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SATAN’S ARREST AND INCARCERATION
SIX thousand years have rolled away amid the dismal night of Satan’s reign. Terrific has been the probationary ordeal. Hell’s harvest has swept on and on through the forlorn and dreary ages. Perdition has devoured a hundred generations, with an exception here and there. Humanity without God has proved a miserable failure in every dispensation. The Antediluvian world became so awfully wicked that God saw that existence simply meant damnation. Hence, in mercy, He must sweep them from the earth. Likewise, each Post-diluvian Dispensation has gone on from bad to worse, till the wickedness of the nations and the abominations of fallen Churches have culminated in the terrible judgments of the great tribulation, which has swept the unsavable into perdition. Satan hath wrought valiantly, and hell is well filled. Since the inauguration of the premillennial judgments inflicted by the Ancient of Days against a wicked world and fallen Church, the tide of most disastrous defeat has set against the devil. For six thousand years he was the custodian of hell, having charge of the key, which he turned against countless millions, sparing neither age, sex, rank, dignity, priest, nor potentate. Revelation 9:0 th exhibits him in sole possession the key of the bottomless pit. Amid the awful reverses which he suffered during the Armageddon conflicts, among other terrible losses, the key of hell is wrested from him.
1. It is now in the hands of the police-angel, descending from heaven with a great chain. Behold, he arrests the devil like a common desperado, binds him hand and foot with the chain, takes the key and unlocks the pandemonium of unquenchable fire, casts him into a dismal, gloomy dungeon, locks him up, and puts the seal of the Almighty on the ponderous iron door: “No exit for the next thousand years!” This is an awful day in Satan’s eventful history. He has seen the trophies of six thousand years of successful warfare all vanish into the night of dark despair. For ages kings, potentates, popes, and priests have been his loyal subjects. They have all fallen and perished. Pope and Mahomet, the last of all to survive the wreck of premillennial judgments, have been precipitated into the burning lake. Hence he now stands alone, as when he invaded Eden six thousand years ago. The very solitude of his situation is appalling in the extreme. He sees the sheriff of the heavenly government approaching to lay violent hands on him. His adamantine heart melts with cowardice. Trembling in his boots for his inevitable doom, he succumbs to his fate. Already the sweeping revival conducted by the King of glory and the transfigured saints of His bridehood has compassed the globe, girdled the continents, and inundated all nations with the glories of entire sanctification, which is the millennial experience. Therefore, the long- prayed-for sunburst of the heavenly glory has already come down on the world, and the millennium has come, and come to stay. Jesus reigns, and reigns victorious over heaven and earth most glorious. The dismal night of sin, hiding millions of cruel devils, spreading devastation and death throughout the world, has retreated before the bright effulgence of the glorious millennial day. Truly, the halcyon days of dear old Eden have come back. Don’t you hear the ring of the anvil? They are even now beating the bloody swords of war into plowshares and the cruel spears into pruning-hooks. The Omnipotent Healer is here, and sickness is fast becoming unknown. Physicians have thrown away their pill-bags, and turned to Holiness evangelists. The dark memories of Satan’s bloody reign of a thousand weary years are fast fading away and sinking into oblivion.
Glory to God for a world without a devil in it! Satan and his myrmidons have all retreated away, to trouble the world no more for the next thousand years.
During the long reign of sin, the earth has been terribly abused, brutalized, barbarized, beggarized, and impoverished. Under the pacific reign of our glorious King, co-operated in every city, village, island, and continent by His transfigured saints, whose delight will be to rule in wisdom, instruction, righteousness, and love, the waste lands will be repaired and fertilized, the marshes drained and transformed into fruitful fields, and the deserts irrigated and metamorphosed into blooming gardens. After the ejectment of Satan and his myrmidons, and the consequent expurgation of the diabolical institutions out of the world, the castigatory judgments of God will cease.
The fruits, no longer nipped by frost nor blighted by drought, will literally burden the fields with their inexhaustible exuberance. The rich will delight in relieving the poor, till poverty shall actually depart from the whole earth. Wisdom, industry, enterprise, disinterested philanthropy, and spontaneous benefactions, under the benignant reign of Prince Immanuel, will transform the earth into a paradise. Thus the Edenic state, when humanity walked with God, in blissful ignorance of Satan and his devices, after the long, dreary night of six thousand years, has actually come back, and come to stay. Sickness and sorrow have alike retreated away, and the generations are approximating Antediluvian longevity. Translation without dying was the original economy of the Edenic state. Presumptively translation, in millennial times, will again become common.
