Revelation of John 20

* Satan is bound for a thousand years. (1-3) The first

resurrection; those are blessed that have part therein. (4-6)

Satan loosed, Gog and Magog. (7-10) The last and general

resurrection. (11-15)

1-3 Here is a vision, showing by a figure the restraints laid

on Satan himself. Christ, with Almighty power, will keep the

devil from deceiving mankind as he has hitherto done. He never

wants power and instruments to break the power of Satan. Christ

shuts by his power, and seals by his authority. The church shall

have a time of peace and prosperity, but all her trials are not

yet over.
4-6 Here is an account of the reign of the saints, for the same

space of time as Satan is bound. Those who suffer with Christ,

shall reign with him in his spiritual and heavenly kingdom, in

conformity to him in his wisdom, righteousness, and holiness:

this is called the first resurrection, with which none but those

who serve Christ, and suffer for him, shall be favoured. The

happiness of these servants of God is declared. None can be

blessed but those that are holy; and all that are holy shall be

blessed. We know something thing of what the first death is, and

it is very awful; but we know not what this second death is. It

must be much more dreadful; it is the death of the soul, eternal

separation from God. May we never know what it is: those who

have been made partakers of a spiritual resurrection, are saved

from the power of the second death. We may expect that a

thousand years will follow the destruction of the antichristian,

idolatrous, persecuting powers, during which pure Christianity,

in doctrine, worship, and holiness, will be made known over all

the earth. By the all-powerful working of the Holy Spirit,

fallen man will be new-created; and faith and holiness will as

certainly prevail, as unbelief and unholiness now do. We may

easily perceive what a variety of dreadful pains, diseases, and

other calamities would cease, if all men were true and

consistent Christians. All the evils of public and private

contests would be ended, and happiness of every kind largely

increased. Every man would try to lighten suffering, instead of

adding to the sorrows around him. It is our duty to pray for the

promised glorious days, and to do every thing in our public and

private stations which can prepare for them.
7-10 While this world lasts, Satan's power in it will not be

wholly destroyed, though it may be limited and lessened. No

sooner is Satan let loose, than he again begins deceiving the

nations, and stirring them up to make war with the saints and

servants of God. It would be well if the servants and ministers

of Christ were as active and persevering in doing good, as his

enemies in doing mischief. God will fight this last and decisive

battle for his people, that the victory may be complete, and the

glory be to himself.
11-15 After the events just foretold, the end will speedily

come; and there is no mention of any thing else, before the

appearing of Christ to judge the world. This will be the great

day: the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, will then put on majesty

and terror. The persons to be judged are the dead, small and

great; young and old, low and high, poor and rich. None are so

mean, but they have some talents to account for; and none so

great, as to avoid having to account for them. Not only those

alive at the coming of Christ, but all the dead. There is a book

of remembrance both for good and bad: and the book of the

sinner's conscience, though formerly secret, will then be

opened. Every man will recollect all his past actions, though he

had long forgotten many of them. Another book shall be opened,

the book of the Scriptures, the rule of life; it represents the

Lord's knowledge of his people, and his declaring their

repentance, faith, and good works; showing the blessings of the

new covenant. By their works men shall be justified or

condemned; he will try their principles by their practices.

Those justified and acquitted by the gospel, shall be justified

and acquitted by the Judge, and shall enter into eternal life,

having nothing more to fear from death, or hell, or wicked men;

for these are all destroyed together. This is the second death;

it is the final separation of sinners from God. Let it be our

great concern to see whether our Bibles justify or condemn us

now; for Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to

the gospel. Who shall dwell with devouring flames?
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