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Revelation Twenty

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

 

 

 

   
     

 

 

 REVELATION TWENTY
by  L.R. Shelton, Jr.
 

Chapter 4


Dear friend, as we have studied this 20th chapter of Revelation for some months now, I trust you have seen how the key that unlocks the great truths in this chapter is to interpret it in the light of the past, present and future, which takes in the time from the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as the conquering Savior at the cross, through this present age in which we are living, unto the glorious second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the future age that is yet to come. This we have seen in the binding of Satan, which is the first division of this chapter (vv. 1-3); in the reign of Christ and His saints in the second division (vv. 4-6); and in the loosing of Satan for a little season in the third division (vv. 7-10). And I trust you have seen in this chapter the recurring theme of the entire Book of Revelation: Christ as the ALL CONQUERING ONE, the Lord of heaven and earth, ruling and reigning over the kings of the earth and over all peoples; and the saints of God as being more than conquerors through Him that loved them. This theme, summed up in one verse, is expressed in Rev. 17:14: "These (the enemies of the Lord) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall over come them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
 

THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT


We have now come to the last division of the chapter in vv. 11-15. This fourth division brings us to the last great judgment at the end of the world and the end of time. Read these solemn words with me as I endeavor by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit working in me, to open up to your hearts the teaching of these blessed truths. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:11-15). 

Dear friend, here we find the last great judgment which takes place at the second coming of our Lord, and there is NO TIME LAPSE of a seven-year period and then a thousand years! No! When the Lord Jesus comes as described in I Cor. 15:51-56, I Thess. 4:15-18, and II Thess. 1:7,9-which is the physical resurrection, the resurrection of the bodies of the saved and the lost as set forth in John 5:28-29-then comes the judgment. This is the last day spoken of so many times in John 6. THIS IS THAT GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD as set forth in Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20 and also in Rom. 2:5: "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the DAY OF WRATH and revelation of THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF GOD."  This is the fulfillment of II Pet. 3:10-13 when "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."  This is the end of the world spoken of in Matt. 13:36-43 when the tares (that is, the wicked) shall be gathered and cast "into a furnace of fire" where "there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" and the righteous shall "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." And this is the end of the world as described further in vv. 47-50 when the wicked shall be severed from the just and cast into hell.

All Shall be There


You see, He so plainly tells us, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL THAT ARE IN THE GRAVES shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-28). So when Christ returns, every man-saved and lost, "small and great"-will be summoned to this final judgment. In Rev. 20:13 we are told that "the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." And in Rev. 6:15 we see that "the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man", shall be there. The poor will be there-all the sinners of Adamís race, from every corner of the earth, from every nation and people and kindred and tongue, the red and yellow, the black and white-ALL will be gathered there to be judged out of those things that are written in the books, according to their works (Rev. 20:12).

Two Classes of People


This truth is clearly set forth in the following Scriptures: "The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he reward EVERY MAN according to his works" (Matt. 16:27). "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 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: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left" (Matt. 25:32). Here we see the Lamb of God returning in His glory to sit upon the throne of His glory, and two classes of people are before Him: the sheep, who are His blood-bought ones, and the goats, who are the wicked ones who have never bowed their knees to Him Who sits upon the throne. This very plainly tells us that both the saved and the lost will be there at this judgment.


Among the goats or wicked ones, we see gathered there every type of sinner who is outside of Christ: not only those who are openly wicked, but also the self-righteous and hypocrites who say, "Lord, Lord" and yet are disobedient (Luke 6:46); those filled with all unrighteousness, fornication and wickedness, covetousness and maliciousness; those who are full of envy, murder and debate, haters of God, proud and inventors of evil things; those who are without understanding and are covenant-breakers, implacable and unmerciful (Rom. 1:29-31); "The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars" (Rev. 21:8), ALL shall be there!


And of the sheep of God (those who are in Christ) who will be there, it will be said: "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:11). These are those who have "Washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14), of whom it was granted that they should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints, according to Rev. 19:8.

A Throne of Purity and Truth


A great throne is set, a "GREAT WHITE THRONE"; a throne of purity, calmness and truth, of justice, righteousness and authority; a throne unsoiled, untainted, and incorruptible; a throne with no one-sidedness nor imperfection; no bribery nor favor, for all is white and transparent as light and spotless perfection. Why? Because He Who sits upon that throne is Himself "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26). He is the Lamb of God (Rev. 6:16) into Whose hands has been committed all judgment (John 5:22,26,27). And my friend, "He will not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins" (Isa. 11:3-5). My friend, you shall be there, and I shall be there; from Adam to the last man, we shall all stand before Him! And what will we do? Phil. 2:10-11 tells us: "that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Oh my dear friend, I desire to impress upon your heart and mind today that this judgment, this Great White Throne Judgment, is just as sure as death itself. For we read in Heb. 9:27 that as it is appointed unto men once to die, it is also appointed unto men to appear before this great white throne to be judged according to their deeds upon this earth. Whether you believe it or not, or whether you think itís true or not does not change the Word of God, for He cannot lie! None, none I say, shall escape this judgment, for ALL SHALL BE THERE!

