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The Overthrow of Satan. The Devil is seized, and bound for a thousand Years. Christ's Reign with his Saints. Satan for a short Time loosed. The general Judgment. The Devil cast into the Lake of Fire, where the Beast and the False Prophet are. All cast into Hell, whose Names are not found written in the Book of Life.
(1) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
We have here the judgment of Satan, and his being chained for a thousand years. And from that prison, be is not to be loosed, until the thousand years are expired. I pray the Reader to observe, the beautiful order of things, in this divine procedure. First, the beast, and the false prophet, were to be cast into hell. That we saw, done, in the foregoing Chapter. Next comes Satan's imprisonment. And that is accomplished in the opening of this Chapter. But, though there spoken of as done, because John's vision these things were so represented; yet the events have not yet been done. The beast still reigns. The false prophet still exerciseth his delusion. And Satan never more artfully deceived, than he doth now, in the present hour. But these prophecies are to be accomplished in their due course. And here they are recorded in their proper order. And a beautiful, and blessed account it is, taken in one grand whole; and enough to warm the affections of God's redeemed ones, into an ardent love to the Person of Christ, when God the Holy Ghost graciously becomes our Teacher. I beg the Reader's attention to it, in order,
First. Here is an Angel seen by John, coming down from heaven, with a key in his hand, and a chain. Now we cannot be at a loss to know who this is; it can be no other than the Lord Jesus Christ. For not only must it be Him, and can be no other, because all power is his in heaven and earth, and he hath the keys of hell and death, Revelation 1:18 . but because the personal hatred the devil hath to Christ, and the opposition Satan hath made to Christ and his kingdom, renders it peculiarly suitable and proper, that he should have his punishment immediately from Christ himself.
Secondly. Here is the power of Christ manifested, in seizing the old serpent, and binding him, and casting him into the bottomless pit, and the time limited for his confinement.
Thirdly. Here is also an account of a time of liberation; for the devil when he shall be at liberty for a little season, and when, as it should seem, he shall again deceive the nations, though but shortly.
Now some have thought, that this confinement of Satan began, when Christ cast out the devil from the bodies of men, in the days of Christ's flesh, and of consequence, the term is expired. And in proof of this opinion, they quote those scriptures, where it is said, that for this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the woks of the devil, 1 John 3:8 . And Christ himself said, that he beheld Satan, as lightning fall from heaven, Luke 10:18-19 . But to these things it may be said, that the purpose of Christ's coming, will be as fully answered by Satan's destruction, when the time cometh, as to suppose it hath come. And very certain it is, from the days of Christ's being upon earth to this hour, there hath never been a period of shortness, much less of a thousand years, in which the devil's influence on the minds of men, hath been restrained. And, moreover, as the imprisonment of the devil, according to the statement in this scripture prophecy, is to follow the burning alive of the beast and the false prophet, and not before these events, and as neither of these events have as yet taken place, it should seem, that there can be but little question, that the time of the devil's overthrow by Christ is not yet arrived.
I shall take occasion in this place, to offer to the Reader, some few, and, I hope, not unprofitable observations, on this interesting subject of the war Satan hath waged with the Lord Jesus Christ and his people, and on scriptural authority. And I pray God the Holy Ghost, that, from his divine teachings, I may be kept from advancing any one single point, but what is in perfect conformity to the word of God; and the Reader may be preserved from deriving anything in those observations, but what shall be in strict consistently With God's truth, that both the Writer and Reader of this Poor Man's Commentary may be taught of God, and be mutually blessed by them to the Lord's glory, and to our souls furtherance in grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the prosecution of this service, I shall not think it necessary to go over the whole ground of enquiry concerning Satan, and the empire, which from the fall of men he hath established, and in cruelty exercised over the souls and bodies of men, more or less, in every individual instance of the children of Adam. This would be too extensive a subject. But I shall take the matter up from that part, which, unhappily for mankind, is too well confirmed, and too strongly proved to our sorrow, to be called in question. I mean, that there is this evil, and formidable foe to our nature, which walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, 1 Peter 5:8 .
