SPECIAL DOCTRINO-ETHICAL AND HOMILETICAL NOTES (ADDENDUM)
Third or General End-Judgment. Judgment upon Satan and all his Associates. The Second Death. a. The Heavenly Prognosis. (Rev_20:6-8)
General.—As we must distinguish between the elect, who have part in the first resurrection, and the general throng of the blessed, we have also to distinguish between the blossom of the earth and of the nations, constituting the Millennial Kingdom, the eschatological
, and the terrestrial orb in general and its masses of peoples. It is a prophecy corresponding with the most profound anthropology that the rudest constituents of humanity shall at last, at the instigation of Satan, instinctively band themselves together for an assault upon the City of God. The lineaments of this anticipation are distinctly expressed in the passages quoted from Ezekiel. From an ethical point of view, it is the fundamental idea of this anticipation that evil shall, after the annihilation of all its idealistic illusions, make one last attack upon the Kingdom of God, with the convulsive movement of pure brutality, savageness, hostility to, and rebellion against, the holy. From an ethnographical point of view, the remoter heathen Orient appears, in antithesis to the nearer theocratic Orient, as the natural lodgment of the elements for such a final struggle. Already the East has frequently threatened the civilized world of anterior Asia and Europe with its terrors, by its great military incursions. There fanaticism slumbers in millions,—in the diverse forms of Græco-Catholicism, Mohammedanism, and Paganism, the latter of which is further sub-divided into the opposite ground-forms of Brahmanism and Buddhism. Imagine a gigantic Oriental coalition, equipped with the most modern military instruments of the European world, its leaders inspired with the magic song of the three Apocalyptio frogs. In such a case, the ethically monstrous assault against the Church of God must have the aspect of a Titanic cosmical power;—the Divine cosmos, however, must also, infallibly, take upon itself an annihilating counter-agency.
Special.—[Rev_20:6.] Glory of the first resurrection. The summit of life is the first resurrection; the summit of death is the second death.—The true priestly domination in the Millennial Kingdom: 1. A domination of all the elect; 2. A domination with Christ.—[Rev_20:7.] Sublimity of God’s power in the final loosing of Satan.—Last form of evil on earth.
Rev_20:8. 1. The absolute majority in conflict against Christ; 2. Rude violence [might] in conflict against the consummate right of His Church; 3. The brutalized power of earth in an assault upon the spirit-kingdom of God from Heaven. Consummate irrationality in its hatred of the consummate Kingdom of light, love and life.—The serpent nature of evil in its last struggle.—The last struggle itself, the foretoken of its destruction.
Starke (Rev_20:8): Satan is the greatest rover; he goes to and fro, in order to seduce men and to do harm. (Job_1:7. In other words: Demonic evil ever and anon issues forth from its dark nothingness, without rule or system, but yet sympathetically, or rather in sympathetic antipathies, and consistently. Oneness in the Kingdom of God is based upon harmony in the Spirit; oneness in the kingdom of darkness is based upon a conspiracy for Antichristian purposes.)
Graeber (p. 357). [Rev_20:9.] And fire came down from Heaven. This figurative expression indicates that their ruin is brought about by a special event, sent by God, the saints themselves having no hand in the matter. This is described with more particularity, Eze_38:21-23.
[From M. Henry: Rev_20:6. None can be blessed but they that, are holy; and all that are holy shall be blessed.—From Bonar: Rev_20:6. The First Resurrection. 1. When is it to be? When the Lord comes the second time. (See 1Co_15:23; 1Th_4:16; 2Th_2:1). 2. Whom it is to consist of. This passage speaks only of the martyrs and the non-worshippers of the Beast; but other passages show that all His saints are to be partakers of this reward. Oneness with Christ now secures for us the glory of that day. 3. What it does for those who share it. It brings them (1) Blessedness. God only knows how much that word implies, as spoken by Him who cannot lie, who exaggerates nothing, and whose simplest words are His greatest. (2) Holiness. They are consecrated to God and purified, both outwardly and inwardly. (3) Preservation from, the second death. Their connection with death, in every sense, is done forever. (4) The possession of a heavenly priesthood. They are made priests unto God and Christ—both to the Father and the Son. Priestly nearness and access; priestly power and honor and service; priestly glory and dignity;—this is their recompense. (5) The possession of the kingdom.—Sinner, what is resurrection to bring to you?]