The Hanging Judge – Revelation 20:11-15

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Isaac Charles Parker was an American jurist who became known as “the Hanging Judge” of the American old west due to the large number of men he sentenced to death by hanging. In one instance, 8 men were hanged at the same time. Wrongdoers feared appearing before Judge Parker. Some called it “the Court of the Damned.” His court had final jurisdiction over the Indian Territory from 1875-1889. Initially, there was no court for appeals.

Revelation 20:11-15 describes the most frightening and somber scene in all Scripture. Before God closes the pages of time for all His creation to enter an eternal state, one event must take place. After the Tribulation, after the Millennial reign of Christ on the earth, and after the final rebellion of man, all the lost will be assembled before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne of Judgment. No one who has eternal life will be present. Those who trusted in Christ Jesus for eternal life in our present Dispensation of Grace will already be raptured, judged for accountability and reward, and will be dwelling in the heavens. The righteous Jews, from before and after the Dispensation of Grace, will be resurrected into the Millennial Kingdom. But the lost will be kept in the heart of the earth, in fiery punishment, awaiting sentencing in “the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (II Peter 3:7). Our text describes the wicked dead being judged out of two books. One will be “the book of life,” where the names of all who have eternal life through faith are recorded (Revelation 20:12). When the names of the lost are not found here, it verifies their just coming judgment. The second book will be one that records every single sin of each individual. “And the dead were [will be] judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” This means that there will be proportionate punishment, but all there will suffer eternal torment. No one who refused Christ on earth will escape (vs. 13).

There will be no raucous rebellious parties in the Lake of Fire, no second chances, no rest day or night forever, and no court of appeals. There will only be regret for refusing eternal life through Jesus Christ, and eternal “torment” (Revelation 14:11), with the vilest of fallen angels and fallen mankind. Armed with this information, urge a lost soul to accept forgiveness while it is now available.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."