YES, The great white throne judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. We know from Revelation 20:7-15 that this judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the anti christ and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone’s deeds, whether they are good or evil, as God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought, and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:4; 62:12; Romans 2:6; Revelation 2:23; 18:6; 22:12).
There are two Thrones in Heaven of note, God’s and Jesus’ (Revelation 3:21). Christ Throne is the subject of the judgment seat of Christ, which is where Jesus judges the Saints for their work on Earth, and how they kept the faith. "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10.
There are two events, one is that Christians must go before the judgment seat of Christ and give account of oneself. This is in fact a judgment, the judgment God has given to Jesus.
“for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son” John 5:22
“Ye judge after the flesh, I judge no man” John 8:15, 50
Here, Jesus speaks of man’s final judgment.
“There is one that seeketh and judgeth” John 8:50 - Jesus is speaking of God here.
On the surface, it appears that Jesus is saying that God does not judge man, but that Jesus does, then it suggest that God judges. The context is important in order to make the distinctions. Jesus is on His Throne in Heaven, and all the people are brought before the presence of God. This is at the Great White Throne Judgment. Jesus separates the goats from the sheep (Matthew 25:32).
“And before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” Matthew 25:31-46.
Let’s place a scene of what this may look like in action as an example, purely an example, because in truth, nobody knows the particulars.
There are two Thrones in Heaven, side by side (Rev 3:21). Jesus’ Throne is on God’s right hand side (Matthew 26:64; Mark 16:19; 1 Peter 3:22; Hebrews 12:2).
As you face Christ He will be to your left-side, God will be on your right side. The judgment that God has given to Jesus are relegated to your life on Earth, whether or not you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, your works in the faith. This first distinguishes you as a sheep, being a follower of Christ, or a goat, not a follower of Christ.
“And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” Matthew 25:33.
Now, this places the goats on Jesus left hand side, which places all these goats directly in front of God on His Throne. Jesus’ left hand side is God’s right hand side, or in front of God’s Throne from the audiences’ view. If you are a sheep, you go into an area in Heaven and await your descent into the New Jerusalem that God will create on the Earth.
This is Christ judgment on man, outside of the rewards He will have already given man at the judgment seat of Christ, which takes place “prior” to the thousand year reign. Even those who went into Hell “after” the deception of Satan, are in front of this judgment. This example has taken us to the final judgment and what is to happen there.
“inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” Matthew 25:34.
There are two points to make here. The first is that God prepared this place for mankind, long before man was created. It was prepared at the same time God created the foundations of the world. The foundations of the world were created some time after God created the Angels. The Angels were present when God fastened the foundations of the Earth and laid the cornerstone for it (Job 38:6-7). It was some time after all that, when God prepared this place in Heaven for all mankind. This “place” is the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:10-27).
Notice, it comes down out of Heaven.
“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
If you are a goat, on Christ’s left side, you will go into the Lake of Fire.
“Then shall He say also unto them on his left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels” Matthew 25:41
Jesus is judging those who are His, if you are not Christ’s, Jesus is stating the obvious when He says:
“Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting punishment”
It is at this point, that all those who were false prophets, pastors, priest and such, try to claim their service to the Lord and Jesus dismisses them (Matthew 7:21-23).
The judgment that God has given Jesus is first to declare if “you” are “His”. Jesus Himself said of God.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell” Matthew 10:28
In this example if you belong to Christ, the judgment flows differently (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:12- 15)
Jesus tries your works on Earth to determine if they are worthy of reward. This is the second aspect of His judgment. The first is to answer the question, are you His? The second is what you get for your rewards. This is a completely separate issue from being saved. The works judgment simply determines if the work you did was in the right spirit or if you were “giving to get” in any aspect of recognition, return on investment or some kind of position.
The judgment seat of Christ is not about condemnation, but the separation of the lost and the judgment of the Saints for rewards.
“Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according to his work shall be” Revelation 22:12
Those who would never accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior are considered lost to God. The groups of those lost are those with no place found in eternity with God.
“And there was found no place for them” Revelation 20:11
* This refers to those who fled away from the face of God, which is all those who are lost through all time. This includes all those from the time of Adam to the crucifixion, who went into Hell.
* All those who died in the tribulation and Armageddon, that were not Saints of God.
* All those Saints that were deceived by Satan after the thousand year reign.
* All those from the resurrection to the rapture who were not saved.
The Great White Throne Judgment, this is where God condemns all those in Hell to the Lake of Fire. This final judgment of God is much broader in that it involves God’s judgment on Angels and mankind, but the portion of interest in this context, is God’s judgment of man at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:10-15).
Also at this time, another book is opened, called the “book of life” (Revelation 20:12). It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.
Although Christians are held accountable for their actions, they are forgiven in Christ and their names were written in the book of life which existed from the creation of the world (Revelation 17:8).
We also know from Scripture that it is at this judgment when the dead will be “judged according to what they had done during their life” (Revelation 20:12) and that “anyone’s name” that is not “found written in the book of life” will be “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
The fact that there is going to be a final judgment for all men, both believers and unbelievers, is clearly confirmed in many passages of Scripture. Every person will one day stand before Christ and be judged for his or her deeds.
While it is very clear that the great white throne judgment is the final judgment, Christians disagree on how it relates to the other judgments mentioned in the Bible, specifically, who will be judged at the great white throne judgment.
Some Christians believe that the Scriptures reveal three different judgments to come. The first is the judgment of the sheep and the goats or a judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-36). This takes place after the tribulation period but prior to the millennium; its purpose is to determine who will enter the millennial kingdom. The second is a judgment of believers’ works, often referred to as the “judgment seat [bema] of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). At this judgment, Christians will receive degrees of rewards for their works or service to God.
The third is the great white throne judgment at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:11-15). This is the judgment of unbelievers in which they are judged according to their works and sentenced to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.
Other Christians believe that all three of these judgments speak of the same final judgment, not of three separate judgments. In other words, the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 will be the time that believers and unbelievers alike are judged. Those whose names are found in the book of life will be judged for their deeds in order to determine the rewards they will receive or lose. Those whose names are not in the book of life will be judged according to their deeds to determine the degree of punishment they will receive in the lake of fire. Those who hold this view believe that Matthew 25:31-46 is another description of what takes place at the great white throne judgment. They point to the fact that the result of this judgment is the same as what is seen after the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. The sheep (believers) enter into eternal life, while the goats (unbelievers) are cast into “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46).
Whichever view one holds of the great white throne judgment, it is important to never lose sight of the facts concerning the coming judgment(s). First, Jesus Christ will be the judge, all unbelievers will be judged by Christ in the context of having no relationship to Him, which places unbelievers in the judgment of God the Father, and the Father will punish them according to the works they have done. The Bible is very clear that unbelievers are storing up wrath against themselves (Romans 2:5) and that God will “give to each person according to what he has done” (Romans 2:6). Believers will also be judged by Christ, but since Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to us and our names are written in the book of life, we will be rewarded, but not punished, according to our deeds. Romans 14:10-12 says that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and that each one of us will give an account to God.
“And the Books were opened, and another Book was opened, which is the Book of life” Revelation 20:12
There are four Books that are opened at the final judgment:
1. The Book of Life, also called the Book of the Living and the Lambs Book of Life. This book contains the names of all the people to have ever lived. Saved and unsaved, it also reveals the work each person was chosen to do in the service of the Lord, before they are born, and whether you did the work for the Lord or not.
“Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 49:1, 5
“In thy books all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them” Psalm 139:16
Prior to physical birth of a person, there is information in Heaven that God writes about the details of each living soul, and those details are recorded in the “Book of the Living”. The name of every person is written in the book of the living at the time of their birth. When a person accepts Christ, their name is entered in the “Book of the Life”.