Our adorable Lord hath so very fully drawn the outlines, both of the Person and kingdom of Satan, in his ministry when upon earth, and the Holy Ghost by his servants, both of the Old Testament and the New, have also so very largely set forth, the several horrible features belonging to both, that a reference to those scriptures, will supersede the necessity of advancing a single line, on these plain points. That there is this Prince of the power of the air, as he is called by the Holy Ghost, which worketh in the children of disobedience, and that the Church, as well as the whole Adam race, had their spirits under his government by nature, is a truth not to be controverted, Ephesians 2:2-3 . But the scripture is in a great measure if not altogether, silent, from whence this malignity of Satan to our nature arose, and wherefore this cursed and apostate spirit, hath taken up such a bitter and irreconcilable hatred to man.
Some great and distinguished men among the Lord's people, gathering into one focus, the several lights which here and there the word of God hath thrown forth upon this subject, have conceived that when the whole rays are centered, they do shine with sufficient clearness, to show, that this malignity of hell first began, when at the fall of those apostate spirits, they took offence at the Son of God, betrothing the nature of man for a spouse for himself, at the call of God the Father, and not marrying the angelic nature. Their high intellectual powers could not stomach this choice. And therefore, rebellion brake out against the counsel and pleasure of the whole Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And, hence the quarrel with the Son of God became personal. Satan attempted to set up a kingdom in opposition to Christ's. Hence he began his malignant purposes upon the first man, made in Christ's image, in the garden of Eden. And, hence, the war hath continued ever since, and will remain during the whole time-state of the church, and Satan's enmity to all eternity.
But be this as it may, very sure we are, that such a deadly foe we have, whose captives, both by original and by actual transgression we are, and under whose dominion we must have lain forever; had not God our Savior conquered him for us, and conquered him in us. And it is only by his victory, that we are delivered from the powers of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. It is the personal labors of the Son, of God, which have accomplished all the purposes included in redemption; and though all the Persons of the Godhead have manifested the interest they take in this contest, yet the whole efficiency in the executive part of the work is in Christ, and by Christ. Christ, in his own Person, hath subdued Satan f or his people. And by his Holy Spirit, he subdues him in his people. A few leading points on this most interesting of all subjects, will make this matter abundantly clear, and from the warrant and authority of scripture.
I began from that part, where the word of God begins; namely, Satan's ruining our nature in the instance of the first man in the garden of Eden. Here we date the origin of all the sins and sorrows of life. By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation. So saith the scripture. And so saith common sense. For as in our first father, we all had an inheritance of holiness, had he kept it in which we were all by right interested. So by his loss of it, and the sin involved in that loss, we are, by right of inheritance, included. Adam did then, as many a worthless father doth now, by sin, spent his estate, and left his children beggars. But, Reader! By the way, do not fail to observe, that as by original sin, in a birth-right of nature we had no hand in, we are all implicated in Adam's sin and misery, so is it the mercy of the Church, that by the birth-right of grace to all God's people, we are all interested, and take part in Christ's righteousness and glory, in which we bore no hand. So sweetly saith the same scripture. For as by one man's obedience many were made sinners; so, by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous, Romans 5:12 to the end. One caution I beg the Reader to take with him, as he makes application of these scriptures, I mean, that he sees the proof of his relationship, in the right of which the whole depends. Prove yourself my brother, by the birth-right of grace; a child of God, before you lay claim to the privileges of a child. For, as upon the supposition I had not sprung from the first Adam, so called, and none of his blood had ran through my veins, I certainly should not have been implicated, either in his sin or his condemnation; so by a parity of reasoning, unless I can prove my relationship to the second Adam so called, I can lay no claim for an interest in his righteousness and justification. It is the relationship which makes out the right of both. Now both you and I too sadly prove we are sprung from the earthly Adam in nature. Can we as joyfully prove we are born of the heavenly Adam by grace? Sure we are, that we are by generation of the first man, which is of the earth, earthly. Are we as sure, that by regeneration we are of the second man, which is the Lord from heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:47 .