ONE GENERAL JUDGMENT


TIME WILL BE NO MORE! My friend, all the Scriptures of the New Testament that speak of Christís second coming, the last day and the judgment show that these are one event. Listen as we read some of them! This is the day He has appointed "Öin the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). This is "Öthe day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Rom. 2:16). This is the day when "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of ChristÖso then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:10,12). "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade menÖ" (II Cor. 5:10-11). this is the day when the Lord Jesus Christ "shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (II Tim. 4:1). So you see, all of these Scriptures speak of one coming, and one judgment, which is the final day of this worldís history when every man shall stand before the Judge and the books shall be opened! (Rev. 20:11,12).


Then He will "render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness," (What is reserved for them?) "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile." Then what? "But glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. FOR THERE IS NO RESPECT OF PERSONS WITH GOD" (Rom. 2:6-11)
 

My friend, how are you going to stand in that day? In what class of people are you? Have you bowed to the Judge, the Lamb of God, in mercy now while there is yet time? Have you laid down your arms of rebellion, hoisted the white flag of surrender in repentance, with a change of mind about sin and about God? Have you bowed your knees unto the Lord Jesus Christ and surrendered your all up to His Lordship, crowning Him Lord of your life? Have you by faith closed in with Him, believing Him through grace as Savior and obeying Him as Lord? Have you counted God as faithful and true in giving His Son for your redemption?  Or, will you be among the kings of the earth, the great men, and the rich men, the chief captains and the mighty men, and bond and free men of Rev. 6:15 who seek to hide themselves in that day, crying to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb"? For if you die without Christ, you shall stand there without hope and without God! Oh that you will turn unto Him in repentance before it is everlastingly too late!

The Great Day of His Wrath


You see, none shall escape, no hiding place will be found for any man, for the heavens and the earth shall flee away from the face of Him Who sits upon the throne, and there will be no place to stand except before God as He begins to judge in the Person of the Mediator, the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen again to Rev. 20:11: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." Revelation 6:14 enlarges upon this: "And the heaven departed as a scroll, when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their place." Why? "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (vs. 17). And this corresponds with Peterís prophecy in II Pet. 3:10: "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."


My dear friend, have you ever stopped and considered that all which you see around you today is one day going to be taken away, destroyed? This earth and atmospheric heaven shall be renovated by fire and all the elements of sin and its destroying influence shall be burned up! Have you ever stopped and really considered what the Scriptures teach, that the world passeth away and the lusts thereof (I John 2:17), and that the things which are seen are temporal? That is, everything that you see around you today is transient, it is fleeting, it is only momentary; it has no lasting quality, it is short-lived. Have you ever considered this? And you are going to pass away! One day you are going to die! The death angel is going to knock at your door! And then what?


It was said of Moses in Heb. 11:25 that he chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." And that is what I am trying to get over to you today! The pleasures of sin are just for a season! They will soon pass away, and then what of your never- dying soul? Have you ever stopped and considered where you will spend eternity? For when you pass away in death, eternity will hold you where death will find you! If it finds you in Christ, you shall enjoy His presence and be held in Him for ever and ever; if death finds you outside of Christ, eternity will hold you in judgment and under the wrath of God for ever and ever! Oh stop and consider, my friend, WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND ETERNITY?


When the Great White Throne Judgment begins, all that you hold dear and near to you in this life-all that you have on this earth-will flee away, and you shall stand before God a naked soul! If you are outside of Christ, my friend, you will have nothing to cover you and no place to hide! All that you have had pleasure in shall flee away. All your stocks and bonds, your houses and your lands, all your places of amusement shall flee away. All you have prided yourself in as you have moved up in the social world order will be gone, and the small and great shall stand before God with no distinction. All in the political world order will be swept away: the statesmen and the politicians, the kings, the potentates and the dictators shall stand before God with those they have ruled and judged; all shall be on the same level! The educational world order shall be swept away, and the wise and learned men of the earth shall stand with the unlearned and the ignorant to be judged out of those things written in the books. The economical world order shall be swept away, and the rich men and the financiers shall stand there with the poor and the beggar, with nothing to hide them from the face of Him Who sits upon the throne!
 

