St. Paul tells us that next after this Jesus Christ Himself gives over the government to God, the Father. Christ “must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet,” and “when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power,” “then cometh the end when He shall deliver up [R.V.] the kingdom to God, even the Father” (1 Cor. 15:24,25, transposed).
We come now to a scene following upon the delivering over of the Kingdom to the Father. John says: 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 no place for them.” Who is this? God and Christ as one’ Christ as ,more that the King of the kings of this earth, in full possession of His Godhead: One with God the Father, whose the Kingdom now is. He is about to judge the world for the last time, to judge three classes of beings. 1st, Those persons who though Christians, because of their unpreparedness (like the foolish virgins who did not provide sufficient oil with their lamps) were left in the “outer darkness” When the Bridegroom came. They were not translated with the saints, but were killed perhaps during the great battle of Armageddon, or lived throughout the great Tribulation and into the Millennial age, dying like ordinary mortals; not given crowns and dominions nor lengthened days.2nd, Those mortals who have been born and died during the Millennium. The test will not be, as with us, whether we believed in and trust the Lord Jesus, because the Lord Jesus will be ruling visibly over the earth throughout the Millennial age, and all will believe in Him, but some (the rebels of Gog and Magog) will , like the demons, “believe and tremble” (James 2:19), but not yield their hearts wholly to Him. These dead will be judged” according to their works” (v.12). 3rd, To judge all the wicked who, since the beginning of the world, have died, and have been in Hades all this time, for none of these has any part in the first resurrection (v 5).
At the time of this great judgment day, the earth will be enveloped in flames. St Peter describes this time: “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [all solid parts] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming [rather “hastening the coming”] of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:10:13).
The burning of the earth and the atmosphere about it is what Peter meant when he says, “the heavens being on fire” (II. Peter 2:12). Also, we read, “the heavens fled away,” and all melts with the “fervent heat.” Such action secures the destruction of every corrupting thing, and the whole is purified through and through. All that can die is destroyed by the fire. The very abode of the wicked dead, which seems to be somewhere in the bowels of the earth in Hades, is burnt out and cleansed by fire. “From this period on, no need will exist for a place for the dead (Hades), awaiting their final punishment, for there will be no death. Both death and Hades are cast into the “lake of fire,” into which the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and Satan are cast “along with “whosoever was not found written in the book of life . . .” in this second death (v. 14, 15).
 Abraham would not allow Isaac to go to live at Rebecca’s home (Gen. 24:4,8), as his trusted servant thought might be required, because God had expressly called Abraham and Sarah its idolatry, (Joshua 24:3,3.)