It is truly blessed to observe, how graciously the Son of God, when coming into our world to destroy the works of the devil, took up both our cause and his own, and as the apostate spirit, dared to attack the Lord of Life and Glory, Jesus not only came to redeem his people from his power, but to destroy him, and root out every evil from his kingdom. The Holy Ghost in one sweet verse of scripture, sums up in a comprehensive manner the whole subject. For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them, who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to Bondage, Hebrews 2:14-15 .
But it would be the subject of a volume, yea, many volumes, to go over the track of ground which the scriptures furnish, in showing, Christ's personal triumphs and victories over sin and Satan, death, hell, and the grave. What an huge account might be gathered, if only from that branch of the Lord's first open skirmishes with Satan, in his miracles, when dispossessing him from the bodies of men? And then again from the souls of his people?
That Christ was the glorious Person interested in this great event, of the destruction of Satan and his kingdom, is evident, from, every consideration. For against Christ as God-Man, and his kingdom as his glory, the devil bent his whole malice. And hence, when Christ wrought his miracles, and especially in those miracles in which he cast out devil, Jesus made an appeal to those works, as so many demonstrations of his kingdom. If I, said Jesus, cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you, Matthew 12:28 .
The first, and greatest act of Christ's triumph over Satan, was on, the cross. Here, most eminently might it be said, that, through death, he destroyed him that had the power of death. For the devil is said to have had the power of death, not from his appointing the time of any man's death, or having any power so to do, but because, by his introducing sin, he hath brought death into the world, which God, hath appointed, as the unavoidable consequence of sin, and therefore, the devil is very properly said, on this account, to have been a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44 . Hence, Christ by his dying for sin, hath removed the cause of death for his people, in the everlasting effects of it. And as by his death and resurrection, he is said to have overcome death and the grave, so in those glorious acts, he here gave the first death-blow to Satan and all his cursed empire; and from the cross and the tomb, the first views of the everlasting mansions of the redeemed were then discovered, 2 Timothy 1:10 .
The Holy Ghost, by his servants the Prophets and Apostles, hath caused these victories of Christ to be loudly and joyfully celebrated. The Lord Jesus himself, speaking in the language of prophecy thus delivered the blissful tidings ages before the event was to take place. I will ransom them from the power of the grave. I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues. O grave, I will be thy destruction; repentance shall be hid from mine eyes, Hosea 13:14 . And the same is spoken of Christ by the Apostle after the great triumph had been accomplished., And you being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross and having spoiled principalities and powers (that is, those whom Paul elsewhere calls the rulers of the darkness of this world; see Ephesians 6:11-12 .) he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it, Colossians 2:13-15 . Hence here the Lord Jesus began the first open display of his personal victory over Satan. And hence God the Father's gracious acknowledgment of the same, with the blessed consequence which were first delivered by prophecy, and confirmed by the event: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors, Isaiah 53:12 . And in the prospect of this, just before the Lord Jesus entered the field of battle, he cried out; Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world, be cast out, John 12:31 .
Secondly. After the Son of God had accomplished redemption - work, and was returned to glory, he sent down the Holy Ghost for the carrying on this victory in the hearts of his people. It was not sufficient, in God's view, for Christ personally to conquer Satan, he shall be conquered by Christ mystically, yea, the poorest, the humblest, the feeblest, of the Lord's members, in that day shall be as David by his Spirit dwelling in them, Zechariah 12:8 .
But while I begin this subject at this point, of Christ first personally triumphing over Satan on the cross, let not the Reader misapprehend, as though none of Christ's chosen were enabled by virtue of their union with Christ, to triumph over Satan in the Lord's strength before. This would be to mistake my meaning. Instances we have upon record, of old Testament saints, of Job and others who in the strength of Christ, were borne up against the devil and his temptations, before Christ at his incarnation, became manifested to destroy the works of the devil, But what I mean to say, and indeed what the word of God declares, is, that Christ in his own person conquered Satan, at his death, upon the cross, and Christ in his members conquers Satan, when at any time by the influences of his Holy Spirit, he bears them up against his temptations.
