Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
Click picture to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.
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.
[20:11. The throne depicts divine government and judgment (cf. Dan. 7:9, 10, 26, 27). The judge may be Christ Himself (cf. John 5:22). The throne is great or huge (contrast v. 4) and is white or shining in appearance (signifying glory, purity, and holiness). The judgment will take place neither on earth nor in the atmospheric heaven (contrast Matt. 25:31-46), since the present universe will be dissolved (cf. 21:1; Is. 51:6; Matt. 24:35; 2 Pet. 3:10-12).]
12: 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.
13: 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.
[20:12,13. The dead are the unbelieving dead of all the ages - the "rest of the dead" mentioned in verse 5. They are judged from two sets of books. The books contain the record of every unsaved person's life. Each unsaved person is judged in accordance with his works (cf. Rom. 2:6, 16), which clearly show that each one is a guilty sinner (cf. Rom. 3:9-19) deserving of eternal death (cf. Rom. 3:23; 6:23). The book of life contains the name of every person who has received eternal life through faith alone (cf. John 20:31; 1 John 5:11-13). These unsaved people are shown that they did not take advantage of the offer of eternal life through faith (cf. Rom. 9:32; 10:3). Death and hell (Hades) are the temporary holding places of unsaved men's bodies and souls, respectively (cf. Luke 16:19-31).]