How can heaven and earth fly away? Why does God need to open the books?
Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, was one of the greatest scholars of the modern Hinduism. Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) is probably his most important work and one of the earliest works on comparative religions by a Hindu scholar. This book critiques the Puranic Hinduism, Christianity and Islam while arguing for the veracity of his understanding of the Vedic religion. Chapter 13, An examination of the doctrines of Christianity contains the critique of the Biblical faith in the form of questions from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation. Jerry Thomas answers those questions one by one and demonstrates the veracity of the Holy Bible- the Word of the Only True God. Those which are colored in orange are Maharishi’s words and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
. "From whose face the earth and the 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 which were out of those things written in the books, according to their works." (20:11, 12.)
C. ~ Now, don't all these things look childish! How can the heaven and the earth fly away? From whose face did they fly away? What did God and his throne rest on? God must be sitting or standing when the dead were made to stand before Him. Does God conduct His business in the same way as is done in a Court of Law or in a shop where books or other documents are required to settle disputes or accounts. Were entries made into the books concerning the works of souls by God or His agents? Through belief in such (absurd) things the Christians have called a being God who is not God, and refused to acknowledge the true God, as God.
Answer: It appears that for Maharishi all that it ever existed was the heaven and the earth. Had he lived in this century, he would have been shocked to know that this space and time itself had an origin. God exist outside the space and time. Further, this heaven and earth running away does not contradict the modern science too. So Maharishi’s questions come out of ignorance.
When God sits on the judgment throne, it is not the omniscience of God that needs to be displayed but the justice of God.
Now let us carefully read the verse again.
Revelation 20: 12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and BOOKS were opened. And ANOTHER BOOK was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
There were books and another book.
The books mentioned herein can be understood as the books of the Holy Bible as the verse says they were judged “by the things which were written in the books.”
The Holy Bible which God has revealed to humanity will be the basis for judgment. No man can say that he did not know. While the moral conscience of human beings will also stand against them (Romans 2:12), the Holy Bible stands as the book on the basis of which men shall be judged.
It is evident that the justice of God is clearly in display here.
Further, the Book of Life is the Book in which the believers of LORD Jesus Christ are recorded.
Luke 10:20-22 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
In this passage, one can see the clear connection between knowing LORD Jesus Christ and being written in the Book of Life.
In other words, while people were judged, it was also pointed out that they rejected the mercy and grace of God in their life.