Think of it my friend! The world of pleasure will pass away, and everyone who has made pleasure his god, who has had pleasure in unrighteousness, shall receive his wages, which is eternal death in hell! And the religious world order shall pass away, including every man, woman, young person, boy or girl who has not brought forth true repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You who have stopped short of true saving faith in Christ, by resting in your religious works and your decisions, or in your religious experiences and your feelings, or even in the letter of the law without the application of the Word by the Holy Spirit, do you know that all of these things will be swept away, and you too will stand naked before God with no covering for your soul? My friend, your little religious experience will do you no good then. All you have had that is not in Christ will pass away! You shall hear those awful words: "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew you" (Luke 13:27).

You see, every hope that is not anchored in Christ shall be swept away. Every work which has not had the glory of God as its motive, and faith in Christ as its object, shall be burned up and shall be destroyed!  Oh that you would hear what the Word of God says! The world with all that is in it and the lusts thereof shall pass away (I John 2:16-17), and you shall have no hiding place in that day! Will you listen? If you stand there that day without Christ as your Friend, you shall have no friend; if you stand there that day without Christ as your Savior, you shall not have a savior; and if you stand there without Christ as your Righteousness, you will have no righteousness to cover you! If you stand there without Christ as your Hiding Place from the storm of Godís wrath, you shall not have a hiding place!
 

As you stand before this holy and righteous Judge, you shall have an unavoidable view of His unsullied holiness. And you will have to gaze upon Him Who you hate and abhor, with nothing in the world to distract your mind and affections. Down here now you can turn me and Godís message off, you can drown yourself in pleasures of every kind; you can turn to your friends, to a book or to a bottle or to a thousand and one things to take away the displeasure of thinking upon God, His Christ, His holiness, and upon your condition, and hell and the next world. But as you stand at that Great White Throne Judgment, there will be none of these things there! There will be nothing to distract you, so all you will be able to do is to look at Him Who sits upon the throne in that holiness, and in that light to see your own sinfulness without anything to hide you from His face and from His wrath. What an awful day that is going to be! Oh my friend, what a day thatís going to be!You who are listening to me today, have you ever considered how you are going to stand before this thrice holy God in that day? How are you going to stand before the One of Whom it is said: "Our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29).

How are you going to stand before Him Who said, "Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord"? (Heb. 10:30) Surely it will be "a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31), to Whom you have never trusted your never-dying soul! I ask you my friend, do you hear the Word that is spoken for your learning and for your obedience to the truth? Listen to it again! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God without the blood and righteousness of Christ to cover your never-dying soul! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the One you hate, curse and blaspheme, the One from Whom you flee like Adam did as he fled from God and would not face his sin. You too flee from God because you dare not face your sins. You dare not come to Him now, lest your deeds should be reproved (John 3:20). But my friend, you had better face them now, for you will come to Him in that day, and none shall escape!  This glorious, majestic Being, this holy God before Whom you shall stand in judgment in that day, declares in Deut. 32:39-42 His sovereign, righteous prerogative to punish you for your sins. Listen as He speaks! "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy." My friend, do you hear these words? This is the Word of God!


Have you ever traced out in your Bible what the saved souls did and said when they had just a glimpse of the holiness and glory of God? When Abraham saw the glory of God, he cried, "I am but dust and ashes" (Gen. 18:27). Job cried, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6). Isaiah said he saw the Lord sitting upon the throne high and lifted up and His train filled the temple. Above it he saw the angels or seraphims as they stood around the throne, crying to one another, saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Then Isaiah cried, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts" (Isa. 6:1-5). You see, Isaiah could have never stayed in the presence of this thrice holy God, if God in His marvelous, matchless grace had not condescended to interfere and to cleanse Isaiah from his iniquity and from his sin by His Own precious blood.
 

Oh my friend, how can you ever expect to stand before God in that awful day of judgment without being cast into hell, unless you stand in the righteousness and merits of the Son of God Who loves us and gave Himself for us? Only faith in Christ and a new heart can protect us from the damnation of our souls when we come to stand before God in that day. Only by the grace of God can we stand there justified in the blood and righteousness of Christ. Only if we have come to love the holiness of God down here as we lay in repentance at His feet, will we love His holiness in that day and desire the heaven of holiness which He has prepared. Only if our hearts have been broken because of the sight of His eternal love and our own unworthiness, will we be able to stand before Him in that day of His wrath.  Again I say, only as we are brought into faith in Christ by the Holy Spiritís work of grace in our souls, will we be able to abide the fire of His judgment when His throne is set and we stand before the Lamb to be judged! Only by the grace of God can we say with the apostle Paul: "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (II Tim. 1:12). And of what day is he speaking? It is that day of judgment, when we shall all stand before the great Judge! It is the great day of Godís wrath (Rev. 6:17), when every man will be judged out of those things that are written in the books according to his works.