RESURRECTION OF THE TRIBULATION SAINTS
4. “ I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive his mark upon their foreheads, and upon their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Judgment, in this quotation, means the government of the world. Hence the problem is settled, without controversy, that the risen and translated martyrs will rule the world, as the subordinates of Christ, during the millennium. Paul assures us, in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, that Christ, when He comes to reign, will bring with Him “those who sleep in Jesus.” In the same Scripture, he notifies us that the Lord will come after those who sleep in Jesus and take them up, before He brings them down with Him.
In our Savior’s sermon on the judgments, which He preached on Mt. Olivet the day before He was crucified (Matthew 24:0; Mark 13:0; and Luke 21:0), describing His coming in the premillennial judgment, He says: “Two men shall be in a field; one is taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one is taken, and the other left.” He also says:
“When the Son of man cometh, He will send forth His angels to gather His elect out of the four quarters of the earth, from one extremity of the heavens, even unto the other extremity.”
Now this cannot be the final judgment; for at that time all the people on the earth, both living and dead, will be taken, whereas you see, in this judgment, only the elect are taken. These Scriptures confirm, beyond controversy, the doctrine of the rapture; i. e., that our Lord will come before the tribulation and take up His elect i. e., the members of His bridehood raising the dead and translating the living. Daniel 12:1 says: “Every one written in the book shall be delivered” from that awful “time of trouble,” such as the world has never seen, and never will again.
Hence, the first resurrection will take place before the great tribulation and the terrible premillennial judgments set in, when the Lord takes up His bride. Then, what is this resurrection (Revelation 20:4)? It is a supplement to the first resurrection, for the especial benefit of the tribulation saints. None but the wholly sanctified will go up in the rapture. As we see in the case of the virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), the unsanctified will be left. They are simply called foolish because they did not get their vessels filled with oil; i. e., get sanctified. So the Holy Ghost calls all the Christians in the world “foolish” who do not go forward into entire sanctification. Had not these foolish virgins lost their religion? The English would so indicate. But it is a wrong translation. The Greek does not say, “Our lamps are gone out;” but, “Our lamps are going out;” i. e., they are burning low. As none but those who are filled with the Holy Ghost can enter the marriage-supper, therefore the foolish virgins were excluded-not from the kingdom of grace, unless they afterward let their lamps go out, but from the bridehood of Christ. Lighting the lamp is regeneration, the first work of grace. When this was done, the virgins were all alike. Afterward, five heeded the call of wisdom and got their vessels filled with oil i. e. the Holy Ghost i. e., wholly sanctified. Meanwhile, the other five so egregiously manifested their lack of true wisdom, by not getting their vessels filled with oil i. e., entirely sanctified-that inspiration designates them “foolish virgins.” Thus, when our Lord takes up His bride, all the Christians on the earth who are not filled with the Holy Ghost i. e., sanctified wholly will be left to stem the horrors of the tribulation.
Amid the awful troubles which shall flood the whole earth, testing all souls to the bottom, in the utter absence of all the sanctified people, it is to be feared that the great majority will backslide and lose their souls. However, to our comfort, we see from this Scripture that some will get sanctified during the tribulation and persevere to the end. But it is a significant fact that they will all have their heads cut off. Antichrist will rally his bloodthirsty millions against those who refuse to worship the beast and his image i. e., the world and its fashion and do not receive the mark of the beast on their persons. Strong drink, tobacco opium, gluttony, licentiousness, the corset, jewelry and all vain, gay, needless ornamentation, are the marks of the carnal beast, by which he designates the victims of sin, death, and damnation. It is a significant fact that every one of these suffered the cruel martyrdom of decapitation. “Souls” here, pursuant to common parlance, simply means persons. At the beginning of this verse, John says, “I saw thrones.” Presumptively, these thrones are occupied by the members of the bridehood, who have gone up in the rapture. They now reign with Christ over the nations. At the millennium, they are joined in their administration by all the tribulation martyrs, who are now raised from the dead and honored with the participation in the millennial theocracy.
