The Books of Life │ Expository Bible Studies │ Christ Assembly

Revelation 20 presented the solemn scene of the great white throne judgment. Heaven and earth have fled away at the presence of Him who sat on the throne, and no place was found for them.

Revelation 20:11, page 1938

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

Only non-believers will appear before the great white throne for judgment, because at the moment of salvation by faith alone, believers have passed out of judgment and into life. 1Jesus taught in John 5:24, page 1662, that everyone who hears the word of Jesus and believes the Father Who sent Jesus, has passed out of death and into eternal life. They do not come into judgment, because they already have passed out of death into life. Notice that believers never face judgment concerning eternal life, because they already have it. Furthermore, Jesus continued His teaching by noting that in the future, all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; believers go to a resurrection of life and unbelievers go to a resurrection of judgment. The unbelievers will be judged according to their works, which were evil (John 5:28-29, page 1663). See also the judgment of unbelievers, according to the Gospel of Paul. Paul taught that God has fixed a day when God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ (Romans 2:16, page 1750); compare Acts 17:31, page 1735, where God will judge the world in righteousness through a Man, Whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. Salvation by faith alone only happens on earth, at the moment a person trusts Jesus for salvation by hearing and believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel means that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and then was raised from the dead, all according to the Scriptures. 21 Corinthians 15:1-5, page 1800.

Revelation 20:12, page 1938

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.

As the dead, the great and the small, stood before the great white throne, books were opened. 3The Greek text for the phrase “books were opened” (“βιβλία ἠνοίχθησαν“) used the same word for books as we observed in every other New Testament passage concerning books. Therefore, we know that different books play a role in judgment, and particularly at least one book must have a record of evil deeds. Notice the plural for books. More than one book will be opened at the great white throne judgment. In this study, we have seen several books written for different purposes. Now we know that some of those books were written to condemn the unbelievers by their own deeds. People fall greatly and sin profoundly when they fail to seek God, preferring instead their own wicked ways. They have no fear of God before their eyes. 4See Romans 3:9-18, page 1762; see also Isaiah 53:6, page 1155; Psalm 10:7, page 864; Psalm 36:1-4, page 888.

In Revelation 20:15, the content of the book of life determines the judgment at the great white throne. 5Page 1939 of the Study Bible. The Greek text here for “book of life” (“τῇ βίβλῳ τῆς ζωῆς“–dative case)  is very similar to the term for Book of Life studied above. All the dead standing before the throne have come from all ages and from all over the world. They will all be judged based upon the names in certain books opened before Jesus sitting on His great white throne. 6God ordained Isaiah to write a book that would later be used as a witness against transgressors (Isaiah 30:8, page 1114). God also instructed Isaiah to seek from the Book of the Lord and read it that none of the wild animals will be missing as they inhabit the lands judged by God (Isaiah 34:16, page 1122).

References │ Page Numbers Below Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Jesus taught in John 5:24, page 1662, that everyone who hears the word of Jesus and believes the Father Who sent Jesus, has passed out of death and into eternal life. They do not come into judgment, because they already have passed out of death into life. Notice that believers never face judgment concerning eternal life, because they already have it. Furthermore, Jesus continued His teaching by noting that in the future, all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; believers go to a resurrection of life and unbelievers go to a resurrection of judgment. The unbelievers will be judged according to their works, which were evil (John 5:28-29, page 1663). See also the judgment of unbelievers, according to the Gospel of Paul. Paul taught that God has fixed a day when God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ (Romans 2:16, page 1750); compare Acts 17:31, page 1735, where God will judge the world in righteousness through a Man, Whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.
2. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, page 1800.
3. The Greek text for the phrase “books were opened” (“βιβλία ἠνοίχθησαν“) used the same word for books as we observed in every other New Testament passage concerning books. Therefore, we know that different books play a role in judgment, and particularly at least one book must have a record of evil deeds.
4. See Romans 3:9-18, page 1762; see also Isaiah 53:6, page 1155; Psalm 10:7, page 864; Psalm 36:1-4, page 888.
5. Page 1939 of the Study Bible. The Greek text here for “book of life” (“τῇ βίβλῳ τῆς ζωῆς“–dative case)  is very similar to the term for Book of Life studied above.
6. God ordained Isaiah to write a book that would later be used as a witness against transgressors (Isaiah 30:8, page 1114). God also instructed Isaiah to seek from the Book of the Lord and read it that none of the wild animals will be missing as they inhabit the lands judged by God (Isaiah 34:16, page 1122).