There are some things a person can do to be blotted out of the Book of Life, which speaks to your salvation. Things like, accepting the mark of the Beast or worshipping the Beast if you’re in the tribulation. (Rev 14:9-11) Taking words out of the book of Revelation or manipulating the book by changing the meaning of the book can all get you blotted out. (Rev 22:19)
Finally, being deceived by Satan after the thousand year reign (Rev 20:7-10).
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in White Raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life” (Rev 3:5; Exodus 32:32-33; Psalm 69:28).
Your name is not written in the Book of Life until you perform the act of choice and exercise your faith in the acceptance of Christ. Just as it is not blotted out, until you fail to overcome, as in the people who make it to Heaven, the thousand year reign, and then side with Satan when he is released from prison and deceives them. Just because God knows what we will do, does not mean He makes the decision for us in advance. We have to fulfil the choices we make, or else it is not a choice at all. The Book of Life is mentioned twelve times in the Bible. This Book became known as the Lambs Book of Life, after Jesus was resurrected and God gave Him all authority Matthew 28:18.
2. The Book of Tears
“Thou tellest my wandering, put thou my tears into thy bottle, are they not in thy Book” Psalm 56:8
God sees and acknowledges tears of mankind.
“Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen they tears, Behold I will heal thee” 2 Kings 20:5
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” Psalm 34:18
God has promised to wipe away the tears of man. He will reconcile the hurts of this life with us in the end (Isaiah 25:8).
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” Revelation 21:4
During antiquity, even before David’s time, it was customary to collect the tears of the people who cried at funerals and put them in a bottle. These tears were sealed and used as a symbol that God watches over every tear shed and will reconcile them with man after the judgment.
3. The Book of Remembrance
This book has the names of those who fear the Lord and think of Him in all they do. God records your tithes, offerings and charity to the poor in this book.
“Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon His name” Malachi 3:16
4. The Book of Rewards
This is where all men’s deeds are examined, specifically those that are done under the auspices of work for the Lord.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is“ 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them, otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in Heaven“ Matthew 6:1-4
The word ‘Alms’ in the Greek is “Eleemon”/ El-eh-ay, meaning compassion towards the poor or needy, merciful.
Other works recorded in this book are the words we speak, specifically idol words. Idol words that harm people, making statements that produce no spiritual fruit towards God like gossip, spreading rumours, defaming someone’s character, planting evil seeds of doubt in the minds of others about a person, creating distrust or other forms of verbal manipulation.
“That every idol word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned” Matthew 12:36-37
Words are very important to God, the creation of Heaven and Earth were accomplished with words, God’s words (Genesis 1:3-26).
James spoke of the power of words (James 3:1-18).
Solomon said it quite simply,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” Proverbs 18:21
God, out of the Book of Life, the Book of Rewards and the Book of Remembrance judges the lost. The Books of Rewards and Remembrance will determine the degree of punishment one will experience at the final judgment.
How the Books are used
The Book of the Living
Your entire life is recorded in this book, both those saved and the unsaved.
The Book of Life
Considered to be part of the Book of the Living, your salvation is recorded in this section of the Book. The moment you accept Christ, your name is entered into this Book.
The Book of Tears
Your life’s grief is recorded in this book, every moment of anguish and despair.
Book of Remembrance
This book keeps record of every physical deed both good and bad, with respect to your efforts to help or hurt God’s people. This includes any intercessory prayers, prayers of agreement, tithes, offerings, any help you have given to the needy is all recorded here.
“in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:35-46) (v. 40).
Book of Rewards
This Book outlines the actual rewards for the work you have done in the Earth for the Lord’s sake, including that which was placed in your heart to do for others. This will delineate what your actual reward is, crowns, mansions etc. The crowns of salvation are recorded here as is the crown of righteousness among others. Conversely, the degree of punishment for those condemned is outlined in this book too.
“And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the Books, according to their works” Revelation 20:12