to God privately, silently, in all ways reaching out to the Holy One, full of wisdom and grace.
Father, I want to be steadfast in pursuing you, but not arrogant in presenting my musings as your Word. Help me to be confident in You.
Ricky Two Shoes