THE BOOKS OPENED


Let us read this again from Scripture: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Rev. 20:12). Now you will ask, "Pastor, what are these books that are going to be opened, out of which we will be judged?"

The Book of Nature


First of all, there is THE BOOK OF NATURE. For we read in Psa. 19:1-3 that "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." So day after day, nature, this world which God created, speaks of the glory and majesty of its Creator. And this book of nature will be opened; for every man will have seen Godís handiwork. Listen to Godís Word in Romans 1:18-21 where this truth is brought out so clearly: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." You see, every rational being is without excuse, "because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened." My friend, one day you will stand and acknowledge the living God, for the Book of Nature which you read tells you that there is a God and that you should bow to Him!  My friend, this Book of Nature, whose syllables are constellations and whose letters are stars, has been read by all men, so that in that great day of Godís wrath all shall be without excuse; and each man shall be judged according to the light which he received from this Book of Nature. Listen to Acts 17:24-28: "GodÖmade the world and all things thereinÖseeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our beingÖ"


Did you know that there will be no atheists in that day? No, there will be men who claimed to be atheists while upon earth, but when they stand before that judgment, they will no longer be atheists, because they will be made to confess before God that they saw His handiwork in all of His nature upon the earth, and yet they kept on saying, "No God for me." Then they will have to confess there is a God!
There will be no evolutionists there, for they will have to acknowledge that they saw the handiwork of God in His great creation, but went on in their pride and rebellion saying, "No God did this! Weíre more educated and enlightened than to believe that God spoke all these things into existence; they just came into existence by chance!" But they will not say that then, for they shall bow, and confess that God is the great Creator! They will find no mercy then, because they did not bow to the Lordship of Jesus in the day of His grace and mercy!
 


The Book of Conscience


Then the second book that will be opened will be the BOOK OF CONSCIENCE! My friend, we read in Rom. 2 that every man who has come into this world has this Book of Conscience put within him by the God of the universe. Listen to Rom. 2:14-16: "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another." What is he saying here? He is saying that the heathen and the pagans in the four corners of the earth who have never read the Bible nor have ever known the ten commandments and the law of God, yet have that very law written upon their hearts and upon their consciences. For in bygone days, our missionaries have gone into the very heart of the heathen lands and found that men there went by the law, forbidding murder and adultery. When a man committed adultery with his neighbor or took another manís wife, he was put to death. You see, God had written that law upon their hearts and gave them a conscience to convict them of sin!


You too, my friend, have that law written upon your heart, and your conscience bears witness of this! Ah, you try to get away from it and hide from it, but you cannot and your thoughts either accuse or excuse you. But in that day, the Book of Conscience will be opened, and you will have to give an account to God for the many things that conscience has told you and the many times your conscience has pointed out to you that you have sinned against the great Creator. In what day? In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to His gospel (Rom. 2:16). Then your conscience will bear witness that you knew the law, but you did not obey it. Yes, when God will open the Book of Conscience, He will judge you; and your own conscience will attest that God is true, that you have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that you abide under His righteous judgment.  Oh my friend, what grace, to have our conscience cleansed from dead works that we might serve the true and living God down here by the grace of God (Heb. 9:14), this side of eternity and this side of judgment! Oh what grace, to have the conscience cleansed by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:22) that it will not accuse us in that great day of judgment!



The Book of the Gospel


But there will be a third book that will be opened there, and it will be THE BOOK OF THE GOSPEL, the inspired Word of God from Genesis through the Revelation, the 66 Books of the one GREAT BOOK, the holy Scriptures. You see, when this Book is opened, it shall judge every man guilty who has ever heard the proclamation of the gospel, read or preached, and has refused to come to God in true repentance and to Christ, the Substitute for sinners, in true faith. For this is what Rom. 2:16 tells us: "ÖGod shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). Yes, the more light a man has in the Holy Scriptures, and the more heís heard the proclamation of the gospel, the more he will be punished in hell for his rejection of such light and such knowledge! Our Lord expressed this same truth in Luke 12:47-48: "And that servant, which knew his lordís will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."