5. “ The rest of the dead live not till the thousand years may be fulfilled. This is the first resurrection.” From this verse you see that the first resurrection will only include the martyrs. It is an impressive fact that the same Greek word means “martyr” and “witness” Hence, in order to be a true witness for Jesus, you must have the martyr spirit; i. e., be constantly ready to suffer martyrdom. If you are really a true witness for Jesus under all circumstances, even at the peril of your life, the Holy Ghost calls you a martyr, whether you ever seal your faith with your blood or not. The Scriptures positively confirm the conclusion that all except the martyrs will sleep on in the sepulchral dust till the great white throne shall set and the final resurrection shall supervene. Oh, Blessed and holy is he that has Part in the first resurrection; over these the second death hath no power. but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. The word “holy” in this verse is the same word which means sanctified. This word, with its synonyms, occurs six hundred times in the Bible. Oh, what an inspiration to every soul to get sanctified wholly. Why does the second death have no power over the participants of the first resurrection? Because they have passed their probation, and now occupy their transfigured bodies. Did not the angels fall and become devils? This took place while passing through their probationary state. Evidently all created intelligences are originally on probation. Doubtless the inhabitants of those heavenly worlds nave long ago completed their probation. Hence we hear of no more apostasy. So it is with all who enjoy a part in the first resurrection. Being raised and translated when our Lord comes to reign, their probation having ended, they will enjoy the transfigured glory, forever triumphant over the second death. Of course, even the saints who shall live upon the earth during subsequent ages, in their mortal bodies, will still be on probation, exposed to temptations, liable to fall, and finally incur the horrors of the second death. This verse clearly assures us that all the participants of the first resurrection, whether risen or translated, will reign with Christ a thousand years. Oh, blessed assurance and thrilling inspiration, driving all indifference, stupidity, and ennui beyond the North Pole. Just to think that our Savior is liable to descend this moment, raise His buried saints, translate the living, invest us with a crown and a scepter, and promote us to a throne to participate in His glorious millennial reign.
SATAN’S POST-MILLENNIAL INVASION AND FINAL DEFEAT
7. The millennial ages have flown. A thousand years of Paradisian prosperity and happiness have rolled away. Meanwhile the inhabitants of earth have never heard the grim tocsin of war, the balmy breezes of universal peace, laden with the aroma of perennial fruits and flowers, having circled the globe a thousand years. All the theaters have been turned into Churches, the saloons into depositories for Bibles and Holiness books, the race-fields and penitentiaries into Holiness camp-grounds. Long ago the bloody memories of sin, darkness, trouble, sorrow, death, and damnation have sunk into oblivion, eternally eclipsed by the effulgent glories of the millennial reign. Earth is basking in the sunshine of heaven, not dreaming that she will ever sorrow again. Why did God let the devil out of hell? a thousand years had rolled away; meanwhile millennial glory has belted the globe from the rising of the sun to his going down. Generation after generation has brightened the world with their holy lives, and swept into heaven with a tremendous boom, thus populating the city of God with the teeming millions of the millennial world. Dog-fennel and pennyroyal have overgrown the road to hell. Meanwhile Satan is muttering in the deep, dark dungeon of the pandemonium: “Yes, Son of God, of course you can have everything your own way while you keep the hound with this chain in the gloomy old prison of the bottomless pit. I dare you to let me out! I will show you that the boasted religion of all these Holiness fanatics, whose roaring shouts have been my constant annoyance the last thousand years, is all hypocritical bosh. Just let me out, give me a tilt at that old world, and I can upset the whole compoodle.” Do you not see that it will be for the glory of Christ to let him try his hand? What floods of light, glory, and consolation have swept down the ages, emanating from the terrible afflictions of Job, when God turned him over to the devil to test the solidity of his religion So will the glory of God flash out with unprecedented brilliancy from Satan’s final assault on humanity, and move down the ages of eternity with incessantly accumulating luster.
8. We see from this verse that Satan’s army, with which he essays to conquer the world, is made up of Gog and Magog. Now let us see who they are. In Noah’s family originated the trinity of races. Ham in Hebrew means black; Shem, red; and Japheth, white. Upon the subsidence of the Flood, Noah divided the world among his three sons, giving Ham Africa, Shem Asia, and Japheth Europe. Gog and Magog are only spoken of in this passage, Genesis 10:0 th, and Ezekiel 38:0 th. Gog means king, and Magog means the kingly people; i. e., the nobility. Genesis 10:0 th notifies us that they are the children of Japheth, the ancestor of all the white people. In Ezekiel 38:0 th they are elaborately mentioned as resident in Russia. There is too much religion in the world, after millennial holiness has belted the globe a thousand years, for Satan to attack it as a roaring lion. Meanwhile the tide of millennial glory is moving around the world with unabated momentum, and not a human being is dreaming of Satan’s awful exit from the bottomless pit, and his impending raid into Immanuel’s kingdom. Behold, Diabolus evacuates the pandemonium, transforms himself into a great political and military leader, like Napoleon Bonaparte perhaps in the very person of the Russian Czar enters this world with royal pomp and pageantry, everywhere haranguing the multitude, aspiring to captivate them by his learned and eloquent speeches and disaffect them toward King Immanuel, and render them dissatisfied with His administration, at the same time doing his utmost to persuade them to revolt and set up an independent government, in which he offered them the most perfect freedom, as well as the grandest official emoluments. He enjoys the wonderful convenience of locomotion at lightning speed. (Luke 18:10.) He finds multitudes of followers among all the Japhethetic i. e., white races, especially in Russia. It is a significant fact, at the present day, that the Japhethetic races rule the world. The great princes, potentates, millionaires, gold-bugs, and railroad kings are white men. With no devil to lead them, they quietly submit during the long ages of the millennial reign. Meanwhile they muse much on their illustrious ancestry, who possessed the money and ruled the world. Now Satan arouses them by his blandishing speeches, and inflates them with glowing aspirations to regain their lost power and rule the world again. You must remember that the millennial generations will be born with depraved hearts, as we are. In the absence of the devil to stir that depravity, and actuated by the transfigured agencies of saving grace, they will be converted before they lose their infantile justification, and sanctified before they backslide. Hence a gigantic Christianity will fill the world. When Satan comes out of hell he makes his adroit appeals to this hereditary depravity. With paradoxical expedition he traverses all nations, tip-toeing and vociferating the eloquent appeals of his stentorian voice in the ears of countless multitudes. You must remember, at that time the world will have a tremendous population ten, and perhaps a hundred, times as large as at the present day. Among the descendants of the old nabob families of the different white races, he receives a large following; but among Shemites and Hamites he receives no response. There are at present three hundred millions of negroes in Africa. Doubtless, by the close of the millennium, they will number three thousand millions. The negro is intuitively more religious than the white man. When all the negroes in Africa have shouted full salvation a thousand years, the Dark Continent checkered with railroads and illuminated with Holiness camp-grounds and colleges, those grand old Ethiopians will stand flatfooted, throw their big mouths open, and shout the devil out of countenance, till he will be glad to retreat crest- fallen from the land of Ham, without a single follower. The Mongolian races, at the present day, are estimated at eight hundred millions. They constitute the mighty nations of the Orient. Presumptively, they will number eight thousand millions by the close of the millennium. Immutability is the striking peculiarity of the Orientals. When the almond- eyed Chinaman has rung out the hallelujahs of entire sanctification a thousand years, he will not be captured by Satan’s sophistical promises to make him a mandarin. Hence the devil will make a total failure with the numberless sons of Shem, who people the mighty East. War is something quite new in the world. Not a gun has been fired in the last thousand years. From the days of Peter the Great, who predicted that the bear should lie down on the banks of the Indian Ocean, Russia has had her eye on the Holy Land.