Now it is blessed to behold Christ's triumphs over Satan, in every individual instance of his members, when, at regeneration, the Lord brings them out of his prison and sets their souls at liberty. Indeed, the Lord Jesus calls this work himself, the proof of his grace in the hearts of his people. For when Jesus sent Paul to preach the Gospel, his commission ran in these words, I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, both of these things which thou host seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee, delivering thee from the people and from the gentiles, unto whom now I send thee to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and, from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me, Acts 26:16-18
And although the enemy, doth rally again and again, and endeavors to draw back to his prison-house the souls a those that was once led captive by him at his will; yet, blessed be God, there is that, in every truly regenerated soul, which in Christ's strength keeping them alive, (the Lord himself being their strength,) that enables the child of God to resist the devil stedfastly in the faith. And, if at any time the Lord, to show them their own nothingness, and his all sufficiency, permits the enemy, as in the case of Job, to come on more furiously, yet the end is, but for the greater glory of God, the greater good of his people, and the greater disgrace of Satan. Yea, even in those cases where, for the moment, the child a God falls, and is led away by the enemy, yet, even then like a captive, reluctantly obliged to march, be goeth on sullen and displeased. And when the grace of Christ recovers him, as Peter was recovered by one look of Jesus, oh! how godly sorrow springs up in the soul afresh, and he cries out, rejoice not against me, O mine enemy, when I fall I shall arise, when I sit in darkness the Lord shall be a light unto me, Micah 7:8-9 .
Thirdly. But the victory of Christ, in his own Person, over Satan, and the triumphs of Christ in his members, during the time-state of the Church, are here followed by the tremendous one, the opening of this Chapter presents to us. The Son of God having thrown down Pagan Rome, Papal Rome, and the false Prophet, here seizeth upon Satan, the ringleader of all, and being now about at this period of his Church, to set up a visible kingdom in this world, and before the final day of judgment, he shuts up the devil for a thousand years, that he shall not, during that time, afflict the people of God, either with persecutions or temptations. What events will mark this era of the Church, and to what extent the blessings of the Lord's people will reach, we have no further account, than that it will be a time of great ingathering to the Lord.
There will be, according to the predictions of scripture concerning it, the more immediate presence of God our Savior in the midst of his people. Ezekiel speaking of it, said, that the name of the city from that day; shall be Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is there, Ezekiel 48:35 . There will be a great pouring in of the Lord's people, gathered out of all nations. In allusion to this day, it should seem, is that scripture. Thy people shall all be righteous, Isaiah 60:21 . Not more righteous in themselves, for Christ is the righteousness of his people, but all of them shall be righteous in being brought home by the Spirit to Christ. There will be true spiritual ordinances, and a true spiritual ministry. Pastors after God's heart, and watchmen that shall see eye to eye. And the people shall have one heart and one way, and serve the Lord with one consent, Jeremiah 3:15; Jeremiah 3:15 ; Isaiah 52:8 .
Fourthly, and finally. The Lord Jesus will bring Satan, with all his hellish crew at the day of judgment, and completely execute his wrath upon him and them, by fixing them in eternal punishment in hell. This is read to us, verse 10 (Revelation 20:10 ). And the devil that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. And let all the people say, Amen and Amen.
Reader! pause one moment more over the wonderful subject, and with me, bless God for the graciousness of those discoveries, concerning both the ruin of Anti-Christ and the devil, and all his works. How little should we have known of these things, but for our Lord Jesus in these sweet records. How little do we even now meditate upon them, in a way equal to their vast importance. Think how the Church above, have been watching over these events, which have taken place below since their translation. Think how the spirits of just men made perfect in the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and Martyrs, who died in the faith of Christ before the coming of Christ, when they beheld Christ combating with the devil, in the wilderness, and in the garden, and when by his death he overcame death and the devil, and by his blood paid their ransom, which God had trusted him for, and for which they were received into glory.
That those departed have an intimate knowledge of these things is certain, for we find them (Revelation 6:10 ) crying with a loud voice for vengeance on their murderers, when God explained to them the reason, wherefore they were to wait a little season for the accomplishment of their wishes. And, therefore, how must they have looked on and beheld with holy joy, the Lord Jesus casting down the beast and the false prophet alive in the lake of fire, and chaining Satan for a thousand years in the bottomless pit. And, oh! what joy, what shouts of praise will burst forth from the whole army of heaven, when all the accursed crew, shall be finally sent together into everlasting perdition, and their sentence and execution be in the full view of the congregated world of angels and of men.
