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Satan bound for a thousand years. The first resurrection: they are blessed that have part therein. Satan let loose again. Gog and Magog. The devil cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. The last and general resurrection.
Anno Domini 96.
Revelation 20:1.— This chapter represents a new state of the church, upon its deliverance from the persecution and corruption of the third period, or during the reign of the two beasts, or 1260 prophetic days or years. That long state of oppression is to be followed by a long continuance of peace, and prosperity. A fourth period is described, which, among other characters, is to last for a thousand years. The two first periods ended in a deliverance of the church; but those deliverances were of short continuance, and attended with considerable defects; but now, after the church shall have passed through this third trial of faith and patience, it is to attain a state of very great prosperity, and to remain in it for a considerable length of time. This is that happy state of the church, which, from the continuation of it for a thousand years, is usually called the Millennium. The description we have of it in this chapter, is very short,containedinthefirstsixverses:interpreters,however,have abundantly supplied what they thought wanting in the propheticaccount,—out of their own invention, it is to be feared, rather than from sure and well-grounded principles of judgment. No wonder then that they have differed so much about the true meaning of a prophesy, in which they have mixed so many of their own imaginations; so that the disputes seem not so much what is the intention of the Spirit of prophesy, as which of the interpreters has the finest or the warmest imagination. Let us then carefully endeavour to distinguish what the Spirit of prophesy plainly intends, from what uncertain conjectures or doubtful reasonings may suggest to our minds, for a more distinct and particular account.
Revelation 20:1-6. And I saw an angel come down from heavens &c.— After the destruction of the beast, and the false prophet,there still remains the dragon, who had delegated his power unto them; that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, Revelation 20:2. but he is bound by an angel,—an especial minister of Providence; and the famous millennium, or the reign of the saints upon earth for a thousand years, commences. Binding him with a great chain, casting him into the bottomless pit, shutting him up, and setting a seal upon him, (Revelation 20:3.) are strong figures, to shew the strict and severe restraint which he should be laid under, that he should deceive the nations no more during this whole period. Wickedness being restrained, the reign of righteousness succeeds; and the martyrs and confessors of Jesus, not only those who were beheaded, or suffered any kind of death under the Roman emperors, but also those who refused to comply with the idolatrous worship of the beast and his image, are raised from the dead, and have the principal share in the felicities of Christ's kingdom upon earth, Revelation 20:4. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished, Revelation 20:5. so that this was a peculiar prerogative of the martyrs and confessors, above the rest of mankind. This is the first resurrection, a particular resurrection, preceding the general one at least a thousand years. Blessed and holy too is he who hath part in the first resurrection; Revelation 20:6. He is holy in all senses of the word; holy, as separated from the common lot of mankind; holy, as endowed with all holy and virtuous qualifications; and none but such are admitted to partake of this blessed state:—On such the second death hath no power. The second death is a Jewish phrase for the punishment of the wicked after death. The Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos, and the other paraphrases of Jonathan Ben Uziel, and of Jerusalem, on Deu 33:6
Before Constantine, the church was indeed in greater purity, but was groaning under the persecutions of the heathen emperors: after Constantine, the churchwas in greater prosperity, but was soon shaken and disturbed by heresies, schisms, incursions, devastations, corruptions, idolatry, wickedness, and cruelty. If Satan was then bound, when can he be said to be loosed? Or how could the saints and the beast, Christ and antichrist, reign at the same time? This prophesy therefore remains yet to be fulfilled, eventhough the resurrection be taken only for an allegory; which yet the text cannot admit, without the greatest torture and violence. For with what propriety can it be said, that some of the dead who were beheaded, lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished, unless the dying and living again be the same in both places;—a proper death and resurrection. Indeed, the death and resurrection of the witnesses, ch. 11 appear, from the concurrent circumstances of the vision, to be figurative; but the death and resurrection here mentioned, must, for the very same reasons, be concluded to be real. If the martyrs rise only in a spiritual sense, then the rest of the dead rise only in a spiritual sense; but if the rest of the dead really rise, the martyrs rise in the same manner. There is no difference between them; and we should be cautious and tender of making the first resurrection an allegory, lest others should reduce the second into an allegory too, like those whom St. Paul mentions, 2Ti 2:17-18
Revelation 20:7.— The following verses of this chapter to Revelation 20:11. inform us, that the happy days of the church, prophesied of in the foregoing vision, will at length have their period: though they are to continue for a long time, and are not to expire till after a thousand years: yetthen there shall be one attempt more against the purity of religion, and against the peace and prosperity of the church. Satan is to be released for a little time, or season; but in that little season he shall deceive many; and so far seduce them, as to prevail upon them to join with him in his apostacy. This new attempt against truth and righteousness, shall end in the utter ruinof the enemies of Christ and his religion: they shall be totally defeated, and their obstinate wickedness punished with everlasting destruction. This state of the church and world, so different from the preceding, deserves to be considered as a new period, which will therefore be the fifth in order.