9. Satan now musters the innumerable hosts of Gog and Magog, and coils them around Jerusalem like a huge boa-constrictor. By the close of the millennium, doubtless Jerusalem, the capital of the millennial kingdom, will be the metropolis of the world. The site is the finest on the globe for the metropolitanship of the world. It is the geographical center of the six grand divisions of the earth the most accessible spot beneath the skies. The very earth rests on the finest building material in the world, and at the same time the inexhaustible fertilizer of soils. I doubt not but at that time Jerusalem will extend over the vast interior highlands of Palestine. The people are not alarmed. The King of Glory reigns on the earth. Satan’s army encompasses Jerusalem with impunity, inspired by their audacious leader, sanguine of success, as they see no enemy arrayed against them. A thousand years ago the Lord’s people transformed all their military equipage into farming implements, and committed the keeping of their country to the glorious King. Their faith is unshaken by the clangor of arms and the glitter of a million swords in the splendor of a Palestinian sun. The Eastern skies are illuminated with the gorgeous eclat of Satan’s royal army. The devil, from his magnificent portable pavilion, issues command through a thousand swift couriers to put the battle in array against the holy city. At that moment Omnipotence interposes, fire comes down from heaven, and utterly consumes Satan’s army.
10. Now Satan is again arrested, and cast into the lake of fire, this interposition giving a final termination to his post-millennial and last campaign against this world. Never again will he be permitted to put his foot on it. You see that it will be much for the glory of Christ to let the devil test the millennial world. He would always have said that he could abduce them into rebellion against God if an opportunity had been given. Floods of light and truth emanate from Satan’s post-millennial campaign against this world.
(a) As the long war between Christ and Satan is destined to wind up, the problem of his final destiny presents itself for solution. Here we have an irrefutable confirmation of his utter and hopeless irreclaimability. After suffering the unutterable horrors of a hell-prison a thousand years, we find him just as proud, arrogant, ambitious, and bloodthirsty as when he ruled the world with a rod of iron. With what promptitude and alacrity lie proceeds at once to ruin the world again!
(b) It is also a confirmation of hereditary depravity, even surviving the swelling floods of millennial grace a thousand years. This is evidenced by the mighty revolt of Gog and Magog.
(c) It is also a confirmation of the wonderful triumphs of millennial grace, in the fact that Satan makes a total failure with all the world, except Gog and Magog.
(d) The divine intervention which pours fire on Satan’s army besieging Jerusalem, and utterly exterminating them, involves the consolatory assurance that God will never again permit Satan to prevail against the human race.
(e) It forever refutes the Universalian dogma of remedial punishment, as Satan had the benefit of it a thousand years, and came out just as he went in, and had to be sent back again. Hence, this confirms the irremedial doom of all the wicked when they leave this world. We have a repetition of the Greek phrase, which so frequently occurs in the New Testament, eis tous aioonastoon aioonoon, defining the duration of the punishment in reservation for the devil, the beast, the false prophet, and all their followers. The English translates it “forever and ever.” More literally it would read, “unto ages of ages, or, eternities of eternities.” The very same phrase tells how long the saints will live in glory, and how long God will exist. Hence the infallible logic of the Holy Ghost settles the question beyond possible cavil that hell will smoke so long as heaven shouts. The wicked will suffer the horrors of the burning lake so long as the righteous rejoice in the presence of God, and so long as God Himself shall live.
THE FINAL JUDGMENT (Revelation 11:15 )
The great white throne now dazzles the gaze of earth’s teeming millions. The wicked multitudes who have lived on the earth in all bygone ages now respond to the archangel’s trump and come forth. We have here no account of the Lord’s coming, because He has been here ever since the beginning of the millennium. How long the post-millennial ages will last we can have no definite idea. Hence, perhaps the millennial glory will shine on and bless the world long ages after the expiration of the scheduled thousand years.
Isaiah 53:8: “Who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living.” In this chapter a millennial Jew stands on the heights of prophetic illumination, looks back two thousand years, bewails the blindness of his people in the first coming of his Lord, which utterly disqualified them to recognize Him, but left them to the caprices of the devil, who infatuated them to nail Him to the cross. “Generation” here means race or posterity. If Christ had not died, He would have had no spiritual offspring. If the acorn does not die, it will never produce the giant oak. In regeneration, ye are born; in sanctification, you die. If you do not die i. e., get sanctified the normal conclusion follows that you will have no posterity. The interrogation, “Who shall declare His generation?” means that neither man nor angel can enumerate the mighty multitudes of God’s spiritual children in Christ. We are living in the age of darkness, sin, Satan, and damnation, in which hell is devouring the multitudes of earth, and Jesus says: “The saved are few” (Luke 13:23). Hence the present age is hell’s great harvest. The millennium will be heaven’s great harvest. Such will be the flooded populations and the sweeping tide of salvation inundating the world, in the blissful absence of the devil, through the long run of the millennial ages, that in the grand finale, when the infinitesimal multitudes of Adam’s race shall stand before the great white throne, the innumerable hosts, saved by the triumphant Christ, will so vastly outnumber the motley rabble of Satan’s conquest as to throw it into eternal eclipse. As the Son of God will encumber the final judgment- throne, this notable epoch will produce no interregnum in His continuous reign from His descension on the cloud at the beginning of the millennium, and in no way conflict with the eternal perpetuity of His reign on the earth. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and eternally expel him from this world, as well as the universe of God.
“ The books were opened.” These are the books of record in the plural number, because they are many. They contain the record of all the sins committed by the wicked, and all the good works of the righteous Neither the sins of the righteous nor the good deeds of the wicked will be mentioned in the judgment. The popular idea of this judgment going through in twenty-four hours is a great mistake. Day, in the Bible, means a period. God will take plenty of time. What is the utility of this judgment? It is demonstrative of human character, and vindicatory of the Divine administration. God does not need it to find out what to do with you. Every soul in the universe is either condemned or acquitted every moment of its existence. Your condemnation dates from your sin. The infinite dissimilitude which characterizes the whole world will continue through all eternity. Hence infinitesimal will be the degrees of punishment in hell and reward in heaven. The benignity of God requires the presence of the entire human race, and especially all of the guardian angels, in this final adjudication of all human destiny. Human courts, in all ages, have condemned the innocent and honored the guilty. This is the grand appellate court of the universe, which will reverse all the maladministrations of all ages, and rectify all wrongs, and settle all issues forever. Here every character will be thoroughly ventilated, elucidated, and illustrated, so every soul will receive his real status and appropriate attitude for all eternity.
Book of life is in the singular number. It is simply a roll of the names of all the saved people. Doubtless this book will be very voluminous. Does the Holy Ghost now witness to you that your name is written in this book? Here we are informed that all whose names are not found superscribed in this book will be cast into the lake of fire. We are notified that death and hell are also cast into the lake of fire. The Bible tells us that hell is now beneath the surface of the earth. Geology reveals that the entire globe is liquid fire except the solid crust, about forty miles in thickness, which forms the exterior. Hence science fully corroborates the Bible on the location of hell. Since this earth, with its entire environments, is to be completely expurgated from sin and all of its contaminations, we readily see the pertinency in the removal of hell from the earth’s interior. Our Savior, in His gospels, frequently alludes to the location of the fiery lake in outer darkness. The Greek, “ To nothos to exooteron ”; i. e., the darkness which is without. Now where is that darkness containing the lake of fire, into which the devil and all his followers are to be cast? Telescopic observation has revealed one hundred and seventeen millions of suns already discovered in the celestial universe. Evidently our sun gives good light at Neptune, three thousand millions of miles distant. Then to what distance will the combined illumination of one hundred and seventeen millions of suns transmit light? The mathematical genius of an archangel can never answer this question. The distance is absolutely not only inexpressible, but inconceivable. An angel, flying with the velocity of lightning, could not traverse that space in a thousand millions of years. Hence we see the devil and his followers can never return to disturb the peaceful universe of the Almighty. Then how can they ever get there? The Omnipotent arm can transmit them thither in the twinkling of an eye.
Thus you see how the Omnipotent Savior is preparing utterly and eternally to banish sin and all its votaries from the universe of God. While the judgment is in progress, the earth will be passing through a series of purgatorial cremations. (2 Peter 3:10.) This world was converted in Noah’s time, when it was expurgated of all sinners and baptized with water. That is not sufficient for its admission into heaven. It must receive the second blessing and be baptized with fire. This fiery baptism will thoroughly sanctify it, not only from all sin, actual and original, but from all the effects of sin. The Creator will again resume His work amid these potent fiery agencies, re-create the world, and transform it into a celestial sphere.
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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Revelation 20". "Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34