Oh my dear friend, what an awful day that will be for you who are outside of Christ, to stand there before the Judge and have everything which is written in the inspired Book of God to witness against you! Not only that you have not kept the law of God in all its precepts and commandments, but you did not seek the Lord Jesus Christ whom God had sent to keep that law for you. You were never covered with the precious blood of Christ which He shed at Calvaryís cross for the remission of sins. Listen my friend, all the gospel messages which you have heard will be there to condemn you because you did not think them worthy of your notice and of your taking time to repent and believe the record that God gave of His precious Son. You let the so great salvation which had been preached to you upon earth, slip away, and you were hardened in your unbelief. And then all these gospel messages will come before you, but it will be too late; your day of grace will be past and you will stand before God with no covering for your never-dying soul!


Can you picture yourself there? Oh beloved put yourself there! Oh my dear wife, my dear children, my dear friends, my dear loved ones, my dear friend there in radio land, put yourself there! You have heard the gospel of the grace of God, and many a time the messages tugged at your heart. You said, "Later, later I will repent, later I will believe, there is yet plenty of time. When I feel more like it; when Godís done more of a work in my heart, I donít believe Heís done enough work there yet." And you have not cried after Him; you have not sought Him or pled for Him; you have not believed Him; you have not taken the Word of God and searched it out as a drowning man for a promise that you may lay hold of it. And all those times that you heard the offer of the grace of God will come back to you, but it will be too late then. Youíd rather read other books than the Book of God now, wouldnít you? Youíd rather find your pleasure some place else now, but then you will stand before God and this Book of the Gospel, the inspired Book of God, the Holy Scriptures, shall stand to condemn you!


How many messages have you heard on tape? How many messages have you heard from the pulpit? How many messages have you seen by watching the holy lives of the people of God day after day? And yet you have not heeded them! You see, II Thess. 1 not only tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, but that in flaming fire He will take vengeance on them that know not God "and that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ." My friend, have you obeyed that gospel? Have you bowed to the authority of the gospel? Have you ever fled to Christ for refuge? Have you ever been washed in the blood of the Lamb? Or has your heart been so hardened that you will not seek His face? You lay down at night and go to sleep with eternity facing you! This Great White Throne Judgment is coming, and you lay down at night with no heart to seek God! Oh that God would stir up your heart, causing you to cry unto Him even this day for your never-dying soul! Oh that you would seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul, because that awful day is coming when every offer of the gospel you have refused shall come up before you, and every message and every verse of Scripture shall condemn you because you did not believe the eternal Word of God which cannot be broken! Then it will be too late! And what are you going to do then, with no covering for your never-dying soul? I plead with you: Cry unto God for mercy today! Oh sinner, turn unto God in repentance, lay down your arms of rebellion, seek the face of God while there is yet mercy, call upon Him while He is near, and cry: "God be merciful to me, the sinner, lay hold of me, oh Lord, and donít let me go until Thou hast worked in my soul, that which only Thou canst work!"



The Book of Godís Providence


Now there is another Book that will be opened in that day, and every man shall be judged out of it. There will be opened the BOOK OF GODíS PROVIDENCE. Oh my dear sinner friend, will you listen to this solemn warning today? For in this Book of Providence will be written the many times God in His providence has called you unto Himself, and you would not come to Him that you might have life (John 5:40). How many times has God in his providential ways spoken to your heart that you were running from God as a lawbreaker? How many times has God met you in providence to teach you to stop and listen in your mad rush toward hell? Have you not heard Godís voice speaking to you? Has not God spoken to you by the death of a friend, saying to your soul, "It is time to get right with God, for you may be next"? But Godís providence meant nothing to you! 

Or are you one of the many to whom the Lord has spoken in the near death from an accident or on the battlefield in His providentially sparing of your life? Do you remember how you promised Him that you would turn from your wicked ways, seek His face in repentance and trust His only begotten Son Whom He had sent to reconcile you back to Himself? But the time of conviction fled away and you did not come to Him! Then in that day when this Book is opened, it will be too late; the Book of Providence will judge you guilty, for you had a time to repent and you repented not!  Perhaps God met you in His providence in a message from the pulpit when He dealt with your heart. Although you did not want to hear, yet the Word pierced your heart and you said, "You know, Iíve got to go home and read the Word and pray and get right with God"; but you didnít! And my friend, it is recorded in the Book of Providence which will be opened in that last great day, that God spoke to you then and you heeded not!


