1. The Throne. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it” (Rev. 20:11, NKJV). We note 3 things about this throne. It is “great,” from the Greek, megas, from where we get our word, “mega star.” It can mean literally “large,” describing a large and spacious, white throne of God; or figuratively, “of things: great, sublime, important” (BAGD). It reflects the greatness and power and magnitude of the throne of God.
It is “white,” from leukos, “shining, brilliant” (Newman); “‘bright, shining, radiant.’” (Louw-Nida) Dan. 7:9, “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire” (NKJV). The shining, radiant brilliance of the throne of God speaks of His absolute purity and justice. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (Ps. 97:2, ESV).
When my father was judge at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 62, he told me that every judge is required to avoid socializing with politicians, businessmen, and government officials. He is to avoid places like gambling casinos, cockpits, bars and nightclubs. Such vices might influence a judge’s decision. They might bribe him. They might compromise his position. I told him that sounds like a Bible-believing Christian. Every believer should avoid people and places that may cause him to sin and displease God.
This “throne,” (Gk. thronos) is “‘the seat of judging’ or ‘the seat of decision-making for a ruler; the place from which authority or rule is exercised – ‘place of authority, place of ruling, throne.’” (Louw-Nida). This throne is the seat of perfect judgment. This Judge and His throne cannot be bribed. He cannot be bought. He cannot be bent to make the other party win the case. It is the place of faultless decisions. It is the throne of divine authority, righteousness and justice (Ps. 9:7-8).
2. The Judge (20:11). “Him who sat on it” (v. 11, NKJV) refers to God the Father. Rev. 7:10, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (NKJV). The Father sits on the throne, while the Son sits there with Him, “at the right hand of the majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3, NKJV).
James Merritt tells the story of a woman who got into trouble. She knew of a very good attorney. She was confident she’d win the case with him as lawyer. But she kept on postponing going to see him.
The day came when it was time for her trial in court. So she rushed to his office. But when she arrived there, she discovered that the attorney was no longer a lawyer. He had become a judge. He said, “I am so sorry lady. Had you come to me sooner, I would have been your defense, but now I must be your judge.”
If you don’t meet Jesus as your Savior today, you will meet Him as your Judge someday. If you don’t meet Him as the Lamb today, you will meet Him as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. If you don’t meet Him as your Mentor today, you will meet Him as your Tormentor someday soon.
“Face” here is from prosopon, properly means, “face, countenance” (BAGD). Yet due to the presence of the preposition, apo (from), it most likely means here, the presence of God. Rev. 1:16, “His face was like the sun shining at its brightest” (WEB).
Because of the face of God, John wrote, “the earth and sky fled away” (ESV). “Fled away” is from pheugo, literally, “to run away” (Strong); figuratively speaking, “to cease rapidly to exist – ‘to cease quickly, to disappear rapidly’” (Louw-Nida), which most fits the context.
Do you know somebody whose face can launch a thousand ships to run away? Somebody whose face will make everyone else run away? During our church outing at the beach, there were many “siokoys” (beach boys; also a pun for a “mermen” vs. mermaids, but a merman is usually the uglier type) who were looking at our two beauties—Tara and Karen. I was about to ask them to leave the siokoys and come up. But good thing they went up before I could say anything. Then I suggested that we might as well send our elder ladies, Ng Sima and Ate Charry to go down and sit where you sat. Maybe, the siokoys will go away.
Before the face of God, heaven and earth ran away and disappeared quickly. They stopped existing. On the final day of judgment, before the face of God, the present contaminated heaven and earth as we know it, will stop existing. There shall be no place for their existence anymore in this present order.
Last Wednesday, I told the Wednesday group about “Recession and the Resurrection.” If your hope is in this present world, then it’s a dead hope, with all this recession and economic crisis. But if your hope is in your future inheritance in Christ, it is a living hope. Our future inheritance in Christ is indestructible, undefiled, and reserved in heaven for us. This living hope is a reality through of the resurrection of Christ (1 Pet. 1:3). Let us live therefore with the end in mind, the end of a future inheritance in Christ.
You see, the Great White Throne marks the end of the present order and the beginning of a new order—the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21). The universe will be obliterated and removed from its present existence. Hence, all matter is but temporary. This material universe is but momentary and passing.