Revelation 20:7-10. When the thousand years are expired, &c.— At the expiration of the thousand years, the restraint will be taken off from wickedness,—Satan shall be loosed, and make one effort more to re-establish his kingdom. As he deceived our first parents in Paradise, so he will have the artifice to deceive the nations after the millennium, to shew, that no state or condition on earth is secured from sinning. The nations whom he shall deceive, are described as living in the remotest parts of the world,—in the four quarters, or more literally, in the four angles or corners of the earth; and they are distinguished by the names of Gog and Magog, and are said to be as numerous as the sand of the sea, Revelation 20:8. Gog and Magog seem to have been formerly the general names of the northern nations of Europe and Asia, as the Scythians have been since, and the Tartars are at present. In Ezekiel there is a famous prophesy concerning Gog and Magog; and this prophesy alludes to that in many particulars. Both that of Ezekiel, and this of St. John, remain yet to be fulfilled; and therefore we cannot be absolutely certain that they may not both relate to the same event; but it appears more probable, that they relate to different events. The one is expected to take effect before, but the other will not take effect till after the millennium. Gog and Magog, in Eze 38:6-15; Eze 39:2
Revelation 20:11.— The course of these prophesies, after many important visions describing the state of the church and world in this present life, brings us at last to the great and final judgment, when the whole scene and mystery of Providence and Grace shall be finished. Then the great doctrine, which runs through the whole of these prophesies; will be fullyverified, that truth and righteousness shall surely prevail in the end against error and all iniquity; eternal happiness shall be the reward of the faithful, and everlasting destruction the punishment of the wicked.—This is represented as a sixth period of Providence, after which there will be, in the seventh, an everlasting sabbath; a state of eternal rest and happiness for all the righteous, and of the most perfect worship of God in the praises and devotions of the heavenly church.
Revelation 20:11-15. I saw a great white throne, &c.— Great, to shew the largeness and extent; white, to shew the justice and equity of the judgment; and one siting on it, that is, the Son of God; for the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son,
Inferences and REFLECTIONS.—What a glorious time of light, liberty, love and peace, purity, joy and triumph, shall the church of true believers enjoy upon earth, after many years of darkness, trouble, and oppression! The Lord Jesus will bind and shut up Satan, that old serpent, the devil, as in prison: the cause of truth and holiness shall revive with great power, spirituality, and splendor: and they, who, with the constancy, patience, and spirit of martyrs, had courageously renounced all idolatry, wickedness, and error, and maintained a good profession of Christ and of his gospel in the worst of times, shall, together with their successors of the same spirit, live and reign with him, under his protection and smiles, for a thousand years upon the earth. And O with what honour and acceptance will they then appear, like royal priests to him, and to God the Father through him! But how vain would it be to expect an everlasting continuance of such a happy state on this earth! At the expiration of the thousand years, Satan will, in some measure, be let loose again for a little while, and be permitted to go forth, once more, to deceive the nations throughout the world, and gather all his numberless forces together from among them, who may be compared to Gog and Magog, those last enemies of Israel, to attack and disturb the saints, the beloved city of the Lord. But, blessed be God, this regained power and last effort will be very short, and certainly end in the utter destruction of the devil, and of all his adherents, who shall be consumed by fire from heaven, and cast into everlasting flames with him: for Christ will set his throne for judgment, and the present frame of the earth and aerial heaven shall be dissolved at his appearing. Then there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, wheresoever they were buried, in the earth or in the sea; and the final judgment of all mankind will, upon trial out of the books which shall be opened, publicly and unalterably determine the eternal state of every one of them for inexpressible happiness, or misery, according to their respective works, whether they be good or bad. Then all the ungodly, whose bodies were dead, and whose souls had been in a separate state, shall, according to the just sentence passed upon them for their evil deeds, be cast into everlasting burnings. But O the happiness of the righteous; as described in the following chapter!
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 20". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34