(4) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such 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 Lord Jesus promised his people by John, that they should set with him upon his throne, Revelation 3:21 . And here is the accomplishment. His people are said to be made kings and priests, to God and the Father. And agreeably to this, we find them in their regal and priestly office. Various have been the opinions of the Lord's people on this reign of Christ. Some have considered it spiritually. Others have supposed it is to be taken literally; and that Christ will reign, with his saints upon earth, otherwise say they, wherefore is Satan bound up. He needed not a chain to keep him, out of heaven, Revelation 5:10 . But the Holy Ghost hath left an obscurity upon it, and therefore I shall offer no observations of mine upon it.
But whether this reign with Christ be a spiritual reign, or whether it is to be literally on the earth, what is said of the rest of the dead, even the dead sinners, twice dead as Jude calls them, dead in and in the original Adam-fall-apostasy, and dead in body, gone down to the chambers of the grave, all of this description lived not during the thousand years of Christ's reign with his saints, and the thousand years imprisonment of Satan! They will remain, as they were found at death, until the general judgment.
In relation to the first resurrection, it should seem to be intended, precisely as the words are. For, as many of the bodies of the saints arose, to celebrate Christ's resurrection, so it may be supposed, Many also shall arise to celebrate his reign with his saints at his descension. And very blessed it is, to consider the subject in this view. For when God's children have passed the present time-state of the Church, and their spirits have joined the society of the spirits of just Men made perfect, they are then brought into clear apprehensions of the Lord's dealings in the great administration of all things, And wherefore may they not be supposed as raised up in their bodies during this thousand years of Christ as well as Enoch and Elijah, who never died at all. God hath immense discoveries to make, through a never-ending eternity of himself, in his threefold character of Persons, in, and through Christ, to his Church and people. And, there doth not seem a single cause of objection to his raising such, and such of his redeemed ones as he shall please, to begin in the union of soul and body, to enter into the joy of their Lord.
When it is added, that he is blessed and holy that hath part in the first resurrection, if it be considered as referring to a resurrection in grace, no doubt, as all the other parts of scripture declare, the second death can have no power upon them, for they are no longer subject to a spiritual death, being made partakers of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:4-5 . But I confess that I am more inclined to believe, that the blessedness and holiness here spoken of, hath respect to the first resurrection just before taken notice of, and is in my view a confirmation, that at this thousand years reign of Christ, there shall be a resurrection of such, as the Lord hath appointed to meet the Lord at his government. The thought is pleasing, and I see no abjection to it. But here, as in every other instance of doubt, I beg to be considered as never speaking at all decidedly.
(7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (10) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The loosing of Satan, and the deceiving of Gog and Magog, and the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, opens a new face of things. It cannot mean either the Pope, or false Prophet, for they all and their followers, will a long time before this, have been lost in remembrance from the earth. It is our mercy, however, that the whole is of short duration. A little season, it is said in Revelation 20:3 . And then follows the everlasting overthrow, and perdition of the devil.
(11) And 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 found no place for them. (12) 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 out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Here we arrive to that great day of God, so long, so faithfully foretold, and now so solemnly introduced, with everything that may strike the mind in the contemplation of it. First, it begins with the sight of a great white throne. it is a great throne, for the Lord Jesus, the judge of quick and dead, who sits on it, is the great and only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords. And it is a white throne, to intimate, perhaps, the justice and equity of his administration. And, oh! how great and glorious, and holy, and pure must he be that sits on it, before whom, the earth and the heaven fled away; for the heavens are not clean in his sight.
John proceeds. And I saw the dead small and great stand before God. Reader! think how solemn the moment, how interesting the event, involved in that day's decision! These must be the dead spoken of before, who lived not during the thousand years of Christ's reign (Revelation 20:5 ). Not the dead now or then, dead in trespasses and sins only, but the twice dead, dead in soul, and dead in body, and now raised up to judgment. The books opened, is spoken of after the manner of men. But the sense is, it should seem, that of the wretched dead, who died out of Christ, who trusted to equity and not grace, these books, meaning God's knowledge and their own consciences, could not fail of bringing them in guilty before God.