Maybe a friend went out of his way to speak to you and give you a word of warning. That too was the providential hand of God. Maybe in your mad rush to hell a verse of Scripture that your mom had read to you in devotions one night came to your mind, but you would not heed it; you went on and sinned against light, against knowledge and against God. And the Book of Providence witnesses against you that when Godís call came, and the moment to act had passed, you had settled in again against the mercy of God and would not heed His voice. You sinned against Godís love and against Godís warnings; but then there will be no more voice to heed only the voice of the providence of God saying, "I called and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and you regarded not" (Prov. 1:24).


I could go further and say that in a thousand and one ways, Godís providence has spoken unto each and every one of you under the sound of my voice today; but how many of you have heeded that voice of providence and turned to God through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit? Oh my dear friend, this Book of Providence shall be opened in that last great day of judgment to prove how many times God spoke to you and you heeded Him not! I say in love to your soul, you will have nobody to blame in that day but yourself, and your own heart will indict you before God that you stand guilty of much sin committed against light and knowledge, because you did not turn when God gave you that call.
 


The Book of Memory


There is yet another book which will be opened in that day, and it will be the BOOK OF MEMORY, a book that everyone outside of Christ will desire not to be opened! They will say, "No, no, not THAT book!" But my friend, it will be opened! Because you see, more than any other, this book will convince you before God that you are a sinner and a sinner worthy of death and hell! And you say, "Why?" because every secret thing will be brought to light from that book (Mark 4:22). By two infallible things God keeps a record of all that you and I do: one is by the book of our deeds, thoughts and motives which is kept in heaven; and the other is the Book of our Memory recorded upon the tape recorder of our minds.


You see, the Word of God abounds with Scriptures showing that God knows the hearts of men and is keeping a record of all our thoughts, deeds and motives. God "knoweth the secrets of the heart" (Psa. 44:21). "The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity" (Psa. 94:11). "O LORD thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandeth my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether" (Psa. 139:1-4). "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings" (Prov. 5:21). "ÖI know the things that come into your mind, every one of them" (Ezek. 11:5). "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance" (Psa. 90:8). "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb. 4:13).

So in the light of this array of Scriptures, we know that Godís judgment shall be correct in that day, for He knows all about us; and our own conscience and memory shall bear witness that what He has written down about us is true!  Did you know that everyone who dies outside of Christ shall in the day of judgment give glory to God and confess that His judgments are true and righteous altogether? My dear friend, if you die outside of Christ, you will stand convicted by the things recorded on the tape recorder of your own memory that you are a sinner before God and deserve Godís unending wrath because of your rebellion and unbelief toward Him; you will confess that what you receive as your portion forever-suffering in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8)-has come upon you justly! You will hate Him forever because of His holiness and your sins; yet you will relieve God of all responsibility for your damnation, bringing the blame upon your own head, and this before the assembled universe! Why? because God will open this Book of Memory (Luke 16:25), recalling instant playback of all your thoughts, words, deeds and actions, bringing out into the open that which was done in secret (I Cor. 4:5), even that which you thought was concealed forever and ever; and the tape recorder of your mind will witness that all of these things are true!


That murder you committed that nobody ever knew anything about will be brought to light in your mind, in the tape recorder there, and the memory shall say, "Yes, thatís true, I was there, I pulled the trigger, I did the deed." Youíll remember that time when you sinned against God and your wife and your children in committing adultery, that day when you secretly rebelled against home and against authority, because it was indelibly recorded upon the tape recorder of your mind, and God will bring it into light. There will be instant recall, as every thought, every word you have ever spoken, and every deed you have ever committed shall come out into the open, and you will say "Yes, I thought those things, I was the one that did those deeds; I was the one that sinned against God." There shall be no escape then! My dear friend, have you ever stood before God guilty? Has the Holy Spirit ever started that tape recorder in your mind and replayed your past life before you?

And as that replay has come, have you said, "Yes, Lord, thatís my heart, I said that, I did that, that was me, oh Lord, I stand guilty before Thee." If not, how are you going to stand in that day? You are either going to stand guilty before God now, or you are going to stand guilty before God in the day of His wrath! If you will stand guilty before God now, admitting that all the things that have been written in the Book against you that you have committed are true, there is time for mercy, because the blood of Jesus Christ, Godís Son, cleanses from all sin (I John 1:7). And God calls you to repentance, giving you the opportunity to confess unto Him that all of these things are true, before it is too late. He is giving you the opportunity to bring forth "fruit meet for repentance", to turn away from your evil thoughts and to turn unto Him in God-given repentance and hatred for sin.


He tells us in I Cor. 4:5: "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart: and then shall every man have praise of God." Therefore your only hope is that the tape recorder of your memory would begin to play, bringing you before God as a guilty, lost soul now saying, "Thatís me, thatís me; those are my thoughts, God, You know all about me; I canís hide anything! But I run into Your arms crying for mercy, mercy in Christ, mercy in the blood; I plead that You would have mercy upon me." For there will be no more mercy in the great day of His wrath when you must stand before Him in your sins and plead guilty and then hear those awful words: "Depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of iniquity, -depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Luke 13:27); (Matt. 25:41). Oh my friend, how shall you stand in that day? Thatís what Iím concerned about! Will you stand in Christ or will you stand in your sins?
 


The Book of Life


"Öand another book was opened, which is the BOOK OF LIFE."
Yet there is another book spoken of here in Rev. 20:12 which shall be opened at the Great White Throne Judgment and it is called the BOOK OF LIFE. You see, this Book which God Himself has written, is spoken of in many places in Scripture. It contains the names of all the elect of Adamís sinful race who have been saved by the grace of God, washed by faith in the Lambís blood, clothed in the Lambís imputed righteousness, made like the Lamb in holiness, and accepted in the Lamb, the Beloved, by God Himself.
Yes, the name of every individual from Abel to the last man who is saved by the grace of God, is written in that Book. None shall be missing in that day.

 

Beloved, I had nothing to do with this! I bow before the sovereignty of God and Godís distinguishing grace, that God has done this out of free love to sinners. For by the grace of God, and the grace of God alone has any manís name been written in that book. And only by the grace of God shall these blood-bought ones stand righteous before God in that day of judgment, absolved of all their sins, to hear those blessed words, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34). Again I say, they will stand there only by the grace of God, for you see, salvation is of the Lord; it is wholly and completely of Godís grace worked in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit and the reign of grace in our souls. And the Scriptures plainly teach that it is in this Book, called the Lambís Book of Life, that God wrote the names of His people before the foundation of the world. If He had not done this, no man would be able to stand there in that day absolved from all his sins!


Now I want to show you how clearly this blessed truth is written upon the pages of Holy Writ. Will you listen to Godís Word? When our Lordís disciples came back from their first missionary journey rejoicing that the devils were made subject unto them through His name, He told them, "In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). Oh that men and women would hear that verse of Scripture today! We are not to rejoice in what we have done, or that we can cast out demons, or speak in tongues or that weíve had this great feeling or these emotions! Oh no! We can only rejoice in the exceeding grace of God, that our names are written in the Lambís Book of Life in heaven! Also in Phil. 4:3 the apostle Paul encouraged the church at Philippi to help all who were fellow-laborers with him in the gospel. Why? because their names are in the BOOK OF LIFE. Yes, there is a Book of Life, and those who have embraced the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and who know Him in that experiential salvation that God gives in Christ, can rest assured that their names are in that Book of Life.

 


Then in Heb. 12:23 the apostle Paul tells us that all the members of the "general assembly and church of the firstborn", those who are in the household of God, have their names written in heaven in this Book of Life. So my friend, it makes no difference whether we have our names written upon the church roll or denominational assembly here in this life and in this world! But it does matter whether or not we have our name written in that BOOK OF LIFE, and that we are a member of the general assembly and church of the firstborn!  The BOOK OF LIFE is mentioned in many places in the Book of Revelation. In writing to the church at Sardis in Rev. 3:5 our Lord said, "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; but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Isnít that precious! None of those whose names are written in the BOOK OF LIFE shall have their names erased or blotted out! Why? because they have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And He said, "I will confess their names before my Father, and before His holy angels."


Again in Rev. 13:8 we see those whose names are not written in this BOOK OF LIFE, those who are apostates, who are the children of the devil and worshippers of the beast. Listen! "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him" (the beast, the dragon, the devil) "whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world." The BOOK OF LIFE is used in this same connection in Rev. 17:8: "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." And in Rev. 20:15 we read: "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."


Then in Rev. 21:27 we have this great truth of Godís Word clearly expressed: "And there shall in no wise enter into it"-into what? into this new city, this new earth, the final abode of the children of God-"anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lambís book of life." So the Scriptures clearly teach that God has a book called THE BOOK OF LIFE, the Lambís book of life; and that the name of every one of His children are written in it from the foundation of the world, according to His great elective purpose, His grace and love in Christ Jesus. Again, we see from this BOOK OF LIFE, as weíve brought out in our past messages, that the God of the Bible is a God of election and predestination. We see this written throughout the pages of Holy Writ, that the great and glorious God of the universe has a right to do with His creation as seemeth good in His own eyes (Rom. 9:12-24; Matt. 11:25-26); and that "salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9), coming to us wholly and completely of grace, based upon the imputed righteousness of Christ, and worked out for us in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:4-8,23- 25; 5:6-10).


