by Mike Ratliff
9 “I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10 “A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9-10 NASB)
Before we look at Revelation 20:11-15, take a moment to reflect on the carnage being wrought upon the visible church in our time by the very men who, by their own positions, should be shepherding the sheep. Instead, they are actually doing the very things to bring about the famine of hearing the Word of God and, hence, spiritual darkness seems to be all around us right in the midst of the “Church.” Mysticism in the guise of Spiritual Formation is being flim-flamed off on the unsuspecting as if it is another form of Christian prayer. We have rock-star pastors who measure their success by how many books they sell and how many branch churches they have who watch them preach via satellite. Of course, if you measure the content of their sermons by the Word of God, what you have is simply man-centered propaganda meant to appease, tease, and keep people coming through the front door instead of confronting them with their sin and need of a Saviour. Now, as you reflect on that, consider what awaits those whose names are not found written in the book of life.
11 Καὶ εἶδον θρόνον μέγαν λευκὸν καὶ τὸν καθήμενον ἐπʼ αὐτόν, οὗ ἀπὸ τοῦ προσώπου ἔφυγεν ἡ γῆ καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ τόπος οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῖς. 12 καὶ εἶδον τοὺς νεκρούς, τοὺς μεγάλους καὶ τοὺς μικρούς, ἑστῶτας ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου. καὶ βιβλία ἠνοίχθησαν, καὶ ἄλλο βιβλίον ἠνοίχθη, ὅ ἐστιν τῆς ζωῆς, καὶ ἐκρίθησαν οἱ νεκροὶ ἐκ τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν τοῖς βιβλίοις κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. 13 καὶ ἔδωκεν ἡ θάλασσα τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἔδωκαν τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐκρίθησαν ἕκαστος κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. 14 καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἐβλήθησαν εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός. οὗτος ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερός ἐστιν, ἡ λίμνη τοῦ πυρός. 15 καὶ εἴ τις οὐχ εὑρέθη ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ τῆς ζωῆς γεγραμμένος, ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός. (Revelation 20:11-15 NA28)
11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. From his presence the earth and heaven fled and a place was nod found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small having taken their stand before the throne. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life, and the dead were judged by the things written in the books according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and they were judged, each one according to their works. 14 And Death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death, the Lake of Fire. 15 And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:11-15 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
I pray you have noticed the complete and utter disregard for this in what is going on with the continual corruption of the “visible church” and their apologists as we bring to light the unbiblical nature of what is going on. These people are not in the least concerned that God has a set time in the not so distant future when he will judge everyone as described in Revelation 20:11-15 whose names are not found written in the Book of Life. Notice that if a person’s name is not there the criteria for their judgment is their works, how well they kept God’s law. Notice that not one of them passed and so the next test is to see if they are to be found in the Book of Life. If they are not there then they are cast into the Lake of Fire. What about authentic Christians? What about those whose names were written in that book before the foundation of the World and confirmed when we were justified by grace through faith (Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 2:1-10)? Our names are in that book and our works are not judged at all because they were imputed to Christ on the cross while His righteousness and perfect obedience was imputed to us at our justification. Therefore, we are not being judged at the Great White Throne judgment. This is for unbelievers.
Now do you see why it is so vital that we understand these doctrines? Now do you see why we must stand up to these false teachers who are teaching heresy right from the pulpit, even leading their people into mysticism and calling it prayer and those attempting to compromise everything by joining with Rome? What Rick Warren is doing is just another form of ecumenicalism that waters down and softens people’s resolve to stand firm that much more. Each time this is allowed to go on with out standing against it, people will become less and less polemic against what they should be firmly resisting in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Judgment is coming. The Lake of Fire awaits all whose name is not found written in the Book of Life. Why is so much effort, energy, and money being used to make these men famous and wealthy instead of doing what we are called to do in Matthew 28:18-20?
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NASB)
Soli Deo Gloria!