Sea, death, and hell giving up their dead, evidently proclaims the side on which those characters all stand. And their being all judged according to their works, most plainly show the same. The salvation of God's people is not noticed in this judgment; and consequently, the dead in Christ, in sea or land, are not here spoken of. For all that are noticed, are those whose names are not written in the Book of Life. This record is the only security, and a blessed and sure one indeed it is of the Lord's people.
I beg the Reader to notice with me, that nothing is said of the trial of the faithful. Indeed their trial hath taken place long before, when passing under the sentence of a broken law, they fled for refuge to the hope that was before them in Christ. It is said, indeed, and blessedly said, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:10 . But this not for trial, but for the Lord's blessing. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 . And if there be no condemnation now, there will be no trial then. If the law be answered, as it hath been answered by Jesus our surety here, nothing can be brought forth to criminate there.
Reader! pause over this statement, and look at it every way, and examine whether it be strictly scriptural.
It is a grand, a momentous concern! If a child of God be truly and savingly called, is awakened, regenerated, justified in Christ Jesus, and made one with Christ, can there be any doubt or suspense as to the state in which he will appear before God? Will not Christ and his salvation be the same in death as they are in life; and will not his acceptance in the Beloved, be as sure in heaven, as it is here on earth. Could Paul, could Peter, could all the saints of God in the Old Testament and the New, talk with so much assurance of everlasting happiness in Christ, and by Christ, had a doubt remained of their interest in Christ, and their union with Christ? I pray the Reader, if his ground work of assurance be not founded on the same bottom, to see to it on what other footing his faith rests. If the prospect of that day of God be blessed, and the hope of it a joy unspeakable and full of glory, here is the strength of it in Jesus. And the assurance of our acceptance in Christ now must remove the possibility of failure then. Sweetly doth the Apostle sing to this note, when he saith for whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified. And if so, what shall separate from the love of Christ.
Reader! beg of God the Spirit to be your Teacher! Bring this subject daily before the Lord. See to it, that nothing satisfieth your mind, until the Lord himself hath given you an answer of peace. And let every day find some portion or other of it, engaged in your soul's desire in looking for, and hasting unto this great day of God. And, oh! the unspeakable mercy, to be always on the lookout for Jesus, without suspense, without doubt, without fear, but in a fulness of joy, having redemption in his blood, waiting his coming, when Christ will own you before the congregated world, as his own, and present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
Oh! the unspeakable joy, the Church, both in heaven and earth, must feel, in Christ's triumphs over the devil! What a glorious sight, even in contemplation, to behold Christ coming down from heaven, and seizing upon the monster, to cast him into the bottomless pit, where hell and horror reigns.
Praises to our All-conquering Jesus, for shutting him up, during his thousand years reign with his saints, that their joy shall have no interruption. And blessed be his holy Name, that he will raise up his saints and faithful ones, to sit on thrones with him, during this blissful age, of light, and life, and glory. Nothing of sin, nothing of sorrow, shall interrupt this blessed Millennium. And Jesus will have the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and the word of God, and that have not worshipped the beast, but hated the whore; to reign with him. Oh! the felicity of beholding Jesus, and the glory of his Person, and the love of his heart, to his redeemed, his people!
They are indeed blessed, and holy, who have part in the first resurrection. God the Holy Ghost hath said it. And, my soul, beg the Lord to seal the everlasting remembrance of it, in thy inmost affections. On such, the second death hath no power!
And while thy Church, O Lord, are rejoicing with holy triumph, over the devil, and the beast, and the false prophet, in beholding them forever cast into the lake of endless torment; oh! for grace, in a life of faith on the Son of God, to be waiting for that great day of the Lord, when Jesus will come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. Then will Jesus say to all his redeemed: Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world. Lord! shall this be my happy portion? Will Jesus so own me, when he cometh to make up his jewels? Oh! for the Lord to bless my soul now with grace; and sure I am, that then the Lord will give me glory.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 20". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter