The scene changes from the terrestrial to the celestial, from earth to heaven. This vision contains the most descriptive picture of the First Person of the Trinity in the Bible. To distinguish Him from the Son, God the Father is identified as “the Ancient of Days.” He is the eternal, self-existent One, the Creator of all things (Isaiah 43:10), and He has been viewing the activities of men and demons from His throne in Heaven.
His clothing as white as snow symbolizes His righteousness, justice, purity and holiness. Hair white as snow stands for wisdom. Fire symbolizes holiness, wrath and judgment (Psalm 50:3; 97:3-5) as well as God’s presence (Exodus 13:21).
There is no escape from His judgment—a river of fire comes flowing out from before Him. He is the Lord of Hosts as thousands upon thousands (an infinite number of celestial beings, possibly included are the raptured saints) await His command to execute judgment.
His throne is flaming fire and its wheels are all ablaze. The wheels, on which the throne rests, are moving about and they are ringed with fire. Such symbolism describes God’s omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience in Ezekiel 1:12-18.
God is enthroned as the Great King and He sits in judgment of the kingdoms of the world. The first two to be judged in God’s court will be the boastful little horn—the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Their eternal destiny is blazing fire, the Lake of Fire, in which they are thrown alive, bypassing Sheol/Hades (Revelation 19:20).
Daniel records that “the other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.” This period falls between Armageddon and the Great White Throne Judgment. Then Satan, his demons and all his subjects will be judged (Revelation 20:1-15), when the books are opened. What books? The Lamb’s Book of Life, the books of the deeds of men, and the Scriptures, especially the Law. If one’s name is not recorded in the first, the other books become the basis of God’s judgment as seen in Revelation 20:11-15. It appears that Daniel and John beheld the same scene.
There is no judgment for the animal kingdom, but for unsaved man “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). The rebellion of angels and men will be judged. This scene is also similar to the one in chapters 4-6 of Revelation, where the slain Lamb comes and takes the scroll (the title deed to the earth) from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. After taking the scroll, He proceeds to break its seven seals, which commences God’s judgment on the kingdom of the fourth beast.