When we consider this BOOK OF LIFE, can we not say as Paul, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out" (Rom. 11:33)? For the names of those who are written in the BOOK OF LIFE are not written there because God looked down through the ages and saw that they would believe. Oh no! That would be works and not grace! And Eph. 2:8-9 says it is by grace and grace alone that God has saved us, so no man has whereof to boast. The children of God whose names are written there were by nature no different from any other sinner! They had no claim upon God or His salvation. This is clearly set forth in Eph. 2:1-3, that those whom God has quickened and made alive in Christ Jesus were once dead in trespasses and sins and walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air; that in times past they had their conversation in the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

 

And what made the difference in those who were called out of darkness, sinfulness and wrath, unto the glorious liberty of the sons of God? Nothing but the distinguishing grace of God! For Eph. 2:4-5 says, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ."  What marvelous grace to sinners, that out of free grace and love He would choose us and give us to Christ before the foundation of the world!   And why? I can only tell you that it pleased Him, thatís all! Listen to Godís Word in II Tim. 1:9: God "Öhath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works (any foreseen faith in us) but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

 


And every man, woman, young person or child who stands there in that day justified before God in Christ, absolved from all of their sins, whose names are read from the BOOK OF LIFE, will rejoice only in Christ, and only in the great redemption that God has performed because of His distinguishing grace. They will know that they were no different from those who will be cast into eternal perdition because of their sins; they will know that they are there only because of the distinguishing grace of God! He was the One Who saved them when they were ungodly sinners! You see, it was in time that He effectually called them by His Holy Spirit, not because they desired it, but "according to his own purpose and grace". He brought them out of natureís darkness into His marvelous light, and gave them repentance unto the acknowledging of the truth that they were hell-deserving sinners, bankrupt sinners before God, causing them to mourn over sin and plead for mercy. Why? He showed them their helplessness and hopelessness to deliver themselves from the power of Satan and from his kingdom. And He gave them that grace to come to Christ and declared them righteous in the Lord Jesus Christ! He was the One Who took away their stony hearts of unbelief and put within them a spiritual heart and spiritual nature of grace, making them new creatures in Christ and enabling them to walk as children of light in the midst of this wicked and sin-cursed world.
 

So in that day all of these will say, "Not unto us, O God, not unto us, but unto thee O Lamb of God, belongeth blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, for ever and ever" (Psa. 115:1; Rev. 7:12) "Öfor thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:9,10). They will say, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb (Rev. 7:10) for it is He that hath made us and saved us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of his pasture" (Psa. 100:3); we are glorified because He justified us; we are justified because He called us; we were called because He predestinated us to be conformed unto the image of His dear Son; we were predestinated because He loved us in Christ." But, my dear friend, this is as far as we can go, for we will never know why He loved us; He did it for His own pleasure and for His glory. So throughout eternity all of Godís people shall love and worship Him in adoring love and praise, singing the song of the Lamb, "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints" (Rev. 15:3).
 

This wonderful scene will be glorious and marvelous for those who have bowed the knee to Christ in their day of grace, having confessed Him as Lord before men, and followed Him in a life of self-denial and holiness-all because of His marvelous, efficacious grace given to them out of free love!  But my dear friend, what about you? Have you been saved by Godís grace? Are you among that number who will testify of the matchless grace of God in that day when this Book is opened? He tells us in His Word to give diligence to make your calling and election sure (II Pet. 1:10). Will you stand there in that day washed from all your sins by the precious blood and clothed in the perfect righteousness of Him Who sits upon that throne? or will you stand there naked in your sins, speechless, and unable to rejoice because you neglected so great salvation and did not bow your knees in repentance to Christ? Oh, if you donít know Him, I urge you seek Christ now while there is mercy, for when He comes, there will be no more mercy, and He shall become your Judge!
 

HALLELUJAH,
WHAT A SAVIOR!


"Man of Sorrows!" what a name! For the Son of God who came, Ruined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah! what a Savior!


Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood; Sealed my pardon with His blood; Hallelujah! what a Savior!


Guilty, vile and helpless, we: Spotless Lamb of God was He; "Full atonement!" can it be? Hallelujah! what a Savior!


"Lifted up" was He to die, "It is finished," was His cry; Now in heavín exalted high; Hallelujah! what a Savior!


When He Comes, our glorious King, All His ransomed home to bring, Then a-new this song weíll sing: Hallelujah! what a Savior!
 

(Click Here For Chapter 5 of this series on Revelation Twenty)


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